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Archive for July 2012

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7.31.12

Yeow! We've breezed through June and now are at the last day of July. I still haven't dipped a toe into the waters of Lake Coeur d'Alene. I need to put that on my to-do list for the next week. Dunno why swimming doesn't rank higher on the list of summer activities. Mebbe I'm not into all the effort it takes to pack things to the north shore, try to find a parking spot, and go swimming with thousands of my closest friends. I'd rather ride my bike. Any of you been for a swim in the lake recently? Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.31.12

Flag raisers stand behind a U.S. flag during a medal ceremony for the American winners of one of today's Olympics events at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London. You'll have to tune in tonight to NBC or click on the Web to find out who were the winners today. I don't want to spoiler it for you. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

London Olympics OK w/Cheerleaders

When I say citius, you say altius; when I say altius, you say fortius. Or don't. That's fine, too, traditional even. But these Olympics have conspicuously defied traditional notions by having cheerleaders, in a few different styles, at a few different venues. In basketball, dance teams perform between matches. In beach volleyball, highly choreographed teams delight attendees. The beach volleyball cheerleaders are more like dancers in two-piece bathing suits, which it must be said, are actually a bit more conservative than those worn by the female players. In indoor volleyball, once known as volleyball, spectators were treated to more traditional cheerleaders doing routines you'd find at most high school basketball games/Mike Pesca, NPR. More here. (AP photo: Dancers perform during a beach volleyball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics)

Question: Were you ever a cheerleader?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.31.12

  • 5:06 p.m. Juveniles are jumping off rocks at Falls Park/PF.
  • 4:54 p.m. A black pickup is disabled in median @ I-90 & NW Blvd w/man & child alongside it.
  • 4:52 p.m. Shirtless male w/gun sticking out back of shorts is riding bike behind female on bike pulling toddler in bike trailer @ Ironwood & Govt Way/CdA.
  • 4:36 p.m. Officer is out w/unconscious individual on sidewalk @ 3rd & Hattie/CdA.
  • 4:24 p.m. Michael reports surveyors are coming on his property without permission.
  • 15 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

PM Headlines — 7.31.12

On her Slight Detour blog, Marianne Love of Sandpoint writes of this photo: “Bill wanted to take a picture of the sprinklers on the Byway above the bike path and point out that the homeless folks … if they happen to figure out the schedule … can get a free shower anywhere they wish along the bike path. Engineers thought of everything … maybe not quite like Bill does.” More photos and story here.

Scribbling About A ‘Serial Killer’

On her Facebook wall, Cindy writes: “I hate it when I scribble notes to myself while on the phone and then can't read them or remember why I wrote them. Especially when the notes involve the words 'serial killer.' Meanwhile, I probably lose every 5th Scanner Traffic item b/c I can't read my scribble an hour after I write them down. How about you?

Question: Are you scribbles readable? Ever had the words “serial killer” in one of them?

VarsityCDA: Viks Look For Three-Peat

When Coeur d’Alene garnered its second consecutive 5A state championship last fall, the Vikings — sub varsity and varsity alike – developed a collective swagger. Program-wide undefeated seasons warranted that brand of confidence. Finishing No. 16 in the USA Today’s Super 25 poll amplified it. So when the Vikings face the most brawny non-league slate in program history with the loss of a few stalwarts, it’ll be a welcoming challenge for 15-year head coach Shawn Amos. “We’re excited to challenge ourselves,” Amos said.  ”We’re playing some outstanding teams. Our goal is is not to undefeated, but get to the playoffs.”  The Vikings, who picked up defending big-school champion Skyline (Wash.), 5A power Highland, Mercer Island (Wash.) and West Linn (Ore.) for non league games, lost a grip of talent including back-to-back 5A POY Chad Chalich at quarterback and All-State receiver/defensive end Deon Watson.  They do, however, return arguably the toughest offensive and defensive lines in the Gem State/Ryan Collingwood, Varsity/CDA. More here. (VarsityCDA photo by Jason Duchow of CHS Vik Jeremiah Hazard)

  • DFO: Former Lewiston Tribune sports reporter Ryan Collingwood has launched his VarsityCDA Web site in time for the fall football season. It has a “soft pay wall” and is designed to cover high school & North Idaho College sports online. You can check it out here.

Question: What's your impression of Ryan's Web site?

Ex-NIC Cager Playing In Olympics

Former North Idaho College basketball player Tugce Canitez (shown above) is competing for her homeland, Turkey, in the 2012 London Olympics. Canitez played on the NIC women’s basketball team that won the 2011 National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship. This is the first time the Turkish women have ever fielded an Olympic basketball team, but are currently 2-0 after upsetting the Czech Republic on Day 3 of the London Olympics. The Turkish team plays USA’s team at 2:15 p.m. (22:15 London time) Wednesday. (NIC Press Room photo)

HucksOnline Makes NPR Cameo

NPR just posted “All Things Considered” story by Martin Kaste re: Tina Jacobson case vs. Linda Cook (pictured), including this excerpt from Yours Truly: “But Dave Oliveria, who runs Huckleberries Online, the Spokesman-Review blog where the offending comment appeared, feels differently. “To have free speech in this community, I think you have to have anonymity,” Oliveria argues. Huckleberries Online covers Coeur d'Alene and northern Idaho, small communities where there's a constant battle between the factions of the dominant Republican Party. “In this town, there's so much infighting, if some of these folks identified themselves, they couldn't make these comments,” Oliveria says. “I have a lot of folks online here that are in a lot of key positions in the community.” If his bosses at the Spokesman-Review required real names, he says, it would kill his blog — and deprive the community of a crucial forum. But Oliveria also admits he can only keep that discussion constructive by spending a lot of time monitoring it, and blocking the trolls. More here. Audio available at 4 p.m.

Question: Did I describe the political climate here accurately?

Copyrights And Wrongs

Charlie Schmidt poses for a photo with Natto, one of his cats who plays Keyboard Cat in some of his famous videos in front of a painting of Bento, another one of his Keyboard Cats, recently in Spokane. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)

Spokane artist and actor Charlie Schmidt often gets emails from friends and strangers reporting yet another appearance by his long-dead, still-famous cat, found on a website, blog or product catalog. Sometimes the reports are of websites simply using his viral video, “Keyboard Cat,” the 55-second clip he made in 1986 that became a web sensation 13 years later. Other times, he finds a business selling merchandise using the Keyboard Cat name or the image of Fatso, the feline in the video. Using the video or the image of his cat without a license violates his copyright; using the name Keyboard Cat for profit violates Schmidt’s trademark for that phrase/Tom Sowa, SR. More here.

Question: Do you seek permission to use the artistic work of others online?

Foster: NBC Smart To Tape-Delay

In his latest Reading the Race blog post, John M. Foster applauds the synergy between the Olympics and NBC advertising following the Individual Medley swim race won by Ryan Lochte of USA over rival American Michael Phelps, the Olympic hero from four years ago who finished a distant fourth. Remember? Foster: “Immediately after the race ended, excited television announcers wound down from the finish and transitioned to a commercial break. What followed was a series of 30-second advertisements featuring Lochte, the hero from moments earlier. Ad after ad featured the handsome American swimmer promoting everything from razors to sports drinks. The remarkable thing was how seamlessly broadcaster NBC integrated those ads into the coverage. The reason has been the subject of much attention and some outrage since the Olympics began: tape delay.” More here. (AP photo of gold medal swimmer Ryan Lochte)

Question: Are you bothered by tape-delay coverage of the Summer Olympics?

MikeK Adds City Hall Perspective

MikeK (re: Coeur d'Alene budget calls for 2% hike): Here’s a little insight, some perspective, and a few facts. There have been foregone raises and voluntary givebacks already during this long recession. Management has been dealing with the employee associations about voluntary rejection of their contracted COLA for this year - providing respectful collaborative leadership to attack budget concerns. That is happening as we speak. The city population has increased. Demand for services has increased. Yet there are fewer employees providing those services today than there were three, four, or five years ago. A number of early retirement packages are being negotiated that will result in savings, and some of those positions are not going to be replaced. Of those that are, they will normally be replaced by newer entry level employees at a lower salary that will not have the accrued benefits and may have additional responsibilities from reorganizations. This will be saving money, though there is a hidden cost in experience. More here.


Clark: Hoarder Comes Clean

Sunday was one of those rare, picture-perfect hot summer days in Spokane, the sort of day you dream about when December rolls around and you’re cold and shivering and trying to remove the snotcicles that are dangling out of your nose. At least I heard that Sunday was great. I have little firsthand knowledge due to the fact that I was stuck in the cobwebby recesses of my dimly lit basement, preoccupied by things like empty pill bottles that were issued in 1967 to my grandmother, now long departed. “How’d we end up with these?” I asked my lovely wife, Sherry. The answer, alas, is as lost as the current whereabouts of Amelia Earhart. In our near-40 years of marriage we have managed to accumulate an unholy amount of Clarkian crapola. Because of this, we spent sunny Sunday in a sweaty subterranean cleaning frenzy/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Are you a hoarder?

Older Idahoans Struggle To Find Jobs

Every unsuccessful job-seeker wants to know why they were passed over when someone else gets the position. Older Idahoans usually have a hunch what happened: Their gray hair could have been a factor. A recent survey by a Boise research firm found that older workers take significantly longer than younger people to find a job. Once they are unemployed, those 50 and older average 55 weeks without work, compared to 35 weeks for younger applicants. That was one of the findings in a nationwide survey conducted by GS Strategy Group at the request of AARP. “If Idahoans 50 and older are anything like their counterparts across the nation, we know age discrimination is likely something going through their minds when they receive a rejection letter to their job application,” said David Irwin, director of communications for AARP in Idaho/Steve Kadel, Twin Falls Times News. More here.

Question: What advantages/disadvantages does an older work bring to a job?

AM Headlines — 7.31.12

“We're having a day in the sun,” said Sandy Bridges of Greenacres as she held her grandson Dillan Brower, 4, at Coeur d'Alene City Beach on Monday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Noon: Sweet Treat For Summer

Looking for the sweetest, juiciest peach? Then you are in luck  - Idaho peaches are now in season. Idaho’s peaches are extra sweet due to the perfect summer growing conditions – warm days and cool nights lead to maximum sugar production.  And, due to their perishable and fragile nature, out of state peaches are usually picked green and hard to allow for shipping.  Idaho peaches on the other hand are tree-ripened and picked by hand, leading to a more flavorful fruit and a superior choice for all your summer recipes/Leah Clark, Idaho Preferred. More here. (Photo from Idaho Preferred blog site)

Question: Is there an Idaho peach that can compare for sweetness with those of California's Sacramento Valley?

And We Have Lift Off

Shauna Mullin from Great Britain leaps for a serve during the Beach Volleyball match against Italy at the 2012 Summer Olympics Tuesday in London. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Question: Can you jump high enough to spike a volleyball?

Seattle Weekly Eyes Jacobson Case

Rick Anderson of Seattle Weekly provides his take on the Tina Jacobson/Linda Cook lawsuit, including: “GOP leader Jacobson is now mulling her next legal step, and appears to have put the kibosh on the theft rumor. She also has newspapers rethinking the value of allowing free-form anonymous comments.” As far as I can tell, the Spokesman-Review isn't re-thinking its policy re: allowing anonymous people to comment. But anonymous posters should be forewarned that we're probably not going to spend tens of thousands of dollars in Idaho courts protecting identities from the next possible defamation lawsuit. BTW, I noticed that Anderson refers to me as Dan Oliveria. Which means it's harder for me to hang onto my 15 minutes of fame here.

