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Huckleberries Online

Archive for October 2011

Wild Card/Monday — 10.31.11

The time is ticking down on the 2011 local election campaigns. This is the last full week of campaigning. It'll be interesting to see what the candidates resort to in the closing days. I suspect we'll see an attack flyer against incumbent John Bruning and the Coeur d'Alene City Council next weekend. Hey, it's happened before. And some of the same characters are involved on the fringes of the current races. It'll be interesting to see how many yard signs survive Halloween. I noticed on Dan Gookin's Facebook page that he's already missing some of his signs. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.31.11

Carlos Strong from Puerto Rico, reacts after falling during the men's basketball match for the gold medal against Mexico at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Sunday. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

Mustachioed Men Show Solidarity

Movember is upon us, beginning this Tuesday. No, NOT just November, MOvember, baby. In the US, in Europe and even down under in Australia. Mustache time, pardner…. to fight prostate cancer in men. In anticipation of last week's post of the 130th anniversary of the Earp brothers historic gunfight, I found myself inundated by mustaches from the 19th Century and Hollywood. Huge things. Huge hairy 'staches of Wyatt and Virgil and Morgan … as well as a pencil thin one from Doc Holliday. It caused me to reminisce. See, 35+ years ago I grew out “The 'stache that NEVER quit growing.” And I kept it, for the most part/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question (for men): Have you ever worn a mustache? Or (for women): Do you like to see men wearing mustaches?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.31.11

  • 5:36 p.m. A Post Falls teen whose known to use meth & cut herself is missing from home.
  • 5:27 p.m. Sgt. Christie Wood reports that the missing boy from Sorensen was located at a scheduled appointment. Reportedly, estranged parents had miscommunicated about appointment.
  • 5:12 p.m. Nancy, from the Hayden area, reports her residential burglary.
  • 5:06 p.m. A 1YO baby is unconscious in Loch Haven/Hayden apartments.
  • 4:54 p.m. DMV at courthouse/Govt Way reports a wanted person in the office.
  • 4:52 p.m. PFPD Blue is stopping boy on moped in front of American Legion Hall on Poleline/PF.
  • 4:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 30-31 here.
  • 4:36 p.m. Terry Harris/KEA tweets: “Hordes of cute kids in costume in downtown Coeur d'Alene at the moment.
  • 4:26 p.m. Caller from Nezperce & Lancaster/Northshire reports gun shots nearby.
  • 4:02 p.m. An 8YO boy named Josiah, dressed in a Halloween outfit of a black gown & mask, has been missing from Sorensen School, 310 N9th/CdA, since 3 o'clock. He was last seen going out to the playground w/his 5YO brother. The brother has been located.
  • 13 more items & AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 10.31.11

Kinder-Magic Kindergartner Adeline Smith smiled through her ghost costume during the Halloween party at the school in Coeur d'Alene on Monday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

APhoto Of The Day — 10.31.11

Nurses hold newborn babies in Sidon, Lebanon, Monday. As of today, according to the U.N. Population Fund, there will be 7 billion people sharing Earth's land and resources. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Octomom, is in Lebanon where she is going to start filming her reality show: “Cheaper by the Dozen” — Kage Mann.
  • 2. We only ordered 6,999,999,999 hats. We saved the one with the star on it for Baby 7,000,000,000 — Terry Harris.
  • 3. Several babies line up to audition for E-Trade commercials — Herb Huseland.
  • HM: Nic

Cindy: Too Old To Trick-or-Treat?

On her Facebook wall, Cindy sez she's sad: “How old is too old to trick or treat? I may just have to go out on my own since Sam is “officially too old :-(:-( ” I remember my kids going out for a short while as teen-agers to collect some treats in the Loch Haven area, usually later in the evening. Moi? I only trick-or-treated once in my life, with my cousins in the town where they lived. I grew up on a 500-acre dairy 7 miles out of town, with orchards, ranches, and dairies all around. Not conducive for trick-or-treating.

Question: How old is too old to trick-or-treat?

North Idaho Blogs — 10.31.11

On her Idaho Scenic Images Facebook page, Linda Lantzy calls this scenic: “Prichard gold.” Writes she: “A bridge on USFS Trail 33 in the Coeur d'Alene National Forest crosses a small tributary to the Coeur d'Alene River.”

HucksOnline numbers (for week of Oct. 23-29): 46,561/29,488

DFO’s Critters: Deer-Eatin’ Python

Everglades National Park wildlife biologists Mark Parry, left, and Skip Snow perform a necropsy on a Burmese Python that was captured and killed in Everglades National Park, Fla. The 15.65-foot-long Python had recently consumed a 76-lb. adult female deer. The reptile was one of the largest ever found in South Florida. (AP Photo/National Park Service)

LCHS Student: I ♥ Occupy Movement

Erick Watkins, of the Lake City High Timberwolf Times student newspaper writes of Occupy Wall Street: “I support the movement. I have spent many hours studying the shady actions of the large international banks and companies that helped produce the economic and housing crises of 2008, and even though I will be able to vote for the first time next year, I already feel jaded towards the political system that is in place. I do not feel that the faceless two-party system we currently have adequately represents the interests of the American people.” More here.

Question: Which movement is more likely to attract the nation's younger voters — Occupy Wall Street or Tea Party?

Major Ben’s Felony Warrants List

A Pinehurst man wanted on several charges leads sheriff's Major Ben Wolfinger's felony warrant roundup this week. Ronald Wayne Rollins, Jr., 36, of Pinehurst, is wanted on charges of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud & burglary & probation violation for grand theft. Bail bond is set at $70,000 when he's caught. Three Spokane County men join Rollins at the top of the list: Daniel James Cook, 40, of Spokane, for failure to appear for possession a controlled substance ($30,000 bond); Andante Lamont Goldsby, 45, of Spokane, for grand theft ($25,000 bond); and Joseph James Robinson, 22, of Post Falls, for failure to appear on a grand theft charge ($10,000 bond). You can read the rest of the warrants here.

Duroc: What Good Are Yard Signs?

Duroc: Why do people even bother with yard signs? Do they even make a difference? They just seem like unsightly clutter to me, irrespective of the candidate. (Needless to say, no candidates have signs in my yard).

Question: Duroc raises an interesting issue. Do yard signs still have an impact — if they ever did — in this era of social media?

Supernatural Security

Kerri Thoreson, who is seeking re-election to the Post Falls City Council Nov. 8, said she has called in reinforcements to protect her political yard signs from Halloween ghouls and goblins tonight. The one above is already on duty.

An Observation At Halloween

Some ghouls and zombies,
you will note,
ask not for candy,
but your vote.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Cain Combats Harassment Claims

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington on Monday, Herman Cain continued to defend himself against claims that he sexually harassed two employees while leading a trade association in the 1990s, telling the audience that he's the victim of a “witch hunt.” As he had earlier in the day on Fox News Channel, Cain admitted that he had been accused of harassment while he was the president and chief executive of the National Restaurant Assn. Cain insisted to the lunchtime crowd that the claims were false and said he did not know whether they were settled or how much it cost to settle them/Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Is this bit of dirt which had to have come from an opponent proof that Cain is a force to be reckoned with? Or is the claims, despite the source, a cause of concern for you?

Edit: Bus Assault Wasn’t Horseplay

For some people, what happened on a Glacier High School freshman football bus on Sept. 12 was just boys being boys. It was just a normal part of football rambunctiousness, they say. Football has always had its unique initiation rites and the bus events were no different than the horseplay players have been engaging in for years. We beg to differ with that assessment. When you allegedly have team leaders dragging teammates to the back of the bus, restraining them, punching them, threatening them and even violating them, it’s not merely hazing or bullying and it’s no longer the innocent exuberance of youth. It is, it would appear, a crime/Daily Inter Lake. More here.

Question: Should the judge have allowed the assailants to return to school with their victims, while this case is working through the legal system?

Rammell: Put Shock Collars On Cops

Rammell's latest missive to the media says Americans are “brainwashed” to sheepishly follow immoral laws and that he'll stay in the news crusading for legal reform. A perennial losing candidate for high office, Rammell was convicted of poaching and criminal contempt this summer, prompting his August essay predicting “blood in the streets” and collapse of the US government. His Halloween message focuses on his legal reform ideas. Writes Rammell: “There are too many laws and regulations and our policemen, prosecutors, and judges need electric shock collars to remind them that we are not all criminals!” Rammell calls himself proud of his reputation as Idaho's “poster child for government insubordination”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: A Facebook Friend asks why Idaho Republicans more or less have rejected Rammell but continue to back Rep. Phil Hart. Anyone?

INW Headlines — 10.31.11

“He's my watchdog and my alarm clock,” said Bonnie Warwick of the Kootenai County Dog Park Association about her dog Scooter at the new Cherry Hill Dog Park in Coeur d'Alene last week. Coeur d'Alene Parks Department and Kootenai County Dog Park Association hosted the “Leash-cutting Ceremony & Dedication” for the off-leash dog park at Cherry Hill Park in Coeur d'Alene Sunday with a dog costume parade and contest. The new dog park is the second one in Coeur d'Alene. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Kamm: Accentuate The Positive

Kamm: Why, oh why can’t we hear what the candidates’ Plan of Action’ will be? Why do we have to listen the candidates’ badmouth their opponent? That tells me nothing other than they really enjoy mud. I’ll say to the candidates, “Let me know about you and your plans for the future, how you will achieve them, and how you will finance them. I don’t need your opinions of state or federal programs unless they specifically affect the city. Let me know if you can play well with others because you will represent the citizens as a whole and not just those who voted for you. I want your image of the future; I’m smart enough to make up my own mind.’

Question: Whose campaign has been most negative?

And With A Little Photoshopping …

Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Dan Gookin had some phone with that truck that's running around promoting his candidacy & Steve Adams. On his Facebook wall, a third candidate, Amber Copeland, had protested about the Adams side, stating: “What? Wait a minute that picture looks nothing like me and they spelled my name wrong! Oh well it's the thought that counts.” So Dan photoshopped this.

Question: Isn't it nice to see a little levity in the midst of a long campaign?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.31.11

  • Noonish: Woman reports strange man followed her off freeway to Fernan School, where he tried to open the door of her vehicle and then left. She's following him back onto freeway.
  • 11:59 a.m. CPD Blue has followed white car to gas station @ 15th & Sherman/CdA. Car has stopped at several gas station. Officer wants to check out what's going on.
  • 11:55 a.m. Manager of Sterling Savings, Cornerstone, reports 50ish male in sunglasses entered bank, looked at video cameras, and left in Suzuki Sidewinder.
  • 11:48 a.m. Caller in 1400 block of American/PF reports a vicious dog is out of its yard again after a deputy checked on ongoing problem this AM. If dog isn't picked up, man says, he may shoot it.
  • 11:37 a.m. Man reports an 8YO girl was sexually abused by another girl.
  • 11:34 a.m. An older woman is smoking so much in her car w/Benewah plates on I-90 @ Huetter that she can't see, almost causing a crash in which another car veered sideways.
  • 11:28 a.m. A Rottweiler & a chocolate labrador just ran loose past 4906 Lancaster/CdA.
  • 10 more items below

Ex-Deputy Clerk Martinson Sentenced

A former Kootenai County deputy clerk who embezzled $139,000 over 10 years will begin serving a 90-day jail sentence on Thursday, the day before her 63rd birthday.  First District Judge Fred Gibler on Monday imposed a 90-day jail sentence on Sandra Martinson, whose actions were discovered following her retirement last November. Gibler also sentenced Martinson to pay $49,075 in restitution and to serve five years of supervised probation. Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall, who handled the case due to Martinson’s three-decade career with Kootenai County, said the restitution represents “every penny” possible considering a five-year statute of limitations. Martinson’s embezzlement spanned the 10 years ending last October. Under a plea arrangement, Martinson will repay the money at the rate of $1,000 per month/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the sentencing?

Cindy: Let My 19YO Answer Phone

On her Facebook wall, Cindy posts how her 19-year-old handled a phone survey: “Apparently a survey person called while we were out, but Alex took care of it. He told them he couldn't talk because he was playing X-Box live and 'people could die!' I want him to answer the phone from now on.”

Question: How do you handle phone surveyors or solicitors who figure a way around your call-blocking?

Parent Attendance Affects Bonuses

Parents across Idaho will now play a role in whether or not their child’s teacher gets a raise. Teacher bonuses in more than two dozen school districts statewide will depend to some degree on how well they can engage parents throughout the year, as part of new education changes signed into law earlier this year. The laws championed by public schools chief Tom Luna carry sweeping changes for Idaho’s public schools that include phasing in laptops for high school teachers and students, while requiring online courses. School districts and public charter schools were also required to develop plans to reward employees who go above and beyond. The teacher pay-for-performance bonuses could be based on a variety of factors, including improved test scores and attendance rates/Jessie L. Bonner, AP. More here.

Question: Should parent attendance at teacher conferences be one of the ways teacher bonuses are decided?

Poll: No To Labrador Wife On Payroll

  • Weekend Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation disagrees with Congressman Raul Labrador's decision to put his wife on his campaign payroll. A combined 186 of 239 respondents (77.82%) said either “hell no” (54.39%) or simply “no” (23.43%) when asked if they agreed with Labrador's move. Only 41 of 239 respondents (17.15%) agreed with the move. 12 were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Does the world need to aggressively control its population, now that it has welcomed its 7 billionth person?

Mellower Mansfield Still Passionate

I chuckled (Sunday night) as I was reading through some recent comments on DFO's Huckleberries Blog. DFO highlighted a post I did in mid-October about the Occupy Wall Street movement. The post was part tongue in cheek, on my part, about a guy who called into KIDO's The Austin Hill Show and said, ever so strongly, “I want my Bentley“; the post was intended to elicit comment about the OWS movement based on the crazy sound bites that were coming out. So buried within some of the comments by two normally well-written followers of DFO's blog were a couple lines that said I came off … as a “cranky old guy” and that I suffered from a 'Generation Gap”. Hmmm. … See, in the past ('80's and 90's) I was a firebrand — looking for a fight and often causing a fight. I was young (in my 30's and ready to take on the world.) “Fists, guns or knives?” Nah, more like, “pens/paper or keyboards?” And I did… and STILL came away with a “black eye” or two, myself. Since then, my conservative thinking didn't completely change, but HOW I delivered it eventually did/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: Have you mellowed much over the years?

Former Skinhead Sheds Past

This combination of eight photos provided by Bill Brummel Productions shows the progress of tattoo removal treatments for former skinhead Bryon Widner. For 16 years, Widner was a glowering, swaggering, menacing vessel of savagery - an “enforcer” for some of America’s most notorious and violent racist skinhead groups. Though his beliefs had changed, leaving the old life would not be easy when it was all he had known - and when his face remained a billboard of hate. More here. (AP Photo/Duke Tribble, Courtesy of MSNBC and Bill Brummel Productions)

Question: What do you think of this remarkable makeover?

Lewiston Teen Shakes Obama’s Hand

Not many 17-year-olds can say they've shook the hand of the president of the United States, but Lewiston High School senior Brian Perez (pictured) got to do just that. “He was pretty chill,” Perez said of President Barack Obama. “And tall.” When he wasn't rubbing elbows with the laid-back leader of the free world, Perez, 17, was touring the nation's capital and debating legislation as an Idaho senator for the 65th Boys Nation class. At the event, which is sponsored by the American Legion, young men from across the nation receive a hands-on education on the structure and function of the federal government. Perez is the second senator from Lewiston after Henry Funk was elected last year. “One of the coolest parts was meeting somebody from every state,” he said. “It was crazy … like talking about immigration issues with a guy from Arizona”/Kevin Gaboury, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Lewiston Tribune: Steve Hanks)

Question: Have you ever shaken the hand of a U.S. president?

Contrast Clear In Edinger-Graves Race

When Ron Edinger began serving on the Coeur d’Alene City Council, Adam Graves had not entered the world. Now the two – the 75-year-old with 40 years of incumbency and the 37-year-old businessman determined to modernize the city – are facing off for council seat 1. The race has been cast both as a battle over the future of McEuen Field and as one of looking to the future rather than being mired in the past. “I’ve got a vision for the future. I think Ron is stuck on preserving history and the past,” said Graves, co-founder of a Coeur d’Alene marketing and branding company and a board member of the city’s Downtown Association. “That’s been shown in his thinking on the McEuen Field projects.” Edinger sees it differently/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

Question: How does this race look to you as it enters the final week of the campaign?

St. Louis Manager LaRussa Retires

Tony La Russa retired as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals today, three days after winning a dramatic, seven-game World Series against the Texas Rangers. The 67-year-old La Russa announced his retirement at a news conference at Busch Stadium. The World Series win over Texas was the third of La Russa’s 33-year career. The manager guided the Cardinals to the championship despite being 10 1/2 games behind Atlanta on Aug. 25 for the final playoff spot in the National League. La Russa retires third on the all-time wins list, 35 behind John McGraw. In addition to this season, he won championships in Oakland in 1989 and St. Louis in 2006/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you know someone else who quit while s/he was on top of her/his game?

AM Headlines — 10.31.11

Gonzaga womens basketball coach Kelly Graves stands in the garage of his South Hill home Wednesday,  which he has turned into a haunted house, as he has for the last several years. He invites friends, colleagues and neighbors to walk through. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: What are your plans for Halloween tonight?

Redux: Neat Truck?

If you think you've seen the truck below this post before, you probably have. Four years ago, it was touting Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Jim Brannon, who went on to fail twice in attempts to win a City Council position, including the well documented attempt in 2009 to unseat Councilman Mike Kennedy and the subsequent long legal test to overthrow those results.

Gookin: ‘Neat Truck’

On his Facebook wall, Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Dan Gookin posts this photo with the simple cutline: “Neat truck.”

JohnA: A Perfect Fall Day

JohnA: Deena and I took a long canoe trip on the placid waters of Lake CDA this afternoon. No people, no boats, no wind. Then we walked in the creek along our pasture, a Great Dane pup as our faithful companion and Stickman’s sturdy creations as our support. It simply doesn’t get any better than that. We are so blessed to live in God’s Country, and to share it with so very few. I’m always amazed on autumn days like this that no one else is around, except for the few bikers on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes near Harrison. We had planned to go to Arizona this fall to enjoy an extended summer. Instead we chose to stay home, and boy, have we been rewarded. Autumn colors and no one around. As I said, how blessed we are.

Question: How would you describe your perfect fall day this year?

World Welcomes 7 Billionth Person

Countries around the world marked the world's population reaching 7 billion Monday with lavish ceremonies for newborn infants symbolizing the milestone and warnings that there may be too many humans for the planet's resources. While demographers are unsure exactly when the world's population will reach the 7 billion mark, the U.N. is using Monday to symbolically mark the day. A string of festivities are being held worldwide, with a series of symbolic 7-billionth babies being born. The celebrations began in the Philippines, where baby Danica May Camacho (pictured with her mother Camille) was greeted with cheers and an explosion of photographers' flashbulbs at Manila's Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital/AP. More here. (AP Photo/Erik De Castro, Pool)

Question: Does it bother you that there's now 7 billion people living on this planet?

Huckleberries: Who Ya Gonna Call?

Coeur d’Alene has been down one ghost since the one in the basement at Senor Froggy was exorcised when the restaurant at Seventh Street and Sherman Avenue was torn down. Now, Huckleberries hears from Managing Editor Devin Hellman of the North Idaho College Sentinel that there may be a spook in the college’s Seiter Hall. The ghost comes with all the usual accessories – footsteps, spooky voices, doors opening and closing. But no poltergeist activity. In his Chokecherries column, Hellman writes: “People have reported feeling a presence when they were otherwise alone.” As many of you know, old Fort Sherman once stood at the current site of the college. So there’s talk that the ghost may be a soldier from the Fort Sherman days. Huckleberries would like to think old William Tecumseh Sherman might be hanging around his namesake grounds/DFO, HucksOnline. More here.

Other SR weekend columns:

Question: Do you like tales of ghost, goblins, and other scary creatures?

Bennett: Vacancy

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Weekend Wild Card — 10.29-30.11

We take the first of the three major steps toward winter on Monday, Halloween — the second two being Thanksgiving and Christmas. Before then, I need to check out the carnage that the first blasts of Jack Frost did to the yard this week. I suspect I'll spend some time pulling dead annuals and covering up plants going dormant. I've had the wood stove burning since Tuesday. But I saw the Zags play Carroll College of Montana on Q6 Friday night. So I know they'll be around to get me/us through another Inland Northwest winter. So I'm good. Here's your Weekend Wild Card …

Hawaii 16, Idaho 14

Idaho quarterback Brian Reader (14) scrambles after eluding defensive lineman Vaughn Meatoga (95) as center Mike Marboe (74), guard Sam Tupua, right, and offensive lineman A. J. Jones (52) watch during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Hawaii, Saturday in Moscow. Hawaii won 16-14. (AP Photo/Dean Hare)

Kenton Chun's 35-yard field goal with 32 seconds to play gave Hawaii a 16-14 win over Idaho on Saturday. Hawaii (5-3, 3-1 WAC) used strong defense to overcome a costly turnover and its struggling rushing game. The Warriors managed just 15 yards on the ground. Trey Farquhar missed a 53-yard field-goal try with 8 seconds left for the Vandals (1-7, 0-4). Princeton McCarty ran for 99 yards for Idaho. He fumbled at the goal line but Matt Cleveland recovered in the end zone for the game's first score. Idaho's other touchdown came on Tracy Carter's 70-yard interception return in the third quarter, giving the Vandals a 14-13 lead that they held until the final minute/AP. More here.

Purple Heart Given To Hero Rzepa

Sgt. Jason Rzepa is pictured Friday with his wife Cassandra and son Collin, 6 months. Rzepa, who lost both legs in an IED explosion in Iraq earlier this year, was awarded the Purple Heart in a ceremony at Red Lion Templin’s Hotel in Post Falls Friday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

A military rehabilitation center in Texas has lent Staff Sgt. Jason Rzepa some perspective. As he continues to recover from injuries he sustained in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq last July, Rzepa, of Coeur d’Alene, said he sees fellow soldiers missing entire legs and arms. Soldiers scarred by severe burns. Soldiers who go home to an empty apartment and spend evenings alone watching television. “I’m blessed, really,” Rzepa said Friday afternoon. “I have both knees and a wife and son with me down there. … That in itself makes all the difference”/Daniel Person, SR. More here.

Question: Any well wishes that you want to send along to Staff Sgt. Jason Rzepa?

Disneyland Scrooge Enchanted At Last

Writing in her Home Planet blog, Cheryl-Anne Millsap says that she avoided Disneyland at all costs when she was raising her older three chlldren. Quoth: “I didn’t see the appeal of packing up and driving or flying to an oversized amusement park. I had all sorts of arguments: long lines, sunburn, expense, crowds, and nothing but whirling rides to entertain us.” However, all the changed for her last year when she combined a family vacation with an assignment in Orlando last year. She took her youngest, now 15, to Disneyland: “I elbowed my way to the front of the line to watch the parade both times it threaded through the park that night. As we “trick-or-treated” (naturally there was trick-or-treating)  I was scolded by my daughter for (accidentally, I swear!) going through one line twice. I stood in queue for the rides without complaining. I traded pins with the toddler waiting behind me and then worried he might have gotten the better deal.” You can read all about it here.

Question: How old were your children when you took them to Disneyland? Do you still get a kick out of Disneyland?

