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Huckleberries Online

Archive for June 2011

Wild Card/Thursday — 6.30.11

Hmm. June has come and gone — and still no summer. My only solace in this summer of our discontent is that I'm not alone in my suffering. If temperatures top 90 sometime in the next 60 days, we'll all be by or on the lake with our tongues hanging out, panting. Still a cold June in Coeur d'Alene is better than a hot summer day almost anywhere else. Right? Right? Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.30.11

Canton, Ill., High School graduate Wayne Decker, a specialist with the U.S. Army's 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, lifts his one-year old son Ethan to share a smile together after he surprised his children on a return to Peoria, Ill., after a deployment in Iraq, Wednesday.(AP Photo/Peoria Journal Star, Ron Johnson)

Glenn Beck Signs Off With Fox

Glenn Beck has officially signed off from Fox, for good. Like a professor teaching his last class, the chalkboard-happy Beck summarized what he believed he had accomplished in his 2.5 years on Fox, where his passion, fiery rhetoric and polarizing arguments – and occasionally extremely offensive slips – made him one of the most popular faces of the conservative movement. “It's been an amazing ride,” a surprisingly composed Beck told his viewers. “And I have worked with some amazing people and made some amazing friends – mainly you”/Nina Mandell, N.Y. Daily News. More here.

Question: What will be Glenn Beck's legacy with Fox?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.30.11

  • 5:53 p.m. Caller reports a contained tortoise in Hauser Lake area.
  • 5:51 p.m. A driving a gray Toyota in Row 5 of Post Falls WalMart has fallen down twice in parking lot.
  • 5:44 p.m. Woman on Smith Avenue/Hauser reports neighbor dogs killing fawns & her chickens.
  • 5:34 p.m. 15-16YO son punched mother in face & dragged her across yard in 4900 block of N. Canterbury/CdA.
  • 5:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 29-30 here.
  • 5:01 p.m. Motorcyclist w/a passenger hit parked vehicle in 800 block of Tarran/PF. 1 injury.
  • 4:55 p.m. Man in Ford Taurus almost causing crashes b/c he's driving too slow on I-90 @ Huetter.
  • 4:54 p.m. Hayden Lake Family Physicians, 8181 Cornerstone, report unknown medical emergency.
  • 4:45 p.m. Juveniles pulling limbs off trees & writing on sidewalks @ 16th & Cecil/PF.
  • 4:37 p.m. A chocolate Lab is running loose in mobile home park @ 12th & Greensferry/PF.
  • 4:29 p.m. Someone has suffered a possible stroke at Coeur d'Alene Casino/Worley.
  • 4:23 p.m. 2 black Labs & a golden Lab are running on Poleline @ Meyer/PF, carrying dead chicken.
  • 3:48 p.m. Adrian, from 400 block of E. Dakota/Hayden, reports 3 visitors from another state are missing. They left 4 hours ago to run errands and haven't returned.
  • 19 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic

PM Headlines — 6.30.11

“The Lord saved me from homelessness,” said Marianne Fox of Coeur d'Alene during the ground breaking for Union Gospel Mission Center for Women and Children in Coeur d'Alene earlier today. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Gregoire Launches ‘Get Out West’ Push

On the same day that Washington eliminated its tourism promotion funding and shut down its state tourism office, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (flanked in photo by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, left, and Idaho Gov. Butch Otter), in her new role as chair of the Western Governors Association, has announced that her initiative for the year will be a “Get Out West” campaign, promoting outdoor recreation, conservation, tourism and volunteerism across the 19 western states. “The state can no longer afford to do some things it has done historically,” Gregoire said. “So we’re turning to the private sector to see if we can’t fund a coalition. … This is about partnering with private-sector organizations that have already come forward to me and said how enthused they are. REI has already stepped up and said, ‘Let us know what you want us to do’”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: How important is tourism promotion for Northwest states?

Scorpion Stings Alaska Airlines Rider

Jeff Ellis of West Linn, shows the cell phone image of the scorpion which stung him while he was trying to sleep on a red-eye Alaska Airlines flight on June 17 during a interview today in Portland, Ore. The Oregon man got a big surprise on a commercial flight from Seattle to Anchorage, Alaska, when he was stung by a scorpion while sitting in his plane seat. When he felt something in his sleeve and tried to brush it away. He said he felt the crawling again, looked down and saw the culprit. More here. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Question: I've never seen a scorpion live in the wild — or on a plane for that matter. Have you?

Outside Prosecutor Gets McGee Case

Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris was asked by Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower to handle the case against Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, in connection with a Father's Day morning arrest. “Because there might be an appearance of conflict, he asked me to handle it,” Norris said Thursday. “Any prosecutor's office in Idaho would potentially have some kind of conflict in that he is a senator and every prosecutor's office has to lobby for public safety.” McGee is charged with felony operating of a vehicle without the owner's permission and causing more than $1,000 damage and misdemeanor DUI. McGee, the Senate Republican Caucus chairman, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Friday at 8:30 a.m. in the Ada County Courthouse/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Is Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower being wise in seeking outside council in the DUI/grand theft case involving Sen. John McGee?

KCSD: Only Safe Fireworks In County

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind everyone that only fireworks classified as “non-aerial common fireworks” are legal to use throughout Kootenai County, to include all of the incorporated cities within the County.  Non-aerial common fireworks are those that can be purchased in local temporary stands and some businesses throughout the many communities in the County. The only exception to the law is the land within the exterior boundaries of the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation.  The fireworks sold on these lands must be used on these lands and are illegal to possess or use off of these lands. As time allows, deputies will be working emphasis patrols on known high problem areas for fireworks violations.  One area in particular will be in the State Line Village area near the Washington State Line/Major Ben Wolfinger, KCSD news release. More here.

Question: Do you buy fireworks on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation?

Legion Picks Top Cop, Paramedic

Coeur d'Alene Police Detective Crystal Miller (left) and Coeur d'Alene firefighter Scott Dietrich (above) have been named 2011 Police Officer of the Year and Paramedic of the Year by the American Legion. … According to a story posted on the Coeur d'Alene Police Department Facebook wall: “Detective Miller was chosen based on her work in investigating crimes against children including sex abuse cases, and internet pornography cases. She is also a youth mentor in her work as a Police Explorer Advisor.” And: “Firefighter Scott Dietrich was chosen based on his work as an EMS Instructor and Firefighter Paramedic. … Dietrich also acts as a teacher/mentor to Paramedic Interns. He is well deserving of this award.” Full press release here.

Buttonhook, Patio Reopen At Bayview

At Bay Views, Herb Huseland reports that the Buttonhook reopened for business around 4 this afternoon, with lunch being served beginning at 11 a.m. on the weekends. The floating Patio will also open around noon with limited items available. There is new management at both the Buttonhook and Floating Patio. Writes Herb: “We aren't really ready, but hey, it's Bayview Daze. Please have patience as we solve the start-up challenges, but be sure to tell us if any thing makes you unhappy so that the oops can be quickly corrected.” More here.

CPD Blue: Protect Pets On 4th Of July

The Coeur d’Alene Police Animal Control Division is requesting citizens make plans for their pets on the 4th of July. Animal control deals with a large volume of dogs that become frightened by the noise of fireworks and run from their residence. This results in many more calls for service of dogs “running at large”. The dogs are put at risk of being hit by a car, fighting with other dogs, or possibly biting someone out of fear. Police Chief Wayne Longo asks citizens to “please use caution over the holiday weekend and be aware that due to the increase in calls for service our response will be prioritized but we will try and respond as we are available”/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department news release. Full release here.

Question: How do you pretect your pets from being scared by fireworks on the Fourth of July?

Kelsey Grammer At The Old Ballgame

Actor Kelsey Grammer lower sings “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh inning stretch at the Chicago Cubs against the San Francisco Giants baseball game on Wednesday in Chicago. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)

Question: Do you have a good enough voice to lead the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during a baseball game at Chicago's Wrigley Field?

Mayor Hopeful Wants Squirrel Bounty

Mayoral candidate Barbara Lampert is lucky Spokane's famous yellow-bellied marmots don't vote. At the first significant mayoral debate of the election season, Lampert listed controlling Spokane's varmint population among her priorities. “Varmints bring disease,” Lampert said Tuesday at the forum sponsored by the nonprofit group Sustainable Resources INW. “Let's create a city plan to control pests and rodents.” Lampert said in an interview on Wednesday that the city needs to reduce the population of squirrels, crows, marmots, skunks and potentially other rodents and animals/Jonathan Brunt, SR. More here.

Question: What type of four-legged varmint is the biggest pest in your community?

The Slice: Sighing & Praying

Sowhat do you do after reading in the morning paper about a father throwing his young son into some cacti and driving off, abandoning the little boy? Me, I tried hard to think about something I saw last night. The preschool boy across the street was running around with a towel draped from his shoulders. Clearly it was intended to serve as a cape. He also had on some sort of headgear that I can only assume is much like what the superheroes are wearing these days. He and his dad tossed a ball back and forth. Well, at least they were trying to do that. The little boy is just learning about throwing. And catching will come a bit later. But the dad could not have been more patient/Paul Turner, The Slice. More here.  (AP photo of 4YO abuse victim Angel Rico)

Question: How do you react when you read stories of extreme child abuse like the one in Texas?

Paper Features Team Laughing Dog

Mike Murray and other members of Sandpoint-based Team Laughing Dog (Wayne Pignolet, Jacob Styer, and Al Lemire) were featured in a story in Mike's hometown newspaper, Monticello (Minn.) Times: “The Fourth of July weekend is a popular time to take a road trip. Many Minnesotans head north and find a favorite lake. Mike Murray, a 1981 Monticello High School graduate, went cross-country, and he went a couple of weeks before the holiday weekend. Oh, and he made his trip on a bike. Murray is part of Team Laughing Dog, which took part in the 30th version of Race Across America, leaving Oceanside, Calif., on June 18 and arriving in Annapolis, Md., approximately six days and 10 hours later, finishing 10th out of 30 plus 4-person teams.” Team Laughing Dog raised $80,000 for autism. More here. (H/T: Susan Drumheller, via Facebook)

INW Headlines — 6.30.11

Jeff Westerberg, of Nampa adjusts his hat while taking a look at replicas of historic American flags on display at the God and Country Family Festival on Wednesday in Nampa. (AP/Press-Tribune photo: Charlie Litchfield)

Deadly North Idaho Shooting Justified

An Idaho State Police trooper who shot a fugitive to death during a pursuit north of Coeur d’Alene in February will not face charges. Trooper Dan Howard was justified when he used deadly force to stop a Jeep that was approaching him after he exited his police car following a collision, the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office said today. Howard fired several shots, six of which hit the Jeep. Investigators believe he was aiming at the driver of the Jeep, Mark M. Maykopet, a fugitive from Butte, but one of the shots hit Maykopet’s wife, Christie Anne Little. Little, who was wanted for federal probation violations, was breathing when medics arrived on scene at but soon died of her gunshot wound. Maykopet suffered only minor injuries after being grazed by a bullet/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.

Carrier Delivers Papers w/o Pants

A Moscow area man has been arrested for allegedly delivering newspapers without wearing pants. Moscow Police responded to a report early Thursday morning that a pantsless man was walking in a trailer park on Almon Street. Officers found the suspect nearby inside a vehicle pulling his pants up. 30-year old Carlos Colon then reportedly admitted to officers that he sometimes goes naked from the waist down while on his newspaper route/Nicole Hensley, KXLY. More here.

Question: Have you had any problems with your newspaper carrier?

Walden Estate Gives To 9 Charities

Representatives of various community organizations gathered at the Walden House Wednesday to receive donations from the estate of Ace and Ellen Walden. From right: Cynthia Marlette, First Presbyterian Church; Dorothy Dahlgren, Director of the Museum of North Idaho; Doug Eastwood, Coeur d’Alene Parks Director; Jon Parson, NIC Booster Club; Steven Roberge, Coeur d’Alene Rotary; Warren Olson, Principal of Coeur d’Alene High School; Rayelle Anderson, NIC Foundation; Hazel Bauman, Coeur d’Alene School District Superintendent; Teri Farr, Kootenai Health Foundation President; Jennifer Schmidt, US Bank. Story here. (Courtesy photo: Kootenai Health)

Question: Did you have the pleasure of knowing the late Ace Walden?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.30.11

  • Noon: Firefighters are responding to 40-foot grass fire @ H95 & H54 (Athol).
  • 11:53 a.m. Someone has suffered a twisted leg @ 460 Garden Plaza/Post Falls.
  • 11:45 a.m. A dog is reportedly running loose on 11th & Pennsylvania/CdA.
  • 11:12 a.m. Undisclosed hazard reported at 611 E. Lakeside/CdA.
  • 11:10 a.m. Black SUV and older red pickup racing on I-90 through Coeur d'Alene.
  • 10:47 p.m. KCSD report: Spirit Lake man seriously injured in crash at Ramsey & Diagonal here.
  • 12 more items below

Cindy: Road Trip Celebrates Milestone

A couple weeks ago, Derek and I took our 25th wedding anniversary celebration on the road and journeyed to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore. Our official anniversary was in March, but we’ve been celebrating ever since. After stocking up on red licorice and beef jerky, we programmed Lee (my GPS) and hit the Oregon Trail via Starbucks on North Hamilton. Five minutes into our 10-hour drive, I posted this Facebook status update: “We are still married”/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Also by Cindy:

Question: What's the longest road trip you've ever taken? Any travel tips on how to survive a long road trip?

Poll: Dump City Council Invocations

  • Wednesday Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation voted that local city councils shouldn't allow prayer invocations at all (in wake of the decision by Liberty Lake City Council to permit only Christian prayer invocations before its meetings). 71 of 165 respondents (43.03%) favored no invocations at all. 48 of 165 (29.09%) said all faiths should be included in invocations. 25 of 165 (15.15%) agreed with the Liberty Lake council that only Christian prayer should be allowed. 13 of 165 (7.88%) said invocations should predominantly feature Christian prayer. 8 respondents were undecided.
  • Today's Question: Should Idaho be allowed to reduce the number of wolves by trapping them?

IM CdA Champ Shares Fave Things

Julie Dibens high fives fans near the finish line of the 2011 Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene Sunday afternoon in downtown Coeur d'Alene. Dibens set a new women's course record of 9:16:40. After her victory in Ironman Coeur d'Alene, Julie shared a few of her favorite things with Triathlete Europe here. (Special to the SR: Bruce Twitchell)


Hubbard Avenue To Be Open For 4th

The treatment of Hubbard Avenue has been re-evaluated through the July 4 holiday.  MDM Construction will postpone the excavation of Hubbard Avenue until after the holiday weekend. This will keep Hubbard in a passable condition for emergency vehicles to utilize at all times. In addition, Hubbard Avenue will be open to the general public throughout the holiday weekend, except on July 4th between 4 p.m. and “breakup,” which begins shortly before the end of the fireworks display and ends when traffic is cleared from town. During breakup, Mullan Avenue will be the only exit from the Fort Grounds neighborhood and North Idaho College campus for traffic. More below. And: Education Corridor website for updates here.

Mishap Underscores Life’s ‘Sakura’

I had never given much thought to cherry blossoms until last month, when my first-grade daughter began researching a school project on the topic. After delving into the taxonomy, she learned of the high cultural esteem in which cherry blossoms are held in Japan. “Sakura,” as they are known, are metaphors for the beauty, fragility, and ephemeral nature of life. In a society that, to Western eyes, can seem mystifyingly oblique, they are a potent symbol of human mortality. I gave a lot of thought to sakura last week, after my friend Tom had a terrible accident at work. A builder of sublime skill and talent, he was transforming an old grain mill into a bright and airy living space. One moment he was up on a scaffold. The next moment he was tumbling headfirst into a stairwell. Suddenly, his world was filled with operating rooms, anesthesia and emergency surgery. It was a terrifying glimpse into the abyss between life and death/William Brock, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: When did you last get a reminder re: how fragile life is?

Trapping Will Be Used Vs. Wolves

Trapping will be used to try to remove members of a wolf pack near Elk City and hunting outfitters working in Idaho's Lolo Elk Hunting zone will have another month to try to kill wolves there. Dave Cadwallader, supervisor of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's Clearwater Region, said he approved the trapping effort after a wolf was killed by Idaho County deputies last weekend. Trappers from the federal Wildlife Services Agency will work with department officials, a landowner and the Idaho County Sheriff's Department to monitor the trap. In May, shortly after wolves were removed from federal protection, Cadwallader gave deputies authority to shoot wolves in and around the remote mountain hamlet/Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Should trapping be used to thin out Idaho wolf numbers?

AM Headlines — 6.30.11

Shelby Kunas of Parkwood Business Properties weeds a flower bed at the Interlake Medical Building on Wednesday on Ironwood Drive in Coeur d'Alene. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Senator Defends Staff Bonuses

Reports of Idaho state workers receiving bonuses or salary increases may have raised eyebrows or outcry with some, but Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, who works closely with legislative staff and helps write the state budget, said he’s reviewed the bonuses for lawmakers’ staff and is fine with it. “I certainly didn’t see anything that I would consider to be inappropriate,” Cameron said about bonuses paid out to workers at the Legislative Services Office (LSO).  All LSO employees received a bonus of more than $1,200 this year, for a total more than $90,000.  Those bonuses were within LSO’s budget for the fiscal year. Agency head Jeff Youtz said the payments came after several years of stalled wages and were recognition and compensation for workers doing less with more as the agency reduced its overall staff/Brad Iverson-Long, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Legislators and their hired hands don't get it, do they?

Weed Eater Inventor, 85, RIP

Houston entrepreneur George Ballas poses with the original Weed Eater, in this October 1975 AP file photo. Ballas, best known for inventing the Weed Eater, died Saturday. He was 85. Story here. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle)

Question: Do you own a weed eater?

HMO: Duane Entertains Western Guvs

HMOffsuite: Looks like Duane is having a little get together for the Western Governors at the lake house (on Casco Bay) tonight (Wednesday). My guess is about 350 people. 4 large cruise boats, 4 sheriff’s boats and the fire and rescue boat. The marine deputies are monitoring who enters the bay and security personnel have been around the area for a couple of days. Nice event for those attending that are new to the Cda area, imo.

Question: Have you ever visited Duane Hagadone's digs on Casco Bay?

Labrador: Obama Should Be Like Bill

Idaho 1st District GOP Rep. Raúl Labrador is urging President Barack Obama to emulate his fellow Democratic President Bill Clinton in striking a budget deal with Republicans. In a three-page letter Wednesday, Labrador hails Clinton's leadership and suggests Obama follow his example. “Today the political talking heads may still argue over whether the resulting economic boom should be credited to Bill Clinton or the Republican Congress; notwithstanding, what the majority of the Amercican people remember is that their work together resulted in a period of economic prosperity that continued until the end of his administration”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Labrador that President Obama should be more Clintonesque in dealing with congressional Republicans and the budget?

Boise State Leaves WAC Today

(Today) marks Boise State’s final day as a member of the Western Athletic Conference — a welcome milestone for many around the Broncos, who have long chased the Mountain West membership that begins Friday. But before the balloons rise and the confetti falls, before the celebratory toasts and the logo changes, Boise State owes the league it is leaving a simple statement: Thank you. Thanks for the opportunity, the exposure, the support, the cheerleading, the scheduling, the marketing. Thank you. It wasn’t a one-way relationship, no doubt/Brian Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you sorry to see Boise State leave the WAC? Or excited to see what will become of the Broncos in the new Mountain West Conference?

Hump Day Wild Card — 6.21.11

I almost got picked off on my bike en route to work today, on Homestead Avenue along the north side of the Assembly of God church. A woman in a parked van attempted a U-turn just as I rode up behind her. She didn't know I was three feet from her left back bumper until I said, “Woe!” Then, I heard her say sorry as she continued her turn and drove off. No harm. No foul. But that's how close you came to being without Hucks Online this morning. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.29.11

Bristol Palin prepares to sign her new book, “Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far” as she and her mother, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin signed their books at the Mall of America today in Bloomington, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Question: Can you think of 20-year-old who could write an autobiography that you'd like to read?

Newspaperman Becomes An Ironman

Following is a report by Jody Genessy of the Deseret News who became an Ironman in Coeur d'Alene last weekend: “I was anything but calm race morning. Amazingly, I actually slept for five hours after dealing with internal issues Saturday (mostly butterflies from the enormous task ahead, and perhaps partly from the big beef and salami sandwich I inhaled). Dealing with an 11th-hour bike problem didn't help. Being with my wife's witty and wise uncle, four-time Ironman Chris, and chatting with amazing friends from my triathlon club, the Desert Sharks, helped ease some race-morning jitters. But as the time to toe the starting line on the beach approached, I couldn't help but thinking: Did I train enough? Can I finish my first marathon after doing the longest bike ride and open-water swim of my life? Will I even make it out of the bitter-cold lake alive? Am I completely nuts?!” Jody's complete story here. (More Main Street photo: Kerri Thoreson)

Question: Can you ever imagine yourself trying to run Ironman Coeur d'Alene?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.29.11

  • 5:29 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Casino security reports catching a male & a female trying to pass fake $20.
  • 5:21 p.m. Kathleen, from 7600 block of Baillie/Dalton Gardens reports possible trespassing.
  • 5:14 p.m. A light pole is down on n/e corner of I-90 & Ramsey/CdA.
  • 5:19 p.m. An allergic reaction @ Benewah Clinic requires ambulance transport to KMC.
  • 4:36 p.m. Caller wants to see a deputy re: a paddleboat theft.
  • 4:33 p.m. Driver hit a pole @ Government Way & Walnut (near St. Vinny's) & drove off short distance.
  • 4:21 p.m. Domestic dispute rekindled on Spokane/PF; man & woman now fighting over a dog.
  • 3:52 p.m. Child reports a maroon-and-gray van followed her to Catholic School in Post Falls & then parked. (Update: Officer stopped van and cleared call as everything being OK.)
  • 16 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link to 18 more items

PM Headlines — 6.29.11

Window washer Chris LaPrelle, works his way around the Wells Fargo Bank Building today in downtown Boise. (AP/Statesman photo: Darin Oswald)

Idaho Biz Climate #31, Education #45

Remember when Idaho business and economic development leaders bragged about the quality of education and educated workforce available for companies considering relocating? Well Idaho now ranks No. 31 among “America's Top State for Business,” according to CNBC (which ranked states with the help of National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness). Of the 10 categories considered in the rankings, Idaho's lowest ranking came for “education,” a category in which it ranked No. 45. And this is before the so-called education reforms of Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna takes effect. The three top states for business are Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, Texas, and Colorado. Among Northwest states, only Montana ranks lower in these rankings than Idaho. You can see the rankings for yourself here.

Question: Will Superintendent Tom Luna's education reforms move Idaho higher or lower in the rankings?