Question: Which name do you like better for a North Idaho blogger — Dan, Dave or D.F. Oliveria?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.31.12

  • 11:53 a.m. Wheels are smoking on combine being pulled by truck on n/b H95 @ Honeysuckle.
  • 11:52 a.m. Man from van who just rented Budget Saver, 1519 Sherman/CdA room is yelliing in office.
  • 11:34 a.m. Caller reports seeing a male in a blue baseball cap & knapsack walk around old Sunset bowling center, off Govt Way/CdA, then climb a tree and climb down before leaving.
  • 11:25 a.m. RR crossing arm appears to be broken off at undisclosed crossing.
  • 11:11 a.m. Suicidal female (in 11:02 item) found sitting alongside Bunco Road w/5YO daughter.
  • 10 more items below

Poll: Vito/Hart Shouldn’t Have Gone

  • Monday Poll: Overwhelmingly, HucksOnline commenters said Reps. Phil Hart, R-Athol, and Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, shouldn't have attended the ALEC national conference in Salt Lake City at taxpayers expense. 123 of 137 respondents (89.78%) took that position, while only 12 of 137 respondents (8.76%) approved of the junket. 2 people were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you have a more favorable impression of former president Bill Clinton today than you did when he left office 12 years ago?

Joker: Quit Yet Bitchin’, Boomers

Joker: A friend of mine visiting from out of town and I stopped by Costco yesterday. It was brutal. All these “baby boomers” were clogging up the aisles and talking about their latest medical problem. I felt very uneasy — My friend worried that we could catch something from the summer of 1968 crowd.

DFO: Damn kid. Poking fun at us aging Boomers who heard the Beatles in real time. But he does have a point re: my g-g-g-generation complaining about its ailments. I rarely if ever do. I find it boring and too personal. How about you.

Question: Do you tell others about your medical issues?

Greek Gets Boot For Racist Remarks

In this June 29 file photo, Greece's Voula Papachristou lands in the sand after her jump at the Women's Triple Jump final at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Finland. The Hellenic Olympic Committee has removed Papachristou from Greece's 2012 Olympic team over comments she made on twitter making fun of African immigrants and expressing support for a far-right party. For better and for worse, the 2012 Olympics are being shaped, shaken and indisputably changed by social media sites such as Twitter, whose immediacy and public nature has added a new and chaotic element to the Games. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

Question: Should someone be booted from her country's Olympics team for making racist remarks and supporting a far right party on Twitter?

Gookin Wants Parking Fines Tripled

From draft minutes of Monday's budget workshop: “Councilman Gookin asked about the parking fines and noted that he has received comments that our fines are too low.  He asked if fines are something that could be increased and would like to see the fine tripled.  Mr. Tymesen suggested referring this issue to the Parking Commission.”

Question: Would you like to see parking fines tripled in downtown Coeur d'Alene?

High Court To Hear Brannon Suit

From OpenCdA Web site: “The Idaho Supreme Court has notified the parties’ attorneys that oral arguments in the 2009 election contest lawsuit appeal (Brannon v. City of Coeur d’Alene, et al) will be heard Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at 11:10 a.m. at the Kootenai County Courthouse.”

Question: And you thought this had gone away?

News Quiz: Indian Tickets Offered

Did you pay attention to the news last week? Test your current-events knowledge against our interactive quiz, and you could walk away with a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel or two upper-box tickets to see the Spokane Indians. Go to and put yourself in the running.

  • Just one of my HucksOnline peeps are on the leaderboard so far this week — CdAGardener.

CdA Budget Calls For 2% Tax Hike

On a 4-2 vote, with Councilmen Dan Gookin and Steve Adams (pictured) dissenting, the Coeur d'Alene City Council supported a 2% property tax hike for the 2012-13 budget. The action came after Adams reminded the council of his pledge not to vote to increase property taxes. This is from Susan Weathers' rough draft of the budget meeting minutes: “Councilman Adams asked about pay grade projections.  He asked if the top 20% of employees took a pay reduction.  Mr. Tymesen explained that to adjust pay grade would disrupt the scale by which positions are paid. Councilman Adams recommended that staff not be given the COLA and reduce employee wages as he believes that good leadership comes through sacrifice.  Councilman Adams also noted that pledged he will never approve any property tax increase and he is standing by that pledge.”

  • You can read the rough draft of the minutes here and here.

Question: Do you agree with Councilman Adams that the city should balance its budget by not giving a 3% COLA to employees and reducing their wages?

Edit: Obamacare Is Law, Deal With It

Our Idaho governor, the bulk of our Idaho legislative delegation and the majority of Idahoans don’t much like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. There was the slim hope that Republicans would gain control of the Senate following the 2010 midterm elections and reverse it then. There was greater belief — perhaps unfounded by precedent — that the Supreme Court would rule health care reform measures more commonly referred to as Obamacare unconstitutional. Neither happened. The law still exists exactly as it did when signed into law on March 23, 2010. It’s not going anywhere. Unfortunately, many of our legislators don’t seem to get the message. One of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Act, which is “optional” for states, is setting up their own state-run health insurance exchange. Of course, if a state “opts out,” in so doing it invites the federal government to come in and do it for them. Such appears to be the wish of House Speaker Lawerence Denney and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle/Twin Falls Times News Editorial. More here.

Question: Do Idaho Republican legislators need to deal with the reality that Obamacare has become law?

Area Atheist Launch Campaign

Sharon Mease's childhood was typical for a conservative Baptist family. Her family attended church often, and most of her friends and acquaintances also were church members. But when she was 14, a question became fixed in her mind: Was any of it real? “There was no event in particular,” the Spirit Lake woman said of what set off her spiritual doubts. “It just goes with how adolescents question everything. It was just a part of being a teenager, I suppose.” It didn't go away. In her 30s, Mease launched an intensive, “soul-searching journey” that would last 25 years. She read, watched science programs, did a lot of thinking. Finally, she resolved that she couldn't believe in a supernatural being. … The 65-year-old is participating in a Freedom From Religion Foundation campaign, in which seven billboards in the Spokane area feature the photos and testimonials of local agnostics and atheists/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Colin Mulvany 2011 SR file photo of an atheist bus ad campaign in Spokane)

Question: Do you mind if atheists are seen and heard?

Clinton Popularity Now At 66%

Bill Clinton is back. Back to where he stood in the public’s eye at inauguration. Two-thirds of Americans surveyed have a favorable opinion of the 42nd president of the United States, the Gallup Poll has found – and that 66 percent approval places him back at where he stood at inauguration in January 1993. There have been some low moments along the road — Clinton’s favorability falling to 39 percent in early 2001, after leaving office with a flourish, granting pardons to people like fugitive financier Marc Rich on the way out. Yet over the course of nearly 20 years, with a lot of globe-trotting philanthropy to his name, Clinton has made good on the tale of the “comeback kid,” by Gallup’s count. Small wonder Clinton will place President Barack Obama’s name in nomination for re-election at the Democratic National Convention the first week of September/Mark Silva, Bloomberg. More here. (AP photo: Former president Bill Clinton endorses Maggie Hassan, left, for the Democratic nomination for governor in New Hampshire last week)

Question: Do you have a more favorable opinion of former president Bill Clinton today than when he left office?

Dead Heat

This June 23 file photo provided by USA Track & Field shows the third-place finish of the women's 100-meter final from a photo-finish camera, shot at 3,000-frames-per-second, during the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore. Allyson  Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh, in foreground, finished in a dead heat for the last U.S. spot in the 100 to the London Games, each leaning across the finish line in 11.068 seconds. Felix is defending her decision to not step aside and give training partner Tarmoh a spot in the 100 meters at the Olympics after their dead heat at the U.S. trials. (AP Photo/USA Track & Field, File)

Question: Were you ever a fast runner?

Traveler: Crying Baby Onboard

Traveler (re: Bill Hall: When babies fly): My wife and I were on a flight from Los Angeles to Seattle a few years ago. About an hour into the flight, a baby right across the aisle from us started crying extremely loudly and didn’t stop for the remaining three hours. Nobody said anything to the parents, of course, but what I found surprising was that nearly all conversation ceased altogether for the rest of the flight. As soon as the plane touched down, the baby went to sleep, and you could almost hear the collective sigh from the rest of the passengers. Longest three hours of our lives.

Question: Which could you handle better — a crying baby on a plane or your neighbor's ever-barking dog?

OTV: Downtown Isn’t Scary Late Night

OrangeTV: The idea of “gangs” hanging out downtown at night is simply ridiculous and indeed, the notion does come across as rich white people paranoia. Guess what, it was at lot rougher in downtown CdA in the 1960s-1980s. I’m sure there were old biddies upset about it then, but guess what. They’ve all croaked now and downtown is still flourishing with an amazingly vibrant night life. People that try to avoid reality because they think they have a thick pocketbook will never cease to annoy me.

Question: Are you afraid to go to downtown Coeur d'Alene late night?

Skeptic Calls Bypass: Fantastic

Arpie: Here’s a report on the Sandpoint Bypass: In short, despite my nay-saying, I must say it is fantastic. First of all it has accomplished it’s goal. Downtown Sandpoint is a more peaceful, less hurried and safer place. Last weekend is traditionally one of our busiest weekends and the pace of life was wonderful. Traffic was less than it is in the shoulder seasons and there were no, zero, none, big trucks. Secondly, It shows off Sandpoint well. Before I moved here, it wasn’t until my third trip to town that I found City Beach. The view of the lake from Long Bridge is cut off by the train Bridge. Now the sail boats in the marinas, Lake Pend Oreille, and City Beach beckon tourists driving by, as well as a glorious view of Cedar Street Bridge and Sand creek on the west side. Anyone who is driving through without planning on stopping might be lured in and will at least make a mental note that this is a place worth checking out. The city is working on plans to make the area between Sand Creek and what is now the back side of first street look less like an alley and more inviting. That will help.

Question: Is this a bypass or byway? We need to settle on a name.

Anderson: Do Not Cross

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Monday — 7.30.12

We should be entering the dog days of summer on Wednesday. But most of you realize that summer is only about a month old in reality. It rained through June and into mid-July with a break to celebrate the 4th of July. Still, we've had it far, far better than two-thirds of the country that is suffering drought. So embrace August as possibly our only true month of summer. And keep your fingers crossed for another wonderful Indian summer beyond that. Now for your first Wild Card of the week …

Parting Shot — 7.30.12

United States' Matthew Grevers, right, and France's Camille Lacourt start in the men's 100-meter backstroke swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London today. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Question: I accidentally saw who won this race, as a result of poking around various Web sites in search of material to feed the insatiable maw of this HucksOnline cyber beast. Do you like to see who won various events prior to your night time viewing of Olympics coverage?

3rd ‘Hobbit’ Film In Works

Warner Bros. and New Line have cleared all hurdles to creating a third installment of “The Hobbit” and are moving forward with the project, director Peter Jackson announced Monday. Unlike the first two films, which unspool over consecutive Christmas frames, the final “Hobbit” installment was expected for a summer release in 2014. No firm date was affixed, however. Jackson said at Comic-Con that there was plenty of extra footage from the two-picture shoot, and hinted at the possibility of a third film. The Los Angeles Times subsequently first reported that the “Lord of the Rings” helmer and the studio were quietly talking about fashioning the project into a trilogy. Jackson then confirmed in a Monday morning Facebook post that a third pic was in the works/Josh L. Dickey, Chicago Tribune. More here. (AP/New Line Productions photo, of Frodo, Gollum & Sam from “Return of the King.” Gollum is one of the characters who will make a return visit to screens in the “Hobbit.”)

