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Archive for April 2012

Wild Card/Monday — 4.29.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 27: I've waited almost 4 weeks for a Recaller to come courtin' my vote — and when he did … it was someone I knew: Jim Hollingsworth. Who had just pounded a John Green for sheriff sign into my neighbor's yard. Jim wandered over to ask which sheriff's candidate I was supporting. I ignored that and pointed to his “RecallCDA” button, stating: “I certainly don't support your position on the recall.” We talked amiably for a few minutes, agreeing to disagree on the recall. Then, Jim said, we don't agree on anything. I responded, “Coeur d'Alene is a beautiful town.” Jim: “You're right.” DFO: “See, we agree on something.” Now for your first Wild Card of the work week …

Parting Shot — 4.30.12

Ironworkers connect steel beams at the top of One World Trade Center in New York. One World Trade Center. The giant monolith being built to replace the twin towers destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, laid claim to the title of New York City’s tallest skyscraper today, as workers erect steel columns that will make its unfinished skeleton a little over 1,250 feet, just high enough to peak over the observation deck on the Empire State Building. The milestone is a preliminary one. The so-called “Freedom Tower,” isn’t expected to reach its full height for at least another year, at which point it is likely to be declared the tallest building in the U.S. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Hart Paid Kelso From Campaign Funds

Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart paid $1,000 in campaign funds in 2011 to Coeur d’Alene attorney Starr Kelso, who’s representing him in his ongoing fight against back state income taxes; Hart lost his tax appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court last week. But Hart said the payment was for helping him defend against a series of House ethics complaints. The fourth-term lawmaker faced ethics complaints over his tax fight and an illegal state timber harvest; Kelso represented Hart at two House Ethics Committee hearings in Boise in 2010 and submitted documents on his behalf. Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said, “There’s nothing prohibiting that.” Campaign funds can be used for anything “related to being a holder of public office,” he said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Also: Primary race heating up in Hart's House District 2


PM Scanner Traffic — 4.30.12

  • 5:59 p.m. A possible jumper is standing on Moyie Springs bridge in Boundary County.
  • 5:55 p.m. 2 males are selling magazines w/o permits @ Polo Green & Grange/PF.
  • 5:31 p.m. Ramsey Road resident reports male in blue pickup ripped out tree & drove off with it.
  • 5:19 p.m. Coeur d'Alene caller reports 2 boys are driving around 'hood in miniature rocket cars.
  • 5:17 p.m. Resident @ 5th & Haycraft/CdA reports suspicious door-to-door salesman.
  • 5:11 p.m. A couple is involved in a physical fight on east side of Hastings on Appleway/CdA.
  • 4:57 p.m. Caller wants to see KCSDeputy about redemption of Ruger handgun.
  • 4:44 p.m. Caller has contained horse by bridle @ 16th & Cecil/PF. (Update: taken back to pasture @ 3279 16th Ave.)
  • 4:36 p.m. Female has taken handful of pills in suicide attempt @ Remington & Hinchman/Athol.
  • 4:07 p.m. Coeur d'Alene resident is at CPD HQ to report 2 stolen snowmobiles.
  • 4:06 p.m. Jean in Garwood area reports male, possibly from Intercept House on Ludlow, told her at the front door that he was running away.
  • 16 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM: New Hope In North Dakota

Kevin McLeod formerly of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho stands near the flare pit of a drilling operation in Williston, N.D. recently. Kevin and his family had to move to Williston so he could find employment. He now works for B&G Roustabout. Williston is one of the tiny towns surrounding the oil-rich Bakken formation, estimated to hold anywhere between 4 billion and 24 billion barrels of oil. Becky Kramer/SR news package & more photos here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

NIdaho Blog Rdp — 4.30.12

At last, JeanC of JeanC's Cat House & Shooting Gallery has conquered glass noodles. JeanC: “Finally got the technique of soaking them in hot water long enough to be edible. I am a bit addicted to them. The other day I tossed a chunk o'beef on the grill and soaked some glass noodles (cellophane noodles or simply mung bean noodles) and then tossed those with some spinach, olive oil and a dash of sesame oil.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for week of April 23-29): 61,438/35,154*

Spencer Backs Recall Try … Or Not

Larry Spencer mentioned at a commissioner candidates' forum at the Coeur d'Alene Library that he supported the attempted recall effort. But his sign near the Army-Navy Store on Government Way/CdA above indicates that he doesn't like appointed officials making decisions. If the recall is successful, the mayor & half the council would be appointed to make decisions until the 2013 municipal election. Hmm.

Question: To be consistent, wouldn't Spencer have to oppose the attempted overthrow of Coeur d'Alene city government?

County To Jettison Chilco Falls Park?

We got word from some dedicated ice climbers that Kootenai County Parks and Waterways is considering the sale or disposal of Chilco Falls Park, one of the best ice-climbing spots in the entire inland northwest. Difficult to find, difficult to access, and with no park amenities whatsoever, the property is being considered for surplus, with the proceeds of any sale rumored to go toward facilities in more popular parks and waterways facilities in the County. This isn’t the first time the County has had the idea, however. Back in 1998, the Spokesman-Review covered a previous attempt to unload the property. However, according to the article, “Chilco Creek was donated to the state in 1914 by developer C.S. Argo. He stipulated that the land must be open to the public ‘forever.’ It eventually became county property”/KEA Blog. More here. (Spokane Mountaineers photo via KEA Blog)


Zipperer Quits CdA School Board

The Press has learned that Coeur d'Alene School Trustee Diane Zipperer has resigned from the board effective immediately. For the first time in months, the five-member board was full following Thursday's appointment of Jim Purtee to fill the long-vacant Zone 1 seat. The board had operated with four members since February when a district judge invalidated the appointment of Wanda Quinn. Following an interview process, the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners appointed Purtee, a Coeur d'Alene businessman, to join Tom Hamilton, Terri Seymour, Sid Fredrickson and Zipperer on the board. Following Idaho code, the commissioners were tasked with selecting a school trustee to appoint because the Zone 1 seat was vacant for more than 120 days/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: The resignation comes fast on the heels of the appointment of James Purtee to the Coeur d'Alene School Board by Kootenai County commissioners. How will this resignation affect the School Board?

Harris: Do Geo-Engineers Play God?

I've had a tremendous response to last week's column on 'CHEMTRAILS,' the probably toxic spraying in the upper-level stratosphere done in recent years in a combined effort by geo-engineers and the governments of Canada, the U.S. and many NATO countries to supposedly halt “runaway global warming that's killing our planet.” (Their opinion, not mine. I'm merely quoting various sources.) I agree with Travis Combs of Coeur d'Alene and many others that there is an “eerie silence” across the media on this subject despite the  mounting evidence of this very sinister spraying project. Yes, Travis, “the masses are indeed sleeping.” In answering a reader's question, geo-engineering is the science of artificial modification to the Earth's climate systems/Cliff Harris, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Cliff Harris)


D’s: SService Should Recruit Women

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) called on Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan last week to more aggressively hire and promote women in the wake of the recent scandal in which Secret Service agents are believed to have brought prostitutes back to a hotel in Colombia where President Obama was going for a state visit. Norton said it is “significant” that a woman, Paula Reid, took the first steps to address the scandal at the Secret Service. Norton said Reid “lost no time” sending home a Secret Service unit over their alleged involvement with prostitutes in Colombia/Pete Kasperowicz, The Hill. More here. (AP file photo: Secret Service agents surround Barack Obama)

Question: Should the Secret Service hire more women to address the “old boys' network' that is embroiled in a sex scandal at the moment?


On her Facebook wall, Kerri Thoreson, who snapped this photo, writes: “On East Lakeshore Drive, Sanders Beach is underwater. At the 15th Street entrance near the Jewitt House, the public beach sign provides a great visual of flood stage on Lake Coeur d'Alene.”

Question: Ah, does this mean we can now swim along the seawall over what has been designated as private beach by the Idaho Supreme Court?

RRecaller: Toss Out ‘Enemies Of State’

On the Reagan Republican Facebook page, a RR Friend reports that he has made the difficult decision to sign the petition to recall the mayor and three council members in Coeur d'Alene. Interestingly, he writes: “The merits and facts in the recall effort are not central to my decision. My reasoning is more fundamental. To me, at this point, the democrat party has taken off its mask nationally and now proudly and loudly shout their allegiance to radical Marxist communist instigators, openly.” He goes on to say that he regards anyone “who would still align with this (Democratic) party as an enemy of the state, or at a minimum, woefully out of touch with reality.” He then urges other Reagan Republicans Facebook followers to “Join me in removing city leaders who continue to align with the extreme sharp left turn their party has taken.”

Question: You still think this is about McEuen Field upgrade?

WAC Football On Life Support

The WAC could be in its final year as a football conference. The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting Utah State is headed to the Mountain West as is San Jose State to replace Boise State and San Diego State, who are leaving for the Big East after this season. The report also said Louisiana Tech is going to Conference USA joining Texas-San Antonio, which is voting on the move to C-USA this week. UTSA joins the WAC this season, but was one of the additions back in Nov. 2010. The move leaves Idaho, New Mexico State and Texas State as the remaining football-playing schools in the conference/Graham Watson, Yahoo! Sports. More here.

Question: What should Idaho do?

Should Bent Open BBQ Now?

“Opening a business isn't as easy as I first envision it to be,” writes Bent of Bent's Pitchamps BBQ. “I had hoped to be opened this week. I am close… I've got the painting nearly done, the counters are built and covered in stainless steel, the hood and fire suppression system are re-certified, waste water system is set, gas lines re-plumbed, logo is done… still need to install an electric meter, get my health permit, order business cards, get my website completed, and paint my signs… maybe I should just focus on my health permit and have a soft opening with just a few items so I can generate some income while I finalize everything else. After all, I am starting to get this feeling like I'm never going to be completely ready to open, so I might as well get started and ramp things up slow.”

Question: Bent wonders: What do you guys think? Should Bent attempt a soft opening on Best Avenue/CdA? Or open only when everything is ready to go?

Dating Extends To Rival High Schools

Bo Petterson and Sydney Lee traded jabs at each other about their respective schools Thursday afternoon. Lee, who plays golf for Twin Falls High School, highlighted the Bruins’ academic reputation and athletic prowess. “Twin is always better, so we don’t even worry about them,” she said. Petterson, a junior baseball player for Kimberly, defended his Bulldogs. “Well, you guys are in a different division so it doesn’t even matter,” he said. “Our school is more laid back, but we still learn the same stuff. Plus, we have a great agriculture and shop program.” Petterson, sporting brown dreadlocks that fall in his face and Lee, with her Chacos sandals and bright disposition, make a light-hearted couple that doesn’t care about their Twin Falls-Kimberly hook up — despite the smack talk back and forth. “It really isn’t that big a deal,” Lee said. “A lot of the Twin girls seem to like the Kimberly boys”/Stephen Meyers, Twin Falls Times-News. More here. (Wikipedia photo: Balcony scene of Romeo & Juliet)

DFO: In high school, I dated a girl from a smaller school nearby. We weren't exactly rivals because my school didn't play hers. But the schools weren't friendly either. How about you?

Question: Did you ever date a girl/boy from a rival high school? Or that society or family opposed? Tell us about it.

Kennedy: Standing Tall Against Recall

Coeur d'Alene Councilman Mike Kennedy, who has endured a lengthy court test that still isn't over in which losing opponent Jim Brannon sued to overthrow his 2009 election defeat, how is facing a recall attempt. Mayor Sandi Bloem, Kennedy and Councilman Deanna Goodlander (clapping back right at the Stop the Recall rally last week) and Woody McEvers are targeted for Recall, allegedly for moving ahead with proposed changes to McEuen Field.

AM Scanner Traffic — 4.29.12

  • Noonish: Bayview woman reports one of her exes gave tobacco to her son.
  • Noonish: Man in Kroc Center lobby wants to speak to CPD officer re: issue of drugs in Plummer.
  • 11:53 a.m. A blue heeler pup is running in & out of traffic @ Govt Way & Orchard/Hayden.
  • 11:30 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for April 29-30 here.
  • 11:23 a.m. Donald is having issues regarding getting items from a storage unit.
  • 10:59 a.m. James @ 7823 Lorelei Lane/Rathdrum reports car damaged by hit-and-run driver.
  • 12 more items below

Vieselmeyer: Voters Unhappy w/Hart

(Phil) Hart's primary opponents include Ron Vieselmeyer, 71, an outspoken Christian conservative, ordained minister, former state lawmaker and current North Idaho College trustee; longtime Hayden real estate appraiser Ed Morse; and local firefighter Fritz Wiedenhoff. The winner of the four-way race will face Democrat Dan English in November. Vieselmeyer said issues aren’t as much at stake in this year’s race as people. “It’s either somebody else wins and represents them, or they continue to have Phil Hart representing them,” he said. “And that’s been an uncomfortable situation for a lot of people”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.

DFO: I've been trying to figure out how former legislator Ron Vieselmeyer will affect this race. He attracts the same conservative crowd as Hart. Meanwhile, Reagan Republicans have endorsed Ed Morse. I view this as a three-man race with Fritz Wiedenhoff finishing a distant fourth.

Question: Will Ron Vieselmeyer pull votes away from Hart or Morse?

SR To File Motion To Quash Subpoena

This week, The Spokesman-Review, through attorney Duane Swinton of Witherspoon-Kelley, will file a motion to quash the subpoena filed against the newspaper on behalf of Kootenai County GOP Central Committee Chairwoman Tina Jacobson (pictured). Jacobson is attempting to gain the identity of 3 anonymous individuals who posted on a Feb. 14 comments thread: Almost Innocent Bystander, Phaedrus and Out of Stater Tater. Jacobson has filed a lawsuit against “John and/or Jane Doe” alleging Almost Innocent Bystander libeled her in a post on Huckleberries Online. According to the lawsuit filed by Jacobson's attorney, Winston & Cashatt, “The entry as published via the internet stated there was $10,000 missing from the Republican Central Committee funds and that the missing funds were hidden on the person of Mrs. Jacobson.” The lawsuit denounces both claims as false. Jacobson's attorneys have asked that the identities of the three named posters and other documentation be made available to Winston & Cashatt, 250 Northwest Boulevard/CdA, by 10 o'clock Friday morning.

Poll: Ysursa/Wasden Know Best

  • Weekend Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation has faith in the interpretation of the Idaho Code re: recall deadlines provided by Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Secretary of State Ben Ysursa. Who have confirmed that City Attorney Susan Weathers is correct when she said that the signatures for the recall attempt had to be submitted and verified by the county clerk's office within 75 days (June 19 deadline). 119 of 185 respondents (64.32%) trust the deadline interpretation of Wasden & Ysursa most. Another 30 of 185 respondents (16.2%) trust Weathers/City Attorney Mike Gridley most. Only 36 of 185 (19.46%) trust the interpretation of County Clerk Cliff Hayes/Prosecutor Barry McHugh, who are suing the city to establish recall dates, most.
  • Today's Poll: Will Rep. Phil Hart when his May 15 GOPrimary race against 3 other opponents?

AM Headlines — 4.30.12

I never tire of Don Sausser's waterfront photos, including this one of which Don writes: “The Mish-an-Nock tour boat motors past Brook’s seaplane for an evening cruise proving that Lake Coeur d’Alene’s 2012 summer season has begun.

Recall: Kids Say: Decline To Sign

I've asked the Stop the Recall folks for the identities of these two boys, Alexander, left, & Trey NippI get a kick out of the one on the right. These two boys, sons of Ryan & Teri Nipp, epitomize the reason why this community must fight to stop the Souza-Orzell-Sims attempt to overthrow the rightfully elected mayor and better half of the City Council. They deserve good, nonpartisan city government now to make the decisions that will affect them later — not a group of appointed officials that will bring progress to its knews by destroying the economic engine driving Coeur d'Alene progress: Lake City Development Corp.

I noticed that the Decline to Sign letters mailed out to 14,500 Coeur d'Alene homes arrived Saturday. If you didn't get one, you can read it here.

DFO: You can use this post to comment on the attempted Recall …

A Neighborhood Experience

Mrs. O has cracked the whip over the last three weekends, resulting in a nearly overhauled front yard. All the “dwarf” pines, mughos and barberries were yanked three weekends ago. The front boulevard dug out two weekends ago. Six yards of 1-1 1/2-inch rock wheelbarreled into place & new baby trees planted this weekend. It was the most time I've spent in front yard since installing the sprinkler system and original plants 25 years ago. I usually focus on the back yard & my garden. A serendipity to all of this was the number of neighbors who stopped by to visit and offer tips or thumbs up re: the upgrade. I live in a neighborhood chock full of nice people. In the process of all the impromptu visits, I realize how isolated I can make myself by going home & hiding out in the back yard. All the shrubs and trees that blocked my porch from the sidewalk are gone. So I expect to spend more time out in the porch and front yard, hoping for chance encounters with neighbors that are enriching.

Question: How about you? Do you spend much time with neighbors gabbing at the mailbox or while puttering around your front yard?

WTC Tops Empire State Building

One World Trade Center, right, rises above the Manhattan skyline and the Empire State Building, center, in New York. One World Trade Center,, the giant monolith being built to replace the twin towers destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, will lay claim to the title of New York City’s tallest skyscraper on today. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Today, the new One World Trade Center is due to reach and surpass the height of the Empire State Building, to become New York City's tallest building. Workers will be putting steel columns in place that will make the unfinished frame of the building a little more than 1,250 feet high — the level of the Empire State Building's highest observation deck. … The “Freedom Tower” isn't expected to reach its full height for at least another year. When complete, One World Trade will stand at 1,776 feet (which includes a 408-foot-tall antenna spire that will sit on its roof). Discounting the antenna, it will still be the second-highest building in the U.S., after the Willis Tower in Chicago/CBS, AP. More here.

Question: Would you want on office on the upper floors of the new One World Trade Center?

Edit: Will Idaho Defend Constitution?

An Idaho Falls Post Register editorial points out how eager Idaho conservatives are to fight Obamacare as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. It then goes on to ask if those same conservatives are as eager to embrace uneven public school funding as a violation of the Idaho Constitution. Noting an analysis by Mike Ferguson, Idaho's former chief economist, that current public school funding violates two sections of the state Constitution, the Post Register states: “As the percentage of the state budget allocated for public schools has decreased, districts have become more reliant upon local property owners to pay maintenance and operation (M&O) costs — teacher salaries, utilities, etc. But not all Idaho communities have the same ability or willingness to backfill school budgets. That creates the kind of unlevel playing field prohibited by the state Constitution.” More here.

Question: Do Idaho conservatives care as much for public education as they oppose Obamacare?

Read more here:

Post Falls Hats Go To Kentucky Derby

When the starting gate bell sounds at Churchill Downs next weekend, some 150 women in the crowd will be wearing the creations of Diane Siverson, a Post Falls hat-maker. Siverson, 64, became a milliner eight years ago, initially creating hats targeted to Red Hat Society members. Now she’s selling 250 to 300 hats a year and the biggest segment of that business is Kentucky Derby hats. The Derby is a fashion parade, with women showing off spring dresses and elaborate headdresses, much as Royal Ascot is in England. Other racetracks in the United States have also adopted the hat-centric tradition in various forms. Siverson began selling to that market when she and her husband, Ron, created a website for her Lady Diane Hats. The hats range from small “fascinators” that were popularized by the wedding of the former Kate Middleton and Prince William last year, to a monumental creation that looks like a feathery wedding cake/Addy Hatch, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka's SR photo: Diane Siverson creates and sells custom-made hats from her home in Post Falls)

Question: Can you describe the fanciest hat you own?

Where Everyone Knows Your Avatar

Stebbijo: I agree with Stickman, it is nice to have a place to say something you feel. One of the reasons, I come back to HBO is because it is fun. I don’t want that element to be lost. I get tired of drowning in politics, but DFO aggregates the news on all levels, all day and it’s a resource unique to blogging. When I look back on the days of HBO’s beginnings and the road HBO has taken and where it is now, I think of the people who have enjoyed and used the freedom of the internet to be heard. It is amazing how politics can change those relationships. We all value the freedom of communication that the internet provides us. God knows, I am one of them, and I have certainly had my ups and downs with HBO. The one thing that I have noticed is how HBO has spawned other blogs/websites. Yes, this happened over differences of political opinion, but you cannot ignore that this area is progressive in this arena because of HBO. No one can ever take that away from DFO, he has developed free speech here, in many many ways. We may not like what some of us have to say, but look what he has done!

DFO: I appreciate Stebbijo's comments (although I think she gives me too much credit because Huckleberries is a collaborative effort that has evolved over the years). I appreciate that wingman Cindy & the Huckleberries family brings me back to Earth when I go off on a tangent (not counting dastardly CDA recall attempt.) The key thing we all appreciate is the freedom of speech and communication will enjoy here. It's worth fighting for.

Question: How has the Huckleberries Online blog and community impacted you?

Great Day … For Ducks

A pair of mallard ducks swim past a submerged park bench along the Centennial Trail on Upriver Drive in Spokane, Wash. The waters of the Spokane River have overtaken most of the trail. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: Do you get tired of the long springers (spring/winter) that we have?

Kootenai Dems Told To Take Stand

Liberals. Tree-huggers. Californians. Democrats in North Idaho are often outnumbered and called many things by Republicans, but there's a new label they're seeking in 2012: winners. Optimism ran high as 165 people packed the Coeur d'Alene Casino conference room Saturday evening for the Kootenai County Democrats' 10th annual Democracy Dinner. Wisconsin State Sen. Jon Erpenbach had plenty to say about his state's battles over collective bargaining, but also showed he had done some reading before his first visit to Idaho. “Who's Phil Hart?” Erpenbach joked as the room roared with laughter. And after pledging to do whatever he could to help the candidate running against the Athol state representative, Erpenbach laughed himself as Legislative District 2 candidate Dan English walked up to the podium with a business card and a campaign wooden nickel stating, “Had your fill? Vote for Dan”/Joel Donofrio, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do Kootenai County Democrats have a reason to be optimistic this year?

Court Blocks Hart’s Dangerous Idea

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, is a cartoonish figure with a dangerous idea. The tax scofflaw and public timber thief argued before the Idaho Supreme Court that he belonged to a privileged class - the 105 members of Idaho's Legislature. Arguing the government has no constitutional authority to tax his income, Hart is now $550,000 behind on his federal taxes and he owes $53,000 to the state. For close to three years, he's been using one tactic after another to stall the state tax collector. Among them was a section of the Idaho Constitution that protects lawmakers from arrest or being detained while the Legislature is in session “except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.” Boiled down, it means Idaho's founding fathers wanted to protect ordinary citizens from having a judge arbitrarily yank their elected representatives from a legislative session. And as a practical matter, lawmakers have found ways to accommodate both the courts and their obligation to their constituents. When it comes to Hart, however, it's always about him/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: How does Hart continue to fool some his backers all of the time?

Hucks: Ex-NFLer Runs For Congress

It isn’t every day that a Dem congressional candidate in blood-red Idaho asks for support from a man who spoke at the 2008 GOP national convention on behalf of presidential candidate John McCain. And gets it. But Jimmy Farris is special to former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs. Farris, who lasted eight years with five teams in the tough NFL after playing high school football at Lewiston, contacted his old coach when he decided to run for Republican congressman Raul Labrador’s 1st District seat. Farris told Huckleberries Thursday that he talked with Gibbs’ secretary, Cindy Mangum, when he couldn’t reach his old mentor. Later, Gibbs left a phone message in which he asked Farris whether he was running as a Republican or a Democrat. Chuckling, Gibbs said that Farris would get his vote if he ran as a Republican, and he’d get secretary Cindy’s vote if he ran as a Democrat. Then, turning serious, Farris said, the coach assured him that he would support his former player/DFO, Sunday SR Huckleberries. Full column here.

Question: Can a Democrat win the 1st Congressional District seat?

Bennett: The Announcement

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Weekend Wild Card — 4.28-29.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Days 25-26: What a week! The work week ended with Stebbijo dreaming that DFO be frog-marched from a courtroom in handcuffs to the hoosegow as a result of the lawsuit by county GOP chair Tina Jacobson to discover the IDs of 3 anonymous Hucks commenters. All because Stebbi wants Bent to hold a fund-raising BBQ in DFO's honor. Meanwhile, DFO slipped & posted more & more recall posts onto Page 1 Friday, causing Cindy to demand incarceration. Which was a thinly disguised ploy for her to publish more photos of her cat Thor. No wonder people say Huckleberries Online is a madhouse at times. Almost makes a blogmeister afraid to post a Wild Card. Almost …

Osama Killing Becomes Campaign Tool

The killing of Osama bin Laden, first presented as a moment of national unity by President Barack Obama, has become something else: a political weapon. Obama's re-election campaign is portraying his risky decision to go after America's top enemy as a defining difference with his Republican presidential opponent, suggesting Mitt Romney might not have had the guts to order a mission that put lives and perhaps a presidency at stake. Obama himself is opening up on the raid again — and opening the secretive White House Situation Room as an interview stage — to hail the one-year anniversary/AP. More here.

Question: C'mon, admit it, Idaho Republican, don't you respect President Obama a little more for taking out Osama bin Laden?

Spokane Man Stars In Anti-Smoking Ads

Shawn Wright, 51, of  the west central neighborhood in Spokane, Wash., has been featured in a CDC a national educational campaign.   Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Diesease and Control Prevention. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Shawn Wright was a smoker. Nothing could stop him: not the death of his father; not the scolding of doctors; not the high taxes; not the banishment from bars and restaurants; not his girlfriend’s disapproval. Wright even kept smoking as oncologists diagnosed his throat cancer, one Pall Mall after another. He smoked right before and right after each of his 36 radiation treatments. And then surgeons sliced his neck open and cut out his larynx. “There I am in the hospital, looking at myself in the mirror after my surgery and I thought ‘Whoa … What have I done to myself?’ ” said Wright, now 51 years old. “That was it. There was no way I was going to stick a cigarette into that hole in my neck so I could smoke.” That was 3  ½ years ago. Today he is exhibiting his disfigured neck as a key part of the U.S. government’s newest front in the fight against smoking/John Stucke, SR. More here.