NI Blogs: Fried Kool-Aid Balls At Fair

OrangeTV reports on his Get Out! North Idaho Facebook wall that fried Kool-Aid balls will be available for your guilty pleasure at the North Idaho Fair later this summer. Wonders OTV: “Does this sound delicious or atrocious? Above, “Chicken Charlie” holds one of his fried Kool-Aid balls at the San Diego County Fair a week ago at Del Mar, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Hucks Online numbers (for Monday): 6945/4403, and (for Tuesday): 7432/5009

Question: Do fried Kool-Aid balls sound delicious or atrocious?

Lake City Paintballer Faces Charges

Coeur d'Alene police arrested a 21-year-old man for shooting a paintball gun at cars passing on I-90.Investigators say Samuel Whitehead was spotted on a roof in the 1900 block of North Ninth Street allegedly shooting a paintball gun.After getting a 911 call, police responded and Whitehead turned the paintball gun on officers/KXLY. More here.

Council Ripped For Pledge Stand

Hundreds of hostile calls and emails poured into Eugene City Hall after the city council's vote Tuesday to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at four meetings a year. City spokeswoman Jan Bohman told The Register Guard more than 90 percent were from out of state, generated by a Fox News report she called misleading. It characterized the vote as against saying the pledge on a regular basis. Some people reacting to the story said they will boycott Eugene. The council voted to recite the pledge at four meetings each year close to patriotic holidays: Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Flag Day and the Fourth of July. It was a compromise after Councilor Mike Clark suggested that the pledge be recited at the start of each regular meeting/Associated Press. (SR file photo for illustration purposes)

Question: The Coeur d'Alene City Council (and I suspect Post Falls, Hayden, Rathdrum, and other local councils) recites the pledge of allegiance before every meeting. Do you think it should? Or should it follow the example of the Eugene council and only recite the pledge near patriotic dates?

Ironman Gives Kroc Center $10,000

Ironman Foundation Director Dave Deschenes, left, presents Executive Director Major John Chamness of the Kroc Community Center with a check for $10,000 during the 2011 Coeur d'Alene Ironman Welcome Banquet. The Ironman Foundation is the charitable arm of the World Ironman Corporation. The donation was given to support the programs and services of the Kroc Center. The funds will also provide membership and program scholarships for individuals and families. Kroc Center press release here. (Courtesy photo: Kroc Center)

Question: Has your membership at the Kroc Center been a good thing?

Possible Oldtown Chop Shop Raided

Investigators looking for fugitives uncovered what they suspect to be a large stolen vehicle operation near Oldtown last week. Most of the cars located at Mr. D's Auto Repair and Salvage Yard on Highway 41, just south of Oldtown in Bonner County, appear to have been stolen from Washington state, said Sgt. Marty Ryan of the Bonner County Sheriff's Office. “We are just still knee-deep in this investigation,” Ryan said. Detectives arrived at the property June 22 trying to serve two felony arrest warrants. Instead, they found a vehicle with a punched ignition that had been reported stolen in Stevens County. Detectives obtained a search warrant and spent two days seizing evidence from the property. They checked records for 294 vehicles, many with missing or altered VIN plates/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here. (Photo: Bonner County investigators search Mr. D's Auto Repair and Salvage Yard on Highway 41, just south of Oldtown, as part of an ongoing car theft and stolen property investigation.)

Also from Sirens & Gavels:

Question: Have you ever had a vehicle stolen?

Braves Sweep M’s w/5-3 Finale Win

Seattle Mariners' Dustin Ackley (13) safely steals second base just ahead of the tag by Atlanta Braves shortstop Alex Gonzalez during the second inning of an interleague baseball game this afternoon in Seattle. The Braves beat the M's 5-3 today to sweep the three-game series. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Coach Tells Guvs About Success Model

BSU head football coach Chris Petersen told the Western Governors Association that for the past decade, he's been studying successful teams — not just athletic teams, but other groups, and what makes them successful. “It doesn't matter if it's sports, business, government, individual success, the principles are very, very similar,” Petersen told the group. When asked the reason for the BSU Broncos' success, he said, his answer is, “It's nothing in particular, but it's everything in general. … It's really about culture.” Petersen said his “formula for a successful team” is an equation. “I think it's very simple that you're not going to win the Derby on the back of a donkey,” he said. “It's all about going out and getting talent. Talent for us, when we're talking about our team … it's athletic ability with experience, and it's depth/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Is it possible to develop a culture of success at your workplace or organization using Boise State Coach Chris Peterson's sports model?

Rall: Puritanism Not Weiner To Blame

In his Boise Weekly column, Ted Rall lambastes the Puritanism of our culture — he considers it a curse second only to racism — that resulted in the resignation of Congressman Anthony Weiner. Writes Rall: “It is well past time we Americans grew up. No one should be pressured to resign because of sex. Even when they're a hypocrite.” Then, Rall claims America missed a teachable moment during the low-level scandal involving former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig. Again, Rall: “Rather than ridicule the man, we ought to have defended him as a victim of an unjust law. In the 21st century, why should anyone go to jail for soliciting consensual sex?” You can read Ted Rall's full column here. (AP file photo)

Question: Should elected representatives like Weiner and Craig be shamed and even forced out of office when they become entangled in odd sexual behavior? Or should the country merely shrug?

Director defends Public Staff Bonuses

Item: Legislative services director defends staff bonuses/Ben Botkins, Twin Falls Times-News

More Info: The state Legislative Services Office director is defending bonuses paid to all his agency's staffers, telling legislators email that rewarding and motivating employees, especially in tough times, is part of his duty. LSO Director Jeff Youtz's note to lawmakers came on Monday, following media reports about $167,000 in one-time bonuses for 102 state employees at six agencies. The bulk of that - almost $95,000 - went to LSO staffers, who each got a bonus ranging from $1,281 to $1,984, records show.

Question: Jeff Youtz seems to think that employees who go above & beyond the call of duty in these hard economic times deserve a bonus (even if it comes from taxpayer money). Using Youtz's measuring stick, do you deserve a bonus for your work, too?

INW Headlines — 6.29.11

No one needs an excuse to kick back with a cold brew on a holiday weekend. But just in case, there are two new area breweries to check out. Bi-Plane Brewing Co. in Post Falls and Budge Brothers Brewery in Spokane are sporting new Northwest- and English-style ales. Both recently opened tasting rooms to show off their wares. Nadine and Doug Martindale are brewing and pouring three offerings at the Bi-Plane Brewing Co. tap house in Post Falls. SR story by Lorie Hutson here. (SR Photo: Christopher Anderson)

Review: Bristol Lacked Good Sex Info

“I'm gonna bear bait,” Levi Johnston texted Bristol Palin in 2008. “Want to come?” And so began the encounter in a Mat-Su bear stand that led to Palin's teenage pregnancy, at least according to “Not Afraid of Life,” the 20-year-old mother's autobiography that came out this month. Full of cringe-worthy Wasilla teen romance scenes, the book is a cautionary tale aimed at teens tempted to stray into “the deep quicksand of sexual sin” by having sex before marriage. But when I read it, I found a cautionary tale for all of us. The book is about what happens when teenagers — girls in particular — don't have adults they can talk to get good information about contraception and the support they need to make smart choices about sex/Julia O'Malley, Anchorage Daily News. More here. (AP file photo of July 26, 2010 cover of Us magazine)

Question: How did you approach the topic of sex with your children?

High Noon: Household Chores? Yawn

On her Facebook wall, Cindy reports that her new cat, Thor, has the same attitude toward laundry that she has. Cindy continues: “Trish Gannon thinks it's suspect that I don't own a pair of 'sleepy pants.' Don't know what she'll think about my confession that I hate shopping malls, have never seen “Titanic” and loathe the song “My Heart Will Go On.” My Woman Card may be in jeopardy.

Question: Is there any household chore that you enjoy?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.29.11

  • 11:59 a.m. Man is slumped over wheel of vehicle on H41, 1/4 mile north of Seasons/Twin Lakes.
  • 11:54 a.m. Cardiac problem reported @ Post Falls Family Medical, 1220 E. Polston/PF
  • 11:47 a.m. A w/b semi has lost a lot of hydraulic fluid near Blue Creek Bridge on I-90 @ M/P 20. (Update: Officer on scene sez fluid is slick engine oil not hydraulic & plans to close 1 lane of traffic.)
  • 11:43 a.m. PFPD Blue is at urgent care facility where drunk man is considering suicide.
  • 11:12 a.m. An injury accident is blocking i/s of Mullan & Cecil/Post Falls.
  • 11:05 a.m. Gem Shores Road resident reports fireworks nearby & wants extra patrol this weekend.
  • 11:03 a.m. Chelsea wants to see an officer re: weapons being fired in Rathdrum area.
  • 11 more items below

Kevin: Potato Study Raises Questions

Now those researchers — those meddling quinoa-cooking do-gooders — have just gone too far. They’ve singled out the potato, our potato, as a leading cause of weight gain. Those scapegoating scientists! Where do they get off, slathering on the blame like so much sour cream on a russet? (Excuse me for a second, as I stop frothing at the mouth and commence to salivating. OK, I’m back.) And where do these scientists “work,” you know, for lack of a better word? At, gasp, Harvard! Well, let’s just adopt an affected New England accent and pass the couscous, why don’t we? But here’s the problem. What if these pointy-heads actually have a point? What if their theory isn’t — sorry, I can’t resist —half-baked?/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Are you having second thoughts re: potatoes since the release of the Harvard study?

Poll: Failed Recall Try Supports Luna

  • Monday-Tuesday Poll: 56% of Hucks Nation say the failure of the Recall Luna effort is an endorsement of Superintendent Tom Luna & his reform legislation. 231 of 410 respondents (56.34%) voted that way, while 173 of 410 (42.2%) said the failed campaign wasn't an endorsement of Luna or his controversial policies. 6 were undecided. However, it's apparent that someone who supports Luna hijacked the poll (in terms of number of voters and flipflop of results from first day of voting).
  • Today's Question: What type of prayer invocation should be allowed at City Council meetings?

Travolta Gives Pep Talk To Munchkins

Laura Little of the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre sent along this photo of John Travolta talking to all of the Munchkins in the cast of “Wizard of Oz” during intermission. Travolta was in town to attend “The Wizard of Oz” because two of his sisters, Ellen and Margaret, played the Wicked Witch and the Good Witch, respecitvely/Jim Kershner, Spotlight. More here.

Question: Are you a John Travolta fan?

BSU Coach To Address Governors

After several days of gorgeous weather, clouds have moved in over Coeur d'Alene, the breeze is kicking up and thunderstorms are threatening as the Western Governors Association gathers for its annual meeting, which starts today at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. Eight western governors will convene; nine had been scheduled to attend, but North Dakota Gov. David Dalrymple of North Dakota canceled at the last minute due to flooding in his state. First up for the governors today: A keynote speech from Boise State head football coach Chris Petersen (pictured in AP file photo), and a session on how western states can increase educational and career opportunities for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: Are you impressed that the Western Governors Association is meeting in Coeur d'Alene?

Reporter: Dover Fire Chief Gets $80K

Dover, in the panhandle of Idaho, has a population of about 400,  and a fire chief who is paid $80,000 annually. According to records obtained by, Mike Tucker, the head man at the Westside Fire District, has made that wage for the past four years. … … The head of another nearby fire agency, Robert Webber of the Sagle Fire District, makes $52,000 annually. Sagle, with a population of about 5,600, is about 14 times the size of Dover. According to records, Sagle took 634 calls in 2010/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.


Atheist Billboard Gets Boot

A June 21 photo shows a billboard at 417 North James in Columbus, one of several put up by Freedom From Religion Foundation around Columbus. The billboard supporting atheism has been taken down from property owned by an Ohio church after the pastor complained. The sign upset Rev. Waymon Malone of Christ Cathedral Church, which owns the land where the billboard went up. (AP Photo/Columbus Dispatch, Kyle Robertson)

Question: Can you be good without God?

Council Permits Only Christian Prayer

The Liberty Lake Satanists – which would be a great name for a Hoopfest team or a best-ball foursome – are still waiting for their chance to pray. Same with the Wiccans and Jains. Not to mention Hindus and Muslims. And all the other scary folks who might hope to share their non-Christian prayers in the land of golf and prosperity. The Liberty Lake City Council there has drawn a line in the sand trap: Only Christian prayers before council meetings. That’s not the letter of the law, but it is very much the spirit. The letter says only that members of the council and the mayor may give the invocation before the meetings. In practice, this means a Christian prayer – if not an explicitly Mormon one – every single time/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Should City Council meetings permit only Christian invocations?

Statesman: Ed Reform Battle Still On

A foolish grandstand play from the outset, the campaign to recall state schools Superintendent Tom Luna met its predictable demise Monday. Not content to dance on the grave, Luna and state Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko stomped on it. Said Luna: “Opponents of the laws have tried to make it personal. Reforming education has never been about me; it’s about giving our students more opportunities.” Said Semanko: “This is a huge blow to the anti-education reform establishment. The union leadership’s efforts to use scare tactics and spread misinformation in order to maintain the status quo and to place union interests ahead of the true recipients of public education, the students, have failed in Idaho.” Game over. Just ask these guys, right? Not so fast/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Should Idaho Republicans be worried about the attempt to overthrow Tom Luna's reform measures via referendum in November 2012?

AM Headlines — 6.29.11

Dillon Fabie, 21, was honored by the Spokane Police Department for chasing down a suspected purse snatcher ata Spokane Walmart. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Dumpster Diving Helps Solve Crime

Cheney police are not afraid to do a little dumpster diving if it will help solve a crime.Investigators say after a man's wallet was stolen out of his car on June 6, they began tracking illegal purchases on his credit card, including a belly-busting, $44 purchase at Carl's Jr.”Once we started back tracking those charges, we were able to get in touch with the retail outlets where the purchases were made. Many of them had either video or still surveillance photos,” Cheney Police Chief Jeff Sale said/Jeff Humphrey, KXLY. More here.

Question: Have you ever taken something from a Dumpster?

Chris: Indian Wars Still Going On

Those who think the days of Native American tribes fighting other Native American tribes are long gone, best think again. The advent of and phenomenal growth in Indian gaming has created a division of haves – the tribes with revenue producing and political powerful casinos – and the have nots. Gaming tribes in Idaho, the Coeur d’Alenes, the Nez Perce, and the Shoshone/Bannock, appear to have natural markets where there is no real competition. They appear at peace with neighboring tribes. … Where the warfare begins is when two tribes relatively near to each other decide to co-locate casinos. It becomes especially vicious if one tribe perceives the other as encroaching and there is a belief that the market cannot sustain two enterprises/Chris Carlson, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Which area casino do you consider best?

Hungary Honors Ronald Reagan

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, left, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, center, greet each other after unveiling the new statue of late US President Ronald Reagan, during a centennial commemoration in Budapest, Hungary, earlier today. The 180 kilograms (400 pounds) and 2.18 meter (7 feet, 2 inches) tall bronze statue honors Reagan at the Freedom Square in central Budapest to mark his efforts to free the people of Hungary from the yoke of communism. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

Question: What was President Reagan's greatest accomplishment?

Idaho GOP Eyes Super Tuesday Vote

Idaho could become more than a piggy bank for GOP candidates if the Republican Central Committee adopts a proposal to elect delegates at a Super Tuesday caucus, likely on March 6, replacing the primary election in late May. “For years and years, the Republican presidential nominee has essentially been picked before our primary,” said Ron Nate, a BYU-Idaho economics professor who chairs an Idaho Republican Central Committee subcommittee that approved the proposal last week. “The motivation here is to make Idaho more relevant in national politics.” Former Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa tried for years to get Idaho in a regional primary with an earlier date, but it never happened. Democrats have used a caucus to pick delegates since 1980. In 2008, Barack Obama filled Taco Bell Arena, part of a caucus state strategy that keyed his win over Hillary Clinton/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would you like to see the Idaho GOP vote to move its presidential primary to March 6 to become part of a Super Tuesday election event?

Hutcheson To Run For GOP Sheriff Nod

Keith Hutcheson, chief of the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Police, told the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee Tuesday night that he plans to run for Kootenai County sheriff next year as a Republican. Sheriff's Major Ben Wolfinger also has announced his intention to run as a Republican for the seat of long-time incumbent Rocky Watson, who has announced he won't see another term. Hutcheson, according to Betsy Russell/SR, who was at the meeting told the Central Committee that he has always been a Republican — and offered the cross-deputization agreement that he hammered out with Benewah County officials as proof that he can get things done. Hutcheson lost by 44 votes to incumbent Ron Jacobson in a race for Post Falls City Council in 2009.

Question: Do you like the way the GOP primary race for Kootenai County sheriff is shaping up?

Cougar Bay Group, County Agrees

Item: Piling on: Cougar Bay group, county agreement will spare posts/Alecia Warren, Press

More Info: The Cougar Bay Osprey Protective Association, Inc. reached an agreement with Kootenai County on Tuesday that will allow the handful of bay residents to maintain the pilings, which they hail as crucial for wildlife habitats and keeping a little peace and quiet on the north end of Lake Coeur d'Alene. “This finally puts an end to this controversy that started two or three years ago,” said Scott Reed, attorney for the nonprofit association. Under the agreement, the osprey association will volunteer time and resources to protect the pilings and booms in the bay's no-wake zone.

Question: Is this a good settlement? Or do you think all the pilings should have been removed from Cougar Bay?

Anderson: A Little Free Expression

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Tuesday — 6.28.11

I'm headed for the first Handshake Productions concert of the summer at Sherman Park Square (near Java on Sherman) from 6 to 8 this evening. Jazz, I believe, is on the schedule tonight. I'm a ha-huge fan of the free concerts provided by Chris Guggemos at several venues, including City Park (Sundays) and Sherman Park Square (Tuesdays). Later in the summer, he tosses in concerts in Hayden & Rathdrum parks. Riverstone, meanwhile, offers its own concerts in the Riverstone Pond amphitheater. Dunno what summer would be like without the outdoor concerts. Now to repost your Wild Card …

P.S. Fleeting Moment

“This photograph reminds me of the feature photos I used to take all the time when I first started at The Spokesman-Review twenty-three years ago,” writes Colin Mulvany, Snaps & Frames. “It’s just a fleeting moment captured of two kids goofing off while waiting for customers at their “refreshment stand.” It doesn’t scream news, or say all that much. As journalists, too often we pick at the edges of society, telling stories that only comment on the harsh realities of life.” More here.

Brent: Don’t Laugh re: End is Near

Responding to “Rapture ribbing leads to shooting,” Brent Andrews comments: “I think we laugh off the end of the world at some risk. We could find ourselves laughing, ha ha, only to discover at Zero Hour that on May 21 the Japanese knew they’d never be able to clean up their mess; that also on that day the last whale left the Gulf of Mexico forever; and the last dancing woman, harassed and taxed to death and no longer able to make a living in a no smoking, no extras, socialist new world order - walked out of the Deja Vu never to return. It would take a while for the effects to be known. Whatever was supposed to have happened might have actually happened, but we just don’t know it.”

Question: What sign would indicate to you that the end is here?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.28.11

  • 5:46 p.m. Sarah wants to see an officer re: being accused of a crime & harassed.
  • 5:22 p.m. Someone is suffering chest pains at Peterson's Family Foods on E. Sherman/CdA.
  • 5:18 p.m. Vehicle drove around railroad arms @ Prairie & Spokane/PF en route to Brookie/PF.
  • 5:01 p.m. A possibly suicidal Post Falls teen w/shoulder length hair has been missing since 3 p.m.
  • 4:59 p.m. 2 Canadian semis are parked in acceleration lanes on e/b H53 by Rathdrum Super 1.
  • 4:37 p.m. Home burglary reported in 8000 block of Loch Haven/Hayden.
  • 4:36 p.m. Women w/kids in camper on old IFI mill site property told nearby resident that they are able to move vehicle although they told officer earlier today that it was disasbled (9:49 a.m. incident)
  • 4:27 p.m. 8YO boy w/runaway history has been missing for hour from 900 block of Heron/Hayden. Update, at 4:40 p.m.: Boy found in 1500 block of Heron.
  • 4:24 p.m. Caller wants to see CPD Blue re: nude photos of her posted on Facebook.
  • 4:23 p.m. Driver in yellow Subaru smelled of alcohol while pumping gas @ Dashco before heading e/b on H53/Rathdrum.
  • 4:16 p.m. Man from Upper Hayden Lake Road reports being harassed by ex-roommates.
  • 22 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link:

PM Headlines — 6.28.11

In this 2008 photo, rewarded with a breathtaking view, people stand at the top of Table Rock near a 4,500-pound cross, in Boise. The prominent six-story cross whose 2,100 watts of white light has illuminated the night above Boise since 1956 is going green, and getting even brighter, the Associated Press reports today. The private group that owns the cross atop Table Rock is replacing its electricity-devouring fluorescent tubes with 2,600 energy-efficient LED lights that will cut the electricity bill from about $60 monthly to just $15. Story below. (Statesman photo: Darin Oswald)

APhoto Of The Day — 6.28.11

New York City police officers watch while an unidentified man who climbed a traffic light pole in New York's Times Square earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Dude, this is not the Atlantic Ocean, you are not on the Titanic, and you are not the king of the world. But if you come on down, I’ve got Kate Winslet in the back of this nice ambulance — Sisyphus.
  • 2. Unable to find a steady job elsewhere, this man donned a red shirt and green underwear to intern as a traffic light. Luckily NYPD’s finest stopped him before the light turned green — CdA Al.
  • 3. Photo-Red going low tech — Charlie.
  • HMP: FlorineD & Powder Farmer

Rapture Ribbing Leads To Shooting

A Lorane woman says her son told her that he was shot last Friday by a co-worker who had been teased at work about his apparent belief in the biblical Rapture that some predicted would cause the end of the world beginning on May 21. Robin O’Brien said the alleged shooter has worked alongside her son, Jerry Andrews, at LHM Hydraulics in west Eugene for several years. While her son told her that he and Dale O’Callaghan had argued occasionally, he didn’t think they were on bad terms, O’Brien said. But O’Callaghan took it personally when Andrews and other co-workers needled him in recent weeks about his belief in a California preacher’s prediction that May 21 was to be the day that Jesus Christ returned to Earth, O’Brien said her son told her/Jack Moran, Eugene Register-Guard. More here. (AP file photo, of an RV advertising impending Armageddon May 21, in downtown Seattle)

Question: Do you enjoy teasing & being teased?