Question: Which film series did you enjoy best — “Star Wars,” “Twilight” or “Harry Potter” or “Lord of the Rings”? And/or: Is there enough material for three “Hobbit” movies?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.30.12

  • 5:54 p.m. Dog being kept in hot vehicle w/windows rolled up @ Triple Play, 175 E. Orchard/Hayden.
  • 5:46 p.m. Undisclosed theft reported in 8500 block of Cloverleaf Drive/Hayden.
  • 5:37 p.m. Possible protective order violation reported at KMC.
  • 5:31 p.m. Hayden WalMart reports apprehending a shoplifter.
  • 5:15 p.m. Fireman is directing colleagues to blaze in woods off Potlatch Road/CdA.
  • 5:07 p.m. Vehicles driving around RR crossing arms that are down @ H54 & Allen/Athol.
  • 5:05 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 29-30 here.
  • 4:42 p.m. Caller reports finding undisclosed property @ Goodwill on 4th/Midtown.
  • 4:28 a.m. a 14YO boy is suffering breathing problems in 2800 block of Masters/CdA.
  • 4:25 p.m. Caller reports ongoing problem w/neighbor's 18YO boy speeding around corners.
  • 4:21 p.m. 16YO boater reports damaging bottom of boat by hitting deadhead near Yacht Club on Spokane River.
  • 4:13 p.m. Female reports suspicious brown pickup driving around Sanders Beach area.
  • 14 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

PM Headlines — 7.30.12

Bill Love and his wife, Slight Detour blogger Marianne, loaded up their bikes Sunday evening and took their maiden voyage over the new bike path along Sand Creek.  “Again,” posts Marianne, superlatives are all I can think of as descriptive words for this wonderful gift to our community.  Besides its stunning beauty, the route served as somewhat of a “meet-and-greet” experience.  I met a lot of familiar faces and some new friends.” More from Marianne's Slight Detour post here.

Reward Offered In Nettleton Arson

A $5,000 reward is offered for information leading to an arrest of the person or persons responsible for the Arson fire that occurred last evening at 1609 E. Nettleton Gulch, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The fire loss  and damage to all four structures is estimated to exceed $200,000. The Coeur d’Alene Police are seeking information on the crime and are looking for 2 “Persons of Interest” in the case. Both of these persons are white juvenile males and were seen leaving the area shortly before the fire was discovered. One of the males appeared to tall, older than the other and was wearing a black tee shirt. The other person appeared to be a younger juvenile and was described as short and wearing a blue “tee” shirt. Both persons were wearing their hair in a (Faux Hawk) pointed on top hair style. Both persons were last seen in the area of 16th and Davis in Coeur d’Alene headed east. If you have any information on this fire please call the CDA police Department tip line at 208-769-2296.

No Happy Ever After: Edward & Bella

Robert Pattinson has reportedly asked Kristen Stewart to break dawn somewhere else. The Hollywood heartthrob requested his girlfriend of three years move out of their $6 million Los Angeles mansion after she admitted to a marathon makeout session with a married director, reported Monday. The betrayed beau, 26, asked Stewart, 22, to remove her belongings from their Los Feliz love nest, and on Saturday a U-Haul moving truck took them away, People said. “The entire thing has been such a blow to Rob. Talk about having his heart ripped out,” a source who knows the couple told People. “Rob just isn't going to be able to get past the cheating - one time or not.” News of Stewart's infidelity broke last week when Us Weekly published a series of steamy snaps showing the beautiful ingénue locking lips with her “Snow White and the Huntsman” director Rupert Sanders in Los Angeles July 17. The “Twilight” actress quickly apologized/Daily News ShowBiz. More here. (Robert Pattinson & Kristin Stewart in “Breaking Dawn, Part I”)

Question: What? You thought the real Edward and the real Bella would still be going strong 300 years from now? Are you disappointed when heart throbs like Pattinson and Stewart split?

NIdaho Blog Rdp — 7.30.12

The Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington/North Idaho march proudly along the parade route w/flags flying during the annual Hayden Days event that took place Friday and Saturday. (Carolyn Lamberson, special to Huckleberries Online)

HucksOnline numbers (for July 22-28): 60,393/32,675

Bill Hall: When Babies Fly

Babies don't have to go to the movies. But sometimes they need to fly. When babies fly and cry, some grumpy adult passengers forget where they themselves came from and get all riled and huffy about having to endure a little shrieker on board. Mind you, I'm not saying I totally enjoy flying cooped up in the sardine seats for hours with a nearby human larva constantly testing his little lungs. But sometimes in life, dues must be paid. If you were ever a baby, that means you once tested your high-pitched little siren from time to time, using that survival tool to demand attention to your hunger and to your wet diaper. And some of you were practicing how to grow up to be a loudmouth. A lot of strangers once sat silently on planes, screaming inside their own heads, wishing your mother would shut you up, but understanding the necessity of new children on this planet/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More to come.

Question: How do you react when a nearby baby is crying on your flight?

Dems To Officially Back Gay Marriage

The Democratic Party is moving to include support for gay marriage in the official party platform for the first time, a Democratic official said Monday, marking a key milestone for advocates of same-sex unions. The party's platform drafting committee voted to include language backing gay marriage during a weekend meeting in Minneapolis, the official said. Democratic delegates will formally approve the platform during the party convention in Charlotte, N.C. in early September. President Barack Obama will officially accept his party's nomination at the convention, which marks the start of the fall campaign blitz. Republican rival Mitt Romney will get the GOP nomination a week earlier during his party's convention in Tampa, Fla./Associated Press. More here.

Question: Will the nation's Democrats be helped/hurt by embracing gay marriage?

You Can’t Defend Billboard Message

Even Maurice Clements says the message he posted on a Caldwell electronic billboard might have been “poorly done.” That’s an understatement, albeit after the fact. But the billboard remained up Monday, showing President Barack Obama alongside Colorado movie theater mass murder suspect James Holmes — a juxtaposition that manages to combine poor reasoning with even poorer taste. Clements said he was trying to call attention to Obama’s failure to bring U.S. troops home as promised, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Americans and civilians. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize despite his lethal foreign policy decisions, said Clements; meanwhile, after 12 people died in the Colorado theater shootings, “everyone freaks out.” As Clements said last week, “We’re not saying that Obama is a lunatic.” No, of course not. By placing a picture of Obama next to that a wild-eyed spree shooting suspect, Clements is merely implying that Obama is a lunatic/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What do you think of Idaho's Far Right trying to portray President Obama as a lunatic?

Read more here:

Marco … Polo … Marco … Polo

Annika Dries, left, of the United States pushes the ball away from Dora Czigany of Hungary during their women's water polo preliminary round match at the 2012 Summer Olympics Monday in London. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Question: Have you ever played Marco Polo in the pool?

Dying Man’s Tip Inspires Charity

As Seth Collins finished his penne pasta at a Lexington restaurant, he called over the waitress to fulfill his brother's dying wish. He explained to her that his 30-year-old brother Aaron recently passed away, but that he'd left instructions in his will to leave a $500 tip for a server. Then Seth Collins handed the waitress a stack of $20 bills. The waitress, Chelsea Powell, took the money reluctantly and then smiled and said: “Are you kidding me?” She laughed nervously and had to cover her mouth from the excitement before giving Collins a hug/Associated Press. More here.

Question: I try to tip between 17% to 20%, even if the service is so-so. Tipping is important for the hard-working waiters and waitresses who serve you, especially in this economy. How much do you usually tip? What determines the size of your tip?

Digger: Oh, The Humanity!

On his Facebook wall, Digger complains: “So Cindy Hval gets front paged for witty observations about her cats — and I complete a rather massive patio project involving the building of a retaining wall, moving and leveling 5.5 cubic yards of gravel and hand mixing/pouring 48 bags of quickmix concrete and don't get a mention at all? Ouch.”

Question: Can you describe last major landscape project that you did? Moi? Ripped out all the overgrown bushes along the front-yard porch and replaced all the old rock & weeds in boulevard with nice new rock.

Joker: How Did Sunday Go?

Joker: How was your Sunday service? Did anybody confront you?

DFO: Sunday AM services were good. Per usual. Pastor Steve Massey delivered another strong sermon on the Lord Jesus: The Bread of Life. Sweet fellowship at Hayden Bible Church. Per usual. No problems of any sort. Also enjoyed Bram Brata steel drum performance at City Park afterward. You, of course, are referring to the cyber threat made by a Far Right Web site in the county calling on its readers to stalk me in my place of worship and public outings. I filed a police report this morning with the Coeur d'Alene Police Department to put the matter in the police files — and provided an officer with documentation of individuals who have posted derogatory comments about my church involvement or linked to those comments online or via Twitter. I found the IP address of one of those individuals listed among the visitors to our church Web site. I also provided information re: the registered owner of the suspect blog's domain site. At this point, I don't want to waste anyone's time on an investigation. I believe in second chances. People make mistakes online in the heat of the moment. However, I wanted the incident in the police files for future reference.

Noon: Hello, Grandpa

On his Facebook wall, MikeK writes: “The woman behind me has a baby on her lap. Baby drops bottle in our row, I pick it up. She thanks me, then says to her baby 'nice grandpa got the bottle for you.' While it's possible that I misheard her, I'm taking this as a hostile comment. And deeply depressing.”

Question: Do you look younger or older than you are?

Riding Cross Country

Aliaksandr Faminou, of Belarus, rides his horse Coolroy Piter as he competes in the equestrian eventing cross-country stage at the 2012 Summer Olympics today in London. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Question: Have you ever owned a horse?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.30.12

  • 12:19 a.m. A German shepherd is running back & forth across freeway @ Huetter rest stop.
  • 12:02 p.m. Officers catch male (11:49 item) by oil tanks & railroad tracks/Hauser.
  • 11:52 a.m. CPD officers are looking for run vehicle in hit-and-run @ Ramsey & Kathleen/CdA.
  • 11:49 a.m. Male ran from vehicle in Curly's parking lot/Hauser after being chased their by patrol officer for failing to yield right of way. Male is trying to hide among nearby storage units. A pregnant female remains in the vehicle.
  • 10 more items below

Johnson: Bad History Matters

David Barton’s book “The Jefferson Lies” is a New York Times bestseller. It was also recently voted “the least credible history book in print.” The book has been widely panned by real historians, but still it sells and sells. David Maraniss, an Associate Editor of The Washington Post, is just out with a completely sourced, deeply researched reporting job called “Barack Obama: The Story.” Maraniss, a Pulitzer winner for his reporting on Bill Clinton, has written a shelf full of fine books on Clinton, Al Gore, Roberto Clemente and Vince Lombardi, among other subjects. He’s a pro and turning to the footnotes in his books tells you all you need to know about how seriously he takes the research that is the super structure of his reporting. Yet, Maraniss’ book, well-reviewed and critically praised, hasn’t broken through as a big seller. For that book on Obama you’ll need to turn to Edward Klein’s book “The Amateur,” which has been on the Times bestseller lists for weeks despite the fact that is based on unanimous sources and little real reporting/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: Can you name the best biography you've read about a political leader?

IReporter: Time To Drop Prep Sports?

