Archive for September 2011
Two co-workers have been in the CdA bureau of the SR longer than I have — Mike Mahon or circulation (about 5 years longer) and Greg Lee (2 weeks longer). After today, that number drops to one. Mahon has taken early retirement and ends his lengthy service to the newspaper after his shift's over today. We had a lot of laughs. A lot of bantering involving sports teams. And an occasional missed newspaper. He'll be missed. Mucho. Now for your daily Wild Card …
A man prepares to take pictures of his son in front of a straw figure, that stands by the roadside near the town of Molodechno, 70 km (46 miles) north-west of Minsk, Belarus, Friday. Satw figures are installed to mark the agricultural holiday of the end of the harvest on state collective farms. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Washington state’s minimum wage will rise to $9.04 next year, keeping it as the highest hourly rate in the nation. That’s a 37-cent-an-hour increase, which is based on a change to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, according to the state Department of Labor & Industries. Washington voters approved an initiative in 1998 tying the state minimum wage to inflation/SR. More here.
Question: Is Washington's minimum wage too high? Or is Idaho's minimum wage (federal minimum of $7.25) too low? Or both? What would be a perfect minimum wage?
Chet Robertson, a range rider in the Big Hole Valley in Montana, keeps an eye on the cattle and an ear out for wolves. (AP Photo/Wildlife Conservation Society via The Billings Gazette)
Gov. Jerry Brown makes it clear to KABC-TV reporter Nannette Miranda that he was not going to talk about his package of pension changes following a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday. Brown, who had been talking about the upcoming prison realignment, said he would be willing to discuss his pension plan Friday, but not today. Miranda said she would be off Friday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A week ago, Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images decided to test out her new 8mm lens at Palouse Falls on the way to the Tri-City area. Linda: “8mm is overkill, but I don't plan on using it for landscapes anyways. My 16 doesn't allow for the entire scene here.”
HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday): 9206/5555; and (for Thursday): 8014/5106
Tampa Bay Rays catcher Kelly Shoppach, left, celebrates his three-run home run with Ben Zobrist (18) and Casey Kotchman, right, as Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli (25) prepares for the next pitch during the third inning of Game 1 in baseball's American League division series playoffs Friday in Arlington, Texas. The Rays lead 6-0 in the 5th inning. ESPN running boxscore here.(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Question: Anyone have a dog in this World Series hunt?
“You should not hike alone without bear spray,” a ranger says. This is more imperative than suggestive. “The bears are active right now. They’ve re-colonized areas where they used to roam.” Wyoming has about 600 grizzlies. I tell her I’ve never hiked with bear spray, but the ranger is insistent. I go to one park store, and then another, but find the shelves empty. There’s been a run on bear spray. Finally, after calling around, a clerk finds the cylinder that will provide an illusion of comfort, the last one available. When a grizzly (capable of top speeds of 30 miles an hour) charges, you are supposed to stand your ground, flip the safety from the top, point and spray. This fog made of the essence of hot cayenne peppers is apparently enough to send a 500-pound mammal back in cowering retreat. So it says. ¶But the bear spray is $52. Mmmmm. That seems confiscatory. But no, it’s the going rate. So, quick math: how much is a life worth? And, how stupid would I be to give it up for want of $52/Timothy Egan, New York Times. More here. (AP file photo — of Yellowstone bear)
Question: How much do you rely on bear spray in grizzly country?
Greg Lee/SR provides the latest on Moscow's reluctance to play Coeur d'Alene in next Friday's Vik Homecoming Game:
Fourth District Judge Timothy Hansen has ruled against the Idaho Education Association, upholding the constitutionality of SB 1108, the piece of state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna's “Students Come First” three-part school reform package that limits teachers' collective bargaining rights, ends an early-retirement incentive program and makes other changes. The IEA sued, saying the bill unconstitutionally violates existing contracts, in part by retroactively ending them; Hansen ruled that it imposes “substantial impairment” on existing contracts, but that it's not unconstitutional because it does so for a “legitimate public purpose,” in this case, giving school boards more power in bargaining with teachers. He also rejected arguments that the bill was unconstitutional for addressing more than a single subject/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Living with a chronic auto-immune disease like lupus can feel like free falling through a medical minefield. Pain, frustration and fear are natural reactions while holding onto hope for more effective treatment and an eventual cure. Hope is one reason Spokane’s Cindy Stroup leaped from an airplane over Shelton, Wash., on Aug. 20 to join hands and feet with 25 other female sky divers in a record-setting formation. Jill Barville SR story here. (Courtesy photo: Cindy Stroup)
Question: Most of us don't know a thing about certain diseases, like lupus, until we (or a family member) are afflicted by it. I, for example, didn't know what retinal blastoma (eye cancer) was until it afflicted a family member. Now I know that it hits 1 in 100,000. Is there a strange-sounding disease you're more familiar with as a result of an encounter that is/was too close?
GirlFridayCDA: Just curious … is there some rule that says you HAVE to be affiliated with a specific party to run for office? Seems to me the party lines are so blurred and muddled anymore what difference does it really make…unless you don’t really pay attention to the issues and only vote based on party affiliation. I choose to be “unaffiliated” and “unimpressed.”
Question: Anyone else “unaffiliated” and “unimpressed”? (Also feel free to answer Girl Friday's question re: political qualification for office)
Stebbijo: I think the city should ban cigarettes for sale. While they are at it, they should also ban potatoes and cheese. Then, everyone will be so happy! However, when this happens you cannot clap about it because clapping is also banned. If you are caught smuggling any of the goods in from the State of Washington or growing spuds in your garden, you will suffer the consequences of mandatory cholesterol screening for 6 months at your own expense and a diet of romaine lettuce for 6 months with probation visits to Weight Watchers. It’s for your own good. A new judicial court will be formed to take on the excess of violators. It will be called the Physical Health Courts.
Question: What would you ban in Coeur d'Alene, if you were the despotic king/queen of the place?
Reagan Repub: By the way, Amber Copeland was the real suprise of the Pachyderm debate. She made one heck of a introduction to North Idaho politics. Even with nerves, she was articulate, informed, personable and funny. I did not think she would be a factor in this race until this morning. Now I am not so sure. She probably did not sway any votes this morning because the Pachyderm club is conservative Steve Adams country, but she sure could give Bruning a run for his money in his base among working and young Democrats and independents in south and midtown Coeur d’Alene. She will make this race interesting.
DFO: If people take the time to meet Amber Copeland and Adam Graves, they might discover some of the new faces bring a lot to the table. I still don't know a thing about Derec Aujay, Annastasia Somontes, and Pat “Mitch” Mitchell, though.
Question: Who will Amber claim votes from — John Bruning or Steve Adams?
Republican Sen. John McGee lives 26 miles from Boise but takes a per diem payment of some $6,000 extra from taxpayers for a second residence — even though he lives with his parents in their Boise home during the session. Another Idaho Republican, Sen. Curt McKenzie of Nampa, took the extra per diem during the 2011 Legislature while sleeping on his law firm's couch. Some lawmakers say it's appropriate to take the extra cash only if they are actually paying for a second residence/AP via KREM. More here.
Question: Ah, is this right?
Protester Jessica McPhail, tearfully tears down signage, ordered by the Spokane Police Department, at the corner of Riverside and Monroe, near the Spokane Club this morning in Spokane. Occupy Spokane, the two-day-old action in solidarity with the two-week-old Occupy Wall Street protest against economic injustice, was visited this morning by police enforcing a city ordinance. Kevin Graman's SR story here.
… that, when questioned, Councilman John Bruning told the Pachyderm Club that he is a Democrat. But council candidate Amber Copeland refused to state which party she belonged to. In the comments section, Amber writes: “What I said was that city council is a nonpartisan race and that I choose not to participate in making it a partisan race by dislosing what party I am. I stated that it was public record and anyone who was that interested was always welcome to get the information.”
Question: What would you tell an activist Republican who demanded to know what party you belong to?
A Berry Picker just received this email from Lake City High (note the boldface item): LCHS is Pre-selling tickets for the FB game Friday night for the Post Falls Game in the office. ALL K-8 students not accompanied by a parent will be charged $10. Prices are as follows: $5.00 for adults & high school students without ASB, Grades 6-8 with ASB $2.00 – without ASB $3.00 – grade K -6 $1.00 Seniors & pre-school free! Lets go Cheer on the BOYS!! Go-T-Wolves!
Berry Picker: “Just got an email from LCHS on pre sale tickets for tonight's Lake City Post Falls. In looking at it I wondered if it would be a good topic for the HB gang. how much should students pay to go see a local football game?I especially like the “ALL K-8 students not accompanied by a parent will be charged $10.” wonder why they are gouging that group.I've always felt funny having to pay to see high school games especially if my kid attends the school, but, I understand they need the cash just feels funny.”
Question: Dunno if this is a misprint. If not, it seems odd to me, too, that Lake City High would charge unaccompanied K-8 twice as much as an adult to see a high school football game. Do you agree?
Update: Mayor Bloem tells HucksOnline that she has no rule against clapping at Coeur d'Alene council meetings. However, she does insist at “emotionally charged” meetings that the audience refrain from clapping, stomping its feet, and other outbursts. Quoth: “It distracts from what the council is trying to hear.”
I couldn't resist this bit of silliness from Mary souza by OpenCDA.com either. Seems the townspeople of Peekskill, N.Y., are livid that they're no longer allowed to clap at City Council meetings. The mayor of the town is invoking the rule as an attempt to bring decorum back to the meetings. Contrary Mary points out: “That’s been the rule here in CdA throughout Mayor Bloem’s reign.” (I applaud Mary for reining herself in and not saying “reign of terror” in referring to the Bloem administration.) Can you blame anyone for trying to rein in incivility at Coeur d'Alene public meetings?
Question: What do you think of the no-clapping rule?
There had been talk in the Moscow community about the possibility of canceling or forfeiting the school's October 7th game against Coeur d’Alene. KREM 2’s Chris Nguyen spoke with Moscow Principal Bob Celebrezze today. Celebrezze was adamant that a forfeit had not been discussed, but he did acknowledge that the school had some concerns about the game. He chose not to elaborate on what exactly those issues were, but said “we have been talking with Coeur d’ Alene administration about our concerns about the game, and that's all I can tell you”/Chris Nguyen, KREM. More here. (SR file photo — of Coeur d'Alene High coach Shawn Amos)
DFO: HucksOnline heard through the grapevine Thursday morning that Moscow is expected to tell Coeur d'Alene late this afternoon whether it'll play the game or not.
Question: Should the 5A schools in North Idaho try to reinstitute football games with bigger schools in the Spokane area?
Orbusmax provides HucksOnline with another reason why Moscow has gotten cold feet re: the homecoming game at Coeur d'Alene High next Friday. The Viks are ranked No. 8 high school football team in the West by USA Today:
Don't look now, but Coeur d'Alene attorney Starr Kelso has filed a brief appealing the 1st District Court decision against his client Jim Brannon in the never-ending 2009 Coeur d'Alene municipal election case. This, according to OpenCDA.com, the Kelso-Brannon PR wing. Bill McCrory reported on the appeal three days ago (which goes to show how often I check in on OpenCDA.com, as amusing as it can be at times). McCrory called the brief as “a road map to guide the Idaho Supreme Court justices through the 2,676 pages of documents in the trial court record, 111 exhibits consisting of 563 pages, 876 pages of trial transcript, and transcripts of numerous other hearings held before and after the trial.” You can read more about this latest waste of court time and resources here.
For all the complaints about city budgets being stretched to the limit, our local governments here in Idaho are at the forefront of growing the nanny state with as much gusto as the federal government. Examples abound in just the last month. Example one comes from the city of Boise, where statists (those people who believe in and worship the power of government) are contemplating a ban on smoking in local bars. … Not to be outdone, Sandpoint is where city officials have passed an ordinance banning the use of cell phones while driving — whether talking or texting. That's apparently because the police chief thought it was too hard to just ban texting — so now every activity in the phone-car continuum is now illegal. If you're in Sandpoint, beware. Even if you're not hurting anyone, you're now a criminal/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
Question: Do you consider actions taken by city councils in Idaho against smoking and cellphones to be part of a “nanny state” mentality?
I received this note from City Administrator Wendy Gabriel moments ago: “This morning, Steve Adams, Coeur d’Alene City Council Candidate, said in a Pachyderm meeting held at Jonsey’s that he requested to attend my individual department head meetings regarding the 2011-12 budget. He said that I stated he could not attend, and that I stated only union members were allowed to attend. His statement is not true. Attached is my emailed response to him. ” Click here.
Born and educated in the United States, how did Anwar al-Awlaki, a charismatic Muslim cleric, go from “all-American boy” to a terrorist spokesman and recruiter for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula? His killing, announced Friday, is seen as a hit against al Qaeda's recruiting and fund-raising. The transformation from an imam who originally condemned the 9/11 attacks to a key al Qaeda operative took place over a number of years, as the war on terror expanded and as he found himself caught up in it. Al-Awlaki was regarded by the United States as one of the biggest threats to homeland security. Under his guidance, AQAP attempted to blow up a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 and in October 2010 dispatched two printer bomb packages from Yemen's capital, Sanaa, that were timed to explode over the Eastern seaboard of the United States, U.S. officials have said/CNN. More here.
Question: You ever feel like breaking out into refrain from “Wicked” at times like this — you know, “Good news, (another) wicked witch is dead”?
Bertha Swan, front left, attends the installation of three dolls at the Visitors Center at the Cataldo Mission in Cataldo Thursday. Swan is the great granddaughter of former Coeur d'Alene Second Chief Peter Wildshoe who was commissioned by The Smithsonian to craft the dolls in 1901. Alison Boggs' SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
More Info: School officials in Coeur d'Alene are working to compile data that will provide a cost analysis and in-depth student performance review of the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Advanced Placement programs. Much of the information was specifically requested by school board Trustee Tom Hamilton. But it's slow going. Associate School Superintendent Matt Handelman said the district isn't trying to hide anything, but gathering much of the information requires time-consuming “data digging” and “data mining.”
Question: Is this a witch hunt or a legitimate exercise to ensure that these programs are effective and cost productive?
Two juveniles who attend Sadie Halstead Middle School in Newport have been identified as the persons behind two bomb threats at the school.On Thursday September 22 a bomb threat was found by school officials in a bathroom, prompting an evacuation of the school and a search of the building by Pend Oreille County Sheriff deputies. Nothing was found during the search and school resumed.Then on Tuesday September 27 a second note was found, again in a school restroom, stating the school was going to blow up. This time the note was found after school had ended for the day.In that instance, an explosive detecting K9 from the US Marshals Service was brought in to do a search but nothing was located/KXLY. More here.
Question: Crimestoppers has offered a reward for the individual(s) involved in the bomb threat at Lake City High this week. What should be done with individuals found guilty of this crime?
Item: Alleged racial taunts lead to confrontation/Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: A 24-year-old man was cited for misdemeanor battery Saturday, stemming from a fight the alleged victim told police started from racial taunts. Adam T. Burrington, who was cited for the incident that took place in the front yard of a house in the 1100 block of 15th Street, denied racial insults were ever used, and said that he, not the alleged victim, was the one attacked.
Question: What do you make of this incident?
First, let's have a moment of silence for all those fans of the Atlanta Braves & Boston Red Sox who had their hopes dashed by the monumental collapses of their teams this month. Now, onward. The Major League Baseball playoffs begin Friday. And I have absolutely no dogs in the hunt. I guess I should support Arizona, which supplanted my S.F. Giants at the top of the NL West. But I won't. Call it sour grapes. Now, for your daily Wild Card …
A cyber security analyst work in the watch and warning center during the first tour of the government’s secretive cyber defense lab intended to protect the nation’s power, water and chemical plants, electrical grid and other facilities on Thursday in Idaho Falls. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
DFO: I should get Kathy Plonka to take a photo like this of me. It'd be a way cool new avatar.
Question: How many times have you changed your HucksOnline avatar? Ever change your pseudonym?
Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering a cash reward for information on who was responsible for a bomb threat that occurred on Monday September 26th 2011 at 11:30am at Lake City High School. An unknown person left a note in a visible location stating there was a bomb inside the school. A School Resource Officer at the school immediately sheltered the students in a safe place while the school was searched by officers with the assistance of other agencies bomb sniffing dogs/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. More here.
The Cataldo Mission at Old Mission State Park, photographed on Thursday. A new exhibit “Sacred Encounter” will be open to the public on Oct. 15. It will include three dolls commissioned by The Smithsonian Institution in 1901. The complete story will be in the Spokesman-Review on Friday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Question: When did you last visit the Cataldo Mission?
Libyan revolutionary fighters pray on a highway, at their position outside Sirte, Libya, earlier today. Rebel forces are struggling to make headway against loyalist fighters inside the home town of Libya's ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
Gotta give OpenCDA.com duo Mary Souza & Bill McCrory props for not tinkering with the results of that poll they've been running this week: “Who is your favorite person on the CdA City Council.” It's taken OpenCDA this long to collect 97 votes. And the current leader is (hand onto your hat, Jim Brannon) — Mike Kennedy. Mike leads “None of the Incumbents” 37-27, with Ron Edinger a distant 3rd at 14 votes. Here's the current standings:
Any holdouts still clinging to the idea that women are the weaker sex should read a study by Ghent University in Belgium. It outlines why women are better at fighting off infection and disease — more specifically, because of our extra X chromosome. “Statistics show that in humans, as with other mammals, females live longer than males and are more able to fight off shock episodes from sepsis, infection or trauma,” said researcher Claude Libert of Ghent University. “We believe this is due to the X chromosome which in humans contains 10 per cent of all microRNAs detected so far in the genome .” Those microRNA act to silence immunity genes — but women can combat that effect with the extra X chromosome/Seattle's Big Blog. More here. (AP photo: A Syrian woman wears a niqab during a protest in front of the Syrian embassy condemning the killing and torturing women in Syria by Bashar al-Assad's regime, in Amman, Jordan, earlier today.)
Question: What anecdotal proof would you offer to back claim that women are the stronger sex?
Burley City Councilman Vaughn Egan, 90, has dropped out of his bid for another city council term. Egan told the Times-News Thursday that caring for his family tops his list of reasons for withdrawing his council bid after he initially filed to run for re-election on Nov. 8. Egan's decision trims the field of Burley council candidates to eight seeking three seats. Earlier, Councilman Denny Curtis announced he wouldn't seek another term/Twin Falls Times-News. More here.