Question: Are these commercials over the top? Or effective? Or both?

Writer: Give The Kid The Baseball

Say you are watching a baseball game and a player tosses a ball into the stands and you get the ball. What do you do? A couple in Texas is finding out the hard way that A LOT of people say you should give it to the nearest child. It happened at a Texas Rangers baseball game this week. The couple grabbed the ball. The kid cried. It was tragic. (see the video). But should the couple have given up the ball to make the kid happy? One writer came up with a baseball ethics flowchart (see it here). Basically, he concluded there are very few instances in which an adult fan should keep a baseball/SWX. More here.

Question: Would you give a crying kid in the next seat a baseball that you just caught in the stands of a Major League Baseball game?

City Claims Hayes Violating Idaho Code

Item: Cd'A seeks to stop suit: Letter alleges county clerk has violated Idaho Code/Maureen Dolan, CdA Press

More here: The city of Coeur d'Alene has asked the county to back off from its decision to sue the city and its four elected officials who are the targets of an ongoing recall initiative. In a letter sent Wednesday by Coeur d'Alene Deputy City Attorney Warren Wilson to Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh and Civil Deputy Prosecutor R. David Ferguson, Wilson asks the prosecutors to drop the suit, and alleges that Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes has violated Idaho Code 34-202 that compels county clerks to follow the “directives and instructions” given to them by the Secretary of State. Wilson calls for the county prosecutors to investigate Hayes' alleged violation.

Question: Are you happy/unhappy to see the city of Coeur d'Alene turn the tables on County Clerk Cliff Hayes re: his lawsuit to seemingly clarify the deadline dates for the recall attempt against Mayor Sandi Bloem & 3 council members?

CdA AAUW To Offer Adult Spelling Bee

Item: Under their spell: Adult bee will raise funds for women's education/Alecia Warren, CdA Press

More here: Maxine Sullivan is painfully aware that common words are mispelled. Mispeled. Misspelled. But she thinks that might just be a way to garner funds for women's education. Sullivan, secretary of the Coeur d'Alene American Association of University Women, as well as proud great-aunt of a fifth-grade spelling champion, proposed a new idea this year for the nonprofit's scholarship fundraiser. An adult spelling bee. “We want to have a good time, but we also want to promote good spelling,” said Sullivan, who described herself as a faithful spelling nerd.

Question: Do you think you'd last long in an adult spelling bee?

An Assault On Wilderness? Maybe Not

Who could argue with anything called the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act? Idaho Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador couldn’t. They were among the 273 House members who gave this bill bipartisan blessing earlier this month. They say the bill will preserve hunters’ and anglers’ access to federal lands — including wilderness. Who’s to argue? Some environmental groups. They believe the permissive language about hunting and fishing will open the door to motorized vehicle use — or dam-building, or road construction, or oil and gas exploration — in wilderness areas. To hear the critics, the bill attacks the foundation of the Wilderness Act, a pristine piece of legislation, unamended since its 1964 passage. So, who’s right here? Depends on whom you ask — and whose compelling supporting evidence you believe/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Which side of the Sportsmen's Heritage Act are you on?

Read more here:

Anderson: Wrong Car

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

TGIF Wild Card — 4.27.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 24: It's nice to see Coeur d'Alene City Attorney Mike Gridley push back at County Clerk Cliff Hayes and County Prosecutor Barry McHugh, who say they're trying to clarify deadlines for the Coeur d'Alene recall (when the Secretary of State and Attorney General's offices have sided with the city). Definitely makes things interesting as the clock ticks on the recall effort. Meanwhile, Sharon Culbreth, Kathy Sims & new BFF Frank Orzell are planning a “Crash Course on Urban Renewal” for May 8. You still think the recall attempt is all about McEuen Field? Tsk. Tsk. Now for your TGIF Wild Card …

Parting Shot

A goose with an arrow through its head grazes near Rogers Lake on Friday in Old Lyme, Conn. Old Lyme assistant animal control officer Lizabeth Gode said the goose is still able to fly, which has made attempts at capturing the animal unsuccessful. (AP Photo/The Day, Tim Cook)

Manure-Deep In Child-Labor Debate

“In the years when our family lived on a dairy,” writes SR columnist Shawn Vestal, “there were times it felt like we were living in a giant cattle toilet. Thoughts of manure came wafting to me again this week, as farm groups and the rural right took up arms against proposed new child-labor rules for farms – rules that the Obama administration withdrew Thursday under intense pressure. Opponents characterized the proposal as the latest example of anti-American, despotic overreach, and repeatedly misstated what they would have done, asserting that kids would no longer be allowed to work on their family’s farms, that kids would be 'banned' from farm work, and so on.” Full column here.

Question: Have you ever worked in or around a lot of manure?

PM Scanner Traffic — 4.27.12

  • 5:46 p.m. Caller from Windy Pines hears shots being fired for second day in wooded area @ Ramsey & Hanley/CdA.
  • 5:32 p.m. 2 males dressed in black are in 600 block of Boekel/Hayden asking for work.
  • 5:26 p.m. Caller reports to KCSD that someone has dug up her newly planted flowers.
  • 5:16 p.m. Post Falls gets Boss hit on possible stolen black '97 Honda w/Washington plates.
  • 5:15 p.m. Motorist reports large bag of garbage in e/b lanes of I-90 @ 15th Street/CdA.
  • 5:13 p.m. Caller reports group of Opportunity Sales people @ Chase & Fisher/PF.
  • 5:03 p.m. Father doing CPR on unresponsive juvenile male with a gunshot wound to the head at Hillsdale Road/Athol mobile home. 10YO granddaughter summoned help. MedStar summoned after officers arrive on the scene. Update: Officer calls for a chaplain.
  • 4:28 p.m. Caller reports occupants of a Government Way apartment are in room smoking pot.
  • 4:22 p.m. Hayden Super 1 @ H95 & Hayden has caught a cooperative shoplifter.
  • 4:14 p.m. 2 males on school building roof on 15th Street/CdA are taking photos.
  • 3:58 p.m. Some sort of weapons offense reported by motorist in 4800 block of E. Woodland/PF.
  • 23 more items below including AM Scanner Traffic link

PM: Tribe Treats Vets To Golf, Dinner

Iraq war veterans of the Army National Guard, Jason Nelsen, left of Coeur d'Alene and Henry Carr of Hayden stood at attention during the opening ceremony of Operation Welcome Home at Circling Raven Golf Club in Worley, Idaho on Thursday. All veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn were guests of the Coeur d'Alene Resort Casino and Circling Raven Golf Club. Golf and dinner with their families was free for the day. Story here. Story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Always A Fine Time To Drop A Line

Wayne Luiten, 45, of Spokane, Wash., found a dry spot above the flooded Centennial Trail, to drop a fishing line. The Spokane River has overtaken the trail and is nearing the road. Luiten says he likes the water this high. It makes it easier for him to reach the water. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Court: Corp Must Defend Levee Policy

Terry Harris, executive director of Kootenai Environmental Alliance, tweets breaking news: “A U.S. District Court in California has rejected the Army Corp of Engineers' efforts to dismiss a lawsuit over their levee vegetation policy. In a case practically identical to ours, the Corps will now need to turn over documents and defend their actions. More on the blog later, but this is great news in our efforts to Save the Coeur d'Alene Dike Road Trees.”


Reasonable R’s Set Meet-&-Greet

The North Idaho Political Action Committee has scheduled an open house to meet its endorsed candidates for the May 15 Republican primary. The event will take place 5:30 – 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Syringa Room at the Best Western Coeur d’Alene Inn. Each candidate will give brief remarks and then answer questions. Refreshments and a no-host bar will be available. Endorsed candidates who have confirmed are:
Legislative District 2: Mark Fisher (Seat A) Jeff Tyler (Seat A); District 3: Ed Morse (Seat B) Frank Henderson (Seat B); District 4: Luke Malek (Seat A); Kootenai County Commissioner Kootenai County Commissioner
District 1: Bruce Noble, District 2: Dan Green; Kootenai County Prosecutor: Barry McHugh

Christa Reacts To Green Comment

Christa Hazel speaks out re: the selection of James Purtee by Kootenai County commissioners as the new Coeur d'Alene School Board trustee: “Still surprised our elected county commissioner, Dan Green, last night stated in an open meeting that he was 'irritated at the enormous lobbying effort' and public input he received regarding the trustee appointment. He disliked the emails encouraging him to be open minded, objective, or emphasize qualifications and then proceeded to name applicants that may have fit that description. Regardless of the outcome, the public should never be poo pooed for providing opinions to elected officials. Dan Green was wrong to criticize those folks who took time to show an interest.”


Teleprompter At Attention

Troops are reflected in a TelePrompTer as President Barack Obama and first Lady Michelle Obama speak to troops, veterans and military families at the Third Infantry Division Headquarters Friday at Fort Stewart, Ga. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Question: Who will use the teleprompter most during the 2012 presidential campaign — President Barack Obama and future GOP nominee Mitt Romney?

Cindy: In Quest For Best Hotdog

On her Facebook wall, Cindy (who is trying to drive today's Page 1 away from Coeur d'Alene recall) writes: “Moving right along. This is the weekend I try to overcome my pathological fear of tubular meat. That's right. I'm going hot dog hunting. So, Spokane area friends where should I go BESIDES COSTCO to taste the best dog?”

Question: I (heart) hotdogs. More than hamburgers even. But I rarely eat them because they're. Not. Good. For. You. How about you? Are you a hotdog fan? Where would you go to buy a prepared dog with all the fixins?

GOP Chairwoman Subpoenas SR

Attorneys on behalf of Kootenai County GOP Chairwoman Tina Jacobson have subpoenaed the Spokesman-Review to produce documents establishing the identities of three anonymous Huckleberries Online bloggers: “almostinnocentbystander,” “Phaedrus” and “OutofStatertater.” The three commented in a thread in which “almostinnocentbystander” made a comment about Jacobson at the rally for GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum in Coeur d'Alene Feb. 14. Story here. Jacobson's law firm of Winston & Cashatt has asked the SR to produce these documents and others to its Coeur d'Alene office by 10 a.m. Friday, May 4. You can read the subpoena here.

Orzell: They’re Clamoring For Recall

The leader of an effort to recall Coeur d’Alene’s mayor and half of the City Council characterized his differences with the council as an ideological dispute over their vision for Coeur d’Alene, including how much public money should be spent on downtown improvement. “There’s an inordinate focus on downtown business interests…There’s a feeling that downtown is getting more than its share of attention,” said Frank Orzell, a retired management consultant who is leading the recall effort. A $14.2 million makeover planned for McEuen Field – a popular green space on Lake Coeur d’Alene – was simply the latest controversy in a growing discontent with city leadership, Orzell said. “McEuen Field coalesced a lot of people into taking action,” he said. “They started clamoring for recall”/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

DFO: If you're keeping score at home, this is the 7th recall post today. Sawwy.

Question: As their a clamor for recall citywide, or simply in the circles in which Orzell runs?

Stick: 8000 More Poop Bags To Fill

Stickman: An anonymous benefactor sent Walkabout another 8,000 dog poop bags again this year. The support she gets from this one person is very admirable and keeps her doing her job, which is keeping Tubbs Hill and the dog park clean. We would never be able to afford the amount of bags she uses each year, so this is a godsend. Plus, not many people in this world would do what she does, so she is my hero in a sense. I could never do it. I guess this is just a reminder to please pick up after your animals. Thanks.

Question: Do you take poop bags with you when you walk your dog? Do you confront individuals who let their dogs poop on public sidewalks or parks without cleaning it up?

Bears Falling From The Sky

A bear that wandered into the University of Colorado Boulder, Colo., dorm complex Williams Village is shown falling from a tree after being tranquilized by Colorado wildlife officials. Colorado University police spokesman Ryan Huff said the bear was likely 1-3 years old and weighed somewhere between 150-200 pounds. (AP Photo/CU Independent, Andy Duann)

Question: Have you ever fallen out of a tree?

Poll: Who Knows Best Re: Recalls?

  • Thursday Question: Hucks Nation firmly disagreed with the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners choice for appointment to the Coeur d'Alene School Board — James Purtee. Purtee came in 4th of 6 in the HucksOnline poll with 19 votes out of 192 cast (9.9%). Hucks Nation preferred Christa Hazel (who was the only person named by all three commissioners in their top 3), with 70 of 192 (36.46%). Former trustee Wanda Quinn, who was unceremoniously booted from her appointed position by a District Court judge, came in 2nd with 66 of 192 votes (34.38%). Others who received votes were Duncan Koler, 21 of 192 (10.94%); Casey Morrisroe, 9 of 192 (4.69%); and Luke Sommer, 7 of 192 (3.65%).
  • Weekend Question: Who is more apt to know how city election law pertains to recall attempts — city clerk/attorney, county clerk/prosecutor, secretary of state/attorney general?

OpenCDA Slams Anti-Recall Cause

Bill McCrory of claims the Decline to Sign movement is trying to deprive Coeur d'Alene residents with an opportunity to retain or remove three-term Mayor Sandi Bloem and Councilman Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy from office. McCrory calls the anti-recall movement's “Decline to Sign” motto “a perfect slogan.” Quoth McCrory: “Next time you see or hear 'Decline to Sign,' remember that behind it is an organized effort to keep you and your friends and neighbors from voting to either retain or remove those named in the recall petitions.  You will only get to vote for the recall if  there are sufficient qualified signatures on the recall petitions.” More here.

Question: Ah, didn't the voters already decide that they wanted these four in office 2 1/2 years ago? Ah, isn't the Stop the Recall movement exercising their right as voters to stand against the recall? Where's the problem?

Obama Signs GI Bill Executive Order

President Barack Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, and others, signs an executive order protecting the GI Bill Friday at the Fort Stewart Army post, in Fort Stewart, Ga. Story here. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Question: Have you or your family been helped by the GI Bill?

AM Scanner Traffic — 4.27.12

  • 11:59 a.m. Caller @ 16th & Meyer/PF reports blue semi w/crushed vehicles may be trying to avoid I-90 weigh station @ Huetter by taking back streets.
  • 11:30 a.m. James Duval, 58, of Kellogg & Melinda Carlson, 33, of Rathdrum were injured early this morning when 1995 Jeep Wrangler crashed off Govt Way @ I-90 overpass & onto freeway. ISP report here.
  • 11:13 a.m. Reporting Party is in CPD office to report battery in 1400 block of E. Birch/CdA.
  • 11:03 a.m. Several suspicious people are loitering on I-90 @ Sherman exit offramp.
  • 11 more items below

Purtee Responds To Characterization

James Purtee: I find it interesting the intuitive abilities of someone who has never met me to apply a “political” lable of “far right”. I am a member of no far right organization or even moderately right. To set the record straight, my political association is much more as an independent than either “right or left”. No one has seen me at any Reagan Republican meeting or other similar group’s meeting…why?…because I am not affiliated. Whether on a blog, in a newspaper or on tv, I feel the public, the teachers and administrators and the parents would be better served if those offering commentary about trustees would not resort to assumptive lableing or otherwise castigate an individuals character.

DFO: James Purtee makes a good point re: labels. I'll watch his actions on the Coeur d'Alene School Board with interest. He has the support of Trustee Terri Seymour, who joined Tom Hamilton in successfully suing to oust Trustee Wanda Quinn to an appointed seat. I'd say the International Baccalaureate program is going … going …


Ex-Idaho Justice Pens Memoir

One of the major voids of Idaho's 150-year history has been the lack of books by and about Idaho's political movers and shakers. Only four memoirs written by statewide elected officials come to mind. Three were written by former governors - Robert Smylie, Don Samuelson and Phil Batt — and one written by former territorial Congressman and U.S. Sen. Fred T. Dubois. The Dubois memoir, while incomplete, is the best of the lot and includes the only eyewitness account of President Benjamin Harrison's signing of the bill making Idaho a state. In addition, there have been a handful of biographies of Idaho politicians, including William E. Borah, Frank Church, Cecil Andrus and James McClure. Add to that list a newly published memoir by former Idaho Supreme Court Justice Byron Johnson. Johnson, who served on the Supreme Court from 1988 to 1999, titles his book “Poetic Justice: A Memoir.” It is an appropriate title since he is also a very serious poet/Marty Peterson, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Kyle Mills' Lewiston Tribune photo of Marty Peterson)

Question: Do you know much about Idaho history?

Trib: More Closed Primary Victims

Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune sends JEERS … to former Sen. Rod Beck, R-Boise, who pushed and poked until Idaho closed its GOP primary to anyone who wasn't willing to publicly declare his affiliation with the Republican Party. His latest victims: The 65 men and women who work for the Idaho Legislative Services Office. They work with Republicans and Democrats. Beck's handiwork boxed them in. Vote and they undermine their independence. Don't vote and they miss the election that counts in a one-party state. So most of them, including Director Jeff Youtz, are voluntarily abstaining. Don't get the wrong idea: Youtz isn't whining. But in this environment, even not voting can be taken the wrong way. Better to explain lest someone draw the wrong conclusions. More here.


Recall Thread: Bloem, Quinn Confer

Mayor Sandi Bloem, right, one of the four targets of the RecallCDA attempt, confers with long-time, former Coeur d'Alene School Board trustee Wanda Quinn at the Stop the Recall rally Wednesday evening. Bloem and three City Council members — Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy (all in attendance) — are under siege by RecallCDA for pushing ahead with scaled-down plans to upgrade McEuen Field without a public advisory vote. Quinn failed to win reappointment from the Coeur d'Alene School Board Thursday evening when Kootenai County commissioners picked James Purtee from a field of six applicants.

DFO: We'll use this post for generic comments on the ongoing recall controversy (firestorm?)

Defiant Phil Hart To Battle On

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, had the following reaction to the Idaho Supreme Court's adverse ruling Thursday on his income tax fight: “We are disappointed in today’s decision by the Idaho Supreme Court in the Matter of Philip L. Hart vs. Idaho State Tax Commission and Idaho Board of Tax Appeals. It is but another phase of my quest for justice.  I continue to believe that the most important question is “Does Phil Hart owe any tax to the State of Idaho?” My answer to that question is an emphatic – No, I do not owe the State of Idaho any tax.” More here.


Confusing Controversies w/Firestorms

Health care reform set off a “firestorm.” Political consultant Hilary Rosen ignited a “firestorm.” Rick Santorum touched off several “firestorms.” Baseball manager Ozzie Guillen torched off a “firestorm” (with an assist from Fidel Castro). Tim Tebow, Ted Nugent, Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher? They’ve all been busy, setting off “firestorms.” Those are a few of the dozens of media uses of the word “firestorm” I’ve been collecting over the past few months. Every one of them is a travesty. I get a little worked up by this, but if anyone in America should be appalled at the media’s lazy use of the word “firestorm,” it’s those of us from Spokane. In 1991, we suffered through an actual firestorm. Two people died and 114 homes were destroyed. In 1911, our region had an even more terrifying firestorm, with at least 85 dead. (Yes, it was even more cataclysmic than that other natural disaster: a Tim Tebow trade.)/Jim Kershner, SR. More here.

Question: Does Jim Kershner make a good point that we're careless in the use of the word “firestorm”?

State Defends CdA Recall Position

Before County Clerk Cliff Hayes and Prosecutor Barry McHugh filed suit against Coeur d'Alene, City Clerk Susan Weathers had received an opinion from the Secretary of State's office defending her interpretation of the recall deadline: “I have reviewed them with Secretary Ysursa and with the Attorney General's Office and it appears that you rinterpretation is legally defensable(sic). … The requirement to submit the petitions with certified signatures within 75 days as required by section 34-1704, Idaho Code, does include the 15 business days that the county clerk has to check signatures.” Letter here.

Question: So if the Secretary of State's Office and the Idaho Attorney General's Office agree with City Clerk Susan Weathers' interpretation …

CdA Asks McHugh To Withdraw Suit

The Coeur d'Alene City Attorney's office has asked Prosecutor Barry McHugh (pictured) to withdraw the lawsuit filed against the city on behalf of County Clerk Cliff Hayes to clarify the deadline in the attempted recall of Mayor Sandi Bloem and three City Council members. Deputy City Attorney Warren Wilson told McHugh in a three-page letter that the Secretary of State's office had backed Coeur d'Alene's position (that recallers had 75 days to complete their signature gathering including about 15 days for the county clerk to verify the signatures). “Unfortunately, Mr. Hayes has not followed the instructions from the Secretary of State's office. Instead a suit has been field against the City of Coeur d'Alene and four of its elected officials challenging the interpretation contained in Mr. Hurst's instructions. Mr. Hayes continues to disregard this instruction as a 'city opinion' and continues to insert himself into a process that, by statute, is to be administered by the City Clerk.” Letter and related information here. And here.

Question: Who do you trust more to give a proper opinion re: city recall rules — County Clerk Cliff Hayes or the Secretary of State's office?

Mercedes-Benz Still Popular

An employee of the Daimler AG mounts the Mercedes star on the hood of a car of the Mercedes-Benz E-class on the production line in the Mercedes-Benz site in Sindelfingen, Germany. Record sales of its luxury Mercedes brand and a stronger boost from financial services helped automaker Daimler increase net profit by 20 percent to euro 1.42 billion (US dollar 1.88 billion) in the first quarter, as they reported today. (AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle, File)

Question: What is the most expensive vehicle that you've owned?

Sandpoint Councilman Nabs Suspect

Justin Schuck has sat on the Sandpoint City Council for a little more than two years. But this week, he took his civil service to a new level by sitting on a suspected burglar. The Bonner County Daily Bee ( ) reports that Schuck's wife discovered a man rifling through her car on Tuesday and alerted her husband, who grabbed a shotgun to confront the man. According to a police report, the 31-year-old councilman told the man to get on the ground or risk being shot. After a brief struggle, Schuck subdued the suspected burglar by sitting on him/AP. More here.

Question: Has you home or car ever been burglarized? Do you want to tell us about it?

Press: Just Follow Rotary’s Lead

Is it possible that our community could follow the lead of the Coeur d’Alene noon Rotary Club? Among its many well informed and ultra-active citizens, you might find Rep. Kathy Sims, a recall advocate and enemy of urban renewal, sharing space and laughs with recall target Deanna Goodlander and urban renewal director Tony Berns. This is not to say that their families are planning vacations together, but in the Rotary environment, at least, they’ve found they can all pull in the same direction. Maybe the foes facing off on opposite cliffs of our political divides can, for the sake of their constituents, agree to break bread and work toward ensuring those differences are not personal. Private meetings where they can look each other in the eye and find things they agree on, things that perhaps they can build on, would minimize acrimony and maximize potential/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: I don't like the war raging in Coeur d'Alene. But I also believe that the attempt to recall our progressive mayor & half the City Council is an outrage that must be fought. Can there be peace in the community at a time like this?

County Picks Purtee For Trustee Spot

Item: Purtee named trustee: Commissioners fill vacancy on Cd'A School Board/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: After two hours of interviewing and an hour of discussion, all in front of a crowd of more than 100, the Kootenai County commissioners voted unanimously on Thursday evening to select James Purtee to fill the Zone 1 trustee seat on the Coeur d'Alene School District board. Emphasizing that any of the six applicants for the vacant seat were well qualified and could have served the district well, the commissioners noted that Purtee, owner of Jimmy's Down the Street restaurant in Coeur d'Alene, has shown repeated interest in seeking a board position and will bring decades of financial experience to the five-member board.

DFO: Commissioner Tondee raised a good point re: Purtee coming within 7 votes of winning a trustee spot in a race three years ago.

Question: How does this appointment affect the balance of power on the split Coeur d'Alene School Board?

Anderson: The Ryan Plan

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Parting Shot — 4.26.12

LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, center, holds his son while posing for photographs before the NFL football draft at Radio City Music Hall tonight in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Question: Are you following the NFL draft on television? How did your team do in the first round?

Thicket Metal Cans Or Older Hands?

On her Twitter page, SR City Editor Addy Hatch tweets: “Caller, 83, wants us to investigate whether thicker metal is used for canned goods; she's having harder time opening them. ”

Question: Are there certain food products that you find hard to open?

Beth: Love Them Graham Crackers

On her Facebook wall, Beth Bollinger lists one of the benefits “to babysitting nephews: I get the chance to remember how good Graham crackers are.”

Question: What do you like/dislike about baby-sitting relatives' kids?

Clark: Unhappy Hour At Shingles Bar

Welcome to the Shingles Bar. Unhappy Hour is about to begin. Don’t go ordering any well drinks, though. All we serve here are things like famciclovir, Valtrex and other drugs used to fight this shape-shifting scourge of a virus that – without the vaccine – will afflict 1 out of every 3 people in their lifetime. On Sunday I wrote about my own recent shingles battle that, truth be told, is still kicking my ample behind. Tuesday night, for example. I woke up three times from these pain tsunamis that flowed through the nerves in my back, around to my chest, and back again. Mark Kammers knows. “The best way to explain the pain of shingles? Imagine your chest and back are on fire and your wife is trying to be helpful by putting it out with an ice pick.” True that. I’ve done more panting lately than a Lamaze class for asthmatics/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever had shingles? Can you describe the experience?