High school sports from the Friday night football game to basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball track and field, tennis, golf … you name it, it has a constituency who live and die with the outcome of the events. High school sports rank right up there with mom, apple pie and Chevrolets. Every year, big bucks are spent to give students the chance to participate in sports-related activities, not to mention the ancillary features—cheerleaders, drill teams, pep bands, a venue to recognize those who have done something for a school not necessarily athletic-oriented. The high school football field or gymnasium are gathering places. … With education budget issues in Idaho and other states, one prominent business and sports figure in Nevada is proposing a complete rewrite of the high school sports environment. Len Stevens is now executive director of the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that, he was head basketball coach at the University of Nevada and Washington State University. He thinks the time has some to kill high school sports/Mitch Coffman, Idaho Reporter. More here. (Idaho Reporter photo)

Question: Is it time to disband high school sports in favor of cost efficient club sports?

AM Headlines — 7.30.12

Volunteers begin refurbishing a national forest fire lookout on Spyglass Peak in the upper reaches of the North Fork Coeur d'Alene River in July 2012. The Idaho Panhandle National Forests partnered with Lutherhaven Ministries and the Forest Fire Lookout Association to renovate three historic structures, including Spyglass lookout tower, a ground house where workers who staffed the lookout lived when the lookout was operational, and an outhouse. Rich Landers SR story here. (U.S. Forest Service photo)

How Low Can You Go

Members of the Bram Brata steel drum band from the Tri-Cities liven things up even further by limboing to the lively music at the City Park bandshell Sunday afternoon. Duane Rasmussen was on hand to catch this photo of a teen limboing to the music.

Question: Did you ever limbo well?

Frankenstein Mosquitos Worth Risk

Scientists have figured out how to engineer mosquitoes into little suicide bombers who end up annihilating themselves after mating. Getting the tiny bomb jackets on these Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes is difficult. But what happens is the genetic structure of the male mosquito is modified into a mutant capable of destroying its own species.The modified males are turned loose to breed with females in the wild and after the eggs hatch the fatal genes will prevail, killing them all. The Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes (don't ask me how to pronounce that) are among the deadliest creatures on Earth and spread fatal diseases such as yellow fever and dengue fever. I have no sympathy for mosquitoes and this seems like a really neat plan - far better than dousing myself and the people around me with bug spray that may be more toxic than the bugs we're trying to get rid of/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are you a mosquito magnate?

State Line To Get I-90 Interchange

A new interchange scheduled to open this year on Interstate 90 near the Idaho-Washington border could revive commercial development around Cabela’s starting next year. The outdoor recreation megastore has been something of a lone wolf since it opened in 2007, with only Wal-Mart moving into its territory in 2010. Around those two anchor stores lie acres of paved parking and vacant dirt lots within The Pointe at Post Falls development, on the north side of I-90 just east of the state line. The Beck Road interchange, now under construction and scheduled to open right after Thanksgiving, will bring direct freeway access to the site and boost its appeal as a retail destination. The conceptual site plan by developer Foursquare Properties of Carlsbad, Calif., shows room for three more big-box stores and around 30 smaller retail spaces, as well as a couple of hotels, on the 230-acre site/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Jerome A. Pollos Coeur d'Alene Press photo: An I-90 interchange like this one at 15th Street/CdA will soon be in place at Beck Road near State Line)

Question: Will you be more likely to shop at Cabela's, Stateline WalMart and future big-box stores when the Beck Road interchange opens later this year?

Elections Good For Gun Sales

Some Kootenai County gun retailers and law enforcement are reporting a rise in gun ownership, though they say the trend started months before last week's shooting in Colorado. “It's an election year,” explained Eric Johnson, trainer with Downtown Guns and Ammo. As rumors of policy change are thick in the air again with the approaching presidential election, fear of fiercer gun control is also resurfacing. “It was crazy the last time,” Johnson recalled of folks harvesting firearms during Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. “Anytime a Democrat gets elected, people start to panic a bit. This year, there's even more on the re-election. The majority of people start to panic, then.” Although retailers' shelves haven't been emptied like they were four years ago, gun sales at Johnson's downtown Coeur d'Alene store have risen about 30 percent this year, he estimated. No particular style or brand seems more popular than others, he added. “They're buying just about everything,” he said. “Election years, they're always just a little concerned”/Alecia Warren, SR. More here. (Jerome A. Pollos Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Treven Weaver helps a customer browsing the gun selection Thursday at Black Sheep Sporting Goods in Coeur d'Alene)

Question: Has the current direction and/or economic situation in this country prompted you to purchase a gun (more guns)?

Editor: Legal Action Vital For SR

The Spokesman-Review has engaged in some important and costly legal challenges in recent months that produced mixed results, but our watchdog efforts remain an integral component of the newsroom’s commitment to our audience and the community. In one case, we lost in the effort to protect an anonymous commenter on one of our most popular online blogs, while in another case we succeeded in persuading a federal judge to unseal transcripts of the secretive query of jurors who convicted former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. in connection with his deadly confrontation with Otto Zehm. Meanwhile, our legal counsel is helping us push for release of disciplinary records involving a few public school teachers in the region. The case involving the anonymous comments posted on Huckleberries Online, a blog written, compiled and maintained by veteran Idaho journalist Dave Oliveria, was clearly the most complicated of the recent challenges/SR Editor Gary Graham. More here. (SR photo of Editor Gary Graham)


Drop It! Drop It!

At the Sunday concert at City Park, an owner eats a sandwich while his dog stands at attention, hoping he might drop a morsel. The dog owner was among a good crowd listening to music from a steel drum band from the Tri-Cities. Soon they were gone with the man on his bicycle and the dog  on top of the box sitting on a trailer.  The box said something about being the Property of “Yosemite.” (Duane Rasmussen photo special for Huckleberries Online)

Question: Do you feed your dog table scraps?

Barbieri Defends Salt Lake City Trip

Five Idaho lawmakers attended the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual conference in Salt Lake City last week, but only two – Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, and outgoing Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol – went at state expense. The others either traveled at their own expense or got scholarships from ALEC, a group that brings together business interests and state lawmakers to work on policy issues. “This was the only way that I could attend,” Barbieri said, “so I asked the speaker and he approved it.” House Speaker Lawerence Denney also approved state payment for Hart’s trip to the conference. House chief fiscal officer Terri Franks-Smith said several House members typically attend the ALEC conference each year, some at state expense. “I’ve known over the years it to happen both ways,” she said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


Press: Requiem For A Good Program

Fans of the Coeur d'Alene School District's International Baccalaureate program, that sure does sound like taps in the background. Since a group of citizens just this side of the John Birch Society took lethal aim at IB, worried that the globally acclaimed program for accelerated learners was actually scholastic subterfuge behind which commies and atheists and Cubs fans lurked, its life in North Idaho was limited. First IB was cut from two high schools to one. Now it is up before the district's Board of Trustees for execution. Our defense of the program is strong but not boundless. The curriculum itself is outstanding. Top educators across the nation agree that teaching our children to think critically is as vital a mission as any, and IB excels at that. Its Theory of Knowledge class is without peer in North Idaho. But the IB curriculum is challenging enough to scare away many students, and in the final analysis it is only going to be as valuable as its teachers and students make it/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here. (Coeur d'Alene School District photo: James Purtee, an appointed trustee who opposes IB)

Question: Are you going to miss International Baccalaureate?

Hucks: Beware The Donut Burger

Restaurant reviewer Patrick Jacobs claims he ate a donut burger after hours from an unnamed food truck in downtown Coeur d’Alene on Saturday, July 21. You read that right – a donut burger. Patrick described it in his Get Out! North Idaho blog the next day: “The glazed Krispy Kreme bun … was toothsome and sweet. The beef patty was grilled to a nice char on the outside but was meaty-rich and greasy-hot inside. Smoky crisp bacon strips and a slice of tangy cheddar finished out the cast of players in the Donut Burger Show, and no condiments were involved, obviously. Only a loon would ruin this perfect (and perfectly fattening) collision of sweet vs. umami flavors with ketchup.” Patrick said he spotted the white truck in that parking lot across from Cricket’s, next to the buffalo. Huckleberries has seen the buffalo statue. But a mystery truck offering donut burgers? That’s hard to swallow, even though Patrick did/DFO, SR Huckleberries. More here.

Question: What is the most fattening thing you've ever eaten at one sitting?

Weekend Wild Card — 7.28-29.12

It's midsummer and yet things haven't slowed down around here. The past week has been a blear beginning with the preemptive self-outing of Linda Cook (AlmostInnocentBystander) in that lawsuit filed by former county Republican chairwoman Tina Jacobson. It's midsummer, fuhcryinoutloud. I can't wait for the fall election season for a breather. I hear there's a presidential election going on. Obama versus Romney, I think. National politics seem pretty tame compared to local politics. With that thought, I'll post the weekend Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.27.12

Emily Atha waits for the start of the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics earlier today in London.(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Question: Have you ever painted your face to support a team or nation? Tell us about it.

TGIF Wild Card — 7.27.12

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade but you're not in with the in crowd here, if you ain't been outed by Chester the Discombulated Keyboard Commando for United Conservatives of North Idaho. But never fear. Chet is promising one more “reveal” before his reign of cyber terror is over. He has his slack-jawed followers — both of them — scouring the HucksOnline blogosphere in search of identities of anonymous posters here. It shouldn't be that hard. I'd tell 'em who “Betsy,” “BrianBreen” and “RandyMeyers” are, if he asks nice. Now for your last Wild Card of the work week …

Caldwell Billboard Links Obama, Killer

“Offensive.” “Abhorrent.” “Pathetic.” Words like that are being used to describe a billboard in Caldwell, Idaho, that compares President Barack Obama — unfavorably — to James Eagan Holmes, the suspect in the shooting deaths of 12 people in a Colorado movie theater last week. The sign features photos of Holmes and Obama side by side. Of Holmes, it says: “Kills 12 in a movie theater with assault rifle, everyone freaks out.” Of Obama, it says: “Kills thousands with foreign policy, wins Nobel Peace Prize.” The electronic billboard often blares anti-Obama messages, but this one struck people as especially insensitive. It's the work of supporters of the late Ralph Smeed, for many years a lightning-rod activist for libertarian causes in Idaho, The Idaho Statesman of Boise reported/US News & World Report. More here. (AP file photo of James Holmes in court)

Question: Are you kidding me?!

PM Headlines — 7.27.12

Spokane native Amanda Furrer, 21, has qualified for U.S. Olympic Team and will be headed to London this summer. Furrer, who began shooting at age 11 on the Spokane junior rifle team, made the U.S. women's team in three-position rifle during team trials in Fort Benning, Georgia. Rich Landers SR story here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.27.12

  • 5:53 p.m. Possible battery reported in 8100 block of Loch Haven/Hayden.
  • 5:37 p.m. ISP officer reports couch lying in n/b lane of H41 @ M/P 16 (Spirit Lake Loop).
  • 5:28 p.m. ISP officer asks colleague if he found the motorcycle helmet (4:13 item). He hadn't.
  • 5:14 p.m. Report of possible residential burglary in 2300 block of Greensferry/PF.
  • 4:48 p.m. Gray Toyota has crashed into ditch on n/b H41 @ Poleline/PF after tires lock up.
  • 4:42 p.m. Caller reports possible wanted male in 200 block of East Dakota/Hayden.
  • 4:22 p.m. Robert has questions re: open containers of alcohol in the county.
  • 4:18 p.m. 2-vehicle, non-injury accident is partly blocking I-90 & H95/CdA.
  • 4:13 p.m. Rescuers are trying to get to a motorcyclist who crashed over a guardrail @ I-90 & M/P 97 (Wolf Lodge Bay exit to Harrison). The victim is injured but not seriously. He has asked rescuers to contact his employer to say he won't be coming into work today.
  • 14 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Here’s Comes … Halloween

A Berry Picker couldn't believe her eyes when she spotted this today on the shelves at Costco.