Question: How old is too old for elected office?
10 deal friendliest retail Web sites (from SR Office Hours):
Question: Which of these online sits have you shopped at? Good experience?
Rachael Rich, operations manager for Black Dog Machine, is on hand at the Idaho Firearms and Accessories Manufacturer's Association conference at the Doubletree Riverside in Boise. Black Dog Machine, based in Nampa makes high-capacity magazines and custom parts. Statesman story here. (Idaho Statesman: Katherine Jones)
Question: Do you appreciate women who know how to handle firearms?
“If I don't get a haircut soon I will be forced to buy a Camaro and move to Bonners Ferry!” — Tom Torgerson, on his Facebook wall.
Question: How long do you go between haircuts? And/or: Do you need a haircut now?
Huckleberries hears — and sports scribe Greg Lee has confirmed — that 4A Moscow is trying to back out of its game at 5A Coeur d'Alene a week from tomorrow Friday. It was going to be CdA's homecoming game. Greg Lee is on the phone now to a Coeur d'Alene High source who sez several Moscow High players told their coach that they'd refuse to get on the bus for the Coeur d'Alene game. Lee tells HucksOnline that the entire team numbers 26 players. The Moscow coach has said he wants to play the game if he can field 11 players. Moscow hasn't given Coeur d'Alene a final answer yet. CdA is scrambling to find game. According to a HucksOnline source: “Moscow has said that they do not want to play CHS in the homecoming game at CHS. … Through the grapevine, I have heard that it is the moscow parents that don't want the kids playing against CHS, they don't want them getting beat up for the rest of the season.” Seems Moscow is wary of the Viks after Coeur d'Alene's 88-12 victory over host Sandpoint Friday.
Today's job-killer, according to a news release from 2nd Congressional District Rep. Mike Simpson: federal environmental regulations that would extend to the use of manure. Simpson, R-Idaho, has co-sponsored a bill that would ensure that federal Superfund law would not be applied to the cleanup of manure and other “animal emissions. “In light of (the Environmental Protection Agency's) persistence in imposing its job-killing and unnecessary regulatory agenda on the American people, I believe it is important to clarify Congress’s intent on this issue,” Simpson said. “The Superfund law was never intended to regulate manure and other animal emissions as a toxic or hazardous substance. It defies common sense to presume that dairy and other producers who use manure as fertilizer should be regulated the same way as a chemical plant or mining operation”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Have you ever had a job that required you to shovel manure (of any kind)?
A new health insurance program could mean that 100,000 more Idahoans would end up with government-paid health coverage. That was the sentiment Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dick Armstrong shared with members of the House Health and Welfare Committee at a special meeting in the Capitol Thursday. The meeting, called by committee chair Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls, was intended to study and discuss the creation of a state-based health exchange program, a government-run insurance market system. Exchanges are a major part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed by Congress in March of 2010/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.
Question: Do you think Idaho leaders are happy that 100,000 Idahoans could get government health insurance coverage?
Google Analytics, the super dominant free web analytics platform, has to date offered analytics that were roughly 24 hours behind. The wait to stop waiting has come to an end and today the company announced that Google Analytics is now rolling out real-time reporting to its users. Update: Just when you thought that was a big deal, Google Analytics also rolled out a premium offering today. Details below. This is something that many people are going to be very happy about. Real-time analytics startups like Chartbeat and Woopra (whom we use here) may not be among that group of happy people, but publishers and marketers are likely going to love it. You can sign up to request priority access here/ReadWriteWeb. More here.
Question: Do you use Google Analytics?
Students and faculty with permits will be allowed to carry concealed guns on Oregon's seven public university campuses – at least for now – as the result of a court ruling Wednesday. A three-judge panel of the Oregon Court of Appeals said that an Oregon University System ban on guns exceeds its authority and is invalid. That means people with permits can pack concealed guns, said Di Saunders, spokeswoman for the university system. “We don't have the authority to kick them off campus unless they show the weapons,” she said. But anyone brandishing a gun on campus would be approached immediately by security, she said/Bill Graves, Oregonian. More here. (Wikipedia photo)
Question: Do you still agree with me that this is a dumb idea?
In this 2008 AP file photo, Michelle Obama campaigns for her husband, then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, at a rally in Rochester, Minn. She's mingled barefoot among Aspen's elite, stirred a Vermont utility executive to tears and bucked up disenchanted New Yorkers. The 2012 presidential campaign is well under way for Michelle Obama, and the first lady is promising to put herself into the election effort like never before. More than a year from Election Day, she is hauling in millions in campaign cash and sketching a portrait of her husband drawn with an intimacy that no one else could duplicate. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
Question: How important is Michelle Obama to her husband's re-election hopes?
A northern Idaho county is offering public employees a 5 percent discount on their health insurance premiums — if they can pass a wellness screening. Bonner County commissioners voted Tuesday to offer the discounted health care to employees who pass a health screening on several indicators including tobacco use, blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, alcohol use and blood sugar. The Bonner County Daily Bee reports (http://bit.ly/mSlf4Q ) Commissioner Mike Nielsen proposed the program that takes effect Oct. 1, saying it could save money by promoting healthier lifestyles and reducing the number of medical claims filed. But the discount may prove a meager incentive to some. For instance, public employee Anna Bates says she would only save about $3.50 a month/Associated Press. More here.
Question: Would you be willing to take a health screening test for lower insurance rates?
Bank of America plans to start charging customers a $5 monthly fee for using their debit card for purchases. The fee will be rolled out starting early next year. A number of banks have either rolled out or are testing such fees. Bank of America's announcement carries added weight because it is the largest U.S. bank by deposits. Anne Pace, a Bank of America Corp. spokeswoman, said Thursday that customers will only be charged the fee if they use their debit cards for purchases in any given month. Customers won't be charged if they only use their cards at an ATM/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo: A customer uses a Bank of America ATM in Charlotte, N.C.)
Question: Would you change banks if your bank started charging fees for debit card use?
A cat with two faces, named Frank and Louie, one name for each face, is held by the cats owner, who identified herself only as Marty, at their home in Worcester, Mass. The animal is known as a Janus cat, named for the figure in Roman mythology with two faces on one head. The owner calls the face on the left Frank, while the face on the right is identified as Louie. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Question: What do the cat lovers out there think of this one?
Through Wednesday morning, Idaho hunters killed 30 wolves, including four in the state's Clearwater Region. Five each have been harvested in the Panhandle and Island Park wolf-hunting zones at opposite ends of the state and seven in central Idaho's Sawtooth Zone. In the Clearwater, one wolf has been shot in the Palouse-Hells Canyon Zone and three in the Dworshak-Elk City Zone. Rene Anderson of Headquarters shot a male wolf with a .44 caliber handgun while bow hunting near her home Sunday. Anderson said she didn't set out to kill a wolf but felt compelled to when the animal made her uncomfortable. She had done a little cow calling about a half-hour before and was working to get to one of her favorite spots. Her eye caught some movement and she thought it was a wolf/Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you think hunters are harvesting too many/few wolves?
Rich Landers’ story, “Gutsy wrangler, huge horse, save boy from charging grizzly” (Sept. 18) struck a chord with Spokesman-Review readers – and then spread across the continent like jet-propelled stallions. The story of Erin Bolster and her horse, Tonk, went viral on the Internet, capturing the hearts of a country with an appetite for heroes, horses and potential tragedies with happy endings – for both the people and the bear. On the average, 35,000 people a day were viewing the story, a number that jumped to 97,000 a day on Wednesday when Google added it to it’s News Spotlight list. “It’s been crazy,” said Bolster from her home in Whitefish, Mont., noting that she’s been interviewed by numerous publications, TV and radio since the S-R story went wild. The David Letterman Show has tentatively booked her for Oct. 4 or 5/SR Outdoors. More here.
Question: What elements are needed for a story to go viral?
Native and non-native residents of the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation are going to have to work out a local solution to their latest conflict over the right of tribal members to hunt on private property if they want to avoid a drawn-out court battle, a federal official said Tuesday evening. Speaking at a confrontational meeting at the Plummer Community Hall, Wendy Olson (pictured), U.S. attorney for Idaho, said there is no single source of law that answers the question of whether tribal hunters are trespassing on nontribal land. “I don’t get to make that decision,” Olson said in response to those in the crowd looking for an immediate resolution to a decades-old bone of contention. “Ultimately,” she said, “it will be resolved through litigation.” But the federal government’s highest law enforcement officer in Idaho advised leaders on both sides to not go down that long trail/Kevin Graman, SR. More here.
Question: Do you think it possible for Benewah County to negotiate in good faith with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe?
On her Facebook wall, KXLY weathercaster Kris Crocker offers this viewtiful scenie from a viewer, with this statement: “Viewer Corey Vogle of Clark Fork, ID, sent me this AMAZING shot (from Tuesday). Sunset over the North Fork of the Clark Fork River. No photo-shopping here, just pure Idaho beauty. I ♥ my home state.” Corey adds: “Sunset over the North Fork of the Clark Fork River, just a few miles from Clark Fork near Lake Pend Oreille. There were some impressive clouds. You can see some of the old dock pilings leading to the
railroad tracks. This is pretty much straight from the camera, no saturation added. (Olympus E-510 w/ 25 year old manual 24mm f2.8 lens)”
Neptune: “I read your blogs often and feel that when attacks are unwarranted they should be defended. And for all the support you throw to Mr.Edinger, it sure seems you like to throw people under the bus!”
DFO: I suspect that what you consider “throwing people under the bus” is any criticism of individuals that you consider untouchable. Indeed, Ron Edinger has given long, good service to this community. But, I suspect that the mayor and all the rest of the council believes he’s thrown them under the bus with his grandstanding, dug-in position on McEuen Field. His decision to repeatedly introduce a motion for a public vote on McEuen Field, after the council decisively has said no to that, is no more than pandering to the crowd that’s fighting changes. Some could see that as extremely disrespectful to those he’s served with for years. I don’t mind a dissenting position. But I would expect more than a do-nothing approach to this important issue.
Question: Will Ron Edinger's dug-in stand on McEuen Field help/hurt him at the polls?
Seattle Mariners' Trayvon Robinson walks ot of the dugout afterlosing to the Oakland Athletics 2-0 in a baseball game in Seattle on Wednesday. The Mariners finished the year 67-95 and last in the American League West Division again. Final Major League Baseball standings here. (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey)
Question: Do you consider the future to be brighter for the Seattle Mariners? Or do you expect more of the same losing brand of baseball for the foreseeable future?
Reagan Republican: It’s like all the boards, foundations and public corporations in Coeur d’Alene think the city is a big game of Monopoly. One group buys some property then trades to another then leases it to another. I don’t know how they keep it all straight and know who actually owns what.
Christie Wood: RR what you call Monopoly I call collaboration, sharing of resources, and non duplication of services in order to better serve the taxpayer. You have a pretty active imagination in accusing local CDA residents that serve on elected boards of wanting to take over the world. People who chose to serve their community on boards, committees, commissions etc. are the usually dedicated community members that are willing to devote their personal time to community causes. I am not saying there are never people elected with a underlying agenda but they are not the norm. Most importantly all of us are not connected in some sinister way. We are citizens and taxpayers just like you.
Question: Which opinion above re: a vision of Coeur d'Alene most closely represents yours?
Shoshone Conservative: Rex Rammell is to Idaho politics what Lindsey Lohan and Britney Spears are to entertainment - like watching a trainwreck in slow motion. Before, yeah, there was the whole misguided independent Senate campaign, and, yeah, he said some stupid things (“Obama tag”), but, on the whole, nothing goofier than Biden or Bachmann. And his views weren’t any further “out there” than most of the Idaho Right. But, now - it’s like he’s had some sort of nervous breakdown or something. Seriously. The guy needs professional help.
Question: Which other Idaho/national leaders do you consider as extreme as Rammell?
Services and a funeral procession for Jonathan Franco, a Rathdrum police officer who died on Saturday in a motorcycle crash north of Newport, Wash., are today. The viewing will start at noon at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls and run until 1:30 p.m. The funeral will be held from 1:30-3 p.m. An Honor Guard will be present to post colors. A funeral procession of police vehicles will run from RLM, north on Highway 41 to Rathdrum's Pinegrove Cemetery where Franco will be buried/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
He bought himself a snub-nosed football shoe in the ninth grade to further his ambitions as a place-kicker, so instantly – and forever – Joe Tofflemire was known as “Toe.” But soon enough he grew into a complete player – one of the most honored linemen in Pacific-12 Conference history, a second-round NFL draft pick – and, to his family and friends, a complete inspiration. So their sorrow was as profound as their shock in learning that Tofflemire had died Tuesday at Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene after being found unconscious and unresponsive in his Post Falls home. The former Seattle Seahawks center was 46. “He was warm, sharing, caring, compassionate,” said Nick Menegas, Tofflemire’s coach at Post Falls High School. “His evolution from boy to man was so rewarding to watch. He was humble and kind – and so grateful for his opportunities”/John Blanchette, SR. More here.
AH/T to colleague Betsy Russell whose blog Eye On Boise was picked as the Best Local Blog by Boise Weekly readers. The BW wrote: “There are journalists, there are bloggers and there are very few who are very good at both. And there is only one in this town who is consistently great at both. Whatever Betsy Russell is reporting on, it's engaging, relevant and most of all, important. There isn't a reporter in this town worth his or her salt that doesn't regularly check Eye on Boise. And if they say they don't, they're lying. In a world that uses the term 'gold standard' too frequently, Russell's work is platinum.” You can join me in applauding Betsy's feat or use this Wild Card to start your own threads …
In this courtroom sketch, from left, Attorney Judy Clark sits with her client, Jared Lee Loughner as U.S. District Judge Larry Burns listens from the bench to testimony from Dr. Christina PIetz, far right, in federal court Wednesday in Tucson, Ariz. Suspected shooter Jared Loughner, who is charged with shooting U.S. Rep. Garbrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and 18 others in January, was in court to face a mental competency hearing. (AP Photo/Bill Robles)
The lopsided score on Friday night raised some eyebrows around the state, so much so that Sandpoint athletic director Tom Albertson was fielding calls on Saturday from colleagues who hadn’t seen the game accusing the Vikings of running up the score. One caller had heard a rumor that Albertson and Coeur d’Alene athletic director Todd Gilkey engaged in a shouting match after the game. The funny thing was, Gilkey was not even present at the game. I had a front row seat for the action, and didn’t feel that the Vikings ran the score up, despite the high total. Running the score up usually occurs when starters are left in and teams continue to throw in the second half, and the Vikings did neither. They’re just a damn good football team, plain and simple, and could probably hang a similar number on a lot of 4A teams in Idaho/Eric Plummer, Bonner County Bee. More here. (SR file photo: Coeur d'Alene QB Chad Chalich, with ball, threw for three touchdowns against Lake City last year)
Question: What do you think about the lopsided 88-12 victory by powerhouse Coeur d'Alene High over Sandpoint last week?
Turkeys perch on a fence near a home in Rathdrum earlier this afternoon. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
On her Idaho Scenic Images Facebook wall, Linda Lantzy offers this viewtiful shot of the recent Prosser, Wash., balloon rally. Linda counted 22 hot-air balloons at the rally.
Hucks Online numbers (for Tuesday, Sept. 27): 9099/5382
Reagan Repub: It’s like all the boards, foundations and public corporations in Coeur d’Alene think the city is a big game of Monopoly. One group buys some property then trades to another then leases it to another. I don’t know how they keep it all straight and know who actually owns what. The problem is when someone lands on Park Place it’s the taxpayer that pays the bill (and not with that worthless technicolor money either.) But at election time it’s a big game of Risk. You don’t know who’s for you or who’s against you but you know that someone’s is trying to take over the world.
Question: Which board game would you compare local elections to?
In an earlier blog post, I asked aloud what a nonprofit group hopes to accomplish by squiring Idaho legislators around Turkey for 10 days. Well, nothing, exactly. Or so says one of the legislators on the trip. “They certainly didn’t ask for anything,” Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, said in an interview Tuesday. After the Turkey trip first hit the news — when state Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, went on his Facebook page to report Idahoans were unhurt in a fatal bombing in the Turkish capital of Ankara — the public scrutiny and online comment traffic have focused on the group that footed much of the bill. While lawmakers covered their airfare to Turkey, the Pacifica Institute picked up the rest. The Turkish-American group paid for travel within Turkey, meals and lodging — although the accommodations included some nights in hotels and some nights staying with Turkish business people/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: None of our North Idaho lawmakers are on the list that Richert provides (in link). Aren't you glad of that? Can you think of any reason that Idaho lawmakers should be taking this junket?
James Edward Porter III (upper left), 22, of Coeur d'Alene, is the star of Major Ben Wolfinger's outstanding felony warrants this week. The Kootenai County Sheriff's Department wants Porter on a number of charges: probation violation for burglary, possession of controlled substance, and failure to appear for 2 count of burglary and 2 counts of possession of stolen property. Bail bond for Porter is set at $125,000, once apprehended. Others wanted this week include: Lawrence Frank Bradford (upper center), 39, of Coeur d'Alene (probation violation for burglary, no bond set); Michael Wayne Davis (upper right), 46, of Coeur d'Alene (probation violation for failure to register as a sex offender, $50,000 bond); and David Wade Via (bottom), 25, of Spirit Lake (probation violation for burglary and grand theft, $75,000 bond). Full warrants list here.
Owner Eric Jensen examines cantaloupe on the Jensen Farms near Holly, Colo., earlier today. The Food and Drug Administration has recalled 300,000 cases of cantaloupe grown on the Jensen Farms after connecting it with a listeria outbreak. Officials said Wednesday more illnesses and possibly more deaths may be linked to the outbreak of listeria in coming weeks. Story here. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Question: Do you enjoy cantaloupes? And/or: Which melon is your favorite?
City Administrator Wendy Gabriel (pictured) offered this response to an earlier post today re: Coeur d'Alene city salaries: “Your blog has a link to a document titled “Some of Coeur d’Alene’s Highest Paid Employees*”. The City did not prepare this report although it appears to be a compilation of data that the City has provided in the past. Attached to this email and titled 2009-2010 Actual Pay is a document that was sent to the Idaho Freedom Foundation on May 12, 2011. It includes pay for the period 10/1/2009 through 9/30/2010. The data in this document appears to be shown in the document on your blog under column 4 titled “2010 Salary.” Attached to this email and titled 2011-12 Budgeted Pay is a document that was provided to Sharon Culbreth on Sept. 13, 2011. It is a list of projected pay for the upcoming fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2011 and ending Sept. 30, 2012. It includes a 3% cost of living increase and any eligible service time/performance increases. This data appears to be shown in the document on your blog under column 3 titled “2011 Salary”. I have several concerns regarding the document currently posted on your blog. They are outlined below.” More here.