PM Headlines — 4.26.12

This baby great horned owl is one of nine being raised by veterinarians at Washington State University after the birds' nests were destroyed. The owlets, five from one nest and four from another, are being hand-fed a diet of cut-up mice until they are strong enough to eat on their own. They must be fed three times a day. The first four were brought to the university April 13 at roughly 1 week old. Four days later, the second group arrived, at only a few days old. (AP Photo/Washington State University, Linda Weiford)

PM Scanner Traffic — 4.26.12

  • 5:49 p.m. Caller reports DUI driver in green Dodge pickup @  Rathdrum Dashco on H53 & Main.
  • 5:44 p.m. Caller reports hearing shots in woods as he walked in 6800 block of Windy Pines/CdA.
  • 5:34 p.m. Motorist reports hitting rock while avoiding cow & calf @ Boekel  & Forestdale/Rathdrum.
  • 5:18 p.m. Motorist involved in 2-vehicle noninjury crash @ H95 & Ironwood now in KMC ER lot.
  • 5:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for April 25-26 here.
  • 4:50 p.m. News release: CPD reports auto burglaries on the rise. Story here.
  • 4:45 p.m. Inattentive boater injured in Lake Coeur d'Alene crash Wednesday. Story here.
  • 4:36 p.m. 6-0, 40ish male scaring State Line WalMart customers by talking to himself & grabbing imaginery things out of the air. He's wearing multi-colored sweatshirt & walking toward Cabela's.
  • 4:31 p.m. 18MO is locked in apartment w/mother's keys @ 15764 Westwood/Rathdrum.
  • 4:07 p.m. Caller reports vandalism to property in 2700 block of Fruitland/CdA.
  • 15 more items

Fashion’s In The (Pet Food) Bag

The kitten and puppy photos adorning pet food bags now have a wider audience beyond those who buy those products or skim the ads in glossy magazines. And so do those pet food bags. When Lexi Saeger, 14, needed a project for a Future Career and Community Leaders of America competition, she found inspiration at home. “We have two cats and one dog,” she said. The recycle and redesign category caught Saeger’s eye. This individual event requires participants to apply recycling and redesign skills learned in family and consumer sciences courses and create a display using a sample of their skills. Participants must select a used fashion, home or other post-consumer item to recycle into a new product/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (Dan Pelle SR photo: Lexi Saeger is working her way toward a national competition by selling shopping bags, right, that she makes from empty pet food bags)

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being awful and 10 being perfect, how do you rate yourself as a reclycler?

Poll: Press Coverage Favors D2S

I glanced at the Coeur d'Alene Press poll that has been up for a coupla days, asking readers whether the newspaper has been fair in covering the recall. I think so. But the readers (including probably a few who are refreshing the poll a lot) say that Coeur d'Alene Press coverage has favored recall opponents 433 of 766 votes cast (57%). 218 of 666 voters (28.5%) said the coverage has been fair. 115 of 766 (15%) said the coverage has favored the Recallers.

Question: Has the Coeur d'Alene Press provided fair coverage of the recall attempt?

Semanko Welcomes Mitt’s Candidacy

“The Idaho State GOP enthusiastically welcomes Governor Mitt Romney as our Party’s presumptive nominee. Starting on March 6 when Idaho Republicans selected Governor Romney as their nominee through Idaho’s first Republican Caucus, and running through the November elections, we look forward to playing a leading role in working with Governor Romney, the Republican National Committee and other state parties around the country to secure his election. Barack Obama has taken our country and Idaho down the wrong direction and Governor Romney is the only candidate to get us back on track.   Americans and Idahoans deserve a president who is serious about creating jobs and turning around the economy. They don’t have that right now – but they will when Mitt Romney is President”/Idaho GOP Chairman Norm Semanko, from news release.


Seattle Sweeps Tigers In Detroit

Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki, of Japan, grounds out against the Detroit Tigers during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Detroit on Thursday. The Mariners beat the Tigers 5-4 earlier today to complete a three-game sweep in Detroit. Story here. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Question: The Mariners are one game above .500 after sweeping the Tigers in Detroit. Something's happenin' here. What it is ain't exactly clear. Anyone know what's going on with our M's?

HucksOnline Interviews Jimmy Farris

HucksOnline is interviewing Democratic congressional candidate Jimmy Farris (a former professional football player who played in the NFL for 8 years with San Francisco, New England, Atlanta, Washington & Jacksonville. He's wearing a huge Super Bowl ring earned during his time with New England). You can see Farris' Web site here:

Question: Is it harder to play in the NFL than it is to run for Congress as an Idaho Democrat?

Jimmy Farris: There are a lot of parallels. I was a long shot in both situations. I was definitely an underdog to make it to the NFL out of Lewiston, Idaho. I'm average size — 6 foot, 200 pounds. But so many things that I used to achieve that goal of playing in the NFL are the exact things I'm using now to run a campaign as a Democrat in a state where I'm a long shot.

  • Question: Such as what?
  • Jimmy Farris: The fundamentals. Hard work. Commitment. Dedication. Passion. And a desire to strive for something that's really important to me.
  • Question: Has any of your former coaches or colleagues contacted you about this race?
  • Jimmy Farris: I've been in regular contact with (former Washington Redskins) Coach Joe Gibbs. I've sought his advice. We talked about what he felt was important to people, characteristics and qualities that are missing from Congress. He talked about the need for people who want to do what's right and fix problems.
  • More below

Wild Card/Thursday — 4.26.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 23: I enjoyed my interview today with Jimmy Farris, who's running for the 1st Congressional District seat held by Republican Raul Labrador. Farris allowed me to hold that monstrous Super Bowl ring on his right hand, from his stint with the New England Patriots. The thing was ha-huge. Idaho Democrats need candidates like Farris to form the base for resurgence. It'll be interesting to see what becomes of him. Now to re-post your Wild Card …

IFF’s Hoffman Fires Policy Analyst

Briana LeClaire was a founding director of the board of the Idaho Freedom Foundation when it opened in 2009 as a free-market lobbying and policy shop. After a year, LeClaire left the board and for two years has been the education policy analyst for the group that advocates school choice, including private school vouchers and home, virtual and charter schools. IFF backed Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna’s “Students Come First” laws, which are subject to repeal by voters in November. IFF Executive Director Wayne Hoffman said he fired LeClaire Tuesday. “I really don’t feel it is appropriate to discuss employee matters in the press,” Hoffman said. “I will tell you that I have a duty to our donors and my board. I try to honor that duty and our donors' generosity through responsible and thoughtful management of Idaho Freedom Foundation. That means making tough decisions”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Dustin Hurst left for a job in Helena, Mont., recently and now Wayne Hoffman has fired Briana LeClaire. What's up with Idaho Freedom Foundation?

Read more here:

Comfort For Baby

Family Promise of North Idaho has delivered 250 comforters to homeless children in conjunction with its fourth-year anniversary, including one to the family of the baby above. The comforters are courtesy of  The Company Store, a 101-year old retailer of comforters and other bedding products. The mission of Family Promise of North Idaho is to “to serve homeless families with children and empower them to achieve sustainable housing.” Full news release here.

Alzheimers Diagnosis Devasting

Keeping track of hundreds of details was all in a day’s work for Amy Shives. For 27 years she served at Spokane Community College as a nursing/allied health counselor. She juggled student appointments, class schedules and financial information with ease – until suddenly it was no longer easy. Names and numbers slipped her mind. Her forgetfulness alarmed her. She thought it must be stress, or maybe she just needed a vacation. But last summer, Shives received a devastating diagnosis: early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. “I’m 54,” she said. “People look at me and say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding. You’re too young’”/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question: Has anyone in your family been affected by Alzheimer's disease?

Idaho Among Most Peaceful States

A new report ranks Idaho  in the top one-third of U.S. states when it comes to being peaceful.  The state is 16th in the Vision of Humanity 2012 U.S. Peace Index.  Idaho receives high marks for its low murder and violent crime rates, but was hurt by higher incarceration rates and gun ownership. Wyoming and Montana are ranked right after Idaho on the list.  Other Western states and their rankings include Utah (#5), Washington (#7), Oregon (#13) and Nevada (#48).  Maine is ranked the most peaceful state, while  Louisiana is the least peaceful/Boise State Public Radio. More here.

Question: Do you agree that Idaho should be considered a peaceful state?

Idaho Court Rejects Hart Tax Appeal

A unanimous Idaho Supreme Court has rejected state Rep. Phil Hart's appeal of an order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest on grounds of legislative privilege; you can read my full story here at In a seven-page opinion authored by Justice Jim Jones, the unanimous court held that the Idaho Constitution's legislative privilege clause from arrest or “civil process” during legislative sessions didn't protect Hart, or permit him to file his state tax appeal months later than anyone else would have been allowed to. “Hart's untenable argument flows from his misunderstanding of the word 'process,'” Jones wrote/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


Spokane College Prez To Head NIC

Joe Dunlap, president of Spokane Community College, will be the new president of North Idaho College. The NIC Board of Trustees announced today that it picked Dunlap to succeed Priscilla Bell, who will retire in June. Dunlap has been SCC president since 2008. Before that he was vice president of instruction at SCC (2004-08) and at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, Wash. (2002-04). He also spent four years as dean of science and industrial technology at Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon; served as founding director of the School of Aviation Sciences; and was a professor of military science at Western Michigan University/Spokesman-Review. More here.


TSA Defends Search Of Missoula 4YO

The grandmother of a Missoula 4-year-old girl who became hysterical during a security screening at a Kansas airport said Wednesday that the child was forced to undergo a pat-down after hugging her, with security agents yelling and calling the crying girl an uncooperative suspect. The incident has been garnering increasing media and online attention since the child's mother, Michelle Brademeyer of Missoula, detailed the ordeal in a public Facebook post last week. The Transportation Security Administration is defending its agents, despite new procedures aimed at reducing pat-downs of children. The child's grandmother, Lori Croft, said that Brademeyer and her daughter, Isabella, initially passed through security at the Wichita airport without incident. The girl then ran over to briefly hug Croft, who was awaiting a pat-down after tripping the alarm, and that's when TSA agents insisted the girl undergo a physical pat-down/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Isabella Brademeyer is shown as flower girl of uncle's wedding April 12)

Question: Are you comfortable that TSA is using good judgment at most times in handling searches of air passengers?

AM Headlines: Rain, Rain, Go Away

A wine cork floats in a gutter mixed as heavy rain runoff filters by at the corner of Clinton Street and Boyer Avenue in Walla Walla, Wash., today. (AP Photo/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Matthew Zimmerman Banderas)

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being awful and 10 being heavenly, how would you rate the weather that Mother Nature has provided the Inland Northwest for the first four months of the year?

AM Scanner Traffic — 4.26.12

  • 11:51 a.m. Rathdrum officer is checking suspicious white Chevy behind John Brown Elementary.
  • 11:47 a.m. Caller reports neighbor burning leaves in front yard in 1800 block of Windwood/PF.
  • 11:41 a.m. Post Falls caller in 1600 block of Cecil reports phone harassment by diabetes supplier.
  • 11:01 a.m. Motorist reports female running from semi parked on w/b I-90 @ M/P 7 (H41/PF).
  • 10:50 a.m. Manager of Medicine Man on Ironwood/CdA reports someone bumped panic alarm.
  • 11 more items below

Poll: County Suit RE: Recall OK

  • Wednesday Poll: Hucks Nation is comfortable with the lawsuit filed by County Clerk Cliff Hayes & Prosecutor Barry McHugh to clarify the deadline for the attempted recall of Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem & council members Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy. 92 of 160 respondents (57.5%) said they weren't bothered by the lawsuit. 59 of 160 respondents (36.88%) said they were bothered. 9 respondents were undecided.
  • Today's Question: Who do you want to see appointed by county commissioners to the Coeur d'Alene School Board: Christa Hazel, Duncan Koler, James Morrisroe, James Purtee, Wanda Quinn or Luke Sommer.

CdA Board Interviews Tonight

On her Facebook wall, Christa Hazel posts: “The Trustee interviews are open to the public and will be at 5 tonight in at the Kootenai County courthouse complex in rooms 1A & B (the building where DMV is located). The district had asked to move to a larger venue but due to public notice constraints, the County had to stay with this location which will seat 100. You should get there early if you are going or it will be standing room only, if you make in the door at all. Please pass it along if you know groups that are attending.”

Question: Is there someone you absolutely don't want to see appointed to the school board position?

DFO: We’re No Longer R’s Or D’s

@Arsaken … I noticed that the rally was peopled by a wide range of ages — not just old farts like me — and attracted many of the community’s movers & shakers. I consider this Stop the Recall effort all about the future of this community — what we will leave behind to your generation and your children’s generation. That so many local Republicans are involved in the attempt to stop progress is extremely bothersome. Two of them got elected to the City Council by a concentrated partisan effort by the Reagan Republicans while the community wasn’t paying attention. Here’s hoping the Stop the Recall drive boils into something that will take our community back from the ideologues who control the dominant political party. We are no longer Republicans or Democrats here. We’re for the greater good of Coeur d’Alene.

Question: Isn't it time to put the good of the community above partisan politics? And to tell your family and friends to do likewise?

Carole King Describes Life In Idaho

(Idaho singer Carole) King’s new memoir, A Natural Woman, which she has been writing for years, tells how a Queens girl was able to get in on the ground floor of Rock and Roll in the Brill Building music machine of the early 1960s and rise to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and become the multiple Grammy winner with songs like “It’s Too Late,” “I Feel The Earth Move,” and “You Got a Friend.” Remarkably, King, who always sought to protect her private life, reveals the relationships with her four husbands that were unsettling and sometimes painful. Goffin suffered mental health issues that forced King to become a single mother. Her third husband Rick Evers brought her to Idaho and, she reveals in the book, physically abused her regularly. In one of the most dramatic pages in the book King writes what she said was more difficult to acknowledge: “I stayed.” She told the story so that other women in similar circumstances can relate and perhaps find their own way out. Her gutsy introspection adds a new chapter to her pioneering life. But for Idahoans the real treat is her own story of life her/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you a Carole King fan?

Did Man Force Victim To ‘Moonwalk’?

A 30-year-old Clark Fork man is facing a felony assault charge for allegedly ordering another man to “moonwalk” at gunpoint. John Ernest Cross is charged with aggravated assault. Judge Barbara Buchanan sustained Cross’ $20,000 bail on Tuesday and ordered a public defender to represent him. Cross was also barred from contacting the alleged victim in the case. Sheriff’s deputies were summoned to Cross’ home on Mountain View Road on Monday, after receiving a report that he had been using drugs and pointed a rifle at another man while demanding that he execute the dance move. Late singer Michael Jackson popularized the moonwalk dance move, although a slew of other entertainers — from Cab Calloway and Ronnie Hawkins to David Bowie and Dick Van Dyke — have been credited for using a variation of the move/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (AP file photo of Michael Jackson's glove)

Question: Could you moonwalk on demand?

Thread: Rally Rejuvenates Spirits

A tyke at the Stop the Recall Rally models a Decline to Sign button that was among the buttons, yard signs, T-shirts, etc., provided Wednesday evening. (Photo: Stop the Recall Facebook page)

CdA Humanist: The rally was great! My wife and I attended but had to leave shortly after the speeches wrapped up so missed you DFO. We personally spoke with both Woody and Deanna and the genuine appreciation they expressed for the outpouring of community support shown in their faces and words. After feeling rather beat down by the whole recall effort, I think this rally really did help rejuvenate their spirits.

DFO: We'll use this post to start the daily generic recall thread …

Are You A Kootenai Co Republican?

I was thinking of the purity tests, the dysfunctionalism of the Kootenai County Republican Party and the new meaning of “conservative” as defined by United Conservatives of North Idaho and even Reagan Republicans. And came up with a Jeff Foxworthy -type list. You might be a Kootenai County Republican, if:

  • You think Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members targeted for recall are socialists.
  • You oppose in principle the Kroc Center, Education Corridor, Riverstone, Coeur d'Alene Library.
  • You abhor Lake City Development Corporation.
  • You know what Agenda 21 means.
  • You have no known association with a Democrat.
  • You've never voted for a Democrat, no not one.
  • You think Constitutionalists and Libertarians are Republicans.
  • You don't think President Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen.
  • You think Rep. Phil Hart has done nothing wrong.
  • You think Democrats are of the devil.

Feel free to add to the list.

GOP Leader Sues Anonymous Poster

Item: GOP leader sues anonymous commenter/Coeur d'Alene Press; And: Original HucksOnline post here

More Info: An anonymous commenter on a local blog is the target of a lawsuit filed Monday by Tina Jacobson, chair of the Kootenai County Republican Party. The suit claims a commenter using the pseudonym “almostinnocentbystander” posted libelous, defamatory statements about Jacobson in February on the Spokesman-Review's Huckleberries blog. It also alleges that several other bloggers made similar statements.

DFO: Three days after the post was made and deleted, “almostinnocentbystander” issued an apology and statement that was posted on Huckleberries Online. Click here. You can read Tina Jacobson's lawsuit here.


Burning Recall Questions Go To Court

Kootenai County wants a judge to rule how many days recall petitioners have to collect signatures in their drive to oust four Coeur d'Alene incumbents. A lawsuit filed Tuesday by Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh on behalf of Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes asks that a 1st District judge step in and clarify the “conflicting and ambiguous” statutes governing the recall process so Hayes will know how many days his office will have to certify signatures once they get there. “All it is, is to clarify. We're neutral in this thing,” Hayes said. “Coeur d'Alene had an opinion, but it didn't matter.” The suit, called a declaratory judgment petition, names RecallCdA, Frank Orzell, the city of Coeur d'Alene and the incumbents targeted by the recall, Mike Kennedy, Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mayor Sandi Bloem. McHugh said it was filed preemptively to settle the timeline dispute that arose last week after the recall was launched April 5/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Larsen To Chair Baseball Fund-raising

Here's hoping perfection repeats itself. New York Yankee pitching icon Don Larsen (shown in SR file photo), the Hayden resident best remembered for tossing a perfect game in the 1956 World Series, agreed to be the honorary chair for the fundraising drive for a new baseball stadium in Coeur d'Alene. “We are extremely pleased that Don has agreed to be the honorary chair for the fundraising campaign,” said campaign chair and baseball supporter Ron Ouren in a prepared statement announcing the position. “He is truly a legend and has been an inspiration to young men and women for many years.” The stadium, pitched to go near Cherry Hill Park on 15th Street, would be a multi-sports complex, but would primarily host baseball games, the sport Larsen played professionally for 15 years/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Will a $2.5 million baseball park, built with private donations, meet the standard of being equal or better to the American Legion Baseball field on McEuen Field?

Diamonds Cubed

Erno Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik's Cube, poses for The Associated Press with cubes at Liberty Science Center on Wednesday in Jersey City, N.J. The center will have an exhibit on the toys and will include a cube made with diamonds that is worth 2.5 million dollars. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Question: Can you solve a Rubik's Cube?

Duroc: Family Farm Isn’t Dead, Yet

Duroc (RE: Burger King pledges cage-free food): Sisyphus said on another thread that the family farm is dead. That was an overstatement - almost all of my relatives are still family farmers, and I have many friends involved in smaller-scale community-supported agriculture - but industrial agriculture is certainly running the show nowadays, and any idea of animal husbandry or wholesomeness has gone out the window in favor of economies of scale and corporate profit margins. Although that is depressing, it is not impossible (or necessarily expensive, blessed as we are to live in this area) to eat food that is grown locally using sustainable farm practices.

DFO: My niece is married to the heir of a large, family-operated dairy in central California. She's the last family tie to farms/dairies. My siblings and I were raised on several dairies.

Question: Does your family have ties to agriculture?

Paul: Feeling A Teensy Bit Superior

Paul Mathews: There is another thread that asks “What makes you feel a teensy bit superior?” Posting under my own name here does it for me. I blurked here for years before I starting posting, fairly recently, in large part because I suspected that I personally knew 90% of the conservative commenters on this blog and I thought many of their comments were utterly shameful and adolescent they would NEVER post them under their own names. I guess I was prudish, egotistical, and naive to think they might actually notice my postings, and maybe moderate, or try out posting under their own names. The postings here with respect to Mrs. Jacobson, Rep. Nonini and Councilman Kennedy have been, in particular, mean, stupid, sick and mostly un-funny — very accurately labeled “derangement syndrome” by some. Tina’s “big stick” method of bringing change will ultimately probably be as ineffectual as my feeble attempt. But really, who can blame her? The comments about her on this blog have not risen to middle-school level slurs. Cattullus you aint.

Question: Should more be done to control comments on this blog?

MikeK: Anti-Recall Turnout Heartening

MikeK: There was really an amazing turnout tonight at the Stop the Recall rally. I quit counting at about 250, and people were streaming in and out all evening. This community is stronger than the persistent negativity, and it’s the “next generation” who are taking the reins and pushing back. It was a very encouraging night and I’m energized by all the support. Stickman you looked most dashing in a great hat (and I saw you being interviewed by the TV guys). Good to see you Adam and the tons of other people. Here’s a link to a story I found on KREM’s website, but I think they might run another version of it tonight based on the amount of footage and interviews they were doing. Kudos to Jennifer and Sara who are organizing circles around all of us. I’m proud to be associated with them!

DFO: The place was jammed when I arrived around 5:50 p.m., spilling out into the sidewalk. I had to force myself through the door and throng of happy well wishers. Today, I was heartened on the way to work with a new “Decline to Sign” yard sign sprouting from the lawn of a nearby neighbor.

Question: Is it possible that the Recall has awakened a political giant?

Signe: Spoken For

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Hump Day Wild Card — 4.25.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 22: I forgot to mention that the Coeur d'Alene City Council was as divided at the 15th annual Human Rights Banquet as it is in reality. Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members Deanna Goodlander and Woody McEvers sat at one table in the far corner of the room with Councilman Ron Edinger and his new BFFs Dan Gookin and Steve Adams at an adjoining table. Each table had room for 8 people. I didn't see any of the Recall crowd their. I did see Edinger stand with the rest of the crowd of 400 plus when Mayor Sandi Bloem received a standing ovation as she was called to the podium to make an introduction. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 4.25.12

Luci Baines Johnson, daughter of Lady Bird Johnson and former President Lyndon Baines Johnson, poses for a photo at the wildflower center in Austin, Texas. Johnson will be giving $1 million to the University of Texas for a children's garden at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in southwest Austin later this month. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Ralph Barrera)

Cindy: Feeling Teensiest Bit Superior

“I admit I feel the teensiest bit superior when I remember to bring my cloth shopping bags to the grocery store” — Cindy.

Question: What makes you feel “the teensiest bit superior”?

Burger King Pledges Cage-Free Food

In a boost to animal welfare activists looking to get livestock out of cramped cages, Burger King will be the first major U.S. fast-food chain to give all of its chickens and pigs some room to roam. On Wednesday, the world's second-biggest burger chain pledged that all of its eggs and pork will come from cage-free chickens and pigs by 2017, hoping to satisfy rising consumer demand for humanely produced fare and increase its sales in the process. Other companies have made similar but less broad announcements this year, part of an industrywide shift to consider animal welfare when buying food supplies/Tracie Cone, AP. More here. (AP photo: Seth Perlman)

Question: Do you care whether or not the pork & eggs in your fast-food meal comes from cage-free pigs & chickens?

PM: Asparagus On The Rebound

Sarafin Sanchez walks through an asparagus field during harvest near Pasco, Wash. Following a decades-long downturn, U.S. asparagus growers are replanting old fields and starting new fields. See story below. (AP Photo/Shannon Dininny)

Question: Am I the only one here hopelessly devoted to asparagus?

PM Scanner Traffic — 4.25.12

  • 5:42 p.m. Motorist whose vehicle was hit by a red paintball reports juveniles shooting paintball guns at I-90 vehicles from overpass on 9th Street/CdA.
  • 5:21 p.m. Resident of 2200 block of Julia/CdA reports undisclosed theft.
  • 5:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for April 24-25 here.
  • 4:59 p.m. Female in black convertible ran light @ Lunceford & Honeysuckle & flipped off others.
  • 4:34 p.m. KCSD has identified the Rathdrum man killed in a tractor accident on Pond View Road Tuesday afternoon as Donald Scott, 75. Scott was doing excavation work when the tractor went over an embankment pinning him at about 11 a.m. He was found by family members at 4 p.m. News release here.
  • 4:33 p.m. Boater has suffered possible broken leg after hitting tree or rock near Arrow Point.
  • 4:32 p.m. Dump truck has lost 2 wheels off axle on I-90 @ M/P 2 (Pleasantview/PF).
  • 4:18 p.m. Two patients have been transported to KMC as result of Ramsey crash (4:05 item)
  • 4:17 p.m. 2YO toddler is lethargic but not seizing @ 3628 Mullan/PF.
  • 4:10 p.m. Caller reports semi tire debris b/n lanes on e/b I-90 @ M/P 1 (Pleasantview area).
  • 4:05 p.m. EMTs are doing CPR on one individual involved in two-vehicle head-on or T-bone at or near Prairie transfer station, 1558 W. Prairie. 2 pickups (Dodge & older Chevy) involved, including one that went thru fence. Female driver of one pickup appears uninjured but lying on grass.
  • 13 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

Hayes Sues To Clarify Recall Date

Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes has filed suit against the city of Coeur d'Alene and individuals involved on both sides of the recall attempt in an effort to clarify the recall deadline, now set for June 19. Hayes, through his counsel, Prosecutor Barry McHugh, wants to clarify whether the recall process, including signature verification ends on June 19. Or whether that is the date to complete signature gathering, with verification coming afterward. Named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit besides the city of Coeur d'Alene are Mayor Sandi Bloem and the three recall targets, Councilman Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy, as well as Recall CdA and recall organizer Frank Orzell. link to lawsuit here.


NIBlogs: Bad Move To Limit CityLink

Top Post: At Bay Views, Herb isn't impressed by the unanimous decision by Kootenai County commissioners to cut CityLink funding: “It would appear that the sitting County Commission hasn't shown much leadership in the unanimous decision to cut funding. The simple choice of charging a modest bus fare should have been the obvious alternative. Leave the subsidized runs to Worley alone, but charge a buck a ride elsewhere. With the added income,  the service could actually expand.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday): 11,299/6229, and (for Monday): 10,417/5807

Richert: Strange Election Day Cometh

If you wanted a recipe for a weird, volatile election, you’d cook up something like the upcoming May 15 primaries. I’ve been following Idaho politics for more than a quarter century, and this is as unpredictable an election as I’ve ever seen. Let’s take inventory of the X-factors — and why they could make for a low-turnout, high-turbulence election:

  • New rules
  • New polling places
  • A dull top of the ticket
  • New faces, open races
  • New boundaries
  • A short election season
  • Emotional issues

Full explanation here

Question: Predict the strangest thing that'll happen in the spring primaries?