Question: Are you ready for … Halloween?

Close Encounter w/ALEC Protester

I’m back in Idaho having attended meetings of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Salt Lake City. And I’m most struck by a minute-long diatribe directed at me that took place in front of the Great America Hotel in that delightful city’s downtown. I was heading into the hotel to attend ALEC’s meetings, and a sign-wielding protester, whose face was hidden behind a blue bandanna, began following and hurling F-bombs at me in rapid succession. I’ll spare you the details. But, essentially, the protester accused ALEC, its supporters and people like me of working in unison to harm women, children, the elderly, puppies and butterflies. At the time, I wasn’t terribly introspective about the encounter. Later, though, I wondered about his thought process. Do this protester and his friends truly believe that free market advocates are uncaring, selfish people? That we’re unmoved by the plight of the hungry, the homeless and disadvantaged? That in a truly free market economy, we’d be quite content to see wide swaths of Americans enduring an abundance of human suffering?/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More to come.


Chuckles Targets DFO At Church

Wow! Chester's now trying to attack me at my place of worship — Hayden Bible Church. Seriously? In his latest post, Chester is telling his readers to pack the pew at Hayden Bible Church, where I serve as an Elder. He has put out the bat signal urging his followers to attend Hayden Bible Church on Miles Avenue for a Sunday or two to let my brethren know what the Chesters of this section of the world think of me. You can read his call to action here. I consider this post way over the line. I don't want to get my church involved in the crazy Right Wing politics of Kootenai County. Therefore, I'll throw in the flag. There's no way I'm going to continue playing this online game with a totally anonymous person on a totally anonymous site who knows no boundaries. Enjoy your last reveal Monday, Chester. It won't be reported here. I'm sorry your page-views are about to drop off dramatically.



In this Thursday photo, the flukes of a gray whale appear during an outing by Whale Research EcoExcursions in Depoe Bay, Ore. Summer Whale Watch Weekend at Boiler Bay State Park offers an opportunity to see whales and wildlife this Saturday and Sunday. The American Cetacean Society sponsors the event. (Register Guard/AP photo: Kevin Clark)

Question: Have you ever been this close to a whale?

Obama/Mitt Athleticism? Meh

Glimpsing Mitt and Ann Romneyin the stands at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, East London, with Michelle Obama also in attendance, Americans doubtless will wonder (or not, but we’re going to write about it anyway) just how sporty and sporting the presidential candidates can be. President Obama is known, like many presidents, for enjoying time away on the golf course, but also for mixing it up in fairly fierce basketball games with staffers and friends. Romney jokes about his lack of athleticism, though he competes each summer with his five sons and other family in the “Romney Olympics,” including a mini-triathlon and ….a nail-pounding contest? Pressed by Fox News’ Neil Cavuto a couple months back about how he would match the president’s cool,  Romney suggested: “I don’t think I’ll play the president a round of golf, but I will take him to a waterski course.”  Rock  it, lads!/Los Angeles Times. More here.

Question: Which won of the presidential contendahs would win in a boxing match? (Defend your choice)

Dow Closes Above 13,000

The Dow industrials powered past 13000, as investors celebrated signs Europe's leaders are taking action to address the region's debt troubles. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 187.73 points, or 1.5%, closing above 13000 for the first time since May 7. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index advanced 25.95 points, or 1.9%, to 1385.97, and the Nasdaq Composite added 64.84 points, or 2.2%, to 2958.09. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is trying to win over European policy makers on a plan to strengthen the euro zone's financial health, according to news reports. U.S. stocks accelerated Friday's gains on the news, which said that Mr. Draghi will meet with the head of Germany's Bundesbank in coming days, and that he is also discussing the potential for bond purchases, further interest-rate cuts, and long-term loans to banks/Wall Street Journal. More here.

Question: Are you glad you didn't panic? Or did you?

Column: Don’t Count LeFavour Out

A long-held principle in electoral politics: Until the votes are counted, there are no absolutes – no 100 percent chance of winning, no zero percent chance of losing. Even in a race that looks like a slam dunk, there’s a little room for long-shot possibility. So the newly-posted Facebook page from 2nd district Democratic challenger Nicole LeFavour, “Why Nicole can win,” makes for provocative reading. Widespread wisdom is that six-term Republican incumbent Mike Simpson is solidly positioned for a seventh term; is there an argument to the contrary? (Bearing in mind, it would be political malpractice for her not to pitch one.) To start: Idaho’s congressional districts change this year, and the second now includes more of Boise than before, including nearly all its Democratic-leaning voters. “Some consider this district stronger for Democrats than Idaho’s first congressional district was when Walt Minnick was elected to U.S. Congress in 2008.” Maybe. But Minnick won in unusual conditions, and lost two years later/Randy Staplius, Ridenbaugh Press. More to come.

Question: Who is the best bet to score an upset win in an Idaho election?

Washingtonians Seek Booze In Idaho

Washington voters probably didn’t intend it, but they gave at least a temporary economic boost to Idaho liquor stores when taking their state out of the booze business last year. In June, the first month that Initiative 1183 closed Washington’s state-owned liquor stores and raised the overall price of distilled spirits in the private outlets that took their place, Idaho state liquor stores just across the border saw more Evergreen State license plates in their parking lots and a jump in business. The two Post Falls liquor stores saw a 58 percent sales increase in June compared with June 2011, said Jeff Anderson, director of the Idaho State Liquor Division. The eight liquor stores just across the border, from Lewiston to Oldtown, are up 33 percent overall, a total of $560,000/Jim Camden, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo: “You never know what kind of a markup you’re going to get in the grocery store,” said Joan Carrier, of Otis Orchards, after making a purchase at the Idaho state liquor store in Post Falls on Thursday)

Question: Where do you buy your booze?

AM: Mini Sturgis Returns To Stateline

“I've been dancing for 30 years,” said Micky Martin, of Spokane Valley,front right, during opening night of the 7th annual Mini-Sturgis at  Cruiser's bar in Post Falls on Thursday. The event runs through Saturday night. Scott Maben/SR reports on the 8th annual Mini-Sturgis event and that the owners of Cruisers have put the bar up for sale here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Poll: 31% Bullied Online

  • Daily Poll: 119 of 196 respondents (60.71%) say they haven't been bullied online. 61 of 196 respondents (31.12%) say they have. 5 of 196 (2.55%) admitted that they're online bullies. 11 were uncertain whether they have or haven't.
  • Weekend Poll: What do you think of the “outings” by Chuckle Berries of Huckleberries Online anonymous commenters?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.27.12

  • 12:09 p.m. Dog locked in mini-van in Row 8 of Hayden WalMart is panting.
  • 12:08 p.m. Deer almost goes through window of dar driven by female who is 39 months pregnant on H95 @ M/P 436 (Lacey/Hayden).
  • 12:07 p.m. Williams Paint & Coating on Govt Way/Hayden reports possible fraud.
  • 12:06 p.m. Male is unconscious at home in 1000 block of Maranatha/PF.
  • 11:59 a.m. Guy in Jeep passed in no-passing zone & flipped off others @ s/b H41 & Lancaster.
  • 11:57 a.m. Steven reports that man in Harrison may have too many cats.
  • 11:53 a.m. Possibly DUI female in black-and-white Ford Mustang drove from Food Mart @ 15th & Sherman/CdA after buying an 18-pack of beer.
  • 12 more items below

4 Legs Better Than 2

New Zealand's Caroline Lenamore runs with her horse Lenamore during horse inspection for the equestrian eventing competition at Greenwich Park, the site for the equestrian and modern pentathlon events at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, in London. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Question: Which animal has nicer looking legs?

Kerri: Call Me From Your Landline

On her Facebook wall this morning, Kerri Thoreson writes: “Okay … this morning my cell phone was totally uncharged so I put it on the charger and texted Joe Paisley on the KVNI Radio morning show to call me on my land line for our weekend update segment. Joe LOL'd that my text message might as well of said “I'm riding my dinosaur.” A reference to someone actually still having a land line. So my friends, who still has land line phone service?”

DFO: I still have landline service, as well as cell phones.

Question: Do you still have land line service?

Trib: Jeers To ITD

JEERS … to the Idaho Transportation Board. First it fired the state's first female transportation director, Pam Lowe, on flimsy grounds. Then it outsourced defense of the case to Holland & Hart of Boise. Before it cut Lowe an undisclosed settlement check, the law firm charged taxpayers about $540,000. And included within those charges was this bill: $4,419 to ask Gallatin Public Affairs about how the Idaho media would treat the Lowe case. Let's see: Lowe was the first woman to hold her job.The board fired her after giving Lowe glowing evaluations. Lowe contended she was shown the door because of her gender and after she challenged political and corporate cronies of Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter. Do you really need to ask?Adds the Stateman's Dan Popkey: Much of Gallatin's work was done by Isaac Squyers, whose father, Newell, was Holland & Hart's lead attorney in the Lowe case/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you think the wrongful firing of former ITD Director Pam Lowe has legs — in other words, will cost someone politically down the road?

Trib: Denney’s Travelin’ Man

JEERS … to House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale. Of all the people to send - at taxpayer expense - on a junket, Denney picks Rep. Phil Hart, R-Hayden. Hart is among a contingent of lawmakers attending this week's annual American Legislative Exchange Council meeting at Salt Lake City. Denney also agreed to pay the tab for Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens. Hasn't Hart already used up his cache of favors from “Boss” Denney? Denney looked the other way while Hart, a member of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, refused to pay his own taxes. Only after Hart gave him permission did the speaker remove him from the tax-writing panel. Denney penalized Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, for calling attention to Hart's theft of timber from state lands. Denney has tolerated embarrassment after embarrassment as Hart has claimed his elective office extends immunity from tax filing deadlines that apply to everyone else/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Why has House Speaker Lawerence Denney cut Phil Hart so much slack?

Obama’s Last Hurrah

In this Oct. 21, 2008, file photo, then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. speaks at a rally at Western Gateway Park in Des Moines, Iowa. The president's re-election campaign is increasingly sounding like a nostalgia tour. His speeches stroll through elections past, serving up fond memories of his days running as a political unknown, identifying early political inspirations and reminding voters that, win or lose, this will be his last campaign after 13 appearances on the ballot since 1996. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

DFO: Do you notice that big “Iowa” sign in the background?I can't think of many things I know about Iowa. Is Des Moines still the capital? Iowa was the setting for “The Music Man.” I'm beginning to strain here. Something about corn, too. New Yorkers believe Idaho is Iowa.

Question: What important fact do you know about Iowa?

Chuckleberriesonline Contact Info

We're having fun here with the second in a series of three ha-huge “reveals” from Chester and Chuckle Berries again today. However, if you have a problem with what Chuckle Berries is doing re: the outing, misidentifications and links to your Facebook page, you can Google Joe Sager and Sager, of Willis, Texas, is listed as the registrant for the domain. Or you can find the link here.

Letter: Hey, Use The Bike Path

To the cyclists who routinely ride on Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive: no matter what combination of alien-shaped helmet/distastefully colored spandex you wear, you are incapable of sustaining 45 mph. I know you are of the “Share the road” mentality, but there is no need to create a traffic issue when there is a bike path provided for you not 20 feet away. Please use it/Kevin Groat, Coeur d'Alene Press letter to the editor.

Question: Should a cyclist have to use a nearby bike trail instead of the road, if one is available?