A new 75 mph sign is shown in Augusta, Maine, at Maine's Transportation Department on earlier today. Next week motorists will be permitted to drive faster when the speed limit becomes 75 mph, the fastest in New England. Maine's Transportation Department will post 75 mph speed limits from Old Town to Houlton. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)
Question: How fast is too fast for freeways?
The Coeur d'Alene School District is proposing a change in policy that is raising the ire of some parents. The district is considering requiring middle school students to wear uniforms. The district says it's a way to unify the school district and gives them one less thing to discipline. But, some parents argue it takes away students' individuality and that uniforms have no place in public schools/KXLY Facebook page.
Question: Should the Coeur d'Alene School District require middle schoolers to wear uniforms?
Drivers along Highway 195, just north of Spangle, Washington were treated to an unusual sight Wednesday morning at about 7:15. An escapee was being led away while his gang protested and followed a few steps behind. Steakum the steer decided to make a midnight run from his pasture sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. The escape left his owner wondering if Steakum has opposable hooves. As far as the life of a bovine is concerned, Steakum lives the life of luxury. He is tethered in a pasture where the green grass is thick and in some areas, taller than he is. Fresh water is delivered to him morning and evening. He enjoys a good scratching on his head and rubbing under his chin causes his eyes to roll back in his head, in pure pleasure. But if you've ever looked into the eyes of your favorite barbecue, you know there is more than just tenderloin, sirloin and… ribs/Brian Neale, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo)
Question: Have you ever had a pet of any kind that constantly ran off whenever you weren't looking? Tell us about it.
Greeting card companies have taken a cue from the nation’s 9 percent unemployment rate. In a 6-by-4 inch envelope, someone can send a friend who lost his or her job a preprinted message of encouragement and sympathy. Though not available at every corner store, layoff greeting cards are being manufactured by Hallmark and sold at its stores and online – and selling well, said Frank Fernandez, owner of two Hallmark stores in North Texas. “We’re in the emotional business,” said Fernandez. “You want to say something emotionally correct and give them (your friends) a card that you’ve chosen to express your own thoughts.” One Hallmark card with a photo of a cat reads: “Is there anywhere I could hack up a hairball, like say, on a former employer’s head?” Another card says: “Losing a job is just plain painful. So I want you to remember I’m in your cheering section … ”/Christina Rosales, Dallas Morning News. More here.
Question:Would you send one of these Hallmark cards to someone who'd just lost a job?
LaNelle Simmons, a 20-year-old University of Idaho student majoring in graphic design and advertising, is responsible for posting humorous inquiries along the Moscow-Pullman road. David Johnson/Lewiston Tribune tells you more about LaNelle and her hobby here.
Claiming Magistrate Judge Jeff P. Payne has no jurisdiction over him, former gubernatorial candidate Rex F. Rammell pleaded innocent to a misdemeanor charge of battery Tuesday. Rammell told Payne that he is a “de jure” citizen and invoked his ninth constitutional amendment rights, which makes him exempt from the laws of the corporate state. Rammell said after the hearing he filed a Ninth Amendment affidavit claiming such rights in Boise earlier this year. “I am no longer a member of the corporate state of Idaho,” Rammell explained. “It doesn't mean that we don't follow the law and rules - it means that we're not part of the corporate system.” Even so, Rammell is scheduled for a pretrial hearing in the case Oct. 11 at 10:30 a.m. Payne, who ignored the part about being a “de jure” citizen, told Rammell he faces a possible $1,000 fine, six months in jail and two years probation/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Lewiston Tribune photo of Rex Rammell)
Question: Why are we Idahoans so fascinated by the ever curiouser and curiouser life & times of Rex Rammell? Or are you?
In this SR file football by Christopher Anderson from the mid-1990s, Joe Tofflemire grimaces as a Seahawk trainer checks his shoulder during a recent practice. Tofflemire was a football standout at Post Falls High.
Joe Tofflemire, a first-team All-Pac-10 center at Arizona in 1986, 987 and 1988, died Tuesday in Post Falls. He wa 46. He was found unconscious and unresponsive in his home, according to family reports on Facebook. He later died in a Coeur d'Alene (Kootenai Medical Center) hospital. Tofflemire was UA's 1988 football team's Most Valuable Player and the 1988 winner of the Pac-10 Morris Award, emblematic of the league's top offensive lineman. He was selected in the second round of the 1989 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks and played for the team from 1989-94/Arizona Daily Star. More from Wikipedia here. (John Blanchette & Greg Lee are working on story for SR.)
On his Facebook page, Coeur d'Alene council candidate Dan Gookin posted this video & comment: “I made this video for my last campaign. It was my testimony before the City Council on June 16, 2009. The topic was the annexation and re-zoning of the former mill site, the property now known as the Education Corridor. Pay careful attention to what I say at about the 1:40 second mark. In the context of my speech, it’s prescient: Historically speaking, incumbents and the supporters of the status quo are turned out of office due to battles such as the one City Hall has declared against McEuen Field. Remember: This was in 2009.” More here.
Question: Do you have concerns about the Education Corridor?
Have you ever wondered who earns what among city of Coeur d'Alene employees, from the top to the bottom? Hucks Online has a list of salaries, with LCSC director Tony Berns and City Attorney Mike Gridley leading the pack at $120,000 plus. This list also includes wage increases and percentage of wage increases for this year. Click here.
Question: Anything jump out at you?
At his perch above Sherman Avenue/NW Blvd, Don Sausser snapped this photo this morning of a worker repairing the roof on the Coeur d'Alene Resort. Don reports that there's been cranes at the resort all week. And that it looks like a major roofing project going on.
Question: How often do you visit the Coeur d'Alene Resort in a given year?
In yesterday’s editorial regarding the erroneous payment of unemployment benefits in Idaho, comparisons were made to the rate of errors in Alaska, Oregon and Washington. While Idaho’s percentage of errors was the lowest of the three states (9 percent), only former governor Sarah Palin of Alaska was cited as presiding over a state whose error rate was higher (11.8 percent). This was a shabby inclusion on our part. If a governor or governors had to be mentioned (they did not), we should have taken a shot at either current Democratic Oregon governor John Kitzhaber, former Democratic Oregon governor Ted Kulongoski (12.2 percent error rate) or Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington (14.1 percent error rate) because those state’s error percentages were much higher. We apologize/Twin Falls Times-News. (AP file photo: Sarah Palin shown in Iowa Sept. 3)
Question: Was an ap-hollow-gy necessary?
The Idaho State Lottery refused to provide records sought by this newspaper under a public records request. The Gazette Record requested public records related to the lottery commission’s oversight of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s compliance with state law relating to its casino. The Gazette Record hired the law office of Christensen & Doman of St. Maries to pursue the request following the newspaper’s reports last month about the tribe’s mandated contributions to local public schools. The tribe is required by law to donate “5 percent of its annual net gaming income for the support of local educational programs and schools on or near the reservation.” Area schools had not received money from the tribe since 2009. When questioned, tribal officials said donations had been made, but would not reveal which school districts received the contributions. Shortly after the story broke, the tribe gave $210,000 to the Plummer/Worley school district/St. Maries Record Gazette. More here. (Courtesy photo: Coeur d'Alene Casino)
Question: If the tribe is required by law to provide a certain level of gaming profits to area schools, shouldn't the record of disbursements be public?
For 41 years, Jim Mathey has been a carrier with the Postal Service. His route these days covers the east side of Coeur d'Alene. It is, he explains, good, solid work. “I love my job,” he said. “That's why I'm still doing it after all these years.” But his livelihood is under fire, so Mathey on Tuesday joined about 20 other carriers in a rally on Ironwood Drive, outside the office of Congressman Raul Labrador. They passed out fliers and held signs and wore shirts that read, “We deliver 6 days a week,” “Save America's Postal Service,” “Tell the Hill to pass the bill,” and “6 Days is the right way.” Occasionally, a passing driver honked, prompting the carriers to wave their signs and shout “thank you” on a cool, cloudy afternoon. Mathey said a proposal to close thousands of post offices, end Saturday mail delivery and lay off 120,000 employees is a mistake/Bill Buley, CdA Press. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR photo: Spokane mail carriers rally at Cathy McMorris-Rodgers office)
Question: You'd think we can find money to underwrite a quality agency like our U.S. Postal Service considering all the revenue this country squanders elsewhere. What do you think?
On her Idaho Scenic Images Facebook page, Linda Lantzy offers this viewtiful scenic of “morning light on the Coeur d'Alene River.”
Recent immigration policies enacted by the Administration undermine the rule of law, say Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and a group of Republican senators in a letter to the President urging to remand the proposals. The directives in question call for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to perform case-by-case reviews, focusing on criminals and public menaces, while closing the books on those not considered a threat. Additionally, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton recently directed the agency to use its “prosecutorial discretion” in deciding which of the pending 300,000 federal deportation cases should be prosecuted. If DHS determines that a particular individual is not a criminal threat, they could be granted conditional permanent residency. In a letter sent to the President yesterday, the senators ask that DHS rescind the proposals dealing with increased use of prosecutorial discretion and abide by existing immigration laws/Mike Crapo news release. More here. (AP file photo: An supporter of tough immigration laws protests in Arizona)
Question: Who do you trust more to deal with immigration policy — congressional Republicans or the White House and congressional Democrats?
Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com, introduces the Kindle Fire at a news conference today in New York. The e-reader and tablet has a 7-inch (17.78 cm) multicolor touchscreen. Behind him is a projected display of magazines that will be available on the Fire. Story here. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Question: What is the last electronic device that you have purchased?
Item: Cd'A's best kept secret: Sunrise Rotary has raised more than $200K in five years/Bill Buley, CdA Press
More Info: The Coeur d'Alene Sunrise Rotary is a great organization, but lousy at publicity. Who knew it had raised and donated more than $200,000 in the past five years? Who knew it contributed money to earthquake relief efforts, to concerts, to scholarships, to playgrounds and to violence prevention? Not many, it seems.
Question: Are you now or have you ever been associated with a civic organization?
Idaho's new citizen redistricting commission has been sworn in by Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, who greeted the six new commissioners, saying, “Good morning, all of you, welcome. I facetiously was telling some of you that I thought you were smarter than this, to be on this commission.” He said, “You have a daunting task in front of you. … It may be unfair to you, but time is of the essence. … We need to have a plan in place as quickly as we can, a legally defensible plan. … I commend you for your willingess to serve.” The six commissioners then unanimously elected their new co-chairs: Dolores Crow (pictured) from the Republican side, and Ron Beitelspacher from the Democratic side/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Are you more optimistic that this redistricting commission will perform better for Idahoans than the last one?
Sarah Palin dismissed Florida Straw Poll winner Herman Cain as “the flavor of the month” and mistook the candidate's first name in an appearance Tuesday night on Fox News. “Take Herman Cain. Look at why he's doing so well right now. I guess you could say, with all due respect, he’s the flavor of the week,” the former governor of Alaska said. “Because Herb [sic] Cain is the one up there who doesn't look like he's part of that permanent political class - He came from a working class family. He's had to make it on his own all these years. We respect that.” Cain defended his campaign Wednesday morning on CBS/Justin Sink, The Hill, Blog Briefing Room. More here. (AP file photo: the late Herb Caen, of the San Francisco Chronicle)
Question: What do you make of Herman Cain's surprising polling in Florida? And/or: Are you a fan of former San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen?
Not such a beautiful day in the neighborhood today. But it means that I can continue to keep my sprinkler system turned off — and save a few bucks that I can use to buy firewood in October. Easy come, easy go. Gotta start thinking about winter preparation. Anti-freeze. Studs. Wood. Chimney sweep. But, as Scarlett said, I won't think about that today, I'll think about that tomorrow. Or something like that. Now for your Wild Card …
A worker pulls a boom in a cranberry marsh today, near Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. Wisconsin's harvest, which produces more than 50 percent of the world's supply of cranberries, is just under way. This year's Wisconsin's crop is expected to yield 4.3 million barrels, according to the USDA. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, Andy Manis)
The option of needle-free fall flu shots is being offered at Fred Meyer stores in Idaho and Washington, the company announced. The company press release said “most” Fred Meyer stores will have needle-free and traditional options. You may need to call ahead to confirm, if you're looking for the newer version. This is the first time Fred Meyer stores and pharmacies have provided the needle-free injections, said Marc Cecchini, vice president and director of pharmacy for Fred Meyer Stores. Injections use a Biojector, a CO2 gas-propelled system that delivers medications or vaccines through a sterile single-use syringe/Tom Sowa, Office Hours. More here.
Question: Are you afraid of needles?
A mother bear, left, and one of her cubs investigate a dumpster behind the Mount Ivy Diner in Pomona, N.Y. , Saturday. The diner's owner says he's seen a lot of wildlife on his property, but never bears. The bears have been regular visitors for about two weeks. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Eddy Philippe)
Lisa Kulp, a waitress at Ferguson's Cafe, helps sweep debris from in front of the burned-out business on Garland Ave in Spokane Monday. Fire investigators at daybreak began going through the remains of two historic Garland District restaurants _ one a Depression-era icon and the other a popular diner featured in several Hollywood films — that were heavily damaged Sunday night by fire. Owners of both businesses say the plan to rebuild. See story below. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
An anti-cheese billboard faces northbound Interstate 41 traffic in DePere, Wis., Tuesday. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine paid for the billboard near Green Bay. The original design featured the Grim Reaper wearing a foam cheese wedge on his head which drew complaints from Foamation Inc., the Milwaukee-area maker of foam hats and other novelties. The company said it didn't want to be associated with something that disparages cheese. (AP Photo/The Green Bay Press-Gazette, Jim Matthews)
Question: How much do you like cheese?
Three would-be beer thieves were arrested in Covina, Calif. after their bungled attempt ended with one man getting soaked in a car wash and another tackled by store employees, authorities say. Police say friends Nicholas Fiumetto, Nicholas Kalscheuer and Andy Huynh went to the Baja Ranch Market in L.A. County at 3 p.m. Wednesday with the intention of stealing two 30-packs of Tecate beer, CBS station KCBS reports. Employees reportedly managed to tackle and detain Kalscheuer while Fiumetto jumped into a car where driver Huynh was waiting. According to KCBS, an employee - who probably deserves to be promoted - was able to grab onto the hood and helped cause the driver to crash the vehicle into a curb after a 150-yard drive. Presumably to avoid capture, Fiumetto ran into a car wash next door where police said they found him covered in soap and bubbles/AP. More here.
Question: Have you ever seen an angrier police mug shot than this guy's?
A new report ranks Idaho in the bottom 10 states for the percentage of high school graduates who go to college. The U.S. Department of Education released the report Monday. It includes state-by-state rankings based on 2009 data in several areas, such as how students perform in math and reading while in public school and how many earn degrees in college. Idaho was also ranked near the bottom for its college graduation rate and the percentage of fourth graders — both White and Hispanic — proficient in math/Associated Press. More here.
Question: Do you get the impression that Idaho has become the Mississippi of the West?
Dave Megerle, a member of Wiss, Janney, Elstner, Associates (WJE) “Difficult Access Team,” right, and an unidentified co-worker, test their equipment at the top of the Washington Monument on the National Mall, in Washington on Tuesday, preparing for people to rappel down the sides to survey the extent of damage sustained to the monument from the Aug. 23 earthquake. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)'
Question: How much would you have to be paid to do the job the two men shown in the photo are doing?
More than two years after Michael Jackson's death from an overdose of a powerful surgical anaesthetic, the irrepressible circus surrounding the King of Pop was back in full swing as the personal physician who attended to him in his dying hours stood trial for involuntary manslaughter. Fans with gold “MJ” armbands and T-shirts bearing the silkscreen likeness of their idol crammed the courthouse in downtown Los Angeles for a glimpse of courtroom entourage and a shot at one of the few open seats in the public gallery. Bloggers, gossip columnists and news crews were also out in force, just as they were at Jackson's child molestation trial in 2005 and at the rehearsals for the ill-fated final tour – hauntingly named This Is It – that never took place in 2009/Andrew Gumbel, The Guardian. More here. (AP photo — Michael Jackson fan Bristre Clayton of Las Vegas stands outside court during the trial of Conrad Murray)
Question: Are you following Michael Jackson death trial?
Republicans have picked two former lawmakers and the widow of a state GOP chairman to sit on the new, re-formed redistricting commission, which begins its work Wednesday. Former state Reps. Dolores Crow (pictured in Idaho Public TV photo) and Randy Hansen were named today, joining longtime GOP activist Sheila Olsen of Idaho Falls. I've covered all three in my various stops around the state. Olsen's GOP credentials are unquestioned, but she is a fair and independent thinker. The same can be said for Hansen. … The long-time chairman of the House Revenue & Taxation Committee, Crow wasn't exactly what one would call a consensus-builder. … Last week, the Democrats named former state Sen. Ron Beitelspacher of Grangeville, former state Rep. Elmer Martinez of Pocatello, and Boisean Shauneen Grange to the panel/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: With 5 commissioners from southern Idaho and the sixth from Grangeville, how sensitive do you expect the new redistricters to be to North Idaho/Panhandle legislative boundaries?
“I believe the Tea Party is a good movement,” Congressman Raul Labrador told the City Club in response to a question. “Because people are being vilified so much by the media, they're not calling themselves 'tea party' any more, they're saying 'conservative Republicans.' … The message of the Tea Party is a message that I've always advocated.” He added, “I don't consider myself a 'Tea Party freshman,'” even though that's how the national media always refers to him. “I consider myself a conservative Republican representative from the state of Idaho. … If you don't think that borrowing 40 cents of every dollar … is too much, you are in the minority and not in the majority”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Would you consider Congressman Labrador to be a “Tea Party Repubican” or a “conservative Republican”? What's the difference?
Perhaps it should come as a relief to Idahoans that our state had the Pacific Northwest’s lowest percentage of errors in the payment of unemployment benefits over the past three years. More than 9% of payments in Idaho were paid erroneously, while Washington had a 14.1% error rate, Oregon had a 12.2% error rate and Alaska — under the crack leadership of former governor Sarah Palin — had an 11.8% error rate. But when that 9% translates into $82 million paid to residents who had either already returned to work or had not met the state’s job search requirements, that relief should be somewhat tempered/Twin Falls Times-News. More here.