OTV: And Yet Another Mex Food Place

Sometimes I find myself just sittin' around and wondering: “¿Que Pasa? Why don't we have more Mexican restaurants in this town!” OK, I lied. Didn't we just have three or so new Mexican eateries just swing open their doors?  According to my quick count, taco trucks and fast food included, there are approximately 43 places in the Cd'A-PF-Hayden area to choose from when your brain and tummy gang up on you and say “We need tacos right now“. Yes, brains and tummies can speak in bold print.  It does seem a bit like overkill at times, but here's what I say: the more, the más feliz.  Driving up Lincoln Way yesterday en route to a routine colonoscopy, I noticed the sudden un-expected appearance of El Paisa Mexican Restaurant in the strip mall space that Donut House used to occupy (1801 N Lincoln Way)/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Some of you may suspect that I posted this simply to include the line: “Driving up Lincoln Way yesterday en route to a routine colonoscopy … ” I take the 5th. But I'm curious re: how many different Mexican food places you frequent in town?

Another Pol Sent Underwear Photos

Taegun Goddard's Political Wire reports: The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that local city councilman Joe Stagni (R) admitted “that he sent a picture of himself in his underwear to a city employee 18 months ago and that the image ended up on a city computer server.” Said Stagni: “I asked for God's mercy and forgiveness. I apologized to my wife and family and asked for their forgiveness as well. My actions and bad judgment had nothing to do with my duties and responsibilities as a public official. They were private acts, but I take full responsibility for my irresponsible behavior. ”

DFO: Huckleberries is checking out origination of photo of local pol seemingly competing in muscle man competition. It appears to be fake. ;-)

Question: Can anyone remember a female politician doing this sort of stupid thing?

Princess Diana Would Have Turned 50

A computer-generated image of Princess Diana is shown with Kate Middleton on the cover of the July 4 issue of Newsweek magazine. Diana was killed in a car accident in 1997 and would have turned 50 on Friday. In April, Middleton married Prince William, the oldest son of Diana and Prince Charles. (AP Photo/Newsweek)

Question: How has life changed for you in the 14 years that Princess Diana's been gone?

Valley County Aryan Event Attracts 8

The Northwest Region of the Aryan Nation was supposed to have a “eat, greet, and meet” event June 27, at Valley County’s Lake Cascade State Park. According to fliers and a website, the event was to take place between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Idaho Parks and Recreation communications manager Jennifer Blazek told Citydesk a group of about eight individuals showed up at 5 p.m. and left at 9 p.m. “They set up their awning and flag, had a barbecue, and then left before sunset,” Blazek said, calling it a “non-event”/Jody May-Chang, Boise Weekly. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: What do you make of the poor attendance at the Northwest Region of the Aryan Nation gathering?

SR Opinion Editor Calling It Quits

On Thursday afternoon, after 42 years of newspapering for the Chronicle and The Spokesman- Review, I’m off to sample the pastures of retirement. Never one to recognize a good chance to shut up, I’m tempted here to retrace every miraculous technological twist along the road from hot-metal type to Twitter. I heard something like that once from my father, except it was about horse-drawn buggies and jet airliners. Every generation marvels at its own journey, I guess. ’Nuff said. The change that I find most striking, and scary, is not the technological advancement of the past four decades but the way it’s being used to poison the public conversation that sustains democracy/Doug Floyd, SR. More here.

Question: Are you a regular reader of newspaper editorial pages?

UI Alum Retiring As Top World Force

She’s the most powerful woman accountant in the world — just ask Forbes magazine — she’s from Kimberly, and she’s retiring at age 59. Sharon Allen, Kimberly High Class of ’69, is standing down as chairman — and that’s the term she prefers — of the board of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., the largest accounting firm on the planet. In 2009, Forbes ranked her 98th on its list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. With the exception of Declo’s J.R. Simplot, Allen is probably the most influential business leader the Magic Valley has ever produced/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Do you have an accountant?

LDS Leaders Told To Avoid Politics

The Mormon church is reminding its senior leaders that they should steer clear of politics as a campaign season ramps up and two of the faith's own compete for the GOP presidential nomination. In a letter sent June 16, church president Thomas S. Monson and his senior counselors say lay leaders with full-time church responsibilities and their spouses should not participate in political campaigns. That includes making endorsements or financial contributions. The letter was sent to the highest officers of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Part-time leaders are not barred from such political involvement. A church website post describes the letter as a restatement and clarification of an existing policy of political neutrality/Jennifer Dobner, Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo, of Temple Square in Salt Lake City)

Question: Do you agree with the position of the Mormon church that top senior leaders should steer clear of politics?

INW Headlines — 6.28.11

Sky Belieu practices playing her guitar while skateboarding through downtown Spokane Monday. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Question: Have you ever ridden a skateboard?

High Noon: What Are You Wearing?

You don't have to answer that. But me, I went with my first Hawaiian shirt of the season today. I believe I have about a dozen, almost all purchased on sale. Years ago, I was suspicious of those wearing such garments. I regarded these shirts as the uniform of what Calvin Trillin once described as “the party as a verb crowd.” Serious people didn't wear them to work. Then, as if to emphasize their absurdity, we had a stretch here at the paper where certain Fridays would be a designated “Hawaiian Shirt Day” in the newsroom. Yes, forced frivolity at its finest/Paul Turner, The Slice. More here.

Question: What are you wearing today? And/or: Do you wear Hawaiian shirts?

Deputies Shoot Elk City Wolf

Idaho County Deputies Stan Denham (left) and Mike Chlebowski shot this 90-pound female wolf after it was spotted in Elk City on Saturday. Lewiston Tribune story here. (Courtesy photo contributed to Lewiston Tribune.

Question: Will wolf hunts in Idaho & Montana strike a good balance in protecting elk herds, as well as livestock and family pets?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.28.11

  • 11:44 a.m. 2 people are detained on west side of Cornerstone station/Prairie. Unknown reason.
  • 11:20 a.m. Shopko on Ironwood/CdA reports capturing a shoplifter.
  • 11:18 a.m. Mercedes driver reports van driver used middle lane incorrectly @ 3rd & Bay/Post Falls.
  • 11:05 a.m. An unknown medical emergency is reported in 8000 block of Highland/CdA.
  • 10:54 a.m. Possible illegal burn reported in 3400 block of E. Diana Court/Post Falls.
  • 10:34 a.m. Female German shepherd w/chain loose along H95 @ KKJ's Pizza/Athol.
  • 10:20 a.m. Kathy reports to Spirit Lake police that gas was stolen from her vehicles overnight.
  • 9:49 a.m. 2 women w/kids have been living in a pickup w/a camper in 3000 block of Seltice Way (by railroad tracks near old mill area) for some time. They have a toilet contraption near vehicle.
  • 9:47 a.m. Large tree branches are lying in slow lane of w/b I-90 @ 4th Street exit/CdA.
  • 9:35 a.m. Woman is complaining of back injury at BILT Industries, 800 S. Stillwater Loop.
  • 9:33 a.m. A gray pickup w/4-way flashers on is disabled & abandoned in s/b H95/Hayden turn lane.
  • 9:26 a.m. Grass fire is reported @ 6068 Hayden/Rathdrum (cross of Meyer).
  • 9:25 a.m. David Hammond of recruiting office in Prairie Shopping Center/Hayden reports vandalism.
  • 9:23 a.m. An unknown medical emergency is reported in 200 block of Pend Oreille/Harrison.
  • 9:21 a.m. An abandoned bike has been found at 406 N10th St./CdA.
  • 9:17 a.m. PFPD Blue has found a trucker who tried to avoid port of entry weigh station at Flying J Truck Stop. Trucker said ISP had said it was all right to continue. But ISP told PFPD Blue trucker was lying.
  • 9:12 a.m. CPD Blue has located an abandoned vehicle at 517 Linden/CdA.

Stapilus: Recall Try Failed, But …

The forces trying to call Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and two legislators fell short, substantially short, in their petition drive today. They ran out of time with not enough signatures. No surprise; that outcome was pretty widely predicted. Recalling public officials beyond the level of a small city is very difficult in Idaho, and rarely happens (as, in our view, ought to be the case). No statewide official has ever been recalled in Idaho. The recent referendum effort, which was prompted by the same issue as the recall – Luna’s public school overhaul proposals passed by the Legislature this year – are a different matter. Those are headed for the ballot, are very much alive and their future may be in the hands of the campaign ahead/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Randy Stapilus points out that Recall Luna organizers now have all those names on their petitions who might be fodder for the referendum pushes and other political activity. What role will the referendums play in the 2012 general election campaign?

Recall Luna Founder Issues Statement

“No matter what you hear, this was NOT a partisan effort, this was not started by teachers or unions or Democrats. Anyone who says it was, is NOT telling you the truth! There were MANY Republicans who told me face to face, 'I voted for Luna, and now I am sorry I did. I want to sign the Recall petition!'” — Nancy Berto, Recall Luna founder, in a prepared statement. Full Statement here.

Question: Did you sign a petition either to recall Superintendent Tom Luna or to place referendums against three pieces of Luna education reform bills on the 2012 ballot?

Team Laughing Dog Raises $80,000

Four Sandpoint men, known as Team Laughing Dog, finished 10th among 19 in their division of the Race Across America cross-country bicycle race. From left: Al Lemire, Jacob Styer, Wayne Pignolet and Mike Murray. (Photo courtesy of V. Scott Pignolet)

Four mostly middle-age Sandpoint men have bicycled across the country in 6 days, 9 hours and 28 minutes to raise $80,000 for autism. Wayne Pignolet, 51, describes his experience with Team Laughing Dog as “epic.” The Sandpoint cyclists’ 10th place finish among 19 teams in their division of the Race Across America was faster than Pony Express riders took to get halfway across the country on swift horses. Laughing Dog, named for the brewery that sponsored it, averaged 19.5 mph in the nearly 3,000-mile relay race. Riders climbed 100,000 feet of grades that sometimes exceeded 10 percent and rode down them at speeds that reached 55 mph/John Craig, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever raised thousands of dollars for a worthy cause? Tell us about it.

Tree Trimming Starts For Megaloads

Sharon Cousins protests as a crew from T.R.E. Tree Service prunes trees to make way for Imperial/Exxon megaloads along Washington Street in Moscow on Monday. The megaloads will now be diverted up Highway 95 through Moscow, the Palouse, Coeur d'Alene, and then east on I-90 toward Billings, Mont. Brandon Macz's Daily News story here. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo: Dean Hare)

Question: Do you consider tree-trimming to accommodate megaloads to be the root of evil, as the protesters do?

Clark: Chicken Fever Spreading

Believe it or not, thousands of otherwise sane and civilized Americans are raising chickens on their city property. Really. I wouldn’t pullet your leg. I learned this the other day when I was outside and heard this mindless clucking noise. Fearing the worst, I figured that the mayoral candidates must be campaigning in my neighborhood. Upon further reflection, however, I realized what I was hearing was not from dumb cluck politicians but from, well, actual dumb clucks. A call to the City Hall the next day confirmed my suspicion that Spokane is part of the large chicken-raising trend that is pecking the nation. “Oh, yeah, definitely,” said Sandy Scott, who works in neighborhood services. “They think the eggs taste better than supermarket eggs”/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Do you think eggs straight from the chicken are better than those purchased at a store?

Bachmann Admits John Wayne Flub

On day one of her presidential campaign, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann was already insisting that she's not a “flake.” Today, on day two, she's acknowledging a minor flub she made the day of her presidential kickoff speech Monday that elicited a few chuckles. Speaking from her home town of Waterloo, Iowa on Monday, Bachmann told Fox News, “John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That's the kind of spirit that I have, too.” As the Washington Times first noted, however, the actor John Wayne was born nearly 150 miles away in Winterset, Iowa. John Wayne Gacy, Jr. — the serial killer — was born in Waterloo/Stephanie Condon, CBS News. More here. (AP file photo of Michele Bachmann)

Question: Who is the better candidate for president — Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin?

Johnson: Recall Luna Try Misfires

There was never a real chance that supporters of a recall of Idaho’s Superintendent of Public Instruction would be able to collect the nearly 160,000 valid signatures needed to force a recall of the controversial superintendent. Now that the recall effort is officially dead, the question becomes whether opponents of Tom Luna’s education reform ideas can keep the public concern – even anger – at a level sufficient to make a 2012 referendum, already qualified for the ballot, successful? I’d argue the failure of the recall is a significant strategic setback for those who think Idaho’s education policy is headed in the wrong direction. The decision to mount the recall was, with perfect hindsight, a miscalculation that will now be portrayed as a sign of weakness/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Marc Johnson that the Recall Luna effort was a miscalculation that will hurt attempts to turn back Superintendent Tom Luna's so-called education reforms?

AM: Aylward A Champion To Many

Two years ago, Tom Aylward couldn’t ride a bike. On Sunday, he rode 112 miles in 8½ hours. Two years ago, the 62-year-old couldn’t swim more than 25 yards. On Sunday, he swam 2.4 miles faster than many much younger competitors. But when the Spirit Lake man reached mile 80 of the bike ride in the 2011 Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene, his legs locked up and his shoulders throbbed with pain. A few blocks into the 26.2-mile marathon, he had nothing left: “I knew when I got off that bike that it was over, but I tried. Alison Boggs' story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Even though Tom Aylward didn't finish Ironman Coeur d'Alene, are you inspired by his dedication to changing his life by working out for the triathlon and changing his eating habits?

Ironman Bike Theft Brings 2 Arrests

Coeur d'Alene police recovered a stolen high-end bike in time for its owner to ride it in the Ironman triathlon on Sunday. The $3,500 bike was stolen with a $1,000 bicycle near City Beach on Wednesday. About four hours later, a snow blower was reported stolen from the Best Western Inn. An employee reported a red Chevrolet Corsica without a license plate drive past him earlier that morning with a snow blower on the back. He later realized it belonged to the motel and called police. The Corsica matched the description of the bike thieves' getaway vehicle.  Police located the snow blower in a pawn shop data base the next day and contacted the seller, Justin C. Luce, 31, (left, and Lukas R. Porto, 18, of Coeur d'Alene, right) who told officers they could find the stolen Ironman bike at a Pawn One in Spokane/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here. And:  Full Coeur d'Alene police press release here.

Question: Can you imagine something as lowdown as stealing an Ironman competitor's bike?

Man Crosses Islands On Paddleboard

Soleil, left, and Dagmar  de Zwart of Maui, Hawaii, wait at Kalapaki Beach in Nawiliwili, Kauai, Hawaii as Bart de Zwart paddles the final few yards of his 300-mile solo, unsupported crossing aboard a stand up paddleboard from the Big Island to Kauai, Sunday. The crossing took five days and five nights. Dagmar is his wife and Soliel is his daughter. (AP Photo/The Garden Island, Dennis Fujimoto)

Question: Have you spent much time on the ocean? If so, please explain?

Thieves Target Catalytic Converters

Item: Thieves get on their backs to rip off Spokane drivers/Jeff Humphrey, KXLY

More Info: Spokane area thieves have come up with a new way to steal from you while they're lying down on the job. Crooks are actually crawling underneath our cars and cutting off the catalytic converters.Brian Graham, a mechanic at The Muffler Mart says most victims are unaware the converter is missing until they turn the ignition. “Well when they start it up it sounds like an eight v-8 truck, they say uh-oh something's the matter,” Graham said.

Question: Are you amazed re: what lengths a thief will take to make a few bucks, instead of finding honest work?

Keough, Broadsword Could Face Off

Among the revelations from the hearings so far: North Idaho's District 2 is likely to be completely realigned, and that could mean that District 2 Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, right, ends up in District 1 - along with District 1 Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, left. Even Broadsword told the commission the district has to change. “It isn't about seated legislators. It's about what's best for the citizens who live in those districts, what's easiest for them to be able to get to the polls and participate in the system,” she said at the hearing in Sandpoint. “That's just the reality,” Frasure said. “I think all of us are committed to do the right thing. … She testified against her own legislative district”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Which two incumbent GOP legislators from North Idaho would you like to see forced to run against each other in a primary race? Why?

Bennett: The Bouquet

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Wild Card/Monday — 6.27.11

I enjoyed a wonderful weekend in the sun, beginning with the North Idaho branch of my family celebrating my mother's 86th birthday Saturday. After church on Sunday, I hauled mom to the Coeur d'Alene Bible's community feed for Ironman Coeur d'Alene observers along 4th Street. She munched on her picnic lunch under a shade tree and thoroughly enjoyed the exciting event in the sun. I don't know how much longer we're going to be fortunate to have our matriarch. But it's nice that she's still able to get around and do things with us. Now for your Monday Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.27.11

Miss Virginia contestants form a prayer circle backstage before the Miss Virginia competition at the Roanoke Civic Center in Roanoke, Va., Saturday. Miss Arlington, Elizabeth Crot, was crowned Miss Virginia. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Rebecca Barnett)

Corinna: Coffee Getting Too Pricey

On her Facebook wall, Corinna Hunter writes: “2 of the things in our lives which are important to us, at least to me, are having enough money to fill my car tank and the other is coffee in the morning! Did you know that coffee has gone up and will go up more in price soon?!”

Question (from Corinna): Have you had to give up some things that just are too expensive to buy anymore?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.27.11

  • 5:53 p.m. Daughter says she took father's credit card on Country Ridge/Hayden b/c he owes her $15.
  • 5:51 p.m. Someone is setting off fireworks every hour for last 4 hours @ 2nd & Parsons/Worley.
  • 5:49 p.m. KCSD Marine deputy calls for fireboat to tow disabled vessel floating down river.
  • 5:32 p.m. Boat is disabled in front of Amway House on Spokane River.
  • 5:28 p.m. ISP is trying to capture a yellow Labrador that's tying up I-90 traffic near Sherman exit.
  • 5:10 p.m. Suicide threat reported @ 3rd & Spruce, Bayview.
  • 4:48 p.m. 9YO boy complains of head & shoulder pain after 2-car crash @ Ramsey & transfer station.
  • 4:29 p.m. KCSD is looking for 87YO man named John who was last seen at KCS Breakfast Club in Post Falls today and may be headed for Ritzville, Wash., in old Lincoln.
  • 4:21 p.m. A Chevy pickup passed on wrong side before turning on Hanley from Government Way.
  • 4:12 p.m. An unknown medical emergency is reported @ E. Mullan & 10th Place/CdA.
  • 4 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 26-27 here.
  • 12 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM Headlines — 6.27.11

Gonzaga University star Robert Sacre' poses with Kelli Allison of Spokane, during the State Farm Battle in Seattle Autograph session Saturday as her friend, Rebecca Estelle, snaps a picture. (SR photo: J. Bart Rayniak)

Semanko Hails Recall Luna Failure

Chairman Norm Semanko, of Idaho Republican Party, issued a statement re: failure of Recall Luna drive, which reads in part: “This is a huge blow to the anti-education reform establishment.  The Union leadership’s efforts to use scare tactics and spread misinformation in order to maintain the status quo and to place Union interests ahead of the true recipients of public education, the students, have failed in Idaho.  This confirms that the will of the people was made known in the 2010 elections, a year that proved most successful for the candidates of the Idaho Republican Party.” (H/T: Idaho Conservative Blogger, more here)

Question: Is the Idaho Education Association a legitimate target for Semanko's comment since it didn't take part in the Recall Luna effort?

Get Out! Review: Golden Dragon

The interior of Ponderay's Golden Dragon was nothing to call HGTV about, what with the obligatory assortment of red paper lanterns, lurid Great Wall landscapes, and an ominous glass case full of Chinese trifles and whatnots. But overall it was a perfectly tidy and agreeable atmosphere, with the reassuring Mandarin (?) chatter of the two waitresses and cook (sisters and dad?) and some tinkly Asian elevator music providing an appetizingly authentic audio environment. So was the food as good on the taste buds as it is on the eyeballs in the above photo? Generally speaking, yes it was. Golden Dragon is, in many ways,  a few notches above pretty much any Chinese food on offer anywhere in the Coeur d'Alene-Post Falls-Hayden triangle, but I still can't say it lives up to the best of the best Asian-American meals I've sat down to (locally, Spokane Valley's Peking Palace still holds that personal award)/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

North Idaho Blogs — 6.27.11

“A while back a small restaraunt was opened up in Troy at a remodeled gas station and is called The Filling Station,” posts Jean of JeanC's Cat House & Shooting Gallery. “We've been driving by for a while and kept telling ourselves we had to stop in some time and check them out.” Jean & hubby did stop finally. You can read her report on this unusual eatery on the Palouse here.

Hucks Online numbers (for week of June 19-25): 40421 page-views/25604 unique views

Constitution Party: Metro Area? Bah!

Our friends from the Kootenai County Constitution Party are now concerned that the statistical metropolitan area designation assigned to Kootenai & Spokane counties will take away our freedoms in North Idaho. In a post on the KCCP website, Chad von Lind “No, obviously this is an occasion in which it behooves the state of Idaho to invoke our 10th Amendment right of Nullification and for the Coeur d’Alene/Kootenai County community to assert our endemic right of 'rule by consent of the governed.'” Von Lind outlines for unwanted outcomes as a result of this forced linkage, including: “Local government will become less responsive to its constituency in favor of the Industrialists and the federal government’s social engineers.” You can read it all here.

  • SR editorial says combined metro area is a good thing here

Question: Do you view as positive or negative the designation of Kootenai & Spokane counties as one metropolitan statistical area?

Final Ironman Coeur d’Alene Results

Coeur d'Alene Police Department officer Nick Knoll is shown running through a water area on the marathon course during the third leg of Ironman Coeur d'Alene Sunday. Knoll finised the race in 13 hours, 37 minutes, and 30 seconds. You can see the final results for the pros and all age groups by clicking on this link here.

Major Ben’s Felony Warrant Roundup

Three local residents are among the five people wanted on felony warrants in the latest roundup issued by Major Ben Wolfinger of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. Joshua Dean Edelblute, 21, of Rathdrum, is wanted for failing to appear in court to faces charges of burglary and grand theft. (Bail for Edelblute is set at $30,000.) Danielle Alohilani Harrison, 29, of Coeur d'Alene, is wanted for failing to appear to face charges of grand theft and possession of paraphernalia. (Bail for Harrison is set at $38,000.) Jerry Lewis Williams Jr., 38, of Post Falls is wanted on a felony warrant on six counts of grant theft & four counts of forgery. You can read Major Ben's complete list of felony and misdemeanor warrants here.

Warriors Introduce Thompson, Others

Golden State Warriors draft picks Jeremy Tyler, from left, Klay Thompson, and Charles Jenkins hold up jerseys as they are photographed at an NBA basketball news conference in Oakland, Calif., today. Thompson is the slick shooting wing man that led Washington State to the NIT tournament finals this year. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

OTV: Glad To Get Past Ironman Again

Get Out! North Idaho is glad that Ironman is in the rear-view mirror. OrangeTV writes via Facebook: “My grump isn't really about the blocked roads or the noise, I've learned to plan for all that. What gets me is how many (not all) of the participants themselves seem to forget that even though Iron Man is happening, they need to observe normal rules of traffic and common courtesy. So many times I've seen them go flying through stop signs or residential neighborhoods without a second thought if there might be a car coming. I've had a few close encounters over the years that practically made my heart stop, and I'm basically a grandma driver. Also, many (not all) of them come to town expected to be treated like Queens and Kings of the Universe just because they happen to be involved. Many are super nice, but I've seen some outright rudeness — respect earns respect and many don't seem to have it. (Bruce Twitchell photo: special to SR)

Question: Have you encountered Ironman Coeur d'Alene athletes behaving badly before or after the race?