Morris: In Praise Of Bob Curtis

Before the TV contracts, the Internet, etc., if you did not attend a Vandal game in person, then your only source of information was to listen on the radio…and how lucky we were from Pocatello to Sandpoint to have The Voice as our source. He always told me he only introduced himself once during each broadcast, at the beginning. Now I know why–we all knew The Voice—the passion behind it and the enthusiasm, no matter if Idaho was ahead or behind.  In this age of professionals who are here today and gone tomorrow while “climbing to the top” wherever that may be…The Voice shared with me that the day he was hired as the Vandals radio voice he was blessed because that was at the top, he'd made it, there was nothing else to aspire to. For 50 years none of us doubted that one bit. Only a handful of universities across the nation can claim the same radio voice of their football teams for 50 plus years. Idaho was one of the few, one of the fortunate. He was a salty fun-loving character who had the heart of gold. His work was farming, cattle ranching then real estate…his passion was calling Vandal games on Saturday afternoons/Tom Morris, Idaho Vandals Radio Network. More to come.

Question: Anyone else want to share thoughts re: what long-time “Voice of the Vandals” Bob Curtis meant to you?

Chester, Ahem, Outs More HBOers

Shazam! Another ha-huge reveal from Cousin Chester and his Confused Keyboard Commandos today. In Part 2, Chester tells us that DanOfTheCommunity is Dan English. TLPoelstra is Tami Poelstra. JeanieS is Jeanie Buchanan. Et cetera. Simply. Amazing. You'd think Chester from the Chuckle Berries Online swamp would get more for his money from the HucksOnline turncoat that has been feeding him these softballs. Thom George, the former Kootenai County Democratic chairman, has been fingered as the eery Darth Mall and/or newby Son of Chester. In the parlance of baseball … Swing. And a miss. I've also been fingered as Son of Chester, the erstwhile leader of the Chuckle Berries think tank who has seen the light and now is commenting here. Sorry, boys, I'm challenged to keep this blog hopping. I don't have time to stick my head in the office toilet several times a day, so I can get in a mind-set to think like you and post under another pseudonym. Keep guessing. You need to demand better intel from your HucksOnline turncoat. And tell him he's not invited to the next blogfest. Here's Chester's latest, ah, reveal. (Photo taken — and used without permission by Cousin Chester — at 2012 Blogfest, of Bent, JeanieS & her significant other, and DFO)

DFO: For any of you who have been misidentified in Chester's underwhelming outing attempt, here's contact info for Joe Sager, who is listed as registrant for


Richert Weighs In On Tina Vs. Linda

Huckleberries has learned that Linda Cook was actually reading Huckleberries Online when this photo was taken by the Phantom Photographer.

Opinionator Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman weighs in on the legal fight that emerged from the Valentine's Day post by Linda Cook (AlmostInnocentBystander) re: former county GOP CC chairwoman Tina Jacobson: “And there is your other, perhaps more salient chilling effect. This legal mess could conceivably happen to any newspaper that allows and posts anonymous comments — including the Statesman. No matter how carefully a newspaper tries to monitor its comment sections, there exists some element of legal exposure. Is the risk worth the reward, the bump in online page views? Since this coarse online shouting match does little to enhance a newspaper’s brand as a leader of constructive community discussion, when does the whole circus become more headache than it is worth?” More here.

DFO: Kevin ends on this note: “If Luster’s ruling prods newspapers to rethink online commenting, that may prove to be a blessing in disguise.”

Question: Do you see a silver lining to Judge Luster's ruling?

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Idaho Blogger Gets SWATted

SWATting? What the heck is that? Star, Idaho, resident David Fix knows. He has had an up close and personal view of it and he did not enjoy the experience. The term is a not-so-veiled reference to the actions of police SWAT teams, which descend in force to a perceived problem that may require an overpowering police presence. SWATting, with the first reported case coming in 2002, is a growing problem both for law enforcement and for high-profile individuals whose online activism are garnering a type of attention they never anticipated. SWATting occurs when someone—usually anonymously or using a fake identity—calls in a false report to local law enforcement that a serious crime has been committed or is currently being committed. The caller is usually unknown and cannot be traced/Parrish Miller, Idaho Reporter. More here.

DFO: Oh-oh.

Question: Are you worthy of a SWATting?

Reagan Repubs To Fight For Name

The Kootenai County Reagan Republicans say they have retained an attorney and have begun raising money to prepare for a legal fight to protect their brand name. Ron Lahr of the Reagan Republicans said Thursday the money is being raised through the group's political action committee, the KCRR Victory Fund. In its newsletter this week, the group asked for money from its members. “If you are against dirty politics, please donate to the KCRR Victory Fund,” the letter said. Lahr said the group's attorney, James Bendell, has determined that the past use is well established and future use may continue unchanged” — David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Which side should prevail here?

Signe: Whither Goest Penn State

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Thursday

I'm sad to report that HucksOnline has lost one of the sometimes poster — Bayview Bob (or Bob Bowen). Herb reports that Bob was optimistic recently following a bone marrow transplant in his fight with leukemia. But this took a turn for the worst at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. You can read Herb's report here. Now to repost the Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.26.12

The United States' Missy Franklin swims during a practice session at the Aquatics Center at the Olympic Park ahead of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday in London. Opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics will be held Friday. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

Question: How well can you swim?

Johnson: Mitt Bombs On World Stage

Today Mitt Romney got a nasty taste of what political life is like under a foreign media microscope. He must be wondering why he didn’t stay home. By the measure of world-wide Twitter trending (#Romneyshambles), not to mention the Brit papers, Romney’s visit to London has gone over there about as well as the Norman conquest. By one account Romney insulted all of England by wondering if the Brits are ready for prime time when it comes to hosting the Olympics; couldn’t seem to remember the name of the Ed Miliband the leader of Labour Party; disclosed (simply not done apparently) that he had met with the head of MI6, the super secret British intelligence service that prides itself on having almost no public profile, and misused some common English words that have considerably different meaning in the mother country/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here. (AP photo)

Question: How does Mitt recover from this pratfall?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.26.12

  • 5:58 p.m. Manager of Jo's Hole in Spirit Lake has questions re: Wednesday PM incident.
  • 5:55 p.m. Suicidal male on Windermere Avenue/CdA drove off, leaving keys, ring, bank card.
  • 5:53 p.m. Possible battery reported at Kootenai County Jail.
  • 5:22 p.m. Hazmat team en route to gas-can leak @ Seltice Way & Baugh/PF
  • 5:17 p.m. Female texting in swerving vehicle has turned off H95 onto w/b Wilbur/Hayden.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 25-26 here.
  • 3:57 p.m. Officer stops motorist smoking glass pipe @ Prairie & Atlas/Hayden.
  • 3:46 p.m. Man on foot tells officer who has stopped truck (3:14 item) that his landlord has locked him out of his residence in 9700 block of Shaw/Hayden.
  • 17 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 7.26.12

A small slug slithers over a wild blackberry picked by a motorist along a country road near Kellogg, Ore., according to wildlife photographer Robin Loznak. Robin reports on his Facebook page that the slug was returned to the thicket. You can see more of Robin's swell photos here.

Brewing Up Beer In Bonners Ferry

Some people retire and take up fishing or golf. Mike Naumann, who retired from law enforcement in 2009, opened a brewery. A successful brewery, at that, with five beers on tap and a beefy menu that has us wondering if this is a brewery with a restaurant or a restaurant with its own brewery. When Bonners Ferry-based Kootenai River Brewing Company celebrates its one-year anniversary in August, it will do so as the northernmost brewery in Idaho. Its 10-barrel operation produces five standard beers: crisp pilsner, pale ale, a malty IPA, huckleberry wheat (using local berries), and a dark, chewy porter. Tasters ($7) are served on a wagon wheel in order from from light to dark. Handsome steel brew tanks are visible inside this renovated 1940s-era automotive service building, yet the real view is outside. One wall faces Bonners Ferry’s historic downtown as it backs up to busy Highway 95, while another wall faces Kootenai River. Outside is an upper deck for warm-weather dining and a spacious concrete patio for live music and special occasions/Carrie Scozzaro, Pacific Northwest Inlander. More here.

Question: Which non-brand brewery beer is your favorite?

Independent Theaters ry To Survive

he building’s facade is shaped like a crown in this one-horse-town. The crown jewel is a neon red and green sign that reads “Roxy.” The Roxy Theater was built in 1951 in Newport, Wash. It’s made of a rudimentary cobbling of stucco and rock, but inside, ornate gold and burgundy curtains hang like royal tapestries. In the front lobby is a glass display box. Inside is what looks like a grandiose telescope to the stars. And for the small town of Newport — it was. The machine, a 1934 Simplex 35mm film projector, is now an archaic mass of reels, bulbs and metal, but for the past 61 years, the machine brought movie stars like Fred Astair to the rural community of loggers and miners. For more than 100 years, movies have been filmed and viewed on 35mm celluloid film, but the familiar clicky clack of spools and levers and the green and black ink from 150-pound reels of film will soon be extinct/Jordy Byrd, Pacific Northwest Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo)

Question: I remember seeing the “Secret of Ninh” at the Wilma while visiting here with friends during my days in Lewiston (1982-84). Anyone else remember the Wilma Theater that stood @ 2nd & Sherman back when?

Scratching Out A Living

Cindy spotted this Bag Lady in downtown Spokane this week as she went about her daily business of surviving.

Question: Does the Coeur d'Alene area have any Bag Ladies?

News Quiz: 2 Idahoans Win Prizes

The long arm of the news quiz reached into Idaho for both of last week's winners! Tom Von Alten of Boise won a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel as the overall champ, and Kelly Lee of Moscow won a random drawing for two movie tickets. This week's quiz will send a random winner and a guest to a Spokane Indians game. The overall winner takes the Davenport prize. You can take this week's News Quiz here.

Veteran UI Broadcaster Curtis Dies

Bob Curtis, who called 540 consecutive Vandal football games during a 50-year span, died Wednesday night at his home in Colfax, Wash. Curtis was the Idaho Sportscaster of the Year 33 times. In addition to football, Curtis also called hundreds of basketball games. He was a member of the Vandal Athletics Hall of Fame, North Idaho Hall of Fame and Inland Empire Hall of Fame. He was also the recipient of the 2008 National Football Foundation Chris Schenkel Award. Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3 at the Baptist Church in Colfax, Wash/Idaho Statesman. (Courtesy photo: Idaho Athletics Media Relations)

Question: Do you follow UI Vandal broadcasts by Bob Curtis?

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Team St. Luke’s Headed To London

Kristen Messer, Austin Pruitt, center, and Amberlynn Weber, shown July 19 at West Valley High School, have qualified for the Paralympics in London this summer. The three, all members of Team St. Luke’s, will compete in track events along with Susannah Scaroni. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

The heat radiated from the track at West Valley High School one afternoon last week. Austin Pruitt, 17, zipped down the track, sunlight glinting off the wheels of his racing chair. He and three other members of Team St. Luke’s are training hard. They’ve been selected to represent the U.S. as part of the Track and Field team in the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Pruitt is fairly new to track, but he’s already made his mark. “I went to the World Championships in New Zealand in 2011 and came home with a bronze medal in the 200 meter.” In London, he’ll compete in the 100 and 200 meter races/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question: How much time do you plan to spend watching the Summer Olympics?