Read more here:

Stop The Recall Rally At 5 PM Today

At Hudson's Hamburgers grill, employees Tessa Weston and Kenny McAnally provide their thoughts about the attempted overthrow of Coeur d'Alene city government via recall by wearing “Decline to Sign” buttons. The Stop the Recall movement will stage a rally from 5 to 7 p.m. at 104 N4th St. in downtown Coeur d'Alene in support of recall targets: Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy.

Question: Do you plan to attend the rally?

GOP Chair Sues Commenter

Kootenai County GOP Central Committee Chairman Tina Jacobson has filed a lawsuit against a Huckleberries Online commenter who goes by the pseudonym “almostinnocentbystander.” Jacobson's lawsuit names as defendant “John Doe” and/or “Jane Doe.” The Spokesman-Review is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Jacobson is claiming that the anonymous commenter “committed a tort of libel by publishing, via the internet, a malicious defamation” on Huckleberries Online about Jacobson during the visit of GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum to Coeur d'Alene in mid-February. According to the lawsuit, “almostinnocentbystander,” had commented at Huckleberries Online that “there was $10,000 missing from the Republican Central Committee funds and that the missing funds were hidden on the person of Mrs. Jacobson.” The suit goes on to say that Huckleberries blogger D.F. Oliveria removed the comment. The complaint adds that Oliveria and the Spokesman-Review refused to provide the identity of the commenter to Jacobson. The lawsuit seeks damages  from the anonymous poster for alleged libel and an injunction to prevent future acts of libel.  It is expected that, as part of the litigation, the plaintiff will seek to learn the identity of the anonymous poster. You can read the complaint for yourself here.

News Quiz Offers Gift Card, Tickets

If you know something about the Titanic, the Buffett rule, Dick Clark and space shuttles, you might do pretty well on this week's That's News to You Quiz — and win a $50 gift certificate to the Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane. Of course, if you don't know nothin about nothin and finish the quiz 0-fo- 10, you still could win a couple of movie tickets. The quiz is at

  • Leaderboard: 4 of the top 25 names on the leaderboard are from Huckleberries Online: KCres, Eddie Torreal, Duffer and Lolo.

Viks, Skyline Set For Dream Game

The Coeur d’Alene football team’s 2012 schedule already was going to be the toughest in school history. Now it’s been amped up another notch. It will be a clash of the Idaho and Washington big-school state champions when the Skyline Spartans of Sammamish take on the Coeur d’Alene Vikings as part of a quadrupleheader at the Kibbie Dome on Sept. 15. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. Skyline originally was scheduled to play host to Manatee of Bradenton, Fla., in a matchup between two of the nation’s top quarterbacks. But the game was scrapped when the marketing company that helped arrange the game couldn’t afford to fly Manatee to Washington. CdA athletic director Todd Gilkey received an email from Skyline’s administration Wednesday confirming it planned to play CdA pending final approval from its school board. Skyline is led by senior-to-be, 6-foot-5 Max Browne, who has given an oral commitment to the University of Southern California. Browne is rated the nation’s No. 2 recruit/Greg Lee, SR.

Question: Do you think you might see this dream matchup between the 2011 Idaho & Washington state high school champion football teams?


Carter ‘Comfortable’ With Romney

Former President Jimmy Carter said he expects President Obama to win reelection, but Mitt Romney would be his top choice on the Republican side. “I think of all the Republican candidates who are prominent, I think Romney would be the one I would rather see have a slight possibility to be president,” on MSNBC's “Jansing & Co” in an interview that aired Wednesday. When pressed on whether he would be “comfortable” with a Romney presidency, Carter responded, “I would rather have a Democrat, but I would be comfortable.” “I think Romney has shown in his past, in his previous years as a moderate, a progressive that he was fairly competent as a governor and also running the Olympics. As you know, he has a good solid family,” Carter said/The Hill. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Are you ready for the cage match between President Barack Obama & Mitt Romney? Who wins?

Lake CdA No. 9 For Bass Fishing

Bass fishing at Lake Coeur d'Alene is getting national attention this week as the North Idaho lake was listed No. 9 in Bassmaster magazine's list of the top 100 bass fishing lakes in the United States. Only seven Northwest waters made the list determined by a panel of professional anglers and fishing writers. The Columbia River is ranked No. 20/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors. More here.

Question: Where do you like to fish in Inland Northwest? What type of fish are you after?

Bride Who Faked Cancer Indicted

Jessica Vega signs papers as her attorney Jeremiah Flaherty, looks on, at Orange County Court in Goshen, N.Y. earlier today. An Orange County Grand jury has indicted Vega, 25, with grand larceny and scheme to defraud. According to the indictment, Vega accepted thousands of dollars in donated services and goods after claiming in 2010 that she was dying of leukemia. Vega faked cancer to provide money for her dream wedding. Story here. (AP Photo/Times Herald-Record, Tom Bushey)

Question: Have we put so much emphasis on large, dream weddings (“Say Yes to the Dress”), that we've lost all sense of the meaning of the wedding and marriage beyond?

AM Scanner Traffic — 4.25.12

  • Noonish: Female in black VW w/Oregon plates broken down @ I-90 & M/P 15/CdA.
  • Noonish: Jiffy Stop @ 502 Appleway/CdA reports vandalism to property.
  • Noonish: KCSDeputy is checking flooding issues on Coeur d'Alene River in the Cataldo area.
  • 11:25 a.m. CPD officers are looking for 49YO man named Isaac, described at 5-10, 170lbs and having a short beard, who may be driving a 1986 Nissan pickup & was last seen Saturday.
  • 11:14 a.m. Female driver of w/b Camero ran motorist off road @ H53 & H41/Rathdrum interchange.
  • 11:10 a.m. Flatbed truck hit & left Freightliner semi at Flying J truck stop 5 minutes ago.
  • 11:09 a.m. A white dump truck, parked wrong way is blocking Ferndale & Lancaster/Hayden.
  • 10 more items below

Few GOP Women In Idaho Legislature

Twice over the past week, area Republican women have hosted forums for candidates in legislative and sheriffs races: The Magic Valley Republican Women at Clear Lake Country Club last Wednesday, and the Twin Falls Republican Women at the Turf Club on Monday. And while there were plenty of women involved, there is only one female Republican candidate in south-central Idaho: incumbent Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome. That solidly lines up with the rest of Idaho’s lawmakers. In the 2012 legislative session, the Senate had six Republican women, and the House had 12. Women made up just 21 percent of the Republican legislators, while 55 percent of Democrat legislators were women. But don’t think women aren’t active in the Republican party/Melissa Davlin, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Why do few GOP women serve in the Legislature when they do a lot of the heavy lifting?

AM Headlines — 4.25.12

Andrea Berndt, Wishing Star Foundation volunteer for the sixth annual “Send a Friend a Goat,” snuggles with Joey, a 1-month-old Alpine dairy goat, as they wait for the arrival of Boy Scouts of America Executive Tim McCandless at the Inland Northwest Council headquarters Tuesday in Spokane. Volunteer teams are delivering baby goats to members of the Spokane community for a $50 donation to Wishing Star. The recipient is then asked to donate to remove the goat. Wishing Star is even offering “goat insurance” to prevent a surprise visit. The fundraiser runs through Friday. (AP photo)

Cindy: Best Thing About Texting

“The best thing about texting is it enables you to torture friends who are in meetings. Just txd “I'm still in my jammies and you are not!”” — Cindy via Twitter.

Question: What do you think is the best thing about texting?

Hucks Poll: Adams’ Fed Stand Wrong

  • Tuesday Poll: Hucks Nation sez Coeur d'Alene Councilman Steve Adams is wrong to automatically vote against all projects involving federal dollars. 217 of 272 respondents (79.78%) said Adams is dead wrong to take that knee-jerk stand. 53 of 272 respondents (19.49%) said he's right. 2 were undecided.
  • Appendix Poll: 76 of 101 respondents (75.25%) said they still have their appendix. 25 of 101 (24.75%) said they don't.
  • Today's Question: Are you concerned that the county clerk and county prosecutor are suing the city of Coeur d'Alene to clarify the recall deadline date.

Thread: Anti-Recallers To Rally Today

Here's Sara Meyer, left, and Jennifer Drake as they appeared on Joe & Kerri's KVNI/ESPN 1080 morning show, discussing the Stop the Recall effort. HucksOnline won't be able to provide audio of that interview. Sara, Jennifer and Stop the Recall will be staging a rally from 5 to 7 p.m. today at 107 N4th in downtown Coeur d'Alene. Buttons, T-shirts, yard signs, etc., will be available at the rally.

Carlson: Cry, Beloved Idaho

Occasionally politics gives rise to an all-encompassing phrase that means more than the words themselves. During the mid-1950’s Senate hearings on the excesses of Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting rhetoric the committee counsel asked a memorable question: “Have you no decency, Senator? It was and remains a classic rhetorical question, one which answers itself. In the wake of a recent report people who care about this state and its future should be asking Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter the same question. More pointedly, they should be asking the governor, as well as State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, whether each honestly believes he is upholding their oath of office. For those that do care about Idaho’s future–its children and their education, the evidence is overwhelmingly clear a convincing case can be made both could be charged with “dereliction of duty” and violation of their oaths/Chris Carlson, St. Maries Gazette Record. More here.

Question: Will the referendums against the so-called Luna/Otter education “reforms” pass this November?

County Votes To Cut Citylink Funding

Responding to mounting financial pressure, the Kootenai County commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve reductions to Citylink transit service, which include shortening the hours the free bus system runs, scrapping a route to Stateline, and eliminating paratransit service for more than 40 disabled riders. “This is not the motion I want to make, but it's the motion I have to make, with the options presented to us,” said Commissioner Dan Green before the vote at the officials' weekly business meeting at the administration building. Reflecting on a public hearing from last week, Commissioner Todd Tondee agreed that dropping services was the only choice, without any other obvious funding sources to maintain services as they are now. … The Coeur d'Alene Tribe has long bore the brunt of funding the transit service, which cost $1.9 million in its costliest year and has slid to about $1.7 million, said Christine Fueston, county Federal Transit Administration grant administrator, on Tuesday/Alecia Warren, CdA Press. More here. (SR file photo: A rider hops on a Citylink bus Friday at the corner of Seltice Way and McGuire Road in Post Falls)

Question: Do you or someone you know depend on Citylink for public transportation?

Obama Rule Targets Farm Youth Work

A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members of Congress. But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves. The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child-labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land. Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.” “Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions”/The Daily Caller. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: I began working on my uncle's cattle ranch when I was 14, bucking hay, driving tractor, helping to dehorn bovine. I learned my work ethic this way. I consider this rule absurd. How about you?

Edit: Grand Gesture Comes But Once

Gary and Janet Benoit accomplished something truly remarkable last week, both on behalf of their slain daughter, Katy, and young women who follow her at the University of Idaho. The Benoits closed the books on their $3 million tort claim against the UI. And unlike so many high-profile lawsuits, this one did not contain a nondisclosure clause. You know how much the Benoits are accepting - $375,000. You know the source - $25,000 from the university and $350,000 from the state Office of Risk Management. And you know how it's being allocated - a memorial fund in Katy Benoit's name to benefit several charities. None of it is going to the plaintiffs. Even the most jaded observer of the legal system can't avoid being impressed. It's common to hear plaintiffs talk about taking a big institution to task on a matter of principle, but all too rare to see someone actually follow through/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (AP file photo: Katy Benoit's mother Janet, center, hugs a friend before their daughter's memorial service last August. Gary Benoit, Katy's father, is at left)

Question: What do you make of the Benoits' decision to give away settlement money from lawsuit involving the murder of their daughter at the University of Idaho?

Obama: Romney Can’t Shake Views

In this magazine cover image released by Rolling Stone, President Barack Obama is seen on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine that hits newsstands on Friday. Obama told the magazine that Mitt Romney can't discard the conservative views he embraced as a candidate. More here. (AP Photo/Rolling Stone)

Question: Do you think Mitt Romney is a true conservative?

JohnA: Spencer Selling His Soul

JohnA: Spencer seems to be selling his soul to be elected. It won’t work, of course, because reasonable people get tired of looking at negative ads all day long and want real, viable reasons to eject an incumbent who’s done well in office. When there are no viable reasons to eject the encumbent it becomes clear that negativity is not the right way either. I truly believe if Spencer wants to connect with electors he should focus on his own agenda and not degrade that of his opponent. A positive candidate will always be able to sell himself to a public willing and wanting to hear good things about that person. I hope Spencer grasps that concept and promotes himself, without denegrating his opponents.

Question: Does negative campaigning work?

OfCoffee: Don’t Worry Re: Recall Suit

OfCoffee (RE: Huckleberries hears … that Cliff Hayes & Barry McHugh will sue Coeur d'Alene over recall date): I visited with Barry yesterday. The suit is not designed to take sides - it is simply forcing a court decision on the 15 days in question. The SOS decision was not “solid” and was worded to the effect of “you have a defensible position” which means the other side also has a “defensible position.” It’s better to get a judgement now than it is to wait until the 15 days starts and then have the Recall group sue at that point. Barry’s suit protects Cliff and Susan from last minute challenges. And (if I may pontificate) this is where the magic of this blog breaks down. People begin throwing judgements and opinions around before getting the real facts. DFO - I’m sure if you would have called Barry to get the details, you would have saved yourself some angst.

DFO: Didn't get my tip until after closing time last night. But you can imagine how the anti-recall side would be suspicious of a move by the county to become involved in the recall.


TBT: Where Do You Stand, Spencer?

TruthBTold: Well Mr. Spencer the county commissioners will be deciding who the 5th person on the the CDA School Board will be. How would you vote if you were there? Would you vote for the experienced one? Or would you go with the extreme party person that will bring contention and chaos to the School District? How about going with a compassionate moderate? When did compromise become a bad thing? Will you help to maintain the leadership that has brought some of the most successful test scores in the state or will you go with a party view that wants to “cut taxes” at the expense of the education of thousands of young people in this county. Tell me Mr. Spencer because I am about to cast my vote and I have children in this district. Do you support the teachers that are the backbone of the student’s success or go with a bunch of self-centered, single-minded people that don’t know a marxist from a socialist or Reagan from Clinton? Mr. Spencer where do you stand?

Question: Who should Kootenai County commissioners pick to replace the vacancy created by the judicial ouster of Trustee Wanda Quinn?

Ramirez: The Safety Net

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Wild Card/Tuesday — 4.24.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 21: The Souza-Sims-Culbreth-Orzell Recallers wouldn't have enjoyed that spontaneous standing ovation from 400-plus people given to Mayor Sandi Bloem when she was introduced at the 15th annual Human Rights Banquet Monday night. At it lasted for awhile. 'Twas nice to spend 3-plus hours with people of goodwill like Tony Stewart, Norm Gissel and Marshall Mend — and listening to a message of hope from guest speaker Jianli Yang, a Chinese dissident imprisoned for five years for his stand. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 4.24.12

“It's just beautiful,” said Lena Walker as she planted petunias in the front yard of her home in Coeur d'Alene on Monday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Huckleberries Hears …

… That Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes and Prosecutor Barry McHugh are filing suit against the city of Coeur d'Alene to get a judge's interpretation on the deadline for signatures for the Coeur d'Alene Recall election. As you know, City Clerk Susan Weathers has interpreted the June 19 deadline for the recallers to get about 4,300 signatures to include about 15 days necessary for the clerk's office to count the signatures. RecallCDA believes the 15 days for counting signatures extend beyond the June 19 deadline. Weathers' opinion has been upheld by the Secretary of State's office. Each of the individuals targeted for the recall election are named in the suit.


PM Scanner Traffic — 4.24.12

  • 5:51 p.m. 2 males are threatening to shoot each other @ Valley & Meadow/Athol.
  • 5:37 p.m. Sean wants to see officer re: reckless driving on Tombstone Street/Rathdrum.
  • 5:31 p.m. Firefighters are checking out smoke complaint from Rice Road/Rathdrum.
  • 5:06 p.m. 14YO boy is cussing parents & out of control on Windrose Court/PF.
  • 5:02 p.m. Mother couldn't find 8YO boy when she arrived to pick him up at Ponderosa School/PF. (Update: Boy found at home at 5:12 p.m.)
  • 4:54 p.m. Drunk male in red Camero making threats @ Flying J Truck Stop on 5th/PF.
  • 4:22 p.m. Caller from 1600 block of 7th/CdA reports finding 3YO girl wandering by herself.
  • 4:18 p.m. Male has been stuck under a tractor since 11 a.m. & is may be deceased @ Pond View Road & Church/Rathdrum.
  • 4:01 p.m. Resident @ 8519 Salmonberry Loop/Hayden reports female driver in Jeep backed over mailbox & drove off.
  • 14 items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM Headlines — 4.24.12

“I've got chemistry in 45 minutes,” said Richard LeMieux, of Hayden, while taking a break from classes at North Idaho College College in Coeur d'Alene on Tuesday. He took advantage of the warm weather and napped at NIC Beach. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Name That Lizard

On her Facebook page, Kerri Thoreson posts: “Spent some time basking in the sun like a lizard on a rock at Corbin Park this afternoon. First time ever I've actually seen a lizard on a rock at that park. It had legs and a tail but looked more like a snake. Anyone?”

River Reaches Flood Stage

With the recent warm weather and the rain fall that is forecasted for later this week, the Coeur d' Alene River at Cataldo is currently over flood stage and is expected to remain over flood stage until approximately Sunday.  The current reading, as of 2:40 p.m., at the gauge in Cataldo is 44.29 feet.  Flood level at Cataldo is 43 feet. In addition to the Coeur d' Alene River, Lake Coeur d' Alene is predicted to reach flood stage Friday and remain over flood stage until approximately May 4.  Currently Lake Coeur d' Alene is showing to be at 2130.45 feet as of 1:30 p.m.  Flood stage on Lake Coeur d' Alene is 2133 feet and the normal summer lever of the lake is 2128 feet.  The National Weather Service is predicting that Lake Coeur d' Alene will peak at approx. 2135 feet.  These readings were collected from The National Weather Service at the following web site: And: More here.

Area Woman Sheds 500 Pounds

Barb Beck wrote a list of 1,703 things she couldn’t do – things she “lost,” she said – because she was too fat. They were measures of obesity’s toll on every aspect of her life, including her basic dignity: Sit on chairs with arms. Do a somersault. Ride the rides at amusement parks. Buy regular clothes at regular stores, rather than ordering size 9X garments online. Clean herself after using the bathroom. Beck’s heaviest recorded weight was 753 pounds. Today, Beck has crossed 1,703 items off that list. Saturday, she’ll spearhead Spokane’s first Walk From Obesity, an event at Spokane Community College with several goals: to raise money for obesity research and education; to combat the stigma associated with obesity; and to advocate for improved treatment of obesity. She’ll do it minus a lot of baggage/Adrian Rogers, SR. More here.

DFO: Several years ago, I literally walked off 30 pounds — and kept it off, more or less. I've thought about dropping another 5 to 10 pounds. But Mrs. O sez she likes me just the way I am.

Question: Have you ever lost a considerable amount of weight & kept it off?

Cindy: Get It In Gear, Kid

I tip my cap to Sidekick Cindy as being one of the funniest women I know. I usually smile at her comments on Facebook, Twitter and here. But she made me bust out laughing with this one:  “It's that time of year when I write about the area's outstanding high school seniors. Kids who've overcome the death of a parent, unstable home lives, immigration to a new country, kids who've written software or organized parades etc. In short, the time of year when I look at my sons and say, “What the heck is the matter with you!?” My kids hate this time of year.

Question: Do you know a kid who has accomplished a lot?

2 Sentenced In Chillers Cocaine Case

A Coeur d'Alene man involved in a large cocaine distribution ring that was based in part out of a Sherman Avenue bar has been sentenced to four years in prison. Christopher McFarland, 49, also is to be on probation for five years and has forfeited his ownership interest in the bar. McFarland worked with James Roy “Slim” O'Neill, who was sentenced in April 2011 to 15 years in prison. O'Neill's wife, Lecia Donita O'Neill, 46, also was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in prison, followed by ten months of home confinement and eight years of probation.  The sentencings in U.S. District Court close a case that began with arrests in May 2010/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More including photos of individuals sentenced here.


A Kiss For Luck

Russian model Irina Shayk at the launch of the Intimissimi Perfect Bra Collection, at a venue in central London on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Yui Mok, PA)

Question: Have you ever wanted to tell someone to kiss off?

Cemetery Misplaces Woman’s Father

Luanne Melior has to believe her father is still resting beneath the giant maple tree at Riverview Cemetery. She couldn't imagine it any other way. The tree marked the peaceful spot her family chose in 2002 when they buried the cremated remains of her father, Dara Brown Warren. “I just knew he'd be happy under there,” Luanne Melior said. But when Luanne and her husband, Pat, visited the site one week ago, they couldn't find his gravestone. Someone else was buried in the plot they thought they had purchased. Only after an hour of searching did they find Warren's headstone - around 100 feet away. “It's kind of upsetting when you look for your father and he's not there,” Luanne said. And that wasn't the worst part. City officials now think they've lost the remains of Dara Brown Warren/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Would you be happy if a cemetery misplaced your mom or dad's cremains?

Company Recruitment Vital, But …

It takes three years to recruit a company to North Idaho. That’s what Steve Griffitts says, and he should know. Since August 2003, Griffitts has directed Jobs Plus, Inc., the region’s public-private economic development agency, bringing dozens of companies, hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in payroll and property taxes along the way. So it takes roughly three years to land a company. But to lose one? That can happen seemingly overnight. When the threat looms, Griffitts quickly rallies an army to his side and together, they do whatever they can to restore order on the region’s economic battle front. They know that sometimes, a solid defense is even more important than a good offense/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Jesse Tinsley 2008 SR file photo of Ron Nilson, center, and Steve Griffitts, right)

Question: How important has Jobs Plus been to Kootenai County/North Idaho?

John Green Denounces ‘Big Fat Lies!’

Earlier today, Kootenai County sheriff's candidate John Green posted on his Web site that he's not going to clean house at KCSD, if he wins Rocky Watson's seat. Quoth Green: “Well, the opposition forces are obviously getting desperate. They are floating a few rumors that I want to address for what they are — Big Fat Lies!” Green said he plans to “re-organize” KCSD, if elected, not clean house. Also, he said he wouldn't propose cutting deputy pay or make jail deputies into civilian jailers. Finally, he defends his law enforcement credentials, despite being an attorney since 1993. You can read the full post here on his Facebook page. (Phantom Photographer photo from recent Post Falls Pachyderm Club luncheon: Jack Schroeder, John Green & Marc Eberlein)

Question: Do you consider John Green qualified to be Kootenai County sheriff?

Clerk Warns Recall Bloggers, Posters

County Clerk Cliff Hayes is cautioning citizens to be aware of the law regarding petitions for the proposed recall of City of Coeur d’Alene city officials. “Several actions being discussed on some of the blogs about this issue are felony offenses,” Hayes said, in a prepared statement. Hayes warns that citizens are at risk of committing a felony if:

  • They make any statements re: the recall that are untrue in an effort to gain signatures for the recall.
  • They make an untrue statement in an affidavit about the recall.
  • They obtain petition signatures under false pretenses.
  • They intimidate others to take any action they do not wish to take.
  • They extort or bribe any citizen or business to be for or against the petition effort.
  • They hinder or threaten others who may want to sign the petitions.
  • They sign a petition without being a registered voter in Coeur d’Alene.
  • They sign a petition using a fictitious name, or any name other than their own legal name.
  • They sign the same recall petition more than once.

The complete Idaho statute is online and can be viewed here: Prohibited recall election acts


High Noon: Not Bugged Too Much

There's something people do here that those in certain other parts of the country simply do not do. I'm speaking, of course, of standing under the front porch light after dark with the door held open. In parts of the U.S., that would invite an insect invasion of biblical proportions. People inside the home would see the person standing in the doorway and begin shouting “Close the door!” or “In or out!” or “Sweet Mother Nature, we're doomed!” Oh, sure. It's possible in Spokane to have bugs fly in through an open door. Happens all the time. But our insect density is a lower order of magnitude than in the Midwest, the Northeast or the South/Paul Turner, The Slice. More here. (Orkin/AP file photo of a mosquito)

DFO: Junior lives in Florida, where a night light attracts all kinds of flying, hopping & crawling things. That's why he has a screened in porch to enjoy the night relief from humid days. Beyond the night light, the screen teems with creepy crawlies during much of the year.

Question: How about you. Do you prefer the relatively bugless Inland Northwest from your former place of residency?

Recall Thread: Hudson’s Takes Stand

Hudson's Hamburgers is among the businesses that have taken a stand against the attempted recall of Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy. The old, respected downtown Coeur d'Alene business recently put a sign in the window stating the stand.

DFO: I'm going to use this post for a thread about generic Recall comments and information, as requested by several of my regular commenters who are tired of the recall information dominating everything. I retain the right to post separate threads if I consider the information compelling.

Question: Will it help or hurt business for downtown shops like Hudson's & Java on Fourth to take stands against the attempted overthrow of city government?