FDA: Don’t Eat North Idaho Sprouts

Item: Sprouts linked to 20 cases of salmonella poisoning/Mary Clare Jalonick, AP

More Info: The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat Evergreen Produce brand alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts because they may be linked to 20 cases of salmonella poisoning. The Idaho-based company has not recalled the sprouts though they are possibly linked to illnesses in Idaho, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota and Washington state. The FDA warned consumers not to eat sprouts labeled “Evergreen Produce” or “Evergreen Produce Inc.” The sprouts were distributed in Idaho, Montana and Washington state.

Question: I can't remember the last time I ate alfalfa sprouts. Can you?

Blagojevich Convicted Of Corruption

Item: Jury convicts ex-Ill. Gov. Blagojevich at retrial/Michael Tarm, AP

More Info: Rod Blagojevich, who rode his talkative everyman image to two terms as Illinois governor before scandal made him a national punch line, was convicted Monday of a wide range of corruption charges, including the incendiary allegation that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's Senate seat. The verdict was a bitter defeat for Blagojevich, who had spent 2 1/2 years professing his innocence on reality TV shows and later on the witness stand.

Question: Does anyone outside of Chicago and Illinois care about Blagojevich any more?

TSA Makes 95YO Remove Adult Diaper

Item: TSA orders 95-year-old woman to remove adult diaper during 45-minute search/Associated Press

More Info: A woman has filed a complaint with federal authorities over how her elderly mother was treated at Northwest Florida Regional Airport last weekend. Jean Weber of Destin filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security after her 95-year-old mother was detained and extensively searched last Saturday while trying to board a plane to fly to Michigan to be with family members during the final stages of her battle with leukemia. Her mother, who was in a wheelchair, was asked to remove an adult diaper in order to complete a pat-down search.

Question: Can anyone other than a TSA security guard justify this action?

INW Headlines — 6.27.11

Coeur d'Alene Dr. Roger Dunteman powers up Bennett Bay hill during the final leg of the 2011 Ironman Coeur d'Alene and heads back to Coeur d'Alene. (Huckleberries Online photo by Christa Hazel)

A Bull Of A Californian

My favorite Downtown Coeur d'Alene Bar Report from June 9-18 report, from Thursday, June 16, 2011: 2240 hours N 4th St & E Sherman Ave – Disorderly: “Officers arrested a 26 year old California male for being intoxicated in the roadway after observing him standing in the middle of Sherman, blocking traffic and pretending to be a bull (hunched forward and holding his hands up to simulate a bull’s horns).” Full Downtown Coeur d'Alene Bar Report here.

Question: Have you ever seen a bull paw the ground in preparation for an attack?

Christa’s Favorite Ironman Outfit

Christa Hazel, who photographed Ironman Coeur d'Alene for Huckleberries Online, e-mailed that this was her favorite uniform worn by the 2800-plus Ironman athletes this year. More Christa photos here.

DFO: I did one double take during my Ironman Coeur d'Alene watching this year. At the northwest corner of the Coeur d'Alene Resort golf course, I saw a woman who was 8-plus months pregnant, wearing a bikini top and a skirt below her protruding stomach. She had a monster set of wings tattooed on her upper back. And was pushing a baby carriage. Surprisingly, she almost pulled off the look. Obviously, she didn't care what others thought.

Question: Did you see any strange sights at Ironman?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.27.11

  • 11:46 a.m. Caller's roommate has taken whole bottle of Seroquel in suicide try @ Howard & Neider.
  • 11:39 a.m. Someone in ski mask is driving gold car only 30 mph on H41 near Rathdrum.
  • 11:27 a.m. Several cars parked illegally on Forest Drive/Fortgrounds area.
  • 11:08 a.m. Albertson's in Prarie Shopping Center reports found drug paraphernalia.
  • 10:51 a.m. A one-vehicle rollover is reported on H95, 5-6 miles south of Tensed. Injuries unknown.
  • 10:34 a.m. Possible burglary in progress 2 doors down from 1210 Tavern, E. Sherman/CdA.
  • 10:20 a.m. Woman left kids in Ford Focus w/Oregon plates while shopping @ Hayden Albertson's.
  • 9:59 a.m. KCSD fields report of guest slipping in lobby of a local hotel (which wasn't named).
  • 9:56 a.m. A logging truck has lost its load on w/b onramp of I-90 @ M/P 54 (near Osburn).
  • 9:51 a.m. Someone has been hurt in a fall at Ramsey Elementary, 1351 W. Kathleen/CdA.
  • 9:32 a.m. Resident reports an overnight vehicle burglary @ Lacey & Danielle/Hayden.
  • 9:17 a.m. Kootenai Electric Coop official wants to see an officer re: a theft.
  • 9:06 a.m. Resident @ Grand Tour & Ridgeway/Hayden has caught an injured cat.
  • 9:04 a.m. A juvenile in 1200 block of Spokane Street/PF is causing problems for his mother.
  • 8:57 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Press computers knocked offline by vehicle hitting power transformer.
  • 8:54 a.m. Kendall reports strange dog w/litter of puppies is behind his Cheyenne/Hayden home.
  • 8:31 a.m. Traffic lights @ 4th & I-90 are working after malfunctioning for period of time.
  • 8:10 a.m. Power lines are arching above I-90 freeway at 4th Street/CdA.

Downtown Bar Report June 9-18

For those keeping score at home, Coeur d'Alene police issued 68 open container warnings on Friday night, June 17, after the cruise portion of Car d'Lane — the majority going to Iron Horse customers who weren't aware that they couldn't have alcohol outside the chained area in front of the bar. Another nine warnings were given to Moose Market customers and three to Icon/Beacon customers. All this, according to the June 9-18 Downtown Coeur d'Alene Bar Report. Also, CPD Blues responded to 18 disturbances/fights) after the Car Cruise, b/n 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 17, and 2:30 a.m. Saturday, June 18. “A majority of these were arguments or some minor pushing/shoving observed by officers and immediate intervention prevented them from becoming worse.” You can read more about these disturbances/fights and the rest of the Bar Report here.

Cool Things About Athol, Idaho

Athol has always had a bit of an identity crisis, at least name-wise. The town started as Colton, which was changed to Athol after a settler from the Massachusetts town with the same name decided it was somehow better. In 1966, after the Girl and Boy scouts both held events nearby at the old Naval base, the name Roundup City was suggested and rejected. Later that year, when Farragut State Park opened its gates a few miles away, a town debate arose among its 300 residents whether they should change the town’s name to Farragut to sort of “cash in” on all the tourists that would be blazing through. Some residents thought it would be a good way to avoid confusion, others were vehemently opposed/OrangeTV. Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: What do you know about Athol, Idaho, other than its name causes snickers?

Poll: Search Locally For NIC Prez

  • Weekend Poll: An even 50 percent of Hucks Nation said searchers should look locally for the next North Idaho College president. An even 81 of 162 respondents said the search should include a strong effort to find the next president locally. 60 of 162 respondents (37.04%) said the search committee shouldn't look locally. 21 of 162 (12.96%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you consider the failed recall effort as an endorsement of Superintendent Tom Luna & his policies?

Aylward Comes Up Short In Ironman

Tom Aylward, 62, comes out of the swim portion of Ironman Coeur d'Alene on Sunday. Tom finished the swim and the bike portion of the triathlon but was unable to finish the marathon. Story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Alison Boggs & Kathy Plonka have been following the progress of Tom Aylward of Spirit Lake for 6 months, as he dropped the last of some 80 pounds in preparation for the 2011 Coeur d'Alene Ironman. Aylward was happy with his progress although he was unable to finish marathon portion of event. Were you inspired by his attempt?

Kathy: Kids Dragged Me Into Tech Age

I was slow getting up to speed in the technological age, but now that I'm there I have to admit there are times I wonder how people ever got along without iPods. My kids gave me an iPod for my birthday last year. Gifts from your children, in fact, are the way most old people like me get hooked into technology. Computers? you say. My typewriter is still good. Cellphone? Who needs it? I don't want most people to get hold of me anyhow. An iPod? I told my kids it sounded like the body part of an insect. I didn't want one. They insisted that I would enjoy it on my morning runs, but I wasn't so sure. I liked listening to the serene sounds of nature - the chirping of the birds, the quiet lowing of the cows, the wind whispering secrets among the trees/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Did you kids drag you into the technology age? Or did you get there by yourself?

Effort To Recall Luna Falls Far Short

(Campaign manager Morgan) Hill, a Boise pilot, said the campaign raised only about $4,500, plus another $15,000 worth of in-kind advertising donations, and relied entirely on volunteers. Though it reported in early June that it had more than 75,000 signatures, Hill said an “error in the numbers” forced a recount yesterday, which led to the conclusion late last night that the campaign had gathered only about 50,000 signatures for the statewide recall petition. … Hill said the campaign also was hurt by the Idaho Education Association's decision not to support the recall effort; the teachers' union backed a successful referendum drive that will place all three of Luna's controversial new school reform laws on the ballot for possible repeal in the November 2012 election/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

  • Arpie explains why Idaho Education Association didn't participate in Recall Luna effort here

Question: Do you consider the failed recall effort as an endorsement of Superintendent Tom Luna & his policies?

AM Headlines — 6.27.11

Craig Alexander, two-time Ironman World champion, high-fives fans near the finish line of the Ironman Coeur d'Alene before setting a course record. SR story here. Also: Top 10 men, Top 5 women finishers here. (Bruce Twitchell/Special to the Spokesman-Review)

Court OKs Violent Video For Minors

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to let California regulate the sale or rental of violent video games to children, saying governments do not have the power to “restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed” despite complaints about graphic violence. On a 7-2 vote, the high court upheld a federal appeals court decision to throw out the state's ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento had ruled that the law violated minors' rights under the First Amendment, and the high court agreed/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Do you agree with this decision?

Rocky: China Not Trying To Buy Idaho

Don Dietrich doesn’t overreact when he gets emails calling him a traitor or a dupe opening the way for an invasion of Idaho by Chinese Communists. “Given what they’re reading, they are rightfully concerned,” said Dietrich, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce. “But what they are reading is in some cases nonsense.” Much of the attention stems from what he told the Statesman a year ago, just before Gov. Butch Otter led a trade mission to China. The state has been looking for foreign investment to boost the economy here, and there is one foreign country with more investment potential than all the others. “The Chinese are looking for a beachhead in the United States,” Dietrich said then/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Where do these rumors come from?

Hucks: Solidarity In Objector’s Mind

In response to criticism about the small protest against the public art statue of Hindu god Ganesha in downtown Coeur d’Alene June 10, Kootenai County Constitution Party Chairman Daniel Brennan claims on the group’s website that many Lake City residents agreed with his group’s stand, but they were too intimidated by political correctness to show it. Writes Brennan on the KCCP website: “As I chatted with others the general sentiment was one and the same with my own – that the statue was, on Christian principle, offensive to the vast majority of Coeur d’Alene residents, an egregious misappropriation of public resources, and in light of the constant and ongoing litigious crusade against any and all Christian symbols all over the country, a gross expression of governmental hypocrisy”/DFO, Hucks Online. More here.

A Day In The Sun For Ironman

I enjoyed watching Ironman Coeur d'Alene at three venues Sunday. First, Mrs. O & I stopped by the hamburger feed offered to the community by Coeur d'Alene Bible Church (across from Coeur d'Alene High) during the biking section of the Ironman event. Hundreds were treated to a picnic lunch and live contemporary Christian music at the church while watching bikes zip by. Later, we rode bikes to the back of the Coeur d'Alene Resort golf course where a neighborhood party was going on to cheer the marathon runners on. Finally, we went downtown to watch some finishes. Amazing event. The only part we missed was the swim. But Christa Hazel was there to snap this photo of Tina Marie Bell of Hayden Lake exiting the water and running to the transition area.

Question: Do you watch any portion of Ironman Coeur d'Alene Sunday?

Reader: Bee Online Comments Awful

Having an interest in the city of Sandpoint I occasionally go on line and read the Daily Bee. Occasionally I will also check the opinion section so as to see what the resident have to say about events. In the past few months I have noticed that many of the posters have turned from intelligent discourse to name calling and the use of severe vulgarity and sexual innuendo in their comments. Is this allowed? Is this what you want the paper to represent?/Richard Dawson, Spokane. More here.

Question: Do you consider the discourse in the Hucks Online comments section to be intelligent or over the line?

Wheeldog: Incentive To Pamper Pets

Wheeldog (“Christie: Saying goodbye to my best pal”): My condolences, Christie. It’s something I have had to do numerous times over the years and it never, ever gets easier…maybe even harder, as time goes by. Do dogs go to heaven? I don’t know but the Inuit (Eskimoes) believe that when they die, the dogs they’ve had that have preceded them are there, waiting not only to greet them—but to judge them. They are judged on the basis of how they treated their animals when they were alive. Strong incentive to treat your animals, especially the ones you depend on for your livlihood, with respect and dignity, wouldn’t you say?

Question: Can you tell much about a person by the way he treats his/her dog?

Arpie: IEA Sits Out Recall Luna Effort

Arpie (Recall Luna effort falling short): The IEA sat this one out. As mentioned above, gathering the signatures would be and has proven to be a huge undertaking. getting more people to vote him out- in a special election -in August -than voted for him in a regular election -in November would have been another huge undertaking. Then having Butch name his successor would have been plain defeating. This is not a reflection on the IEA. They made the right call. I carried petitions for the initiatives -as did many of my colleagues and friends. I only knew one person who was carrying recall petitions. I’m still glad folks tried.

Question: Was it a good thing or a bad thing that organizers tried and apparently failed to get the signatures to recall Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna?

Heller: Bought In China

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Ironman CdA w/2 1/2 Hours To Go

Don Sausser, Huckleberries Eye on Sherman Avenue, provides this photo of downtown Coeur d'Alene at 9:30 p.m. Sunday night with 2 1/2 hours to go until midnight, the official end of the race.

2-Time World Champ Wins CdA Ironman

Craig Alexander celebrates at the finish line of the 2011 Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene Sunday afternoon in downtown Coeur d'Alene. Alexander set a new course record of 8:19:48. (Bruce Twitchell/ Special to The Spokesman-Review)

Craig Alexander promised maximum effort in Sunday’s Ironman Coeur d’Alene, but the two-time world champion wasn’t sure what that would be. Turns out it was the best there’s ever been in the nine-year-old event. Alexander was a little faster than the previous bike record – which was shattered by Maik Twelsiek – and shaved about a minute off the marathon record. That added up to a course record of 8 hours, 19 minutes, 48 seconds, almost 4 minutes faster than the previous best for the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride and 26.2-mile run. “I was prepared to give 100 percent of what I had but I didn’t know what that was,” said the 2008 and 2009 champion, who missed his planned season debut two months ago in his native Australia because of a viral infection that cost him a month of training/Dave Trimmer, SR. More here.

Alexander, Dibens Win ‘11 Ironman Race

Julie Dibens celebrates the finish line of the 2011 Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene Sunday afternoon in downtown Coeur d'Alene.  (Bruce Twitchell/ Special to The Spokesman-Review)

Craig Alexander, the two-time World Ironman champion who wasn't expected to enter Coeur d'Alene Ironman due to illness, captured the 2011 Coeur d'Alene Ironman title in a course record eight hours, 19 minutes, & 48 seconds, according to KXLY. And Julie Dibens of Boulder, Colo., set a record in the women's division — the third straight year that has happened, by shaving 74 seconds off the 2010 record to win in nine hours, 16 minutes, and 40 seconds. See KXLY story here.

Swim: CdA’s Evans Bests 55-Degree Lake

CdA resident, Amy Wallace Evans, exited the 55 degree water and made way into the transition area for her bike. (Huckleberries Online photo: Christa Hazel)

Bike: Hayden’s Ludwig Along Shoreline

Hayden resident, Kristin Ludwig, rides the bike portion east of Coeur d'Alene along Lakeshore Drive.  She finished with an official time of 14:53:44. (Huckleberries Online Photo: Angie Phillips)

Run: Hayden’s DuBos Running 26 Miles

Coeur d'Alene resident, Tom DuBos, running on Bennett Bay hill during the third leg of the 2011 Coeur d'Alene Ironman today. (Huckleberries Online photo: Christa Hazel)

Weekend Wild Card — 6.25-26

Ironman Coeur d'Alene is upon us again, which means we'll be encountering runners and bikers wherever we go around town today, either intentionally or as part of traffic jams and detours. You probably should check online to see how the route of triathletes affects your in-town travel plans. And try to stay away from Government Way. I'll see you back here at 8 o'clock Monday …

Recall Luna Effort Falling Far Short

The ongoing fight to recall State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is ending. The “Recall Tom Luna” campaign won't get enough signatures by their deadline on Monday.  Organizer Morgan Hill Jr. told Channel 12 News his campaign have collected only about half of their target goal of 158,000 signatures as of this weekend. “Yeah unfortunately we won't be successful,” Hill said. Even so, the volunteers who make up the group don't feel defeated.  These local volunteers still hope to send a message to Luna/Matt Standal, Fox 12. More here.

Question: How do you interpret the fact that the effort to recall Superintendent Tom Luna is falling far short?

Yoda Wins ‘Ugliest’ Dog Honors

Yoda, the diminutive winner of the 2011 World's Ugliest Dog Contest, squares off against a boxer named Pabst on Friday in Petaluma, Calif. Yoda took home $1000 and a plethora of pet perks after winning the Sonoma-Marin Fair competition. Story here. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Question: Would your dog do well in an ugly-dog contest?

Christie: Saying Goodbye To My Best Pal

Christie Wood: Today is a very sad day for me. “The Adventures of Woodville” have come to an end as I have put down my beloved Oscar. I can only hope all dogs do go to heaven, and his adventures will continue there. He was a wonderful boy who inspired me for the last 13 years to write stories for children. RIP to my best pal.

DFO: I'm sure I speak for Hucks Nation when I see that I'm sorry that you lost your wonderful companion and inspiration. I'd like to think that our pet dogs & cats will be on the other side. After all, heaven is a place of joy. And pets are a source of happiness for many.

Question: Do you think all dogs go to heaven?

Walkabout: Litterers Trashing Tubbs Hill

Walkabout: I wish people would learn to respect (Tubbs Hill). It isn’t even July yet and the garbage on the hill is starting to pile up. Those that stay on the main trail may not see much of it but that’s because people go there to drink on the beaches and hidden areas all over the hill. I know most of these areas and try to clean some of them out every few days. But, I am just one person. If you are in the mood someday grab a bag and seek out the beaches and hidden areas and fill it up with what the litterbugs left behind.

Question: Have you ever picked up litter as part of a cleanup project, formally or informally? Did you learn from that experience?

Brent: ‘RedNeck’ Is An Insulting Term

Brent Andrews: I guess you will always use “redneck” but I have said before, and will say again, that it is like the N word or calling a gay person the old name for cigarette. Lots of hardworking people who would never hurt anyone’s feelings - people who go to church every Sunday - remain red in the neck year-round, and they have a right to do so without the Poynter types, who seek to insult no one in the whole wide world and try to paint truly such notorious enemies as al Quaida, and even the Chinese Communist Party, without namecalling, reserving this one nastyism for their columns and even headlines. I will ever oppose your use of ‘redneck’ as an unnecessary insult, akin to the N word, that belongs in quotation marks in your stories, if it has any place at all.

Question: Do you consider “redneck” to be an extreme and unnecessary insult?

New York OKs Gay Marriage

People in the New York Senate gallery react to the passage of gay marriage at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., on Friday.  Story here. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Question: Will Idaho ever OK gay marriage?

80YO Athol Woman Dies In Rollover

Melvina Cameron, 80, of Athol was killed in a one-car rollover this afternoon when her westbound 2000 Buick Century left Highway 54 near Howard Road and struck a tree, ejecting Cameron. The crash occurred at 4:42 p.m. Cameron wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

TGIF Wild Card — 6.24.11

I rode my bike to work this morning, for the second time this spring. Almost all down hill from my place in the Borah Triangle but the wind was blowing against me. My brother-in-law has been trying to get me to ride the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes with him this summer. Definitely a bucket list item. Might be fun to break the ride in half and see the wildlife along the way. I'll let you know when I take the ride on. Now for your TGIF Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.24.11

A barred owl perches on a highway sign in Poulsbo, Wash., just before sunrise. Barred owls usually hunt at night and return to their nests during the day. (AP Photo/Kitsap Sun photo: Larry Steagall)

Beware Of Moyie Springs Sprouts

Idaho state public health officials are investigating a number of Salmonella cases believed to be connected to the consumption of alfalfa sprouts. The investigation is ongoing and includes 19 ill persons from northern Idaho, eastern Washington and western Montana.  Of the persons reported with Salmonella infection linked to the outbreak, six have reported consumption of sprouts obtained from a northern Idaho grower, Evergreen Produce, located in Moyie Springs. Idaho public health officials are recommending that people avoid eating sprouts from Evergreen Produce and discard any Evergreen Produce sprouts in their possession while the investigation is ongoing/Trish Gannon, River Journal. More here. (Courtesy photo: River Journal)

Question: Can you name some veggies that you simply will not eat?

PM Scanner — 6.24.11

  • 5:11 p.m. A man is slumped over wheel of gold 4Runner near RR tracks by Curley's/Hauser.
  • 5:04 p.m. Teresa has questions about her ex taking their son's dog.
  • 4:48 p.m. Shane is stalled in small floathouse w/water in engine on Lake CdA @ Higgens Point.
  • 4:25 p.m. Woman reports Willie won't leave house @ Mullan & Smith/PF after she broke up w/him.
  • 3:57 p.m. Pickup almost flipped over while racing car on s/b Ramsey & Kathleen/CdA.
  • 20 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 6.24.11

“After a chase, Kevin Hodgson, 39, is arrested on the east side of Spalding Auto Parts wrecking yard in Spokane Valley on Thursday,” writes Colin Mulvany, Snaps & Frames. “Hodgson allegedly stole a car as Spokane Valley Police officers approached to arrest him on an outstanding warrant and sped north on University Road.” More here.