Spence: Dress As Your Favorite Politician

All Hallow's Eve and out come the costumes, the fantasy personas, frightening or playful or just whatever creature Mom can cobble together from the available material. Time to turn the lights out and pretend we're not home. Let the little darlings haunt someone else's neighborhood. We'll sit here in the dark scarfing down our own goodies. Yes, I have done that. Was it simply happenstance that put the November general election within reach of this spookiest of holidays? Or was it a sly commentary by whoever schedules these things, a satiric recognition of the masks politicians wear, of their chameleon-like ability to hide flaws and blend in as they wait for voters to step closer, just a little closer, until at last their tongues flick out to gobble us down?/William Spence, SR. More here.

Question: Who do you think is the scariest politician in Idaho?

JeanieSpokane: Unemployment Blues

Today I opened my last unemployment check. [Ominous drum roll] It had a note at the bottom to the affect: Good luck in your job search and your future life that will not be what you have been accustomed to. Um, there ain't no job in my future unless it is Tuesdays and Thursdays, pays well enough to feed me and not too well to impinge on my meager social security disability - which is paltry to the point, I should be eligible for food stamps. Yikes. Oh, and also, the job should be glamorous, fun, self-fulfilling, self-gratifying, and - oh, what? You mean I should have a dreary dull job just like the rest of you? Filing files, filing data cards, filing taxes, filing my nails. Then the news came on - and I was featured!!!! Well, not me specifically, but they talked about the fact that “54% of Americans are unemployed“/JeanieSpokane. More here.

Question: Jeanie goes on to say that she's traveling down a scary road. Any words of comfort that you can provide her?

GONI Review: Taste Of India

Maybe it was just the hazy, hallucinatory bliss brought on by three and a half trips to Taste of India's alarmingly magnificent buffet situation that had me looking down at dirty old Spokompton in such a wisty-eyed way. Indian cuisine is something you really can't find much of in North Idaho, unless you count a trip to the frozen food section for an Amy's Organic Palak Paneer, which actually isn't that bad when the craving strikes, but doesn't come anywhere close to the real deal. And Taste of India is  the real deal, no doubt about that/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Can a restaurant featuring Indian cuisine make it in the Coeur d'Alene area?

Parting Shot — 10.28.11

Competitors leap through the water obstacle during the men's 3,000m steeplechase final at the Pan American Games Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, today. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

TGIF Wild Card — 10.28.11

Sometimes, I stop to reflect how much fun I have sitting at the controls of HucksOnline. Unlike other newspaper jobs I've had, I have no idea what will happen here on any given day. A day might dawn quiet, like today … and go nuts. In particular, I appreciate those of you who tune in, via the blog, Twitter, or Facebook. Your input via comments and tips help drive this blog engine. The strokes I get from doing what I've done for almost 9 years are nice, too. Thanx. Before I start sobbing, I'll post the Wild Card … and see if I can find something to shake things up today …

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.28.11

  • 5:53 p.m. Elderly male is crying & yelling @ kids in front of Ponderosa Elementary/PF.
  • 5:48 p.m. Driver reports hitting & killing a deer @ Diamond & Ruby/Hayden.
  • 5:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 27-28 here.
  • 5:01 p.m. Resident @ Chase & Hayden reports young disabled child has turned animals loose in her yard. He's done it before. She doesn't know where he lives.
  • 4:42 p.m. 20 juveniles have gathered in a Post Falls park to smoke cigarettes.
  • 4:17 p.m. A white car is stalled on Govt Way in front of Hayden City Hall, causing a hazard.
  • 4:02 p.m. Fred Meyer/CdA employee reports vandalism to the store that just happened.
  • 4:01 p.m. CPD is seeking for 16YO, 5-9/125lbs named Austin who ran away @ 7 p.m. Thursday.
  • 21 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM Headlines — 10.28.11

“Stormy weather over Challis, Idaho. Just a quick stop on my return home from Southeastern Idaho earlier this month,” posts Linda Lantzy on her Idaho Scenic Images Facebook wall.

APhoto Of The Day — 10.28.11

Earlier today, hippos seem to express appreciation for the carved pumpkins offered them at the “Bioparco” in Rome. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Rome's Bio-park press office, HO)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Behold the hippopotamus./It’s ugly from lips to its bottom-ous./They see their control/Are from needles on hold./‘So, we’ll eat ‘til they hypo the lot of us.’ — JohnA.
  • 2. Citing lagging sales, Hasbro announces the launch of Hungry, Hungry Hippos reality TV show debuting on Halloween. Next up, turkey farms — Powder Farmer.
  • 3. (tie) “My, what big teeth you have!” thinks Jack Pumpkinhead — Gary Rhoads, and: Wall Street Banksters awaiting their bonus — Sisyphus.
  • HM: CoeurGenX & JeanieSpokane

North Idaho Blogs — 10.28.11

“Yup, it was as blatant as it comes yesterday,” posts Mariane Love/Slight Detour. “Jack Frost was on a murderous rampage, taking no prisoners. Leaves were hanging bravely in their last hurrah. Soon, I'll have work to do — the major project of Fall. ” More here. Also, you can read Slight Detour's Frosty Friday here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday): 8043/5109, and (for Friday): 8520/5375

Flashback: Semanko Sez Back Hart

In the wake of this afternoon's news re: the feds pursuing foreclosure against state Rep. Phil Hart for some $550K in unpaid income taxes, penalties, and interest, Duane Rasmussen offers this blast from HucksOnline past (Oct. 19, 2010) in the comments section:

Norm Semanko, chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, wrote a letter to Tina Jacobson, chairwoman of the Kootenai County Republican Party re: the unwillingness of precinct leaders Duane Rasmussen (No. 19) and Fred Meckel (No. 9) to pass out Phil Hart’s literature door to door (and the refusal of state committeeman Matt Roetter to support Hart in his race against write-in Howard Griffiths): “If an individual precinct leader finds him/herself unable or unwilling to perform the basic duty of supporting and promoting one or more of our Republican nominees, he/she may want to consider letting someone else serve in the position. In no event can an individual precinct leader, or the Party itself, support a write-in candidate over the Republican nominee.” Full letter here.

Question: How long, O Norm, how much longer are you going to require North Idaho Republicans to support state Rep. Phil Hart?

Cardinals Ready For Game 7

Some St. Louis Cardinals stand in the outfield during batting practice before Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers Friday in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Question: Predict tonight's final score?

Pit Bull Kills 6 Goats, Shot In Process

That Palouse group that's trying to improve the image of pit bulls had better avoid Dion and Joanetta Holton of Ohio Match Road/Athol. At about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Dion, a Coeur d'Alene city worker, found a neighbor's pit bull in a pen in his yard after it had killed his six pygmy goats. The pit bull had chewed the head off one goat. All the goats were mauled and had wounds to either the neck of head area, according to a Kootenai County sheriff's deputy report. The Holtons tried to contain the vicious dog in the pen. But it jumped out. Fearing for the safety of his wife and him, Holton shot the dog in the side with his shotgun. A deputy later put the dog out of its misery with a single shot to the head from his Glock 21. The deputy later contacted the pit bull's owner who said that her dog had had only one other incident involving livestock, when it chased horses. She was cited for her dog's attack.

Question: So you still love pit bulls?

Ed Corridor Road Work Brings Smiles

Five education leaders associated with the Education Corridor, including NIC prez Priscilla Bell (pictured) and LCSC executive director Cyndie Hammond, wrote the following for the Coeur d'Alene Press: “Road projects rarely garner smiles, but for the last month we’ve been grinning ear-to-ear as the critical infrastructure work (under budget!) on the education corridor nears completion. And, we’re smiling because of your patience with traffic and delays.  Thank you.  It’s an exciting time for higher education in North Idaho – not just because of dirt being moved and roads being paved. We’re also thrilled because North Idaho College, Lewis-Clark State College, University of Idaho, Boise State University and Idaho State University are already working together to make sure students are able to build their own roads to personal success.” More here.

DFO: I'm impressed with the new entrance to the Education Corridor on Northwest Boulevard & Academic Way. It's going to help traffic throughout the NIC/Education Corridor area. What do you think of it?

Firm Didn’t Talk To UI re: Bustamante

The New Jersey company that offered Ernesto Bustamante a job as he was being investigated by the University of Idaho for sexual harassment never called the university for references, a company spokeswoman said today. “The references he provided were not from the University of Idaho,” said April Perrone, human resources manager at Hi-Tec Systems, an aviation industry engineering and research company based in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. The assistant professor of psychology agreed to resign his position with the university effective Aug. 19, three days before gunning down graduate student Katy Benoit, with whom he had an intimate relationship. Soon after killing her, he committed suicide in a nearby hotel room/Kevin Graman, SR. More here.

Question: How did this guy slip through all the cracks?

Cell Phone Users: Hold The Music

In the category of “So much whine/So little cheese,” Cindy takes up a new complaint: “I hate being forced to listen to music when I call someone. I'm not talking about hold music. Nowadays, people force you to listen to music when you call their cell phones. What ever happened to the sound of a phone ringing? Why must I listened to a garbled ringtone version of Green Day's 21 Guns while I wait for you to either answer or for your voice mail to pick up?”

Question: Do you share this pet peeve of Cindy's?

Lady Liberty Celebrates 125th

The Statue of Liberty is shown against the deep blue sky in New York Harbor. Today, the statue hosted the 125th anniversary of its dedication with a Naturalization Ceremony, the presentation of a gift to continue its preservation and an evening fireworks display. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The Statue of Liberty National Monument marks its 125th anniversary today with a 21st century flourish, the addition of webcams around its famous torch that will give people around the world a view previously off-limits to even the statue’s in-person visitors. Five web cameras, donated by Earthcam Inc., have been mounted around Lady Liberty’s torch and will stream live video footage 24-hours a day, seven days a week of vistas of the New York City skyline, New York Harbor and the view looking down from her perch high above the ground/Suzan Clark, ABC News. More here.

Question: What does Lady Liberty mean to you?

Feds Sue Phil Hart Over Unpaid $550K

You can read my full story here at on the U.S. Justice Department's lawsuit against Idaho Rep. Phil Hart, which seeks to foreclose on his log home in Athol for more than half a million in back federal income taxes, penalties and interest. Through Oct. 31, 2011, the complaint says, Hart owes the IRS $549,703.48, for back taxes from 1996 to 2008. Hart wasn't immediately available for comment. He's also fighting the Idaho State Tax Commission over more than $53,000 unpaid state income taxes, penalties and interest; though he's lost repeatedly, his appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court likely will come up for a hearing in April. The federal complaint also asks the court to set aside the “fraudulent transfer” of the home to various parties including the trust, determine that the trust is a “sham entity”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. Complaint here, courtesy of Brad Iverson-Long/Idaho Business Review. (SR file photo, of Phil Hart's Rathdrum home)

Question: Does this make state Rep. Phil Hart a greater hero in Tea Party circles? Or are fair-minded Tea Partiers beginning to see through this guy?

Scenic Bay Owner Rides To Rescue

From Bay View, Herb Huseland writes: “Unbelievable Generosity took place at Scenic Bay Marina in Bayview  (Thursday). Hearing that Michael Heath had no place to sleep or park his old motor home, Chan Karupiah, owner of Scenic Bay Marina and RV park, donated an RV space next to his mother's trailer for the off season to Heath. Many of you remember Yvonne Wallis and her trials after the dastardly hammer attack last December, But Heath lost more. His wife was killed in the attack. Yvonne, still awaiting yet more surgeries to her head, has only Michael as her care giver. He cooks for her, cleans house, does her laundry, takes her to doctor appointments and much more. With Yvonne's mobile home having only one bedroom, Michael has parked his motor home on an old forest service road for the summer.” More here. (Kathy Plonka's SR file photo of Michael Heath)

DFO: Please join me in a H/T to Chan Karupiah.

High Noon: Call/Email Response Time

Cindy Hval, occupier of HucksOnline when I'm absent, is in a snit today. I'll let her explain: “How long does it take you to respond to a phone call or email? Feeling ever so grumpy about folks who are too busy/self important to respond in a timely manner. Especially when I'm on deadline. Grrrrrr.”

Question: So how long does it take you to respond to a phone call or email?

Test Your Typing Skills

I was a little rusty but was still satisfied to score 66 words per minute with 5 mistakes. Cis/From A Simple Mind scored 51 words per minute with 3 mistakes. You can test your typing skills w/this little test from here

Question: How did you do?

Up Close & Personal

Kayaker Alan Brady is surprised by two breaching humpback whales while kayaking off the coast of Seabright State Beach in Santa Cruz, Calif., this morning. Photographer Paul Schraub was shooting pictures from a boat while on assignment for the Santa Cruz Conference and Visitors Council when he captured the moment. (AP Photo/Santa Cruz Conference and Visitors Council , Paul Schraub)

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.28.11

  • 11:59 a.m. 2 males are asking Fernan Lake Road residents for jobs, so they can get to Spokane.
  • 11:56 a.m. 1 person reportedly suffered injuries in a 4-vehicle accident @ H95 & Hayden.
  • 11:41 a.m. Attendant & customer are arguing at gas station @ 1001 Northwest Blvd/CdA.
  • 11:30 a.m. An unknown medical problem is reported @ Pizza Hut, 212 W. Appleway/CdA.
  • 11:16 a.m. Caller reports large amount of trash on H95 @ M/P 454 (Granite-Kelso Cut-off).
  • 11:09 a.m. Great dane is running loose on Hayden Avenue, near Red Top Horse Stables.
  • 10:57 a.m. Deputy is stopping in 2200 block of Parkridge/Athol to deliver a citation.
  • 12 more items below

Times-News: Silly GOP Straw Poll

The Twin Falls Times-News dismisses the Jan. 6 presidential straw poll initiated by Idaho Republicans as so much folly on a cold winter's day: “Unfortunately, the Executive Committee is either naïve or politically egocentric in assuming that candidates will drop everything to come to Idaho in early January. Here’s why: Candidates go to Iowa and New Hampshire because they’re institutions. When it comes to the presidential candidate selection process, “that’s the way we’ve always done things” may not be a good reason but it’s one that is not going to change in the next 70 days. Another reason why Iowa is a big deal is because it is inhabited by both Democrats and Republicans; more or less in equal numbers. The media (yes, we are a part of this) gets far more interested in states in which the eventual electoral votes will be in play come November.” More here.

Question: Do you think a straw poll that offers no delegates for the nationa attention will attract any major presidential candidates? If not, why are Idaho Republicans doing this?

INW Headlines — 10.28.11

Ron Bitner, a grape and wine producer in Southwest Idaho for more than 30 years, enjoys a glass of Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon at his vineyard near Marsing. The grape harvest is in full swing for local producers. (Idaho Statesman photo: Darin Oswald)

Question: I (heart) Shiraz. How about you? Favorite red wine?

Be Careful Out There

After being struck by another vehicle, this large male deer crashed through the windshield of a pickup truck this morning in Maysville, Ky. The driver of the truck was transported to a local hospital with facial injuries Her condition is unknown. (AP Photo/The Ledger Independent, Terry Prather.)

Question: Have you ever hit a deer or some larger game on our roadways?

Trib: Luna Botches Early Ed Decision

Jeers … to Idaho schools Superintendent Tom Luna. Last week, Idaho joined only 15 states to pass on a share of a $500 million federal Race to the Top early learning grant. That puts the Gem State behind not only Washington, Oregon and Nevada, but the commonwealth of Puerto Rico as well. Luna had signaled his intentions a month ago, saying he didn't want to funnel one-time money into an ongoing state budget obligation. But Idaho's proposal was so restrained - and its need for early childhood education so severe - that you have to question what Luna means when he uses the mantra “students come first” to prop up his scheme to neuter teachers' collective bargaining rights and funnel taxes out of the classroom and into the coffers of online instruction companies. Idaho is among 10 states that spends nothing on prekindergarten programs/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. Complete Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Did Luna do right thing by rejected federal Race to the Top early learning grant?

Richert: Simpson Takes Political Risk

Rep. Mike Simpson is taking the fight to the tea party wing of his Republican Party — and, potentially, taking the fight to his opponents in 2012. Simpson is helping to mobilize a bipartisan group in the House that would be willing to strike a big deal on deficit reduction. This deal could, and most likely would, include new taxes. Fiscally speaking, Simpson and his allies are on the mark. It may take a “grand bargain,” a deficit reduction plan in the $4 trillion ballpark, to take a real bite out of the deficit and head off any future downgrades in the U.S. credit rating. And it is impossible to get to that $4 trillion range without spending cuts and revenues. Politically speaking, though, this is a bold and risky move/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Is there any way to solve reduce our deficits without raising taxes somewhat?

Hucks Poll: Occupy Edges Tea Party

  • Thursday Poll: The Occupy Wall Street movement is slightly more popular than the Tea Party movement among Hucks Nation, with a good percentage not favoring either extreme. 92 of 223 respondents (41.26%) said they prefer OWS to the Tea Party, while 68 of 223 (39.49%) say just the opposite. Neither side got a majority because 61 of 223 (27.35%) voted that they don't aren't sympathetic with either movement.
  • Today's Poll: Do you support Congressman Raul Labrador's decision to put his wife on his campaign payroll?

St. Louis Stuns Texas In Game 6

Teammates celebrate with St. Louis Cardinals' David Freese after Freese hit a walk-off home run during the 11th inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers Thursday in St. Louis. The Cardinals won the game 10-9 to tie the series 3-3. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Question: Can the Texas Rangers bounce back from the excruciating loss last night?

Trader Joe’s Opens In Spokane

After years of (impatiently) waiting, Spokane shoppers are able to (finally) shop at the region's first Trader Joe's specialty grocery store.The store is in the Lincoln Heights shopping center at 29th and Regal.The set up is almost over, the final touches are being made and come Friday morning Trader Joe's will open for business. “I have no idea how many people will be coming through the doors, it will fill the store up I am sure,” store captain Jason Martin said/Kylee Cruz, KXLY. More here.

Question: Do you plan to visit Trader Joe's today or this weekend? What will you be looking to buy?

Cecil Andrus & Selfless Politics

One of the many charming anecdotes in the new book Cecil Andrus: Idaho’s Greatest Governor takes place in tiny Eden, Idaho, during one of his campaigns. Andrus jumped off the bus and into a nearby tavern: “I’ll be right back after nailing down a few votes,” he told his staff. “I got four of seven,” he told them as he climbed back aboard. “The rest are undecided.” The book is by North Idaho’s Chris Carlson, who served as Andrus’s communications director for nearly nine years. Even as we’re stuck in this go-nowhere state of political affairs, Carlson’s memoir reminds us that that we have produced great leaders — especially right here in the Northwest. Too often, Carlson says, the kind of face-to-face politics that pushed Andrus into that tiny bar in that tiny town is missing today/Ted S. McGregor (pictured), Inlander. More here.

Question: Which local/state/national politician in the Inland Northwest best reflects the hands-on politics of former Gov. Cecil Andrus?

Labrador’s Wife On Campaign Payroll

Freshman Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador has put his wife, Becca, on his campaign payroll with a monthly salary - a practice that, while legal, has drawn much criticism since a 2006 congressional scandal. In 2007, the House voted to ban campaign payments to congressional spouses other than reimbursement for travel expenses, but the bill died in the Senate. “There’s a lot of congressmen that do that, and actually they pay their spouses even more,” said Labrador, who began paying his wife, Becca, a $2,050 monthly salary in May to keep the campaign’s books; she’s currently the campaign’s only paid employee. Labrador said he chose his wife for the job “because she’s the first one I trust most in the world. She’s the one handling all the money for the campaign”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: I don't think the Tea Partiers are going to like this. Do you?

Prof: End Times Could Play 2012 Role

Matthew Sutton, a Washington State professor, has been featured in the New York Times, explaining how he believes End Times theology will play a role in the 2012 election. A sample from the Pacific Northwest Inlander: “I’ve been working for a while on the rise of evangelical fundamentalists in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. There was a growing movement that seemed increasingly concerned by the rise of fascism. They saw Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin. Then they saw [Franklin] Roosevelt making some of the same moves, which was that he was consolidating power. And all of these things convinced them that things were getting very bad very quickly. But the question that was driving my research was trying to understand evangelical anti-statism. It makes sense why modern conservative Christians would be upset about things like gay marriage or abortion, but I couldn’t understand why there was this knee-jerk hostility to the state”/Joel Smith, Inlander. More here. (Inlander illustration: Jason Crosby)

Question: What role does your religious filter play in choosing a candidate to vote for?

AM Headlines — 10.28.11

Lindy Hinkelman just finished a great season, but it had nothing to do with his pigs. Hinkelman – the most famous pig farmer in Idaho, at least for the moment – won the top prize of $100,000 in a big-time fantasy baseball contest this fall. That made two national championships and more than $350,000 in winnings over three years for Hinkelman, a modest 59-year-old native of Greencreek, Idaho. More here. (Rajah Bose photo for SR)

Mary Lou: Occupy Isn’t Going Away

The Occupy Wall Street spirit is circumnavigating the globe. Demonstrations have popped up like rabbits out of the hat in London, Paris, Rome and the Great Beyond. Off to a quiet start on Sept. 17, the youthful protest has morphed into a Movement with a capital M. The momentum has been building — acquiring the enviable Big MO — and it’s only a guess as to whether it will explode, implode or die a lingering death.My money’s on an explosion. We witnessed the Arab Spring earlier in 2011. I think we’re in the midst of the Occupation Fall/Mary Lou Reed, Inlander. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Mary Lou that Occupy Wall Street struck a note around the world — and it's not going away soon?

City On Hook For $3.7M For Ex-Cop

Item: City on hook for $3.7M: Federal court rules officer was wrongfully terminated/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: A former Coeur d'Alene police officer was awarded $3.7 million on Wednesday, the result of a wrongful termination suit against the city of Coeur d'Alene. Daniel C. Dixon, a 17-year veteran of the force before his 2009 departure, was granted $2.7 million in compensation by a federal jury, which includes lost wages, and $500,000 for emotional pain and suffering. Dixon's wife, Heidi Dixon, received $500,000 for pain and suffering on behalf of the family.

Question: I'm amazed that a jury can award him $3.7 million for being shown the door, fairly or unfairly, when someone in the private sector has little to no recourse in Right to Work Idaho. How about you?

Area Ron Paulers: We Have Overcome

Ron Paul's North Idaho supporters in the 2008 presidential election have regrouped for 2012. Now calling themselves “North Idaho Patriots for Ron Paul 2012,” they have been meeting regularly for the past few months. A scheduled gathering Thursday evening at the Donut House in Hayden attracted 40 people. An age-diverse group turned out to hear guest speaker Idaho State Rep. Phil Hart. Bjorn Handeen's baby daughter giggled and bounced on her father's lap as Hart spoke. “Many of the Ron Paulers from the last election have now been elected themselves, or joined other grassroots efforts,” said Handeen, now a precinct committeeman in Coeur d'Alene's “Borah Triangle.” “We need to cultivate a new group of activists”/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Handeen goes on to say that the Ron Paulers are embedded in the local Republican Party. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Anderson: The Brawl

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Thursday — 10.27.11

HucksOnline has focused so much on the Coeur d'Alene City Council races that nearby Post Falls has been short-changed Post Falls and other Kootenai County municipalities. In an effort to make this oversight up a little, HucksOnline is posting a link to the Post Falls City Council debate last week here. Let's add a mea culpa to that, and move forward with today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.27.11

This May 25 file photo shows fire boats spraying water near the Statue of Liberty to kick off Fleet Week in New York. On Friday, the statue will host the 125th anniversary of its dedication with a Naturalization Ceremony, the presentation of a gift to continue its preservation and an evening fireworks display (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Question: How long has your family been in this country?