AM Scanner Traffic — 4.24.12

  • 11:46 a.m. Caller reports unnamed suspicious activity @ 1424 Sherman Ave/downtown CdA.
  • 11:35 a.m. Judith reports dog bite from Sunday @ Ramsey & Scarcello/Garwood.
  • 11:33 a.m. Steve from a coffee hut @ 7925 Ramsey/Hayden reports a hit-and-run crash.
  • 11:10 a.m. Post Falls gets I-90 BOSS hit on stolen front plate on red 2006 Dodge Ram pickup.
  • 11:02 a.m. Caller reports a transient camp at Education Corridor, Hubbard & Academic/CdA.
  • 14 items below

Huckleberries Hears …

… Former Kootenai County Republican Central Committee chairwoman Donna Montgomery got a fine howdy-do at the United Conservatives of North Idaho in Rathdrum Monday night. According to a Berry Picker, Donna arrived with her husband, Monty, early for the candidates forum (of Bob Pedersen's anointed uberconservatives). For those keeping score at home, Donna not only headed the local Republicans at one time, but held a state GOP position as well as started three local Republican clubs. She has sterling GOP pedigree. But that wasn't enough for those attending a precinct committee workshop at the Golden Spike. Donna reportedly was asked by one of Pedersen's troops whether she had an invitation to be at the precinct committee meeting. When Donna said no, she was told to leave. Can you feel the love?


Appendix Removal Sticker Shock

What do hospitals charge to remove an appendix? The startling answer is that it could be the same as the price of a refrigerator — or a house. It’s a common, straightforward operation, so you might expect charges to be similar no matter where the surgery takes place. Yet a California study found huge differences in patients’ bills — from $1,500 to $180,000, with an average of $33,000. The researchers and other experts say that the results aren’t unique to California and that they illustrate a broken system/Lindsey Tanner, AP. More here.

Question: Do you still have you appendix?

Read more here:

AM Headlines - 4.24.12

Mike McWain, of Pasco, poses for photos of his tattoos of baseball legends, in Kennewick, Wash. The 39-year-old nuclear operator and union steward at Hanford admits his obsession with baseball is more about its history than the game itself. Story here. (AP Photo/The Tri-City Herald, Kai-Huei Yau)

Sho-Con: Comparing Spencer, Rankin

Shoshone Conservative asks a good question re: Larry Spencer & the late Ron Rankin: “Well, in all fairness, wasn’t Ron Rankin originally considered a gadfly (and perennial candidate), who wasn’t taken very seriously? I’ll admit most of his political activities were before I came to the area, but that’s what I’ve heard. Perhaps someone who knew him better can correct me if I’m wrong.”

Question: Anyone seek similarities/differences between Spencer & Rankin?

School District Picks Top Pencil Pusher

The Coeur d’Alene School District is pleased to announce the hiring of Wendell Wardell as the district’s Chief Operating Officer.  Wardell’s first day with the district will be May 31. Wendell Wardell brings over forty years of financial and executive-level management experience to his new position.  “We are thrilled to have found a person who has the depth and breadth of experience in both the private and public sector to bring a fresh set of eyes to the finance and operations of the district,” stated Hazel Bauman, Superintendent. Wardell has served as the Business and Finance Manager of the Community Library Network in North Idaho for the past twelve years.  Prior professional experience includes President/CEO of Bromar Arizona and Montana, a food brokerage company, and service in the United States Air Force/Laura Rumpler, Coeur d'Alene School District. More here.


Gingrich To Reassess Campaign

Jackie Gingrich Cushman, left, sits with her father, Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista in Birmingham, Ala. Gingrich's daughter says the former House speaker will “reassess” his campaign after the votes are tallied in Delaware, potentially setting the stage for his exit from the Republican presidential race. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Question: What did Gingrich accomplish in his run for presidential office?

Edit: Time To End War On Drugs

In 1971, then-President Richard M. Nixon declared the so-called War on Drugs on both the international and domestic fronts. Forty-one years later, that war drags on with little to show for the effort besides billions of dollars in the debit column. It's time for federal and state authorities to admit the War on Drugs is lost and redirect scarce dollars to programs that have a chance of curbing drug use in this country.The trade in illegal drugs is extremely lucrative at a number of levels from smuggling them into the U.S. to selling them on the street. The relatively easy money is a great inducement.The quantities of seized drugs is a small percentage of those that reach our neighborhoods.When a dealer goes down, there's usually another ready to take his place/Murf Raquet, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More to come.

Question: Do you agree that the war on drugs has accomplished little?

Woody Uses ‘Bitchin’ In A Nice Way

I was listening to Joe Paisley's morning show on KVNI/ESPN 1080 today when I recognized a familiar voice, that of Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Woody McEvers. Actually, I recognized a word from back in the day before I figured out Woody was the one being interviewed: “bitchin'.” He was using it in the 1960s sense. He called the expanded Government Way being reconstructed from Dalton to Hanley — a project that, take note Councilman Steve Adams, uses federal funding — as “bitchin'.” As in very nice. Not griping. I hadn't heard that word used in this context in decades. So I thought I hadn't heard Woody correctly. But he used the word again later in his interview. I still use the word “cool,” which probably dates back to the '50s.

Question: Do you use words from your teen years that are outdated today?

College Grads Find Tough Job Market

The college graduating class of 2012 is in for a rude awakening as they head out into the workforce. According to a new study out of Northeastern University, half of all college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. No student is immune either, because at Gonzaga University there are plenty of soon-to-be graduates who cannot seem to find a job. “I'm not really sure what I'm doing yet,” Alex Bozman said. Bozman is a history major at Gonzaga who is having a hard time snagging her first professional job. Not surprising when the government projects a history major is one of five degrees that are least likely to land you a dream job/Colleen O'Brien, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo)

Question: Do you know of college grads who are having a difficult time finding decent jobs?

Spencer Writes Letter To Employees

Larry Spencer has written an open letter to Kootenai County employees: “I will start this letter with a confession of sorts. As I have been actively campaigning, I did not conduct a thorough examination of the pay scale and classification issue that is causing a great deal of alarm about what your pay is, or may become after the dust settles. When I was made aware of the issues by a concerned county employee, I was a bit shocked. While I am a strong fiscal conservative, there is a difference between holding wages as they are, as opposed to capping the possibility of a future raise or advancement, or even hitting employees with arbitrary pay cuts. As a county, we need to value employees, and treat them with respect. … How can we expect county employees to not look elsewhere for opportunities when we haphazardly start looking at cutting their ability to provide for their family?” More here.

Question: Is Spencer being sincere? Or simply trying to win votes from a group not aligned with him?

Nation’s Top Teacher Meets Obama

The 2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki, who teaches at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, Calif., stands on stage during a ceremony with President Barack Obama in the East Room at the White House in Washington today. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Question: Can you describe how a teacher made a big impact in your life?

Trib: Risch Left A Mess Behind

Before he got elected to the U.S. Senate, Jim Risch served a few months as Idaho governor. Lieutenant governor at the time, Risch rose to the job in mid-2006 when Dirk Kempthorne got the nod to serve as President George W. Bush's interior secretary. Risch could have left well enough alone. Instead, he called a one-day special session of the Idaho Legislature. Then he imposed his will. But you already know that. Before it was over, Risch had passed a supremely consequential tax change. Rather than pay $260 million in property taxes to help schools, the governor grafted public education maintenance and operation support entirely onto the general fund. To pay for it, he backed a penny increase in the sales tax, then worth about $210 million/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: The editorial goes on to say that the Risch plan destabilized school funding and failed to maintain the property tax cut because school districts now use levies to balance the budget. Would you like to see a do-over on this one?

County OKs Silverwood Rezoning

The Kootenai County commissioners voted unanimously after a public hearing on Thursday to approve Silverwood Theme Park's request to rezone more than 400 acres in the park from rural to commercial. The commissioners agreed the rezone is necessary for the acreage, most in a triangular shaped area beside the train ride and water park, to conform with the largely commercial zoning across the rest of the theme park. “I'm not sure how we got to some of the uses, but it is there,” said Commissioner Dan Green of the mismatched zoning in the midst of the park. “I'm not a proponent of just because something's there, we condone it.” Commissioner Todd Tondee supported how the rezone would allow Silverwood to eventually pursue more attractions or other projects on the roughly 413 acres, if needed/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: How often do you go to Silverwood in a given year?

Duroc: Stop All Recall All The Time

Duroc: I understand that the recall issue is a big deal, and it deserves prominent attention on HBO. But what about some balance? How many weeks do we have to beat a dead horse? Anyhow, I’m down to checking HBO twice a day, just to browse the AM and PM headlines. I used to always read the “latest comments” thread, but I’m no longer bothering with that since it’s just the same group of people saying the same things about the recall. And Darth_Maul is annoying enough to make it very easy to not bother reading ANY of the comments on HBO for the foreseeable future. I’ll just pop in once a day, browse the headlines, and leave. Someone wake me up when the recall nonsense is over. I hope Mad Mary and her minions fail to get enough signatures by the deadline (not that it will make the crybabies shut up, unfortunately).

DFO: I made 34 posts Monday. 28 of them were not about the recall. That means 82% were not about the recall. Those of you who are complaining about All Recall All The Time simply aren't paying attention to the numerous topics that I posted that didn't relate to You Know What. BTW, a lot of those good topics had no comments under them. Bottom line, per usual. If you don't like one topic, go onto the next.

Question: Too much recall news? Too little? Just right?

Anderson: Off The Road

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Monday — 4.23.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 20: I'll be joining the Spokesman-Review publisher and editor among others at a table for 8 tonight for the 15th annual Human Rights Banquet at the Coeur d'Alene Inn. It's always nice to hobnob with Tony Stewart, Norm Gissel, Marshall Mend and other long-time leaders of the local human rights movement that brought down the Aryan Nations. It's always sad, however, that Bill Wassmuth left this mortal coil much too soon. Now for your first Wild Card of the work week …

Parting Shot — 4.23.12

Here's another of Pecky Cox's photos of the Priest River area Logger Days at Nordman over the weekend. Dunno exactly what the guy's goal is above. But his hat just went south. More photos here.

Question: Have you ever logged for money?

Mary: Dunno Darth Maul From Vader

OrangeTV: I received this email from Mary Souza re: Darth Maul. “I don’t read HBO anymore and have absolutely no idea who Darth Maul is. Someone came into Recall HQ last week and asked me about some videos of police following signature gatherers…I’ve never heard anything about it and bet it was fabricated. There is no civil disobedience planned and the rest of what you are reporting from this Darth person is complete rubbish. My instinct is that he/she is an Anti-recall person trying to make us look bad. No one at Recall CdA would ever endorse that kind of thought pattern or language. Thanks for the heads up — Mary.”

Question: Is it possible to make Recall brain trust look any worse than they already do?

PM Scanner Traffic — 4.23.12

  • 5:11 p.m. Female on ground is continuing to punch male in U.S. Bank lot, 4159 Seltice Way/PF.
  • 4:57 p.m. Juveniles are causing problems at Post Falls Skate Park.
  • 4:43 p.m. Male in custodial dispute (unknown CdA location) tried to run over female as she tried to get 3 children out of his vehicle.
  • 4:41 p.m. Female on Megan/PF reports her father pushed her down & choked her.
  • 4:37 p.m. Henry on E. Cobblestone Loop/Harrison reports a residential burglary.
  • 4:34 p.m. 11YO boy reportedly ran away from home on Rawhide Ridge thru bedroom window.
  • 4:29 p.m. A dog left in vehicle w/window cracked at North Idaho College is panting.
  • 4:21 p.m. Caller from 8385 Government Way/Hayden reports vandalism to business.
  • 4:20 a.m. Female from 4800 block of W H53/Hauser reports automatic gunfire nearby.
  • 4:14 p.m. Someone reportedly is violating a protection order in 1700 block of Lunceford/CdA.
  • 4:11 p.m. KCSDeputy is checking out 2 possibly drunk males on Hayden Lake's Dike Road.
  • 19 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 4.23.12

In the Nordman area, the women know how to handle a chainsaw as well as the men. Here's one of Pecky Cox's photos of the annual Logger Days that occurred in the Priest Lake area over the weekend? More photos here.

Terry Harris Leaving KEA

Terry Harris of Kootenai Environmental Alliance reports: “After almost three years as executive director, I am leaving the day-to-day employment of Kootenai Environmental Alliance.  In June, along with the family breadwinner (the Peyton Manning of academic law librarians), I will be relocating to Orange, California where the grass is not necessarily greener, but it is certainly way more expensive. Actually, I left KEA a couple of months ago and nobody really noticed. And even with this reluctant public acknowledgement, I don’t think anyone will notice a big change at KEA for the immediate future. For one thing, with the approval and encouragement of KEA’s Board of Directors, I will continue to represent KEA in several ongoing projects, update the blog and the twitter feed, and coordinate a number of campaign efforts from a volunteer perch. So, Bonner County, the Corps of Engineers, Larry Spencer, and any other environmental wrongdoers in North Idaho? You will still need to deal with me for a while. More here.


Idaho Dad: High Price Of Passion

Helping your kids discover their passion is expensive! Sports training, chemistry sets, art supplies. It all adds up quick. But I don’t think anything represents a major, long-term investment like music lessons. Just to get your kid to learn an instrument to a point where it doesn’t sound like they’re strangling cats in the living room, you’re going to shell out thousands of dollars. We did this with piano lessons. For both kids. For two years. You do the math. Did my kids learn to play the piano? Yes, they actually did. Both of them reached an intermediate level of skill, and can now sit down to play a wide variety of songs, from The Raiders March, by John Williams, to The Minute Waltz, by Frederic Chopin. But did my kids find their passion?/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here.

Question: Do you spend a bunch of money trying to help your kid(s) find his/her passion in life? And/or: What's your passion in life?

Souza: Recallers Good, Foes Rich

If you think that Coeur d'Alene Councilmen Steve Adams and Dan “Make Me Mayor” Gookin are part of the recall effort, you are WRONG! And if you think that the recall effort is simply the function of the dysfunctional Kootenai County Republican Party you are WRONG! We have no less authority than Mary Souza to set us straight re: the recall, which is peopled with hard-working, ordinary people of all political stripes and walks of life. Meanwhile, Mary says in her latest newsletter: “I know you are all very aware that the anti-Recall people are those who stand to profit and benefit directly from theuse of taxpayer money on the massive spending projects proposed by the city. No mystery there. They don't want the Recall because they are afraid of losing their monetary or political advantage. Mary's latest here.


NIdaho Blogs: Sawing Logs

Strangely, I was listening to the KVNI Monday morning show with Joe Paisley & Kerri Thoreson today, while I was in the dentist chair this morning having my teeth cleaned. On the KVNI/ESPN Web site, Kerri or Joe explains this photo: “Dr. Erin Elliott joined us this morning to talk about the oral appliance that's saving marriages. And if anyone has a spouse with a snoring problem or sleep apnea you know that's not an exaggeration! Available at Post Falls Family Dental Center.”

HucksOnline numbers (for week of April 15-21): 59,208 page-views/34,421 unique views

Question: Anyone in your house have a snoring problem?

Recall Foes Launch Online Petition

On their Stop the Recall online page, organizers Sara Meyer & Jennifer Drake have created a petition in support of the recall targets. They write: “We have created an online petition for people to sign in support of Mayor Bloem and Council Members Goodlander, Kennedy, and McEvers.  Unlike the recall petition, ours is purely symbolic, but we are still hoping to blow the recall signatures out of the water!  All you have to do is go to our webpage and click on “Sign Petition”, or go to the petition webpage and sign there.  Either way, it is simple and will only take 30 seconds.  Please sign and tell your friends and family to do so as well.  Let's get thousands of names on there opposing the recall!” You can sign the petition here.

Question: Do you plan to sign up?

Mae McEuen Didn’t Own McEuen Field

Above, proposed Front Avenue promenade, overlooking McEuen Field. (Design: Team McEuen)

It might be good at this point in the recall controversy to publish a good historical piece by the Coeur d'Alene Press (January 2011) about McEuen Field, separating fact from fiction. For one thing, you'll discover that the late Mae McEuen never owned a square inch of McEuen Field: “Kids haven't always played ball at McEuen Field. Where diamonds now lie dormant under winter snow, lumber once was milled. The property has been home to horse racing, overflow barracks from Farragut Naval Base at Bayview, high school basketball games - and it also has served less ceremoniously as a dump. Its century-old history begins with a lumber mill, one that sat where the city boat launch and Third Street parking lot is today, using the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene to haul in logs and shipping the cut cargo on the railroad running through downtown. When the mill closed in 1929 the park sat vacant. That was the same year the city of Coeur d'Alene began acquiring land around McEuen Field, then called Mullan Park. And to fill in the ruined soil in the 1930s after the mill was gone, anything went.” More here.

Question: Are there things in the article that you didn't know about McEuen Field?

New Idaho Election Rules Confusing

The upcoming May primary election will be Idaho's first under the state's new closed-primary and party registration law, and the new rules are causing lots of confusion. Idaho Statesman reporter Cynthia Sewell has a nice how-to article about it here. The upshot: To vote in the primary, you have to register your affiliation with a party – Constitution, Democratic, Libertarian or Republican – or choose unaffiliated. Only those who register as Republicans can vote in the GOP primary. Anyone can vote in the Democratic primary – except those who vote in the Republican primary, because you can only vote in one or the other - and anyone can vote on the nonpartisan offices, which in May are just unopposed judicial races/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: So how do you affiliate?

Graham: ‘Digital Divide’ Growing

There’s been much written about what is being called a growing digital divide, a phrase referring to those who are fortunate enough to have high-speed broadband Internet versus those who have no Internet access or just he slower, dial-up version. Susan Crawford, a law school professor and former adviser to President Barack Obama for science, technology and innovation policy, described potential effects of the divide in an essay last December for the New York Times: “Increasingly, we are a country in which only the urban and suburban well-off have truly high-speed Internet access, while the rest – the poor and the working class – either cannot afford access or use restricted wireless access as their only connection to the Internet. As our jobs, entertainment, politics and even health care move online, millions are at risk of being left behind”/Editor Gary Graham, SR. More here.

Question: Would you be able to stay as informed as you are without access to high-speed Internet?

Smith Spurns Weber For Arkansas

A person familiar with the decision says Arkansas is bringing back John L. Smith on an interim basis next year to replace Bobby Petrino. Smith, an assistant who left the Razorbacks after last season to become the head coach at Weber State, is returning on a one-year appointment, according to the person who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because the school had not made its decision public. The person also said athletic director Jeff Long felt Smith would “unite” all the current Razorbacks coaches. Smith was also a head coach at Michigan State and Louisville, where he was replaced by Petrino after the 2006 season. He served as the special teams and outside linebackers coach at Arkansas for the 2009-10 seasons under Petrino, who he had worked with at four different schools in all/AP. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Is Smith acting worse than Dennis Erickson re: the way he spurned Weber State for a one-year gig at Arkansas?

KEA Fires Back At Larry Spencer

Last week, Mr. Spencer placed an ad on the CDA Press website (and elsewhere, probably) attacking Kootenai Environmental Alliance and Spencer’s opponent Dan Green for work on the new land use regulations under development in Kootenai County. With a background image of the U.S. Constitution, and under a heading “Kootenai County Property Rights Under Attack” Spencer asks, “Kootenai Environmental Alliance doesn’t pay your property taxes. Why does Dan Green believe they should have equal footing in developing land use code that will affect your property?” Setting aside the fact that with a membership of more than 600 members, we actually represent quite a few taxpayers, this is an odd statement coming from a lobbyist – a person paid to represent private interests to government. According to disclosure reports, Larry Spencer represents primarily developers and at least one oil company. At least we represent the public interest/KEA Blog. More here.

Question (for Larry Spencer): Would you try to institute a Property Rights Council in Kootenai County, like the one promoted by Commissioner Cornel Rasor in Bonner County?

You Musta Been A Beautiful Puppy

Tyson, owned by Tyler and Chelsea Motter, of Urbandale, Iowa, sits on the throne after being crowned the winner of the 33rd annual Drake Relays Beautiful Bulldog Contest Monday in Des Moines, Iowa. The pageant kicks off the Drake Relays festivities at Drake University where a bulldog is the mascot. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Question: Anyone out there own(ed) a bulldog? Easy dog to raise & handle?

AM Scanner Traffic — 4.23.12

  • 11:53 a.m. Blair has questions re: trespassing someone from her property.
  • 11:42 a.m. CPD officers told possible suspect in theft of black Dodge Ram two months ago is at Coeur d'Alene Library. (Update: Heavy-set man ran from library across McEuen Field.
  • 11:39 a.m. Douglas reports to KCSDeputies that he's getting harassing phone calls.
  • 11:22 a.m. Blaire has questions re: horses being abandoned on her property.
  • 11:20 a.m. Firefighters are checking report of smoke in Kidd Island Bay/Putnam area.
  • 12 more items below

Out, Out, Damn Chair

This chair might not be for sale anymore since it was posted on Craigslist on April 4th, but ignore the chair. Instead, take a look at the prose of words supplied to describe the chair. A Deer Park woman says the recliner is the bane of her existence. The woman writes, “It's a deep purple. Who makes a chair this color?! Who BUYS a chair this color?! Who torments their wife by placing a chair this color front and center in the living room? Every time he leaves town I take this chair and move it into some other place in the house where it can't be seen. And every time he gets back he lovingly restores it to its rightful place.” She admits that the chair is comfortable, but she is infuriated by the coolers under the armrests, waiting to be filled with chilled delights/Nicole Hensley, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo: Nicole Hensley)

Question (from Nicole Hensley/KXLY): What’s the worst piece of furniture you’ve ever owned and why?

Diaper Changing Marks Earth Day

At 9:30 Saturday morning, it was time for the babies to be changed – all 34 of them. In hopes of raising awareness about the environmental perks of cloth diapers, the Great Cloth Diaper Change got under way at the Woman’s Club of Spokane, part of a worldwide effort to break the Guinness World Record for the most cloth diapers changed at the same time. “(Cloth diapers) reduce the amount of waste you produce,” said Christina Weedon, who runs the Spokane Cloth Diapering Facebook page. “They’re friendlier to the baby’s tush, they’re cute, they’re cost-effective, they’re fun, and they’re constantly evolving and getting better. There aren’t any more huge diaper pins to poke your baby.” Although Earth Day 2012 is officially today, the mass diaper change was one of a raft of events that celebrated the day on a sun-splashed Saturday in Spokane/Jacob Palmer, SR. More here. (Dan Pelle SR photo: Gabby Alvarez, 11, and her sisters – Izzy, 9, Gracie, 7, and Annie, 7 – of Spokane, arm themselves with garden shovels as they prepare to plant strawberries at the MAC on Saturday for Earth Day)

Question: Anyone still use cloth diapers?

AM Headlines — 4.23.12

Grief-stricken owners arrive at the scene of a horse barn fire in Billings, Mont., on Monday. Fire officials say 20 horses died when a fire destroyed a large horse barn at High Plains Stables on the west end of Billings. Story here. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Larry Mayer)

UNCI Anoints True ‘Conservatives’

Looks like the Far Right RINOs, er, United Conservatives of North Idaho, have anointed 8 individuals as true “conservatives” — and are staging a meet-and-greet tonight at UNCI HQ (Golden Spikes Estates, 8580 W. Yosemite St./Rathdrum). The 8 anointed are: State Reps. Phil Hart, Vito Barbieri and Bob Nonini, John Green for Sheriff, Marc Eberlein for commissioner, Donald Gary for prosecutor, Ron Mendive, Jack Schroeder and Jeff Ames, for state representatives. A news announcement sez: “These are the true conservatives that want to serve you as elected officials.  We can’t change America unless we have your support in coming to these events and supporting these good candidates.  This is your chance to help make a difference by getting involved with what is going on in Kootenai County.  We, at United Conservatives, are trying to make politics something to be proud of by having good people in these offices.  Please come and help us to make Idaho and America great once again.”

Question: How can you make America great again by being against everything? And/or: Why isn't Larry Spencer (for commissioner) on the list? Isn't he a, ahem, true conservative?

Poll: Gonzaga Right To Invite Tutu

  • Weekend Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation support the decision by Gonzaga University to invite Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu to speak at this year's graduation. 135 of 199 respondents (67.84%) agreed with the decision. 52 of 199 respondents (26.13%) disagreed with the decision. 12 were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you support the stand taken by new Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Steve Adams to vote against anything tied to federal dollars?

Penned By Paul McCartney

Natalia Lobo shows the tattooed signature of Paul McCartney on her neck from his stadium concert in Recife, Brazil, Sunday. After McCartney signed the 21 year old's neck, Lobo immediately headed to a tattoo parlor to immortalize the autograph. (AP/Photo/2012 MPL Communications/MJ Kim)

Question: Whose signature would you allow to be tattooed on you?

Spring Cleaning Sounds Good Or Not

Back when I was a kid homemakers - and these were usually our mothers - held an annual ritual called “spring cleaning.” This was normally done on a sunny weekend when, with the help of all the kids, you'd haul the furniture out on the front lawn, take down the drapes and hose out the house. We'd dust the spider webs from the ceilings and wash things we hadn't seen since the previous year's spring cleaning. We'd go through our closets and fold up the winter woolens and store them in a box in the attic, and out would come the summer clothes. Dad usually was in charge of the garage and it got swept and cleared just like the rest of the domain. After it was over, the family could move back into a sparkling clean house that required only normal maintenance until fall cleaning came around/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you “spring clean”?

Mom Challenges Idaho Rape Law

The courts have branded him a rapist. But Allan Lewis' mother claims her son is the victim of a heavy-handed legal system that fails to address the realities of sexual activity among young people. What's more, said 60-year-old Paula Lewis of Sandpoint (pictured), the law allows promiscuous underage girls, like the 14-year-old Lewis claims seduced her son, to continue their sexual exploits with impunity. “Number one, I don't think he should be a registered sex offender,” Paula Lewis said. “And I don't think it should be rape by my definition. He had (consensual) sex with someone underage. But I think of rape as forcible, or a violent thing, or coercion.” Her definition, however, is not consistent with Idaho law, said Latah County Prosecutor William Thompson Jr. (who said … “it's … simply against the law, and it's simply wrong, for an adult man to be having sex with a young girl.” Allan Lewis, who was 19 when arrested on two counts of rape and other sexual charges, admitted to one count of rape as the result of a plea agreement/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Lewiston Tribune photo: David Johnson)

Question: Does the rape charge fit this case?