APhoto Of The Day — 6.24.11

President Barrack Obama stands in front of a robot as he makes remarks during a visit to Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center in Pittsburgh this morning. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Rep. Cantor’s new remote-controlled NREC Sensabot aims dual “Deficit Deathray” lasers at president Obama as he announced the size of the tax cut agreed to in a shocking new budget deal — Terry Harris.
  • 2. I’m not sure that’s a real robot. Why won’t Obama release its Certificate of Authenticity? — Nic.
  • 3. A little confused after weeks of endless travel the President thinks he’s at a Pro-Choice rally, as he highlights all the good issues he thinks ‘Roe’ bought — JohnA.
  • HM: KevinT

Bubble: Drunks & Other Stupid Jerks

In recognition of state Sen. John McGee's recent arrest on charges of DUI/grand theft auto, Bubblehead/The Stupid Shall Be Punished published a post, “Stupid Drunk Tricks.” In it, he recalls destroying an outhouse as part of the “drunken celebration after the Activities Banquet my senior year in high school.” In the Navy, he writes he was able to “avoid doing really stupid things when I was drunk, but I did have some shipmates who weren't so lucky.” He was on inport duty on the USS John C. Stennis in 2000 in Dubai when “we got a call that one of the pilots from the Marine squadron was in jail in Dubai. It turns out that he had stolen a hotel courtesy van and driven it lots of places where he wasn't supposed to, and ended up mooning the Dubai cops who came to arrest him. The upshot was that the Admiral had to come off the golf course to apologize personally to the Chief of Police in order to get him released back to our custody.” More here (make sure you read the comments).

Question: What's the dumbest thing that you've done while drunk (that you feel safe to share)?

Jumping In A Lake In Wedding Best

I don't know how I haven't seen this photo by SR colleague Kathy Plonka before. I spotted it today while looking for art to go with that USA Today story about Tubbs Hill. It's from August 2009. Here's the cutline that ran with it: “Leonel Hoskinson and her husband Rob Hoskinson jump into Lake Coeur d’Alene from Tubbs Hill with the rest of their wedding party on Monday. 'It’s only a $2,000 wedding dress; I have to have it dry-cleaned anyway,' she said.”

Question (for the Ladies of Huckleberries Online): Do you still have your wedding dress? (Notice that I totally sidestepped a dangerous question: Do you still fit in said dress?)

Capitol Cop Confronts Risch re: ID

If you're a U.S. senator, it pays to carry your ID. On Tuesday, a Capitol cop asked Idaho Sen. Jim Risch to produce his ID, after Risch went past a security check while trying to catch a train. A portion of the interchange, as blogged at, a Beltway insider news site: “Do you have an ID?” the officer demanded. “Oh yes, I have an ID,” Risch responded, irritation creeping into his voice while he pulled out his wallet and flashed his senator’s ID card. “Will you remember me now?” asked Risch, who has been a member of the Senate for two and a half years/Kevin Richert, Statesman. Kevin's blog here.

Question: Have you ever known U.S. Sen. Jim Risch to get testy?

ISP Staff Issue Delays CdA Megaload

A megaload bound for the Kearl Oil Sands in Canada via Moscow and Coeur d'Alene won't be leaving Monday as previously scheduled. The section of an ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil processing plant is waiting for its trip at the Port of Lewiston, where it was barged from Korea. “They're working on staffing issues with (the Idaho State Police) and ISP is not going to have the staffing needed for that,” said Adam Rush, a spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department. Two ISP troopers working overtime paid for by ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil will accompany the 23-foot-wide, 208-foot-tall shipment that takes up two lanes of traffic/Lewiston Tribune. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you ever get the impression that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing in terms of Idaho oversight of the oil company megaloads?

The Trail Of The Thongmen

Jim Mangis was test-driving his test-driving his new lens on his camera Thursday evening, snapping away, when he was surprised to catch these two men in thongs running on the Centennial Trail by CI Shenanigans/Spokane.

Question: Would you be more/less likely to use the Centennial Trail if these two regularly frequented your favorite section?

Bicycling: ‘It’s The Economy, Stupid’

“Bicycle transportation is good for a lot of things—it’s healthy, it’s green, it’s quiet, it’s fun, it builds community. It also makes financial sense, and the magnitude of bicycling’s economic impact gets far less attention than it deserves. In the Bikenomics series, Elly Blue explores the scope of that impact, from personal finance to local economies to the big picture of the national budget. In the grassroots and on a policy level, the bicycle is emerging as an effective engine of economic recovery”/Paul Dillon, Down To Earth. More here.

Question: Do you ride your bike for exercise or to save money? Or both?

GOP Waging ‘War On Women’?

Republicans are waging a “war on women,” charges the Democrats' new national chair, and her party is seizing on that war — real or imagined— to regain ground lost in the 2010 mid-term elections and boost President Obama's re-election. The stakes are simple: No 'Gender Gap,' you lose: Gender Gap and you win,” Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily's List, said in Seattle on Thursday. Emily's List raises campaign cash for pro-choice Democratic women candidates. She's right, and both parties know it. According to recent national polls, Obama has a job approval rating 11 or 12 points higher among women voters than among men/Joel Connelly, Seattle PI. More here.

Question: Do you think the GOP is waging a war against women?

USA Today Spotlights CdA’s Tubbs Hill

In its Great American Outdoors Travel section, USA Today asked experts to choose “a great place to hike” — one per state. Quoth USA Today: “From sinuous, scenic paths to arduous, awe-inspiring treks, the country is ribboned with trails that beckon the casual and stalwart hiker alike. USA TODAY asked local experts to name one great place to hike in each state and the District of Columbia.” The expert selected for the state of Idaho was Kellie Kluksdal/Idaho Division of Tourism. The “great place to hike” she picked was (drum roll, please) — Tubbs Hill on the Lake Coeur d'Alene waterfront, east of the Coeur d'Alene Resort. You can read what was said about Tubbs Hill and the 50 other selections here. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Do you agree with the choice for best place to hike in Idaho?

INW Headlines — 6.24.11

Wanda Mumm of Eureka, Mont., does a thumbnail sketch of the mountains over McDonald Lake on Wednesday morning Glacier National Park. Mumm was one of thirty artists taking part in the Hockaday Paint Out. The painting produced this week will be on sale to the public on Saturday evening at the Hockaday Museum of Art Centennial Pavilion Tent in Kalispell, Mont. (AP/Daily Inter Lake, Brenda Ahearn)

Hi-Noon: Most People Are Caring

LoveToHateMe: Perhaps I’m just a hopeless optimist, but I truly believe that most individuals are at-heart good, caring people who will reach out a helping hand to those in need without being forced to do so. If that’s a kool-aid side talking, so be it. I understand there are bad, uncaring, unkind people out there lacking generosity, but they’re few and far between. Most people are loving, caring, and compassionate and will happily give their time and resources of their own free will to help a cause they believe in.

Question: Do you believe most people are “good, caring people who reach out a helping hand to those in need” or “bad, uncaring, unkind people lacking generosity”?

Warming Up In 55-Degree Lake CdA

Tri Inland Northwest shot this 50-plus-second video of Coeur d'Alene Ironman triathletes “warming up” in the 55-degree waters of Lake Coeur d'Alene. You'll notice that none of them are saying, “brrrr,” although they might be thinking that.

Question: When do you plan to get swim in Lake Coeur d'Alene for the first time this year?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.24.11

  • 12:29 p.m. EMTs/police are staging near Davenport & Wilbur/DG for psychological problem.
  • 12:25 p.m. Officers find 2 trails going into woods on Ohio Match property that may have been used by depressed man (11:36 a.m. item).
  • 12:07 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Blue is stopping @ 4th & I-90 i/s to roust a panhandler.
  • 11:44 a.m. Resident reports 3-4 dogs running loose @ Laramie & Ramsey/Rathdrum.
  • 11:36 a.m. Man in Ohio Match Road/Rathdrum area whose girlfriend drowned this spring told mother from Coeur d'Alene he wants to go into woods on his property & sleep & never wake up.
  • 11:31 a.m. A shepherd mix is foaming at the mouth in a H41 mobile home park.
  • 11:01 a.m. ISP on 4th of July Pass needs help in impounding dog after arresting male driver. (Update: Dog may be at pound for extended period because owner faces a felony charge.)
  • 14 more items below

Offensive Redneck Bumpersticker

A Berry Picker called in to bumpersticker riding around on a silver 4-by-4 Jeep @ Hayden & Government Way moments ago, a message that takes Obama-phobia to a new level. Alongside a photo of President Obama is this message: “Does this (butt) make my car look bigger?”

Question: Mebbe I shouldn't have printed the bumpersticker message here. But it sets up this question: How do you react when you see a bumpersticker that's blatantly offensive to you?

Peter Falk, Columbo, 83, RIP

In this April 2002 AP file photo, television personalities Mr. T of A-Team, left, and Peter Falk of Columbo, tease each other at a press luncheon to celebrate NBC's 75th anniversary in West Hollywood, Calif. Falk, who played the irascible detective, died Thursday at age 83. Story here. (AP Photo/Krista Niles)

Question: Who is your favorite TV detective character?

Kevin: Rex Is Gift That Keeps Giving

Somebody up there must have a soft spot for columnists and editorial writers trying to get through the summer doldrums. How else can you explain Rex Rammell? The former Senate and gubernatorial candidate — and reliable gift that keeps on giving to Idaho political pundits — delivered once again on Thursday. Rammell scheduled a news conference to discuss his latest criminal charge: a felony count of jury tampering. His news conference was cut short. In a scene worthy of an episode of “Cops,” Bonneville County deputies cuffed Rammell and squired him away in a squad car, over his objections/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here. (SR file photo/Betsy Russell, of Rex Rammell during 2009 guv campaign)

Question: Which political figure is Idaho's looniest tune?

Running Around In Their Skivvies

You weren't seeing things if you noticed fit-looking individuals running around in their underwear from City Park this morning. Coeur d'Alene Ironman triathletes (some of whom are shown here warming up in City Park) participated in the annual run at 7 o'clock this morning through the streets of Coeur d'Alene. (Courtesy photo: Coeur d'Alene Ironman/Tri Inland Northwest)

Poll: Ironman? Hoopfest? Bah!

  • Thursday Poll: For all the excitement in Coeur d'Alene and Spokane, Hucks Nation isn't excited about Coeur d'Alene Ironman or Hoopfest. 77 of 132 respondents (58.33%) voted they weren't interested in either big sporting event this weekend. 38 respondents (28.79%) said they were more interested in Ironman than Hoopfest, while 12 respondents (9.09%) preferred Hoopfest to Ironman. Only 5 respondents (3.79%) said they were interested in both events.
  • Today's Poll: Should North Idaho College try to find someone locally to become its next president?

Author Sees Magic In ‘Bonners Fairy’

Although she's never lived in Bonners Ferry, Nevada author Elizabeth A. Patterson considers the North Idaho town to be magical — so much so that she's based a book involving a princess on the North Idaho town. The book's name? “Bonners Fairy.” It was published June 6. Reports Julie Golder for the Bonners Ferry Herald: “Patterson traveled through north Idaho and could not imagine a more mystical, magical, beautiful setting other than north Idaho for her book. It just happened to be a strange coincidence that the town she chose for the setting of her story  was named Bonners Ferry,  which inspired the name of her book.” More here. (Book jacket photo:

Question: Is Bonners Ferry the best North Idaho town for a fairy tale book?

IFF: Graphic Labels = More Control

Your mother wants you to know that smoking is bad for you, and she's doing everything she can to make sure you either don't take up the habit or, if you are smoking, that you quit right away. By “your mother,” of course I mean the government, which, increasingly comes in the form of the Obama administration and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. HHS announced that packs of cigarettes will now bear alternating images that include rotting teeth, human corpses and a man smoking through a hole in his neck. The government is requiring that its warning labels occupy the top half of the front and back of cigarette packs and 20 percent of print advertisements.  Cigarettes that don't bear the labels can't be sold in the U.S. after Oct. 22, 2012/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Does anyone pay attention to food/drink warning labels?

Marty: Jeers To Hill, Denney

Marty Trillhaase, the Lewiston Tribune opinionator, gives jeers to Idaho Senate Idaho Senate President Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, and House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale. Quoth: “Under their leadership, the Legislature has put public schools, higher education, health care and state government in general on a starvation diet. People have lost their jobs. They've been placed on unpaid furloughs. Those who remain have been forced to pick up the slack.” However, Marty continues, Legislative Services Director Jeff Youtz went to his bosses last spring, he got their approval to hand out bonuses. Not just one or two for people who might jump ship. But 59. Throughout state government last week, only 102 workers got a bonus. Concludes, Marty: “So now we have two classes of state workers: Those who work for Denney and Hill. And those who don't.” (Marty also offers jeers to Gov. Butch Otter in latest editorial)

Question: Why were Hill & Denney so tone deaf re: bonuses handed to legislative staffers?

Press: Look Locally For Next NIC Prez

In the Coeur d'Alene Press editorial this morning, Editor Mike Patrick argues that the search committee to replace North Idaho College President Priscilla Bell (who's retiring at the end of 2011-12 year) should look for local candidates, too. Quoth Patrick: “Why not prepare the job description now and announce the vacancy soon afterward in sources scoured by prospects nationwide? While the applications come flooding in from coast to coast, a local search committee could focus on the best applicants from our immediate region and, by end of summer, have winnowed down those prospects to the best two or three locally.” Patrick goes on to argue that outside presidents tend to last only 4-5 years after taking 2-3 years to get acclimated. Why not find someone who already knows the territory? the edit sez. Full editorial here.

Question: Should the search committee for North Idaho College make a point of looking for a local candidate to fill president's seat — or would such an appointment be too political?

AM Headlines — 6.24.11

NBA Commissioner David Stern, left, poses with the No. 11 overall draft pick, Washington State guard Klay Thompson, who was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA basketball draft Thursday in Newark, N.J. Story below. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Floods Chase 1/4 Of Minot, ND

The head of a lawn deer remains above the flood waters from the Souris River in an evacuated western neighborhood of Minot, N.D., this morning. About one-fourth of the city's 40,000 residents have evacuated their homes. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Question: Have you ever been flooded out of your home?

Christie: Dispatchers Handle All Calls

  • Question (from Lynne, after reading AM Scanner Traffic Thursday AM): “Is scanner traffic = actual 911 calls?”
  • Answer (from Sgt. Christie Wood/Coeur d'Alene Police Department): No. Many of the calls are fielded by the various police departments. But they're all dispatched through the 911 centers. That's why you see items on Scanner Traffic that certainly aren't 911 emergencies.

LDII: Close Encounter w/Aryan Chief

LastDemoInIdaho: We sure remember this place (Great American Restaurant). My wife and daughter just loved it because it got them out of the house and the wife didn’t have to cook that night! The pasta was OK, I guess, but we are not professional pasta critics. One evening we looked across the room and saw where we were breaking bread with the Aryan “King” Butler, in uniform no less We were not happy, but just finished our meal and left. Decided then that if there was a next time we would leave and let the management know why. Seems like that was 100 years ago.

Question: I once ran into Aryan Nations leader Butler while dining at Charlie Nipp's old restaurant, Mr. Steak, on Lincoln Way. Did you ever had a dining encounter with Butler & his goose-steppers?

DeePee: Bent’s BBQ To Die For

DeePee: If you’re in the CdA area, drop whatever else you were planning to do and wrap yourself around some of Bent’s BBQ. Bent and his entourage were up here in Wallace last weekend for the Lead Creek Derby and we feasted on his slow-cooked ribs. A great guy and an even greater graze! Give the sauce a pass; you won’t need it. Wallace eagerly awaits his return.

Question: Have you tasted Bent's BBQ or home-made beer?

Newsweek: CdA Charter 59 Nationally

Item: Charter goes to head of the class: Cd'A school ranks 59th in national survey/Maureen Dolan, Press

More Info: Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy's star continues to rise on the lists of national high school rankings. The public school, serving grades six- through- 12, ranks 59th on Newsweek magazine's most recent list of the best high schools in the United States.

Question: Have you and your family had a good experience with Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy?

Wild Card/Thursday — 6.23.11

I'm still amazed at Scanner Traffic from Wednesday afternoon — 30-some items, including 17 after 4 p.m. The items were amazing, too. Overturned raft below Post Falls damn. Road rager displays gun. Boy shooting neighbor's dog with BB gun. Post Falls boy pulling knife on another boy. Crashes. Mebbe things will settle down a little today since the isolationist sun is playing hide-and-seek again. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.23.11

In this spring AP file photo, Washington State student Emily King holds a sign asking junior guard Klay Thompson to stay for his senior season, before Washington State's college basketball game against Northwestern in the quarterfinals of the NIT on March 23 in Pullman. Thompson decided to leave school early for a chance to be drafted by an NBA team. Moments ago, he was picked 11th in the first round by the Golden State Warriors. Story here. (AP Photo/Dean Hare)

Question: Can you blame a talented young athlete like Klay Thompson for leaving college early to cash in on professional sports?

‘Footloose’ Challenges Teens

The classic tale of teen rebellion is an inspiring one for Rachel Kaufman. “I look at ‘Footloose’ and I remember all the high school and middle school students who showed up at the Capitol a few months ago. They were not OK with what Tom Luna was doing to education, and they helped change things,” she said. Kaufman hopes that St. Thomas Playhouse’s production of “Footloose” (in Twin Falls), opening Wednesday, will inspire other teens to stand up and be counted about things they believe in/Karen Bossick, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Bomont was the fictional town in the middle of nowhere that served as the back drop for “Footloose.” Is there an Idaho town who resembles Bomont in attitude toward teens?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.23.11

  • 6:03 p.m. Non-injury crash b/n vehicle & semi truck is partly blocking H97 b/n Carlin & Turner bays.
  • 5:59 p.m. Man threatening to kill woman in 3100 block of N9th/CdA.
  • 5:40 p.m. PFPD Blue is contacting man who's urinating publicly in Falls Park.
  • 5:37 p.m. A piece of metal flew off green flatbed hauling 3-4 vehicles on w/b I-90 @ H41 i/s/PF.
  • 5:33 p.m. Runaway sought by Post Falls police possible suspect in bike theft from local library.
  • 5:12 p.m. Coeur d'Alene father wants to see officer re: possible sex assault on under-age daughter.
  • 4:55 pm. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 22-23 here.
  • 4:38 p.m. 2 female roommates are fighting in 300 block of E. Indiana/CdA.
  • 4:28 p.m. A disabled vehicle is pulled off Mica Hill w/o flashers in a blind corner/CdA.
  • 4:21 p.m. Non-injury accident is blocking intersection of Government Way & Hanley/CdA.
  • 4:19 p.m. A 3YO child is locked in a vehicle that's running @ Game Stop, 710 Cecil/PF.
  • 4:10 p.m. CPD Blues are helping PFPD Blues chase a 17YO runaway w/long, dirty blond hair & earrings, a backpack & baggy pants from 4th & Sherman toward Coeur d'Alene Resort. Runaway may have boarded a CityLink bus near resort.
  • 20 more items & AM Scanner Traffic below

PM Headlines — 6.23.11

Whitney Urmann, right, 16, of Priest River, and Bill Myers, center, 16, of Sandpoint, participate in a journalism workshop hosted by the University of Idaho on Tuesday at the KUID studio in Moscow. Holly Bowen's Daily News story here. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo: Dean Hare)

Breaking: Golden State Warriors take WSU's Klay Thompson with the 11th pick in the NBA draft — SR

Rex Rammell Frog-Marched To Jail

From 43rd State Blues re: the arrest of former Idaho gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell: “Classic line: “..and they're handcuffing me and treating me like a criminal.” This is pretty fresh but it appears as if the Bonneville County Prosecutor (correctly) decided to charge Trifecta (Governor Congressman Senate) candidate Rex Rammell (R-Wingnuttia) with a felony jury tampering charge for his efforts to instruct prospective jurors of their right not to follow the law. (Jurors have no such right, the judge instructs them on the law, and they stand in judgment of the facts as presented by the attorneys.) In inimical Rammell form, he attempts to grandstand the event by calling a press conference to turn himself in. The deputies follow protocol, handcuff him, and with much ado, take him to jail.” More here.

NIdaho Blogs — 6.23.11

In his latest Remember the Roxy posting, OrangeTV provides this photo of The Great American Restaurant at the corner of H95 & Hayden (which later became the first Hayden Rustler's Roost and now is owned by the Hagadone Corporation). I never ate at the Great American Restaurant. But I remember the business.

Hucks Online numbers for Wednesday, June 22 (6568/4302)

Bent’s BBQ Set At Fort Ground Grill

Check out the ad below the No. 3 post on the main thread below. Our own Bent will be staging Bent's BBQ at Steve Widmyer's Fort Ground Grill on the 4th of July. Click on the ad, and you'll find the menu and prices for the event. Also, Bent's BBQ will be featured at the annual Blogfest 2011 at the Fort Ground Grill next month, as well Spokesman-Review columnist/singer Doug Clark. Who is famous for his song parodies about Inland Northwest news events. Doug signed on when I encountered him at the Ganesha unveiling earlier this month. So test-drive Bent's BBQ while you enjoy downtown Fourth of July weekend events and then come back for the annual Blogfest. BTW, Bent explains how he got into BBQing and brewing beer in a Bent's Beer Garden post here,.

Book Recalls Idaho’s Forgotten Star

This image provided by the author shows the cover of “Triple Crown Winner: The Earl Sande Saga,” by Richard Maturi. At one time, Sande, the former American Falls, Idaho, jockey made national sports headlines as large in type as Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey. Now Maturi, of Cheyenne, Wyo., is on a quest to remind the country of the remarkable feats Sande made during the 1930s, and the classy manner in which he accomplished them. Story here. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Richard Maturi)

Question: Do you follow horse racing at all?

Marty: Boise-centricity Rules Idaho

Here's the unshakable logic: Treasure Valley sees the world through one lens. We see it through another. Boise has urban transit. We have megaloads. In Boise, it's possible to confuse Twin Falls with Idaho Falls. Really. It happens. Boise has the state capital. A century and a half later, the former territorial capital of Lewiston still seethes with anger about that. Boise has Hewlett-Packard and Micron Technology. Grangeville has a stop light. Boise got the connector and rush-hour traffic. Moscow has some passing lanes on U.S. Highway 95. Boise goes nuts over its Boise State University Broncos football squad. Pocatello? Not so much/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Should we simply include all of Boise and some suburbs into one legislative district and the rest of Idaho into another?

Martin Retiring As NIC Spokesman

North Idaho College Vice President for Community Relations and Marketing John Martin announced his retirement at the June 22 NIC Board of Trustees meeting after more than three years in the position. It will be effective Dec. 31. Martin was appointed to the position in August 2008 on temporary assignment to fill the position vacated by former vice president Kent Propst when he accepted another position at Peru State College in Nebraska. Martin was selected to fill the position in January 2009 after a national search for a permanent replacement/Stacy Hudson, NIC Press Room. More here.