Centennial/Prairie Work Set

Two trails, the North Idaho Centennial Trail and the Prairie Trail, need to be seal coated.  Both seal coating projects will be “rolling projects,” meaning that the seal coating takes about two hours to dry, so the trail will be usable soon after the contractor has sealed it.  The contractor can seal about one mile of trail per day. During the seal coating period, users will not be directed to an alternate route – rather, please be aware of the project, use the shoulder when traveling around the work area, and, when appropriate, walk bikes around the work area.Work on the Prairie Trail begins Tuesday.  It will start where the Prairie Trail intersects the Centennial Trail north of Riverstone and the work will continue to Huetter Road.  The nearly 4 ½ miles of Prairie Trail should be completed by Aug. 3. Work on the Centennial Trail begins Monday, Aug 6/Coeur d'Alene Today. More here. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Do you use the Prairie Trail?

Area Jocks Have Ties To Olympics

Tomorrow, the world. Including Spokane and the Inland Northwest. Athletes from 206 nations – one competing under the flag of five interlocking rings because South Sudan has no Olympic organization – are assembled for the Games of the 30th Olympiad, the opening ceremonies officially launching the action in London on Friday. And there will be some chances to wave the flag for a handful of athletes who either got their competitive start in our area or whose stay here pushed along their Olympic dreams. Nothing new about that. Spokane made its mark in the Olympics as far back Olympiad No. 7, the 1920 Games in Antwerp, Belgium. That’s when a slender Lewis and Clark High School graduate named Carl Johnson won a silver medal in the long jump. Since then, the results have ranged from gold medals to grinding despair, and the flags have fairly multiplied – athletes who attended area colleges have represented more than 30 nations in the Olympics/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (AP photo of Olympic pole vaulter Brad Walker, 32, a University HS graduate)

Chuckles: Me Hatesss DooFosss

Chester the Callow Keyboard Commando (shown multi-taking in inset from Technorati Redneck gallery) continues to harangue Count DooFo: “Our only question, is how can this guy really be taken seriously?  He claims to be a conservative blogger, but his political stripes are bluer than a July sky.  Perhaps he’s spent to much time hanging with Mike and Thom…or maybe he’s always been this way. Regardless, it’s easy to see DooFo is a drama-queen that loves himself a controversy…and where they don’t exist he uses his journalistic blogging skills. Opposing factions are just a big fat paycheck for him, he could care less which side wins, as long as the money flows his way, his half-witted sycophants laud him with praise, and his liberal agenda wins.  That’s why each day ends with DooFo posting an upbeat parting shot, because he knows he’s stirred the pot and snookered people into picking a side–and he get’s paid to do it!”

Question: Do you suppose Chester's complaining to his Deep Throat at Huckleberries Online that the names he's providing for his big Chuckles “reveal” aren't impressive (for example, Larry Spencer = Larry Spencer) or aren't matching up?

Teen Romance = 63 Married Years

Harold “Pete” Clarke started working at a small South Hill grocery store at age 12. By 16, his duties had expanded to grocery delivery. One day he dropped off groceries at a house and was instantly smitten by the beautiful girl who answered the door. Her name was Ruth Moline, and Pete made sure her house was always on his route. “I’d go like a bat out of hell and deliver all my boxes,” he recalled. “Somehow I always ended up at her house.” Ruth didn’t mind. She said, “I kept him there a couple times.” In fact, she kept him a bit too long. “One day the grocery store owner called looking for Pete and they found him at my house.” Pete grinned. “He suggested I not do that”/Cindy Hval, Love Stories, SR. More here.

Question: I almost married my first serious girlfriend as a teen. Glad I didn't. How about you?

Some Long Snake

Many hands join in to help as an anaconda snake at the Oklahoma City Zoo has dental floss taped to it's head and along it's body as it is measured at the zoo in Oklahoma City Thursday. The floss and tape are necessary because it would be nearly impossible to stretch out the snake. The anaconda weighed 152 lbs. and measured 16 feet. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Question: Have you ever measured a snake (and I don't mean the two-legged kind)?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.26.12

  • 12:18 p.m. 4 boys, including one with a red, green & yellow beanie cap, have stolen a shopping cart from Fred Meyer and are now heading south on Fruitland/CdA.
  • 12:04 p.m. Benewah Medical Center/Plummer is seeking ambulance to transfer 45YO male w/symptoms of heat stroke to St. Maries hospital.
  • 11:53 a.m. Raymond wants info re: wake-boarding at night on Spokane River.
  • 11:37 a.m. George reports auto dealer blocking Worley fire hydrants w/cars for sale.
  • 10:48 a.m. White Honda w/3 males traveling s/b in n/b lanes of 4th @ Annie/CdA.
  • 10:29 a.m. Crash b/n pickup and wheelchair reported @ Ironwood & Govt Way/CdA.
  • 10:23 a.m. 1-vehicle rollover accident on Greensferry b/n Prairie & Hayden/PF.
  • 10:15 a.m. Person suffering allergic reaction brought to Spirit Lake fire station.
  • 10:16 a.m. Older German shepherd mix running loose @ Cattle Drive & Riata/Hayden.
  • 10:04 a.m. 911 dispatch paging system is down temporarily, radio still works.
  • 10:03 a.m. 86YO male may be suffering stroke on H95, one mile south of Highway 5/Worley.
  • 9:59 a.m. Female in 100 block of Anton/CdA reports angry male is punching holes in wall.
  • 9:57 a.m. A 46YO female is unconcious @ Texaco quick-stop, 7415 Govt Way/Hayden.
  • 9:23 a.m. Mother is afraid adult daughter @ Lawrence & Riverside/PF may hurt herself.

Poll: Only 49% Say Obama Christian

Forty-nine percent of voters identify President Obama as a Christian, a new poll says, and the others say that they don't know or that he is a Muslim. “Nearly four years into his presidency the view that Barack Obama is Muslim persists,” says the survey from the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. According to the poll on religion and politics, 17% say Obama is a Muslim, while 31% say they do not know his religion. “Fewer say Obama is Christian — and more say he is Muslim — than did so in October 2008, near the end of the last presidential campaign,” Pew reported. “The increase since 2008 is particularly concentrated among conservative Republicans, about a third of whom (34%) describe the president as a Muslim”/David Jackson, USA Today. More here. (AP photo)

Question: If President Obama says he's a Christian, that's good by me. How about you?

Mountain West: We Don’t Want UI

Well, you can eliminate one destination for the Idaho Vandals. As the Vandals seek a home for its football program with the WAC wilting, the Mountain West would make geographic sense, but on Wednesday, commissioner Craig Thompson squashed the idea. “In all fairness to New Mexico State and Idaho, we informed them they will not be members of the Mountain West — go onto plan B,” Thompson said. New Mexico State and Idaho are the only two teams currently planning on playing football in the WAC in 2013. Two schools, Texas-San Antonio and Texas State, had announced plans to join, and will play in the WAC this season, but will go to different conferences next year/Dave Southorn, Tom Fox, Idaho Press-Tribune. More here.

Question: The UI Vandals are beginning to remind me of that old boll weevil who was just a lookin' for a home. Where do you think the Vandals will wind up?

AM: Neighborly Thing To Do

Bob Lutz, a volunteer with the NeighborWoods program, rakes mulch around the rose beds at the entrance to Comstock Park Wednesday in Spokane. Partnering with the City of Spokane's Park and Recreation department, volunteers throughout Spokane, including North Hill, Comstock, East Central care for and promote urban trees. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: Describe someone in your neighborhood who regularly helps your neighbors or you?

Press Pinpoints City Hall Suspect

Item: Records request to Coeur d'Alene City Hall pinpoints embezzlement suspect/Tom Hasslinger, Press

JohnA: $48,600 a nice salary to just throw away, well in excess of what the county pays for similar positions. When you throw in six weeks vacation and three weeks sick leave, plus 11 paid holidays per year and the opportunity to retire at 55 with a great pension, it makes you wonder what would drive someone to do what she’s accused of. Whereas I feel sorry for the employee’s family, I’m glad the audit processes in place at the city discovered the suspicious activity and brought it to an end. I’m curious to see how it was done, as a warning to other entities in this age of electronic transfers.

Joker: Six weeks of vacation. Three weeks of sick leave. Is there any private employer in Idaho that gives such a sweet deal?

Question: How much vacation and sick leave do you get?

Trib: Answer To Killings, More Guns?

That emotional, knee-jerk reaction you're hearing to the massacre of a dozen people and the wounding of five times as many in a Colorado movie house isn't coming from the gun-control crowd. Oh, you'll hear a few scattered voices arguing that had the Brady bill not been allowed to lapse almost eight years ago, suspect James E. Holmes might not have carried an assault weapon equipped with a 100-round drum magazine into a crowded theater. But Republicans are wedded to the National Rifle Association, Democrats are scared witless of the gun issue and many Americans aren't sure laws already on the books function adequately. No, what really stands out is the number of people who are willing to use this rampage as a springboard for even fewer restraints on guns/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you consider the answer to the Aurora massacre to be more guns?

Richert: Flying With A Lame Duck

Phil Hart, the lame-duck representative from House District 2, is shown handing out flags at a Fourth of July Parade in Coeur d'Alene prior to this year. Opinionator Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman criticizes House Speaker Lawerence Denney for approving tax dollars to send Hart to the national an American Legislative Exchange Council conference in Salt Lake City. You can read Kevin's column here.

Question: Are you starting to wonder about House Speaker Lawerence Denney's judgment, too?

Extended Forecast

Expect hot air

To blow our way

From now until

Election Day

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Spencer: Don’t Look Behind Curtain

Larry Spencer: I get a kick out of the fact that Jeff keeps playing the wizard of Oz by claiming that he is the “President” of a “group” that he made up, that has no members, board or meetings. The “Idaho Federation of Reagan Republicans” is Jeff Ward. Just Jeff. All by himself. With his made up name. And his title. What a phony! No wonder he has been called a flimflam artist. Don’t look behind the curtain, folks. Jeff might get cranky if you do!


Blue Cross Tentative On Walgreen’s

Blue Cross of Idaho members: Don’t go rushing to Walgreens pharmacies just yet. The nation’s largest drugstore chain and pharmacy-benefit management company Express Scripts have resolved a year-long battle over payment issues. But Idaho’s largest health insurer hasn’t yet decided whether it will once again cover prescriptions filled at Walgreens stores. Spokeswoman Karen Early said a big factor is whether Walgreens stores will start charging higher dispensing fees for Express Scripts prescriptions, which would eventually push up the cost of insurance plans. She said 97 percent of Blue Cross of Idaho members had a different pharmacy within a half-mile of their local Walgreens store during the dispute, which Walgreens and Express Scripts settled last week with a multiyear agreement/Audrey Dutton, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you insured by Blue Cross?

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Don’t Forget To Write

Have changes in communications technology altered the way college romances endure summers of separation? Once upon a time, a boy and girl who grew close while at school had just letters and occasional phone calls to stay connected while back home (in two different places) for the summer. Oh, maybe a visit or two could be arranged. But mostly, he was here and she was there. Now, of course, kids could text each other 100 times a day. That wouldn't necessarily ensure full disclosure about, say, summer flings. But it certainly would be different than the old model, which featured days and days of zero contact/Paul Turner, The Slice.

Question: Did you carry on a summer romance via letters during your Glory Days?