Question: How do you view the errors that cost Idaho $82M in unemployment benefits — and the lowest percentage in the Northwest? Errors occur? Or something must be done to reduce this figure?
Hucks Online is generally loathe to drive traffic to the OpenCDA site. But it looks as though Mary Souza and Bill McCrory need all the help they can get keeping the site alive, judging from the one post they've made in the last week (on open forum one). However, a Berry Picker has brought to my attention a poll being conducted by Mary/Bill, asking readers — both of them — to pick their favorite Coeur d'Alene City Council person, including among the choices Mayor Sandi Bloem and “None of the incumbents.” Councilman Mike Kennedy is currently leading “none of the incumbents” by one vote. So, hold your nose, and go vote.
Question: BTW, who is your favorite Coeur d'Alene City Council member?
Freshman Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, in response to a question about term limits at the Boise City Club today, said, “This is actually an area where I have changed in the last eight months. I believe that we need term limits in politics, especially congressional politics.” He said in his months in Washington, D.C., “I have heard people actively voice openly that the reason that theyre not making the tough decisions they have to make … is because they're worried about the next election”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Do you support term limits? If so, at what elected levels?
People gather outside the Loading Zone Bar and Casino in Great Falls, Mont. on Monday, where early Sunday a truck crashed into the front of the building, killing one person and injuring several others. (AP Photo/Great Falls Tribune: Kristen Cates)
The cost of health insurance for many Americans this year climbed more sharply than in previous years, outstripping any growth in workers’ wages and adding more uncertainty about the pace of rising medical costs. A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research group that tracks employer-sponsored health insurance on a yearly basis, shows that the average annual premium for family coverage through an employer reached $15,073 in 2011, an increase of 9 percent over the previous year/Reed Abelson, New York Times. More here.
Question: Is your salary keeping pace with health care costs?
As part of the new changes to Facebook, third-party applications will be incorporated into each user’s personal profile. Instead of manually clicking the mouse to allow updates from apps to be shared with friends, the information will routinely be added to someone’s profile each time they use the app with a single permission agreement. Users will need to be more conscientious about their activities because information concerning their private use of the media, exercise schedules and other personal routines will automatically be published on their Facebook walls. Along with the integration of third-party applications, Facebook also introduced the Timeline. The Timeline will take information from people’s personal profiles, such as status updates, tagged photos and events, and meld these components into a chronological “story” of that person’s life/Elisa Eiguren, UIdaho Argonaut. More here. (AP file photo: Mark Zuckerberg at recent Facebook conference)
Question: Are you uneasy about possible privacy intrusions that are part of the new changes to Facebook? Do you understand all those changes?
USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Deputy Regional Director Jesus Mendoza will join students in Northern Idaho to recognize 3 local schools for receiving USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge Silver awards Thursday and Friday. Award winning schools are Harrison Elementary School, Spirit Lake Elementary, and A.B. McDonald Elementary School in Moscow. The challenge is a voluntary initiative established in 2004 to recognize schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. Mendoza will also join students for activities including a school assembly, garden tour, student nutrition and physical education demonstrations/Idaho Education News. More here.
Question: What would you include in a school lunch, if you were the chef in charge?
Nice choices, mom and dad. For the fourth time in eight years, Hailey was the region's choice as the most popular baby girls' name. For the second time in four years, Aiden was the most popular selection for boys. Those were the results in the 19th annual Tribune Stork Report, the tabulation of baby names for the year ending midyear 2011 at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. They succeed the year - ago choices of Elizabeth, for girls, again a strong contender, and Connor, for boys, only chosen two times. Nationally, Hailey was the 19th most popular name for girls. The most popular were Isabella, Sophia, Emma, Olivia and Ava. Aiden was No. 9 in the U.S. The most popular were Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Jayden and William/Butch Alford, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Are there any “old-fashioned” names in your immediate family?
Christa Hazel followed a report re: the IB (International Baccalaureate) meeting last night: “I am disappointed that there are so many community members not ashamed to be openly rude and it seemed to fall on one side. Some people barked at the speakers when they couldn't hear or the speakers were too loud. One older man interrupted a lady who was speaking about IB teachers like Mr. Ruskovich and asked why Mr. Ruskovich sends his kids to Charter Academy. Mr. Ruskovich, from the audience, re-directed the attention by stating, “Why don't you ask me that question, Sir.” As an audience member, it was difficult to hear all of the speakers because of the side conversations in the audience. One man kept muttering “this is bull****” and kept raising his hand as though he wanted to question each speaker.” Full meeting report here. (Christa Hazel photo: Debbie Morris addressing Wanda Quinn. Matt Handelmann, assistant Superintendent is seated next to Wanda.)
Question: I noticed this same phenomenon during the final meeting on proposed McEuen Field changes — older adult people in the audience acting like 2-year-olds when they didn't agree with something being said. Why are people in this town so disrespectful in public settings when they disagree with something?
When it comes to safety on college campuses, whom do you believe?University officials and local law enforcement agencies — the people entrusted to keep the peace? Or the National Rifle Association, a special-interest group seeking to put Idaho into its win column? Earlier this year, 41 House members — 40 Republicans and one Democrat — took the NRA’s side and passed a bill allowing concealed weapons on Idaho college campuses. The House-passed bill died in a Senate committee. Considering the NRA’s success in one legislative chamber, it’s only inevitable that the group is coming back to take another run at a weapons-on-campus bill. On Thursday, an NRA lobbyist took the group’s case to Idaho State University’s student union building/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Are you a member of the National Rifle Association?
Emergency crews and ATF personnel investigate the scene after a fire at the Rocky Mountain Fireworks and Fur Co. near Caldwell on Monday morning. Animal rights activists said they pumped fuel into the fur and fireworks retailer before setting the place ablaze early Monday, and federal agents said they were taking the claim seriously. Story here. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Katherine Jones)
Florence Slater of Post Falls checked out the book selection at Post Falls Library on Monday, during the start of Banned Books Week that runs Saturday. “Beware of the book” stickers have been posted on all Community Library Network facility doors and some of the banned books were put in cages and surrounded by caution tape. The displays have been put together to remind people of the freedom to read afforded to all U.S. citizens. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Question: Have you ever read a “banned book”?
LoveToHateMe: I’d say at best the U.N. is at best an unnecessary international organization trying to influence U.S. domestic policy from the outside, and at worst an invasive international organization designed to subvert the worldwide power and influence of the U.S. in active opposition to actions that are in our best interest. I’m definitely not a Republican, but the mere mention of the U.N. does get my head close to exploding. :P
Question: How do you view the United Nations?
IdBarrelRacer: I personally find it refreshing that (Coeur d'Alene council candidate Amber Copeland) isn’t a political mucky-muck. I’m looking forward to having a younger candidate that might actually represent a good portion of the residents of this city. Up until now, I’ve had the option to choose between the “lesser of 2 evils” when making my voting decisions. I think this race finally has enough varied candidates that there could be a ‘good’ choice rather than just a ‘not as bad’ choice. If nothing else, Amber has brought some youth to the race, and I think the younger residents might just get off the couch and actually vote. I know I’ll be taking a long hard look in her direction come election day.
Question: How often do you feel as though you're choosing between the lesser of two evils when you're voting?
More Info: It starts on the opening day of hunting season, he said, tribal members with hunting gear rumbling across his property on four wheelers, trucks and motorcycles. “They'll come up and flash this (tribal membership) card and say, 'I'm a tribal member and I can hunt anywhere I want to,'” he said. The 55-year-old's main objection is that he believes his property rights are being violated, he said. Gress acknowledges and respects the love for hunting in the region, he added, but there are also safety concerns for himself, his dogs and his neighbors.
Question: Should private property owners on the Coeur d'Alene Reservation have the right to prevent tribal members from hunting on their property?
As much as we griped re: long, rainy spring and early summer, none of us should be complaining re: the wonderful fall that we've had. Mrs. O & I enjoyed perfect weather Friday evening for hosting an engagement party for Amy Dearest and future son-in-law Okie Doke at our house. Then, the four of us attended a wedding and evening reception Saturday, when afternoon temps topped 90 degrees … at the end of September! Amazing! I take back all my grumbling from earlier this year. Now, for the first Wild Card of the week …
A father and son head for their fishing hole at Muddy Run Recreation Park in southern Lancaster County, Pa. New research suggests that dads are less likely to die of heart-related problems than childless men are. The study by AARP, the government and several universities is the largest ever look at men, fertility and mortality. (AP Photo/Intelligencer Journal, Marty Heisey)
Question: Have your children been good for your heart?
re: Editorial: Kootenai County residents face double, triple sewer rates/Coeur d'Alene Press
KEA Blog response: The paper is evidently calling for some sort of misguided citizen uprising against yet-to-be-determined sewage rate increases caused by yet-to-be-permitted sewage treatment upgrades. Wildly missing the mark though, the CDA Press does the region no favors. In fact, some 13 years into an impossibly complicated process, the polluted Spokane River and particularly he green-slimed and oxygen-starved Long Lake finally have a reasonable cleanup plan that requires significant pollution reductions to all the dischargers on the River, including Idaho’s. Despite the editorial’s unfounded and hyperbolic claims, Idaho municipalities discharging onto the River are already committed and are hard at work designing and testing improved sewage treatment technologies. Full response here. (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo: Tubers on Spokane River)
Question: How import to you is the water quality in the Spokane River?
An off-duty Rathdrum police officer was killed Saturday morning when his motorcycle was involved with a two vehicle accident four miles south of Cusick. Johnathon Franco, 27, had been with Rathdrum police since 2006 working as a patrol officer. Coeur d'Alene Press reported that Franco's motorcycle hit a Plymouth whose driver slowed for an injured deer in the road. Motorcycle debris from wreck struck a third vehicle. Spokane Valley-based photographers, Shmily Face Photography, spent time with him in May. More from Nicole Hensley, KXLY here. (Photo courtesy: Shmily Face Photography)
Luigi leads the way as six dogs attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most dogs on a surfboard, during the Surf City Surf Dog event held in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday. The dogs were not able to stay on for the required ten seconds. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Orange County Register, Cindy Yamanaka)
Hucks Online sees that the Fall 2011 Constitution Party National Committee & Conference will be held Oct. 7-8 at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. Among the Constitution Party worthies expected to attend is former U.S. Rep Virgil Goode, who represented the Virginia 5th District and is considered the frontrunner for the party nomination although he hasn't made an official candidacy announcement. According to a Constitution Party news release, the fall convention originally was rewarded to Spokane, but Spokane area committee members suggested “that going across the state line to the Coeur d'Alene” Resort would be a better location. Full story here. The local Constitution Party, as you may recall, led the small protest against that public art display of Indian idol Ganesha on 6th & Sherman. So, with your help, I'd like to suggest things the Constitutionalists can do while they're in downtown Coeur d'Alene:
Question: Can you add to the list?
Rep. Marge Chadderdon, R-Coeur d'Alene, says she's not planning to seek a fifth term in the state House of Representatives, so the fact that a proposed new legislative district plan unveiled today puts her in the same district as Reps. Phil Hart, R-Athol, and Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, wouldn't force any face-offs among incumbents. Chadderdon said she made her decision back when she was sworn in for her fourth term last December; she subsequently ended up missing the 2011 session while undergoing cancer treatment, and her daughter, Julie Chadderdon, filled in for her. “That isn't the reason I'm not running,” Chadderdon said today. “I had made up my mind regardless.” Her daughter, also, has made it “very, very clear” she doesn't want to run, Chadderdon said, “ever, ever”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Hypothetical Question: Which 2 of these 3 would you pick, if forced to do so: Marge Chadderdon, Phil Hart, and Vito Barbieri?
Move over, Oscar Mayer; Your weinermobile is about to have some competition. A giant potato, hauled on a semi, will hit the road in 2012 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Idaho Potato Commission marketing Gem State potatoes. Frank Muir, head of the group, told IdahoReporter.com Monday that there is a $700,000 budget for the 2012 anniversary celebration, which includes the cost of taking the giant potato across the country. The commission is spending $269,200 to design, decorate and build the custom tractor trailer along with the potato. After its completion, the group will spend a project $58,000 in fuel for the diesel truck, which has planned stops in New York, Florida, the West Coast and several locations in between/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.
Question: Will the Potatomobile replace the Wienermobile in the hearts & minds of the American people?
At Slight Detour, Marianne Love found a silver lining in yet another lopsided loss by the Idaho Vandals this season — son William filed the game report. You can read it here. Writes Marianne: “It was not a good game for the Vandals — at least in the second half, but it was another good sports gig for Willie.” (Idaho Vandals media relations photo from UI/Fresno State game)
Hucks Online numbers (for week of 18-24): 46605 page-views/29348 unique views
Question: Anyone given up on the 2012 Idaho Vandals yet?
he end is near — or so it seems to a segment of Christians aligned with the religious right. The global economic meltdown, numerous natural disasters and the threat of radical Islam have fueled a conviction among some evangelicals that these are the last days. While such beliefs might be dismissed as the rantings of a small but vocal minority, apocalyptic fears helped drive the antigovernment movements of the 1930s and ’40s and could help define the 2012 presidential campaign as well/Matthew Avery Sutton, WSU associate professor of history, in New York Times. More here. (Wikipedia illustration: Antichrist and the devil. From the Deeds of the Antichrist fresco by Luca Signorelli,)
Question: Do you believe in a literal fulfillment of biblical prophecy re: a future anti-Christ?
Lake City High School students were released from school early today after administrators received a bomb threat at the school this morning. The administrators received a note around 11:38 a.m. saying a bomb was going to go off, said Laura Rumpler, a district spokeswoman. The school’s 1,450 students were evacuated around 1 p.m., then released shortly after. Students who walked to school were allowed to leave and those that rode the bus were transported first to the North Idaho Fairgrounds before boarding buses for home. Students who drove had to have their cars cleared by law enforcement before being allowed to depart, Rumpler said/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.
Question: Prank? Or a kid who wanted to get out of a test?
Doves are released during the Survivor Tribute at the 20th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Orange County on Sunday in Irvine, Calif. Over 25,000 participated in the Newport Beach event. (AP Photo/Orange County Register, Michael Goulding)
The seriousness of the cause is balanced with humor, hope and courage each year at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Coeur d'Alene. And there is always lots of pink. The 12th annual event, held Sunday on the campus of North Idaho College, was no different. Along with the customary pink T-shirts, balloons, ribbons and flowers, there were kids with pink mohawks, toddlers with pink cowboy boots, grandmas with pink sunglasses - even an English mastiff wearing a hot pink tutu. “It's great to see the spirit that's out there,” said Tiffany Moe, this year's race chair. “I'm happy we had the turnout we did.” The 5K fun run and 1-mile walk, a fundraiser to support breast cancer patients and survivors and breast cancer research, attracted 2,300 registrants this year/Maureen Dolan, CdA Press. More here.
Question: Have you or a loved one suffered from breast cancer?
On her Facebook wall, Sarah Anderson asks: “Of the magazines sold at the checkout line of a supermarket, which one would you subscribe to if it was free?”
Question: You can answer Sarah's question and/or tell us which magazines you subscribe to now?
On her Facebook wall, Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Amber Copeland announces: “My original plan to have a rock concert at the cda bandshell and speak about my campaign is not panning out. Does anyone have any other ideas of a cool location (preferrably not a bar) that has a lot of foot traffic and could support sound equipment?” Copeland is seeking the council seat currently held by John Bruning. Others in the race are Steve Adams, Derec Aujay, and Annastasia Somontes.
Question: Where would be a good place to hold a rock concert to advertise your City Council candidacy?
By any measure, he was an extraordinary man. That he had a winning bedside manner is incontestable. Besides being a beloved “family doctor” who for 28 years delivered most of the babies born in Benewah County, he was an active community leader, a man of many interests, especially in political and public affairs. Dr. C.A. “Doc” Robins, Idaho’s 22nd governor, was the right man in the right place at the right time in Idaho history. The first of the modern, post World War II governors, he set Idaho on a solid course into the future, shepherding through the Legislature new laws that created the State Building Fund, the Tax Commission, the Department of Labor while revamping Idaho’s antiquated prisons, revising its workman’s comp program, removing the highway department from the patronage system and forcing consolidation of Idaho’s 1,100 school districts into less than 200. Yet today one can travel the length and breadth of Benewah County and not find a single public reference to one of Idaho’s most accomplished governors ever having lived and worked in St. Maries/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicles. More here.
Question: Who is your favorite Idaho governor? Why?
You read over the weekend about the old claim resurrected by Benewah County Prosecutor Doug Payne that the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe doesn't have hunting rights on non-Indian property on its reservation. Several commented in a thread about the story. But did you see that the tribe refused to comment to the St. Maries Gazette Record. Toward the end of the story about a meeting to discuss the matter, the Gazette reports: “The tribe’s legislative director, Helo Hancock, said the tribe would not comment because they feel they are treated unfairly by this newspaper. “We see a clear pattern involving the tribe in your newspaper,” Mr. Hancock said. “The articles are unfair, biased and frankly defaming of the tribe and until that changes we will be withholding comment.” (St. Maries Gazette Record photo: Approximately 20 people, including local property owners, Rep. Dick Harwood, Benewah County Prosecuting Attorney Doug Payne and Sheriff Bob Kirts attended a meeting on trespassing and hunting on the reservation Sept. 8 at the Plummer Library.)
Question: Is it good policy by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe to withhold comment from a newspaper that it claims reports stories in an “unfair, biased and frankly defaming of the tribe”?
Herb Huseland (shown standing below steps in photo) and youngest son, Brian, took a trip down memory lane when they headed for the Colville area. Herb's grandfather homesteaded land there. His mother taught in the one-room building (pictured in inset). Herb: “Just up the road about three miles was the one room schoolhouse where my mother, Nina Huseland nee Barton,taught grades 1 through 8. Most farm kids ended their education after the 8th year. We set out to find the old school, called Spirit. We had information that it was still standing after 98 years. We found it north of the mine about 3 miles on the right side of the road. It was repainted barn red and is now a private residence. Originally it was white.” More here.
Question: Have you ever taken a trip back to visit your childhood roots?