Stebbijo: Too Many Warning Labels

The government has now mandated that in 2012, graphic photos of tabacco related images such as cancerous lungs, rotting teeth, and dying individuals are part of the warning label on cigarettes. The image will take up half of the package. You can thank Congress  for the ” The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.”  This required the F.D.A.  to place more prominent warning labels on the package, signed by President Obama. Enough is enough! These cigarette warning labels are just the start of more to come in the name of your health! The government is sticking their noses in every aspect of our lives because they claim it is for our own good. Let’s put warning labels on everything even milk!/Stebbijo, Stebbijo's Place. More here. (Stebbijo's Place illustration)

Kristin Armstrong 3rd At Time Trials

U.S. Olympic gold-medalist Kristin Armstrong Savola of Boise prepares to compete in an inidvidual time trial in the elite women's category at the USA Cycling National Championships at Lake Strom Thurmond earlier today, near Clarks Hill, S.C. Armstrong Savola finished in third place, missing out on an automatic bid to the World Championships to be held in Denmark. Story here. (AP Photo/The Augusta Chronicle, Rainier Ehrhardt)

Closed Slaughter Houses Hurt Horses

The closure of the last U.S. horse slaughter plants in the fall of 2007 has failed to reduce the number of horses shipped to slaughter. Instead, the federal funding ban had the unintended consequence of forcing horses to be shipped great distances to be slaughtered in Canada or Mexico where they are killed and not necessarily humanely. That’s one key conclusion from a 62-page report released Wednesday from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. The report confirms what many horse owners have been saying for years: Because of a glut in the horse market, prices for all but the most expensive horses are seriously depressed/Jan Falstad, Billings Gazette. More here. (AP file photo of wild horses, for illustrative purposes)

Question: Should the U.S. allow a few well-regulated slaughter houses for horses to reopen?

Heiress Gives $400M To Art, 0 To Fam

According to documents first made public by, Butte copper heiress Huguette Clark (shown in AP file photo in 1930) left about 75 percent of her $400 million fortune to charity — but not a dime to her family or anyone associated with Butte. She did, however, leave $500,000 to each of her financial advisers, one of whom is a convicted felon, even while the two continue to face criminal charges over the handling of her estate. reporter Bill Dedman first uncovered the will and testament, which was signed by Clark on April 19, 2005/Tim Trainor, Butte Standard. More here.

Question: Have you been the beneficiary of a will?

Meat Art Censored In Spokane

“This has kinda put me off meat, to be honest,” Ryan Desmond says, sitting on a stool in Neato Burrito, surrounded by his paintings, which hang from the duct work like sides of beef in a meat locker. Two months in a row, now, patrons of Spokane’s First Friday art walk have gazed upon Desmond’s large-scale paintings of raw cuts of meat at local bars, only to find them pulled from the walls by the time the work week rolls around. The first time, in May at Soulful Soups & Spirits, the paintings hung through the weekend, when a bar crowd dominates. By the time of Monday’s lunch rush, however, they were taken down. Owners feared that the paintings would offend their mostly vegetarian customer base/Luke Baumgarten, Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo)

Question: When does discretion re: customers' feelings toward art become censorship?

INW: Jumping Octagenarian

Lena Thomas gets ready to BASE jump Twin Falls recently. Thomas checked off another item on her to-do list last week when she and 58-year-old daughter Terri Scott, of Concord, Calif., BASE jumped off the Perrine Bridge. Both jumped tandem with an instructor, and an observer found Thomas remarkable. Story here. (AP Photo/Lena Thomas)

Hi-Noon: Corrupt d’Lane? Seriously?

Larry Spencer just sent a copy of his “One Man, One Vote” bumpersticker to which I referred below.

Question: Anyone out there besides Larry & the OpenCDA crowd believe that Coeur d'Alene government is corrupt?

M’s Lose By 1 Run To Nats Again

Washington Nationals Jayson Werth, left, is tagged out at home by Seattle Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo (30) during the first inning of an interleague baseball game in Washington today. Werth was trying to score on a sacrifice fly to shallow center hit by Nationals batter Ryan Zimmerman. The Nationals scored a walkoff run in the bottom of the ninth to win 1-0, their third one-run victory in a row over the Mariners this week. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Aryans Plan Idaho Park Greet-&-Meet

The Northwest Region of the Aryan Nation is promoting an all-day “eat, greet and meet” event Sunday, June 26, at Valley County's Lake Cascade State Park. Idaho Parks and Recreation Communications Manager Jennifer Blazek told Citydesk Lake Cascade’s park manager has been communicating with John Bolen, Aryan Nations NW Coordinator, informing him of Camp Buttercup's park rules. State parks require a per-approval application for groups larger than 25 persons. Blazek said the park has yet to receive an application from the group and so far only two campsites were reserved for attendees/Jody May-Chang, Boise Weekly. More here. (AP file photo)


AM Scanner Traffic — 6.23.11

  • 11:49 a.m. 11YO Ethan just ran away from home @ Morris & Miles toward Hayden Country Club.
  • 11:29 a.m. Someone is choking in 6200 block of Quail Ridge Street/Rathdrum.
  • 11:08 a.m. Echo Drive/Post Falls reports battery stolen from in front of garage.
  • 11:01 a.m. 2 dogs running loose on BNSF property near Hauser may have been abandoned.
  • 10:41 a.m. Disabled Toyota RAV4 at I-90 & NW Blvd may be vehicle that hit deer.
  • 10:33 a.m. A blue Toyota RAV4 damaged front end but kept going after hitting deer on I-90 & Pleasantview. Deer is still on the freeway.
  • 14 more items below

Sis: There’s More To McGee Story

In a lengthy analysis of the DUI/grand theft auto arrest of Senate Majority Caucus Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell, Sisyphus, of 43rd State Blues urges the media to hold McGee's feet to the fire as the legal process continues. Writes Sisyphus: “The legal defense will not be impaired provided the fourth estate does a professional job. The court of public opinion can not be satisfied by merely awaiting the trial at which McGee's presentation will be carefully crafted and which involves only his defense to the criminal charge.” Sisyphus goes on to break down: 1) the logistics of the evening in question; 2) the Good Ol' Boy network obviously in play; and 3) the culture of alcohol that emanates from the Statehouse. Great read here.

Question: What do you imagine is going on behind the scenes to help McGee survive this embarrassing incident?

Boise Survives Giant Lightning Show

“it's amazingly calm and mild in Boise this morning, with only a few puddles testifying to last night's wild weather — massive amounts of lightning, hard, soaking rains, and whipping wind gusts,” writes Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise. “We lost power at 10 p.m., which meant TV and computer were silenced in favor of watching the incredible lightning show by candlelight for the next hour and a half.” More here and: here. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Shawn Raecke)

Poll: Idaho Solons Take Care Of Own

  • Wednesday Poll: 72 of 122 respondents (59.02%) view the $94,633 in bonuses given to legislative staffers during these hard economic times as an example that lawmakers “take care of their own.” 25 respondents (20.49%) say bonuses meant some state workers are more important than others. 12 respondents (9.84%) say state workers are more important than private ones. 9 (7.38%) said bonuses were a reward for good work. 4 people were undecided.
  • Safe Driver Poll: 67 of 77 (77.01%) said they are “absolutely” safe drivers. 17 (19.54%) described themselves as “so-so” drivers. 3 (3.45%) admitted they are bad drivers.
  • Raw Milk Poll: 19 of 41 respondents (46.34%) said they're less likely to support Republicans as a result of GOP-suppored raw milk seminar Wednesday. 17 (41.46%) said forum has no affect on their political support re: Republicans. 3 (7.32%) said they're more likely to back Republicans for pushing the local forum. 2 were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Which major Inland Northwest event this weekend interests you more — Hoopfest or Ironman?

OpenCDA Still Beating Dead Horses

If you thought that was giving up its never-ending attack on the 2009 Coeur d'Alene City Council election between incumbent Mike Kennedy and near-miss candidate Jim Brannon, you need to think again. Bill McCrory used the recent personal recount of a highway district election by County Clerk Cliff Hayes to attack again. McCrory, of course, applauds Hayes' efforts to ensure an absolute accurate account in the election and to remove politics from the local election process. Far more interesting that McCrory's predictable spiel, however, was a comment by Larry Spencer, who said he's printed bumperstickers that say: “One resident, one vote (except for CdA, 2009).” Then, Spencer adds: “If you want one, go to a R. Republican meeting, or ask around, several people will have them.” More here.

Question: Do you want one of Larry's bumperstickers for your vehicle?

Brannon Speaks …

After two years of having others speak for him, former Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Jim Brannon emerged from the shadows to discuss at Lake City Development Corp in an comment thread today. Mary Souza launched the thread under a headline, “What's the Truth About Taxes,” which encouraged her followers — both of 'em — to read a letter to the editor by Len Crosby, former Post Falls URA board chairman, in the Coeur d'Alene Press Wednesday. This morning, in the sole response to the posting, Brannon commented: “Urban renewal is not evil. The question is when will our Legislature pass new laws to reign in the unchecked abuses.” You can read Mary's posting and Brannon's comment here.

Question: Would Brannon have a good shot at winning a council seat if he ran in this falls city elections?

Education Corridor Work Under Way

Construction is well underway on Phase 1-A of the Education Corridor project. Currently River Avenue is closed while pavement and sidewalk removal takes place to allow for underground utility work. The entrance to campus via Park Drive off of Northwest Boulevard is still open and guides drivers along the detour path. Drivers needing access to Rosenberry Drive (the dike road), are routed through the main North Idaho College campus along Garden Avenue and College Drive/Stacy Hudson, NIC Press Room. More here. (North Idaho College photo)

Question: Does this mean that the usual suspects will quit fighting the Education Corridor?

Kevin: Viral McGee Story No Surprise

“But it’s no surprise that the McGee story spread rapidly Sunday, over the Internet and via social media,” writes Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman in his blog. “It’s a different world from 1992, when then-Lt. Gov. Butch Otter was arrested on a drunken-driving charge. Convicted a year later, Otter has never lost an election since — for lieutenant governor, for 1st District Congress and, most recently, for governor. Otter’s arrest was big news, rich with its own elements of weirdness, but it didn’t receive the instantaneous rocket propulsion provided by the Internet.” More here (2nd item). (AP file photo: John McGee police mug shot)

Question: Are we as news consumers better served by the immediacy of news and the social media today? Or would you prefer that the clock was rolled back to times before every misstep by politicians was magnified?

Airway Heights Reins In Fireworks

The City of Airway Heights City Council passed a new firework restrictions ordinance at the June 20th city council meeting. The new section says that fireworks shall not be allowed on city property, school property, and vacant lots and fields. Except by approval of the owner, fireworks shall not be allowed on commercial, industrial and public/quasi-public areas which will include parking lots. Another exception is commercial displays approved by the City Council/Nicole Hensley, KXLY. More here.

Question: Would you like to see a total ban for private fireworks in Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls, Hayden, and/or your North Idaho town?

Bloomberg Spotlights Gov. Otter

On his newspaper blog, Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman writes: profiled Idaho Gov. Butch Otter — and his states' rights philosophy — in a lengthy feature this week. Alison Vekshin's lead set the tone for what followed: “Otter pulled a pocket-sized Constitution from his back pocket with a grin and recited the 10th Amendment from memory. “'Twenty-eight words,' Otter said about the passage that grants states rights not given to the federal government. 'They wanted to keep it simple because they wanted the states to be the laboratory of this republic.'” No big surprises here for anyone who has followed Otter's political career closely. A good read, though, and extra credit to Vekshin for perhaps some unintended wordplay. More here. (AP file photo: Butch Otter, left, and Karl Stressman, of Colorado Springs, CO., compete during the team roping event at the 2010 Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Pocatello)

Question: What impact has Butch Otter had on Idaho during his years as governor?

AM: Idaho GOP Gaga Over Romney

Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Republican presidential hopeful Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Gov. Butch Otter arrive in Idaho Falls Monday. Romney has received wide-spread support from Idaho GOP leaders in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. (AP Photo/Post Register: Robert Bower)

Question: Are you surprised that Idaho GOP leaders are in Mitt Romney's corner, including Idaho steering committee co-chairs Otter and Risch, as presidential politics begin to heat up?

Homeless Center Faces Opposition

Item: Fresh Start grows stale: Petition says homeless centercauses too many problems/Tom Hasslinger, CdA Press

More Info: A group of neighbors is circulating a petition to get Fresh Start to move from East Sherman Avenue. They want the homeless service center to relocate to an industrial area, away from neighborhoods. The petition gathered 60 signatures citing problems the neighbors have experienced since the service provider moved to 1524 E. Sherman Ave. two years ago.

Question: Where should a homeless service center like Fresh Start be located in Coeur d'Alene?

Bruning: Keep CdA In One District

(Coeur d'Alene Councilman John Bruning, pictured) noted that his city's population grew by more than 9,600 people in the past decade, nearly 28 percent growth since 2000. “Coeur d'Alene grew at a faster pace than the overall state of Idaho, for many good reasons,” Bruning told the (redistricting commission), “among them a healthy business climate, a good place to live, a caring community … a desirable place to call home.” Speaking for the whole city council and the mayor, Bruning urged the commission to keep Coeur d'Alene and other cities whole in redistricting, rather than dividing them among legislative districts. Given the numbers, Bruning said, “Keeping Coeur d'Alene whole in redistricting is not just sensible, it is almost mathematically perfect.”

Question: Should Coeur d'Alene be kept as a single legislative district or be split among other districts?

More About Harry

British author J.K. Rowling reacts as she poses for photographers during a photo call for her new website project Pottermore at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Thursday. For the project she has written new material about the characters, places and objects in the Harry Potter stories. (AP Photo/Akira Suemori)

Question: How many of the Harry Potter books have you read? Would you like to read more about Harry and his friends, by J. K. Rowling?

Idawa: Hope Mormonism Isn’t Issue

Idawa: I hope their “mormon” faith isn’t an issue for either of them (GOP prez candidates Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney) with voters, but I’m sure that their primary competition will sure make it one. Out of the field, Huntsman seems like he has the stuff to at least be appealing with moderates - but I’m not sure he’ll get through the primary season with a rapid right base eager for a libertarian purist.

Question: Is the Mormon faith of GOP presidential candidates Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney an issue for you?

Cindy: Hubby Encounters Road Rager

Cindy: Speaking of bike/ car accidents … My husband bikes to work. On his way home this evening, as he was minding his own business in the MARKED BIKE LANE, a guy pulled up next to him, honked loudly and yelled, “You are NOT A CAR!” and then sped off. What is the deal?

Question: Do you consider bike riders to be a nuisance?

Duane: Raw Milk Draws Small Crowd

Duane Rasmussen: I attended the first half hour of the meeting. I counted six people on the stage and thirty in the audience. Nine of the people in the audience were children. Bruce Maddox, Paul Mathews, Mike Oliver, Roger Benoit, Tom Robinson, and Bjorn Handen were all on the stage sitting at a table. It appeared that most of the people present were in favor of raw milk. Ron Paul was mentioned as the sponsor of the Raw Milk Freedom legislation which is federal legislation. Bjorn stated that the Town Hall Meeting was sponsored by the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee. No raw milk was served.

Question: Are you surprised by the small turnout for the raw milk seminar?

Heller: Graphic Photos

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hump Day Wild Card — 6.22.11

I wonder if the first day of sunny weather is like the first day of snow, after listening to the scanner Tuesday. Seems drivers were playing bumper cars throughout Kootenai County, particularly at intersections. T-bones. Head-ons. Kids crashing near Sanders Beach. The ever-present DUI drivers. But no one seems to have been hurt badly. So we can be thankful for that. Be careful out there. Other drivers are cuh-razy. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.22.11

San Diego Padres rookie pitcher Evan Scribner wears a “Star Wars” Yoda backpack as he walks in the pouring rain from the bullpen to the clubhouse after defeating the Boston Red Sox 5-1 in a rain-shortened eight innings of an interleague baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston today. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Obama: 10K Troops Home By Dec. 31

President Barack Obama says 10,000 troops will come home from Afghanistan by the end of this year as the U.S. mission shifts from combat to support after nearly 10 years of war. The president said a total of 33,000 troops would be withdrawn by next summer, as he announced what he called “the beginning but not the end of our effort to wind down this war”/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Would 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama approve of the time table to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan being used by President Barack Obama?

Potato Chips Pile On Pounds

Blame the potato chip. It's the biggest demon behind that pound-a-year weight creep that plagues many of us, a major diet study found. Bigger than soda, candy and ice cream. And the reason is partly that old advertising cliche: You can't eat just one. “They're very tasty and they have a very good texture. People generally don't take one or two chips. They have a whole bag,” said obesity expert Dr. F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer of the St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York. What we eat and how much of it we consume has far more impact than exercise and most other habits do on long-term weight gain, according to the study by Harvard University scientists/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo)

Question: What is your biggest diet demon?

PM: Bear Family Attracts Tourists

Grizzly bear No. 399 crosses a road in Grand Teton National Park, Wyo., with her three cubs. The bears are part of a family that's become a tourist attraction because of their frequent appearances near roads. Biologists speculate this behavior keeps at bay adult male bears, which sometimes kill cubs. (AP photo/Tom Mangelsen)

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.22.11

  • 6:04 p.m. All 3 individuals in flipped raft have made it safely to shore.
  • 5:58 p.m. Dive team being called out for missing 3rd person on raft in 5:52 incident. 2 individuals in lifejackets have been confirmed floating around the river bend below Corbin Park. May be juveniles.
  • 5:52 p.m. 3 rafters in lifejackets in Spokane River after raft flips near Corbin Park.
  • 5:42 p.m. Vehicle-vs-pedestrian, injury accident is reported across from Post Falls High.
  • 5:38 p.m. Caller reports driver in silver 2004 Grand Am pointed gun at him @ Sherman & NW/CdA.
  • 5:22 p.m. A dog is locked in a vehicle w/3 windows cracked in 500 block of W. Honeysuckle/Hayden.
  • 5:05 p.m. Boy is jumping gas-powered scooter @ CdA skate park after driving thru Memorial Field.
  • 5:02 p.m. Woman in white SUV is yelling at kids in Walgreen drive-thru after driving recklessly in lot.
  • 4:56 p.m. Woman in red Ford Focus drove thru Independence Point lot w/unrestrained kids in back.
  • 4:51 p.m. Disabled SUV is block s/b turn lane onto Ross Point Road from H41/Post Falls.
  • 4:43 p.m. PFPD Blue has caught 2 boys in Super 1 who admit to being involved in 4:36 incident.
  • 4:36 p.m. 14YO boy reports another 14YO pulled a knife on him and threatened to fight before entering Super 1 store on Polston/Post Falls.
  • 4:19 p.m. Wrong-way driver in black SUV entering w/b on e/b off-ramp @ I-90 & NW Blvd/CdA.
  • 4:16 p.m. Someone is suffering a seizure @ corner of 4th & Dalton/CdA.
  • 4:12 p.m. A tire is lying in n/b lanes of H95 @ Lancaster/Hayden, causing traffic to swerve.
  • 4:03 p.m. Atliano's, new Mexican food place on Appleway, reports disorderly man in restaurant.
  • 4:01 p.m. Officer looking for girl in pink swimsuit who reported 3:42 p.m. incident is having trouble finding her because “there's a lot of girls who are wearing pink.”
  • 17 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

Bike Rack Becoming Fan Favorite

It's apparent that the handcuffs on the Coeur d'Alene Police Department bike rack will become a favorite near the police substation at City Park. Huckleberries hears that this photo, featuring William Tickman & Chase Helgeson from Issaquah, Wash., is one of several already taken at the bike rack. More info & another photo here. (Coeur d'Alene police photo)

SPLC: 7 Hate Groups In Panhandle

The Southern Poverty Law Center identified a total of 54 hate groups operating in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana in 2010. The Alabama-based human rights group found 15 such groups in Oregon, and 13 each in Washington, Idaho and Montana. Hate groups are defined as those that follow ideologies of the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, racist skinheads, Christian identity, neo-confederate, black separatist or general hate. By state, in Washington there were two hate groups in the Spokane area, one in the Wenatchee area and 10 in Western Washington. In Idaho, there were seven in the Panhandle, five around Boise and one around Idaho Falls/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo of Richard Butler & Aryan Nations)

Question: Are you surprised to see that there are 7 hate groups listed for Idaho Panhandle?

No Discipline In Valley Pastor Killing

The deputy who shot a 74-year-old Spokane Valley pastor will face no disciplinary action over the fatal encounter. Deputy Brian Hirzel (of Hayden) properly followed all departmental policies and procedures during the fatal Aug. 25 encounter with Wayne Scott Creach, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said today in announcing the results of his internal investigation. He met with members of the Creach family earlier in the day to advise them of the findings as well. The decision disappointed the Creach family. In an e-mail prior to his briefing with the sheriff, Alan Creach — the pastor’s son — again called for the sheriff to stop using unmarked cars on private property, a point of contention that family members believe contributed to the fatal encounter/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here.

Question: Are you surprised by the decision?

Friends: Dead Driver Was Diabetic

A driver who crashed into a log truck and died while being chased by sheriff’s deputies was a Post Falls man with severe diabetes, friends say. Authorities identified Daniel James Marinovich, 50, late Tuesday after an autopsy, which concluded he died from injuries sustained in the crash. Investigators are trying to determine if a medical condition may have been a factor, said sheriff’s Lt. Steve Barbieri. A former coworker of Marinovich’s believes he may have suffered a diabetic episode while driving from his new job in Deer park/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.

CPD Blue Installs Artsy Bike Rack

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department recently installed a new bike rack in Coeur d’Alene City Park near the department’s sub-station. The rack was created by students in the North Idaho College welding program on request by the police department and features large handcuffs and the NIC Cardinal mascot. Funding for the materials was provided by the Coeur d’Alene Rotary Club. Pictured, from left, are Coeur d’Alene Police Department Capt. Steve Childers, NIC Trustee and Coeur d’Alene Police Department Sgt. Christie Wood and NIC welding technology instructors Jeremy Dodge and Tim Straw. (NIC photo: Tom Greene)

Question: Can you think of any political group who might be offended by this new public art (a la Kootenai Constitution Party/Ganesha)?

Idaho Drivers Slip To 11 From Safest

You had to know this was going to happen. Two years ago, in a fit of irrational exuberance, GMAC Insurance proclaimed that Idaho drivers were the safest in America. It did so after asking drivers in all 50 states questions taken from actual state Division of Motor Vehicle tests, covering both traffic and safe-driving habits. Idahoans had the highest average test score in the country, answering 87.1 percent of the questions correctly (the average score nationally was 77.1). Last year, we slipped to eighth, and the insurance company this week announced the results for 2011. Let’s just say that if this trend continues, it won’t be long before Idaho’s drivers will be worse than Wyoming’s. Wait a minute: They’re already worse than Wyoming’s/Steve Crump, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Do you consider yourself to be a careful driver?