SR: Recall Targets Lake City Progress

If you haven’t been to Coeur d’Alene in a while, the transformation is remarkable: the mixed-use Riverstone development, the popular Kroc Community Center, a handsome new library, an array of higher education projects under way near North Idaho College and the Prairie Trail bicycle path. Downtown and Midtown boast many other improvements. The city has all the signs of a community with a plan, and the leadership to see it through. Next up is a redesigned and upgraded McEuen Park, which would give the city another enviable waterfront park. But what isn’t readily apparent to visitors is a political undertow that hopes to drag down progress by recalling Mayor Sandi Bloem (pictured) and three members of the City Council: Woody McEvers, Deanna Goodlander and Mike Kennedy. Their crimes? There isn’t one/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Quotable Quote: State Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, a longtime foe of urban renewal, once called the development of the Kroc Center a “criminal conspiracy.” She seethes at a recreational and arts facility that any community would love to have, because the city donated and prepared a former gravel pit as the site of this gleaming gift from philanthropist Joan Kroc.


Spokane Pair Danced On ‘Bandstand’

The news of TV legend Dick Clark’s death Wednesday had an especially deep impact on Mark Wilhelm, of Spokane. Wilhelm, 52, was a regular dancer on Clark’s signature show, “American Bandstand,” along with his sister, Elizabeth Godert-Wilhelm, for nearly five years in the mid- to late 1970s. “I heard ‘Bandstand Boogie’ (by Barry Manilow) on the radio on my way home from work Wednesday and I just knew,” Wilhelm said. “My heart dropped, because they never play that song on the radio. I just knew (Clark) had passed.” Wilhelm got his start on the show through sheer persistence. For a “year straight,” the Southern California teenager sent the producers letters requesting an opportunity to dance on the set of the popular Saturday afternoon show, with no results/Jacob Palmer, SR. More here. (SR photo: Mark Wilhelm, of Spokane, holds his autographed phonograph album signed by Dick Clark in 1977)

Question: Were you much of a dancer as a young person?

Adams Adamant Against Fed Dollars

(Councilman Steve Adams) is adamantly against the city accepting any federal money, and has voted against it several times. A political friend of controversial Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, Adams supports the state implementing a gold standard to compete as a secondary currency. He classifies federal money as “counterfeit,” since the government's debt is tied to borrowing, or essentially wealth it does not actually posses. “The federal government is broke. Any federal dollars that come through any states or municipalities are counterfeited at the federal reserve, either by being printed or done electronically,” he told the council March 24 before voting against awarding a $43,000 grant for Citylink, a free public transportation provider in Kootenai County. “So I would say based off our own Idaho Constitution, we're in violation of taking debt money. The Scripture says borrower's servant to the lender. The madness has to end somewhere. And if it has to end here in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, with rejecting a $43,000 grant, then so be it. Let it start somewhere.” He said Friday that is a line he will hold as councilman/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Photo: Steve Adams' Facebook page)

Question: Is Adams' line-in-the-sand approach against the city of Coeur d'Alene accepting federal money for any project wise?

Spokane Komen Race Draws 7500

The crowd gathered for the 7th annul Susan G Komen Race for the Cure in Spokane on Sunday. An estimated 7,500 runners, joggers and walkers participated in the 2012 race, a drop of 1,000 from 2011. Organizers were anticipating a drop in participation because of the controversy surrounding Komen’s national board’s decision to pull funding for Planned Parenthood’s cancer-screening services earlier this year. The decision was quickly reversed. Local story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Eman: I Check Everybody Out

Eman: Funny thing is, I check everybody out. I look, glance, even stare, equally at folks from supermodels of both sexes to the creatures that roam the hallowed aisles of Wal-Mart,in actuality, I tend to re-gawk more at the more odd “creatures of love” than the more balanced featured humans. I saw a fellow at the airport last week who was the spitting image of Captain Kangaroo, I gawked. I noticed the other day seeing Larry Spencer putting up signs that he is indeed the Bazaroo world equivalent of Clark Kent, I gawked, and yes I saw a woman who’s features were so balanced and was so graceful that I stopped trying to look at her out of the corner of my eye and just gawked. In light of that, which one of those do I deserve an elbow from my wife? The woman of course but I truly wasn’t looking at her for sexual reasons as I was just stunned by the creation.
Truth is, if you get an elbow from your mate for gawking then, your relationship has bigger issues.

Question: Do you enjoy people watching?

J-MAC: Recallers Lie To Father-In-Law

JimmyMAC: Went to lunch with the in laws after church today and brought up the recall. Recall folks hit up my mother and father in laws neighborhood as I had guessed they would. My father in law is as conservative as anyone I know. I’m talking uber conservative. Long story short, he declined their invitation to recall. They asked him, are you okay with them spending $40MM on a park. His response, “Yes”. He didn’t go into a lengthy discussion but he was already aware that no $40MM spending spree had been agreed upon. Based on our conversation, I don’t think he appreciated them throwing around the number that they did. He’s played college baseball and loves to fish and is all for moving the ballfields and boat launch. Oh, yeah, we were also having lunch in Riverstone where his granddaughters love to go to the park.

DFO: A friend of mine told me last night that a pair of Recallers tried to tell him that the city was going to spend $40 million on the retrofit of McEuen Field. Only he knew the correct price to be $14.2 million. Then, they told compared the project to Obamacare. He reads the paper and follows City Council meetings on television. So he knew the facts. I wonder how many don't.

Question: Have you seen a Recaller at your door step?

Hucks: Adams Touchy About Rebuttals

Steve Adams, a new Coeur d’Alene councilman who refuses to support any issue that involves federal dollars, doesn’t like correction. After being corrected twice by City Attorney Mike Gridley for questionable statements, Adams asked Gridley in writing not to rebut him again during council meetings. Adams wrote that Gridley appeared to be dissing him to the mayor and council, staff and “especially the public.” Adams told Gridley to offer his opinions in private. Gridley responded that he has “a duty to correct any inaccurate statements of law or fact made by (Adams) or anyone else regarding the legality of city actions.” As an example, Gridley said, he would not say anything if someone opines that 15th Street is rough and should be repaved. However, Gridley wrote, if someone says 15th Street needs to be repaved because the city is violating the law “then I have a duty to express my legal opinion on the matter. It would be malpractice and a dereliction of duty if I didn’t”/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries print. More here.

Question: Do you like being corrected by someone?

Ramirez: Say Cheese

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Weekend Wild Card — 4.21-22.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Days 18-19: Sara Meyer, Jennifer Drake & Stop the Recall will be in the Bank of America parking lot in downtown Coeur d'Alene from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (Saturday) with buttons, T-shirts, literature and yard signs. T-shirts are also available at Johannes Jewelry (406 Sherman Ave). The Spokesman-Review will announce its position on the recall attempt on the Sunday editorial page. Meanwhile, I'm back in the yard this weekend attempting a complete makeover in front. Now for your Weekend Wild Card …

One Toke Over The Line In Denver

Malia Knapp of Denver, center, smokes with her friends during the Denver 420 Rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, on Friday. Thousands of people gathered in Denver near the state Capitol for the start of a two-day marijuana rally. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Hyoung Chang)

Question: Would you admit it if I asked: Have you ever smoked pot?

Op-Ed: Of Wolves & Inconvenient Truths

Devin Rokyta's spluttering, hate-filled editorial of April 5 bashing wolf trapper Josh Bransford marks a new low in journalistic depravity at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Opening his screed with a personal insult (“Despicable people like Josh Bransford … “), Rokyta signals readers they are in for yet another ad hominem attack on Idahoans who hunt, fish, trap, shoot and generally act like Westerners rather than big media wannabes. As we shall see, Rokyta's self-indulgent invective may be fueling the fires of madness amongst the unhinged who lurk on the fringes of radical environmentalism. First, set aside Rokyta's hysterics and review some “inconvenient truths” he and his fellow travelers might like Daily News readers to overlook. Josh Bransford is not the redneck caricature depicted in the press. He is a professional conservationist who earned his degree at the University of Idaho's College of Natural Resources. His choice of vocation was heavily influenced by a love for Idaho's environment developed through a lifetime spent afield hunting, fishing and now trapping/Dan Blanco, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Does a tradition of hunting run in your family?

Costello: Are You Better Off Now?

So now the line has been drawn. Barack Obama has made it clear the era of free markets is over. “It's not like we didn't try it,” he said at a campaign speech in Florida last week that you paid for. And so after more than two centuries of capitalism and free markets, which made the United States the richest and most powerful nation on the planet, The One has declared the American experiment a failure. And he argues that we need to adopt his new and improved economic model, in which we will have a centrally planned economy that will create and sell what it decides you want and need. This new economy will also decide who makes too much money, seize the surplus and give it away to campaign contributors. We've had three years of experience with Obamanomics and this November's election will be a referendum on its success. And if we are to take an informed decision, then we need to know what sort of economic record Obama has compiled and compare that to those “failed policies” of the past/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are you better off now than when President Barack Obama took office?

Trib: Luna Places $60M Laptop Wager

Idaho is wagering $60 million on the premise that today's high school students must learn differently. It isn't the only gamble in state School Superintendent Tom Luna's bid to reshape K-12 education; it is just part of the “Students Come First” overhaul that also rewrites the state's teacher negotiation process and establishes a merit pay system. But the technology initiative may be the one change that most directly, and profoundly, impacts the classroom experience, and the relationship between the teacher and student. It also hinges, to a large degree, on assumptions being made today about tomorrow's technology. If there is one thing that can be assumed about technology, it is that the state of the art will look considerably different at the end of the state's five-year, $60 million shopping spree. Between now and May 25, the state is entertaining bids to supply the state not just with the gadgetry, but with backup that includes maintenance, wireless and tech support/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (January 2011 AP file photo of Luna pitching his education “reforms” to Idaho Legislature)

Question: Do you plan to vote for/against referendums this fall to rescind Superintendent Tom Luna's education “reforms”?

Edit: Labrador Right To Talk To Media

Raul Labrador has figured out the secret of getting better media coverage. Make yourself available. The 1st Congressional District representative’s “Conversations With Conservatives” provides a forum for some of Labrador’s fellow first-term Republicans — lawmakers who feel like they’ve been overlooked or done wrong by the media. Labrador’s idea is to give the freshmen a forum where they’ll field whatever questions reporters want to throw their way. I’d call the Labrador plan a stroke of genius, if it was. But it’s not. It’s just smart common sense, something politicians and their staffs don’t always bring to their dealings with the news media. Not to spoil anyone’s conspiracy theory, but I get skeptical when people say reporters are out to “get” politicians. Reporters are out to get stories, and those sometimes reflect poorly on politicians/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you think reporters are out to “get” politicians?

Read more here:

SR: Tutu Invite Right Move For Gonzaga

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (pictured in 2006 AP photo) will be honored with a Doctor of Laws degree next month at Gonzaga University. Gonzaga University will be honored as well. Yet petititoners led by a local attorney claim that Tutu, the 1984 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is unworthy of recognition from an institution that should uphold the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. Tutu supports same-sex marriage, contraception and abortion rights for women. Clearly, those positions are outside the church’s teachings, although not necessarily those of his Anglican faith. The Anglican Church splits on some of these issues. But doctrines evolve. Perspectives change/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Would you like to hear Archbishop Desmond Tutu's commencement speech at Gonzaga?

What Kind Of County Government

I hate to say that I agree with Kootenai County commissioner candidate Larry Spencer on anything involving county politics. But he's right in opposing a measure on the November ballot this year — a proposed change in county government structure. In a response to two surveys calling for a vote on structure change to streamline county government, the current commissioners will ask voters to decide if they want a county government in which the commissioners, sheriff and prosecutor are elected — and the clerk, treasurer, assessor and coroner appointed. At the debate Thursday night, Spencer said he wanted things to remain the same because the current forms provides checks and balances. I agree. Given the closed primary forced on us by Idaho Republicans, two commissioner candidates with extreme agenda could win in the same year and take complete control over county government if four of the offices were appointive. Spencer mentioned that the city of Coeur d'Alene wouldn't be fighting the McEuen Field battle if Dan Gookin and Steve Adams formed two-thirds of its council as a result of the last election. I'm glad that it takes two election cycles in the city to totally change course because Gookin and Adams would have run the city into the ground if they were in control. Back to the county, incumbent Dan Green (pictured) said at the forum that he favored changing the government structure. But could work with the current system if voters decide against change, as he has for last two years. Rathdrum Mayor Vic Holmes, the third candidate said simply of the proposed change: “I don't like it.”

Question: Will you vote to change Kootenai County government?

Bennett: Likability

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

TGIF Wild Card — 4.20.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 17: Two eyewitnesses told me they saw state Rep. Kathy Sims (in the most “garish patriotic jacket possible”) and Sharon Culbreth driving a couple around the Bentwood area Saturday, gathering signatures for the recall. Before you ask what a state senator from Coeur d'Alene is doing trying to recall Mayor Sandi Bloem and three City Council members, remember it's Kathy Sims. Who seems to believe meddling in city politics for alleged abuses by Mayor Sandi Bloem & three City Council members are of more concern that challenging state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, in her own sphere of influence, the Idaho House of Representatives. Seems Sims & Culbreth pointed out addresses on a list to the couple in the back. Who obediently went to the door and asked for recall signatures. They ignored the other houses. Seems like Souza-Sims-Culbreth-Orzell are working their tax-opponent lists for their signatures. Popular groundswell? Hardly. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 4.20.12

In this photo taken Oct. 4, 2008, David Chaney, right, who identified himself on his Facebook account as a member of Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's Secret Service detail, watches Palin during a rally in Carson, Calif. Chaney wrote on his Facebook page next to a photo of Palin & him: “I was really checking her out, if you know what i mean?” Chaney’s lawyer, Lawrence Berger of New York, said he is representing Chaney in the fallout from the prostitution scandal inside the Secret Service. Story here. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The U.S. Secret Service said on Friday that three more of its employees have resigned, bringing to six the number that have left the agency in connection with alleged misconduct involving prostitutes in Colombia last week before President Barack Obama's trip there. The Secret Service also said that a 12th employee had been implicated in the ongoing investigation into a night of partying on April 11-12 that embarrassed the United States and overshadowed Obama's participation in the Summit of the Americas last weekend/Reuters. More here.

Question: How would you explain this to your wife or girlfriend if you were one of the Secret Service agents caught in this scandal?

PM Scanner Traffic — 4.20.12

  • 6:03 p.m. Female driver weaving on H53 while fixing hair pulls into feed store @ Alturas/Rathdrum.
  • 5:41 p.m. 13YO female is yelling & threatening resident in 1900 block of E. Meadow/PF.
  • 5:36 p.m. Tribal Conoco wants tribal police to handle stolen wallet involving tribal members.
  • 5:25 p.m. Frederick in 6300 block of Colfax/Dalton Garden reports house burglary.
  • 5:23 p.m. 50ish male on Shaw/Hayden attempts suicide by swallowing 60 pills.
  • 5:12 p.m. Mother @ Hillview & Hayden reports sons, 11 & 9, have been fighting for awhile.
  • 5:03 p.m. David has questions re: a recent protection order against him.
  • 4:43 p.m. Motorist has followed aggressive driver in Subaru w/o front plates from Post Falls WalMart East on Mullan to car dealership on Greensferry. Now, he's waiting for an officer.
  • 14 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM Headline — 4.20.12

Representative Dick Harwood and his wife, Carole, have helped organize the annual Republicans' Lincoln Day Dinner Friday, April 20. Rep. Harwood will MC the event. (St. Maries Gazette-Record photo)

Question: Digger posted this on my Facebook page, wondering if it's appropriate for an Idaho state representative to wear a shirt that looks like an American flag?

NI Blogs: Living In Milk-Carton Fear

We raised our first two children in the early and mid 80's. Seldom, if ever, did my bride and I allow our oldest two children to walk anywhere by themselves. We were always with them. We enjoyed trips together, we ate meals together. And almost every morning, an unwanted visitor found a seat at our breakfast table. Fear. With every bowl of cereal we ate, the milk carton remained on the table with images of children who were lost. Fear eventually sat at the head of our table. And America began to live a life of fear-based parenting. My wife and I were two of the earliest to practice that type of parenting…and it was horrible/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday): 10,185/5882, and: (for Wednesday) 10,873/6214

Question: Have you ever lived in milk-cartoon fear?

Top Teach Lenz To IEA: Persevere

On Nov. 11, Winton Elementary School first-grade teacher Erin Lenz reacts as she is announced as the 2012 Idaho Teacher of the Year while fellowteacher Ann Porter-Brown looks on. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)

Erin Lenz told about 400 Idaho Education Association colleagues in a speech Friday in Boise that hard work, persistence, collegiality and union solidarity are key to the struggles faced by Idaho teachers and their students. “As educators, we are faced with a daunting task,” Lenz said in prepared remarks made available on the IEA website. “How do we continue to teach children with all the energy and passion needed and fight those who attack our profession? “How can we be innovative in meeting the challenges of 21st Century classrooms when some of education’s stakeholders refuse to acknowledge our voices? What will we do to combat the corrosive discouragement amongst teachers that has eaten away at morale and has driven some to leave the profession? I wish these problems were easy to solve but there isn’t a simple solution. It will take hard work and perseverance to overcome them”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Will the IEA prevail in its support of referendums that seek to overturn Luna/Otter education “reforms”?

Read more here:

Decline To Sign Shirts, Buttons Ready

From Stop the Recall organizers Sara Meyer and Jennifer Drake: “If you have requested a Decline to Sign t-shirt, they are now available to pick up anytime during normal business hours at Johannes (406 E Sherman).  Just stop in and let them know what you want.  Shirts are also available to anyone who wants one even if you have not submitted a request.  There are also buttons and starting tomorrow, there will be yard signs as well. We will be downtown tomorrow (10 am to 2 pm) in the Bank of America parking lot with shirts, buttons, signs, and literature.  Stop by and say hi if you are registering for Spring Dash or just enjoying the sunshine!”

Preparing For Zombie Apocalypse

SFD and the Centers for Disease Control say there are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, we said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency. “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?” Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for any emergency! 1. Water (1 gallon per person per day) 2. Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly) 3. Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds) More: First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during an earthquake)/Spokane Fire Department. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)  Full release below.

Question: Are you prepared for a zombie apocalypse?

2, 4, 6, 8, Who Do We Appreciate …?

A small boy looks at cheerleaders during a presentation of the Euro 2012 soccer trophy in Warsaw, Poland, earlier today. The trophy will tour the Euro 2012 host countries Poland and Ukraine till May 26. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Question: Were you ever a cheerleader?

OTV: Fashion Is Vital Even In Recall

OrangeTV RE: the most “garish patriotic jacket possible” (description of jacket state Sen. Kathy Sims wore while collecting signatures for recall Saturday): Oh, really — critiquing an America-loving patriot’s fashion choices? Must we sink down to that level? (Yes, we must. And should, because I’ve seen her around town in that tacky thing and it truly is a painful workout for the eyeballs.) Anyway, if we are going on fashion sense and fashion sense alone, the Mayoress would kick serious runway booty over Sims and Souza in their mom jeans, fleece what-nots, and Shopko jewelry and accessories. We all know that much at least.

Question: If we decided the outcome of the Coeur d'Alene recall attempt based on “America's Next Super Model” runway criteria, which side would win?

Midtown: Mayor, Council Do Listen

We are five of the neighbors and business owners of Midtown and we have been actively engaged in discussions about the future of our city. We feel that it is important to let our fellow neighbors know that the mayor and the entire current City Council have empathetically listened to our input and have supported us in our endeavors to halt certain projects that may have damaging effects. We consider these individuals to be our allies in planning the future of Midtown and we appreciate the hard work and devotion that they have put into these projects and their service to Coeur d’Alene/Eric E. Soles, Gregg Johnson, Steve Widmyer, and Tom & Teresa Capone, Coeur d'Alene Press letters to the editor.

Columnist Roars: ‘No Sex For You’

Addressing the Vatican's demand that some feminist U.S. nuns shape up and other sins against the sisterhood in “this paternalistic political climate,” Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur (photo from Times Web site) proposes a unique way women can be heard — one, that doesn't involve the ballot box. How about a vow of celibacy, she asks: “It's not a new idea. Lysistrata was a character in an ancient Greek play who persuaded the women of Greece to withhold sex from their husbands until they ended the Peloponnesian War. So until certain men start solving the real problems of unemployment, hunger and the wounds of war, maybe we do the same. You refuse to fund family-planning services, or speak in favor of such an act? No sex for you. You cut funding for women's health, like breast-cancer screening, or say you don't have a problem with cutting it? No sex for you. You laugh when a national radio host calls a student a name for asking for birth-control coverage? No sex for you.” Nicole Brodeur's full column here.


Dick Clark’s Remains Cremated

Dick Clark, the music impresario and host of “American Bandstand” who died this week, has been cremated, his representative said Friday. “He has been cremated, but no other plans have been finalized,” Clark publicist Paul Shefrin told CNN. Clark, 82, suffered a heart attack Wednesday while at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, for an outpatient procedure, Shefrin said. Attempts to resuscitate Clark were unsuccessful, he said. As the host of the popular “American Bandstand,” Clark shaped American tastes in music trends, and with a fresh-scrubbed, boy-next-door persona, he introduced the world to likes of Buddy Holly and James Brown. In December 2004, Clark suffered what was then described as “a mild stroke,” just months after announcing he had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes/Michael Martinez & JD Cargill, CNN. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Cremation? Or burial? Why?

Actress Patty Duke: No To Recall

Please be assured, I do not believe this writing to be accepted as impartial in anyway. I am the proud aunt of City Councilman Mike Kennedy. Having stated that, I do recognize that our familial bond does not require me to forfeit my citizenship in Coeur d’Alene and the rights afforded me. Simply stated, isn’t it time that our mayor and City Council be encouraged to do the jobs to which they were elected? The constant frivolous, politically motivated attacks, raising their silly heads again are designed to impede the important work of the council. The past allegations and the new fracas are embarrassingly transparent. Just one aunt’s opinion/Anna Pearce (aka actress Patty Duke), Coeur d'Alene Press letter to the editor. (SR file photo of Patty Duke as grand marshal of the 2011 Spokane St. Patrick's Day Parade)

Question: Have you met Patty Duke?

Do Not Pass Test

Just in from Scanner Traffic: A driver attempting to pass his commercial driver's test in a logging truck reportedly has hit a light pole at H41 and Poleline in Post Falls. Apparently, he was driving a new vehicle at the time. The traffic lights at the intersection are flashing red. Which brings me to a confession. I flunked my first driver's test at age 16 because, while driving a new pickup (and a stick shift that I'd never used), I pulled into a cross section while a pedestrian was in the cross walk. Test over. Return to DMV. I passed the test on the second try in my parents' vehicle.

Question: Do you like the photo that appears on your driver's license?

More Eye Candy For Cindy

A bodybuilder enters the stage with a toy gun at the FIBO Power in Essen, Germany, earlier today. The FIBO is a leading international trade show for fitness, wellness and health. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Question: OK, this is nothing more than gratuitous eye candy for Cindy & the Ladies of HBO. But I thought I'd toss it up here with this question: Do you consider body builders like this guy to be appealing?

Mary: Don’t Be Sheeple, People

Mary Souza is smelling a rat again. Seems she thinks the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce endorsement was a done deal before she and Frankie-Come-Lately Orzell gave their pro-recall spiel to the chamber Thursday. She makes somewhat of a deal about Mayor Sandi Bloem, Sara Meyer and Jennifer Riggs Drake being in the chamber lobby waiting their turn for a presentation. Then, Mary surmises that the chamber endorsement was a done deal, even before the opposing presentations. And she wonders whether their was corroboration among the chamber, the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe, and North Idaho Building Contractors Association in writing letters opposing the recall Thursday. Writes Mary: “One alert reader took all the letters from the power associations who came out against the Recall, and lined them up, only to realize they seem to be written in the same manner and style. Could it be that one person/group is authoring these and pressuring organizations to get in line?” As Dave Barry would say of this conspiracy theory: I'm not making this up. Full Mary Souza weekly newsletter here.

Question: Am I starting to detect a bit of worry in Mary's tone?

AM Scanner Traffic — 4.20.12

  • Noonish: Property owner at 8581 Raspberry Lane/Hayden reports undisclosed theft.
  • Noonish: Post Falls man has questions for police re: DNA.
  • Noonish: Male possibly sleeping under blue jacket is in ditch near Bennett Bay/Lake CdA Drive.
  • 11:30 a.m. F150 pickup w/canopy stolen today from Jennifer's Coeur d'Alene Auto Sales.
  • 11:09 a.m. Motorist taking commercial driving test in logging truck hits light pole in northeast corner @ H41 & Poleline/PF, snapping off pole. Traffic lights now are flashing red at intersection.
  • 12 more items below

Adams Lectures City Attorney Gridley

Here's the letter that Councilman Steve Adams sent to City Attorney Mike Gridley re: correcting Adams at City Council meetings: “I have been hesitant in writing to you to address my concern, because I do not want to damage our relationship, which I feel up to this point has been good. However, I believe my concern is of greater importance. Twice now you have rebutted me during a council meeting. After the first time you did call to apologize, which was respectable. I do believe however, that it is not appropriate for you to rebut me openly during a council meeting. I do not believe it is your intent to be disrespectful, but it gives that appearance to all other parties (mayor & council, staff and especially the public). I do value you(r) legal opinion, (please do not take this as snide) but, you are not an judge or the judge, and I have the right to express my opinions. I respectfully ask that in the future, (unless asked) you please refrain from rebutting me during a council meeting, instead addressing me after the meeting or contacting me at a later date.” (For the record, Gridley declined a public request from Huckleberries Online for this letter, citing attorney-client privilege.)