When confronted by Spokemsan-Review reporter John Stucke, right, Doris “Dee” Nelson, center, breaks down crying while her husband Dennis, left, looks on at their rural home in north of Colbert Thursday. Dee Nelson is suspected of taking investments in the tens of millions from friends and family for her loan business. She is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Losses are estimated at $135 million. John Stucke SR story here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)
A National Rifle Association lobbyist says the guns-right lobby will attempt to persuade Idaho lawmakers next year to allow people to carry concealed weapons on college campuses without a permit. The Idaho State Journal reports that Matt Dogali of the NRA at a meeting at Idaho State University last week said people should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon without a permit and to bring that weapon onto campuses. Earlier this year lawmakers decided to leave it to university leaders to decide how to regulate firearms/AP. More here.
Question: I still think this is a dumb idea, even after the recent murder-suicide at the University of Idaho. How about you?
People run in their underwear from the Gallivan Center to the Capitol in Salt Lake City. Thousands of people stripped to their underwear and ran through Salt Lake City to protest what they called the “uptight” laws of Utah. Story & more photos here. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Djamila Grossman)
Question: Would you rather live somewhere that had “uptight” laws that tried to rein in the excesses of modern society, like Utah, or somewhere where anything goes?
Take all the acronyms, the scientific formulas, the political agendas at cross purposes and the bitter cross-state line disputes. Flush it all down the toilet. And show up at an important public meeting this Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the Post Falls Senior Center. Yes, the issue is about your sewer bill, to put it succinctly. But it's about much more than that, too. If the federal Environmental Protection Agency moves ahead with plans to clamp the most restrictive water quality standards in the nation on North Idaho, your sewer bill doubling or tripling in the next couple of years could be the least of your concerns/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Coeur d'Alene water superintendent Sid Fredrickson)
Question: Can Kootenai County residents afford to pay for more restrictive water quality standards?
Officials have emerged from their confab on redistricting, and announced that the former commissioners' new agreement on legislative and congressional district lines has no legal significance, other than as a recommendation to the new commission, which will start meeting on Wednesday/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More on today's redistricting discussions here.
Question: Would the new redistricters be wise to quickly put their stamp of approval on the plan approved post-deadline by former redistricters & supported by both Idaho Democrats & Republicans?
For school Superintendent Tom Luna, even a modest attempt to improve Idaho's abysmally poor effort to prepare preschoolers for a lifetime of learning was a step too far. Luna turned thumbs down on a $50 million, multi-year federal Department of Education “Race to the Top” early learning grant. The grant had Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter's blessing, but without Luna's support, it's going nowhere. While children in most states profit from expanded preschool offerings, Idahoans will fall further behind. Only 10 states spend nothing on prekindergarten programs. Idaho, of course, is on the list, along with Montana, Utah and Wyoming. Idaho also spends nothing on Head Start, relying solely on federal support/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Was Superintendent Tom Luna right in turning down the $50M Department of Education early learning grant?
Phil Cooper of Idaho Fish and Game talks about the taxidermy grizzly on display at the agency's Coeur d'Alene office this week. The bear was killed illegally in 1997 north of Creston, B.C. Cooper said the bear was typical of grizzlies in the region, weighing about 400 pounds, less than the bigger coastal grizzlies. Becky Kramer SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Often, readers move on quickly after a horrific accident or crime, while victims are left to deal with injuries and shattered lives. Take Yvonne Wallis, for example. She was one of the four victims of that hammer attack by a deranged Bayview neighbor pre-Christmas 2010. Daughter-in-law Patty Heath died in the attack. Suspect Larry Cragun is in jail awaiting trial. Yvonne wears a blue football helmet to protect her fragile skull. She has undergone two serious surgeries and faces another at University of Washington, to have a permanent plate installed in her skull. Herb Huseland, a good friend who transported her to Seattle this summer, reports: “Nothing is guaranteed. She is still in a life-threatening condition, and without great care could fail to survive”/DFO, SR Huckleberries. More here.
SR weekend columns:
Question: Do you know someone who was severely injured in a violent attack?
Fire investigators at daybreak began going through the remains of two historic Garland District restaurants – one a Depression-era icon and the other a popular diner featured in several Hollywood films – that were heavily damaged Sunday night by fire. Spokane firefighters initially tried battling the three-alarm blaze inside Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle, 802 W. Garland Ave., at 8:42 a.m., but they had to pull back as heavy flames spread around them and over to Ferguson’s Cafe next door, authorities said. Both structures were heavily damaged, and investigators said it was questionable whether either one of them could be restored. Damage to the roofs of both eateries was severe, officials said. The fire apparently started at the rear of the Milk Bottle, but the garbage receptacle was not so badly damaged that it would have been the source of the fire, an investigator said/Spokesman-Review. More here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)
Question: Which Inland Northwest landmark of the past do you miss most?
Item: An FBI presence at Riverstone/Nils Rosdahl, Business Bits, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: The official occupant is the General Services Administration, but the people in the building just under construction at 2155 N. Riverstone Drive will be with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The 9,500- square-foot, single-level structure to be completed in April is located on the inside corner of Riverstone Drive, south of where it connects with Seltice Way. It's west of the Riverstone Administration building, which won't be that too much longer. We'll get into the details of that and another new Riverstone building next week.
Question: Did you know the FBI had an office in Coeur d'Alene?
Item: Marijuana debate hits Idaho: Local group hosting informational meeting Oct. 14/Tom Hasslinger, CdA Press
More Info: Opponents say Idaho is next. They're organizing informational meetings to fight legalizing medicinal marijuana, a issue that is sure to come the Gem State's way since neighboring states have already done so. They say the topic will come up during the 2012 legislative session, just as it had in 2011, but with even more vigor since pro-pot lobbyists have Idaho in their crosshairs. Like dominos, after neighbors Washington and Montana have legalized it, they say Idaho is the last holdout in the Pacific Northwest, ripe to be targeted.
Question: Should Idaho legalize medical marijuana?
a 27-year-old Rathdrum, Idaho man is dead after a crash on Highway 20 near Cusick. It happened just before 10 a.m. four miles south of Cusick. Washington State Patrol Troopers said Jonathan Franco was riding his motorcycle and rear-ended another car which was slowing down for an injured deer on the road/KREM. More here.
It was such a nice evening Friday that we enjoyed our portable fire pit in the back yard until almost midnight. We staged an engagement reception for Amy Dearest and future son-in-law Okie Doke, too. Getting new cell phones and a young friend's wedding are on tap today. And picking tomatoes. Can't get enough garden-ripe tomatoes this time of the year b/c I know that I'll be stuck with store-bought ones through the winter and next spring. Enjoy our last few days of swell, warm weather. Now, for your weekend Wild Card …
Item: Tribal hunting rights in question: Members: We can hunt anywhere on reservation/Alecia Warren, Press
More Info: The Coeur d'Alene Tribe is calling bunk on a claim by the Benewah County prosecutor that tribal members don't have the right to hunt on reservation land owned by non-tribal members. “Any explanation or advice to people that tribal members can't hunt and fish anywhere on the reservation is wrong, and potentially dangerous,” said Helo Hancock, Tribe spokesman. “I think it misleads people, and could lead to people getting into a conflict situation.” But Benewah Prosecutor Doug Payne is poised to continue the standoff, and, hoping for federal assistance, has invited Idaho's U.S. attorney to a public meeting on the matter next Tuesday in Plummer.
Question: What do you make of Benewah County Prosecutor Doug Payne's stand on this matter?
Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Florida Marlins' Omar Infante during the fifth inning of a baseball game on Friday in Milwaukee. The Brewers were one of three teams to win their division titles Friday night. The other two were the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Question: How did your favorite Major League Baseball team do this year?
Today is National Punctuation Day, a celebration of punctuation which occurs each year on Sept. 24.Founded by Jeff Rubin in 2004, National Punctuation Day simply promotes the correct usage of punctuation. Rubin encourages appreciators of correct punctuation and spelling to send in pictures of errors spotted in every day life. H/T: Val Hughes.
Question: Which is your favorite punctuation mark?
Duroc: Herb, the mountain lion wasn’t “reintroduced,” and it obviously wasn’t “protected.” These folks built their homes in the Boise foothills. If you build your house in a predator’s habitat, what do you expect the animals to do? Move? The grizzly hunters were in the backcountry, for Pete’s sake. Nothing that’s happened the past two weeks makes me any less likely to support “reintroduction” or “protection” of dangerous predators. More people were killed in car accidents the past two weeks than were attacked and/or killed by “dangerous predators.”
Question: Have the episodes involving grizzlies and mountain lions of the past two weeks caused you to change your mind re: reintroduction and/or protection of dangerous predators?
Yabetcha: My wife was going through an old box of photos today lined with newspaper and staring up at us from the bottom of the box was a September 6, 1977 CDA Press news page with a picture of Mayor Ron Edinger and Dixie Reid soaking their feet in the water course & fountain at Independence Point. The city was awarded a first place in a statewide parks beautification project. He looked on his game then and is still on his game today. Don’t sell him short. The “Old Dog” knows a few tricks yet.
Question: Is Councilman Ron Edinger's tenure on the Coeur d'Alene City Council, dating back to the 1960s, an asset or a liability? In other words, has he been on the council too long? Or not long enough?
Former network news anchor Ted Koppel prescribed a healthier diet for the American public Friday, saying people need more unbiased, substantive news coverage and less “candy” journalism. Koppel, who spent 25 years as anchor of ABC's “Nightline” news show, was in Pullman to receive the 2011 Edward R. Murrow lifetime achievement award at Washington State University. Prior to giving the keynote address, he met with local reporters and students. The first question was about his thoughts on the most pressing issue facing journalists today. “The first thing we have to do is get back in the business of giving the American public what they need to hear - and what they need to hear is nonpartisan news about issues of real importance,” he said. “That means giving them less of the candy news that they've been getting over the past few years”/William L. Spence, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Are you concerned re: the direction journalism is going?
No. 1 Coeur d'Alene throttled Sandpoint in North Idaho Friday night, beating the Bulldogs 88-12. No doubt they will remain the top team in the SWX Pick 6 Power Rankings on Monday morning. Chad Chalich completed 17 of 17 passes for 287 yards and had 7 touchdowns. (Story here.) No. 2 Ferris shut out Rogers 61-0, while No. 3 Central Valley won the Greasy Pig rivalry game against University 27-14. No. 4 Colfax had no trouble with Liberty, winning 45-0. The lone upset of the night came courtesy of West Valley, who lost to Cashmere 56-23. Mead beat Mt. Spokane 48-24 in the Battle of the Bell. All SWX scores here.
Question: Is Coeur d'Alene High that good?
Amy Dearest and future son-in-law Okie Doke showed up at midnight last night for a weekend of hanging out with the parents and attending a friend's wedding. Always nice to see the kids. And it looks like a sunny weekend ahead. All we need to do now is take care of business at Hucks Online until 5:30-6 and then … PAR-tee. Here's your TGIF Wild Card …
A hunter who died during a grizzly bear attack was killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest, the Montana State Crime Lab medical examiner announced today. Steve Stevenson, 39, was killed when his hunting partner, Ty Bell, shot the bear multiple times in an attempt to stop the bear’s attack on Stevenson, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. One of the rounds struck Stevenson in the chest. The investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is continuing. The sheriff’s office will not be releasing any additional information for at least another three weeks, Undersheriff Brent Faulkner said in the news release/SR. More here.
This March 15 file photo shows the ConocoPhillips megaloads siting idle on a pull out for Montana Department of Transportation west of Helena. A Montana judge says he will rule soon whether to repeal or change his order to keep these Exxon Mobil subsidiary's oversized oil refinery rigs bound for Canada off Montana highways. Story here. (AP Photo/The Independent Record, Eliza Wiley, File)
Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Ron Edinger — yes, that Ron Edinger, the councilman who has been an elected official in Coeur d'Alene since Methuselah was a baby — is now on Facebook. You can check out his Facebook site here. Dan Gookin, Amber Copeland, & Jesi B. Gaboury have already friended him. (In the interest of fairness, you can find challenger Adam Graves' Facebook page here.)
Question: Do you think Councilman Edinger is actually posting on Facebook himself?
In the latest twist in this year's Idaho redistricting saga, the Idaho Republican and Democratic parties have just issued a joint media advisory saying the previous redistricting commissioners, from both parties, have now reached agreement on both congressional and legislative district plans, and will present them to Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa on Monday morning at 9. The previous commission, of course, was disbanded after it failed to meet its Sept. 6 deadline, and a new six-member commission is scheduled to be sworn in and start work on Wednesday/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: What do you make of this development?
Attorneys for the Idaho State Tax Commission have filed their response to Rep. Phil Hart's state income tax appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court, writing that Hart seems to be arguing different rules apply to him just because he's a state legislator. “Appellant appears to be arguing that his status as a legislator excuses him from the requirement to file a timely appeal,” the state attorneys wrote. Hart, a tax protester who stopped filing both federal and state income tax returns for three years in the 1990s, had 91 days to appeal his order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest for tax years 1996 to 2004, but instead waited more than six months, saying an intervening legislative session entitled him to more time/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
This is a bit far afield for Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images. But it's still viewtiful. It's a photo of Birch Bay on the Puget Sound, Wash.
Hucks Online numbers (for Wednesday): 8457/5059; and (for Thursday): 9154/6236
In this 1946 image taken by photographer Joseph Jasgur and released by Julien's Auctions, a photo of Norma Jean Dougherty, who eventually changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, is shown. A bankruptcy judge in Florida ruled earlier this week that photos taken of Monroe will be sold at auction to settle the debts of the photographer. Jasgur's photos, negatives and image copyrights will be sold in December by Julien's Auctions. (AP Photo/Julien's Auctions, Joseph Jasgur)
Question: Who do you think was the most glamorous actress ever?
Ryan Leaf has set a lot of records for Washington State University. Even though the Cougars barely lost at the '97 Rose Bowl, Leaf's success as quarterback prompted him to leave WSU and become a first-round draft pick in the NFL. He bombed, was booed and benched. “For that reason, I stayed away from WSU and Cougar nation for a long time — for all the wrong reasons,” he said. “What I should have done was run back to the family that always supported me. And I pushed them away, because I was embarrassed.” Leaf will be the first to tell you he did not know how to focus his intensity or handle his failure to win. “But for sure, it was an embarrassing moment in my life at 21 years old,” he said. “But I think a lot of people do embarrassing things when they're 21 years old. And if that's my truly embarrassing moment at 21, I'll take that one over some of the other stories I've heard/Kathy Goertzen, KATU. More here.
Question: Did you do something incredibly stupid at age 21 that you would be willing to mention?
Boise soldier Pfc. Andrew Holmes will spend seven years in prison for murdering an Afghan boy during a patrol in January 2010, Army Lt. Col. Kwasi Hawks said today. Hawks wanted to sentence Holmes to 15 years in prison, saying it appeared to him that Holmes had not confronted “the awful moral gravity” of what he did when he shot 15-year-old Gul Mudin as the Afghan stood in a poppy field. His sentence was capped by a pretrial agreement that limited his confinement to seven years. Holmes will receive credit for the 499 days he has been confined since the Army launched its investigation in May 2010. He also could be released early with credit for good behavior. Holmes' family members cried as Hawks read his sentence. … Hawks said he understood that Holmes was a junior soldier in a difficult situation, but he said it did not excuse the murder/Adam Ashton, Tacoma News-Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you agree with this sentence?
In this file image provided by NASA this is the STS-48 onboard photo of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) in the grasp of the RMS (Remote Manipulator System) during deployment, from the shuttle in September 1991. NASA's old research satellite is expected to come crashing down through the atmosphere this afternoon Eastern Time. The spacecraft will not be passing over North America then, the space agency said in a statement Wednesday evening. (AP Photo/NASA)
Question: Which worries you more — being hit by space debris/asteroids/comets or being adbucted & probed by aliens?
A gay soldier’s question about the end of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy elicited boos from the audience at Thursday’s Republican candidates debate, and a promise from Rick Santorum (shown answering a question during debate) to reinstate the policy if elected. In a video submission, Stephen Hill tells the Republican presidential candidates he “had to lie about who he was” when he was deployed to Iraq in 2010 because of his sexual orientation, and his fear that he would “lose my job.” “My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?” Hill asked. Loud jeers were heard immediately from the crowd at the debate site in Orlando, Fla., marking the third straight debate when the audience’s reaction overshadowed the candidate’s/Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau. More here.
In an editorial today, the Idaho Statesman addresses Gov. Butch Otter: “Accepting the feds’ grant — and establishing a health exchange on Idaho’s terms — is just common sense. But you know those nullifiers. They don’t have much use for common sense. “I will be in opposition of a state exchange,” state Rep. Vito Barbieri, a Dalton Gardens Republican and the House’s nullifier-in-chief, told IdahoReporter.com. Barbieri says he will canvass the House to see if there is critical mass to oppose accepting the feds’ money. At this point, governor, you would normally be entitled to consider the source. IdahoReporter.com focused on the potential opposition from the nullifiers in a story this week. The online news service is an offshoot of the Idaho Freedom Foundation, whose director, Wayne Hoffman, is a lobbyist/nullifier who says a state health exchange will be nothing more than a “federal beast.”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Is Butch Otter too cozy with the nullifiers?
Rich Landers writes: “My Outdoors feature story last Sunday, “Gutsy wrangler, huge horse, save boy from charging grizzly” struck a chord with Spokesman-Review readers –and then spread to readers across the continent like jet-propelled stallions. The story of Erin Bolster and her horse, Tonk, riding herd on a grizzly bear near Glacier National Park went viral on the Internet, capturing the hearts of a country with an appetite for heroes, horses and potential tragedies with happy endings – for both the people and the bear. … “It’s been crazy,” said Bolster from her home in Whitefish, Mont., noting that she’s been interviewed by numerous publications, TV and radio since the S-R story went wild. On Friday, she tentatively was booked for Oct. 4 or 5 on the David Letterman show. More here.
Question: Which one of the late-night shows do you watch?
Texas inmates who are set to be executed will no longer get their choice of last meals, a change prison officials made Thursday after a prominent state senator became miffed over an expansive request from a man condemned for a notorious dragging death. Lawrence Russell Brewer (pictured), who was executed Wednesday for the hate crime slaying of James Byrd Jr. more than a decade ago, asked for two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover's pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. Prison officials said Brewer (pictured) didn't eat any of it/AP via Sirens & Gavels. More here.
Question: Do you agree w/the move by Texas to eliminate last meals for condemned prisoners?