Review: ‘Puss in Boots’ Is Cat’s Meow

Fairy tales are coming to life all over the place these days, what with “Grimm” and “Once Upon a Time” both kicking off on TV this month. On the big screen, classic kids' tales and nursery rhymes combine in “Puss in Boots,” which spins off Antonio Banderas' suave feline from the “Shrek” movies into his own 3-D adventure. “Puss in Boots” starts a little slow, but once it flashes back to the furry friend's childhood, things start to purr. Seems that Puss once lived in an orphanage filled with other favorites from the storybooks, including a bullyish Little Boy Blue and a dopey Humpty Dumpty, who becomes the cat's best pal. The cat and the egghead are unlikely buddies, but Zach Galifianakis adds a crafty charm to the bad egg, and it's easy to root for their up-and-down friendship/Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, Today. More here. (AP photo: Puss in Boots & Antonia Banderas)

Question: Which fairy tale is your favorite? Why?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.27.11

  • 5:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 26-27 here.
  • 5:23 p.m. 2 males in dark hatchback were racing on Hayden before turning onto H95.
  • 5:14 p.m. Males appear to be taking items from for-sale house @ Adron & Galvan/PF.
  • 5:04 p.m. Driver complaining of arm injury after crash b/n semi & pickup @ Prairie & Greensferry/PF.
  • 4:48 p.m. Ken on Ezy Street/CdA reports residential burglary occurred in last couple of hours.
  • 4:43 p.m. Martha reports re: someone hanging a flag upside-down on a vacant building.
  • 4:27 p.m. Walgreens @ H95 & Appleway reports man in parking lot is slumped over wheel of car.
  • 4:14 p.m. Cheryl @ Ponderosa Elementary/PF reports theft of a child's bike.
  • 4:06 p.m. 6 kids are gathered @ 12th & Syringa/PF & one may have drug paraphernalia in pocket.
  • 15 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

APhoto Of The Day — 10.27.11

Michael Lohan, father of actress Lindsay Lohan, appears in court via teleconference Wednesday in Tampa, Fla. Lohan has been released from the Hillsborough County jail hours after making his first appearance in court on domestic violence charges. Police accused the 51-year-old Lohan of battering his girlfriend at her Tampa condo. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/St. Petersburg Times, Skip O'Rourke)

Top Cutlines:

  • 1. Michael stands before the judge for his “solo mate” ceremony, and once he is done, he’ll return to his seat - there behind him in the second row. He might be able to find a mate very soon — JeanieSpokane.
  • 2. I just want to be closer to my daughter — CoeurGenX.
  • 3. Michael Lohan: “Id rather do my time working at the morgue, like Lindsay. Because, the people that wind up in those places don’t talk back to you and they won’t talk behind your back either” — Kage Mann.
  • HM: JohnA

Saws Give Way To Cutting Torches

A Pacific Recycling worker uses a torch to cut a steel log hopper on Wednesday at Diamond West Lumber Co. in Philomath, Ore. It's been three years since the whine of big saw blades tearing through alder logs faded to silence at Diamond West Lumber on the outskirts of Philomath. Now it's been replaced by the sputter of cutting torches as work crews dismantle what's left of the sawmill and planer operation at 950 Clemens Mills Road. By (AP Photo/The Corvallis Gazette-Times, Jesse Skoubo)

Question: Did you or any of your relatives work at one of the old lumber mills on Lake Coeur d'Alene or the Spokane River? Which one? Any good stories to tell from those days?

Speaker Seeks Tolerance For Muslims

Daisy Khan thought moderate American Muslims like her were making progress in their efforts to gain a place in United States society. That was before her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf (pictured in AP file photo), whose Mosque is 12 blocks from Ground Zero in New York, announced plans to build an Islamic Center only two block from the former site of the World Trade Center. The news prompted a wave of anti-Muslim sentiment nationwide that still has not subsided, said Kahn, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement. “The struggle for acceptance is the cross we Muslims bear in America today,” Kahn said Thursday at a conference convened by the Frank Church Institute at Boise State University/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you tolerant of American Muslims?

Kage Mann: McEuen Field Is Used

Kage Mann: What some people fail to realize is: McEuen Field is used more than one might think. I see people all the time using McEuen Field as a dog park. I see kids playing frizbee there and flying their kites. Also, in the winter the neighborhood kids have their sleds out etc. I’ve gone there to watch the fireworks and picnic there. The proposed McEuen Park is partly, about bringing money into the downtown area.

Question: Do you think McEuen Field is used enough now?

Mary Backs Fellow RR Board Members

In her weakly newsletter, Mary Souza/OpenCDA endorses Dan Gookin and Steve Adams (two of her fellow Reagan Republican board members) but takes a pass on the race featuring Councilman Ron Edinger and challenger Adam Graves. Here's why: “Yes, Ron is in favor of a public vote on McEuen. He has been a staunch supporter and has taken a stand against the mayor and the rest of the council on the issue, enduring some pretty nasty personal and family jabs because of it.  I respect Ron for that.  But beyond McEuen, Ron and I disagree on many key issues, so this is a tough call for me.” Of Adams, Mary gushes: “Steve Adams is one of the most honest people I know.” Of Gookin: “He is a nice guy but he’s also a smart, independent thinker.”  You can read Mary's endorsements here.

Any surprises here?

Way We Were: Denny & Mary Lou

In recent days, Jesse Tinsley's been going through the photos that he snapped when he was first assigned to the Coeur d'Alene bureau of The Spokesman-Review 20 years ago. This is one of them — Denny Davis and Mary Lou Reed celebrating on Election Night. Since area Democrats haven't had much to celebrate on Election Night since 1994, I'd guess this photo was from 1992 when Denny & Mary Lou were both state senators from District 2 (which encompassed all of Kootenai County and was represented by 5 legislators). To show how things have changed, state Rep. Freeman Duncan was the only Republican legislator in North Idaho.

Fired Ex-CPD Blue Wins Lawsuit

Item: Ex police officer wins wrongful termination suit/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press.

More Info: A former Coeur d'Alene police officer was awarded more than $3 million on Wednesday in a wrongful termination suit against the city of Coeur d'Alene. According to the tort claim records in federal court, Daniel Dixon, a 17-year-veteran of the force, was terminated after the department finished a six-month investigation into allegations he tampered with a subordinate officer's work schedule and cheated on his own time card. City legal representatives said Dixon was demoted after the internal investigation found Dixon had been guilty of the allegations, and that the officer stopped showing up for work after that.


Post Falls Mayor Injured In Fall

Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin suffered nose and facial injuries on Wednesday night after a fall at a local store when he caught his foot on a curb. A doctor told Larkin that it is believed the mayor broke his nose, but it won't be known for sure until the swelling goes down. “Cosmetically, my face is ready for Halloween,” Larkin said/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Edit: Jesus Statue Backers Should Pay

Writing for the Moscow-Pullman Daily News Editorial Board, Lee Rozen sez the church-state spat involving the Knights of Columbus Jesus statue of Big Mountain/Whitefish is “a bunch of hooey.” But the Editorial Board thinks the U.S. Forest Service, which has been threatening to boot the statue as a result of a complaint by the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison, Wis., should charge for the space that the statue sits on. “If the Forest Service rules allow for leasing 25-foot-square patches of land next to ski runs, then the main questions are, “Why aren't they being paid for it?” and “What else could we put there besides a statue of Jesus?” writes Rosen. “Statues of Mohammed, Buddha, Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard would be obvious candidates. Nothing about that, it seems to us, would create a law “respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” That's what the First Amendment outlaws. More here. (AP file photo: Statue of Jesus Christ at Big Mountain overlooks Whitefish Lake and the Flathead Valley in Whitefish, Mont.)

Question: WWJD?

Elizabeth Smart To Speak In Spokane

Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped as a child and now advocates worldwide for children’s safety, will be the 2012 Women Helping Women Fund Luncheon speaker in Spokane on May 21. Women Helping Women, a Spokane nonprofit, raises thousands of dollars each year at its luncheon and supports programs for women and children in need. The luncheon has attracted high profile speakers in its 20-year existence, including Naomi Judd last year. Smart, who now attends Brigham Young University where she’s majoring in music, was held prisoner for nine months, in 2002 and 2003, after being kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home/Rebecca Nappi, SR. More here.

Question: What steps have you taken to protect your children from strangers?

CdA Soldier To Receive Purple Heart

Staff Sgt. Jason Rzepa, of the Idaho National Guard unit from Post Falls, will receive the Purple Heart for severe injuries suffered in Iraq July 7 that killed two other soldiers in his unit. Rzepa (pronounced “Zeppa”) of Bravo Company, 145th Brigade Battalion, 116th Calvary Brigade Combat Team, will be awarded the honor at a ceremony that begins at 6 p.m. Friday at Red Lion Templins Hotel. Rzepa lost both legs below the knees after his convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device in Baghdad. Killed in the attack were Spc. Nicholas Newby and Sgt. Nathan Beyers, both of Coeur d'Alene. Rzepa has been undergoing physical therapy and rehabilitation at a military hospital in Texas. He and his family will be present at the ceremony. Staff Sgt. Ryan Rogers and Sgt. Gregory Wilson will receive the Army Commendation Medal at the ceremonies for pulling Rzepa from the wreckage and performing life-saving first aid.

DFO: We throw around the word hero too much in our society. But the word epitomizes the five soldiers mentioned above.

INW Headlines — 10.27.11

Cassandra Cass of Husum, Wash. hugs Wet Planet river guide Jonathan Blum, dressed as a salmon, at the Freeing the White Salmon River Celebration Wednesday in Husum. The celebration was part of events scheduled for the breaching of Condit Dam. (AP Photo/The Columbian, Troy Wayrynen)

High Noon: 1 That Didn’t Get Away

Sometimes you get another chance to nab “the one that got away.” Wes Scott did. In 1949, his sister, Charlotte, introduced him to Shirley, her classmate at Colfax High School. “I thought she was cute,” Wes recalled. Shirley liked him, too. And so began a courtship between the two high school sophomores. “We’d sit in the lounge at the Rose Theater in Colfax,” Shirley said, smiling. “That’s where the lovers sat. We’d go out for ice cream sundaes, after.” But like Romeo and Juliet, these lovers faced familial obstacles on their road to true love. Shirley was raised in a strict Baptist household, and Wes lived with a Catholic family in Colton, Wash./Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question: Are you still in touch with your high school sweetheart?

Playing In The Leaves

Shelly Wyrick, and her children, Maggie Jane, 4 and Matt, 2, left, toss a pile of maple leaves during their visit to Manito Boulevard and 23rd Avenue, in Spokane. (SR photo by Dan Pelle)

Question: How do you get rid of your leaves?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.27.11

  • Noonish: Off-duty detective reports man driving red 1988 Toyota Carolla in front of Taco Works on Best Avenue/CdA may be on meth.
  • 11:55 a.m. Caller reports sex offense that took place along Hayden Lake shoreline.
  • 11:09 a.m. Caller wants to speak to animal control re: 2 pythons taken to shelter Wednesday.
  • 11:03 a.m. Ron @ truck sales biz @ H53 & Church/Hauser reports burglary.
  • 11:01 a.m. 17YO Bonner County girl w/black-&-blue hair, lip & navel piercings ran away.
  • 16 more items below

Cindy Goes To Whitworth

Cindy has gotten herself into a mess or sorts and needs help from Hucks Nation, pronto. She writes on her Facebook wall: “File this under: What was I thinking? I've agreed to speak to Sarah Blain Bain's newswriting class at Whitworth University this afternoon. I've spoken to grade school, middle school and high school students. Addressed civic clubs and women's groups, but college students?? Scary!”

Question: Any of you addressed a college crowd? How is that different than talking to grade/middle/high schoolers? What advice would you give Cindy?

Clinton Testifies Re: Afghan-Pakistan

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Afghanistan and Pakistan. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Question: Do you think Hillary Rodham Clinton has done a good job as Secretary of State?

Bustamante Discussed Killing Students

A University of Idaho professor who killed a graduate student he had dated and then committed suicide in August had talked about shooting students in his classroom during the fall of 2010. The Associated Press, Lewiston Tribune and other media outlets received personnel records, emails and thousands of other documents related to Ernesto Bustamante on Thursday. A student who evaluated Bustamante last fall said the assistant psychology professor “talked about shooting students, which was disturbing.” The student also said Bustamante implied that he and the students should be “drunk and high” every other day/Lewiston Tribune. More here.


Hucks Poll: Tea Party Or Occupy?

  • Wednesday Poll: 121 of 182 respondents (66.48%) said they wouldn't frequent a business that obviously supported an opposing political party or candidate. Only 51 of 182 respondents (28.02%) said they would. 10 (5.49%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Which movement are you more sympathetic with — Occupy Wall Street of Tea Party?

‘Occupy’ Protest Births Catchphrase

Occupy Wall Street has inspired campaigns, spoofs and headlines that have nothing to do with the social protest in Manhattan. Some occupy “movements” live on the Web, like “Occupy Sesame Street” with its digitally altered pictures of Elmo, Grover and the gang being hauled off by New York City police. Others are on social networking sites. Facebook has Occupy Lego Land with little Lego demonstrators. The catchphrase has become so popular that the American Dialect Society is considering it for its “Word of the Year,” chosen every year. It could join the recent winners “app” and “tweet”/Michael Hill, AP. More here.

Question: When it's all said and done, will the most lasting legacy of the Occupy Wall Street movement be the “occupy” catchphrase?

It’s Not Brain Surgery

Dr. Yashar Kalani, a brain resident surgeon at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, carefully eyes his carving during St. Joseph's Hospital annual Doc-O-Lantern Pumpkin Carving Contest Thursday in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Question: Do you carve interesting pumpkins for Halloween?

Still Entertaining Crowds At 90

Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, Nat King Cole. The names roll off his tongue with ease. Local musician Bruce Davis has worked with them all. And at 90, he’s still performing every week with his band, Variety Pak.
From his home in Spokane Valley, Davis reflected on a lifetime of making music. His trombone sits on a stand near his chair, and a mandolin and guitar hang over the fireplace. At 5 he discovered an E-flat alto horn in the hall closet. “It belonged to my dad,” Davis recalled. “But I never heard him play it. By the time Dad came home that night, I was able to play a tune.”He was also hopelessly hooked on horns/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (SR photo by Christopher Anderson)

Question: What era do you think produced the best music?

UI Stiffens Faculty-Student Date Ban

The University of Idaho is strengthening its ban on faculty-student relationships after the slaying of a 22-year-old graduate student by her professor, who then killed himself. University President M. Duane Nellis announced the changes Wednesday in Moscow, Idaho, as the university released employment and other records of the professor, Ernesto Bustamante (pictured). Judge John Stegner ordered disclosure of the public records, which were sought by several news organizations, including The Spokesman-Review. The records, more than 4,200 files including personal Bustamante emails, were expected to be delivered to the media today/Kevin Graman, SR. More here.

Question: Did you ever — or anyone you knew — date a teacher in college? How did that turn out?

Redistricting Upsets KootCo GOP

The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee is pushing the county commissioners to join a lawsuit challenging new legislative redistricting. “They're the ones who have to initiate to sign on. We as a party can't do anything,” said Tina Jacobson (pictured), central committee chair. The committee invited all county commissioners to a meeting this week to discuss concern over the redistricting Legislative Plan L 87. The plan was created by the state Commission for Reapportionment, charged with tweaking districts so voters have equal representation under the new census numbers. The big issue is with the new district 7, Jacobson said, which now includes a chunk of southeastern Kootenai County lumped in with Shoshone, Clearwater and Idaho counties/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Would you like to see a redistricting do over in North Idaho?

Trib: Idaho Is Responsible For Fischer

Bryan Fischer is the not the only hate monger out there. But Fischer got where he is because the state of Idaho extended him its imprimatur. When are the Idaho leaders responsible for giving Fischer his stepping stone as one of the state's official clergymen a decade ago going to withdraw their implicit endorsement? Since leaving Idaho in 2009, Fischer has been working as “director of issue analysis” for the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association. Last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled the AFA a hate group for its “use of known falsehoods” to vilify gays and lesbians. This month, it released a white paper documenting Fischer's broadcasting and blogging activities/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Marty Trillhaase that Idaho launched Fischer into national prominence?

AM Headlines — 10.27.11

Karl Thompson and his legal team, including Carl Oreskovich and Steve Lamberson, arrive at the William O. Douglas Federal Building in Yakima. Thompson, a former Kootenai County sheriff's captain, is expected to take the stand on his own behalf today, in the trial involving the death of Spokane janitor Otto Zehm. Story below. Follow Meghann Cuniff's Twitter feeds of trial here. (AP file photo)

Family Promise Back On Its Feet

Item: Community help lets shelter reopen: North Idaho nonprofit allows families to stay together/Alison Boggs, SR

More Info: After taking a two-month hiatus to raise money, a North Idaho nonprofit organization that shelters homeless families for up to 90 days will be back in business on Sunday. When Family Promise put out the call that a funding shortfall would close its doors, the community responded. Its annual Cardboard Box City fundraiser, in which community members get a small taste of what it’s like to be homeless by staying overnight in cardboard boxes, raised some $12,000. In addition, an anonymous donor kicked in $10,000, and business partners including Coeur d’Alene Mines, Windermere Real Estate, North Idaho Eye Institute and Pita Pit helped out.

Question: Do you think local government and agencies are taking steps to address the homeless situation in Coeur d'Alene/North Idaho?

County Jail Charges For Extra Visits

Item: Pay it to say it: Kiosk system allows Kootenai County inmates more visits, for a cost/Alecia Warren, CdA Press

More Info: For the first time, the Kootenai County jail is allowing more than two visits a week per inmate, though for a cost. To access more than the standard two free half-hour sessions in one week, a visitor or inmate must pay 25 cents per minute for extra visits, or $7.50 per half hour. “For those who can afford to have more visits, they can pay for those,” said Capt. Kim Edmondson.

Sam Crawford: This is just wrong.  It's medieval to have to pay to visit someone in prison or jail.  It reminds me that one has to bribe the guard to get in.

Question: What do you think of the new Kootenai County Jail policy of permitting additional jail visits for a fee of 25 cents per minute or $7.50 per half hour?

Signe: Let Them Eat Cake

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Hump Day Wild Card — 10.26.11

I made a mistake yesterday in saying to it was the 130th anniversary of the OK Corral shootout. Actually, today is. I saw both of the relatively recent movies about the shootout and watched the old “Wyatt Earp” television series religiously back in the day. I also read some in-depth reporting about the shootout. So I wasn't surprised when Western history buff Dennis Mansfield posted today that we've been led to believe a fiction re: the gunfight. You can read Dennis' post here. I wonder if the real wild West was as wild as Coeur d'Alene politics? Less than two weeks to till Election Day. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.26.11

A westbound train cuts through the sunrise over the prairie at the Pleasantview crossing near Hauser Lake this morning. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Herman Cain ♥ ‘Godfather’ Movie

What do Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich have in common with Barack Obama? Not much, one might say, but if either wins the GOP nomination, they might have one subject about which to have a friendly chat: movies. During the campaign process, voters may come to know candidates’ views on political issues inside and out. Ask an informed citizen about President Obama’s Libya strategy or about Mr. Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan, and you might get an earful, but ask about their favorite movies, and you’ll likely get a shrug. But as any cinema junkie will tell you, favorite movies can tell you things about people: their tastes, their dispositions and, more important, how they perceive themselves. …  When asked about his favorite films, Mr. Cain said, ” ‘The Godfather,’ ” with a wink and a grin, referencing not only Francis Ford Coppola’s revered 1971 mob drama, but also his own tenure as the CEO of Godfather’s Pizza/James Frazier, Washington Times. More here. (AP file folder of Barlon Brando in “The Godfather.”)

Question: Which movie is your all-time favorite?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.26.11

  • 5:41 p.m. Lynn wants to see an officer re: a salesman who came to her door Friday.
  • 5:23 p.m. Woman phoning from Kootenai Coffee/Govt Way reports finding drugs in her driveway.
  • 5:19 p.m. Caller reports black vehicle speeding at 60 mph @ Ramsey & Kathleen/CdA.
  • 5:12 p.m. Caller reports daughter has threatened to cut her wrists in 1200 block of 2nd/CdA.
  • 5:04 p.m. Drivers are arguing following non-injury crash @ Ramsey & Hanley/CdA.
  • 5:03 p.m. Caller reports a parking problem to KCSD @ Ash & Hayden.
  • 4:44 p.m. @CDAPD tweets: “Thanks 4 the abandoned vehicle calls. We have 10 identified, some have already been moved!” Crackdown on abandoned vehicles announced earlier today.
  • 4:42 p.m. 1995 Dodge Caravan w/small child in front weaving, hitting curbs on H95 @ Miles/Hayden.
  • 4:23 p.m. Man hiding behind tree dropped box when spotted by caller @ Mullan & Inverness/PF.
  • 4 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 25-26 here.
  • 15 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM Headlines — 10.26.11

University of Idaho President Duane Nellis speaks at a news conference announcing the release of former assistant professor Enesto Bustamante's personnel records this afternoon in Moscow. Bustamante, a psychology professor who gunned down a graduate student he had dated and then took his own life two months ago, had disclosed his bipolar disorder shortly after he was hired in 2007, according to a timeline released today. Complete coverage here. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Geoff Crimmins)

APhoto Of The Day — 10.26.11

This image provided by the Orange County Fire Authority shows officials and rescue personnel around a man who became stuck in a tree Tuesday in Laguna Hills, Calif. Orange County deputies found the man stuck up to his chest inside a narrow hole in the trunk, which extended about four or five feet underground. You write the cutline. Story here. (AP Photo/Orange County Fire Authority)

Top cutlines:

  • 1. One of Saruman’s minions faces the wrath of Treebeard the Ent — Duroc.
  • 2. (tie) This tree’s bite is worse than its bark — Idaho Dad, and: The Occupy Tree movement loses momentum in L.A. — JohnA.
  • 3. A Berkley tree hugger tries to go underground — Charlie.
  • HM: Herb & everyone else. Superb cutlines.

NIdaho Blogs: Train Lullaby

At Marianne Love's Lovested, there's frost on the dill. Marianne posts several photos that prove fall has come to Sandpoint (if you needed any proof after sub-30 temperatures in Kootenai County the past two nights). You can read her Tuesday Twitterdefrostypumpkins post here.

Top Post: We live next to a single train track that goes through Millwood. I kind of worried when I first moved here, how that would be. Sometimes, it is so heavy and loud, that the pictures on the wall shake, the small bottles collected over 50 years ago, vibrate to the edge of their little shelves - and we unconsciously push them back as we walk by. I try to guess which way the train is coming from - east? west? And then it appears in my kitchen window, the engineer so close I can see him smile at me, the engine so massive I am surprised at how small the engineer is, how he can control something so huge/JeanieSpokane, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday): 8520/5226 and (for Tuesday): 8520/5226

Question: Have you ever lived near train tracks? What was that experience like?

And That’s All For Harold Camping

Facebook Friend Kelsey Saintz posted this photo of a billboard she photographed near Osburn in the Silver Valley this week. Which reminded me that I'd forgotten about Harold Camping's Apocalypse prediction later in the day last Friday. I'm still here. By the looks of the “comments” feature, many of the regulars are still here.

Question: Anyone missing morning roll call after the apocalypse predicted by Harold Camping Friday?

Bustamante: UI Releases Timeline

In response to questions from reporters, UI President Duane Nellis said former professor Ernesto Bustamante was allowed to resign rather than fired because it was “the fastest way to make that happen.” He said, “We were interested in expediting this, and that was the fastest way to get that done.” Asked if UI personnel gave recommendations to Bustamante, who reportedly had other employment lined up, Nellis said, “Not to our knowledge.” He said, “I think we acted aggressively and appropriately.” Nellis said, “We did immediately contact the Moscow Police Department.” But asked why the university didn't immediately inform the Moscow Police that the professor had assaulted graduate student Katy Benoit with a handgun and threatened her life, UI general counsel Kent Nelson said, “That was information that Katy had and did not want us to disclose it to police. … We respected Katy's wishes”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: What do you hope to learn from the release of the associate professor Ernesto Bustamante's personnel records?