4 Jobless Idahoans For Job Openings

Item: Study shows nearly four unemployed Idahoans for every job opening; more people exhausting benefits/Twin Falls Times-News

More Info: A report released today by the New York-based Conference Board, showed there were still nearly four unemployed Idaho workers for every job opening in the state. Adding to the dismal report are statistics showing that jobs listed with the Idaho Department of Labor have also been down dramatically from pre-recession levels, while more than 10,000 unemployed workers have exhausted all benefits without finding jobs.

Question: Have you been successful in finding a job during this Not-So-Great Recession?

Marc: GOPer Obama Should Fear

Nothing, ever – nothing – is certain in politics. A candidate or officeholder can literally go from hero to zero in the length of time it takes to send a tweet or jackknife a trailer behind the SUV you have apparently just stolen. There are no sure things. Nothing is ever pre-determined in politics. The game must be played, the votes cast and counted. Hero to zero avoided. So, with the acknowledgement that Barack Obama shouldn’t, and by most accounts isn’t, taking a second term for granted next year, the president must have taken some cold comfort from the fact that, until yesterday, the likely GOP field confronting him was not comprised of political world or incumbent beaters. The guy that I’m betting the White House fears the most formally got into the race yesterday. Jon Huntsman, the former Governor of Utah and U.S. Ambassador to China, is all that the rest of the field isn’t – moderate, interesting, possessed of humor and good looks and projecting something like charisma/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.  (AP file photo)

Question: Which GOP presidential candidate with Morman faith would you prefer — Jon Huntsman or Mitt Romney?

INW: Anti-Gummint Extremists ♥ INW

A Missoula County Sheriff's Department SWAT team drives on U.S. Highway 12 near Lolo, Mont., last week after officers responded to a tip about about person living in a remote cabin in the area that they suspected might be fugitive former militia leader David Burgert. Several law enforcement officers from the Missoula County Sheriff's Department and the FBI responded to the area but did not find Burgert. Increasingly, extremists are finding fertile ground for their views in northwest Montana. Story here. (AP Photo/Missoulian, Kurt Wilson)

Hi-Noon: Hart Targets TSA Pat Downs

Earlier this week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry reintroduced a bill that would make it a felony in his state for employees of the federal Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) to conduct pre-flight pat down searches at security check points. It looks like Idaho might follow Perry’s lead when lawmakers meet in Boise next year. Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, told said he may address search methods in the next legislative session, set to begin in January.  “I do plan on revisiting the issue,” said Hart, who unsuccessfully pushed a bill to limit the use of full body scanners at public airports in Idaho in 2010/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Do you want the Idaho Legislature to ban full-body scanners at its public airports?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.22.11

  • Noon: Officer reports to dispatcher that 2 vehicles are in place for extra patrol near Post Falls Jr. High.
  • 11:59 a.m. Scott wants to see an officer re: a theft @ 3rd & Coeur d'Alene/CdA.
  • 11:54 a.m. Father on Troy (near Coeur d'Alene High) sez blue vehicle w/tinted windows drove slowly by his house several times while his daughter played in front yard.
  • 11:46 a.m. Business owner in 200 block of Sherman wants to file a fraud report.
  • 11:16 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 21-22 here.
  • 10:46 a.m. Patrol officers are asked to look for blue 1983 Datsun pickup w/rust & bad paint that was stolen from Lewiston about noon Tuesday.
  • 10:42 a.m. Panhandler w/gas can is begging b/n Big Smoke & Wells Fargo, in front of Hayden Super 1.
  • 10:21 a.m. 2 small kids are unsecure in back of green Subaru wagon @ H95 & Dalton/CdA.
  • 10:04 a.m. A mother wants to see a deputy re: son not returning family Land Cruiser.
  • 9:53 a.m. Durlene reports a man answered a speed-dial to a friend & said she had the wrong number.
  • 9:35 a.m. A man is suffering uncontrolled bleeding at 460 N. Garden Plaza Court/PF.
  • 9:24 a.m. Someone in CPD Blue lobby wants to report a counterfeiter to an officer.
  • 9:02 a.m. Someone has been injured in a fall on Camp Scott Loop/Worley.
  • 8:39 a.m. Someone from 200 block of N. 7th/CdA wants to report a fraud.
  • 8:19 a.m. Father is still looking for possibly suicidal daughter who lives in 4Runner in Hayden area.

Proper Attire For Airplane Flight?

Airline passenger Jill Tarlow provides this June 9 photo of an unnamed passenger scantily dressed at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. US Airways is defending its decision to allow the man wearing skimpy women's panties and high heels to fly days before a football player was arrested on a plane in California over a dispute over his saggy pants. The man flew six days before University of New Mexico football player Deshon Marman was arrested on a US Airways flight in San Francisco over allegations he refused to pull up his pants. A US Airways spokeswoman told the San Francisco Chronicle employees were right not to ask the man on the Phoenix flight to cover himself but declined to comment on Marman's arrest. (AP Photo/Jill Tarlow)

Question: Would you be intimidated if a guy dressed like this sat next to you on an airplane?

David: CdA Gives Much To Ironman

David Townsend, via Facebook: “Coeur d'Alene is gearing up for Ironman on Sunday. I'm afraid I'm going to have to skip it again this year. The race pretty much shuts down streets throughout downtown and reroutes traffic all over the county. I appreciate how much Ironman gives to the community. I hope the organizers appreciate how much the community is also giving.”

Question: Do you consider Coeur d'Alene Ironman to be good for the community or a nuisance?

Hucks Poll: Bring Troops Home Now

  • Tuesday Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation voted that President Obama should bring all American troops home from Afghanistan now. 54 of 117 respondents (46.15) want our troops home immediately. However, 38 of 117 respondents (32.48%) favors a slow withdrawal that ends in 2014. Also, 19 respondents (16.24%) wants Obama to remove the 30,000 surge troops now; 5 (4.27%) support an indefinite presence in Afghanistan; and only 1 (.85%) backs the choice that Obama likely will follow — withdrawal of 10,000 troops immediately and gradual withdrawal afterward.
  • Today's Poll: What kind of message did legislators send by awarding $94,633 in bonuses this year to legislative staffers?

Silverwood Unveils Recycling Kiosks

There's a new attraction at Silverwood Theme Park in North Idaho. No, not another roller coaster! Dream Machines (interactive computer recycling kiosks) premier this summer at the park. Silverwood has teamed with Pepsi Co. and local Waste Management offices to install 150 recycling receptacles within the Northwest's largest theme park. Two of these recycling machines interact with guests as they recycle their bottles or cans, rewarding them with coupons to Silverwood, discounts at attractions around the country and points for Pepsi merchandise. Nancy DiGiamarco, Silverwood's director of marketing and sales, hopes the machines will be another hit attraction for Silverwood guests/Nancy Dooley, Idaho Conservation League. More here.

Question: Do you go out of your way to support businesses that are environmentally friendly?

The Economy In A Nutshell

Coast to coast and
across the nation
the whispered word
is now “stagflation.”

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Weed Shuts Dog Park Temporarily

Dogs race through the SpokAnimal Dog Park at High Bridge, including G, at left, and Tesla, right, on Tuesday. A non-native weed, called houndstongue, which spreads easily in animal fur and is toxic to cattle, is forcing the closure of Spokane’s only dog park for two days this week as officials work to eradicate it. SR story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: Have you and your pet used any of the area's new dog parks? Reaction?

Adam: Bristol’s Like Mother Sarah

(Bristol Palin) has right to be angry with Levi Johnston, and to be miffed as Cindy McCain, Megan McCain, and all the rest. However, it doesn’t mean that she has to publicly voice everything, particularly against Johnston who has shown himself to be a trashy individual over the course of the past few years. When you treat the allegations of a trashy person like they’re worth responding to, you increase their credibility and lower yourself to their level. This is something that Sarah Palin didn’t realize which is a big part of the reason why she isn’t better positioned for a 2012 run. She’d be doing far better if she had not engaged in a tit-for-tat with playgirl model Levi Johnston. And sadly that lesson has been lost on Bristol as well/Adam Graham, Adam's Blog. More here.  (AP file photo: Bristol Palin and her then boyfriend Levi Johnston meet U.S. Sen. John McCain before 2008 GOP national convention in Minneapolis, Minn.)

Question: Are you interested in reading an autobiography by Bristol Palin?

MT: DUI No Big Deal For Idaho Pols

In an editorial today, Lewiston Tribune opinionator Marty Trillhaase writes of Idaho's tolerance for officials involved in drunken driving (as state Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell was Sunday). Among others who were cited for DUI and survived:

  • Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter got arrested for driving drunk in 1992 and famously tried to pin the blame on chewing tobacco he soaked in whiskey. A 1993 jury didn't buy it. Otter went on to win re-election as lieutenant governor, then 1st District congressman and two terms as governor.
  • Former congressional staffer and budget analyst Josh Tewalt was arrested for drunken driving three times between 2002 and 2006. He's now serving as the deputy chief of the Idaho Bureau of Prisons.
  • Jeff Malmen served as a top aide to Govs. Phil Batt, Dirk Kempthorne and Otter. He was arrested for DUI in November. He now works as vice president for public affairs at Idaho Power Co.
  • Former state Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, was stopped for DUI in 1999. He continued to serve until retiring from office in 2010. Full editorial here.

Question: Why are we so tolerant of DUIs from our elected and appointed officials?

Melissa: C-sections & Lipstick

  • Update: Our little boy is here! Daniel Aiden Deis was born at 7:46 am. He's 7 lbs, 10 oz — lots of hair & has dimples like his big brother.

Melissa Luck, now on maternity leave from KXLY, is having her baby this morning via C-section. She has been tweeting about the blessed event for several days including this Monday: “My sports guy husband might be tempted to tweet the birth. But, I will urge him to resist!” And: “Biggest difference between an emergency c-section and a planned one? Makeup! Already like this one better.” In the last week, she's also mentioned that her “sports guy husband” has been tempted to tweet re: the birth of their second baby. But Melissa writes: “I will urge him to resist!” Also, she said: “I think I just found the most depressing activity on earth: trying on nursing bras three days before you have a baby.”

Question: Anyone else ready to sing the praises of C-section births over natural ones? Or vice versa?

GOP Raw Milk Townhall Set Today

Originally posted at 2:01 p.m. Tuesday, June 7

Following is a notice circulated by the Kootenai County Republican Legislative Subcommittee: “The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee encourages the public to attend an open forum/town hall meeting concerning U.S. House of Representatives Bill H.R. 1830, authorizing the sale of raw milk by private citizens. The meeting will be held Wednesday, June 22 (today), from 6 to 7:30 p.m., in the community room of the Coeur d'Alene Library (702 E. Front Ave./Coeur d'Alene). More here.

Question: Do you plan to attend the raw milk townhall meeting, pushed by Kootenai County Republicans, tonight?

AM: Post Falls Driver Died In Chase

A fleeing driver who crashed into a log truck and died while being chased by law officers has been identified as a Post Falls man. Daniel James Marinovich, 50, died at the scene of the accident Monday morning on U.S. Highway 395 four miles north of Spokane in the vicinity of Hatch Road. More here.

School Pushes Gender Neutrality

A child reads a book at “Egalia”, a Swedish preschool aiming at gender stereotypes, in Stockholm, Sweden, Monday. At the “Egalia” preschool, staff avoid using words like “him” or “her” and address the children as “friends” rather than girls and boys. Every little detail has been carefully planned _ from the color and placement of toys to the selection of literature _ to make sure the 30 or so children don't fall into gender stereotypes. “Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing,” says Jenny Johnsson, a 31-year-old teacher. “Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be.” The public preschool which opened last year in the liberal Sodermalm district of Stockholm is among the most radical examples of Sweden's efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood onward. (AP Photo/Scanpix Sweden, Fredrik Sandberg)

Question: Would you like to live in a gender neutral society?

Leno: Not Much Going On In Idaho

Comedian Jay Leno tonight returned to the story of Idaho state Sen. John McGee, proclaiming it one of his “favorite stories,” and recounting once again the DUI arrest and jackknifed SUV and cargo trailer two doors down from where it was taken from a stranger's home by the prominent GOP politician. “In his defense, there's not a lot to do in Idaho,” Leno said. “Ever been to Idaho? There's not a lot going on”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you agree with late-night talk-show host Jay Leno that there's no much going on in Idaho?

Statesman: Staff Bonuses Wrong

The $94,633 in bonuses to legislative staffers isn’t enough to break the state budget. But these ill-timed, one-time payments are big enough to look bad. They leave the perception — accurate or not — that the policymakers are taking care of their own, while stiffing other hard-working and deserving state employees. They send a message — intended or not — that there are winners and losers in a public workforce that extends from the Statehouse to public schools and college campuses. To say nothing of the message to the private sector. Any goodwill and employee loyalty these bonuses purchase will come at a steep collateral cost/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Should Idaho legislators be giving bonuses to staffers at a time when they're slashing education, Medicaid, Health & Welfare, and other important budgets?

Stebbijo: Sims Shouldn’t Apologize

Stebbijo: No, I don’t think (Rep. Kathy Sims) should apologize (for claiming Mayor Sandi Bloem & Coeur d'Alene City Council had a conflict of interest in dealing with McEuen Field makeover). She is representing her constituents - that is what she is supposed to do. What is published via the media is not in her control. The letter from the prosecutor in Bonner and the AG’s office is an analysis. Granted, it carries weight, but it is not set in stone and is a ‘reply’ and she is entitled to it. IF various city officials believe that she has hurt their reputations or has cast stones that are unwarranted, they have the same recourse available - they can consult attorneys and they can sue. It is called justice.

Question: Do you think this matter is over, now that the state attorney general and the Bonner County prosecutor have opined that there's no merit to it — that Mayor Bloem & the council have no conflicts?

Anderson: Tough Crowd

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Tuesday — 6.21.11

I've shaken off most of the cobwebs from my vacation last week — and I'm almost ready to rock 'n roll at Huckleberries Central today. I envy those of you who can be outside today because it appears as though summer finally decided to appear today. It's hard to beat Coeur d'Alene when its sunny outside with temperatures in the high 70s/low 80s. Now, I'll post your Wild Card and search for items to shake things up here …

P.S. Summer Officially Here

On her Facebook wall, Kerri Thoreson publishes this photo of a thermometer in Post Falls showing a temperature of 83 degrees today. Anyone remember the last time the temperatures in the Inland Northwest topped 80?

‘Green Mile’ Actor, 51, Marries 16YO

In the annals of May-December romances — heck, early April-late December romances — we have this: a 16-year-old beauty queen from Ocean Shores has married an actor older than her father. Internet entertainment sites are all abuzz over the nuptuals of Courtney Alexis Stodden, who is trying to put together a singing career, and Doug Hutchison, best known for playing prison guard Percy Wetmore in “The Green Mile.” As an actor, Hutchison specializes in creepy, underhanded types. He's 51/Seattle PI. More here.

DFO: I had 2 aunts who were 14-15 YO when they married 30ish men in the late 1920s. And my wife has female relatives who married as young as 15 way back when.

Question: Did you or any of your relatives marry under age 18?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.21.11

  • 5:32 p.m. Possible head-on crash reported @ Atlas & Hayden. Unknown injuries.
  • 5:19 p.m. Post Falls WalMart reports a cooperative shoplifter being detained in store office.
  • 5:08 p.m. Caller reports dog locked in vehicle for hours w/o water outside local golf course.
  • 4:42 p.m. Tyler reports from a Post Falls playground that 2 bicycles have been stolen.
  • 4:41 p.m. A black, convertible Mitsubishi Eclipse is broken down on s/b H41 @ I-90/PF.
  • 4:38 p.m. PFPD Blue is en route to Post Falls High to help a driver locked out of vehicle.
  • 4:23 p.m. A man is stumbling in and out of traffic @ Seltice Way & Frederick/PF.
  • 4:20 p.m. Caller reports that lights aren't recycling at busy Government Way/Appleway intersection.
  • 4:06 p.m. Man named Peter w/history of DUI calls to say he hit parked vehicle in 3700 block of E. 2nd Ave./PF. But officer reports no damage to other vehicle & Peter was simply inattentive not drunk.
  • 4:02 p.m. Dennis @ Hauser Lake Resort reports trespasser got angry when asked to leave.
  • 15 more items plus AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 6.21.11

Darren O'Donnell, 24, a lifelong baseball fan, poses with his bicycle in Tampa, Fla., on June 14. O'Donnell is riding his bicycle to all 30 major league baseball stadiums. The Bellingham, Wash. man is about half way through a bicycle trip to all 30 major league ballparks. Story here. (AP Photo/St. Petersburg Times, Daniel Wallace)

LaPierre Featured At Tea Party Event

Huckleberries just received poster of next Tea Party Patriots of North Idaho confab. So here it is. Seems NRA executive veep Wayne LaPierre and Dr. Marshall Foster (founder & prez of the Mayflower Institute) will be keynote speakers at the event, tabbed: First Great Northwest 'Clingers' Festival & 2nd Amendment Rally. It will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, July 15, at the Stateline Speedway.

Question: Have you ever attended a local Tea Party function?

Aardsman Brings M’s To Tweeple

Ever wonder what the showers look like inside the Seattle Mariners’ clubhouse? Mariners closer David Aardsma tweeted a photo a few weeks ago. Want to see the view from the Safeco Field roof? Aardsma is working on that. Aardsma, 140 characters at a time via Twitter, is bonding with fans this season in ways he never imagined thanks to the link that form of social media provides. He has answered fans’ questions, shown them photos, asked for advice himself and generally provided insight into life as a major leaguer/Kirby Arnold, Everett Herald. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you follow any famous people on Twitter?

Saxophonist Clemons, 69, RIP

Clarence Clemons is shown in this Jan. 29, 2003, AP file picture during an interview at his Singer Island, Fla., home. A spokeswoman for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band says the saxophone player died in Florida at age 69 on Saturday. Story here. (AP Photo/Hillery Smith Garrison, File)

Question (from Who is the greatest rock-n-roll sidekick of all time?

Spokane No. 4 for Stolen Vehicles

Spokane just made a dubious list. It was ranked No. 4 in the country for car theft rates. The annual “Hot Spots” report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau said the Spokane metropolitan area had 2,763 car thefts in 2010, a rate of 586.35 per 100,000 residents. The Seattle-metro area jumped to 13th from 37th last year on the list, and leads the state with more than 55% of all auto thefts/KREM. More here.

Question: How you ever had a vehicle stolen? Can you tell us about the experience?

My 2 Cents: Sims Should Apologize

I remember sitting through the taunting public commentary by state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, at the last McEuen Field make-over hearing in which she accused Mayor Sandi Bloem and almost every council member of conflicts of interest on the proposal. Sims seem to be enjoying a “gotcha” moment when she finally had caught the Bloem administration and council groupies in misconduct. Since her moment at the podium, Sims has been told by the state attorney general's office that the elected officials aren't guilty of a conflict in the McEuen Field matter and that she should present the matter to County Prosecutor Barry McHugh. Who punted that matter to the Bonner County prosecutor because his wife is involved in public art. Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall agreed with the AG that there's no conflict. Seems like Sims made a public accusation that has been proven unfounded by two independent entities. Now, she should publicly apologize to those she tried to smear. Meanwhile, the crickets at are chirping loudly.

Question: Do you expect Rep. Sims to apologize for her errant claim?

Long-Board Surfing The North Shore

Four long boarders pass by as the Mish-an-Nock prepares for its 8 p.m. Monday cruise. “Actually, writes Eye On Sherman Avenue Don Sausser, “there were a group of eight boarders, the most I have ever seen,  sailing from around Tubbs Hill toward the NIC beach.”

Question: Do you ever rent paddle boats, para-sail, or ride on Brooks seaplane from the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene?

Montana Among Home-Birth Leaders

Item: Montana among leading states as births at home rise nationally/Cindy Uken, Billings Gazette

More Info: Less than 1 percent of U.S. births occur at home. But the proportion of home births is markedly increasing, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The spike in home births occurred between 2004 and 2008, rising from 23,150 in 2004 to 28,357 home births in 2008. Between 1990 and 2004, the number of home births had been trending downward. Twenty-seven states had significant increases during those four years. Montana, Vermont and Oregon recorded the highest percentage — about one in 50 births were at home in those states, according to the CDC. In 2008, Montana had the highest number of home births, 275, or 2.18 percent, according to the CDC research.

Question: Were any of your children born at home?

Portland Drains 8M Gallons After Pee

Call it the big flush. Because a 21-year-old man was caught on a security camera urinating into a city reservoir, Oregon's biggest city is sending 8 million gallons of treated drinking water down the drain. Portland officials defended the decision Monday, saying they didn't want to send city residents water laced, however infinitesimally, with urine. Public health officials say, however, that urine is sterile in healthy people and that the urine in the reservoir was so diluted — perhaps a half pint in millions of gallons — that it posed little risk. Some people in the city, in the suburbs and around the world called the flush an overreaction, especially since animals such as ducks contribute waste routinely and, sometimes, die in the water/Associated Press. More here.  (AP/Oregonian photo: This spot at the Mt Tabor number 1 reservoir is where a 21-year-old man was seen on surveillance video urinating.)

Question: Did Portland over-react to human pee in the reservoir?

Religion Finds Home At Rodeo

The sounds of cowboy gospel music and the faint smell of manure wafted down to the door of the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds’ indoor arena on Saturday. Corey Ross, a preacher from Texas, stood before men in cowboy hats and women wearing large belt buckles. As he began to sing about God’s grace, his voice broke through the murmur of stock calves shuffling just a few rows below him in the large arena. In the crowd, some dressed in their country best in preparation for the night’s championship go of the College National Finals Rodeo, while others wore simple T-shirts and sun-bleached baseball caps. They clapped along with Ross’ folksy tune before sitting down, their eyes trained on the singing preacher man/Amy Huddleston, Twin Falls Times-News. More here. (Idaho Press Tribune file photo of high school rodeo in Caldwell)

Question: Do you mind when an athlete uses the podium provided by his/her sport to share his/her faith?

Meester: Walmart Customers Crazy

Meesterbox: I worked for Walmart as an assistant manager for a short stint in my early career (regret it and still have nightmares at times) and the number of crazy customers I had to deal with trying to take advantage of ‘the system’ was phenomenal. One instance a lady dropped a container of laundry detergent and it spilled out onto her flip-flop. She demanded to speak to a manager (lucky me) and she started yelling how we ruined her flip-flop, she deserved a free pair, and took it off and shoved it in my face and told me to smell the damage.

Question: In your experience in retail, do you believe the customer is always right?