The good news: Several Idaho legislators were unhurt this week in a deadly bombing in the Turkish capital of Ankara. And no, the lawmakers were not traveling overseas on state taxpayers’ nickel. But that still leaves some nagging questions. What exactly are Idaho lawmakers doing touring Turkey in the first place? And what does a nonprofit group hope to accomplish by squiring Idaho legislators around the nation for 10 days? There are — in life and in politics — no freebies. This tour was bankrolled by the Pacifica Institute, a group of Turkish-Americans that seeks “to develop social capital — the creation and extension of positive connections within and between disparate social networks to achieve mutual understanding and common commitments to enriching the social good”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Have Idaho lawmakers involved in this trip to Turkey compromised themselves in anyway by accepting the freebie from the Pacifica Instute?
Idaho Department of Fish and Game conservation officer Matt O’Connell talks to reporters in Boise earlier today, about a mountain lion that was killed after chasing after a 10-year-old boy near a Mores Creek subdivision in the Boise area. It was the latest in a series of wildlife incidents, including one in which a mountain lion was shot by authorities in Boise near St. Alphonsus Hospital earlier this month, after being spotted around town for several weeks. Statesman story here.
Reaction to mountain lion shooting?
On Twitter, SR City Editor Addy Hatch tweets: “Save the jokes - but does anyone know why downtown Spokane smells like cow manure? Several of us remarked on it today.”
Question: On Hucks Online, of course, you don't have to save the jokes. Anyone?
Apparently class warfare is what happens when the working class fights back. Years of shrinking taxes for the richest Americans have not been class warfare. The fact that incomes for the top earners have increased for decades, while middle-class incomes (adjusted for inflation) have stagnated is not class warfare. But when working Americans ask our richest citizens to carry their share of the burden, to give back some of what our society has given them, that is class warfare. Republican politicians pointed out that the top income earners pay 40 percent of America’s federal income tax. They don’t mention that income tax rates have consistently fallen for decades. They don’t mention that this represents the rich paying a much smaller percentage of their own incomes to taxes than the middle and lower classes/Max Bartlett, UI Argonaut. More here.
Question: How would you describe class warfare?
Idaho coach Robb Akey said he's sad Fresno State will be leaving the Western Athletic Conference. He doesn't want Hawaii and Nevada to go, either, and is disappointed that the Vandals no longer play in-state rival Boise State. “I thought we had a pretty good, competitive football conference the past couple of years,” said Akey, the former Washington State defensive coordinator who's been at Idaho since 2007. “These games have been hard-fought and fun. You'd like to keep playing them all if you could.” But with Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada all set to follow Boise State and join the Mountain West Conference by next summer, Idaho is among the five remaining schools left behind to try to stabilize the WAC. The Vandals might be the most likely candidate to become the conference's new flagship football program, considering they're the only team among the five remaining WAC programs to sport a winning record during the past two seasons combined/Bryant-Jon Anteola, Fresno Bee. More here. (AP file photo: Aggies' Christine Michael is forced out of bounds by Vandals' Homer Mauga during the third quarter of Idaho's 37-7 loss last weekend)
Question: Would you rather see the Vandals as a power in a weak WAC or as competitive in the old WAC?
If you haven't attended a live opera performance in the Inland Northwest, your last chance might be right here, right now. Not to sound devilishly ominous, but local opera is the latest cultural delight to dangle on the ledge of solvency. Spokane Opera is no more. Only Opera Coeur d'Alene remains standing, and to put it bluntly, this weekend's two performances of “Faust” represent an enormous challenge - and of course, a heck of an opportunity. Opera Coeur d'Alene has put together an all-star cast with expert stage direction from Aaron St. Clair Nicholson, a star of Metropolitan Opera House fame himself. During an enthusiastic gathering of opera fans last week at Bistro on Spruce in Coeur d'Alene, Nicholson paused between songs long enough to promise this: “You're going to see a show as good as anywhere in the world. The smiles will melt your faces off”/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: What would it take to interest you in a $35 ticket to the Opera Coeur d'Alene offering of “Faust”?
Republican presidential candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry, left, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, center, listen as Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, makes a point during a Fox News/Google debate Thursday in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, Pool)
Question: What are Mitt & Rick thinking?
Americans trust local news organizations more than any other source — including national news orgs, government and business. But that’s not saying much. Only one-quarter of those surveyed say news orgs get the facts right, a new low since 1985 when the question was first asked. Two-thirds (66 percent) say stories are often inaccurate, a new high. And nearly three-quarters of Americans believe that journalists try to cover up their mistakes, rather than admit them. While Republicans have long held negative views of the media, Democrats and independents are increasingly critical of it/Julie Moos, Poynter. More here.
Question: Do you think we get things fairly right on the front page of Hucks Online?
Cellphone addicts may have to put the brakes on their habits with the passage of a new ordinance banning hands-on mobile device use while driving. Council members passed the draft ordinance on its third reading after allowing for several months of public comment opportunities. The ordinance is the culmination of council members Carrie Logan and Marsha Ogilvie’s efforts to implement local or statewide cellphone regulation. “Even if we just get people to think about picking up the cellphone or texting while driving, at least we’re doing something,” Ogilvie said at the July council meeting. “We’re making a step in the right direction instead of still leaving it up to the state legislators”/Cameron Rasmusson, Bonner County Bee. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)
Question: Would you like your North Idaho community to institute a ban on texting and talking on a cell phone while driving?
CHEERS … to Idaho Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter. The governor just kicked off what could be a huge fight with the nullification wing of the GOP for the best of reasons: It's the right call for Idaho consumers, taxpayers and businesses. Nobody has taken a harder line against President Obama's national health care insurance reform. Otter even issued an executive order barring any state agency from doing anything to implement health care reform without his say-so. Wednesday, however, Otter agreed to apply for $31 million in health care act grants, enabling the state to start health insurance exchanges. Those exchanges will enable individuals and small businesses to obtain health insurance. The working poor also can secure subsidized health insurance through these vehicles. Had Otter struck a hard line, the federal government would have operated Idaho's exchanges, threatening 2,500 Idaho insurance agents and disrupting the health care delivery/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
More Idaho Opinion:
Question: Do you think the “nullification wing” of the Idaho Republican Party will forgive Butch Otter for agreeing to apply for $31M in Obamacare money?
In this June 26, 2011, photo provided by Laura McCallum and taken in Veneta, Ore., a group of men help turn a canoe being built by John McCallum, owner and boatwright of Applegate Boatworks. Back in 1806, explorers Lewis and Clark stole a canoe from native Americans living on the Pacific Coast. More than 200 years later, William Clark’s descendants are making amends to the Indians’ descendants by having a 36-foot replica built for them by an McCallum. Story here. (AP/Laura McCallum photo)
Question: What do you make of the gesture by William Clark's descendants to make amends with Native Americans by offering a canoe to replace the one stolen more than 200 years ago?
Jim Faucher's son, Greg, a 1991 graduate of Coeur d'Alene High, is known as a prankster. So his birthday 39th birthday Thursday provided a great opportunity for fellow employees at a financial consulting firm in Lake Oswego, Ore., to get even.
Question: What's the best practical joke ever pulled on you?
Several of you have commented — in the comments section here & on Facebook — re: the name change sought by a Kootenai County resident, reported in the Idaho Records section of the Wednesday SR: “Stonecalf Warriorwoman, petition for change to Mary Angelfire Gotcha!” So I have a question:
Question: If you had to change your name for some reason, what name would you pick?
Christie Wood: Mr. Hamilton I was on the Board when the decision was made to offer IB. I also worked along side your Board Chair Wanda Quinn for many years to become a school district that did offer as many different opportunities for learning as possible. With that in mind there are often grant opportunities that our district has utilized in the past to fund various programs. Have you or the administration researched the possibility of continuing the programs with grant funding? If funds were made available would you support the continuation of both programs?
DFO: Since the comment ended with a question pointed at Coeur d'Alene Trustee Tom Hamilton, I'll leave this for him to answer rather than post a question of my own.
Duroc: Tonight’s GOP debate was appalling. Booing a gay soldier who served our country proudly? Really? The Tea Party wing of the GOP is absolutely sickening. Although I don’t agree with them on everything (and I’m still perfectly happy with Obama), I give credit to Romney and Hunstman for keeping it classy. Perry has shown himself to be an absolute dolt. He’s like the dim-witted captain of the football team who think she can get by in life with his good looks and his charm. And it’s funny to hear someone who is personally responsible for executing 200+ people say that he will alway side with “life.” What an ugly damned primary this is going to be. What an ugly general election it’s going to be. If I wasn’t such a political junkie, I’d wish to be 5 years old again so I wouldn’t feel compelled to pay attention to this garbage. (AP photo: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, left, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, share a laugh during a Fox News/Google debate Thursday)
Question: Did you watch the debate? Reaction?
We pulled off Hucks Fallfest at the Fort Ground Grill Wednesday evening without any serious injuries. Small group, 15-18, but top-notch attendees — 3 City Council candidates, Councilman Al Hassell, social media guru Jamie Lynn Morgan, Dan of the Community, Spencer, Dan Gookin, Reagan Repubs Jeff Ward & Ron Lahr, Duane Rasmussen and others. Coeur d'Alene Trustee Tom Hamilton and council candidate Amber Copeland arrived a bit late. Several of us stayed hobnobbed for 30-45 minutes after SR City Editor Addy Hatch and Senior Editor Geoff Pinnock finished picking our brains re: social media. Enjoyable. Steve Widmyer's taco bar was top notch, too. But enough of yesterday. It's time to play the daily Wild Card …
On From A Simple Mind, Cis writes of getting new hearing aids: “On the way out of the (Costco) parking lot, I heard this kind of squishing sound. Then it dawn on me, it was the tires rolling on the pavement. And I have since learn that my dryer makes a scrapping sound as well as the hum of the motor. And when I turn on the television, I had to run to the remote and turn it down, as it was so loud from when I had been watching it earlier in the day. These keys are noisy as well. And I laughed as the King turn on the turn signal and I thought about how noisy it is, and it sounded weird, as I realize I could hear it well now. Oh, yea, I ran into the kitchen to find out where the water leak was, as I could hear water running… only to find out it was the dishwasher… funny I never heard that before. More here.
Question: Which background noise in your 'hood is most soothing?
Gonzaga University student Molly Sullivan Roberge and others are putting up posters recently to help the mountain-going public learn how to be good neighbors with the mountain goats that highlight our high-country hiking trips. Rich Landers/Outdoors tell you more about the project here.
The Idaho Recreation and Parks Association (IRPA) awarded Parks Director Doug Eastwood the Dr. Leon Green Fellowship Award – the highest honor given by the association – at an awards ceremony held September 20th. The ceremony took place during their annual meeting, which was held in Boise earlier this week. The Dr. Leon Green Fellowship Award recognizes outstanding contributions made to the parks and recreation profession. It is based on longstanding and dedicated service to the IRPA as both as a member and in various leadership positions. In reference to Eastwood’s accomplishment, Mayor Sandi Bloem said, “What Doug has done to expand and enhance the city’s parklands for the enjoyment of the residents of the City of Coeur d’Alene is remarkable”/Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.
DFO: I consider Doug Eastwood to be the Johnny Appleseed of parks. I've seen his crew & him develop Coeur d'Alene's incredible parks system on a shoe string over the last quarter system.
Coeur d’Alene Police Detectives recently closed thirty-one auto burglary cases, and two felony malicious-injury to property cases that were reported over the course of this summer by arresting and charging three male juveniles with those crimes. Detective Alan Winstead believes several more reported burglaries in the City of Coeur d’Alene and in Kootenai County could be connected to these males. Detectives are continuing their investigation in an effort to resolve all of the cases possibly connected to the suspects. The juvenile’s names will not be released but they are the ages of 13, 16, and 17. The 13-year-old male was a reported runaway at the time of his arrest and recently moved here from Billings, Montana. The 17 year old was also a reported runaway and resides in Coeur d’Alene. The 16-year-old resides in Coeur d’Alene/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. More here.
Moments ago, the police scanner reported that a strange guy from a Jeep Cherokee was walking up to Post Falls Bank of America customers using the ATM, carrying a black box. One customer ordered the guy to back away. Dunno about you, but I feel awkward standing in line at an ATM because it's hard to tell how far to stand behind the person using the machine. At my bank, I stand back about 10 to 12 feet because the bank doors divide the space. So here's the question …
Question: How much distance should those waiting in line give the user of an ATM machine?
In this book cover image released by Simon and Schuster, “Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend,” by Susan Orlean, is shown. (AP Photo/Simone and Schuster)
Question: Which TV/movie dog is your favorite?
I'm as confused as most of you re: recent changes to Facebook. In fact, after a year of trying to incorporate Facebook and Twitter into what I do here, I feel as though I'm still operating at half power in the other social media area. During a discussion on Facebook today, local social media whiz Jamie Lynn Morgan mentioned that she's offering 2 classes in social media at the workforce training center this fall. I'm planning to sign up for the 3-hour class on social media basics on Thursday, Oct. 13: “Connect with family and friends with online social networking. Discover how to use Facebook and other social media tools to stay in touch, share messages, and post photos and videos. Get hands-on experience and expert guidance in setting up your own social profile and finding family and friends online.” It's $49. She also offers a 5-week $119 “social media for business marketing.” You can learn more about these two programs here.
A Coeur d'Alene Press story Wednesday reported that the school district had concerns about the performance of students in the International Baccalaureate and advanced placement programs at the Coeur d'Alene high schools. Trustee Tom Hamilton discussed this with a handful of us hung around after the 2011 Hucks Fallfest with Addy & Geoff ended. I noticed he's discussing the topic with Press commenters in a lengthy thread from the article above. He comments: “While there are differences in the approach taken, both programs are designed to challenge advanced learners. Students who will succeed in an IB program will also be successful in an AP program. However, the IB v. AP issue has been argued from ideology and emotion by BOTH sides of the debate and not from a true evaluation of the performance and cost of the program. For this reason, I have asked that the district make available to the public a complete picture of the program which should include academic performance, the true costs of both programs, enrollment numbers, trends, historical and on-going fees / costs, etc.” Tom's full comment at 8:06 Wednesday here.
Question: Do you consider the International Baccalaureate program in local high schools to be valuable?
Dan McCarthy, left Michael Towne and Rhonda Lutzke of Frontier Communications donned hockey jerseys in preparation for the official groundbreaking for KYRO (Kootenai Youth Recreation Organization) Ice Rink in Coeur d'Alene today. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
A Kootenai County nonprofit ice arena that has been rebuilding since a 2008 roof collapse received a major boost Thursday when Frontier Communications announced a seven-year, $175,000 contribution. As a result, the Kootenai Youth Recreation Organization (KYRO) ice arena on West Seltice Way in Coeur d’Alene will be renamed Frontier Ice Arena. The Fortune 500 company provides widespread communication services in rural America and also purchased much of Verizon’s landline operations in 2009. Following the December 2008 roof collapse, KYRO received a $2 million insurance settlement and launched an effort to rebuild a much-expanded ice arena/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.
Question: Do you know how to ice skate?
Idaho's 2nd District GOP Rep. Mike Simpson is No. 5 on AOL's list (of top energy lawmakers), according to a story published Thursday. Topping the list is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who is noted for having blocked bills backed by Simpson and other House Republicans aimed at limiting the power of the Environmental Protection Agency. Simpson chairs the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees EPA spending and has proposed an 18 percent cut in EPA's budget, including funding for air quality rules. He also seeks to prohibit EPA from regulating greenhouse gasses/Dan Popkey, Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you agree with Mike Simpson's energy politics?
It's the rare American who hasn't thumbed through a National Geographic magazine. The power of the photos taken for the magazine's features has engaged generations, whether it be a story on distant lands, wildlife or the naked people of a primitive tribe. The editors of National Geographic recently set their sights on “The Wild & Scenic Rivers of America,” and Idaho will be included in the magazine's November issue. … Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon, Owyhee and Bruneau rivers, among others (will be included)/Jennifer Liebrum, Idaho Mountain Express. More here. (AP file photo: Rafters prepare to go through the Eye of the Needle Rapid on the Lower Salmon River, near Lewiston)
Question: Can you remember a National Geographic article that made a big impression on you?
The humorless testicle-phobes at the American Family Association have gotten wind of this new flavor of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream named “Schweddy Balls.” Here is their press release via Right Wing Watch, which quotes the word “balls” no fewer than 10 times, for mysterious reasons:
Ben & Jerry’s announced their newest ice cream flavor which sounds anything but appealing. Schweddy Balls is the best they could come up with. The vulgar new flavor has turned something as innocent as ice cream into something repulsive. Not exactly what you want a child asking for at the supermarket.
More from Kirsten Boyd Johnson/Wonkette here
Question: We all know that protests of this type tend to boost the profile of the object of the protest. Is this protest against Ben & Jerry's Schweddy Balls ice cream meant to hurt the sales of the product or gain attention and funds for the American Family Association?
On Twitter, Executive Producer Melissa Luck/KXLY tweets: “For the first time ever, I'm flying tomorrow with a 3-month old baby. Any advice (besides lots and lots of booze?)”
Question: What advice would you give a mother flying with a 3-month-old baby?
In dozens of camps along Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane River, Coeur d’Alene Indians used stone tools to pound and grind meat, berries and roots. The handmade tools would be left in the water, where they would continue to be shaped by its flow. Dozens of the tools were used by Indian families on the tribe’s aboriginal lands dating to ancient times, said Cliff SiJohn, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s cultural awareness director. Alison Boggs' story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shows Timeline during the f/8 conference in San Francisco this morning. Story here. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Question: Zuckerberg says eventually, all news will come through friends, according to Dustin Hurst via Twitter. What do you think of that?
Court documents and police reports are painting a fuller picture in a peculiar Bonner County assault case. Little was known about the circumstances surrounding an incident in which a Vay landowner used a John Deere tractor to dismantle a home on his property with a woman and two children still inside. The episode resulted in three felony assault charges against Paul Fagerlie Finman, who faces trial in 1st District Court this fall. Court documents and other records, meanwhile, reveal that Finman, 56, was entangled in a dispute with an adherent of the sovereign citizen movement named Alexander Duncan Campbell. Finman inherited the entanglement with the property he purchased off Bandy Road in Vay. Campbell, his wife, son and daughter were living on a home on the ranch rent-free/Keith Kinnaird, Bee. More here.
Question: What do you make of this case?