Major Ben’s Warrant Roundup List

James Reed Wright, 21, of Post Falls, (left top) is one of five local people wanted on felony warrants by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. Wright, who is accused of rape, faces a $5000 bail bond when apprehended. Others sought on felony warrants include: Patricia Jean Barnes, 32, of Post Falls, (top center) who is charged with misappropriation of identification ($25,000 bond); John Jake Cabeza, 20, of Coeur d'Alene, (top right) who is charged with a probation violation for possession & delivery of a controlled substance (no bond set); Kathryn Nicole Nelson, 31, of Coeur d'Alene, (bottom left) who is charged with probation violation for possession & delivery of a controlled substance (no bond set); and Jason Daniel Smith 33, of Post Falls, (bottom right) on a charge of probation violation for fraudulent possession of FTC (no bond set). Complete warrant list here.

Debate: Where’s Mayor Ron, In-Law?

The North Idaho College Communication Department is planning to host a Hayden City Candidates Forum beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2 in the NIC Edminster Student Union Building Lake Coeur d’Alene Room. Candidates who have confirmed they will be in attendance are: Tim Timmins, who is running for Council Seat 1; Roger Saterfiel, who is running for Council Seat 3; and Nancy (Taylor) Lowery (pictured), who is running for the mayor position. CDATV was forced to cancel its scheduled telecast of a Hayden candidates forurm when Mayor Ron McIntire and his son-in-law, council candidate Chris LaMarr, said they had conflicts. Neither man has been confirmed at the NIC forum either. Questions will be solicited in writing from the audience and the forum will be moderated by NIC Communication Instructor Faith Valente.

Kelsey: Journalism Is Dangerous

Kelsey Saintz, Shoshone News-Press, spotted Nine Mile Cemetery, north of Wallace, while she was looking for photographs and stories to fill the Silver Valley newspaper. However, her outing doesn't end until later when “I almost drove off a cliff, landed on homes below and killed innocent people.” In her blog, “This Is Not A Fairy Tale,” Kelsey sets the scene here.

Question: How many times have you had your photo in a newspaper? Why did the paper publish it?

CdA To Target Abandoned Vehicles

During the week of Nov. 7-11, Coeur d’Alene police will be looking for abandoned vehicles. Vehicles in violation will be tagged for 48-hour removal. If the vehicles are not moved in the allotted time, they will be towed. Prior to towing, attempts to locate the owners will be made. In the event owners cannot be located, not only will the vehicle be tagged, there will also be a letter left on the vehicle explaining the importance of removal. If a citizen reports an abandoned vehicle, all those reports will be followed up by the police department. Why all the special attention for abandoned vehicles now? As the winter season approaches, these vehicles can be a problem. Not only are they an eyesore, they can cause traffic problems and collisions, and make it difficult for ambulances and fire engines to access portions of neighborhoods in the event of an emergency/Victoria Bruno, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.

Question: Do you have any abandoned vehicles in your neighborhood?

PETA: Sea World Whales Enslaved

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plans Wednesday to sue Sea World for allegedly violating the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — which bans slavery — by keeping orcas at parks in San Diego and Orlando, Fla., organization officials said Tuesday. The lawsuit, set to be filed in San Diego federal court, is considered the first of its kind and, if successful, would represent a large enhancement of the animal-rights movement. Part of the lawsuit asserts that it is illegal to artificially inseminate the females and then take away their babies. Sea World officials dismissed the lawsuit as a publicity stunt. PETA routinely pickets the park on Mission Bay/Los Angeles Times. More here (beware of annoying dish soap ad) AP file photo of Sea World trainer & killer whale, for illustrative purposes.

Question: Has PETA gone a step too far by comparing Sea World whales to slaves?

INW Headlines — 10.26.11

Julie Delgado, left, Ernesto Hernandez and Madison Christensen make observations while looking at the characteristics of candlelight during science class on Tuesday at Robert Stuart Middle School in Twin Falls. (AP Photo/Times-News, Ashley Smith)

Noon: Tea Party Nicer Than Occupiers

On his Facebook wall, Spokane Valley Insider writes: “How can Obama compare this anarchist occupy movement to that of the tea party, when riot police have ever been dispatched TO a tea party gathering?”

Question: Is this a legitimate observation — that Tea Party followers are far more peaceful that Occupy Wall Street supporters?

Obama Speech Targets Student Debt

President Barack Obama holds a child and greets the crowd after speaking about managing student debt during an event at the University of Colorado Denver Downtown Campus in Denver today. Denver is the final stop on a three-day trip to the West Coast for fundraising and speeches promoting his American Jobs Act. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Barack Obama recalled his struggles with student loan debt as he unveiled a plan Wednesday that could give millions of young people some relief on their payments. Speaking at the University of Colorado Denver, Obama said that he and his wife, Michelle, together owed more than $120,000 in law school debt that took nearly a decade to pay off. He said that sometimes he'd have to make monthly payments to multiple lenders, and the debt meant they were not only paying for their own degrees but saving for their daughters' college funds simultaneously. “I've been in your shoes. We did not come from a wealthy family,” Obama said to cheers/CBS News. More here.

Question: Are you worried that your children will be buried in college student debt?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.26.11

  • 11:58 a.m. A man is standing outside disabled red car w/hood up, blocking s/b H41 & Central/PF.
  • 11:51 a.m. Woman reports blanket taken from vehicle & ignition messed w/@ CdA Casino.
  • 11:28 a.m. M is in the KCSD lobby to report a Domestic Violence Act violation.
  • 11:19 a.m. Caller has suspect in tow for reported vandalism at Post Falls Senior Center.
  • 10:50 a.m. Caller reports man in whit van drove drunk to VA center on Ironwood/CdA.
  • 10:43 a.m. Post Falls business is concerned that a female employee didn't arrive for work.
  • 10:29 a.m. Lakeland SD is worried boy hasn't been at school since he was escorted home Monday.
  • 10:23 a.m. A brown pit bull is running loose @ Hauser Lake Resort, near space No. 8.
  • 9:49 a.m. Lake City High wants to report possible lewd-and-lascivious incident.
  • 9:45 a.m. CPD Blue reports flashing lights are out at school crosswalk @ Lincoln Way & Walnut.
  • 9:41 a.m. Department of Motor Vehicles on Government Way reports wanted person in office.
  • 9:34 a.m. CPD Blue has stopped to follow up on an eviction in Julia Street apartments.
  • 9:33 a.m. Donald, in KCSD lobby, has information on recent county burglaries.
  • 9:15 a.m. Christina from the Silver Beach area reports her 16YO has been missing for 7-10 days.
  • 9:10 a.m. CPD Blue asked to check a  parking problem on 16th & Elm.
  • 9:03 a.m. Rathdrum woman reports getting phone calls from man who says he's watching her.
  • 8:37 a.m. A dead deer is lying in median of I-90 @ M/P 3, just east of Pleasantview/PF.
  • 8:27 a.m. Caller from H41 & Gunning/Rathdrum is concerned that a white Pontiac Grand Prix, parking on the walking path, may be involved in recent area burglaries.

NIC’s Seiter Hall … Haunted?

From North Idaho College Sentinel's Choke Cherries column by Managing Editor Devin Hellman: “Supposedly, a ghost roams Seiter Hall. Tales of unexplained goings-on date back years. Testimony includes sounds such as footsteps, voice that come from unknown sources and doors opening and closing. People have reported feeling a presence when they were otherwise alone. The NIC campus was once a military fort and it has been speculated that the mysterious visitor may well be a soldier from the days of Fort Sherman.

Question: Do you believe in ghosts?


DFO, i know you are a bumper sticker snob.. here is a good one i saw this morning: Control your children. Not my guns!CoeurGenX.

DFO: I'm always looking for good bumpersnickers to use here. Feel free to send them in. If you would, though, make sure that you note the time, place, and, if possible, make of vehicle that's bearing the snicker.

Trib: Idaho To Immortalize Killer

Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune presents a compelling argument that Idaho will immortalize Paul Ezra Rhoades if the state goes through with Rhoades' execution on Nov. 18. In his editorial today, Marty writes: “Yet it will be Rhoades - not (victims) Michelbacher, not Baldwin and not Haddon - who will earn notoriety if he does become the first Idahoan executed in the 17 years since Keith Eugene Wells waived his appeals and died voluntarily, and the first since Raymond Allen Snowden in 1957, to be put to death against his will. Society's ambivalence about the death penalty guarantees it. Some will say it's arbitary. Rhoades will go to his death for serial murder. Charles Manson will die in prison of natural causes for the same thing. The same goes for Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, and Eric Robert Rudolph, the Olympic Park Bomber. Both drew life sentences.” More here.

Question: Has the death penalty become so arbitrary that it's useless?

Poll: Theater Is Riverstone Big Draw

  • Tuesday Poll: 112 of 268 responses (41.79%) said the Riverstone Cinemas are the main reason they visit the Riverstone development. 82 of 268 (30.6%) said the shops and restaurants attract them to Riverstone. Among other responses: 33 (12.31%) visit Riverstone for the park; 29 (10.82%) ride through on the Centennial Trail; 10 (3.73%) voted for “other”; 2 (.75%) work there. No one who responded to the poll lives at Riverstone.
  • Today's Poll: Would you frequent a business that obviously backs a political party or a candidate that you don't?

Huckleberries Hears …

… That the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee has decided to caucus by legislative districts — and that they'll send the bill for any expenses to the Idaho Republican Central Committee. The Elephants passed a motion to do so last night. Seems some were concerned that they've been given an unfunded mandate from the state committee, which opted for the caucus system instead of the traditional primary vote, that cost county committees nothing to set up.

Question: How will the nation look at Idaho if it's the only state that backs Ron Paul?

New District 7 Bigger Than 9 States

To say that the new legislative district that includes Shoshone County is big is an understatement. The district, which includes part of Kootenai County and all of Shoshone, Clearwater and Idaho counties, encompasses more than 13,500 square miles. Nine states are smaller. In addition to the sheer size of the newly-created legislative District 7, its rural characteristics and remoteness of some communities will make it difficult for legislators to stay in touch with his or her constituents. Some officials and residents are not happy with the district. Despite their concerns, they are not certain what they can do about it/Mary Orr, St. Maries Gazette Record. More here.

Question: What will this mean for the re-election chances of Reps. Shannon McMillan and Dick Harwood from the old District 2?

St. Maries Chamber Wants Boat Races

The St. Maries Chamber of Commerce wants to get volunteers organized to help plan the World Jet Boat races next April. Shirley Ackerman, chamber president, said groups are finishing up with the permit stages and want to start organizing committees to make the first leg of the race a success. “Individuals from the community have been contacting us and expressing an interest to be involved and so we’re just going to start there,” Ms. Ackerman said. “Others are welcome. It’s going to take many volunteers to make this a success.” The first meeting of the group is tomorrow, Thursday, at The Grub Box at noon/Summer Crosby, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More below.

Question: Would you attend jet boat races, if the St. Maries Chamber of Commerce is able to put together an event next April?

Trader Joe’s To Open Friday

Bargain prices, natural and organic offerings, unusual food finds and fun have earned Trader Joe’s some seriously loyal customers. Some scoffed when we suggested in a note to readers last month that fans of the California-based chain were trekking to the other side of state and beyond to stock up on their favorite Trader Joe’s staples. But more than two dozen sent notes with the details of their cross-state runs, the extra bags they stow on trips to see family in a Trader Joe’s ZIP code and the other shenanigans the beloved store has inspired. … The wait is almost over. The Spokane store in the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center, 2975 E. 29th Ave., opens with a lei cutting at 8 a.m. Friday. Regular hours will be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily/Lorie Hutson, SR. More here. (SR file photo)

AM: Bustamante Record Release Today

In this file photo by Geoff Crimmins of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, a Moscowpolice officer uses a video camera in a room rented by Ernesto Bustamante at the University Inn-Best Western in Moscow. Bustamante killed himself after gunning down former girlfriend Katy Benoit. UIdaho President Duane Nellis will discuss with media representatives at 1 p.m. today the release of Bustamante's personnel records. See story below.

‘Plumber Joe” Runs For Congress

In this Oct. 12, 2008, file photo, then Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, answers a question from Samuel Joseph “Plumber Joe” Wurzelbacher in Holland, Ohio. On Tuesday, Wurzelbacher announced in Toledo, Ohio, that he's running. Wurzelbacher, a man whose moniker became a household name during the 2008 presidential race, says he's running in Ohio's 9th U.S. House district because he's angry about the economy and the way politicians try to patch problems with duct tape (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Question: Do angry candidates, like Plumber Joe, make good congressmen?

Goodlander: Naysayers Blind To Good

Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander: I wish I could understand Representative Sims motivation, As an elected Representative, I think that she seems only to represent herself and a small group of angry people who are determined to find a conspiracy somewhere, somehow. I wish we were able to use the taxpayer dollars (hours) that are spent gathering public records and transmitting to her and her fellow conspiracy seekers Sousa, McCrory and Culbreth for something that actually adds value to the community. It would be refreshing if in all their presentations they would tell the whole story instead of half truths and innuendo.

Question: Would you want to run for elected office or serve in elective office in the poisoned political environment of Coeur d'Alene?

Duroc: H95 Is Worse Down Here

RE: Major Highway 95 work continues this fall

Duroc: You guys up there bitch and moan about Highway 95 all the time, and you’ve got the best section in the state. I drive it from Moscow to Payette where it hits I-84 at least twice a year (if the weather is good I switch to SH-55 at New Meadows instead), and I’ve been doing that for most of the past 15 years. I don’t hate the road like some people, because I actually prefer the two-lane roads and hate driving on the freeway, but the Highway 95 that runs through Kootenai County is a Cadillac compared to the Datsun that runs through most of the state. From Moscow north to Worley isn’t a good stretch of road. In fact, I’d say the stretch from Potlatch to Plummer is one of the most dangerous sections - I’ve been in grocery store aisles wider than the stretch around Sanders, and I’ve seen cemeteries with fewer crosses than some of the curves of Highway 95 in Benewah County. It’s worse in the dark.

Question: Which stretch of Highway 95 through the Idaho Panhandle do you consider most dangerous now?

Doruc: Business Should Stay Neutral

Duroc: I think it’s a really bad idea for any local business to promote political candidates, unless they understand that they are likely to alienate half of their customers. Yes, businesses have a “right” to promote candidates, but customers have just as much of a right to vote with our dollars and boycott businesses who support fringe candidates with severe ethical, legal, and moral problems (like Phil Hart). I refuse to do business with a certain Moscow plumbing supply business because of their prominent advocacy for the campaign of Gresham Bouma against Gary Schroeder for the Idaho House. (AP file photo, of Ron Paul)

Question: Is it good or bad business for the Donut Shop in Hayden to be site of the Ron Paul lovefest Thursday?

Ramirez: Running Gadhafi To Ground

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Wild Card/Tuesday — 10.25.11

As near as Blogmeister Ryan & I can tell, the “circulation” of HucksOnline is 9404. We come up with that number by adding monthly unique views of this blog (8133) with Facebook followers (529) and Twitter followers (742). It's not an exact science because one person can provide 2 unique views by using two different computers during the day to follow the blog. On the other hand, Google Analytics records only one unique view if several people follow the blog on the same computer. Ryan considers the number above to be the best guess we have re: actual following here. Anecdotally, I know a lot of people tune in here. Which is humbling. And which enables me to continue at the newspaper as a full-time blogger — mebbe the only one in Idaho. For which I'm thankful. Now for your daily Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.25.11

Athletes compete during the women's 110m Hurdles of the heptathlon event at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, today. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Rammell Battery Charge Dismissed

A misdemeanor battery charge was dismissed against former Idaho gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell today in Idaho County Second District Court, and a jury trial was set for March 9th on four misdemeanor Fish and Game violations stemming from incidents in early September. He is accused of hunting while his license was suspended. Rammell had faced the battery charge for allegedly grabbing William Shira of Kooskia by the throat during an altercation on Sept. 8/Mia Carlson, KZBG.

Are Sculptures Being Stolen For Metal?

Alas, another bird snatched. Last weekend, the Coeur d'Alene Press reported that thieves absconded with a heron sculpture in Coeur d'Alene. The pillage comes just weeks after “Omay,” a Pelican sculpture disappeared from Novato, Calif. Both statues are made of bronze, which is a mixture of copper and other metals. Are area sculptures really being stolen for scrap? It's been hinted at by Coeur d'Alene artist David Clemons, creator of “Omay,” pictured above. “It seems obvious that this act was not about stealing art but about stealing materials that can be melted down and sold,” Clemons writes. “The perpetrators chose to cut the feet off of the statue with a tool that would complete the theft of the bulk of the bronze quickly rather than steal the art entirely intact”/Joe OSullivan, Inlander. More here.

Question: Doesn't it sicken you as much as it does me that someone would destroy art simply for the material that it's made of? Jerks.

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.25.11

  • 5:44 p.m. PFPD Blues catch possible stolen Subaru @ I-90 & H41 after freeway BOSS hit.
  • 5:51 p.m. Firefighters checking on smoke sighting @ Rockford Bay & Chandler.
  • 5:20 p.m. 2 small motorcycles popping wheelies & doing tricks @ 4th & Appleway/CdA.
  • 5:17 p.m. A 13YO student possibly has suffered a broken ankle @ Lakeland High/Rathdrum.
  • 5:09 p.m. Home-alone 11YO reports stranger is knocking on door on Soldier Creek/Rathdrum.
  • 5:05 p.m. Mechanic reports 5th-wheeler has left biz onto I-90 w/inadequate tires on the trailer.
  • 4:54 p.m. A wildland fire is reported along I-90 @ M/P 19 (Yellowstone Trail/CdA).
  • 4:34 p.m. Teens start fire on concrete @ Stub Myer Park/Rathdrum and are told by adult to put it out.
  • 4:27 p.m. Seth requests officer b/c mechanic performed unauthorized work on his vehicle.
  • 4:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 24-25 here.
  • 17 more items & AM Scanner Traffic below

PM Headlines — 10.25.11

In this August 2009 file photo, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kristen Bell, and Betty White are shown in a scene from, “You Again.” Washington State University has named Betty White as an honorary alumna. Story here. (AP Photo/Disney, Mark Fellman)

Huckleberries Hears …

… that Larry Spencer resigned from the board of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans a week to 10 days ago. And you'll never guess why. Give up? He considers the Reagan Republicans to be too (wait for it) — LIBERAL! Someone turn on the Spencer signal. We need some explanation here.

Reagan Repubs Offer Endorsements

The Reagan Republicans are busy flooding Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls/Rathdrum mailboxes with their endorsements for mayor and city council positions in the Nov. 8 municipal elections. A Berry Picker sent HucksOnline the following flyer that she received. Noticeably missing is Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Ron Edinger. The outside of the flyer asks the question that's answered above: “Why are the Reagan Republicans asking you not to vote at the Polls on Election Day, Nov. 8th?”

Question: Are you supporting any of the Reagan Republican candidates above?

Ex-SR Staffer Saw Gadhafi’s Body


Holly Pickett takes pictures in the Gaza strip in January of 2009. The Butte native has been a photojournalist in the Middle East for the past three years based in Cairo, Egypt. (Ben Curtis AP Photo)

A Butte woman may have been the first Westerner to see former Libya dictator Moammar Gadhafi's dead body.  Photojournalist Holly Pickett raced to the ambulance carrying his bullet-riddled body Thursday.  “I was a little afraid that this would turn into another undocumented rumor. That's why I chased the ambulance with Gaddafi's body,” Pickett wrote on her Twitter page. Shortly after noon Thursday, Pickett was in a residential area behind a field hospital when an ambulance carrying Gadhafi's body raced past her. “We chased,” she tweeted. “All I could think when I found out they had Gaddafi was, 'I am the only journalist who knows what happened. I have to get a photo'”/Kristen Inbody, Great Falls Tribune. More here.

Question: Would you have the courage to cover revolutions in far-flung countries?

Sayler: No Rubber Stamp, Me

On his Facebook page, former legislator George Sayler posts: “Recently, on the blog on his website, my chief opponent (Dan Gookin) said I would be a rubber stamp for the current administration. I guess he does not know me very well, and he doesn't apparantly know that a rubber stamp can also be used to veto! If the mayor, another council member, or city staff present something I don't think is in the best interest of the people of Coeur d'Alene, I will not support it. Period.”

Question: Are there any rubber stamps on the Coeur d'Alene City Council now?

Hart To Tout Ron Paul @ Donut Shop

For Gary D. & the rest of the Ron Paulers in Hucks Nation, state Rep. Phil Hart will be singing Ron Paul's praises at the Donut Shop, 8761 Government Way/Hayden, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Ron Pauler extraordinaire Jim Hollingsworth has circulated an email to friends, stating: “There are probably few in our area who know Ron Paul and what he stands for as does Phil Hart.  He has watched him for a very long time and has concluded that he stands where he says he stands.  So far no one has come up with a plan to end the federal debt, but Ron Paul has.” Hart's talk is titled “Only Ron Paul can set America back on right path.” Hollingsworth continues: “We have plenty of signs, slim jims, buttons and bumper stickers. Also someone has donated 10 of Ron Paul’s new books on a first come first served basis.” See ad here. (AP file photo)

Question: Does it help/hurt Ron Paul's cause locally to have Artful Tax Dodger Phil Hart pleading his case?

Wolf Lodge Autumn

On her Facebook wall, Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images posted this second photo of North Idaho autumn that she snapped a week ago in the Wolf Lodge area: “The Road to Yesterday.” Remember … Linda's “The Essence of North Idaho” show at Hayden City Hall is in its last week.

‘Women Flying Solo’ Stories, Blah, Blah

RE: Dangers aside, traveling alone satisfying to most women/Kristi Eaton, Associated Press

Cheryl-Anne Millsap/SR, via Facebook: “I was disappointed in this story in Sunday's Spokesman-Review. It's the same as 100 other “Women Flying Solo” similar pieces. It doesn't really relate to the ways most women are comfortable and willing to travel alone. Most can't quit work and travel the world without a care. Most won't surf couches in the homes of strangers. (I know some who do, but more who wouldn't consider it.) Many are middle-aged, not 20-something. I did like the Women Welcome Women World Wide, idea. But the rest was a bit tired.”

Question (from Cheryl-Anne) Why does everything relating to women who travel alone have to be either “EatPrayLove” or “Adventure Girl”?

Johnson Report: Prophets W/O Honor

I have always thought it was a statement of the character, decency and political astuteness of Harry Truman that he developed a genuine working friendship with the former president that Democrats still love to vilify – Herbert Hoover. The photo is of Truman and Hoover chatting it up in the Oval Office about the time President Truman tapped the former president to head what became known as the Hoover Commission; a vast effort in the late 1940′s to reorganize the Executive Branch of the federal government. When Truman asked Hoover, a man still regarded by many as the do nothing administrator who timidly looked on as the Great Depression ravished the economy in the early 1930′s, to head the commission many regarded it as a very strange choice. It was unusual and also brilliant/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here. (Photo of Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, from Johnson Report)

Question: Why are new administrations so reluctant to to use the expertise of former presidents?

Major H95 Work Continues This Fall

The state highway landscape in North Idaho is taking on a different look with projects continuing this fall. Two U.S. 95 projects from Garwood to Sagle will widen the highway from two lanes to four. “(Both) segments are expected to be complete by fall 2013,” said Barbara Babic, Idaho Transportation Department spokeswoman. The $35.9 million, 6.5-mile widening project from Chilco to Silverwood Theme Park will also add interchanges at Chilco and Bunco roads, a frontage road on the east side of U.S. 95 in the entire stretch and 1.5 miles of frontage road on the west side. All the current work is focused on the east frontage road. Clearing crews have completed work up to Bunco Road/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Cecil Andrus coined the word “goat trail” for U.S Highway 95, back in the day. With all the improvements to the highway is it fair to call it “goat trail” any more?