Forum: Dan Green Impresses

I came away from Kootenai County commissioner forum very impressed with incumbent Dan Green (pictured). The county has been in good hands since he was elected to office. Spencer did a decent job, although it seems that the thrust of his campaign is to oppose the land-use plan. He said several times that Green was doing an excellent job managing other areas of the county. Holmes had the guts to say that eventually the county would have to bite the bullet and expand the jail. But I wasn’t overly impressed with the rest of his presentation. I suppose he’s going to pull votes from Green. Spencer’s running hard with a lot of campaign money available. The 30-day financial disclosure statements should be due soon. It’ll be interesting to see where that money’s coming from. My guess? Lakeshore owners — DFO.

Question: Who do you favor in the race for incumbent Dan Green's Kootenai County commission seat?

AM Headlines — 4.20.12

LC's performance of “Zombie Prom” is the story of teens Toffee and Jonny. After declaring their love, Toffee is banned from seeing Jonny. Jonny's devastated and commits suicide by throwing himself into the nearby nuclear plant. Love doesn't die — and neither does Jonny. He returns from the dead to go to his prom and graduate high school. Hijinks ensue for a fun-filled show. Story here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Question: I simply don't get the zombie craze. Dracula/vampires and werewolves are the A Team of monsters who go bump in the night. Zombies? meh. Can anyone explain this fad to me?

McCrory Questions Press Neutrality

First, I have to say that Editor Mike Patrick and the Coeur d'Alene Press have done a decent job staying neutral in the Coeur d'Alene recall attempt. Too decent. I wish Mike would take sides and slam the attempted overthrow of our properly elected mayor and three council members. But all the trying by Mike and his news staff to thread the needle on this tough issue has been for naught as far as cranky Bill McCrory and is concerned. McCrory grouses in his latest rant that the Recallers have been deceived by a Press editorial defending its neutral stand. The source of his whine? A letter by Ken Burchell in today's Coeur d'Alene Press. Grouses McCrory: “We at OpenCdA were wrong, and we sadly admit today that we, like others in the community,  bought into the deception game the Coeur d’Alene Press is playing with  its readers.” Full McCrory complaint here.


13 Years Since Columbine

Friend Barbara Guedeney kisses the cross dedicated to Columbine victim Lauren Townsend at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Littleton, Colo., earlier today. Today marks the 13th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School where a teacher and 12 students were killed. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Question: Are our schools safer/less safe/the same today than 13 years ago when Columbine happened?

Secret Service Scandal Involves Palin

Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been drawn into the scandal involving Secret Service agents and Colombian prostitutes. David Chaney, one of two Secret Service agents ousted as a result of the scandal, reportedly once posted on Facebook a photo of him on the job behind Palin during the 2008 campaign and wrote next to it, “I was really checking her out, if you know what i mean?” Palin, always quick to fire back, used the friendly atmosphere on Fox News to rib the ex-agent — and criticize President Obama, too. “Well, this agent, who was kind of ridiculous there in posting pictures and comments about checking someone out — well, check this out, bodyguard. You're fired,” Palin said on Greta Van Susteren's show Thursday night. “And I hope his wife kicks his ocoli and sends him to the doghouse, as long as he's not eating the dog, along with his former boss”/Matt Negrin, ABC News. More here. (AP file photo of Sarah Palin)

Question: Do you still have faith in our Secret Service agents?

Ed Board ‘Sorry’ For Benoit Fam Loss

State Board of Education released the following statement re: the settlement in the murder-suicide that claimed University of Idaho student Katy Benoit: “The settlement announced yesterday between the Benoit family and the University of Idaho was unanimously approved by the State Board of Education. The Board members, individually and collectively, want the family to know we are profoundly sorry for their loss. The Board is thoroughly committed to providing a safe and supportive environment at all of Idaho’s public education institutions.  We appreciate the efforts of the Benoits and the University to focus on the best interests of Idaho students. They deserve all we can do to safeguard their future”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you satisfied that the aftermath of the Benoit murder was handled properly by the University of Idaho and the state Board of Education?

MT: Jeers To Labrador, Simpson

JEERS … to U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson, both R-Idaho. The Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012 may be just sloppily drafted. Or the measure - which all three Republicans joined in passing Tuesday by a 274-146 vote — might deliberately expose the nation's wilderness lands to all-terrain vehicles, off-road traffic, motor boats and aircraft, as well as road-building, logging and mining. Ostensibly, it's about preserving the rights of hunters, anglers and recreationists - and putting endangered Democrats, such as Montana Sen. Jon Tester, on the wrong side of a National Rifle Association priority. The Wilderness Society is worried the bill seems to elevate rights of motorized recreationists, loggers and miners ahead of the wilderness values. If it were just the environmentalists saying so, you might dismiss it/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. Full Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Do you think the Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012 compromised our national wilderness?

Stop The Recall Begins Mailing Letters

Sara Meyer & Jennifer Drake of the Stop the Recall movement began mailing out a letter to every registered voter in Coeur d'Alene today, electronically first and then a hard copy next week — 21,600 residents, 14,500 homes. The letter challenges four reasons given by the Souza-Sims-Orzell recall group for attempting its overthrow of city government. “Our mayor and council members being targeted for recall have done nothing wrong. They have done nothing illegal or immoral. A recall is an important part of our system of government, but it is a tool to be used in extreme circumstances, warranted by things such as criminal malfeasance or illegal activities. To attempt to recall four oustanding leaders because of an ideological disagreement is a misuse of the system. You can read the letter yourself here. (Jerome A. Pollos' Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Jennifer Drake of the Stop the Recall movement eyeballs recall proponent at City Hall April 4)

  • Stop the Recall will be staging a rally at 107 N. 4th St. in downtown Coeur d'Alene at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

    Wednesday, April 25 at 5:00pm at 107 N 4th St, Coeur d'Alene.


Never Again

A red carnation lies in front of the remains of the crematory at the Nazi death camp Sachsenhausen in Oranienburg, around 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Berlin earlier today. Two days before the 67th anniversary of the liberation of the death camp and on the eve of the start of a death march which evacuated about 35,000 prisoners from Sachsenhausen the redesigned memorial site of Sachsenhausen was officially handed over to the public. The last step in the construction works which started in 1998 was the marking of the former barracks with stone fields. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Question: Do you have a relative who fought to defeat Germany and liberate the concentration camps?

MT: Ringo Flunks, Nonini Aces Test

CHEERS … to state Rep. Shirley Ringo (pictured), D-Moscow. She not only flunked the Idaho Freedom Foundation's “legislative freedom index,” but Ringo got the lowest score of any of Idaho's 105 lawmakers - a negative-125. Most of north central Idaho's lawmakers didn't fare much better. For example, Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, got a minus-111. The region's highest score came from Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, who got a 46. The Freedom Foundation advocates constant legal warfare with the national government, undermining public services and making certain tax laws coddle the comfortable. Topping its scorecard were the ethically challenged Sen. Monty Pearce, R- New Plymouth, who got a plus-65, and Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, who got an absolutely stratospheric 117. That's no agenda for ordinary Idahoans/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. Marty's weekly Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Would you rather have your legislator ace the Idaho Freedom Foundation “legislative freedom index” or flunk it?

Earth Day Has Changed Vocabulary

Since the first Earth Day was celebrated as an “environmental teach-in” on April 22, 1970, a whole new vocabulary has entered the English language. The Texas-based Global Language Monitor has determined the top new words and new 'senses' of old words that have gained popular usage since that first Earth Day. “The environmental movement has had a profound, lasting, and ever-increasing effect on global culture and, hence, the English language,” said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM. The words (green, renewable energy, sustainable, etc.) are ranked by order of present-day usage in the English-speaking world/AP. More here.

Question: Are you more environmentally conscious today than you were 10 years ago?

Spokane Woman Seeks Presidency

Laurie Roth, a syndicated radio talk show host who broadcasts from Spokane County, is trying to parlay her strong conservatism, an unusual tax plan and the story of her near-death experience into a long-shot bid for the presidency. The self-described Annie Oakley of the Airwaves says she was called by God about a year ago to make the campaign journey from her double-wide trailer in Elk, Wash., to the White House and turn the nation around. “I am the comeback kid. I am the Seabiscuit story,” said Roth, a 51-year-old mother of two. “America is road kill, and so was I.” On Saturday she’ll find out if the Constitution Party, one of the nation’s largest third-party organizations, will put her atop their ticket in the fall election. She’s one of three main candidates – along with Virgil Goode, a former Republican congressman from Virginia, and Robby Wells, a former college football coach – seeking the conservative political party nomination at its national convention in Nashville/Jim Camden, SR. More here.

Question: Are you a Constitutionalist?

Signe: Understanding Women

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Thursday — 4.19.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 16: Started this morning with a cup of coffee at Denny's with Coeur d'Alene City Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander (w/one of the individuals who signed the paperwork to launch the recall coffee klatching nearby). Deanna and the others targeted by Recallers are holding up well and plan to go the distance, if the Souza-Sims-Orzell group are successful in using their Republican/anti-taxpayer lists to collect enough names tostage an election. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 4.19.12

Surviving Doolittle Raider Richard E. Cole, right, salutes during the singing of the national anthem at a memorial service for the the 70th anniversary of the Doolittle raid on Tokyo at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio Wednesday. Four survivors took part in the ceremonies including David Thatcher, second from right, Thomas C. Griffin, left, and Edward E. Saylor, not seen. Story here. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

‘Radical’ US Nuns Face Vatican Anger

The Vatican has ordered an overhaul of the most important group of nuns in the United States after an investigation found what Roman Catholic Church officials called “radical feminist themes” that questioned official positions on homosexuality and the ordination of women. In a bluntly worded report, the Vatican's watchdog of orthodoxy, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, found what it called “serious doctrinal problems” with some of the comments and actions by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, based in Silver Spring, Md. The Vatican on Wednesday named Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle to oversee changes in the group, a process that could take up to five years/Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times. More here. (A nun prays during the Palm Sunday mass in St. Peter's square at the Vatican, Sunday, April 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)


PM Scanner Traffic — 4.19.12

  • 5:06 p.m. Caller @ 2560 Meyer/Rathdrum sez female in white van dropped off cat in front of home.
  • 4:36 p.m. Passerby reports 2 kids sitting on BNSF railroad tracks @ Highways 41 & 53.
  • 4:12 p.m. From Honora Swanson/KREM: “My laugh of the day… Spokane PD report: Local gargbage man keeps getting flashed by a man wearing only a bra and a wig.”
  • 3:43 p.m. Crash b/n vehicle & school bus w/3 juveniles on board is blocking Highways 41 & 53 in front of McDonalds restaurant in Rathdrum. No injuries.
  • 13 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

PM Headlines — 4.19.12

Sorenson Magnet School 3rd grader Asher Chivvis (cq) tossed bags of trash into a raft at Blackwell Island after helping with cleanup on the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene and Spokane River in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. Volunteers included North Idaho College Resort/Recreation Management students and Kroc Center volunteers. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Otter Picks Sides In GOPrimary Races

Gov. Butch Otter has endorsed in two GOP Senate primaries — going against two incumbent lawmakers. In a head-to-head match forced by legislative redistricting, Otter is choosing Rogerson Sen. Bert Brackett over Tim Corder of Mountain Home, chairman of the Local Government and Taxation Committee. Last week, Otter endorsed former Canyon County Commissioner Todd Lakey over Rep. Robert Schaefer, R-Nampa, a 28-year House member seeking to move to the state Senate. While Brackett has been a reliable conservative vote in the Senate, Corder has been something of a moderate wild card. So, is there an element of payback? Maybe. Otter’s endorsement points out Brackett’s support of Students Come First, the K-12 overhaul backed by Otter and state schools superintendent Tom Luna. Corder opposed the bills/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Should Gov. Otter weigh in on GOPrimary races involving incumbent lawmakers?

Read more here:

‘Dark Shadows’ Jonathan Frid, 87, RIP

In this 1970 file photo originally released by ABC, Jonathan Frid, from “Dark Shadows,” is shown. Frid, a Canadian actor best known for playing Barnabas Collins in the 1960s original vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows”, has died. He was 87. Frid died Friday of natural causes in a hospital in his home town of Hamilton, Ontario, said Jim Pierson, a friend and spokesman for Dan Curtis Productions, the creator of “Dark Shadows.” Story here. (AP/ABC photo)

Question: Any of you old enough to remember watching “Dark Shadows” back in the '60s?

Coeur d’Alene Tribe Denounces Recall

In a statement from the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe this afternoon, tribal Chairman Chief Allan denounced the recall attempt against Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members: “As leaders, we do the best we can to gather community input and weigh the options. But at the end of the day, leadership must make difficult and often controversial decisions based on what is in the best interest of the greater community. As an elected official myself, I know the difficulties that come from representing a diverse constituency.  Disagreement and differences in opinion are natural in politics no matter where you go and compromise on both sides is necessary. The democratic process has checks and balances already in place for unhappy constituents- they’re called elections.” More here.


NIBCA Takes Stand Against Recall

President Angela Erickson (pictured, from NIBCA Web site) of the North Idaho Building Contractors Association urges Coeur d'Alene residents not to sign petitions seeking the recall of Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members Deanna Goodlander, Mike Kennedy and Woody McEvers. In a written statement, she said: “Although we recognize the right of citizens to undertake such an action in our democratic society, we believe that the impetus specific to this recall petition to remove the Mayor and three city council members because they don’t share the same opinion as their opponents’ is contrary to our democratic principles.  Initiating a recall against these honest, hard working, and duly elected representatives because one disagrees with their decision is unfair. We believe it will have a negative impact both on the local economy and our community at large.” More here.

  • NIBCA has joined a growing list of community organizations opposing the Coeur d'Alene recall, including the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Association, Coeur d'Alene firefights and Coeur d'Alene police.


Board Of Ed OKs BSU Coach Salary

Boise State football coach Chris Petersen's new five-year contract was approved unanimously by the State Board of Education on Thursday. There was no discussion.

Here are the details, as I reported Monday:

  • Petersen’s new contract is worth $11,748,333 over five years — including a new $250,000 annual payment to purchase a license to use the coach’s likeness.
  • The annual salary, which includes longevity incentives, deferred compensation and pension payments, will be $1,706,333 in 2012, $1,898,000 in 2013, $2,098,000 in 2014, $2,298,000 in 2015 and $2,498,000 in 2016. The salaries include longevity bonuses that are only paid if he is still employed on Feb. 15 of the following year. For the last three years of the contract, that amount is $200,000.

Brian Murphy's full report here

Question: I tend to think BSU Coach Chris Petersen is worth every penny of his sorry — given the positive image his Bronco teams provide for the state (better than Spuddy Buddy). How about you?

BriaRead more here:

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CdA Chamber Opposes Recall

  • Huckleberries hears … the North Idaho Building Contractors Association has also taken a position against the recall. Will post statement when I get it.

The Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce released a statement moments ago, taking a position against the attempted recall of Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and three Coeur d'Alene City Council members. In a statement signed by chamber board Chairman Darin Hayes and President/CEO Stephen T. Wilson (pictured), the chamber said: “The ability of citizens to recall elected officials is necessary and vital, particularly in instances of unethical, illegal or fraudulent actions or behavior. The reason cited for recall in the petitions filed by RecallCDA meet none of those criteria. The Mayor and named Council Members have been doing exactly what they were elected to do: consider issues and make decisions. Targeting individuals for recall because of a difference of opinion is not an appropriate or valid use of the recall mechanism.” More here.


Race For Cure Participation Falls 23%

Teresa Blackington of Alvaredo warms up before the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Fort Worth, Texas. Organizers of Race for the Cure events across the country have reported drops in participation following a controversy involving Planned Parenthood. In Fort Worth, participation declined by 23 percent. (AP Photo/Star-Telegram, Joyce Marshall)

Question: For the sake of a worthy program, isn't it time for both sides to put this controversy in the rear-view mirror — and renew support?

News Quiz Offers Gift Card, Tickets

Update: Berry Pickers Duffer, Lolo, KCres & Slfisher are on the leaderboard

Who wants to go to the movies? This week's news quiz will give a random winner  two free tickets to area cinemas, while the overall champ will take home a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. Simply take the current-events challenge, and you're eligible. Last week's winners were  Amy Lutz ($50 to Davenport) and Karen Baker  (Shock tickets) of Spokane, Jenny Brookfield of Millwood (Shock tickets) and Mark Kinney of Spokane Valley (Shock tickets). Good luck everyone!

Loss Teaches Us To Love, Appreciate

He missed my oldest son’s first day of kindergarten and his high school graduation.He never saw my second son kick a game-winning point after touchdown.Never heard my third-born play “Ring of Fire” on the guitar. Never even met my fourth son. He never read my column in The Spokesman-Review.Never saw my short stories printed in myriad anthologies.When my dad died in 1995 at age 68, all I could think was – it’s just too soon/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Question: Has the death of a loved one changed you?

Levon Helm, 71, The Band, RIP

Levon Helm, the widely respected and influential singer and drummer with the Band, whose Arkansas drawl colored the group's signature hits, including “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” died Thursday in New York of throat cancer. He was 71. One of three lead singers of the group that first gained fame backing Bob Dylan when he “went electric” in 1965, Helm and the Band largely created the template for a genre now labeled “Americana music” for its blend of rock, country, folk, blues and gospel strains/Los Angeles Times Pop & Hiss. More here. (AP file photo of Levon Helm drumming for the Band)

Question: Any fans of the Band out there?

Should Teachers ‘Friend’ Students?

Should students and teachers ever be friends on Facebook? School districts across the country, including the nation's largest, are weighing that question as they seek to balance the risks of inappropriate contact with the academic benefits of social networking. At least 40 school districts nationwide have approved social media policies. Schools in New York City and Florida have disciplined teachers for Facebook activity, and Missouri legislators recently acquiesced to teachers' objections to a strict statewide policy. In the New York cases, one teacher friended several female students and wrote comments including “this is sexy” under their photos, investigators said. A substitute teacher sent a message to a student saying that her boyfriend did not “deserve a beautiful girl like you”/AP. More here.. (AP photo: Nkomo Morris, a Brooklyn teacher of English & journalism, has about 50 current and former students as Facebook friends)

Question: Should teachers & students be Facebook Friends?

AM Headlines — 4.19.12

A hummingbird sits on her nest just outside an office window at the offices of The Register-Guard newspaper in Eugene, Ore. Over 20 species of hummingbirds have been recorded in the United States, but only 5 species are normally found in Oregon. Most hummingbirds are migratory ranging as far south as South America and feed on nectar from flowers and small insects. (AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Chris Pietsch)

Gonzaga Won’t Disinvite Tutu

Gonzaga University is rejecting calls by social conservatives to find a new commencement speaker because of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s (shown in AP photo) support for abortion rights and gay marriage. Critics say the apartheid era hero and Nobel laureate’s social views contradict Catholic teachings, and more than 700 Gonzaga alumni, staff, faculty and students have signed petitions protesting Tutu’s campus appearance in May and the university’s plans to award the Anglican archbishop an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. “It goes against Catholic teaching and so much of what Gonzaga stands for – or at least should stand for,” Spokane attorney Patrick Kirby said in a letter to GU President Thayne McCulloh. A statement released by GU spokeswoman Mary Joan Hahn highlighted the archbishop’s fight against apartheid and emphasized the college is honored Tutu accepted its invitation/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here.

Question: Should Gonzaga University have invited Archbishop Desmond Tutu to speak at graduation?

World Basketball Balancing Record

Nepal's Thaneshwor  Guragain spins a basketball on a toothbrush during his attempt to break the Guinness World Record set by Thomas Connors of the U.K., in Katmandu,Nepal, Thursday. Guragain reportedly spun the ball for 22.4 seconds in the attempt to break the existing record of Connors which is 13.5 seconds. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Question: What could you do to get into Guinness Book of World Records?

AM Scanner Traffic — 4.19.12

  • Noonish: A possible illegal burn is reported on Driftwood & Rainbow/CdA.
  • Noonish: 2nd caller reports phone problems in area of Coyote & Schilling/CdA.
  • Noonish: Caller wants to speak to a KCSDeputy re: a stolen business check.
  • 11:45 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for April 18-19 here.
  • 11:29 a.m. Counselor at Kootenai High School/Harrison reports possible battery from fight.
  • 11:07 a.m. Male in Worley area reports his in-laws may be running a phone scam.
  • 9 more items below

Hucks Poll: Plurality Gets Tax Refunds

  • Wednesday Poll: A narrow plurality of Hucks Nation is getting a refund from the IRS and/or Idaho this year. 98 of 216 respondents (45.37%) said they are getting a refund, while 94 of 216 (43.52%) said they had to pay federal and/or state income tax. 24 of 216 (11.11%) are like Kenny Rodgers' “Gambler.” They broke even.
  • Today's Question: Did Gonzaga University do the right thing by inviting Archbishop Desmond Tutu to speak at graduation?

Missing Post Falls Man Found Dead

Authorities reported Thursday they located the body of man reported missing earlier this week. Investigators said they found the body of Jason Tallon, 35, at the end of Ashraf Court.  A citizen was walking their dog in the area found Tallon and called police.  Once authorities arrived on scene, Tallon was found behind a fence just below some railroad tracks. Police said Tallon was last seen walking away from a friend’s home in the early morning hours of April 14.  It was reported to investigators Tallon suffered from deep depression/KREM. More here. (Originally posted on PM Scanner Traffic at 4:57 p.m. Wednesday here)

Huckleberries Hears 3 …

… that Coeur d'Alene Councilman Steve Adams sent a letter to City Attorney Mike Gridley (pictured) on April 12 asking Gridley to quit rebutting him during council meetings. Apparently, Gridley had corrected statements by Adams twice. Adams wrote that he didn't think that Gridley meant to be disrespectful when he rebutted Adams but he was coming across that way to “other parties (mayor & council, staff and especially the public.) ” Adams requested that Gridley address him privately after the council meetings, if Gridley thought something needed to be corrected. Gridley responded that he, as city attorney, has “a duty to correct any inaccurate statements of law or fact made by you or anyone else regarding the legality of city actions.” As an example, Gridley said, he would not express an opinion if someone expresses the opinion that 15th Street is rough and should be repaved. However, he wrote, if someone says 15th Street needs to be repaved because the city is violating the law “then I have a duty to express my legal opinion on the matter. It would be malpractice and a dereliction of duty if I didn't.” HucksOnline didn't get this information from Gridley, who refused to provide it, citing attorney-client privilege.

Question: Should Mike Gridley correct misstatements of fact by Coeur d'Alene council members that involve possible legal issues?

Performing With Dough

Tomofumi Takagi, of Japan, performs with his dough during the freestyle event, part of the Pizza World Championships, in Salsomaggiore Terme, northern Italy, Wednesday. The 21th Championships took place from Monday through Wednesday. (AP Photo/Marco Vasini)

Question: Which local pizza parlor is your go-to pizza place?

Huckleberries Also Hears …

… That the attempted overthrow of Coeur d'Alene's elected mayor and three council members by the Souza-Sims-Orzell crowd is beginning to hamper economic development in town. An insider in Post Falls economic development reports that California firms who do business in Idaho are concerned re: what's happening in Coeur d'Alene. Foursquare Properties and Jim Watson of Expo have said the recall isn't good for business. One of them told the insider that he hopes the recall doesn't spill over into Post Falls because stability is important to him. Also, the source said, an Inland Empire company said that the Coeur d'Alene recall “is shaking their confidence in the region.” Apparently, Kootenai County is in competition with several other states to land the company, which told the Post Falls insider that they aren't interested in coming to Idaho if the political climate in Coeur d'Alene remains unstable.

Huckleberries Hears …

… That Lakes Highway Commissioner Marv Lekstrum (pictured, from Lakes HD Web site) and state Sen. Steve Vick, R-Hayden Lake, are either thinking about resigning or have pulled the plug on the Reagan Republicans board, possibly over an attempted endorsement of a Legislative District 2 candidate. The resignation(s) is the latest in the exodus of board members including: Steve Adams, Bob Nonini, Larry Spencer, Mary Souza and Jack Schroeder. It was rumored that Coeur d'Alene Councilman Dan Gookin, vice president of technology, had resigned from the board on Wednesday. But Ron Lahr, president of the Reagan Republicans, posted this message in the Huckleberries Online comments: “The Reagan Republicans have not endorsed the CDA recall nor is Dan Gookin resigning.”

  • Dan Gookin responds to HucksOnline email: “I have a point of contention regarding their endorsement policies. I submitted my resignation to Ron a few days ago, but we spoke on the phone since then. My resignation is on hold until the board can meet to revise the endorsement policy. If they don't, then I'm gone.” Gookin and others apparently are upset re: an endorsement letter sent out by Jeff Ward and three other Reagan Republicans on behalf of House District 2 candidate Mark Fisher that appears to be a group endorsement. The Reagan Republicans were unable to get a consensus for a Fisher endorsement. You can see the letter here.


Edit: City Workers Shouldn’t Gripe

According to an anonymous survey of Moscow employees, 48 percent find their work load heavy or impossible. With that kind of job dissatisfaction, you would expect to see a lot more employment ads in area newspapers, but that's not the case. So, we can conclude city workers complaining about the job is one thing - leaving government employment is another. It's no secret a full-time job with the city is good, steady work for more than 100 employees. The pay and benefits are competitive with private industry and, from what we can tell, the work environment is better than a lot of public sector jobs. Some of the employees would like to see insurance rates go down and wages increase. We can't blame them; that wish is echoed in a vast majority of businesses and government workplaces in the U.S./Murf Racquet, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: If you could trade your current job for a city job in your town, would you?