Now that I’ve eaten a live maggot, I can mark that off my bucket list. Which is pretty amazing, especially when you consider that eating a live maggot wasn’t on my bucket list to begin with. So how did this extraordinary happening come about? To start at the beginning, I became a gardener, and I did that as an attempt to do something nice for my mother, so obviously it’s all her fault. Did you catch that, children? Even while staring eyeball-to-eyeball with half a century, it’s still possible to assign blame to your parents. Take note. My mother is getting older. How old I won’t say, but let me mention that I was born sometime in her third decade of life and, as I said, I am looking at 50 barreling toward me like a freight train/Trish Gannon, River Journal Politically Incorrect. More here. (SR file photo)
Question: What is the foulest thing you've eaten?
The 2011 America’s Brain Health Index, released today, reveals which areas of the country have progressed, held their own or lost ground in taking measures to improve their brain health over the last two years. The state-by-state ranking of brain health is part of a national health education campaign called Beautiful Minds: Finding Your Lifelong Potential, a partnership between life’sDHA™ and the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), designed to inspire Americans to develop and maintain healthy, beautiful minds by incorporating key lifestyle factors known as the four dimensions of brain health — diet and nutrition, physical health, mental health and social well-being. According to the 2011 America’s Brain Health Index, Idaho ranks No. 25 among the brain-healthiest states in the nation/Beautiful Minds. State-by-state index here.
Question: How well does your mind work?
On her Idaho Scenic Images Facebook wall, Linda Lantzy provides this streetscape of Sherman Avenue in downtown Coeur d'Alene from Wednesday night. See Linda's Facebook wall & photos here.
Stocks plunged today, with the Dow sinking more than 400 points, as nervous investors ran for the exits and into some safe havens. U.S. Treasuries rallied, with the 10-year yield hitting a record low. Worries about a slowdown in global growth weighed down commodities, with copper, oil and silver prices sinking. The selling started early, with world markets logging steep declines, following the Federal Reserve's gloomy outlook and weak manufacturing data from China. Adding further pressure to U.S. markets was the latest jobless claims report, which was worse than expected/Chicago Tribune. More here. (AP photo)
Question: How do you react to a day like today when the Dow dive-bombs more than 400 points?
It’s fair to say that Mary Ann Wilson, creator and host of the hugely popular “Sit and Be Fit” exercise program, never expected to appear in New York City’s famed Central Park. But that’s exactly where she’ll be on Friday and again on Sept. 30. Partnering with the New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Wilson, will be the featured guest at two live events in Central Park.The events are part of Fitness Fridays – a series of group exercise shows that are part of a citywide effort to draw older adults into the park.The shy, soft-spoken registered nurse fell into fame quite unintentionally. “I’m totally introverted,” she said from her South Hill home office/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.
Question: Have you ever watched Sit and Be Fit?
Lamaze breathing techniques recently helped me endure an excruciating experience at the grocery store. Shopping shouldn’t be painful, but on this sunny Saturday, I experienced a “perfect storm” situation at the checkout line. And like the hapless victims on Gilligan’s Island, my three-hour tour stretched into an eternity when I was stranded in checkout purgatory. I began to unload my groceries while the couple in front of me haggled with the cashier over a coupon. That happens. No big deal. Scanning the tabloids entertained me while management was called and the coupon conniption resolved. At last, it was my turn. Almost/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.
Question: What do you do when someone causes a long delay in your checkout line?
Re: Kootenai County, tribe pursuing deal to put land in trust/Alecia Warren, Press
Spencer: I find myself shocked and dismayed that the CdA Tribe has been quietly negotiating with the past board of county commissioners to eliminate property taxes from all tribal members’ homes. The original plan advanced by the tribe was that because the tribe contributes so much to the community (even though they are obligated to by their casino compact agreement with the state) their members shouldn’t have to pay any property taxes that provide necessities like road maintenance, ambulance, and other county services. The current plan envisions the county entering into an unlawful scheme whereby the county would cancel the property tax statements prior to them being sent out to tribal members. So, should the Tribe be able to count the casino profit share plan dollars to also allow their members to not pay any property taxes to the local taxing districts like fire and roads?
Question: Is this a good deal for Kootenai County?
Ten candidates are jostling for three seats on the Coeur d’Alene City Council, but one issue has come to dominate all of the races: the future of McEuen Field/Daniel Walters, Pacific Northwest Inlander. More here. (Courtesy photo: Inlander)
Question: How important to you is a candidate's stand on the McEuen Field upgrade project?
This wolf apparently escaped from the Wolf People sanctuary in Cocolalla, Idaho, in June, despite workers' insistence that the wolf had died. Although Wolf People say the wolf is friendly, the Idaho Department of Fish & Game has given a “shoot to kill” order to dispose of it. What do you think?
Question: Should North Idahoans who see the wolf shoot first and ask questions later?
I don't know for sure how the Lilac City happened to show up on the late Los Angeles Times sportswriter's radar. I've always assumed it had something to do with the Spokane Indians' AAA days of being the launch pad for future Dodgers. But maybe the stage was set for this memorable burst of typing by a USC or UCLA game against WSU. In any event, here it is. “The only trouble with Spokane, Wash., as a city is that there's nothing to do after 10 o'clock. In the morning. “But it's a nice place to go for breakfast”/Paul Turner, SR Slice. More Slice online.
Question: Which town has more to do — Spokane or Coeur d'Alene?
Item: Somontes seeks Cd'A council seat/Tom Hasslinger, Press
More Info: A 44-year-old gas station cashier is running for Coeur d'Alene City Council, saying not enough people in the service industry are represented on the commission. Annastasia Somontes, a native of San Jose, Calif., who moved to the Lake City 14 years ago, is running for the open Seat 3 in her first attempt at any elected post. She's gearing her campaign at representing people in the service industries who struggle to make ends meet.
Question: Which non-incumbent in the Coeur d'Alene City Council races intrigues you most?
Kooky members of PETA want us to stop fishing because fish can feel pain and are intelligent. Yeah? Well I’ve never heard of a fish passing the Mensa entrance exam. And if fish are such geniuses why haven’t they figured out how to avoid all the nets, hooks and tuna cans? True, a blowfish could fill in for our county prosecutor without anyone noticing. But the same could be said for a hand puppet or a peanut shell. Fish IQ aside, there’s no question about the three shirtless actors who pretended to be dead fish in a Wednesday PETA protest in Spokane. They’re dumber than a box of bait/Doug Clark, SR. More here.
Question: Who's smarter — a crappie or your average, topless PETA protester?
I'm breaking early today, to get to the Fort Ground Grill for the 2011 Hucks Fallfest with Geoff & Addy. You're all welcome to the taco bar feed and then discussion forum, led by SR Editor Addy Hatch & Senior Editor Geoff Pinnock, re: newspapers use of social media and possible pitfalls. The food and pop are free. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. As always, there should be good fellowship with Huckleberries blog/Twitter/Facebook crowd …
Freed American Shane Bauer, center is welcomed upon his arrival from Iran, in Muscat, Oman Wednesday. After more than two years in Iranian custody, two Americans convicted as spies took their first steps toward home Wednesday as they bounded down from a private jet and into the arms of family for a joyful reunion in the Gulf state of Oman. (AP Photo/Sultan Al-Hasani)
On her Nuts & Nonsense blog, JeanieSpokane lists the benefits of growing older, including:
Question: Can you think of other benefits to growing old?
Lisa Beckman takes a break recently to pet her dog Diesel as they sit on the front bumber of an old truck at Legacy Farm in Greenbluff. The 20 acres behind her used to be in apple orchards before her parents took out the trees 20 years ago. They are now planted in Christmas trees. Beckman is a third generation farmer in the Greenbluff area. (SR photo: Christopher Anderson)
Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., looks at hanging beef carcasses during a plant tour at Amend Packing Co. on Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Bill Gates tops this year's Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans with a net worth calculated at $59 billion. Forbes says the Microsoft co-founder saw his wealth increase by $5 billion from last year. Investor Warren Buffett ranks second with a fortune of $39 billion, though Forbes says the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chief executive's wealth shrank by $6 billion from a year ago. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison rounds out the top three with a net worth of $33 billion, a $6 billion increase from last year/AP. More here. (AP file photo, of Bill Gates)
Question: Anyone know how much Duane Hagadone is worth?
They didn’t smell fishy, but the three protesters in front of downtown Spokane's Sushi.com restaurant tried to give the impression of dead fish this afternoon. Shirtless, painted blue, and lying motionless on fishing nets, demonstrators from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), along with campaigner Hayden Hamilton (in plain clothes), were protesting fishing. “More fish are killed for food every year than any other animal,” Hamilton said. She stressed that fish are intelligent and can feel pain. The Spokane protest is the second of four PETA protests building up to National Fish Amnesty Day on Saturday/Lydia Zuraw, Inlander. More here. (Photo courtesy of Pacific Northwest Inlander)
Question: Is there any cause you'd consider worthy enough to show a little skin publicly in protest?
Marianne Love with husband Bill and daughter Annie visit the new Dave Niehaus statue during a weekend ballgame in Seattle. (Photo courtesy: Slight Detour)
Hucks Online numbers (for Monday): 8495/5141, and (for Tuesday): 7974/4911
Facebook.com founder Mark Zuckerberg smiles at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., in this 2007 AP file photo. Facebook, the social network, is tweaking the home pages of its 750 million users, much to the chagrin of some very vocal folks. The world's largest online social network is expected to announce even more changes on Thursday, when it holds its annual f8 conference in San Francisco for developers who create games and other applications for its site. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
MikeK: Is it heresy to say I kinda don't care about the Facebook changes that seem to be angering everyone? It's a software product built on an eyeball advertising model that will either be interesting enough to sustain eyeballs or not. If not, something else will replace it. I spent about 13 minutes on Myspace 5 or 6 years ago and it wasn't for me. Google Plus hasn't connected for me either though I have been on it. I'm not that emotionally invested in any of them. The next billion dollar idea is waiting in the weeds somewhere to spring itself, and I'm intrigued at what that will be (hope it's mine).
Question: What do you make of all the recent Facebook changes?
Four years ago, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was all the rage among Idaho Republicans. It didn’t matter much, since by the time Idaho Republicans got to vote in the primary Romney had dropped out and John McCain had the nomination in hand. But Romney was the clear early favorite among Idaho Republicans, at the upper reaches of elective office and party structure, and well down below. This year, not so much – or rather, things are a lot more complicated. For one thing, Idaho Republicans’ presidential preferences – at the nomination stages – will matter a lot more in 2012, since the party has chosen to move (as the Democrats did a while back) to an earlier caucus, probably March 6. That means the party’s activists actually will play a meaningful role in the nomination process. And there are indicators to what that could mean/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.
Question: Randy Stapilus goes on to mention the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans straw poll won by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Can Mitt Romney bank on Idaho being in his corner this year?
An unidentified longshoreman receives attention after being maced and detained at port facilities in Longview, Wash., today. A conflict over Longshore union jobs at the grain terminal is flaring up again with the arrest of protesters blocking the railroad tracks today.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Question: Have you ever experienced Mace or tear gas?
Sitting in a hotel lobby in a white cowboy hat, black vest and a rodeo belt buckle, an old cowboy touted the health benefits of snuff. People have gone to dentists to have teeth pulled after picking up the habit, only to find out their gums have strengthened and the procedure is no longer necessary. It curbs hunger and helps you lose weight. It soothes the stomach and helps fight colds. The snuff Dave Holt was talking about wasn’t Copenhagen or Skoal but a concoction born of his own imagination. It’s an alfalfa-based product laced with water, honey, peppermint oil and cayenne pepper. The legume base, Holt says, even has a higher percentage of protein than a T-bone steak/Jason Bacaj, Bozeman Chronicle. More here.
Question: Have you ever chewed snuff?
You do know the odds are on your side, don’t you? You know it’s unlikely to encounter a grizzly in the backcountry, or a mountain lion in your backyard, right? Then again, as Han Solo said, “Never tell me the odds.” That’s the quandary. Even if you know what the numbers say, you know the numbers do not provide any guarantees. That fact, that basic unpredictability, defines the Idaho outdoors. Steve Stevenson of Winnemucca, Nev., died Friday in what appears to be an unlikely encounter. His hunting partner believed he had shot a black bear — a smaller species and the party’s intended quarry — but had instead shot one of the estimated 45 grizzlies that live along the border between Montana and the Idaho Panhandle. The wounded grizzly charged, killing Stevenson. According to the odds, something like this shouldn’t happen/Kevin Richert, Statesman. More here.
Question: Have you ever been on the losing side when the odds seemed overwhelmingly in your favor?
Team (1st-place votes) W-L Pts. Prev.
1. Coeur d’Alene (8) 4-0 48 1
2. Eagle (2) 3-0 42 2
3. Highland 4-0 30 3
4. Centennial 2-1 15 NR
5. Post Falls 3-1 7 NR
Others receiving votes: Capital 5, Borah 2, Meridian 1.
Question: Remember when Lake City High was the cock of the walk in North Idaho high school football circles. Does the success of Coeur d'Alene High over the last year plus mean that Vik Shawn Amos has become a top-notch football coach or he's simply running through a streak of good players in his district?
Here's a scenario that City Editor Addy Hatch and Senior Editor Geoff Pinnock will present tonight at Hucks Fallfest 2011 as part of the discuss re: newspapers and the social media:
Twitter explodes with tweets about a loud noise in a neighborhood. Someone says they think it was a bomb. Re-tweets fly about a possible bomb in the neighborhood, including from some of our competitors. What’s The Spokesman-Review’s response?
Question: What should we do?
Bison graze, just inside Yellowstone National Park near Gardiner, Mont. State officials have lowered the estimated costs for a proposal to relocate and manage Yellowstone bison. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' initial draft Environmental Assessment had put the startup costs for relocating about 80 bison to the Spotted Dog and the Marias wildlife management areas at $2.1 million, plus annual operating costs of $277,800. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren,File)
In this 1994 file photo originally released by Warner Bros. Records, alternative rock band R.E.M., from left, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe, Bill Berry, and Peter Buck are shown when they released their new album “Monster.” The band announced today on their website that they are breaking up. (AP Photo/Warner Bros.)
Question: Which popular band breakup upset you most?
Here's one of the subjects we'll be discussing tonight at the Hucks Fallfest w/Addy & Geoff (5:30 p.m. @ Fort Ground Grill):
Someone tweets a fact; people immediately start re-tweeting it. That’s how Twitter works. But do news organizations have a heightened responsibility to verify the information before re-tweeting? What if the original tweet comes from a public agency? Even if we note that we haven’t verified the information, does the fact that we’re re-tweeting it give it credibility?
Question: What do you think?
Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, and at least four other lawmakers were in Ankara Tuesday when the first deadly bomb attack in four years hit the city. Others on the trip are Senate GOP Caucus Chairman John McGee (pictured), R-Caldwell, and his wife, Hanna; Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, and his wife, Deborah; Senate Minority Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum; and Rep. Donna Pence, D-Gooding, and her husband, Lew. Hill's wife, Julie, also is on the trip. It's possible others are in the delegation, as the trip is not sponsored by the state and information was incomplete Wednesday. Three were killed and at least 34 wounded in the attack in the busy city center/Dan Popkey, Statesman. More here.
Question: Yeah, I know Idaho is dedicated to improving relations with Turkey? But why?
Kootenai Health plans to buy Spokane-based Heart Clinics Northwest, the Coeur d’Alene-based medical center said today. The acquisition will expand cardiac care in the region and enable residents to receive comprehensive cardiac care closer to home, community-owned Kootenai Health said in a news release. “This relationship blends Kootenai Health’s strengths of quality, a positive culture and great value with the clinical excellence and breadth of services provided by Heart Clinics Northwest,” Jon Ness, CEO of Kootenai Health, said in prepared statement. Kootenai Health will employ the physicians and staff of Heart Clinics Northwest, which has offices in Coeur d’Alene, Spokane and Sandpoint as well as satellite clinics throughout North Idaho, Eastern Washington and western Montana/SR. More here.
A St. Maries woman is convinced she’s spotted wolves within city limits. Two others are sure they’ve heard them. While deer-watching one evening Brittany Odekirk caught a glimpse of more alarming wildlife. “We have a calico deer that is white from the mid-side back and I’ve been sitting and watching for it to take some pictures and I saw the wolves instead,” she said. “I’ve been watching them now for three weeks.” The wolves run through the field on the hill across from her home at Second Street and Dakota Avenue. “I’ve seen them twice on two different days and heard them twice on two other days,” she said. “We believe it is a mom and her pups, because several of the howls are more like yips”/Mary Orr, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here. (St. Maries Gazette photo: Brittany Odekirk and her daughter Madison stand on their back porch.)
Question: How concerned would you be about wolves if they were this close to your home?
“We were lucky nobody was hurt, not even their pets,” said Tina Smithson, manager of Falls Park Apartments in Post Falls on Tuesday morning after a fire burned a second floor balcony into the third floor at 2 a.m. In all, 41 residents were evacuated. SR story here.
George B. Hatley, known worldwide as “Mr. Appaloosa,” was remembered here Tuesday for his tireless promotion of the spotted horse breed. He was also remembered for his dedication to the Appaloosa Horse Club and Museum, his compassion as a friend to many and his tenacious love of life. “We were married 64 years. And you know, we worked together all of our lives,” Hatley's widow, Iola Hatley, said at the couple's home. “George was really a famous person, but he never cared about things like that. He was humble. He was just a guy who enjoyed people.” George Hatley died Friday at the age of 87. Hatley took the reins in 1947 of what is today an Appaloosa Horse Club headquartered here with an international membership/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Which breed of horse is your favorite?
Call it the fabric of civic involvement. Volunteering. Cooperating with your neighbors. Joining with groups. Voting. If you see people who care enough about their communities to volunteer and join hands, chances are they'll vote as well. If not, something's wrong. So says the Corporation for National and Community Service, an umbrella group that is responsible for everything from AmeriCorps to taking the nation's temperature for community participation. Washington is ranked ninth in the nation in terms of neighbors working together, 11th for volunteering, fourth for banding together within organizations and sixth for voting, with 52.8 percent of those eligible casting a ballot last year. Then we have Idaho. It's ranked fifth for neighborliness, 10th for volunteering and 17th for group participation. Voting? The Gem State is no better than 25th/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Why is voter turnout so poor in a patriotic state like Idaho?