Idaho Pig Farmer Top Fantasy Player

The National Fantasy Baseball Championship, a contest paying a top prize of $100,000, draws an elite collection of contestants: computer geniuses, deep-pocketed stockbrokers and money managers, maybe a young man or woman looking to be the next Billy Beane or Theo Epstein. But the contest over the years has produced only one two-time champion, Lindy Hinkelman, a 59-year-old pig farmer from Greencreek, Idaho. Hinkelman, who has won two of the last three titles in one of the country’s most highly regarded contests, does not have a perfect answer for how he has been able to do it, but he is happy to offer his gut take on it all.”Raising pigs and this baseball thing really go together,” he said/Dan Fost, New York Times. More here.

Question: Do you play Fantasy Baseball? Are you very good at it?

High Noon: Silent Majority Too Busy

On his Facebook wall, Otis G Experience writes: “Is anybody else tired of political mass-market buzz statements with no actual substance? I think the true foundation of America doesn't want to be associated with any extreme… so it stays out of the discussion entirely. To me, a REAL revolution isn't really about big government OR big business. It's about recognizing that the silent majority could easily overpower the noisy extreme. Fact is, I think the silent majority is too busy living life to really care.”

Question: Do you consider yourself part of the Silent Majority?

INW: Grizzly Players Plead Innocent

Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson, center, intercepts a pass during an NCAA college football game against Weber State in Missoula, Mont., in this 2009 file photo. Police officers used stun guns to subdue Johnson and teammate Gerald Kemp on Sunday morning in Missoula after the team returned following a game Saturday at Northern Arizona. Missoulian story here. (AP Photo/Mike Albans, File)

Resurrected From The Rubble

Turkish rescuers carry Azra Karaduman, a 2-week-old baby girl they have saved from under debris of a collapsed building in Ercis, Van, eastern Turkey, Tuesday. Hundreds of people were killed Sunday after a powerful quake in eastern Turkey. (AP Photo)

DFO: Isn't this photo a relief from all the violence of tragedy that surrounds us every day?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.25.11

  • 11:49 a.m. A pitbull is chasing kids getting off school bus in area of 11776 Hauser Lake Road.
  • 11:24 a.m. Robert is in KCSD lobby to report ongoing problems w/his wife.
  • 11:17 a.m. Red Ford is weaving off e/b I-90 after entering freeway from Hauser rest stop.
  • 10:47 a.m. Litter is reported in the northwest corner of Lake City High/CdA.
  • 10:34 a.m. Woman is on ground w/breathing problems @ 784 S. Clearwater/PF.
  • 10:28 a.m. Officer is checking a parking problem @ 5628 Shoreline/PF
  • 9:41 a.m. Blue BMW reportedly slid sideways thru i/s @ Seltice Way & Spokane/PF after driver hit gas.
  • 9:37 a.m. Woman is in KCSD lobby to see deputy re: harassing phone calls.
  • 9:36 a.m. Local health-care provider reports possible rape involving patient.
  • 9:18 a.m. Rebecca who's new to the area has questions re: dog leash laws.
  • 9:13 a.m. An officer is stopping at juvenile detention center to follow up on stabbing incident.
  • 9:06 a.m. Traffic lights at end of w/b I-90 offramp @ H41 are stuck on red.
  • 8:59 a.m. Jeffrey reports his neighbor's dog killed his chickens Monday.
  • 8:41 a.m. Christine in Hayden wants to see a deputy re: a loose llama she caught.

Sims Has Deed & Another Complaint

On is online site at the moment, the Coeur d'Alene Press is featuring a screed by state Rep. Kathy Sims denouncing — does she do anything else? — the city for a coverup re: the ownership of the Coeur d'Alene Library. She launches into her customary denunciation of all things involving Sandi Bloem's administration by using the term “I have a deed” three times. (Not to be confused in any way with Martin Luther King's memorable, visionary speed, “I Have A Dream.” Sims foams for awhile before concluding: “The haphazard manner in which these two entities have co-mingled properties and taxpayer dollars is astounding and with two Idaho Supreme Court decisions stating clearly, they are totally separate entities, should cease immediately. I’m aware our city attorney makes more than an Idaho Supreme Court Justice, but it doesn’t seem to ensure they operate legally.” More here.

Reaction to Sims' “I Have A Deed” complaint?

OTC: Gaddafi Worse Than Body Bag

Early this semester, The Argonaut recieved a decent amount of flak for running a photo online of the presumed body of former assistant professor Ernesto A. Bustamante being rolled out on a strecher in a body bag. If readers were offended by this, then they should avoid at all costs the gruesome photos that are flooding thie Internet of the killing of Muammar Gaddafi. These images are truly disgusting and unneeded. I’d take a body bag over brains any day/Elizabeth, UIdaho Argonaut. More Off the Cuff here.

Question: Why do we get so upset re: body bags & death scenes involving Moammar Gaddafi, Michael Jackson, & others, when we're bombarded w/worse on TV's CSI and other shows?

‘Coeur d’Alene Autumn’

On her Idaho Scenic Images Facebook wall, Linda Lantzy posts two photos today under the general headline, “Coeur d'Alene Autumn,” including the one above, which was taken this morning at Harrison & 11th. BTW, Linda's “The Essence of North Idaho” show at Hayden City Hall is in its last week.

Edit: Lottery Send Wrong Message

At the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, editorialist Murf Raquet takes issue with the Idaho Lottery's Scratch for Schools program, a statewide event that’s touted as the “fastest five minute fundraiser for public schools in Idaho,” according to a press release from officials. Seems teams of three educators from various Idaho schools get 5 minutes to scratch tickets to see if they're winners or losers. A team from Troy Elementary, for example, won $869 that way. But Raquet said the event seems to be promoting the Idaho Lottery as much as anything else and is sending the wrong message: “Education funding in Idaho should not be based on odds or dumb luck. School officials should not have to put on a show to gain a few precious dollars. The state Legislature has a constitutional responsibility to adequately fund education — something it has have avoided for more than a decade.” More here.

Question: What do you think of the Idaho Lottery's Scratch for Schools program?

Henry: Lazy Occupiers Want Freebies

Perhaps the biggest thorn in my side about this whole “occupy” movement is a phone call to a Boise-based radio show I read about. This young man, let’s call him Bobby, was upset that businessmen and other executives drive fancy cars that he can’t afford because he works as a cart pusher at Walmart. He wanted to know when he would get “his” Bentley. Well, you know what, Bobby? You’ll get “your” Bentley when you work hard and earn it and quit being an sniveling, entitled little punk. Despite our tough economic times America is still the land of opportunity, and unlike myself who has worked hard to create my own opportunities, you want yours to be handed to you on a silver platter by Uncle Obama the minute you walk off the college graduation stage. Guess what? That’s not going to happen/Henry Johnston, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Is Henry analyzing Occupy movement correctly — as a bunch of lazy individuals who want their Bentleys without having to work for them?

Hucks Poll: No Age Limit For Pols

  • Monday Poll: Overwhelmingly, HucksOnline readers say they have no problem with Seasoned Citizens serving in elected offices in North Idaho, no matter what the age. 75YO Councilman Ron Edinger's age has been a minor issue in his bid for re-election against challenger Adam Graves. 112 of 162 respondents (69.4%) to the Monday Poll say no age is too old to serve as a locally elected official. 21 of 162 (12.96%) say 70-75YO is too old to serve. 13 of 162 (8.02%) say 80-85 is too old. 9 (5.56%) say 75-80 is too old. And 7 (4.32%) say over 85 is too old.
  • Today's Poll (in view of news that lender is claiming the theater & two adjacent buildings at Riverstone): Why do you visit Riverstone?

Cold Bug Making Appearance

I have two Facebook Friends battling bad colds this morning. Jeanne Helstrom reports that the minor cold she had last week has super-sized this week. Then, Kerri Thoreson reports: “Almost dawn before I finally slept. Can't even recall which day this is for the cold/cough countdown but I'm soooooo ready for it to be gone. Dark circles under the eyes are never a good fashion statement.” I'm still percolating along w/o a cold or sinus problems (although I'm beginning to note who has colds and taking my hand-washing routine more seriously).

Question: Have you had a cold or worse this fall?

Vandals Claim ‘Blue Heron’ Art Work

Late last week someone stole a statue of a Great Blue Heron that was placed as part of a public art program earlier this year in downtown Coeur d'Alene.The art heist happened sometime overnight between Thursday and Friday. The owner of The Olympia, a Greek restaurant, called it in. The statue was placed right outside the restaurant's doors, where it has sat greeting employees and customers alike since June.”We are shocked that someone could actually do something like this,” Eva Itskos, the co-owner of the restaurant said/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here. (KXLY inset photo)

Question: Have you taken time to look at the public art on display in downtown Coeur d'Alene?

OK Corral Anniversary Today

130 years ago today, Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton were all alive. But 130 years ago tomorrow, on October 26th, 1881, they made the mistake of entering into history as dead men, buried quickly at Boot Hill in the boomtown of Tombstone, Arizona. They were the dead men of Tombstone… and the losing side of the “Shootout at the OK Coral”. But not Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp, Morgan Earp and Virgil Earp. They entered into a place in history like no others…30 seconds, 30 rounds, 130 years later….It may easily have been the first shoot out and the last gunfight of the wild west. It's a story that changed the West…even to this day. More than that, it's a story that changed how we SEE the West - especially today/Dennis Mansfield. More here. (Hollywood Pictures photo from movie “Tombstone”)

Question: Dennis Mansfield goes on to say that the shootout at the OK Corral affects how the West is viewed today. Do you agree?

Twin Falls Unhappy With Redistricting

 Twin Falls County plans to file a legal challenge contesting the state's new redistricting plan, which carves the county into three legislative districts, Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs told the Times-News today. The redistricting plan, which realigned the state's 35 legislative districts based on population changes in the 2010 Census, was recently approved unanimously by a bipartisan six-member commission. For some Twin Falls County officials and legislators, its outcome has been a sore spot. The new plan puts the city of Twin Falls into its own district and splits the rural part of the county into two other districts. Outside of Twin Falls, the county west of U.S. Highway 93 is grouped with Elmore and Owyhee counties. To the east, residents join Cassia and Power counties in a legislative district/Ben Botkin (pictured), Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Sour grapes? Or a legitimate gripe?

Kootenai County Levy Rates Going Up

Item: Levy rates going up: Official: Increases due to plummeting property values, not a cash grab/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Levies for most taxing districts in Kootenai County have increased this year, according to a list of levy stats just approved by the state. That doesn't mean that the county's 44 districts are trying to rake in cash, said David McDowell, Kootenai County finance director. The across-the-board hikes are only due to plummeting property values, he said, pointing out that the county's overall assessed value dropped $897 million from 2010.

Question: Are you okay with the increased levy rates, given the drop in property value?

Clark: It’s Not Just Detergent

Ladies and Gentlemen: Time to come clean. And by that I mean it’s time to announce the winner of a free, 5.3-pound (85-ounce) box of phosphate-enlivened Cascade dishwasher soap. You know, the stuff that has been idiotically banned by eco-nannies who don’t want our dishes to sparkle. Before getting to the lucky winner, however, a few observations are in order. Every time I give away a box of Cascade the responses fall into three predictable groups. Gentle, peace-loving naturists who’d love to club me into a bloody baby seal pulp for committing crimes against guppies. Yoda know-it-alls who attempt to cajole me into trying some hippy-dippy phosphate-free concoction that will not only clean my dishes, but tastes great, too! Insightful readers like Joe (no last name), who writes: “You are lifesaver. We just ordered a shipment (of Cascade) from … You should be nominated for the Consumer Advocate of the Year!”/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Do you ever feel sorry for the phosphate-deprived lives of our Spokane County neighbors?

AM Headlines — 10.25.11

James Smith, 77, pilots his velomobile through a neighborhood in Post Falls on Monday. The velomobile is a tricycle with a riveted aluminum body. (Kathy Plonka SR photo)

Zombies Rule?

A participant holds a sign which reads “Occupy Brains” during the Zombie Ride at Fantasy Fest in Key West, Fla. Among the 99 percent or those rolling in money, Halloween is sure to have a contingent of Occupy Wall Street-inspired costumes this year. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Rob O'Neal)

Question: Can someone explain the zombie phenomenon to the rest of Hucks Nation?

Blanchette: Olerud Career Amazing

To call John Olerud’s baseball life charmed is no first baseman’s stretch. Let’s see – two World Series rings, possibly the greatest college season in history, an American League batting title, membership in the exclusive straight-to-the-majors club and a shotgun seat on the Seattle Mariners’ magic-carpet-ride 116-victory season. And mixed in there somewhere: a brain aneurysm. OK, so sometimes charm takes a holiday. Or a U-turn toward the scary/tragic. This, of course, occurred during his junior year at Washington State University, after he’d Roy Hobbsed his way into the national baseball consciousness./John Blanchette, SR. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Did you ever dream of playing pro sports when you were little?

County Burglaries On Upswing

Jim Smith (pictured) returned to his Post Falls home late one night last week to find his side door ajar. In the bedroom, he found jewelry scattered on the floor and several Black Hills gold rings missing. He and his late wife, who died 10 years ago from cancer, had collected them together over several years. “You feel like you’re violated,” the 78-year-old retiree said. “Someone was messing with my stuff. It changes your life because now I have to look at everybody and say, ‘Are you the one that was watching the house, that kicked in the door?’ ” Smith is one of dozens of Kootenai County residents whose homes have been burglarized following a similar pattern in recent weeks. In the past two months, the county sheriff’s department has received 91 reports of home burglaries, compared with 21 during the same period last year/Alison Boggs, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo)

Question: Have you ever been burglarized? How did that feel?

Lender Snags Riverstone Buildings

Item: Riverstone developers surrender buildings/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Business will continue as usual at Village at Riverstone, but the developers have deeded back to a Seattle-based lender a movie theater building and two adjacent multi-tenant retail buildings. “This isn't a reflection” of the businesses occupying space in the three buildings, said Coeur d'Alene attorney John Magnuson, who represents the lender. Magnuson said the tenants are stable at the property, located at 2416 N. Old Mill Loop.

Question: Are you concerned about the future of Riverstone?

Signe: Down With Debit Card Fees

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Monday — 10.24.11

I spent Sunday picking apples, roses, and tomatoes, preparing for the killing frost that is headed our way this week. I enjoyed one of my best gardens ever, as a result of the long fall that we were blessed with. Sorta bittersweet to look out the bedroom window on the upper floor to see all the flower colors this morning, knowing that the scene will be frosted over. But the wood's in. So I'm as ready as I'll ever be for my 34th winter in the Inland Northwest. I'll put the studs on our vehicles with much fanfare next month, to ensure that I get the usual reaction from the anti-studites among us. Now for your first Wild Card of the work week …

Parting Shot — 10.24.11

A Texas Rangers fan cheers before Game 5 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Question: Will the Rally Squirrel lead the St. Louis Cardinals to victory in the 2011 World Series? Or simply serve as road kill for the Texas Rangers?

Cindy: Puzzled About Corn

On her Facebook wall, Cindy commented this afternoon that she's puzzled about corn. Yeah, corn. Cindy: “I love corn-on-the-cob and I serve corn as a side dish at least twice a month, but I absolutely hate corn in soups, mexican food, salsa, casseroles etc. and the thought of creamed corn makes me gag. For me corn is a stand alone food item. Is that weird?

Question: Are you puzzled about corn, too?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.24.11

  • 5:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 23-24 here.
  • 5:19 p.m. Camper on Wild Rose has electrical cords going into it as though someone living there.
  • 5:11 p.m. PFPD Blue reports fire in alley @ 12th & Idaho is being watched & under control.
  • 5:09 p.m. C reports to county sheriff she's getting harassing text messages.
  • 4:53 p.m. A tree is on fire in the woods behind Target, 315 W. Canfield/CdA, where transients live.
  • 4:22 p.m. A 48YO man has overdosed on medication in 5200 block of Green/Rathdrum.
  • 4:16 p.m. Someone may be suffering a seizure @ Coldwater Creek on W. Hanley, CdA.
  • 3:54 p.m. Someone has been hurt in a fall @ Wells Fargo Bank on Appleway/CdA.
  • 20 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM: Jesus Statue Evicted From Mount

Lyle Burke of Alberta, Canada, poses with the statue of Jesus Christ near the top of Chair 2 at the Whitefish Mountain Resort in February. The statue, erected in 1953 to honor World War II veterans, may have to be removed after the Uinted States Forest Service recently denied a special use permit allowing the stone statue. AP story here. (AP Photo/The Missoulian, Linda Thompson)

NIdaho Blogs: The Kissing Gate

On her Idaho Scenic Images Facebook wall, Linda Lantzy posts this photo of the ruins of the old Alder gold mine near Mackay, Idaho, on her “Abandoned Places” album.

Top Post: When I was a teenager, we lived on a little farm just outside of Spokane, where my Dad practiced being a gentleman farmer while keeping his day job as a reporter for The Spokane Chronicle. He bought a beat up old tractor and drove it around the fields, plowing just to plow. With that tractor, he built a fairly large vegetable garden outside the back yard. To get to the garden, he built an old fashioned stile. Three steps up to a landing, three steps down to the peas, beets, carrots, beans, corn, tomatoes, lettuce. We had everything you would want for vegetables. It was a heady scent, to sit on the stile at night in the moonlight/JeanieSpokane, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for week of Oct. 16-22): 46,708 page-views/28,751 unique views

Question: Did you have an equivalent of the “Kissing Gate” at your place when you were growing up?

Gookin Encounters Pet Emergency

Dan Gookin is proof that real-life emergencies can't be put on hold for a political campaign. On his Facebook wall, Gookin writes: “Just had to rush my kitty, Joseph Button, to the Pet Hospital. Hadn't seen Joe all day when suddenly something made me think to look in the garage. There he was, all messed up. Bloody nose. Puffy face. Wheezing. The Doc thinks he got hit by a car or somehow fell and hit his head. Joe is being observed now. I hope he turns out okay. I have a great Pet Doc (Dr. King in CdA), so I'm sure Joe will be fine.”

Question: When did you last have a pet emergency?

Flashback: CdA’s Good Old Days

SR colleague Jesse Tinsley has been posting photos to his Facebook page shot during his early days in the Coeur d'Alene bureau, about 20 years ago. You no longer see this sight on Lake Coeur d'Alene — a tugboat hauling logs. You can see more of Jesse's old photos here.

Richie Risch: No. 16 On Congress List

Idaho U.S. Sen. Jim Risch dropped a spot, from No. 15 to No. 16, in this year's Roll Call edition of the 50 Richest Members of Commerce, with a value of almost $20 million. You can read the entire list here.

  • 1. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) $294.21 Million
  • 2. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) $220.40 Million
  • 3. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) $193.07 Million
  • 4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) $81.63 Million
  • 5. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) $76.30 Million
  • 6. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) $65.91 Million
  • 7. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) $55.07 Million
  • 8. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) $52.93* Million
  • 9. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) $45.39 Million
  • 10. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) $44.21 Million
  • 12. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) $35.20 Million
  • 16. Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho) $19.78 Million

Question: Would you like to see Sen. Risch higher/lower on that list?

Avista Scammer Comes Knocking

One of the Facebook Friends of my FF Becky McIntire Boifeuillet warned of an scam involving Avista that came knocking on her door: “Someone came to our house last night and said they were from Avista to check our windows, furnace & insulation to see if we qualified for Avista rebates. We asked for a business card and he had none. We told him we had already received rebates on our windows & furnace, he said the insulation was most important and he could just check it for… us. We said we were on our way out and he could come back today. Saw on the news Kootenai County has had 97 burglaries during daylight hours and some of them have had people saying they will do a service to try to get inside to case the place ahead of time. We called the police this morning and they checked with Avista and Avista does not have anyone going door to door. We'll see if he shows back up today. Police said if he does for us to call 911.”

  • DFO: Am I the only one who received a small box of those curlicue, energy-saving light bulbs in the last few days? Can't figure out why I got them. No note of explanation. No bill.

Question: How do you know when someone's trying to scam you?

Museum Honors German Chancellor

German Chancellor Angela Merkel shows the 'Prize for Understanding and Tolerance' she was awarded with by the Jewish Museum in Berlin Monday. (AP Photo/Michael Gottschalk, pool)

Question: Do you consider the concept of tolerance to be a positive or negative?

Scary WSU Fall Latest In Series

At the bottom of a 23-foot retaining wall, a young man lay in a pool of blood. The fall had broken every bone in his face. His teeth were chipped. He was barely conscious. A police officer called out to him, asking him his name. The body groaned, and slurred something that sounded like “Shawn.” His name wasn't Shawn. It was just minutes after midnight on Saturday, Sept. 10, and several officers who had responded to the fall feared it would end with a body bag. In the hours that followed, as medical staff worked to save the young man, an officer called the Whitman County coroner. The officer warned they might need an autopsy/Stephanie Schendel, Morrow News Service. More here. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo: Chad Heffelfinger, accident victim)

Question: Do you worry about the party scene on your kid's campus?

Pitbull Group Fights Breed’s Image

Megan Nelson recently took on fostering Alabama, an American Staffordshire puppy. Her friends get excited when she offers to bring the dog around, but for those that haven't met Alabama, they tend to change their attitude when they hear he's a pit bull. “They say if you have a pit bull, you have to have a tough skin,” said Nelson. “I didn't know it was true until I started fostering him.” But Alabama found both canine and human representation Sunday at Mountain View Park during a meet-and-greet for the Humane Society of the Palouse's newest satellite program, Pit Bull Project. The project aims to educate Idaho and Washington communities in the area about pit bulls, dispel negative stereotypes that surround the breed and assist owners to microchip, fix and train their dogs/Brandon Macz, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. (Dean Hare's Daily News photo: Jaime Walker, left, of Moscow, greets three pitbulls owned by Lori Burkett of Palouse, top, Sunday)

Question: Do you have a bias against pitbulls?

Jeers — To Semanko & GOP Cronyism

Jeers … to Idaho Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko. For the poor schmucks who buy his malarkey, Semanko is all about getting “back to the basics; less government intrusion in our lives, more personal responsibilities and individual rights.” When your back is turned, Semanko is busy gobbling up your taxes. It's not enough that the Idaho Water Users Association - a nonprofit group that draws some of its money from cities, irrigation districts and water districts - pays Semanko $160,000 a year to serve as its executive director. The nonprofit also holds a loan on his Boise home. It started out as bridge loan for $136,000 a decade ago. Since then, Semanko borrowed another $40,000 and today he owes $161,305. Even in Idaho - which is becoming accustomed, if not downright desensitized, to the muck of Republican cronyism - this cozy arrangement reeks of self-dealing/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More Cheers & Jeers to come.

Question: Why do Idahoans put up with this nonsense?

High Noon: Halloween Costumes

So you haven’t come up with a plan for a Halloween costume yet? Not to worry. Do what the entertainment industry does: Recycle an old idea. Ask around and you discover that many people can recall a favorite or at least most memorable costume from Halloweens past. “I was Casper the Friendly Ghost’s friend, Wendy the good little witch,” said Wendy Schuller, head women’s basketball coach at Eastern Washington University. Pam Pierson, marketing coordinator at a Spokane assisted living community, remembers being a little Dutch girl one Halloween back in her Connecticut childhood. She wore real wooden shoes. “They hurt like hell”/Paul Turner, SR. More here. (River Journal's Trish Gannon in her condom dress)

Question: Which Halloween costume was your best. Ever.