Sholeh: Recall Removes Voter Choice

Nevertheless, despite the absence of criminal or other extremes, a group of citizens is attempting to recall not one, but four elected Coeur d'Alene officials, at least nominally over park improvements. To be fair that's just icing on a cake of dissatisfaction (with lawful, if disapproved, choices) this group has long had. Their view is these officials ignore the populace and want to spend too much public money on what the public does not want. The other view is that the proposed changes have been studied, discussed, are lawful and will use funding specifically designated for this purpose when the urban renewal agency (and its funds) were created. Never mind McEuen Park for the moment. No matter which way you see it, the process itself is at issue as much as the dispute, perhaps even more. A look at recall elections is called for/Sholeh Patrick (pictured), Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: No matter how you feel about the single issue of McEuen Field, do you want council members Dan Gookin, Steve Adams and Ron Edinger thwarting the 2009 municipal election by deciding who will be mayor and on the council for the next two years?

MT: Blind Faith Prompts Idaho Tax Cut

Nobody in Boise thinks to ask whether tax cuts pay off in economic growth. Lawmakers and governors just plow ahead. The latest example sliced $36 million from the tax burden carried by higher-income families and corporations - at the expense of schools, higher education and health care. Would it make any difference if they did? Economically driven tax cuts have become a $9 billion business. With states struggling to recover from the Great Recession, some are beginning to demand accountability from firms receiving these tax goodies. Says the Pew Center on the States: 13 states, including Washington and Oregon, are pursung the right questions. Another 12 are trying. But half, including Idaho, ask no questions at all/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Am I the only one who thinks the $36 million tax cut for higher-income families and corporations, supported by Gov. Butch Otter and the Idaho Legislature was a waste of revenue?

Clark Was Hero To Stroke Victims

Dick Clark might have been one of Hollywood's shrewdest businessmen, but for many Americans, his lesser-known role as a stroke survivor determined to live a normal life likely will be a more lasting legacy. Clark died Wednesday at age 82, suffering a massive heart attack after a medical procedure. He had had a debilitating stroke in 2004 and had to learn to walk and talk again — often with difficulty. But Clark didn't give in to the symptoms of that stroke, which included slurred, slowed speech and partial paralysis. It was assumed that Clark would have to step down from his iconic “Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve” duties, and indeed he missed that year's countdown. But he was back in 2005, alongside his appointed heir apparent, Ryan Seacrest/Rene Lynch, Los Angeles Times. More here. (AP file photo: Dick Clark in 2006 with heir apparent Ryan Seacrest, after his stroke)

Question: Were you inspired/saddened by Dick Clark's appearance w/Ryan Seacrest, post-stroke, on New Year's Eve programs?

Bee Gee Musician Gibb Seriously Ill

Dwina Gibb, wife of Bee Gee musician Robin Gibb, leaves a Central London hospital after visiting her husband Thursday. Robin Gibb has fallen into a coma after contracting pneumonia recently. Story here. (AP Photo / Max Nash)

Question: Are you a fan of disco?

Clark: More Talk, Less Action

There has been a lot of finger wagging about the Spokane City Council devoting its Monday night meeting to a public outpouring over the state’s new gay marriage law. Some of my co-conspirators in the media argue that council members should stick to topics that are within the scope of their control. That’s one way to look at it. The wrong way, alas. Now I won’t argue the logic. I agree it’s a waste of time for the City Council to get bogged down in nonbinding resolutions like gay marriage. And that’s a bad thing, how? Look at it this way. For this one glorious Monday evening … No parking meter rates were raised. Not one more red light intersection camera was installed. While citizens wrangled passionately over the definition of marriage, our hamstrung leaders couldn’t come up with any new ways to pick our pockets/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Would you rather see your City Council get bogged down on nonbinding resolutions involving topics like gay marriage than to handle its usual business?

Wisconsin Senator To Address Dems

Wisconsin state Sen. Jon Erpenbach, among 14 Democrats who drove to Illinois last year to deny a quorum on controversial budget legislation, will be the keynote speaker at the Kootenai County Democrats 10th annual Democracy Dinner on April 28. “He's a dynamic speaker and a communications specialist when he's not a legislator,” said Jerry Shriner, a spokesman for the local Democrat group. “We're looking forward to hearing him.” The event at the Coeur d'Alene Casino starts at 6:30 p.m. with a no-host social, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person, and $500 for premium tables near the speakers. Tickets can be purchased at or by contacting Shriner at 667-2949 or Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


State: CdA Right Re: Recall Deadline

Petitioners gathering signatures to springboard a recall election on four Coeur d'Alene incumbents will have less than 75 days to collect enough autographs to make that happen. That's the verdict after the Secretary of State's office reversed its initial interpretation of statutes that govern the process. The 75-day timeline to gather signatures includes the 15 business days the Kootenai County Clerk's office will have to certify them, the Secretary of State's office wrote Wednesday in a letter to Coeur d'Alene City Clerk Susan Weathers. That means the city had been correct all along, and the 15-day certification time frame has to be factored into the 75-day window - not added to it/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (City of Coeur d'Alene photo: Susan Weathers)


Anderson: Picture Time

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Hump Day Wild Card — 4.18.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 15: The Kootenai County GOP will be staging some candidates' forums over the next week or so — for the two county commissioner positions and for sheriff. I plan to attend the forum in the county commissioners race for incumbent Dan Green's seat, also featuring Rathdrum Mayor Vic Holmes and Larry Spencer, beginning at 6 o'clock Thursday at the Coeur d'Alene Library. I'll be interesting to see how Spencer sounds on the stump. Now for your Hump Day Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 4.18.12

Rock climber Maura Connors, of Boston, models a fashion creation by Ted Baker London as she rappels down a 24-story-high side of the new Revere Hotel Boston Common, during a fashion show held to commemorate the opening of the newly renovated hotel, in Boston, Thursday. Rock climbers and dancers modeled spring and summer creations by the designer as they performed in the vertical fashion show. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Stop The Recall Web Site Now Up

Jennifer Drake & Sara Meyer of Stop the Recall report: “Our website is officially up and running!  It includes links to our Facebook group, the rally event page, McEuen Currents, and our email.  You can also now donate electronically to Stop the Recall!  In the coming days, we will be adding news and other information, so stay tuned and be sure to share it with your friends.” You can get to the site here.


Detroit Dude: Kill Your TV Set

Responding to a comment the resurrected Green Libertarian killed his TV set long ago, Detroit Dude comments: “More people should, I have rabbit ears and pay $9 for streaming Netflix. There is so much garbage out there cable is not even worth looking into, unless I get to pick the channels and be billed accordingly.”

Question: Are you still paying through the nose for cable/satellite TV? Or have you found an alternative way to watch programs that you want?

PM Scanner Traffic — 4.18.12

  • 5:19 p.m. Female left house on West Park Place, threatening to stab herself to death.
  • 5:18 p.m. Caller believes 2 cats are stranded in an abandoned trailer @ Echo & Corbin/PF.
  • 5:14 p.m. A loose dog on I-90 bridge @ the stateline is close to running into traffic.
  • 4:57 p.m. Man walking his dogs reports possibly finding a dead male near BNSF railroad tracks @ Ashraf & Poleline/Post Falls. EMTs & PFPD officers are en route to site.
  • 4:36 p.m. A 9YO Post Falls boy is defying his mother by throwing pots & pans in house.
  • 4:17 p.m. Caller reports generator taken from neighbor's cabin @ Winch & Freddi/Rathdrum.
  • 4:04 p.m. CPD officer en route to handle possible drunk student @ Lakes Middle School.
  • 3:51 p.m. ISPer warns responder re: “water puddles on feeway that'll grab you & throw you around.”
  • 13 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic

PM Headlines — 4.18.12

Pierceson Krieg,9, from Brownsville Elementary School plays like he is the bait in the mouth of a salmon at the Kitsap Water Festival on Tuesday at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. The exhibit from the Wild Olympic Salmon is ” Fin the Migrating Salmon.” The annual festival, which happened to fall near Earth Day, which is Sunday, helps teach children about the importance of water as a resource. (AP Photo/Kitsap Sun, Larry Steagall)

Another View of McEuen Upgrade

Here's the Front Avenue promenade overlooking the new McEuen Field, as proposed under the $14.2M remodel of the downtown park, which is the center of controversy in the RecallCDA attempt.

Raul Reshapes Tea Party For Media

A freshman Idaho congressman, unsatisfied with news coverage dominated by the top members of the House of Representatives, has put together a group of tea party-backed freshmen who are trying to influence how bloggers and traditional media are covering Congress. Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador has organized a group called Conversations with Conservatives that features firebrands of the House freshman class. They often aren't happy with how the media portray them, and they're trying to shape coverage by offering easy access to the press to ask them about anything. Labrador said they were the rank and file whose voices could get lost in the news conferences that the Republican leadership held routinely. The freshman group has had two events so far, featuring a panel of about a dozen conservative lawmakers answering whatever questions the assembled media wanted to ask or that came in on Twitter from those watching live on the Internet/Sean Cockerham, Miami Herald. More here.

Question: What do you think of Conversations with Conservatives?

Read more here:

Stop The Recall To Stage Rally

Jennifer Drake & Sara Meyer are planning a Stop the Recall rally from 5 to 7 p.m. next Wednesday, April 25, at Art on the Alley, 107 N4th St., downtown Coeur d'Alene. They say: This is your chance to chat with the four great leaders (Mayor Sandi Bloem, and council members Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy — being unjustly targeted for recall, as well as other people opposing the recall attempt. Along with snacks and drinks, there will be Decline to Sign t-shirts, buttons, yard signs, and literature to take home and share with friends and family.”

North Idaho Blogs — 4.18.12

Looks like a three-dog day on the Lovestead, where Marianne Love/Slight Detour writes her daily blog posts. See below.

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday): 10,488/5965, and (for Tuesday): 10,879/6105

Inlander: Trouble In (Phil) Hart Land

The city of Hayden, Idaho, doesn’t look like much from U.S. Highway 95 — nothing more than the northern-most appendage of a sprawling strip that has become the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene corridor. Make an eastbound turn off the highway, however, and you’re soon tooling past posh suburban developments with street names like Stratford Drive, Whispering Pines Road and Canticleer Court (the entrance to which is guarded by two huge copper-looking roosters). McMansions abound as Hayden turns into the City of Hayden Lake, which is dominated by the Avondale Gold Club and Hayden Lake Country Club. This is Phil Hart country. With an official population of just over 9,000 residents, Hayden is the biggest city in Idaho’s recently redrawn Legislative District 2 and, while Rep. Hart lives in nearby Athol, Idaho, it’s in Hayden that he has to lock up enough votes to hold onto his seat for a fifth term. It may be the Republican lawmaker’s biggest challenge yet/Zach Hagadone, Inlander. More here. (Pacific Northwest Inlander photo)

Question: Phil Hart country?

Wolfinger’s Weekly Warrant Roundup

A Coeur d'Alene man with a $200,000 bail bond is wanted for probation violation for burglary and forgery. Anthony Allen Johnson (upper left), 22, heads the list of sheriff's Major Ben Wolfinger's individuals wanted on felony warrants this week. Others wanted include: Nathanael Lee Schierman (upper middle), 30, of Coeur d'Alene, for a probation violation for 2 counts of injury to child ($50,000 bail). Ann Marie Indelicato (upper right), 37, of Spokane, for failure to appear on a burglary charge ($50,000 bail). Christopher Matthew Schell (lower left), 29, of Coeur d'Alene, 2 counts of aggravated battery ($10,000 bail). Jonnie Lee Williams (lower right), 25, of Coeur d'Alene, for grand theft ($2,500 bail). You can find a list of individuals wanted on misdemeanor warrants here.

US Soldiers Pose w/Dead Insurgents

Today's front page of the Los Angeles Times newspaper is shown at the Hollywood Universal News stand in Los Angeles. The photograph, lower left, obtained and published by the Los Angeles Times, show American soldiers posing with the bloodied remains of dead insurgents in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta apologized Wednesday for the photograph without excusing their “very foolish” action the Pentagon chief suggested that it could be explained by the rigors of war. Story here. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)


Spencer On The Attack Again

On the Coeur d'Alene Press Web site, Larry Spencer is continuing his ad attack on incumbent Commissioner Dan Green, with the drop-down ad above. The add includes an implied attack on the Kootenai Environmental Alliance. Spencer was bragging here earlier this week that he has the Press ad space locked up. Where is Spencer getting all his campaign money to run his primary election?

Question: Is Dan Green underestimating Spencer and the possible trap of a closed Republican primary?

Olivia, William Top Idaho Baby Names

Idaho's most-popular baby names in 2010, according to the newly published state vital statistics report: Olivia and William. Placing second: Emma and Samuel, with Sophia and Logan right on their chubby little heels in third place. Rounding out the top names for girls, in order: Ava, Abigail, Elizabeth, Emily, Isabella and Ella, with Addison and Brooklyn tied for 10th place. For boys, the fourth-top pick was Ethan, followed by Jacob, Aiden, Mason, Noah, Alexander and James/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. (AP file photo of Olivia Newton-John with John Travolta on “Grease” poster)

DFO: For some reason, I'm partial to Olivia. But I'd never name a daughter that.

Question: How did you choose the names for your kids?

Bent: Gookin Should Man Up

Bent: Gookin doesn’t have the luxury of remaining neutral on this issue. He has publicly stated his agenda is to eliminate LCDC and his past actions have been laser focused on unsuccessfully opposing and trying to disrupt anything having to do with urban renewal. He is a founding member (along with many other failed city council and mayorial candidates) of which was designed for the sole purpose of criticizing the elected officials who support urban renewal. Now as an elected representative for the citizens of Coeur d’Alene he is being called on to clarify the obvious misinformation that is being spun by his washed up cronies at OpenCda which launched this recall effort. As a councilman he is OBLIGATED to clarify the city council’s position on the park, and he is refusing to do so. That is both pathetic and true to form for this man… At one point I actually thought Gookin was going to man up and represent the people who elected him, but obviously he chosen to represent and handful of bitter and hateful has-beens at OpenCda.


Thieves Stealing From Local Gyms

Coeur d’Alene Police has received theft reports that occurred at four of our local gyms.  The suspect(s) are walking into area gyms and helping themselves to keys, and wallets in the men’s locker rooms.  In turn they use the keys to get into the victims vehicle in the parking lot.  A chart below details the most recent cases.  Attached to this press release is surveillance camera footage of the suspect entering 360 Fitness.  No other video surveillance footage is available. One of the credit cards that were stolen on April 16th was used at the Safeway store in Liberty Lake/Coeur d'Alene Police Department news release. More here.

‘Oldest Teen’ Dick Clark, 82, RIP

This promotion photo from 2001 shows Dick Clark of “American Bandstand” fame, bringing in the New Year from New York's Times Square. Clark continued to ring in the new year, including 2012, despite a stroke that caused him to miss one New Year. Clark, 82, died today. Story here. (AP Photo/ABC, Donna Svennevik, File)

CdA Clerk’s June 19 Recall Date Right

Timothy A. Hurst, chief deputy of the Secretary of State's office, has confirmed that Coeur d'Alene City Clerk Susan Weathers (pictured) was right when she said that the Souza-Sims-Orzell recall effort has to submit their signatures for verification by June 19. In a letter to Weathers, Hurst wrote in part:

I have reviewed them with Secretary Ysursa and with the Attorney General's Office and it appears that your interpretation is legally defensable(sic). The reference to “certified signatures” was not removed when the recall statues were amended in 2004. As you point out, in order for signatures to be certified, the petitions have to have been examined by the county clerk and the petition must have the clerk's certificate, as provide(sic) in section 34-1807, Idaho Code, attached. The requirement to submit the petitions with certified signatures within 75 days, as required by section 34-1704, Idaho Code does include the 15 business days that the county clerk has to check the signatures.” Full letter here.

Question: How many times have I told you that you're barking up the wrong tree to challenge Coeur d'Alene City Clerk's Susan Weathers' knowledge of election code?

High Noon: Leaving An Impression

It is impossible to condense someone’s life into a few hundred words, but Karen Pohl’s chapter is still being written as her legacy lives on in the people who knew her. It can be difficult to find the words to convey emotion in the midst of a tragedy, but those who knew Pohl know what to say:  “Someone who wanted to make the world a better place.” “Someone who was a ray of sunshine in any situation.” “Someone who was a great spirit with a servant’s heart.” Pohl, a University of Idaho senior in biology, was active in volunteerism as the student coordinator for the ASUI Center for Volunteerism and Social Action. She suffered a stroke April 9 that resulted in her death early Saturday morning. But even in death, Pohl continues to have a positive impact on people’s lives — as an organ donor, her generosity will save a 17-year-old boy/UIdaho Argonaut Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Are you an organ donor?

Stripping To Protest TSA Searches

In this Tuesday photo taken at Portland International Airport, John E. Brennan stands naked after he stripped down while going through a security screening area, as a protest against airport security procedures. The incident report said Brennan's actions Tuesday evening caused some passengers to cover their eyes and their children's eyes while others looked, laughed and took photos. He later told authorities he flies often and “disrobed as a form of protest against TSA (Transportation Security Administration) screeners he felt were harassing him.” He missed his flight to San Jose, California. Story here. (AP Photo/Brian Reilly)

Question: Are you bugged by TSA airport searches?

AM Scanner Traffic — 4.18.12

  • Noonish: Animal control en route to check report of dead cat @ Tiger & North Idaho/PF.
  • Noonish: Caller reports black Honda Civic being driven recklessly @ w/b Seltice Way & Herborn/PF.
  • Noonish: Denise wants to see deputy re: text she received from CraigsList ad.
  • Noonish: Jeremy with Avista reports stolen copper wire (unknown location).
  • 11:39 a.m. Sandra reports finding a stray dog at Athol's American Legion on H54.
  • 11:22 a.m. CdA streets worker asks: “Is he putting asphalt in our asphalt pile?”
  • 10:45 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for April 17-18 here.
  • 10:21 a.m. Caller wants to speak to KCSDeputy re: missing bag of money.
  • 10:18 a.m. A theft is reported at Two Lakes Motel on Lake Coeur d'Alene Drive/CdA.
  • 10:09 a.m. Kootenai County bailiff's office at courthouse on Garden/CdA reports theft.
  • 10:05 a.m. Caller wants to speak to animal control re: redemption of goat.
  • 9:30 a.m. Counselor in a Kootenai County elementary reports possible sex assault.
  • 9:06 a.m. ISP officer is removing branches on H95 @ M/P 429 (Blackwell Slough Bridge/CdA).

Fact: McEuen Upgrade Won’t Up Taxes

JohnA: Here are the ‘no-spin’ the facts: Property owners in the Lake District of LCDC (less than 10% of all city taxpayers) pay about $3 million a year to the agency. Part of that money is currently dedicated to projects already funded in the district, like the Kroc Center, library and ed corridor. However, since McEuen has been in LCDC’s plan since 1997, the taxes needed for it have been dedicated for that purpose (and NO other purpose) and are currently being received. So, there are enough taxes currently being received by LCDC to pay for McEuen. But since the taxes are paid annually it is necessary to finance the costs over time so the project can be built now rather than in eight increments (it’s like building your house now rather than in eight parts.) The money is financed at less than 4% which makes it better than building one-eighth of the McEuen project each year. The annual construction bid costs alone (plus inflation costs of the construction) would easily exceed 4% per year so it is smart to finance the costs now. (SR file photo of girls playing on McEuen Field)


Reagan Republican Wants Your Vote

In House District 3A, Reagan Republican Jeff Tyler is seeking your vote for the seat being vacated by Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, who is running for the state Senate seat being vacated by Jim Hammond. Tyler is on the board of the Reagan Republicans here. And he served as campaign manager of Jim Brannon's near-miss election campaign against Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Mike Kennedy in the 2009 municipal elections.

DFO: I'm going to begin making posts based on literature handed out by the various candidates.

Question: Do you support Tyler's candidacy?

AM Headlines — 4.18.12

Happy Valley Elementary kindergartner Adria Cline, 5, holds a coho salmon fingerling she named “Mercury” before releasing it into Connelly Creek in the Connelly Creek Nature Area in Bellingham, Wash., Tuesday morning. Happy Valley Elementary students released Chum salmon fry and Coho fingerlings in Connlley Creek and Larrabee Elemetary students released salmon fry and fingerlings in Padden Creek. The kids in the schools have been raising the salmon since January with the help of the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association. (AP Photo/The Bellingham Herald, Philip A. Dwyer)

Tebow, Pippa Among Most Influential

Time magazine announced its 100 most influential people in the world on Wednesday, and this year's list features a host of entertainers, political leaders, and even controversial figures. The ninth annual list includes Warren Buffett, Mitt Romney, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Hillary Clinton, Ron Paul, Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa Middleton, NFL quarterback Tim Tebow and many others. Several celebrities made the list this year, including Rihanna, Chelsea Handler, Claire Danes, Kristen Wiig, Louis C.K., Stephen Colbert and Viola Davis/CBS News. More here.

Question: Which local residents would you say are the most influential in Kootenai County?

OpenCDA Attacks Mayor Yet Again

Predictably, Bill McCrory of Recallers is busy spinning Orzell's 5 minutes of complaining to Coeur d'Alene City Council Tuesday evening. Orzell insinuated that people aren't signing on to the recall because they rear intimidation and retribution. Quoth Orzell: “Small business owners and city staff have expressed their desire to sign our petition, but very often also talk about fear of reprisal, even loss of employment, and that is difficult for us to ignore.” Mayor Sandi Bloem responded that neither she or anyone else on the council would intimidate or seek retribution against individuals who signed the recall petitions. McCrory, of course, didn't accept that answer — and even quoted the mayor in the way that made her sound hesitant. You can read his latest anti-administration spin here.

Question: Could it be that the Souza-Sims-Orzell recall isn't going as well as they hoped?

Space Needle Makeover

Jeff Wright and his daughter Mauren, 15, paint the sloped surface of the Space Needle its original 1962 color, “Galaxy Gold,” Tuesday in Seattle. Wright is chairman of the Space Needle LLC and the son of Howard S. Wright, the builder of the iconic structure. Crews will continue to paint the Space Needle when weather permits for the next two days, and the color will remain throughout the summer to celebrate its 50th anniversary.(AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Bettina Hansen)

Question: Have you visited the Space Needle? Would you describe your experience for those of us who haven't?

Green Has Long Supported Phil Hart

I've been curious re: the relationship between state Rep. Phil Hart (pictured), R-Athol, and sheriff's candidate John Green for some time. It has been mentioned here that Green, an attorney for the past two decades, has represented Hart in some capacity over the years. Hart, of course, is embroiled in an income tax fight with both the IRS and Idaho Tax Commission, a fight that will end up in court the day before the general election and could cost him his home. Huckleberries Online has found a link that shows John O'Neill Green of Houston, Texas, was one of the Tax Attorneys who signed on to a full-page ad in the 2008 GOPrimary. The ad includes this statement: “t has been our pleasure to work with your State Representative, Phil Hart. Our relationship withPhil came about when we were exposed to his book Constitutional Income. That book tears away the veil of obscurity covering the 16thAmendment's true nature and scope, by placing the Income Tax Amendment in its proper historical contest — shredding decades of misinformation and misunderstanding. Phil illuminates a rich historical record that sets thefoundation for any serious discussion of federalincome tax law and policy.” Full ad here.


Moyer Becomes Oldest Winning Hurler

Rockies left-hander Jamie Moyer pitched himself into the history books Tuesday night, becoming the oldest pitcher to win a Major League game. Moyer, 49, did it in impressive fashion, allowing two unearned runs on six hits in seven strong innings against the Padres in Colorado's 5-3 victory. After the game, the Baseball Hall of Fame asked for memorabilia from Moyer's performance to display at the storied museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.  “To have your name mentioned with great players of the past or Hall of Fame players, it's pretty special,” Moyer said. Previously, the oldest pitcher to win a game in the Majors was Jack Quinn of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who won in relief on Sept. 13, 1932, when he was 49 years and 70 days old. Moyer was 49 years and 151 days old on Tuesday/Cash Kruth, More here. (AP photo)

Question: Do you think 49 is old?

Redux: When Spencer Fought Kroc

On April 22, 2007, I wrote the following column for the Spokesman-Review re: the attempt by Larry Spencer and anonymous letter signers to stop the Kroc Center: “It's hard to imagine why anyone would have a problem with a $64 million grant and endowment for a community center in Coeur d'Alene. Yet, self-appointed citizens' advocate Larry Spencer and some anonymous letter writers do. Spencer has publicly accused the Salvation Army of covering up a sweetheart deal with a generous contractor who made a $50,000 contribution and accepted rock-bottom rates to provide fill dirt for a Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center. The anonymous penmen did their part to thwart the community center project by complaining about the Salvation Army's role in letters and phone calls to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Americans United wrote a threatening letter to the city.” Full column here.

Question: Do you see any similarities between the attempt to stop the Kroc Center and the attempt to stop McEuen Field reconstruction?

Labrador Touts Sportsmen’s Act Vote

Congressman Raúl Labrador (ID-01) voted in favor of H.R. 4089, “Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012,” today. The legislation, sponsored by Congressman Jeff Miller (FL-01), passed by with a bipartisan vote of 274 to 146. H.R. 4089 is comprised of four previously-introduced bills: H.R. 2834, H.R. 3440, H.R. 991 and H.R. 1558, all of which expand hunting, shooting and recreational opportunities on federal lands. Specifically, the legislation curtails any regulatory authority of the U.S. Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Land Management that would impede recreation on America’s federal lands.  “I am proud to cast my vote in favor of the ‘Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012.’ With nearly two-thirds of Idaho’s land owned by the federal government, Idahoans must be constantly mindful of the restrictions on recreation imposed by regulatory agencies,” Congressman Labrador said/News Release from Congressman Labrador's office. More here.

Question: Do you have a position on the Sportsmen's Heritage Act?