The biggest news in last week's GOP presidential debate was Rep. Michele Bachmann's attack on Texas Gov. Rick Perry for ordering Texas girls to receive the “HPV” vaccine preventing cervical cancer. Bachmann called the vaccine against the human papillomavirus “dangerous,” a claim immediately countered by health experts. In a story in Monday's New York Times, medical reporter Denise Grady wrote, “But the harm to public health may have already been done. When politicians or celebrities raise alarms about vaccines, even false alarms, vaccination rates drop.” Idaho earns the distinction of having the lowest HPV vaccination rate of any state, with 17 percent of girls between 13 and 17 having received the recommended three vaccines. Others below 20 percent included Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama. The national average is 32 percent. Rhode Island has the highest rate, 55 percent/Dan Popkey, Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Should girls be required to receive the “HPV” vaccine preventing cervical cancer?
Kat Hall, a project manager for The Lands Council, kneels Tuesday among some of the ponderosa pine trees the group is growing at a home in Millwood for future restoration projects. You can read Becky Kramer's SR story here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)
An animal protection group plans a dramatic protest against fishing Wednesday in downtown Spokane. Topless PETA protestors plan to lie “dead” on the ground, covered with body paint and fish tails in front of Sushi Dot Com. PETA held a similar protest Tuesday in Seattle. PETA says that killing fish for food or sports is wrong because fish are intelligent and can feel pain/KREM.
Question: Would anyone pay attention to PETA if it didn't occasionally toss nudity into the mix?
According to data reported by the United States Department of Labor, the state of Idaho paid nearly $82 million in improper unemployment benefits in the last three years. Many of the erroneous payments, 34 percent, were made to recipients who returned to work but continued receiving money. Another 34 percent of payments went to citizens with “work search issues,” meaning that the department was unable “to validate that the individual has met the state’s work search requirements, which disqualifies the claimant from being eligible for benefits.” Bob Fick, spokesman for the Idaho Department of Labor, told IdahoReporter.com Tuesday that his agency has 20 people on staff constantly working to identify improper payments/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.
Question: Business as usual? Or did the Department of Labor really mess up?
LastDemoInIdaho: Attended an interesting meeting of the Lake City Senior Citizens Board this evening. The board is claiming a dire future for the Lake City Senior Center unless they figure out a way to significantly increase income. Bingo and lunches and pool player dues and a few facility rentals are not doing it. Board chair Panabaker revealed an interesting fact that the city of Hayden contributes 35,000 dollars a year to keep the Hayden Senior Center going. The Lake City facility gets no help at all from any city or county funds, except snow/ice removal of the parking lot from the city of CDA. Nice, but not enough. More below.
Question: Should the city of Coeur d'Alene of Kootenai County provide funding so the Lake City Senior Center can keep its doors open?
Steve Widmyer and I worked out the final details to the first Hucks Online Fallfest at his Fort Ground Grill Wednesday evening. The taco bar will be ready. City Editor Addy Hatch and Geoff Pinnock are primed pick your brains re: how newspapers can better use social media without losing credibility. All that's needed is you. Come and join the Hucks Online blog/Twitter/Facebook crowd at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Everything's free but the beer. Now for your Wild Card …
You know, the first couple of days of snow you marv at the beauty of the fields and yard. And don’t mind, maybe, shoveling a little? But when the snow comes fast and furious, it gets old real fast … Same with tomatoes. The first one comes and you savor the flavor of it. You might pick the second one, that is a little orangey, a little early and put it in the window with anticipation of the taste soon. Then there are a couple more, but lots of green ones. The weather is getting colder and you are wondering are they going to be ripe in time, as there are almost 100 or more green ones. Now 6 at a time are ripening.. you give some away as your refrigerator drawer is starting to fill up/Cis, From A Simple Mind. More here.
Question: Do any of you have too many tomatoes this year? What other bumper crops did you have?
“Sometimes I have to remind myself that it is OK to take a non-work related photograph.” writes SR colleague Colin Mulvany, Snaps & Frames. “Sunset photos happen everyday, but it was the graphic look of the silhouetted telephone poles stacked up against the orange sky that made me pull over. Thankfully, I had put my 20-year-old Nikon 300 mm f/4 lens in my trunk for another assignment. Its telephoto effect worked perfectly on this highway scene leading into Medical Lake, Washington. Sometimes a pretty picture is just that. Looking at this image just makes me feel good. Nikon D3s with a Nikkor 300mm f/4 lens.”
A fan watches as the baseball drops away as Boston Red Sox left fielder Conor Jackson, right, leaps into the crowd on an unsuccessful attempt to catch a foul ball by Baltimore Orioles' J.J. Hardy in the first inning during the second game of a baseball doubleheader at Fenway Park in Boston on Monday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Marc Hayes, a research scientist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, pushes a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag under the skin of an Oregon spotted frog that will help in tracking the juvenile frog raised at the Woodland Park Zoo. Hayes and zoo staff were preparing to release 700 endangered Oregon spotted frogs raised at the zoo for the spotted-frog-restoration project. The frogs will be released next month. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Steve Ringman)
Question (for Ladies of Hucks Online): How many frogs did you kiss before you found your prince?
So Hillary Clinton is the most popular national figure in America. I've even heard there has been a movement for her to challenge Obama in a primary. She could, you know. And probably win because all her fans would come out in force. But I doubt she will unless things get far worse than they already are. She's too good a soldier. Hindsight being 20/20, I do believe either she or McCain would have been the better President. Both look at the country more like most of us. They'd be trying to strengthen it from the damage done before rather than trying to change it to match an ideology of mediocrity/Dogwalk Musings. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Do you want Hillary Clinton to challenge President Barack Obama in the 2012 Democratic primary?
The University of Idaho distributes 1,400 scholarships to students each year, most of which are contributions from personal donors. But donors don’t often receive personal thank yous from the students who receive these scholarships. The UI Thank-A-Thon is an opportunity to express gratitude toward the people who make obtaining a higher education possible for many students. The event includes thank you cards and postage, and is scheduled for today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Idaho Commons Clearwater and Whitewater rooms. All students have to do is set a few minutes aside and write a meaningful note — and sometimes these cards are the only form of contact between donors and scholarship recipients/Elisa Eiguren, UI Argonaut. More here.
Question: Have you or family members received scholarships that helped with higher education expenses? Did you think the donor(s)?
Nearly 500 votes were cast in the 2011 North Idaho Straw Poll and Texas Governor Rick Perry continued his recent track record of leading the pack of 2012 Presidential Candidates with 123 votes for a commanding lead of 25% of the vote. Texas Congressman Ron Paul finished in 2nd place beating Sarah Palin, who has not announced as a candidate, by one vote 55 to 54. Congressman Paul had been in a distant 3rd place until a late surge online. The majority of the votes, over 90 %, were cast at the North Idaho Fair in August. The remaining were cast at the Website of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans. … Michelle Bachman and Mitt Romney tied for 4th place with 39 votes and 8% each. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey came in 6th place with 25 votes just garnering 5%.: www.ReaganRepublicans.net. More here.
Question: Which surprises you more — that Perry won the presidential straw poll on the Republican side or that Hillary Clinton tied President Barack Obama with 12 votes apiece on the Democratic side?
Julian Chang of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, from left, cheers with Senator Mark Leno, retired Navy Commander Zoe Dunning, veteran Keith Kerr, and retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer Joseph Rocha at a news conference in San Francisco onTuesday. The U.S. military passed a historic milestone Tuesday with the repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in uniform, ending a prohibition that President Barack Obama said had forced gay and lesbian service members to “lie about who they are.” (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Question: Do you suport the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell?
North Idaho College art instructor Michael Horswill, whose work can be seen at The Art Spirit Gallery in downtown Coeur d'Alene, has been named winner of the Excellence in the Arts award of the 16th Annual (Coeur d'Alene) Mayor's Awards in the Arts. “Excellence in the Arts” recognizes artists who have made a significant contribution to the awareness of the arts in Coeur d'Alene. It is evaluated on community participation, previous recognition received, and the quality and originality of art work. Others winners announced by the Coeur d'Alene Arts Commission are: Roberta Larsen, Support of the Arts; David Groth, Education in the Arts; and Mike & Kim Normand, Special Recognition. The Normands are being honored for their work on the Shared Harvest Community Garden at 10th & Foster. Mayor Sandi Bloem will present the awards at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. (A mixed-art sample of Horswill's work from Art Spirit)
Question: Have you ever participated in a monthly ArtWalk in downtown Coeur d'Alene?
Coca-Cola Co. is extending its lineup with smaller package sizes at lower price points aimed at consumers watching their budgets and their waistlines. This week, the beverage giant is expected to announce the launch of a 12.5-fl.oz. bottle that retails for 89¢ (round off to a 90¢ vend price). It will join Coke's 16-fl.oz., 99¢ bottle that rolled out nationwide in convenience stores last year as an alternative to the pricier 20-fl.oz. bottle, according to The Wall Street Journal. Coca-Cola is also hoping to spur sales by reducing the suggested retail price on its recently introduced eight-pack of 7.5-fl.oz. 100-calorie Coke “mini'' cans in supermarkets by about 20% to $2.99/Vending Times. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Are you interested in this new product? And/or: What is your soft drink of choice?
A bull moose, appearing tired from struggling with the steep sides and swift flowing water in the Esquatzel Diversion Channel, curls up to rest on a clump of grass growing out of cracks in the concrete lined irrigation canal Monday, about six miles north of Pasco. An officer from the Department of Fish and Wildlife later shot the animal because officials couldn’t determine a safe way to rescue the animal. The meat will be donated to the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission. (AP Photo/Tri-City Herald: Bob Brawdy)
In “other business” tonight, the Coeur d'Alene City Council will discuss formation of a Dike Road ad hoc committee, to fight the demand by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clear cut trees, including viewtiful ponderosas, along Rosenberry Drive (b/n the waterfront & North Idaho College). After much uproar, some City Council members have shifted position from reluctant acceptance of the demand to opposition. Many in the community are dead set against cutting the trees as a possible deterrent to a major flood. The army corps has received much criticism in communities around the West, including Sacramento, Calif., for issuing a one-size-fits-all demand to remove trees from flood-prevention levees. The corps maintains that the tree roots weaken the levee. But a study it conducted sez that they sometimes don't. Meanwhile, the Kootenai Environmental Alliance has collected 3,000 signatures in opposition to removing the trees. You can read the council's agenda for tonight's meeting here. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)
Question: Have you signed a petition in opposition to tree removal, either on line or in person?
All six were originally charged with assembling to disturb the peace and refusal to disperse after allegedly entering Washington Street on Aug. 26 and trying to block the movement of a megaload through town. The four who pleaded guilty, each to one reduced misdemeanor count of failure to comply with a peace officer's traffic direction, are Brett Haverstick, 38, Vincent Murray, 61, David Willard, 52, and Gregory Freistadt, 26. All four, who are represented by Dana M. Johnson of the Northern Rockies Justice Center, have been ordered to pay $240 in fines and court costs, according to court records. The two still moving toward trial on the initial charges are William French, 55, and Mitchell Day, 40. French also faces a misdemeanor charge of malicious injury to property for allegedly kicking out a Latah County sheriff's vehicle window/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Would you have taken the deal if you were one of the 6 protesters arrested?
With the start of fall comes the start of the flu season and the arrival of flu vaccine at the Panhandle Health District (PHD). Health experts recommend flu vaccinations for everyone six months old and up. The flu virus is contagious and spreads quickly, particularly in group settings such as school and workplaces. The vaccine is the best protection from the flu. PHD’s Hayden office, 8500 N. Atlas Rd., has flu vaccine for all ages and has scheduled clinics to provide it to the public. No appointments are necessary. Vaccinations are $29 for adults and $10 for children. PHD accepts cash, checks, credit cards, Medicaid and Medicare Part B. People should bring insurance cards and any supplemental insurance information. Dates for flu vaccination clinics here.
Question: Do you get an annual flu shot?
Got a case of the Mondays? Here in Washington, there are a lot of people who — surprise! — don't really like their jobs. Even people who work at Seattle-area mainstays like Boeing and Microsoft sometimes feel like caged chimpanzees for 40 hours a week. CareerBliss, an online resource that hosts salary information and rates workplace satisfaction, has a list of the most dissatisfying jobs in Washington state, based on 1,200 survey respondents. Here are the top 10 — or, perhaps we should say, bottom 10. Is your job on the list? (1. sales rep, 2. systems engineer, 3. account manager, 4. software developer, 5. customer service rep, 6. account exec, 7. general manager, 8. sales associate, 9. program manager, and 10. business analyst. (AP file photo)
Question: Do you like your job? Is it on this list?
Alex McLean, a senior at Timberlake High School/Spirit Lake is an avid bow hunter who boasts of being able to “Robin Hood” an arrow on numerous occasions. (He can shoot a bull's eye, then split the arrow with another shot, reports photographer David Nall). Alex still has the target he used with the two arrows, one split right down the middle up to the halfway point, hanging in his room as proof. Nall snapped this photo in a group of trees right down the divider of Seltice Way, in Post Falls, near the National Guard. See David Nall's Facebook page here.
Gov. Butch Otter said Tuesday that he will allow the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and Idaho Department of Insurance to ask the federal government for $30.9 million of grant money to start a health insurance exchange for the state. The exchange will be a marketplace for people and groups to compare and buy health insurance. The style of marketplace has been likened to travel-shopping websites. The governor had banned all use of federal money to implement the 2010 health care reform law. But he left open the possibility of a waiver for programs that already were in place in Idaho or that weren’t directly related to health care. Unless Idaho sets up its own exchange, the state will default to the federal government’s exchange. The deadline for applying for the grant is Sept. 30/Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: What do you make of Gov. Butch Otter's about-face on Obamacare?
Hucks Online has scheduled another blog confab at the Fort Ground Grill, as part of a national social media program involving City Editor Addy Hatch (pictured) & Senior Editor Geoff Pinnock. We'll provide a taco bar and soft drinks via Steve Widmyer's fine crew at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Addy provide the purpose of Hucks Fallfest here:
Associated Press Managing Editors has embarked on a nationwide project on using social media as a news gathering and reporting tool. The Spokesman-Review is taking part in one aspect of the project: “how to verify, and when to publish, social media communications.” Most news organizations are now using Twitter and Facebook extensively in their news reporting, but it raises questions about whether readers differentiate between news companies and — well, everyone else who says “I heard….” — on social media. We'll go over results from an online poll, and ask the HBO faithful to chew over what specific things they believe news organizations can do to enhance our credibility on social media.
Anyone who follows Hucks Online on this blog, Twitter, or Facebook is welcome to attend. Taco bar will be ready at 5:30, townhall meeting re: newspapers and social media to follow.
Question: What can news organizations do to enhance our credibility on social media?
Jon Cryer portrays Alan Harper, left, and Ashton Kutcher portrays Walden Schmidt in Kutcher's debut on the CBS comedy “Two and a Half Men,” which aired Monday. (AP Photo/CBS, Danny Feld)
Question: Did Ashton Kutcher's performance make you forget Charlie Sheen?
Today, I would like to thank the wealthy people who have created my jobs. If only I'd been able to give them something of value in return — Shawn Vestal, SR, via Twitter.
Loyal readers at this spot know that I occasionally rage against the dying of the light of local journalism. The days of independent, community-minded and engaged newspapers, television and radio stations does seem to me more and more imperiled, which makes the passing of J. Robb Brady, the long-time publisher and editorialist of the Idaho Falls Post Register, a singularly sad milestone. Brady was a young 92 when he died Sunday in Idaho Falls. His wife Rose – they were married for 69 years — died earlier this year. Robb Brady was, as the younger set might say, “old school.” His office looked like it could have been at home on the set of the old television show “Lou Grant.” Robb truly had printer’s ink in his veins and it was obvious he took great pride and satisfaction in running a family-owned newspaper/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here. (Courtesy photo: Idaho Falls Post Register)
Question: What journalists would you describe as “old school” and having “printer's ink in his veins”?
In a blunt rejoinder to congressional Republicans, President Barack Obama called for $1.5 trillion in new taxes Monday, part of a total 10-year deficit reduction package totaling more than $3 trillion. He vowed to veto any deficit reduction package that cuts benefits to Medicare recipients but does not raise new revenues. “We can't just cut our way out of this hole,” the president said. The president's proposal would predominantly hit upper income taxpayers but would also reduce spending in mandatory benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, by $580 billion. It also counts savings of $1 trillion over 10 years from the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Do the rich pay enough in taxes?
It’s getting to be a common thread for Yakima Valley agriculture in 2011. Like so many crops before it, the apple harvest is late, in some cases as much as two weeks. At Yakima Valley Orchards northeast of here, pickers just started making the first of what will be two passes of color-picking of Gala apples, selecting the reddest fruit now and leaving the remaining to gain color before the next round. Travis Allan, 35, president of Yakima Valley Orchards, which is affiliated with Allan Bros. Fruits of Naches, said although harvest is behind, at least it’s started. “We are getting into the full swing of harvest,” Allan said/David Lester, Yakima Herald-Republic. More here. (AP photo)
Question: Do you grow your own apples? Go to Green Bluff to pick apples? Or buy apples in a grocery?
PETA wants to get into porn to make people more aware of animal abuse. The Norfolk-based animal-rights group has applied to launch a website under the soon-to-be-available “.xxx” domain, which will feature pornographic sites, Lindsay Rajt, the organization's associate director of campaigns, said Monday. “As soon as we heard that the.xxx domain was becoming available, we thought that would be triple extra effective in helping us bring our important issues of animal rights and eating a vegan diet to a greater number of people,” said Rajt, who is based in Los Angeles. The site, she said, will have nudity and “sexually suggestive content” but not hard-core porn: “A lot of people distinguish between erotica and pornography, and this will be erotica”/Philip Walzer, Virginian Pilot. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Will this help or hinder PETA's cause?
Eighth-grader Hannah Woods shares a laugh with other students Monday while looking for fossils from rock gathered from Clarkia in July. Fourth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from Holy Family Catholic School participated in the activity as part of earth science at the school in Coeur d'Alene. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
The year 2012 is the 75th anniversary of the Idaho Potato Commission, and the organization is planning several major events to kick off a yearlong celebration, according to Frank Muir, president of the commission. One of those major events will be the launching of a yearlong 75th Anniversary Famous Idaho Potatoes Tour featuring a semi-truck with a flatbed trailer carrying a giant replica of an Idaho potato. A famous souvenir postcard from Idaho depicts a giant potato on the back of a flatbed truck. That im