INW: Hiking Every Glacier Park Trail

Jake Bramante crossing through a make-shift finish line on Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Lincoln Lake trailhead in Glacier National Park. Bramante estimates that he has covered approximate 1200 miles in his quest to hike all 734 miles of trail in Glacier National Park. When asked what he was going to do next summer Bramante said he would like to hike Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada. Story here. (AP Photo/Daily Inter Lake, Brenda Ahearn)

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.24.11

  • 11:59 a.m. Mother on Joshua Court/Hayden reports her 15YO ran away Thursday AM.
  • 11:41 a.m. A broken gas main is reported @ 710 W. Dalton/Dalton Gardens.
  • 11:26 a.m. Male in 6300 block of Quail Ridge/Rathdrum threw gun case @ female w/kids in house.
  • 11:25 a.m. Karen @ 4978 Dodd/Hayden reports 2 large, draft horses running loose.
  • 11:01 a.m. Brad @ Hayden WalMart security has video of an Oct. 15 shoplifting incident.
  • 10:54 a.m. Officer reports car on road side @ H53 b/n McGuire & Hollister/Hauser isn't disabled. The driver is picking weeds and other organic material from along road.
  • 10:38 a.m. PFPD Blue reports an Avista light pole has been destroyed (no cause given), leaving wires exposed. He doesn't know wether the wires are hot. (Also didn't get a location.)
  • 10:36 a.m. A man yelled & sweared before leaving Fresh Start in green car, w/b on Sherman/CdA.
  • 10:10 a.m. Caller from trailer on Cliffhouse/Hauser reports man is threatening her mom and her.
  • 9:59 p.m. Christopher is @ KCSD to report another man beat him up at Kontiki/Stateline Thursday.
  • 9:45 a.m. 2 non-Indian neighbors are fighting over a horse pen on the Coeur d'Alene Indian rez.
  • 9:32 a.m. Caller reports containing a llama (no location given).
  • 9:31 a.m. A Hayden employee has told co-workers he's building a bomb to kill wife's boyfriend.
  • 9:26 a.m. Caller reports driver in red pickup cut him off @ 4th & Best, then threatened to kill him.
  • 9:25 a.m. CdA worker: “Downtown looked nice this morning until they came along with the leaf blower.”
  • 8:44 a.m. EMTs report that man reported as unconscious on Frederick/Harrison at 8:18 is dead.
  • 8:43 a.m. Betty Kiefer/Rathdrum officials are concerned that a student hasn't been at school since mother moved in with boyfriend.

Bayview Victim: ‘I’m Just An Invalid’

Michael Heath talked about the brutal attack on his family nine months ago that ended with the death of his wife Patty at his mother's home in Bayview. The man accused of the crime lived in the trailer just below. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

A family is watching TV on a cold Sunday afternoon when a man bursts in, calls them an obscene name and attacks with a hammer, aiming for their heads. One woman is killed. Another suffers a severe head injury that steals pieces of her memory and speech. Two other family members are beaten but escape with minor injuries. It sounds like something straight out of a horror movie, but that’s what Yvonne Wallis, her son, daughter-in-law and grandson experienced last Dec. 19 in Bayview, Idaho. Their next-door neighbor, Larry Cragun, was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder, and is in jail awaiting trial in January. His bail is set at $1 million. Ten months later, the survivors are struggling to move on/Alison Boggs, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo)

Question: Has any member of your family been harmed in a violent attack?

Poll: Andrus Best Guv Of Last 25 Years

  • Weekend Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation picked former Democratic governor Cecil Andrus as the best governor of the last 25 years. 165 of 250 respondents (66%) picked Andrus as best from among the six men who have served as governors since 1986. Republican Phil Batt finished a distant second in the tally with 32 votes of 250 (12.8%). Current Gov. Butch Otter finished fifth of six, with only 13 votes (5.2%). Otter bested only John Evans, whose 10-year tenure ended Jan. 4, 1987. Evans received 6 votes (2.4%). Jim Risch & Dirk Kempthorne were tied for third with 17 votes apiece (6.8%).
  • Today's Poll: How old is too old for a person to hold elected office in North Idaho?

2nd Coeur d’Alene Dog Park In Offing

Opening activities for a second Coeur d'Alene dog park are scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday on Cherry Hill.  Approved by the Coeur d'Alene City Council, the Cherry Hill location comprises 2/3 of an acre just north of the tennis courts. It is fully fenced with an entry bull pen, small dog section, benches, a pet drinking fountain, pet waste cans, and includes shrubs and trees.  Volunteers helping with planting the new dog park included Girl Scout Troop 3003, Cub Scout Pack #210 and the LCHS Environmental Club. The dog park, Central Bark, on the edge of the North Shire subdivision, along Atlas Road, is now heavily used. More here.

Question: Have you and your dog used Central Bark or any of the region's other dog parks yet?

Post Falls Bike Trail Could Cost $1M

Residents of the north Idaho town of Post Falls may soon see the construction of a bike and walking path near a highway that runs through the heart of town.  The project, however, won’t come cheap, with one commissioner saying the path could cost as much as $1 million, though the budget for the project is substantially less. The Post Falls Urban Renewal Agency discussed issue at its monthly meeting last week, but commissioners left with unease over rising costs and are seeking to meet with engineers to find ways to cut down on costs. The project would install a cement path between Seltice Way and Mullan Avenue in Post Falls, a route which would help pedestrians and bikes safely pass underneath Interstate 90 and alongside of Highway 41. The proposed trail is four-tenths of a mile long/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here. (Idaho Reporter illustration)

Question: Is the cost of the off-road safe trail through Post Falls worth the investment?

Viewtiful Foggy Saturday Morning

DenverW, a local aviator, HucksOnline Twitter pal and compiler of the Coeur d'Alene Flight Blog, snapped this photo while doing some basic airwork with a friend Saturday morning over Round Mountain and Spirit Lake. Denver writes: “The low-lying fog and colorful trees made for some beautiful scenery as he practiced his maneuvers.” Notice the lone aspen at the bottom of the pen.

2 Edinger Grandkids Revealed Ties

Item: Nepotism rules slip under city's radar: Two grandkids said they were related to city council president on application for city jobs/Tom Hasslinger, Press

More Info: Two of the three grandchildren of a Coeur d'Alene councilman who were fired as city seasonal workers because of nepotism rules stated on their applications that they were related to the council member. The city's Human Resources Department said two of the applicants specified they were the grandchildren of City Council President Ron Edinger on their applications, which asked whether they were related to any city employees.

Question: Does this disclosure affect your view of the employment and later firing of Councilman Ron Edinger's three grandchildren?

OTV: Edinger Acted Like An Old Fart

OrangeTV: Graves vs Edinger was pretty wild. Graves was respectful, thoughtful and eloquent and I agreed with basically everything he had to say. Edinger on the other hand, true to character, was a grumpy old fart - he just couldn’t let the “75 year old geezer” thing go and he came across as rude and enormously condescending the way he asked Graves “Why are you running for MY seat?!?” He could have asked any number of questions that would have contributed to the discussion in a meaningful way but instead he made it all about him. It was like Grandpa was an hour past nap time and was getting grumpy and rummy. I do have a lot of respect for his time serving the city, but I do think it’s time for him to step aside and make way for some freshness.

Question: How much of a factor for you is 75YO Ron Edinger's age in the 2011 City Council elections?

JohnA: One District (Goes) Too Far

JohnA: It’s interesting that parts of four districts are in Kootenai County, 2,3,4 and 7. That means we could conceivably have 12 of the 105 legislators from Kootenai County. Wouldn’t that be something to see, especially if they could get together and vote as a block? Of course, the downside to that is three people from southeastern Kootenai County would have to win in District 7, battling Reps and Senators from Silverton to Grangeville. Not to mention they’d have to campaign over hostile terrain some 300 miles in length. You can’t even use one road to traverse the whole district, having to veer into Benewah county on Highway 3 or into Latah and Nez Perce counties on Highway 95 to get to constituents in Orofino and all points south to Grangeville and Riggins.

Question: Is the new District 7 better/worse than the old District 2?

AM Headlines — 10.24.11

“We need to put these assets to work. They shouldn’t sit during the summer just because people aren’t skiing,” Phil Edholm, CEO of Lookout Pass, said Friday. The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Act, which passed both houses unanimously, would allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue permits to ski resorts for additional year-round activities on U.S. Forest Service land. More here.

Artist To Give Birth Before Audience

Brooklyn-based performance artist Marni Kotak, who plans to give birth to her first child in front of a public audience at the Microscope Gallery in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, is shown at the gallery, which has been converted into a birthing room in New York last week. The birth will be assisted by a midwife. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Question: Is this something that you would pay to see?

Buck Knives: All In The Family

Buck Knives’ roots trace back to 1902, when 13-year-old blacksmith apprentice Hoyt Buck developed a method of heat-treating steel so that hoes and other tools would hold their edges better. But the business wasn’t launched until more than four decades later, when Hoyt and his son, Al, started handcrafting knives. Hoyt’s grandson, Chuck, began helping out when he was a teenager. Now 75, Chuck is company chairman, and his own son and grandson work for Buck Knives. We spoke with Chuck Buck after touring the knifemaker’s Post Falls facility/Michael Guilfoil, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka's SR photo: Chuck Buck says Buck Knives has sold “close to 20 million” of its most popular knife, the Model 110)

Question: What kind of a knife to you own?

Griz Wrangler Adusts To New Normal

A few weeks ago, she was just a wrangler who led dudes on trail rides near Glacier National Park. This week, Erin Bolster is trying to deal with a thousand email messages a day, not to mention book proposals and tempting job offers. The wrangler who rode her horse to the rescue of a young boy being threatened by a grizzly bear this summer is trying to settle back into her Montana lifestyle. That’s easier said than done after a Sept. 18 feature in The Spokesman-Review trotted Erin Bolster and her horse, Tonk, into the national spotlight. The ride peaked with an Oct. 11 appearance on “Late Night with David Letterman.” “I’m not sure I’ve landed yet,” said the 25-year-old Virginia native after returning from New York City to her home in Whitefish, Mont./Rich Landers, SR. More here. (CBS photo: Horse hauler Randy Siemsen and Erin Bolster with Tonk on Letterman stage)

Question: What would you do if you were in Erin Bolster's shoes?

Blanchette: Cougs Deserved Boos

Since they let the fans pick the uniforms online last week, maybe the next step for the Washington State Cougars is to let them call the plays from the stands. On the next-to-last snap before halftime here Saturday night, quarterback Jeff Tuel ducked and wiggled and shuffled to buy himself more time for a pass downfield, and what he bought himself was a long incompletion and a vicious lick from Oregon State linebacker Tony Wilson. One second remained and WSU coach Paul Wulff, even with a timeout in his pocket, either out of compassion or common sense ordered Tuel to take a knee on the final play rather than wager on a miracle from midfield. And thousands among the 49,219 gathered – egads, they drew more here for Grambling – for the misbegotten idea of the Cougs ceding a Pacific-12 Conference home game off campus booed/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (AP photo: Coach Paul Wulff, right, protests an unnecessary roughness penalty)

Question: Is it time to get a new coach and a new direction for Washington State?

Bennett: Decorations

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Weekend Wild Card — 10.22-23.11

I plan to spend the weekend saying goodbye to my wunnerful garden and puttering around in the yard. KXLY's Kris Crocker and other weathercasters are predicting a killing frost for midweek next week. We've had a good run since the Fourth of July. I'm not much of a winter person. But there's one thing I do look forward to when the snow's on the ground — the Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball teams. Both are ranked in the top 25 going into the 2011-12 season. But I don't mind waiting a little longer for Zags games — and winter — to begin. Now, for your Weekend Wild Card …

U.S. Troops Are Coming Home

Capt. Corey Steiner is welcomed home by his daughter, Lilliana Steiner, during a homecoming ceremony Friday at Ft. Carson, Colo. All U.S. troops “will definitely be home for the holidays,” President Barack Obama declared Friday, in his statement that the war in Iraq will be over by year's end.  More than 4,400 members of the military have been killed, and more than 32,000 have been wounded in the war that has stretched more than eight years.  (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Jerilee Bennett)

Question: What do you think will happen to Iraq after the United States pulls out at the end of the year?

Geezers: Term Wins No Votes, Friends

We are just so tired of the arrogant politicians at the Federal and state levels, and now Adam Graves is bringing that disgusting format to the local race for City Council. Apparently Mr. Graves has no respect for senior citizens and the valuable contributions they have brought to our country and communities. A quick perusal of his website exposes a gross example of his age prejudice. Just check out the image on his Campaign Support page. This is an obviously totally created picture in which Mr. Graves is stating his opponent is a “Geezer Dingbat.” Now as we all know, particularly Mr. Graves who states he is the co-founder of a marketing firm, there are no uncontrolled elements in a marketing plan or its materials. So basically Mr. Graves is demonstrating publicly his opinion of senior citizens. They are “Geezers” and “Dingbats.” Nice. Hope your parents are proud of you/Susan & Jeff Crowe, letter to Coeur d'Alene Press editor. More here.

Question: Did challenger Adam Graves help or hurt himself by poking at 75YO incumbent Ron Edinger's age during the dust-up over the use of iPads at the Coeur d'Alene candidates' forum last week?

Vandals Destroy Downtown CdA Statue

Item: Vandals destroy, steal downtown statue: Public art project dismantled/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: The statue bird - the centerpiece to the $3,000 public art piece “The Great Blue Heron” - vanished late Thursday night or early Friday morning, the result of vandalism and theft rolled into one, officials believe. What remains of the display, on the northeast corner of Third Street and Lakeside Avenue in front of the Olympia Greek restaurant, is the 3.5-by-3-feet basalt base and the bird's feet upon which its body once stood. “It's just a shame,” said Steve Anthony, city recreation director and liaison to the arts commission. “I'm more disappointed than anything else.” The statue was one of 15 pieces the city installed as part of its inaugural Art Currents project.


Seeger Helps Occupy New York

Activist musician Pete Seeger, 92, center, sings before a crowd of nearly a thousand demonstrators sympathetic to the Occupy Wall Street protests at a brief acoustic concert in Columbus Circle Saturday in New York. The demonstrators marched down Broadway singing “This Little Light of Mine” and other folk and gospel songs while ad-libbing lines about corporate greed and social justice. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Question: Who is your favorite folk singer?

CdA Wannabes Mixed It Up A Little

In an online post this PM, Coeur d'Alene Press reporter Tom Hasslinger discusses the potshots that were taken at the Coeur d'Alene City Council candidates forum Thursday night. Councilman John Bruning slapped at potholes in the city of Spokane. Annastasia Somontes said the location of the city library on the edge of McEuen Field “sucks” because it's far from the population center. Then, Councilman Ron Edinger came out firing as a result of a comment challenger Adam Graves had made about his age during the controversy about using iPads earlier in the week. Hasslinger quotes Edinger as saying: “I'm proud to be a part of the oldest common denominator. I'm a 75-year-old geezer!” Frankly, I thought half the questions were softballs, and the candidates did very little mixing it up. (AP file photo of then Rep. George Sayler, a Coeur d'Alene council candidate)

Question: Why do Coeur d'Alene candidates forums tend to be so boring?

Idaho Dad: Cute Girls Or Mebbe Not

My 13-year-old son attended a writing workshop last week. When I went to pick him up, and peeked into the classroom, I noticed that he was at a table full of girls around his age. So, a bit later in the car, I teased him a little. “I see you were sitting with all the cute girls.” I expected some sort of bashful reply, but heard this instead: “That’s kind of creepy.” “Creepy? Why?” I asked. “A grown man shouldn’t be calling teenage girls cute,” he explained. Yes, he has a point, I guess. Men have to be careful with their adjectives. Women can say whatever they want about kids, especially girls: “Your daughter is so beautiful!” or “That blouse looks great on her.” No, men can’t say those things for fear of it being misconstrued/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here.

Question: Is Idaho Dad right — that women can say pretty much what they want about the aethetics of the opposite sex, no matter what the age, while men'd better hold their tongue?

Simple Mind: Men Need To Hunt

Men need hunting season. I know this does not mean all men as there are a lot of them who don’t hunt… Some view hunting as just a reason to get rid of the wife and kids and have a drunken party. But a true hunter takes hunting very serious. and if they are lucky to have several friends who hunt, then it is a great time together … to bond, to be just themselves.. very much like women do when they have a girls night out. Or a women’s retreat. Sometimes, no matter how much you love your spouse, it feels good to take a few days or a week to unwind. Both come back stronger than before/From A Simple Mind. More here.

Question: Does hunting scratch that itch for you to be out with the guys? If not, what does? And/or (for gals): What do you like to do when you go out with your women friends?

Coeur d’Alene 63, Post Falls 35

The top-ranked Coeur d’Alene Vikings were tested for the first time in six games, trailed for the first time in seven games – and still won by 28 points. The Vikings broke from a tie score early in the second quarter with 28 unanswered points and rolled to a 63-35 5A Inland Empire League football victory over visiting Post Falls on Friday. Coeur d’Alene (8-0, 2-0 IEL) cracked the 50-point barrier for the sixth straight game. The Vikings had pretty much secured victories in their previous five games by halftime, leading by 25, 39, 54, 41 and 42 points. Fourth-ranked Post Falls (6-2, 1-1) kept it interesting most of the way, scoring on its first play from scrimmage and again on a trick play – halfback Tyson Johnson tossing a 14-yard pass to Auston May – to even the score at 14/Jim Meehan, SR. More here.

Parting Shot — 10.21.11

Kimberly Harryman, from the United States, competes during the shooting women's skeet final at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, today. Harryman set a new Pan American record. (AP Photo/Bernardo De Niz)

TGIF Wild Card — 10.21.11

Well, we're still here, but the day isn't over. As you may recall, evangelist/kook Harold Camping predicted that the Acopalypse would occur sometime today (after missing on a similar prediction 6 months ago). I wouldn't hold my breath. In fact, I'd recommend that you think about the local City Council elections less than 3 weeks away. You can view the candidate debates from last night on the city Web site today here. Or you could start your own thread by playing today's Wild Card …

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.21.10

  • 5:49 p.m. Something pink and white is lying on BNSF RR tracks @ Mullan & Chase/PF.
  • 5:25 p.m. 6YO girl & one other person are hurt in 2-vehicle crash @ Greensferry & Prairie/PF.
  • 5:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 20-21 here.
  • 4:56 p.m. Caller reports Ford Explorer drove onto Schlotzky curb during turn @ Ironwood Center.
  • 4:42 p.m. 1 driver had bloody nose, other back pain after crash @ H95 & Kathleen/CdA.
  • 4:21 p.m. Hiker reports 2 males smoking marijuana near Nettleton Gulch/CdA trailhead.
  • 4:04 p.m. 2-vehicle accident is blocking s/b H95 just south of Ironwood (near Cancer Center).
  • 4:01 p.m. Post Falls resident apprehends 3 boys on bikes behind U.S. Bank for stealing yard items.
  • 18 more PM Scanner Traffic items below

PM Headlines — 10.21.11

A mantle of autumn leaves frames early morning traffic along Alder Street in Walla Walla, Wash., this week as fall finally makes its colorful presence known in southeast Washington. (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin: Jeff Horner)

North Idaho Blogs — 10.21.11

Pecky Cox, As the Lake Churns blogger, has been adding a number of photos to the Priest Lake Photography Facebook wall, including this one in which she caught Bambi calling.

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday): 8881/5162, and (for Wednesday): 7643/4813, and (for Tuesday): 8464/5258

They Still Love Us Not

Members of United Citizens Organization burn an effigy of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a rally against her visit to Pakistan, Friday. Clinton led an unusually large U.S. delegation for two days of talks with civilian and military leaders who have resisted previous U.S. demands to take a harder tack against militants who attack American soldiers and interests in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)

Did McIntire, Son-In-Law Skirt Debate?

In the category of “Inquiring Minds Want to Know,” A Berry Picker ponders: “Don't have a dog in the fight in the Hayden city elections but it seems as if the incumbent mayor Ron McIntire and his son in law making themselves unavailable for multiple date options for a candidate forum could be a political strategy. The forum gets canceled and then their opponents don't have the opportunity to present themselves to the public. I wonder why they don't just hold a Hayden forum with whichever of the candidates for the one council seat and mayor choose to attend?”

Question: Do you think Hayden Mayor Ron McIntire and his son-in-law, Chris LaMarr, who's running for a City Council seat, intentionally skipped the televised CDATV broadcasts in order to prevent their challengers from gaining exposure? Should the broadcasts have gone on without them?

City Appoints Dike Tree Committee

We got the phone call the other day and an email confirmation yesterday, and we’re pleased to say that KEA will be represented on the City of Coeur d’Alene’s new ad hoc committee to deal with the dike road trees. An initial meeting will be scheduled for mid-November. Recall that a Corps of Engineers inspection is calling for removal of the 500 mature trees along the levee between North Idaho College and the waterfront. KEA has initiated a petition drive calling on the Corps to review its levee vegetation policy as applied here in Coeur d’Alene. Along with KEA, appointees to the committee include representatives from North Idaho College, the Centennial Trail, Fort Grounds homeowners, the 4-Counties Natural Resources Committee, Councilman John Bruning, and State Senator John Goedde/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here. (KEA Blog photo)

Question: Are you satisfied with the representation on the Dike Road tree committee?

Political Game: Why Kill Rhoades?

Paul Ezra Rhoades was convicted in Idaho of three murders, though all told he is believed to have murdered at least six people. One of the three murders he was convicted of in Idaho was the sister of a family friend. I know what her death did to her family. I have seen the cost, the pain and the anger. However, knowing what I do, I cannot fathom any amount of closure or relief coming from the state executing Rhoades. It will not bring back his victims and it will not make what he did any less evil. If the law enforcement officials who brought Rhoades to justice will not find any satisfaction in his execution, what satisfaction can the state find in their killing him?/The Political Game. More here.

Question: Would you witness an execution if you could do so?

Kootenai County Burglaries 3X In Year

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a large number of day time burglaries over recent months. In 2010, between the first of September and the middle of October, there were 21 residential burglaries reported in the county.  This year, for the same time period, there have been 91 residential burglaries.  Most of the recent burglaries have occurred during the day time hours, while no one is home, where a door has been forced open and easy to carry items are stolen from the residence. Suspects have been reported to possibly be checking out residences by knocking on doors and offering to sell the homeowner firewood or to be hired as a dog-walking service.  Anyone with information regarding the recent string of burglaries is asked to contact Detective Franssen at the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 446-1300/Major Ben Wolfinger, KCSD.

Question: Are you part of a Neighborhood Watch group?

High Noon: Failed High Five

Sir Paul Nurse, left, misses a high-five hand clap with Julie Maxton after receiving the Communication and Humanites Prince of Asturias prize in Oviedo, Spain, today. The award is one of eight of Spain's prestigious Asturias prizes, presented by Crown Prince Felipe and granted each year in various categories. (AP Photo/Paco Paredes)

Question: When & why did you last high five someone?

Holly Pickett In Libya: War Is Over

Holly Pickett, former Spokesman-Review photographer who saw Moammar Gaddafi's body Thursday, just tweeted: “I am in #Misrata and the front-line medics just celebrated because the field hospital was dismantled and returned from #Sirte. War is over.” You can follow her other tweets on this compelling day here.

Welcome To New NIdaho Districts

HucksOnline asked Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise for map of new North Idaho legislative districts. And she sent a link to the one above. Looks like the city of Coeur d'Alene is all within District 4. District 1 looks about the same, too. But the rest of the districts seem pretty carved up. Read Betsy Russell's description of North Idaho descriptions.