INW Headlines — 6.21.11

Traci Warner of Victor, Mont., describes the harrowing rescue of her six-year-old Tennessee Walker named Calvin from the freezing cold waters of Willow Creek in Corvallis on Sunday. Missoulian story here. (AP Photo/Ravalli Republic, David Erickson)

High Noon: Managing At 80

Florida Marlins interim manager Jack McKeon, left, smokes a cigar in the dugout as he talks with third base coach Joey Espada before an interleague baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Monday in Miami. At 80 years old, McKeon is the second oldest person to manage a Major League Baseball club. The legendary Connie Mack was the oldest. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Question: What do you plan to be doing at age 80?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.21.11

  • 11:59 a.m. Officer on scene of Dalton Gardens call asks dispatcher to send a chaplain.
  • 11:49 a.m. Dalton Gardens mother reports 6MO baby wasn't breathing when she turned it over. She & her husband fear it's “too late” to perform CPR.
  • 11:45 a.m. PFPD Blue checking on report that 2 male juveniles were stealing a picnic table @ Poleline & Spokane tells dispatcher that they were simply moving table to be nearer basketball courts.
  • 11:10 a.m. Lunceford Avenue/CdA resident reports a stereo taken from garage last night.
  • 11 more items below

Avista Named Top Utility Social Media

Via email, Avista's Dan Kolbet writes: “Avista was just named the top utility in social media by our utility peers through a survey conducted by E Source, an energy analysis and research firm. Part of that recognition speaks to our commitment to have the sometimes hairy discussions about energy and the industry on your blog and S-R/other media comments. Our social media program was built on the model that says an authentic voice is the most effective way to engage with our customers. This channel is successful because we’ve committed to it as a complement to all of the other efforts employees take part in daily.” You can read Dan's entire blog post here. (SR file photo)

Question: Do you appreciate Avista's commitment to be involved in the social media? Should other utilities & major corporation follow the model “that says an authentic voice is the most effective way to engage customers”?

WalMart Bans Extreme Couponer

She was banned from every Walmart in the United States for life, and it was all because of an argument over coupons. April Cuevas says Walmart has started “cracking down” on extreme couponers like herself who want to use coupons from other stores to save money. Cuevas says she was told that Walmart's “Ad Match” policy had changed late last week, and asked to speak with a store manager so she could better understand why. She decided to record the interchange — which quickly became an argument — with her iPhone. She says the action wasn't welcomed by the Walmart manager, who slapped her hand away and told her to pay the full price of her groceries or leave. Which she did. That's when things got weird/Fox12Idaho. More here. H/T: Sam Crawford. (AP file photo)

Question: Did Nampa WalMart do the right thing by banning an extreme couponer for life in all of its stores?

APhoto Of The Day — 6.21.11

Mark Hill of Nashville, Tenn., has his photo taken by Sayde Lewis, 11, of Nashville, Tenn., outside the office of Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., on Capitol Hill in Washington this morning. Weiner's last day in Congress will be today, he has told House and New York State officials. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Hucks Poll: McGee Should Go

  • Monday Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation say state Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, should be booted from the Idaho Legislature, if he's found guilty of DUI and grand theft auto. 121 of 183 respondents (66.12%) say he should be forced from Legislature. 24 respondents (13.11%) said his Senate District should deal with him at the polls, followed by 23 respondents (12.57%) who think he should be booted from his Senate Republican Caucus chairman post and other leadership roles. 10 (5.46%) said he should simply be censured. 5 were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: How quickly should the Obama administration withdraw troops from Afghanistan?

Redistricting Will Affect North Idaho

At the KEA Blog, Terry Harris writes: “New lines for Congressional districts are not likely to affect north Idaho, as the entire panhandle is expected to remain in the 1st Congressional district. However, new lines in legislative districts are likely to shift significantly. Census data shows a significant migration away from rural areas and into more urban and suburban areas.  Kootenai County and the Rathdrum Prairie cities kept pace with Idaho’s overall growth, but Shoshone and Clearwater Counties lost residents and Boundary, Bonner and Benewah counties grew at a somewhat slower rate than the rest of the state. The result is that the more rural panhandle — consisting of Districts 1 through 8 — has lost about half of a legislative district.”

  • The Commission will be holding hearings throughout the state, and hearings in North Idaho are scheduled for this Wednesday. (Sandpoint from 2-4 pm at the Sandpoint High School Auditorium, Coeur d’Alene’s from 7-9 pm at Meyers Health and Sciences Building at NIC.)

Question: Wouldn't it be a hoot if District 2 is realigned to force Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, or his other 2 District 3 playmates to run against the current District 2 legislators, including Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries?

AM Headlines — 6.21.11

Investigators examineacrash scene Monday on U.S. Highway 395 near Deer Park. The driver of the red car was killed, after he attempted to outrun police during a routine traffic stop. Meghann Cuniff SR story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Judge: Online Editorial Re-Post OK

Here's good news for bloggers and online commenters who may have been intimidated by the suit-happy tactics of Las Vegas Review-Journal and partner Righthaven. A judge has ruled “that a man didn’t violate copyright law when he posted a complete Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial to an online forum.” As you may recall, Righthaven, acting on behalf of the Review-Journal, routinely files suit against individuals who use the newspaper's material without permission. If memory serves me correctly, Idaho blogger Clayton Cramer was intimidated by a Review-Journal suit into shutting down his blog. You can read more about this development here. Also, you can read how the same judge ruled that Righthaven doesn't have legal standing to file suits on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal here.

Question: Are you careful and respectful in using media copy for your blog and online posts?

Ironman Cautious About Cold Lake

A record breaking cold and wet spring means Ironman participants will be feeling the sting of the cold waters of Coeur d’Alene. The water temperature is in the low fifties, but athletes say it won’t slow them down. Ironman participants will swim 2.4 miles during the Sunday race. Some out-of-town participants are already testing out the water. “It’s chilly, but you kind of just get numb. Once the numbness sets in, you just go,” said Caitlin Snow who lives in Boston/Katie Utehs, KREM. More here.

Question: Should the 2011 Coeur d'Alene Ironman be canceled to protect triathletes from cold Lake Coeur d'Alene?

Ganesha Protester Defends Stand

In a lengthy response to criticism re: the protest against the public art statue of Hindu god Ganesha at 6th & Sherman by the Kootenai County Constitution Party, Chairman Daniel Brennan writes on his Web site that many agreed with his local party's demonstration. But were too intimidated by political correctness to take a stand. Writes Brennan on the local Constitution Party Web site: “As I chatted with others the general sentiment was one and the same with my own — that the statue was, on Christian principle, offensive to the vast majority of Coeur d’Alene residents, an egregious misappropriation of public resources, and in light of the constant and ongoing litigious crusade against any and all Christian symbols all over the country, a gross expression of governmental hypocrisy.” You can read more here.

Question: Has the Ganesha hubbub given the Kootenai County Constitution Party its 15 minutes of fame?

Vandals Cause $100K Church Damage

The Sandpoint Assembly of God church is dealing with tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage thanks to two 16-year-old vandals who decided to discharge fire extinguishers all across the church's interior.”It's not easy to not take it personally,” Pastor Brian Noble said.Police say two 16-year-old boys entered the church through a window sometime Thursday night, got their hands on all the fire extinguishers and let them go. The ventilation system picked the stuff up and coated almost the entire building/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here.

Question: What should be done with the vandals, if found guilty?

Edit: McGee Deserves Day In Court

For a lawmaker who has long championed restrictions on texting while driving, citing the risk to public safety, McGee’s arrest seemed all the more out of character with his political persona. The 38-year-old McGee lands on the short list of top recent Idaho political scandals. The results have been a mixed bag. Boise Mayor Brent Coles resigned in 2003 and served jail time over a City Hall spending scandal. U.S. Sen. Larry Craig reneged on his 2007 “intent” to resign when he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after a Minneapolis airport restroom arrest; Craig completed his term, then retired. Lt. Gov. Butch Otter rebounded from a 1993 drunken-driving conviction to climb the career ladder to Congress and the governor’s office. McGee’s political future is ripe for speculation, at a later date. McGee is, for now, a criminal suspect facing serious charges. No more — but also no less. He deserves his chance to answer to his charges/Kevin Richert, Statesman. More here.

Question: Obviously, McGee deserves a chance to explain his side of this bizarre story in court. But does that mean the public should be quiet re: speculation about this case and his political future?

Warnings Schwarnings

This is one of the new, more explicit graphics for cigarette package labels, released by Health Canada on Dec. 30, 2010. The. U.S. isn’t the first country to require graphic cigarette labels on packs. We look around the world at what over countries are doing. In recent years, 30 countries or jurisdictions have introduced similar labels. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Health Canada)

Question: Do warning labels, even explicit ones like this, reduce smoking?

Leno re: McGee: Spring Break?

Oh, my. Idaho state Sen. John McGee's troubles made Jay Leno's monologue tonight. Leno asked, “Did you hear his excuse? He said computer hackers got into his bloodstream and put alcohol in there.” Reflecting on the recent revelations about a New York congressman, a California governor and an Idaho state senator, Leno asked, “Is it spring break for politicians?”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Question: What causes elected officials — almost always male — to behave so badly?

Urban Chicken Population Grows

More and more people are looking for their food to be fresh and pesticide free.Now some are taking matters into their own hands by building urban chicken coops in their own backyards.Sue Puhek has a farm in her backyard. She and her husband Paul raise chickens and sell the eggs. They have been raising chickens for years and are now starting to teach people how to do the same as backyard chicken coops are growing in popularity.The Puheks say raising chickens is less work than having a dog or a cat/Erik Loney, KXLY. More here. (SR file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: I noticed some chickens in a fenced yard along 7th Street, south of Harrison, a couple of weeks ago during a bike ride. Do you have any urban chickens living near you? Have the chickens caused problems?

Valley Applebee’s Auctioning Stuff

A sinister part of me would rather not be spreading the word about the hundreds upon hundreds of collectibles that will be auctioned Thursday night inside the Spokane Valley Applebee’s restaurant at Mission and Pines. Applebee’s, you see, will soon be updating its décor. So the management decided to let the public bid on the eye-catching items that have been displayed on the restaurant’s walls for years. Most of the items were donated back when the restaurant opened its doors. The idea was to infuse the business with local flavor. Items like vintage advertising signs, say. And celebrity photographs. And movie posters. And Valley high school band uniforms. And musical instruments. And old fishing gear/Doug Clark, SR. More here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: What type(s) of memorabilia do you collect?

Signe: Key To Change

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Monday — 6.20.11

As I said in the comments section … Christa Hazel earned a monster Hat Tip for her superb job of subbing for me while I was on vacation last week at Huckleberries Central. I'm extremely fortunate to have two sharp women who understand this blog culture ready to sub for me. As you know, Cindy was also on vacation last week. Which meant Christa had to step in untested with only an hour or two of instruction. Now, I'll post this Wild Card while I try to shake off the cob webs that gathered during my week off …

Parting Shot — 6.20.11

Attorney Scott McKay, foreground, speaks as his client Idaho State Senator John McGee is arraigned via video monitor on charges of misdemeanor drunken driving and taking a vehicle without the owner's consent, causing more than $1,000 damage, a felony, today at Ada County Court, in Boise, Idaho. McGee later posted $5,000 bail and was released from the Ada County Jail. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Chris Butler)

Question: Will McGee survive politically?

Liz: Fathers & Other Strangers

On Father's Day, Liz penned a poignant piece, titled “Fathers & other strangers.” It begins: “I should be writing some big tribute to my dad. However, I did not have a father, not really in the sense that people who write odes to someone who exerted a great influence on their life did, anyway. Oh, sure, he lived in our home until he died when I was ten. But I don't remember interacting with him much and some of the stories I have heard floating around from other family members (which may or may not be true) indicate that it is in the realm of possibility that that might be a very good thing.  It's not like I have some horribly abusive memory to erase in the same way that mother's day leaves a bad taste in my mouth because of a lot of the very unloving things that my mother did in the name of “love”. It's more like I draw a blank. I have no idea what it might be like to have had some male figure be there for me. More here. (AP file illustration)

Question: Are special days for parents painful for you because of loss of one or both — or a childhood that was less than idyllic?

Obama To Make Afghan Troop Speech

Item: US troops coming home? Obama to say on Wednesday/Associated Press

More Info: President Barack Obama will announce the critical next steps in America's decade-long war in Afghanistan on Wednesday, outlining both a plan to start bringing thousands of U.S. troops home next month and a broader withdrawal blueprint aimed at giving Afghans control of their own security in 2014. But even as Obama finalizes those plans, there are divisions in his administration, with military leaders favoring only a gradual reduction in troops but other advisers advocating a significant decrease in the coming months.

Question: If you were a presidential adviser, what would you recommend President Obama should do re: American troops in Afghanistan?

PM Headlines — 6.20.11

In this photo by Bryan Correll, published on As The Lake Churns, the expression on the face of a young swimmer named Zack indicates how cold Priest Lake still is.

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.20.11

  • 5:59 p.m. Resident @ Quinalt & Elder/Worley is concerned that a neighbor is sitting on his 4-wheeler w/a rifle in his hands. He's not pointing rifle at anything. She doesn't know if he's drunk.
  • 5:52 p.m. ISP asks for an agency assist in a traffic stop on w/b I-90 @ M/P 29.5 (4th of July Pass).
  • 5:51 p.m. Caller reports 2 vehicles racing repeatedly on Appaloosa @ Sherwood/Indian Meadows.
  • 5:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 19-20 here.
  • 5:18 p.m. A white Mercedes is parked in turnaround area of Squaw Bay boat launch, blocking others.
  • 4:59 p.m. Jodie has questions for animal control re: a sleeping bat.
  • 4:41 p.m. An undisclosed traumatic injury is reported in 800 block of N. Coles Loop/Post Falls.
  • 4:38 p.m. 3 dogs are loose after 3-pickup, non-injury crash @ H54 & Hauser Lake Road.
  • 4:31 p.m. Post Falls businessman reports 6 or 7 juveniles are kicking the side of his building.
  • 4:26 p.m. Darrell, who's on felony probation, has been drinking alcohol today.
  • 4:14 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Casino security has man in custody who tried to pass counterfeit $50.
  • 4:01 p.m. Vivian in closed range on Cone Crest/Rathdrum sez black-&-white steer missing all day.
  • 17 items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

NIdaho Blogs — 6.20.11

Stickman & Walkabout provide this photo of a couple of osprey in a nest above Tubbs Hill earlier this spring.

Hucks Online numbers (for vacation week of June 12-18): 31,647/20,998

Enviros Object To Aquifer Draft Plan

Led by Kootenai Environmental Alliance, regional conservation groups filed comments June 10th with the Idaho Water Resources Board on the draft Comprehensive Aquifer Management Plan for our local Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer.   According to the comments, the plan is “not specific enough, not enforceable enough, and doesn’t go far enough to properly protect the aquifer resources.” The comments expressed concern that the plan would prove to be insufficient to protect the aquifer over the plan’s long-term planning horizon.  KEA was joined by Spokane Riverkeeper, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper and the Lands Council in comments to the Water Board/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here.

Question: Does the KEA's objections to the draft Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer plan concern you?

Moon Over Tubbs Hill

Don Sausser, Huckleberries Online's Eye On Sherman Avenue, snapped this photo of the moon over Tubbs Hill & McEuen Field this weekend.

Legislation Riles Raw-Milk Advocates

Jared Howerton drives down a winding, single-lane dirt road on a 300-acre farm in North Idaho surrounded by tall pine trees and open highway. He stops into a musty-smelling basement filled with mismatched refrigerators, where he retrieves three barely labeled half-gallon jars of raw, unpasteurized milk. He puts them in the rear of his Volkswagen Rabbit and slams the hatchback closed. Howerton, wearing a beanie, says the milk is healthier than its grocery store counterpart and helps him stick it to the man — greedy corporations, industrialized agriculture, Republicans. His farmer, Luana Hiebert, calls herself a conservative, however, and says the same product helps her fight big government/Heidi Groover, Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo)

  • Also: A townhall meeting pushed by local GOP is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday in community room of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library.

Question: Have you ever consumed raw milk? Impression?

OTV Review: Dangerous Dog

As I sit here typing, I am currently in a haze of hot dog bliss after consuming a divine Dangerous Dog lunch consisting of the #7, the All Cheese Dog. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Cotija cheese, and whole grain mustard all layered nice and thick on a plump wiener on an intensely fresh-baked bun that was soft and doughy on the outside and crispy golden in the center. It was a fantastic way to spend my lunch break and very well worth every penny of the $4 i put into it. Cheese nirvana! Today was actually my third experience with the Dangerous Dog, and like cheap no-prescription narcotics mail-ordered surreptitiously from overseas, I'm totally hooked. These folks do wonderful, creative things with the blank canvas of a hot dog, and really, downtown Coeur d'Alene kinda got a few notches groovier overall when they decided to open up their doors/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: How do you best like your hot dog prepared?

Major Ben’s Weekly Warrant Report

Five North Idaho men are wanted on felony warrants by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department, according to Major Ben Wolfinger's weekly warrant report, including Joel Robert Jacobs, 41, of Rathdrum (upper left). Jacobs is wanted for failure to appear in court in a felony DUI case. Bond has been set for him in the amount of $50,000. Others being sought by Major Ben & Co. are: Samuel Leroy Pearson, 49, of Post Falls (upper center), for alleged probation violation in an aggravated assault case (bail: $40,000); Ronald Wayne Rollins Jr., 35, of Pinehurst (upper right), in a case involving burglary and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud (bail: $20,000); Cody James Rupnick, 25, of Rathdrum (lower left), for alleged probation violation in a case originally involving possession of a controlled substance (bail: $35,000); and Eric Larry Wishart, 44, of Coeur d'Alene (lower right), for alleged probation violation in a case originally involving aggravated battery, battery, and 2 counts of delivery of a controlled substance (bail: $75,000). Complete list of warrants here.

Food Porn: Caruso’s Mega-Wow Club

On his Get Out! North Idaho Facebook page, OrangeTV offers this Food Porn alert forCaruso's Sandwich Co. Coeur d'Alene's mega-wow club sandwich with pretty much everything.” Adds OTV: “cue tummy rumbles.”

I Saw It On Harrison Avenue

I saw something during the lunch hour that brought a smile to my face, as I turned from s/b 15th Street (near the ongoing road construction) west onto Harrison Avenue — a man and a woman riding horses on the sidewalk. Adding to the rare sighting in Coeur d'Alene proper was the fact that the woman was holding two, large, purpose irises aloft in her right hand.

Question: Describe a strange sight that you've seen in your North Idaho town this spring?

Vehicle-Vs-Bike Crashes Jump 24.5%

Item: Number of bicyclists hit by vehicles in Idaho jumps 24.5 percent in four years/Brad Guire, Twin Falls Times-News

More Info: According to the Idaho Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety’s 2010 report, the number of crashes with serious injuries has risen in a five-year period. From 2006 to 2010, the amount of pedestrians sustaining serious injuries is up 1.7 percent. For bicyclists, the same figure has spiraled by 24.5 percent.

Question: Have you had a close call with a motorist while riding a bicycle? Please describe.

Hayes Personally Conducts Recount

In an attempt to ensure accuracy, Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes personally recounted one highway district race on the May 17 ballot with an election worker.   Hayes said “the close tallies in some races made me want to confirm the accuracy of the ballot counting machines.” No recount requests were received from any of the candidates however, and the legal deadline for challenging has passed without incident. 12 voters have been sent letters to re-register after a spot-check found they had listed the Elections office as their residence.  “These 12 people were originally following a directive from the Secretary of State to register at an address which is a County facility”, said Hayes, “because they were either serving in the military or traveling overseas”/Kootenai County Clerk's Department news release. More here.

Question: What do you think of Cliff Hayes' hands-on approach to confirm accuracy of highway district races?

Wildlife Abounds On Trail Of CdAs

On his Outdoors blog, Rich Landers publishes the experiences of a group of bicyclists who recently enjoyed the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes: “We did a key exchange on Trail of Cd'A Sunday late afternoon/evening. It was spectacularly beautiful with the dark threatening clouds. All the colors seemed intensified, the wind had calmed and there were reflections in the water everywhere. Brisk 54 degrees and the trail was pretty much empty except around Harrison. The North Fork of the Coeur d'alene had mist on it by 6 p.m.  Fly fishermen were out; fish were surfacing.  Evidence of the river's flooding was still apparent. The area of Bull Run to Cataldo was full of wildlife: Three moose, one elk swam and exited onto the hillside, deer, pelicans, and all sorts of bird life.” More here. (SR file photo: The Chatcolet Bridge is a highlight on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.)

Question: Have you ridden the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes? Impression?

INW Headlines — 6.20.11

A woman twirls a Hula hoop while leading Seattle's SlutWalk march on Sunday. Demonstrators marched from Cal Anderson Park towards Westlake Center via Pine Street. The marches were organized in response to a Canadian police officer's remark that to avoid being raped “women should avoid dressing like sluts.” Chelsea Bannach/SR reports on Spokane SlutWalk here. (AP Photo/, Joe Dyer)

Question: Have you — or would you — participate in a SlutWalk?

High Noon: Car d’Lane & Dad

Eric Barro of Lake City Photography attends Car d'Lane each year to honor the memory of his father, a racing and auto enthusiast. On his Facebook page, Eric writes: “My dad loved cars. I remember him taking me to slot car racing tournaments where I spent several hours watching him and his buddies work on their scale model slot cars and raced them until the wee hours of the morning. … He worked for a car dealership and he would bring home posters of Mustangs, Corvettes and Camaros and I would stare at them for hours imagining myself driving one of those beauties. He even let me play with scale models of those cars. (Eric snapped the photo above during Car d'Lane over the weekend. You can read the rest of Eric's story and see more Car d'Lane photos here.)

Question: What did you do to honor your father over the weekend?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.20.11

  • 11:19 a.m. A vehicle is parked in front of a hydrant @ 3026 Strawberry Lane/Hayden.
  • 11:14 a.m. A dog is running loose on road @ Loch Haven & Rock Haven/Hayden.
  • 11:11 a.m. A man who may have suffered stroke is lying face down in house on Columbia/PF.
  • 10:59 a.m. Rescuers in a boat are trying to get a dog out of Hayden Area Regional Sewer District lagoon, 10789 Atlas Road/Hayden. Another dog is tied up at the edge of the lagoon.
  • 13 more items below

‘Jackass’ Star Ryan Dunn, 34, RIP

“Jackass” star Ryan Dunn, who along with his castmates made Americans cringe and snicker through vulgar stunts in their multimillion-dollar TV and movie franchise, was killed early Monday in a fiery car crash. He was 34. Dunn, a daredevil whose most famous skits included diving into a sewage tank and shoving a toy car into his rectum, was driving his 2007 Porsche in suburban Philadelphia when it went off the road into the woods and burst into flames. A passenger was also killed, and speed may have been a factor in the crash, West Goshen Township police said. Dunn appeared on MTV shows “Jackass” and “Viva La Bam” and the three “Jackass” big-screen adaptations. He also was the star of his own MTV show, “Homewrecker,” and hosted “Proving Ground” on the G4 cable network/Associated Press. More here. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Question: Is it strange that a vehicle accident killed Dunn, after all the stupid, dangerous stunts that he survived?