JohnA comment: We go from sharing our interests with Bob Nonini, Frank Henderson and Jim Hammond to join a far-flung district over 200 miles long.  I'm actually OK with that, as I'm from Shoshone county and have worked with the cities of Harrison, Orofino and Riggins in the past.  I know the people to be fair, if somewhat rural-minded, still seeking natural resource jobs while showcasing their incredible recreational opportunities for the world to see. Forget flying home to Spokane every weekend like our Reps do now, as they'd pass over the majority of their constituents. It will take a snowcat, ATV and a beefed up four-wheel drive to service this district, so I hope whoever runs in 2012 has lucky No. 7 on their side.

Question: Which new North Idaho legislative district boundary bothers you most?

Fischer Blasts Cain’s Abortion Stand

Bryan Fischer, the former Boise pastor now with the American Family Association, is making headlines again by attacking presidential candidate Herman Cain re: abortion statements. Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman quotes Fisher from Michelle Goldberg in The Daily Beast. Writes Goldberg: “That could have come right out of the Planned Parenthood playbook,” Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association says of Cain’s comments. “To us, it’s like somebody saying, ‘I’m personally opposed to gassing Jews, but if you want to do that I’m not going to stand in your way.” You can read more from Popkey here.

Question: What do you make of Herman Cain's abortion stand?

Dems Rip Crapo, Risch Jobs Bill Vote

Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have chosen to play “partisan games” over supporting a bill that would have created some 6,200 jobs in Idaho, the state Democratic Party said today. The Republicans voted against bill Thursday to funding teaching and first responders' jobs. “It is pretty obvious that the Republicans don’t want to do anything to improve the economy before the 2012 elections,” state party chairman Larry Grant said. “But the only way we are going to help the people of Idaho is if our lawmakers do the job they were elected to and fund education and infrastructure. Idahoans don’t need political games, they need jobs”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.\

Question: Do you agree/disagree with the position that Idaho's U.S. senators took on jobs bill?

Betsy Provides Redistricting ABCs

Under Idaho's new legislative district plan, there are six House districts that contain three current incumbents, plus one that contains five. Each district has two House seats. So that means in the three-incumbent districts, two will have to face off if all want to stay in office - but which two? I posed that question to Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, and he said, “It's totally up to them, totally how they file.” He noted, “There's a Seat A, Seat B right now designation that they're quote unquote in, but they don't have to file for their same alphabetical designation or anything. It's up to them”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do all these runoffs among incumbents provide further proof that the second Idaho Redistricting Commission did their constitutional job and didn't play favorites — unlike the first group?

Atheists Take Credit For Statue Ruling

A national atheist organization took credit Thursday for persuading the U.S. Forest Service to deny a special use permit that for decades has allowed a statue of Jesus Christ to occupy a bite of public land on Big Mountain. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which works to keep religion out of government, said the land lease was “unconstitutional” because religious symbolism cannot legally exist on federal property. The group claimed responsibility for a recent Forest Service decision that could lead to the statue's removal from a small swatch of Flathead National Forest land. The statue has been perched at the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort's Chair 2 since 1955, and was installed by a local chapter of the Knights of Columbus as a memorial to veterans of World War II, who encountered religious shrines in the mountains abroad/Tristan Scott, Missoulian. More here. (Wikipedia illustration of Jesus the Good Shepherd)

Question: Do you agree with USFS decision to remove that long-standing statue of Jesus Christ from Whitefish's Big Mountain ski area?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.21.11

  • 11:59 a.m. White smoke coming from bus parked behind shed off Prairie. Deputy suggests fire department be called because there might be a chemical problem.
  • 11:58 a.m. Caller reports fire alarm sounding in neighbor's house but no fire or smoke in 200 block of Aerie/PF. No one is home.
  • 11:57 a.m. Julie of Right of Way Transport wants to see an officer re: a theft.
  • 11:48 a.m. Caller is concerned that hood that's up might blow off on Penske truck being towed on s/b H95 @ M/P 471 (Bottle Bay Road).
  • 11:33 p.m. Two Post Falls neighbors are fighting over a garage door.
  • 11:29 p.m. Officer has taken man wanted on warrant into custody in 100 block of Spruce/CdA.
  • 11:23 a.m. Karen is upset re: neighbor's trash on her property in 2200 block of Bonnell/CdA.
  • 11:11 a.m. Woman in blue PT Cruiser is waiting in Jehovah Witness parking lot @ Syringa & Mullan/PF b/c she's afraid to go home.
  • 11:05 a.m. A man in a gold Taurus is putting phone books in mailboxes on Smith/Hauser.
  • 13 more items below

Sympathy For Gunned Down Animals

A stuffed animal with a sympathy card attached hangs from the locked gate at the Muskingum County Animal Farm Thursday in Zanesville, Ohio. The owner of a U.S. exotic animal farm who released dozens of tigers, lions and others beasts from their cages in a final act shot himself to death and then was bitten by one of his own animals, a sheriff said Thursday. An autopsy showed Terry Thompson had a bite wound on his head that appeared to have come from a large cat, such as a Bengal tiger, Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz told a news conference. (AP Photo/Mike Munden)

Question: Hollywood stars and animal rights activists were incensed re: the way police gunned down the exotic animals, some of which were rare, in a successful effort to protect residents. Do you agree/disagree that the animals had to be destroyed?

President Declares End Of Iraq War

President Obama announced Friday that the United States will withdraw nearly all troops from Iraq by the end of the year, effectively bringing the long war in Iraq to an end. “After nearly 9 years, America's war in Iraq will be over,” said Mr. Obama, who said the last American troops will depart the country “with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the american people stand united in our support for our troops” by January 1st. “Our troops are finally coming home,” he added, saying they “will definitely be home for the holidays.” America has withdrawn nearly 100,000 troops from Iraq already as part of the current draw-down, and about 40,000 troops - who are deemed “non-combat” - remain/Brian Montopoli, CBS News. More here. (AP photo)

Question: With Osama bin Laden dead, Moammar Gaddafi dead, and the Iraqi war almost over, is it time to give President Barack Obama credit for running U.S. foreign policy well?

Kevin: Always Time For Dessert

Preparing for a possible Rapture today, former SR buddy Kevin Taylor was cleaning house — “just in case the Lord values neatness” — when he found a typewritten note from a “certain 10-year-old.” He calls it his “personal Rapture moment.” The note read:

“Dear DdD, Iam afraid that you have not been giving me the right amount of sweets and candy latley. If you don't start giving me the right amount agin (and right away!) I shall perish from “Lack of sweets disorientation”. So I suggest you start right now by giving me some turtle ice cream! scincerly, nora taylor!!!”

Question (from Kevin): If the Rapture's coming, should you eat dessert first? What notes from kids have you saved?

Poll: MLK Memorial OK

  • Thursday Poll: A large majority of Hucks Nation is fine with the fact that a Chinese sculptor who designed the Martin Luther King Memorial also heroically depicted Mao Zedung in dozens of works. 72 of 120 respondents (60%) have no problem that Lea Yixin designed the MLKJr memorial. 43 of 120 (35.83%). 5 were undecided.
  • Weekend Poll: Who is the best Idaho governor of the last 25 years — Butch Otter, Jim Risch, Dirk Kempthorne, Phil Batt, Cecil Andrus, or John Evans?

APhoto Of The Day — 10.21.11

French rugby players practise a scrum during a training session in Auckland, New Zealand, Thursday. France will play the New Zealand All Blacks in the final of the Rugby World Cup on Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

IFF: Andrus Greatest Guv? No Way

I moved to Idaho in 1995 shortly after Phil Batt took office, so I did not get to experience either of the gubernatorial administrations of Cecil Andrus. And my dealings with Andrus in his post-elected life have been relatively benign — a conversation here and there, mostly by phone. I have no animus toward Andrus and seems fairly personable and likable. But I get a little queasy whenever modern writers take various current or former officeholders and establish them or their myriad policies as “the greatest” anything, as former Andrus staffer Chris Carlson has done in his new book with the gushing and obviously over-the-top title “Cecil Andrus: Idaho's Greatest Governor.” The book was released last Monday. No, I haven't read the book, and I'd like to promise here and now that I won't waste my time because of my distain for the title/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Have you ever met Cecil Andrus? Tells us abou it.

Edit: Idaho Too Cozy With Lobbyists

A skilled, smooth political operative, Jason Kreizenbeck (pictured in AP file photo) moved seamlessly from lobbying for Micron Technology into public service. And now, he is allowed to seamlessly move back from the public to the private sector — as if the two are one and the same. Because, in Idaho, they are treated as if they are one and the same. Kreizenbeck, Gov. Butch Otter’s chief of staff for nearly four years, is stepping down. He will take a job with Skip Smyser, a Statehouse lobbyist whose cadre of clients includes AT&T, the private prison firm Corrections Corp. of America, and Idaho Medicaid contractor Molina Healthcare. “I don’t even know if I’m going to be lobbying,” Kreizenbeck told the Statesman’s Dan Popkey this week. Kreizenbeck need not be coy. Under the state’s lax and laissez faire ethics laws, there is nothing stopping him from turning in his resignation at Otter’s second-floor office at the Statehouse, walking down the hallway to Secretary of State Ben Ysursa’s office, and registering as a lobbyist/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Why does Idaho continue to allow such a cozy relationship between those who govern and lobbyists?

Richert: What About Herman Cain?

In the same way that “compromise” has become a dirty word in American politics, the phrase “career politician” has little currency with some voters. About half of the 87 first-term U.S. House Republicans have never held elected office before. The problem with that, seven-term U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson says, is that successful business executives often have the hardest time adjusting to the complex and byzantine world of Capitol Hill politics. “It is frustrating to those people,” Simpson told the Statesman editorial board this week. “Our system of government was never meant to get anything done.” That observation prompted me to ask Simpson about the latest flavor of the month in the GOP presidential derby: the campaign of Herman Cain (pictured in AP file photo). The former Godfather’s Pizza executive has become a front-runner for the nomination, partly because of his attention-getting (but unimplementable) 9-9-9 income tax and national sales tax gimmick/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Why is this country so fascinated with non-politicians who aspire to become politicians?

AM Headlines — 10.21.11

Through the colorful blur of the cross country course at Fort Walla Walla in Walla Walla, Wash., a Walla Walla High School boys varsity runner, left, speeds ahead of his Chiawana High School opponent during the Class 4A Big Nine meet recently. (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin: Jeff Horner)

Rod Stewart’s Son Playing For Chiefs

Liam Stewart, visiting the House of Charity on Tuesday with his Chiefs teammates, listens to an improvised song by Jefferson Wes about the team winning this year's Memorial Cup. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Of all the opportunities Liam Stewart has had, the one he grabbed and held on to with an unmistakable passion is hockey. “The atmosphere around the room, stepping on the ice every day, I just love it,” the Spokane Chiefs’ rookie forward said. “I love scoring. I love the aggressiveness of it. It’s just a lot of fun. And it’s different from what both my parents did.” According to Stewart, his dad is a soccer guy and his mom is a rugby fan. That would be rock music icon Rod Stewart, who is from England, and supermodel Rachel Hunter, who is from New Zealand. They divorced in 2006. “I’m privileged to have parents like that,” their son said. “I’ve traveled the world, (but) I never thought of myself different than anyone in the room. I’ve never been too cocky about it, or talked about it”/Dave Trimmer, SR. More here. (AP file photo: Rod Stewart and Holly Hunter)

Question: Will you be more inclined to follow the Spokane Chiefs this year, knowing that rock star Rod Stewart's son, Liam, plays for them?

CdA Candidates Square Off Again

Item: Cd'A candidates tackle the issues: City Council hopefuls make their case at CDA TV Committee forum/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Seat 5 incumbent John Bruning used the new rule to ask challenger Steve Adams from which departments he would cut jobs, if City Hall does have around 100 jobs too many as Adams has stated could be the case. Adams, a self described “constitutional conservative” who wants to reduce the city's budget, said all positions could be under the microscope should he get elected, including police and fire.

Question: How would you rate the candidates in last night's debates?

Idaho Readies Execution Chamber

The small cell holding Paul Ezra Rhoades sits across a hallway from the room in which he is scheduled to die in less than a month. His isolation cell is quiet as a worker brings in a tray of medicine. The death chamber is silent, save for the faint hum of fluorescent lights. It is all pristine: The cream-colored gurney unused, the wooden podium emblazoned with the Great Seal  of Idaho not yet fitted with a microphone. No one has ever been killed in this room. But the Idaho Department of Correction has been practicing the motions of an execution for years, anticipating that as many as three death row inmates will be put to death here before the end of 2013. The first, 54-year-old Rhoades, is scheduled to die Nov. 18 unless he is granted clemency or a last-minute stay by the federal courts. He is already under 24-hour suicide watch in anticipation of the event/Rebecca Boone, Associated Press. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Why would you put a condemned man on 24-hour suicide watch to prevent him from killing himself prior to his execution?

Heller: Welcome, Colonel

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

CdA Council Debate Wild Card

In the comments section, you can read some of my observations about the Coeur d'Alene City Council debates televised on CDATV this evening. Local-access Channel 19 will re-broadcast the debates. I'll try to remember to post a schedule. You can also find video of the debates on the Coeur d'Alene city Web site. All the candidates showed up. The debates consisted of the following people:

  • Seat #3  (Derec Aujay, Dan Gookin, Pat “Mitch” Mitchell, George Sayler, Annastasia Somontes)
  • Seat #1 (Ron Edinger, Adam Graves)
  • Seat #5 (Steve Adams, John Bruning, Amber Copeland)

Wild Card/Thursday — 10.20.11

Coeur d'Alene City Clerk Susan Weathers tells HucksOnline that the Hayden City Council candidate debate on CDATV has been cancelled because challenge Chris LaMarr has a conflict today. Meanwhile, debates for the Coeur d'Alene council races will be broadcast live on CDATV Channel 19 at 5 p.m. in the Coeur d'Alene Library community room. They'll also be rebroadcast later, but won't be live-streamed. Video of the debates will be posted on the city Web site for viewing, however. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.20.11

Pianist Lang Lang, center, rehearses with chief conductor Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra Wednesday in Philadelphia. Lang, 29 from China, is joining the symphony for three performances of Liszt's famed Piano Concerto No. 1 along with other selections. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Simple Mind: I Can’t Sing

No, really, if you heard me, you would know I can’t sing. In Church I am like Bill Cosby… remember he talked about his brother Russell and he singing, but only mouthing the words. And how he almost got caught as he had mouth the words AMEN, only to be almost caught as he had to shift his mouth for the words that turn out not to be AMEN, but FOREVER MORE …That is me. I was told when I was in my 20’s and had a husband at that time who played guitar and sang. One day I decided to sing with him as I knew the words … only to be shut down by an instant stop of guitar playing to silence, and a glare… and words of… what ever made you think you can sing? You have a terrible voice/From A Simple Mind. More here.

Question: Do you have a good singing voice?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.20.11

  • 5:13 p.m. Caller reports an animal is injured after being hit @ 15th & Locust/CdA.
  • 5:08 p.m. Unwanted individuals are soliciting in trail court off Gueneveres/PF.
  • 4:57 p.m. Someone is unconscious after 2-vehicle, blocking crash on n/b H95 & Dakota/Hayden. (Update: 2 women taken to the hospital from crash. SR story here.)
  • 4:37 p.m. Holiday gas station, 8100 Cornerstone/Hayden, reports semi-cooperative shoplifter.
  • 4:28 p.m. Patrol officer reports he's taken vehicle to Les Schwab/Rathdrum w/screw in tire.
  • 4:19 p.m. Chatcolet/Worley resident threatens to shut road after reporting high speeds for 2 years.
  • 4:10 p.m. Shopko, 217 E. Ironwood/CdA, representative reports loitering man.
  • 4:09 p.m. Woman in vehicle of rolling domestic @ H53 & Northchase/Rathdrum has rifle, possibly from hunting in the woods.
  • 15 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic

PM Headlines — 10.20.11

“It's a fall thing to do,” said Phil Provost as he swept the moss from the roof of his house in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Broadsword To Quit After ‘12 Session

With the ink barely dry on Idaho's redistricting maps, one senator has announced she's leaving following the 2012 session: Joyce Broadsword of Sagle. The four-term Republican was pushed into a district where Broadsword would have faced Republican Sen. Shawn Keough in next May's primary if she'd campaigned again. Broadsword resignation clears the way for Keough to run without opposition from a GOP incumbent. Broadsword had represented voters in District 2, covering Bonner, Kootenai, Benewah and Shoshone counties. With the 2011 redistricting maps that were drawn last Friday, however, Broadsword's home now falls into District 1, reflecting population changes on Idaho's northern panhandle/AP. More here.


Ed Board Tweaks Petersen Contract

The State Board of Education on Thursday approved several tweaks to Boise State football coach Chris Petersen’s contract. The vote was 6-0 with two board members absent. Petersen’s automatic one-year extensions for every season in which the Broncos win eight games now will include a $100,000 raise, double the previous contracted amount. His bonus for a Bowl Championship Series berth (now $150,000) or a conference championship (now $100,000) has been increased by $25,000. Petersen’s total compensation, including longevity bonuses and supplemental retirement contributions, will be $1.525 million this year/Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo of Coach Chris Petersen during Oct. 7 Fresno State game)

Question: For all the positive exposure & dollars that the Boise State Broncos bring to Idaho, I believe Petersen is worth every  penny of his salary and automatic raises. How about you?

Gookin: Of Course CdA Owns Library

Well, of course, the City owned the Library all along. That’s not the issue. The issue is, once again, the reactive approach by highly-paid city staff to a long-standing issue during an election campaign. It’s becoming predictable. In today’s Press, an article states that the City owns the Library. For whatever reason, the County Assessor has listed the Library as an asset of the LCDC. It’s been listed that way since the Library was constructed over four years ago. City Administrator Wendy Gabirel took it upon herself to “correct” the situation. According to the article, she directed Finance Director Troy Tymesen to contact the County and have them re-classify the Library as a City asset. Having the county make that adjustment is okay because the City does own the Library, but I have a question: Why did it take one of the City’s highest paid officials so long to recognize such an obvious mistake?/Dan Gookin, Dan Gookin Campaign Blog. More here.

Question: What to you think of the point Dan Gookin makes here?

Slice: Actresses Who Lived In Idaho

In the category of “Actresses Who Have Lived In Idaho,” SR Slice buddy Paul Turner posts this photo on his blog of Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men.” She lived in Twin Falls as a child, Paul reports. BTW, if you love nostalgia and Paul's snippets in the print Slice, you should check out his online slice here.

Question: Who is your favorite Idaho-born or -raised actor?

INW Ranks High For Suicidal Thoughts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a fascinating report today measuring suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adults older than 18 in the United States. Residents of Idaho and Washington have among the highest percentages of “suicidal thoughts” but don't rank as alarmingly high in percentages of those who have actual plans or make actual attempts. In 2008-2009, when the scientific surveys were taken, 6 percent of Idahoans, age 18 and older, reported suicidal thoughts; In Washington, it was 4.7 percent. The U.S. average is 3.7 percent. Utah had the highest reported percentage of suicidal thoughts, at 6.8 percent. Georgia had the lowest percentage, at 2.1 percent/Rebecca Nappi, End Notes. More here.

Question: Would HucksOnline be indelicate if it asked: Have you ever had a suicidal thought?

TGIF? End Of World Arrives Friday

The end is near, again, probably. So get ready, maybe. Harold Camping, the 90-year-old radio host who famously predicted the world would end last May on the 21st, has confirmed that he believes the world will now end Friday, “probably.” After God failed to deliver on the appointed date last spring, Camping, facing mockery from the press and crushing disappointment and anger from his followers, quickly produced a revision to his predication, setting the new, for-real-this-time, date of Oct. 21. According to his revised explanation, the “spiritual rapture” did indeed occur on May 21, but the actual end-of-the-world rapture will occur Friday. Conveniently, the spiritual rapture passed virtually undetected to all but Camping/Abby Ohlheiser, Slatest. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Are you ready for the big day tomorrow?

Ex-SR Photographer Saw Gadhafi Body

Former Spokesman-Review photographer Holly Pickett was on the scene today in Libya when rebels killed long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi. She saw Gadhafi's body. And has been documenting what happened to the fallen leader via Twitter. Latest two tweets: “Not sure where 's body went. It must have been to a very secure location. I think Misratans may have torn him to shreds.” And: “I meant Misratans would tear him to shreds if the body wasn't closely guarded.” You can follow her Twitter here (latest tweet on top).

Question: Can you imagine how courageous Holly is?

INW Headlines — 10.20.11

In this photo published by the Lewiston Tribune today, Aaron Marshall of Boise holds a massive rainbow he caught below Dworshak Dam in July. Eric Barker of the Lewiston Tribune reports: “There are some huge fish lurking in the North Fork Clearwater River below Dworshak Dam, and they aren't steelhead or salmon.”(Courtesy photo: Aaron Marshall)

High Noon: Putting The Week To Bed

On her Facebook wall, Cindy writes: “On Friday Eve, I pretend my desk is clear, deadlines are met and the weekend has begun. I also empy the trash can next to my desk. What's your Friday Eve tradition?”

Question: How do you put the week to bed?

Reflections Of Color

On her Idaho Scenic Images Facebook wall, Linda Lantzy describes this photo: “A roadside pond near Granite Pass. The reflections of color among the rocks caught my eye, but ultimately it's a little busy for my tastes.”

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.20.11

  • 11:55 a.m. A white Chevy Silverado is tailgating & almost caused a crash @ H95 & Garwood.
  • 11:37 a.m. Fortgrounds homeowner reports a parking problem in 700 block of Military/CdA.
  • 11:15 a.m. Post Falls official reports street sign has been knocked down across from Wendy's on H41.
  • 10:51 a.m. Caller reports possible drunk is sitting in purple van on Mullan/PF after hitting curb.
  • 10:36 a.m. Caller reports vehicle in a ditch on Hayden Creek, a mile beyond Sportsmen's Access.
  • 10:33 a.m. A couple is involved in physical domestic fight on S. Riverwood Court/PF.
  • 10:31 a.m. Driver reports he's traveling posted 55 mph limit on H95 b/n H53 & Hayden — and constantly getting passed by faster vehicles. He's requesting an emphasis patrol on that stretch of road.
  • 10:04 a.m. Caller reports an abandoned cat on Monarch/CdA.
  • 9:51 a.m. Caller reports finding a loose chicken on her property @ 16298 Trails End/Rathdrum.
  • 9:42 a.m. A disabled gray van is blocking road in front of 5925 Davenport/Dalton Gardens.
  • 9:22 a.m. Amanda is concerned about a suspicious vehicle in her neighborhood.
  • 9:04 a.m. Hayden Kindercenter is staging a fire drill.
  • 9:01 a.m. An undisclosed traffic hazard is reported @ Government Way & Hanley/CdA.
  • 8:31 a.m. Earlier today, a two-vehicle accident damaged a fence @ Fisher & Chase/PF.

Poll: Tea Party Controls Local Repubs

  • Wednesday Poll: A majority of Hucks Nation believes the Tea Party controls the Kootenai County Republican Party. 77 of 150 respondents (51.33%) voted that the Tea Party controls the local Elephants. 59 of 150 (38.51%) say it doesn't. 14 (9.33%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Are you bothered that the new Martin Luther King Memorial was sculpted by a Chinese artist who heroically depicted brutal dictator Mao Zedung.

CdA Candidate Forum On TV Live

Coeur d'Alene City Clerk Susan Weathers has provided HucksOnline with the format for this afternoon's debate on CDATV, which you can watch live on Channel 19. It'll also be rebroadcast later. The debate won't be live-streamed. But it will be posted on the Coeur d'Alene Today city Web site Friday for viewing. Here's the lineup:

  • 5 p.m. Seat #3  (Derec Aujay, Dan Gookin, Pat “Mitch” Mitchell, George Sayler, Annastasia Somontes)
  • Approx. 5:40 p.m. Seat #1 (Ron Edinger, Adam Graves)
  • Approx. 6 p.m. Seat #5 (Steve Adams, John Bruning, Amber Copeland)

The format is: Candidate Introductions:  1 minute each candidate; 5 citizen questions:  1 minute response each candidate; open question: 1 minute response each candidate; final question:  2 minutes response each candidate

Idaho Sets 1st Execution Since 1994

On the day a judge gave the order for serial killer Paul Ezra Rhoades (pictured) to die, the men who brought him to justice found little satisfaction in his looming execution. Instead, the investigators and prosecutors who worked Rhoades’ cases emphasized their limited roles nearly a quarter-century ago in tracking, catching and convicting him. “The case has come to its full destiny now,” Bonneville County Sheriff Paul Wilde said. “That’s the order of the court, not the order of the law-enforcement guys.” Bonneville County Judge Jon Shindurling issued death warrants Wednesday for Rhoades, 54, for murdering Stacy Baldwin and Susan Michelbacher in 1987. Rhoades also received two life sentences for the second-degree murder of Idaho Falls convenience store clerk Nolan Haddon around the same time/Sven Berg, Idaho Falls Post Register. More here.

Question: Does it make sense to execute a murderer who has been in prison for 24 years? And/or: Does it make sense to take 24 years to execute triple-murderer Paul Ezra Rhoades?

Edit: Would MLK Approve Of Statue?

This is old news but it’s still worth a mention. Besides, the dedication of the Martin Luther King Memorial this past Sunday makes it somewhat timely. The overwhelming majority agrees it is a beautiful and fitting memorial. The 30’ granite monument on the National Mall is situated between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. But while most agree the memorial is beautiful and fitting, there has been some criticism. The Martin Luther King Memorial was sculpted by a Chinese artist using 159 pieces of point Chinese granite. The fact this country’s most recent national monument was 'made in China’ prompts the expected sneers and criticism. Certainly there must be a sculptor in the United States capable of producing work to properly honor Martin Luther King. But it’s more than that/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette Record. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Does it bother you that new MLKJr memorial was made in China by a sculptor who sculpted dozens of depictions of Mao Zedung?

All Quiet On Priest Lake Waterfront

On her Facebook wall, As the Lake Churns blogger Pecky Cox offers this photo of the Priest Lake waterfront in the middle of fall.

AP, AFP Offer Dead Gadhafi Photo

The AP and AFP services are circulating photos of Moammar Gadhafi's body after the long-time Libyan leader was killed this morning in fighting near his stronghold of Sirti. The AP images come from video screengrabs provided by Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, says Paul Colford, director of media relations. AP has been “very careful to use only stuff we’ve vetted and feel comfortable about,” Colford said. You can read more about it here (& find another link that provides a graphic photo of Gadhafi's body.

Question: Should newspapers, wire services, Huckleberries publish graphic photos of Gadhafi's body? And/or: How will you handle graphic images/video of Gadhafi's death?

Cindy: I ♥ My Bluetooth

I used to make fun of them. The people who walk through grocery stores, animatedly chatting with invisible friends. The folks at movie theaters with winking blue lights behind their ears. The self-important ones who cannot disconnect from their Bluetooth devices while dining out, visiting the library or exercising at the gym. And then I became one of them. When Washington made it illegal to talk on a cellphone while driving, I was forced to join the hands-free generation and buy a Bluetooth device. You see, I do a lot of driving and I make a lot of phone calls. With the amount of kid-hauling I do, I’d never be able to schedule interviews, make appointments or catch up with friends if I confined my talk time to my scarce stationary moments. I recently discovered, however, just how talk-technology dependent I’d become when I lost my hands-free device/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here. (AP file illustration)

Question: How dependent are you on your Bluetooth?

‘Biggest Loser’ Bounces Lewiston Native

Courtney Rainville (pictured in Trae Patton/NBC photo) left the set of NBC's “The Biggest Loser” Tuesday night with less than she started out with, making her stint on the show a success. Rainville, 25, was eliminated from the cast during week five of the reality TV program, after spending one month at the Biggest Loser Resort. During her televised stay under trainer Dolvett Quince, Rainville lost 39 pounds. Her starting weight was 270. In her final episode, Rainville won a challenge in which the teams raced through an obstacle course carrying glasses of soda. The winner received an all-expense-paid, two-week trip to the Biggest Loser Resort for a person of their choice. Rainville chose to give the trip to her sister. At the end of the episode, Rainville's Red Team lost that week's weigh-in, having acrued the lowest percentage of weight loss. Her teammates then voted her off the show/Jennifer K. Bauer, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: What's the most weight that you've lost via diet or an exercise program? Did you keep it off?

Sims Wrong Again, City Owns Library

Item: Book it: City owns library: Assessor's office listed facility as belonging to LCDC/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: The city of Coeur d'Alene owns its public library. Lake City Development Corp., the city's urban renewal agency, does not. But in declaring the local ownership dispute null and void, city officials concede that LCDC does own the adjacent parking lot and that the Kootenai County Assessor's Office, which had incorrectly listed LCDC as the library's owner in the county assessor's database, changed its listing last week to reflect as much after city critics said the listing proved that LCDC owned the $6 million, voter-approved library.

DFO: State Rep. Kathy Sims was wrong when she said Mayor Sandi Bloem, City Council members, and others had a conflict of interest in dealing with McEuen Field upgrades. She and her allies were wrong now in publicly insisting that boogeyman LCDC owns the city library. Do you expect an ap-hollow-gy this time?

AM Headlines — 10.20.11

Kyah Lucky, right, a Coeur d'Alene High School sophomore, shares a laugh during the Women in Science event at North Idaho College on Tuesday. The event runs through today and was created to present high school students with information on careers in science. Sponsors include the University of Idaho-Coeur d'Alene and NIC. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Bites The Dust — Moammar Gadhafi

In this Sept. 1, 1987 file photo, Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi, holds a baton as he sits to review Libyan troops during the 18th anniversary celebration of Libya's revolution in Tripoli. Libya's information minister said Gadhafi was killed Thursday when revolutionary forces overwhelmed his hometown, Sirte, the last major bastion of resistance two months after the regime fell. Story here. (AP Photo/John Redman)

Question: Good riddance to bad rubbish?

What Is Your Occupy Percentage?

The Occupy Wall Street movement seeks to speak for the bottom 99% of the population by income, which includes pretty much everyone who makes less than $500,000 a year. According to the protesters’ unofficial website, “Occupy Wall Street” is a leaderless movement of people from many different backgrounds. “The one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%,” the website says. A related site called We Are the 99% records stories from people around the country. The calculator above shows where your income stands on the wide range of the 99%/Wall Street Journal. More here. H/T: Jimmy-Mac

Question: The link provided by Jimmy-Mac above allows you to calculate where you fall on the Occupy movement's 99% scale. All you have to do is plug in your household's annual salary. Where do you place?

Man Offers Wheelchairs For Wine Sale

When Gordon Holmes (pictured) takes the podium tonight in the Davenport Hotel’s swank Isabella Ballroom, it’s a given the subject of precious metals will come up. Holmes, after all, is the featured banquet speaker for the annual Silver Summit. This year’s two-day confab will unite 700 investors, explorers, vendors, silver producers and metals aficionados. But here’s the thing about Holmes. While the 60-year-old has been dubbed “an evangelist” for the silver-and-gold crowd, his real zeal centers on one of the most compelling charities I’ve ever encountered. “Wines for Wheelchairs,” Holmes calls it. Here’s how it works: Buy a bottle of wine from his premium Lookout Ridge Winery (, and Holmes will donate a wheelchair to someone in desperate need of mobility/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: What is your favorite type and brand of wine?

Farris Is Rawest Of Raw Candidates

Democrats are putting their faith in a 33-year-old candidate for 1st District Congress who has cast just one ballot in his lifetime — for Barack Obama. “Oh, that’ll help him inIdaho,” snickered Jim Weatherby, the emeritus professor at Boise State who graduated from Lewiston High in 1961, 35 years before Farris. Farris had a storied against-the-odds football career. But he couldn’t be more raw as candidate, admitting he didn’t vote until 2008, the year he started paying attention to politics. “I’ve always been just so unsettled that I never had an opportunity” to vote, Farris said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “There was a point early on when I was in college and shortly thereafter where I just didn’t think it mattered”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Does Farris's background in the NFL make him a more attractive candidate for the Dems than he otherwise might have been?

Heller: Wild Animals Wreak Havoc

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hump Day Wild Card — 10.19.11

I had a good chat with Editor Gary Graham & Blogmeister/Online Editor Ryan Pitts re: the State of HucksOnline this afternoon in the downtown Spokane office. We discussed ways to make this blog sing even more. I enjoy breaking down what we do here for paper managers. Bottom line? They like what I'm doing. I like what I'm doing. I suspect you like what I'm doing, too. So we'll soldier on. Now for the reposting of the Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.19.11

The United States team competes in the synchronized swimming technical routine preliminary at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, today. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

Question: How long can you hold your breath under water?

Zoo Owner Frees Animals, Kills Self

Townspeople cowered indoors today as deputies with high-powered rifles hunted down and killed lions, bears and dozens of other exotic beasts that escaped from a wild-animal preserve after the owner threw their cages open and committed suicide. After an all-night hunt, at least 30 of the 48 escaped animals had been gunned down. As of mid-morning, officers were still hunting for a grizzly bear, mountain lion and monkey. Schools closed, parents were warned to keep children and pets indoors and flashing signs along highways told motorists, “Caution exotic animals” and “Stay in vehicle.” “It’s like Noah’s ark, like, wrecking right here in Zanesville, Ohio,” said Jack Hanna, former director of the Columbus Zoo/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Columbus Zoo director emeritus Jack Hanna, right, and Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz speak during a news conference today.)

Question: Is there a moral to this story — other than that private zoos like this should be outlawed?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.19.11

  • 5:53 p.m. Coeur d'Alene police are seeking 15YO runaway 5-8/150lb male named Russell.
  • 5:44 p.m. Jim @ Hayden Meadows wants to speak to officer re: man who followed kids home.
  • 5:26 p.m. Randall is concerned re: his ex taking property while he's absent from house.
  • 5:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 18-19 here.
  • 5:07 p.m. Shopper is locked out of her yellow 1986 Fiero by flag pole @ PF Super 1.
  • 4:56 p.m. Clark's Jewelry in downtown Coeur d'Alene reports possible theft.
  • 4:45 p.m. Homeowner reports house burglary in 6000 block of N. Christopher/CdA.
  • 4:39 p.m. Caller reports daughter's ex trashed her home while she was getting restraining order.
  • 12 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic

PM Headlines — 10.18.11

Scot Haug, an assistant professor-business division with Lewis-Clark State College Coeur d’Alene, is blissfully unaware of the bear lurking in the background at the Buck Knives Factory in Post Falls. Haug teaches accounting classes at LC and was part of a student tour of the facility on Tuesday. He's also the father of Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug. (LCSC photo: Marc Stewart)

CdA Man Wins $145K Lottery Jackpot

It could be said that breathing easier is a way of life for Coeur d'Alene's Ralph Paul. That metaphor though took on a whole new meaning when the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality air shed coordinator for North Idaho won a $145,000 Wild Card jackpot from the Idaho Lottery. The winning ticket was sold for the Oct. 8 Wild Card draw.  “I checked my numbers and couldn't believe it,” said a still disbelieving Paul when he claimed his winning ticket with his wife Jody at Lottery Headquarters in Boise. “I matched every single one of the numbers”/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Betsy, Wayne To Discuss Ethics

HucksOnline was reading through the panel offerings for the Oppenheimer Ethics Symposium in Boise Thursday, when this one from 2:30 to 5 p.m. caught our attention:

 “Media Ethics in the Digital Age,” a panel discussion featuring Vicki Gowler, editor, The Idaho Statesman; Anne Wallace Allen, managing editor, The Idaho Business Review; Wayne Hoffman, publisher,; Kate Morris, executive news director, KTVB. Moderator: Betsy Russell

Betsy's moderating and Wayne Hoffman is a panelist. Significance? Betsy is the current president of the Idaho Press Club, which opposes granting press credentials for Hoffman's Idaho Reporter, the online media presence for his Idaho Freedom Foundation. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for this one. But I'll be tied up feeding the insatiable maw of HucksOnline, for your reading pleasure. You can read more about the symposium, “Reinvigorating ethics in education and practice in the digital age,” here.

Candidates Tweet, FB Potential Voters

A story in the Idaho Press-Tribune reports that all but a couple of the 14 candidates running for city council elections in Nampa & Caldwell are using Facebook & Twitter to reach out to potential voters. Quoth: “One of the more active council races on Facebook is for Caldwell Seat 6 between David Clark and Jeremy Feucht. Both men said Facebook allows them to narrow their target audiences, reach younger voters, and quickly answer questions about their political views.” The story quotes Clark as saying: “Social media is the new word of mouth.” You can read the story here.

Question: Which candidates for local mayor and council races do good jobs of reaching potential voters via social media? And/or: Is a good campaign via social media better/worse than a yard sign/newspaper ad campaign?

Putting Protest Into Perspective

Protestors hug at Camp Occupy Portland in Portland, Ore., Wednesday. Two park blocks in downtown Portland are the site of the camp city. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Question: Who does the dishes in your house?

Hucks Invited To Ring Doorbells?

Facebook Friend Ron Lahr keeps inviting HucksOnline to ring doorbells for endorsed candidates in the Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls city council races. Seems the RR's are going to be out en masse Saturday morning in Coeur d'Alene, meeting at 10 o'clock at candidate/RR board member Steve Adams office, 1324 Sherman Ave., and at 11 a.m., meeting at Xthings Manufacturing parking lot at 5180 E. Seltice/PF. Walking lists and candidate literature will be provided. Ron didn't provide a invitation button that would allow your Huckleberry Hound to decline the invitation (on nonpartisan grounds, of course).

Question: How would you gracefully decline the invite?  ;-)

Sackett/EPA Case Launches Blog War

Well, it seems we’ve touched a nerve over at the Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation. They are NOT pleased with our recent blog posting about the Priest Lake wetland case. Pacific Legal Foundation represents the Sacketts in their procedural fight with the EPA. Of course, the “PLF Liberty Blog” doesn’t really take issue with our analysis. Mostly they are critical of our lack of outrage over the EPA’s use of their Clean Water Act authority. And they are critical of our emphasis on the procedural nuance lost in the broadly anti-EPA Fox News coverage. So, to be fair we will officially admit it — we’re as ideologically-driven as they are.  But our outrage is more typically reserved for people who bulldoze wetlands without a permit/Terry Harris, KEA Blog. More here.

DFO: Am I the only one who reads the name Sackett and thinks first of the fictional Louis L'Amour family?

Question: Don't you love it when blogs mix it up?

Farris: I’ve Faced Longer Odds

A 33-year-old Lewiston native who retired as an NFL football player in 2009 after playing for the New England Patriots, the Atlanta Falcons, the Washington Redskins and the San Francisco 49ers has launched a run for Congress in Idaho, taking on freshman GOP Rep. Raul Labrador in the 1st District. “I'm a passionate person, and what I really want to do is make a difference, and be involved in something I really care about, something I think really matters,” says Jimmy Farris. “I don't think most people like what they see happening in D.C.” Farris is running as a Democrat, which puts him at a disadvantage in the Gem State, where Republicans currently hold all statewide elected offices, all the congressional posts and more than 80 percent of the seats in the state Legislature. But he says people will either support him or not, which he figures gives him 50-50 odds at a time when people are deeply dissatisfied with Congress/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you satisfied with the job Congressman Raul Labrador has done in his first term?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.19.11

  • 11:44 a.m. Rodney wants to speak to deputy re: recent burglaries on Paradise Road/Rathdrum.
  • 10:40 a.m. Firefighters are checking on 911 hangup call from Hecla Mines HQ on Mineral/CdA.
  • 10:34 a.m. A local construction company rep reports getting threatening email today.
  • 10:24 a.m. CPD Blues are looking for 2005 Kia Spectra w/ 94.5 & Jitters Expresso stickers on passenger side, reported stolen Wednesday in CdA.
  • 10:22 a.m. Brian reports that his ex refuses to let him see the children.
  • 10:19 a.m. Doctors office on Huckleberry/PF needs ambulance transport to KMC for patient.
  • 9:32 a.m. A wanted man can possibly be found @ 8th & Monroe/Spirit Lake.
  • 9:27 a.m. Caller reports an vehicle burglary in 3100 block of Fruitland/CdA.
  • 9:12 a.m. Driver in Prius reports hitting a deer on w/b I-90 @ Sherman Avenue exit/CdA.
  • 8:44 a.m. Driver reports a white semi from British Columbia swerved to force him off H95. Driver has followed trucker into Coeur d'Alene & is now following w/b on I-90 @ H41. Will sign a complaint.
  • 8:34 a.m. Robert on Old Highway 95 reports someone is moving his golf cart & taking a tire off of it.
  • 8:31 a.m. Woman on Church/Rathdrum reports a prowler on property two hours ago.

Lindsay Lohan Goes Directly To Jail

Lindsay Lohan is taken into custody by Los Angeles Country sheriffs after a judge finds her in violation of probation Wednesday in Los Angeles. Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner revoked Lohan's probation Wednesday after the actress encountered problems during her community service assignment at a women's shelter. Bail has been set at $100,000. (AP Photo/Mark Boster, Pool)

Question: At what point do you quit watching this train wreck that is Lindsay Lohan and start feeling sorry for an individual who has lost her way?

Richert: 3 Cheers For Redistricters

It wasn’t supposed to go down this way. The cynics just knew that three Republicans and three Democrats couldn’t possibly redraw Idaho’s congressional and legislative districts. After all, they noted, three other Republicans and three other Democrats had spent the summer trying to do the job; 92 days later, they adjourned at an impasse. OK, cynics, you owe a big round of applause to the redistricting commission that could: Ron Beitelspacher; Dolores Crow; Shauneen Grange; Randy Hansen; Elmer Martinez; and Sheila Olsen. I list the commissioners in alphabetical order, and eschew the party labels, with good reason. Theirs was a true team effort. The public good trumped partisan interests. It can be done, you know. It happened this time because the commissioners operated by the book/Kevin Richert, Statesman. More here.

Question: Before we echo Kevin Richert's cheer in North Idaho, have any of you checked out the new North Idaho legislative lines? What do you think of them?

Weighing In On ‘Greatest Governor’

Monday's publication of “Cecil Andrus: Idaho's Greatest Governor” prompted a good deal of chatter about who deserves the title. Chris Carlson, author of the new book, was Andrus' press secretary. Carlson considers Andrus a surrogate father and offers an openly affectionate view. Steve Smylie, a former four-term GOP lawmaker from Boise, has shared a moving and until now unknown account of his dad, three-term Republican Gov. Bob Smylie. Smylie struggled with alcohol, but after he left office he dedicated one day a week to counseling alcoholics, his son says. In my story on the book Monday, I mentioned Smylie (1955-1967) and Democrat Ben Ross (1931-1937) as contenders for the “title” of Idaho's greatest guv. I should have included Republican Len Jordan (1951-1955), though his stellar reputation is also based on his U.S. Senate service (1962-73). Republican Phil Batt (1995-1999), despite serving only one term, also deserves mention for his fearless pursuit of principle/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo — Cecil Andrus in 2001)

Question: How many Idaho governors have you personally met? Which one impressed you most?

DFO: Still Missing Dad 35 Years Later

October 19 is a date that lives in family infamy. 35 years ago today, my father was killed in a vehicle accident that transformed the future of my family. Mom was 51 then. She's 86 now. She never remarried, saying at times that she wasn't interested in another man after living with Dad for 32 years. She has been a widow longer than she was married. I've lived without Dad in my life longer than I did with him present. Dad was a hard-working dairyman who told me often that he made a living with his muscles while I would have to earn a living with my brains. I wonder what he would have thought of the age of technology? I regret that he never met my two children. He never graduated from the 8th grade. Yet, among his grandchildren are a doctor, a college instructor, an expert for severely disabled, a geologist, a nutritionist, and more. He lives on in his six children who are still alive, get along, and continue to miss him to this day — DFO.

Question: Is there a date that lives in infamy in your family?

Not Quite Seeing Stars

Kendall Holt takes a punch from Danny Garcia in the 11th round of a junior welterweight boxing match in Los Angeles Saturday. Garcia won by split decision after the 12th round. (AP Photo/Jae Hong)

Question: Have you ever been punched in the face? Why?

Gookin: Give ‘Em All iPads

The City's decision is nothing new. They had the same rules in place two years ago, but because that was pre-iPad the rules applied only to cell phones. Actually, if the City wants to level the playing field, they can supply all the candidates with iPads — Dan Gookin, via Coeur d'Alene Press online comment re: Adam Graves unplugged story.

Question: Is a candidate's familiarity with electronic devices important/unimportant to you?

Hucks Poll: Unplug Adam Graves

  • Tuesday Poll: A slim majority supports the CDATV decision not to allow Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Adam Graves to use his iPad during his debate Thursday with incumbent Ron Edinger and Amber Copeland. 76 of 146 respondents (52.05%) said Adam's ever-present iPad should be banned from the debate. 66 of 146 respondents (45.21%) defended Adam's right to stay plugged in. 4 (2.74%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Does the Tea Party control Kootenai County Republicans?

Saving Man’s Best Friend

Wausau firefighters Jared Thompson, left, and Jamie Giese give artificial respiration to a dog that was rescued from a house fire in Wausau, Wis., Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011. The dog, a 7-year-old yellow lab named Coda, was reported to be in good condition following the incident. AP Photo/Dan Young/Wausau Daily Herald)

Question: How far would you go to save your dog?

7YO Hunting Victim Remembered

KHQ spoke briefly to Robert (Bartlett), as well as the family attorney, who both described (7-year-old hunting accident victim Connor Bartlett) as a boy with a very bright smile and who could “light up a thousand rooms.” Family chose not to make a statement on camera but wanted to make sure Connor's story was told, including the many memories they shared with him and the many lives he touched. “He was vibrant, always exuding life. The zest of life in that child is incomprehensible,” Samantha White said, a close family friend of the Bartlett's. White's son met Connor at school, at Skyway Elementary in Coeur d'Alene, last year. The pair became fast friends going on trips to Silverwood Theme Park and playing “cops and robbers” in White's garage/KHQ. More here.

Question: Have you hugged your kids today?

Times: Perry Had Best Debate Effort

Whew. Can you have a debate in which nobody wins? The seven Republican presidential candidates on the stage during the CNN debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday slapped, swatted, slashed, jabbed, picked and poked at each other for two hours.  As might be expected, most of them emerged bloodier and more ragged than when they walked in. But then, these things are contests—largely political sporting events. So if a winner must be crowned, make it Rick Perry, who showed some fire in his willingness to go toe-to-toe with Mitt Romney, whose aura of inevitability waxed and waned during the debate. Perry was just about the only candidate who has reason to smile today/Los Angeles Times. More here. (AP photo: Mitt Romney, left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry at Republican presidential debate Tuesday in Las Vegas.)

Question: Any of you watch the debate? How did you rate the performances?

Bonner Tea Party Eyes GOP Control

Pam Stout's first brush with fame came in the spring of 2010 when, after appearing in a New York Times story about the rise of the Tea Party, David Letterman invited her on his show to explain the movement. “I know nothing about the Tea Party,” he said at the outset of the interview