Farris: Have TV Spot, Need Cash

First-time Democratic candidate Jimmy Farris has a buoyant 60-second spot that he hopes will air this fall in his race against freshman GOP Congressman Raul Labrador. Titled, “A Future Leader, Now,” the video is available only on the Web. Farris raised about $37,000 through June 30, compared to Labrador’s $628,000 raised and $203,000 in the bank. Farris said Wednesday that he still plans to tap his roots as a former NFL player and needs to spend $300,000 to be competitive. His newcomer status has been a hurdle, Farris said, though he says he’s raised his profile with retail campaigning in recent months. He hopes to reach $150,000 in contributions by Sept. 30. “Now when I’m making phone calls people know who I am,” Farris said. Farris had hoped his NFL connections would be pivotal, but he has received just $4,000 from four contributors: $500 each from NFL veterans Alge Crumpler, Bryan Scott and Ryan Stewart, and $2,500 from Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP photo of Farris in 2000 during his days as a Montana Grizzly)

Question: Farris probably won't upset well-heeled Congressman Raul Labrador. But do you consider it a good sign for Idaho Democrats that they're able to attract new, young blood to run for office?

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Chuckles: Beware Of Count DooFo

Chester the Constitutionalist Keyboard Commando of Chuckle Berries offers this warning to his followers today (both of them): “Remember the wise words of Yoda concerning the Sith. “Always two there are, no more, no less: a master and an apprentice.”  And by the looks of him, we’d say he’s the apprentice…but if he’s the trainee, then who is the master?  Great question. For those few conservatives still lurking about the HBO cyber-swamp, remember something else Yoda said.  ”Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.”  Be careful out there…DooFo’s storm troopers are merciless.” (Parody: Chuckleberries)

DFO: But I want to be the dark lord, not the apprentice …

Question for Chester: Why is your registered in Willis, Texas? Aren't you from Kootenai County?

Woman Offers $100 For Cat Rescue

Everyone knows that when a cat gets stuck in a tree, firefighters rescue it. At least that’s what happens in the movies. But when Karen Fishburn and her neighbors heard a cat in a tree Saturday, then finally spotted the animal in the top of an 80-foot pine near Ray Street and East 17th Avenue Sunday evening, things didn’t go quite so smoothly. “I got the binoculars out and I could see him,” said Fishburn, who lives on 17th Avenue near the tree. “He was just a little black dot.” She walked to nearby Fire Station 14, hoping that firefighters would rush over and rescue the cat, but was turned away. Monday morning, the cat was still in the tree and it was still meowing. “That’s when I emailed the Mayor’s office,” said Fishburn. “I just really wanted someone to help get the cat out of that tree”/Pia Hallenberg, SR. More here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: Would you pay someone $100 to rescue your cat from a tree? (Yeah, I know that Karen Fishburn paid that much to rescue a stray.)

Review: You’ll Love CST’s ‘Spamalot’

It cannot be easy playing the straight man in “Spamalot.” In the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre production of the Tony-winning musical comedy, that task falls to Eric Jensen as he assumes the role of Arthur, King of the Britons. “It’s hard, but it’s really rewarding,” Jensen said. “We have so many wonderful, talented comedians, it’s a joy to just be able to sit there and give them stage and space and try to keep a straight face.” In this Tony-winning musical comedy, Arthur leads his band of merry knights – Robin, Lancelot, Galahad and Bedevere – on a quest through the early Middle Ages to find the Holy Grail. Along the way, they encounter the Lady of Lake, Tim the Enchanter, the Knights who say Ni, the French taunter, the Black Knight and a very nasty rabbit/Carolyn Lamberson, SR. More here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Wanna play favorite Monty Python films?

Heller: Let The Games Begin

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hump Day Wild Card — 7.25.12

If any of you tells Mrs. O that I'm still dressed in the faded orange T-shirt & faded gray shorts that I wore when i rode my bike to work today, I'll throw you in the cooler. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.25.12

A police officer stands guard outside the Aquatics Center at Olympic Park before the 2012 Summer  Olympics  Wednesday in London. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Question: Have you ever talked to a Bobby?

Hit-And-Run Driver Surrenders

RE: Spokane officer from Post Falls dies in H200 crash with hit-and-run driver/SR

Idaho State Police news release: “Law Enforcement authorities are no longer looking for the driver of the blue dodge pickup involved in the crash that occurred on 7/24/12 around 10:30 pm on Highway 200 near milepost 53.  Brianna Knapp (DOB 052984) contacted law enforcement authorities and has been interviewed.  Based on information gathered from the interview, Knapp was arrested for leaving the scene of a fatal crash.  (I. C. 18-8007).  ISP is looking for and wants to talk to the unknown female driver of a small 2 door black car.  This Good Samaritan picked up a female driver of a disabled blue dodge pickup on Highway 200 near milepost 53.  We want to talk with the driver of the small black car and any other person who drove through the crash scene shortly after 10:30 pm.  Contact ISP, and investigation is continuing.

Reporter Ferrets Out City Hall Suspect

By process of elimination, The Press has determined who’s accused of embezzling thousands of dollars from the city of Coeur d’Alene. A public records request from The Press shows Sheryl Carroll as the Finance Department employee who was fired Tuesday. The request, submitted Tuesday, asked for a list of all city finance employees on Friday, July 20, and a list of all finance employees on Wednesday, July 25. Carroll was the only employee who was not on both lists. The investigation of the alleged embezzlement, headed by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, is still open, and the city is not releasing the name of the employee because of personnel rules. Asked Wednesday whether any other city finance employee has left the department in the last few weeks other than the terminated position, City Attorney Mike Gridley said there hadn’t been/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

DFO: Attaboy, Tom …


PM Headlines — 7.25.12

A crowd of skateboarders wait to show their skills before the start of Tony Hawk's Birdhouse Left Coast Tour on Tuesday at Hillyard Skatepark in Spokane. Sara McMullen SR story here. (SR photo Tyler Tjomsland)

Richert: When Lame Ducks Fly

In May, North Idaho Republican voters elected to fire tax-dodging state Rep. Phil Hart. Nonetheless, House Speaker Lawerence Denney has elected to send the lame-duck Hart to a national legislative conference — on your nickel. No, it doesn’t make a bit of sense to me either. Yet this week, Hart is one of five Idaho legislators attending an American Legislative Exchange Council conference in Salt Lake City. Denney specifically approved sending Hart, R-Hayden, and another of the House’s loyal conservative foot soldiers, Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens. Spending taxpayer money to send any lawmaker to an ALEC conference is questionable enough. It would be naive to consider this an educational conference or a fact-finding mission, given ALEC’s politics and objectives. The group exists to advance a Wal-Mart approach to state public policy, offering up template legislation on pet topics such as privatizing K-12 education and fighting the federal health care law/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: How do the fawning supporters of our Artful Tax Dodger explain this one?

Read more here:

Reagan Republican Pleads For Unity

At Reagan Republicans HQ — the real RRs, Jeff Ward takes out his pen (pixels) to plead for GOP unity. He writes: “Although the libelous attacks and slanderous diatribes continue on nefarious blogs, there is growing evidence that much of the apparent Republican vs. Republican venom is actually spawned and perpetuated by the bigoted fringe that leads the tiny and inconsequential local Constitution Party.   Like a school yard provocateur who attempts to instigate a rumble between the two toughest kids on the block, those who despise the dominant Republican Party will throw online bombs in order to cause an intra-party  fight.  All Republicans of good will should swat away these annoying flies and get back to business. We must put first things first and Republicans must rally to defend our reforms in Idaho, defeat legislative candidates who would do to Idaho what their party has done to America, and resolve to evict from the White House the current destructive tenants who have so damaged the place using our money as deposit.” More here.

Question: I don't want Kootenai County Republicans to unite. They almost destroyed the decent government of the city of Coeur d'Alene. Besides, they're more humorous when they're at war. What do you think?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.25.12

  • 5:36 p.m. A boom truck is burning @ 3831 Meadowbrook Loop/CdA.
  • 5:29 p.m. White Subaru on fire @ 1523 Harrison Avenue/CdA.
  • 5:25 p.m. Female prevented by 17YO son from leaving in vehicle in 1300 block of Greensferry/PF.
  • 4:58 p.m. Suspicious male reported @ Ramsey Park/CdA.
  • 4:26 p.m. A dog is locked in a blue Dodge Caravan @ Hayden Library, 8385 Govt Way.
  • 4:21 p.m. Pauline reports local dealership let ex-husband forge her name on paperwork.
  • 4:18 p.m. Driver of red SUV waved gun @ passenger in another vehicle on H97 @ Beauty Bay.
  • 16 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

2 More WSU Defenders Arrested

Two Washington State football players were arrested in separate incidents over the weekend, marking the third and fourth projected defensive starters to be arrested this offseason. Defensive end/ outside linebacker Travis Long was arrested Friday for suspicion of minor in possession of alcohol by the Pullman Police Department. According to Pullman Police logs, Long's date of birth is listed as July 24, 1991, meaning he turned 21 on Tuesday. Defensive tackle Anthony Laurenzi was arrested two days later on suspicion of third-degree theft at 1690 S.E. Harvest Dr., the address of the Walmart shopping center in Pullman. Long and Laurenzi mark the third and fourth starters on the front seven to be arrested since head coach Mike Leach was hired in December/Andrew Nemec, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. (Dean Hare Daily News photo of Travis Long)

Question: Ah, is there a problem here?

Spam Event Leads To Free Tickets

Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre actors show off cans of spam that could lead to free tickets to their production of “Spamalot.” The Coeur d'Alene Downtown Association in cooperation with the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre has announced a “Search-and-See-It” event in downtown stores starting today and running until all hidden items are found. Somewhere in the midst of 10 different downtown store's products on display will be 10 cans of SPAM hidden in plain sight. Anyone who finds one of these specially marked cans can redeem it for two free tickets at the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre's box office during the nationally acclaimed SPAMalot summer theatre performance, running from July 26th through August 5th at North Idaho College's Boswell Hall Schuler Auditorium.  The box office is located at 880 W. Garden Avenue.

Question: Will you think less of me, if I admitted that I loved spam as a kid. I haven't tasted it in years, however.

Cook-Jacobson Story Goes On NPR

A lawsuit in north Idaho over anonymous comments posted in an online forum attracted national attention. Now, the commenter at the center of that dispute has unmasked herself. The case reveals a rift within the north Idaho Republican Party. Linda Cook of Rathdrum, Idaho, pictured, is a former congressional aide and long-time Republican campaign worker. Back in February, Cook made anonymous comments on a north Idaho blog hosted by the Spokane Spokesman-Review newspaper. Using the pseudonym “almostinnocentbystander” Cook asked a question insinuating that the chair of the local party, might have pocketed $10,000 in party funds. Party chair Tina Jacobson called for an audit and filed a defamation suit. But Cook says she wanted to use the anonymous forum to address a feud over party expenditures/Jessica Robinson, National Public Radio. More here including audio of story with Linda Cook comment.

  • DFO: Martin Kaste, the NPR reporter from Seattle who interviewed me last week for another story that's about to come out, tells me that the audio version of the story played just in the Northwest, while the print version went national.


Carlson: In Praise Of Jack Buell

It is often said “power corrupts,” and “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” There are exceptions to that rule and one exists in Benewah County. For almost 40 years one person has worn lightly with grace and humility the crown of absolute political power in this north Idaho county: County Commissioner Jack Buell. Now 76 years young he has served the public interest well, won many friends along the way, and most would admit made some enemies also. Jack wears his heart on his sleeve. He personifies the old adage, “show me a man with no enemies and I’ll show you a man with no character. If you stand for anything in this world you make enemies.” By this definition Jack may have lots of character. Two entities that have felt the lash of his tongue and done little to endear themselves to him over the years are the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the Idaho State Police/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicle. More here.

Question: Do you consider long-time Benewah County Commissioner Jack Buell a good guy or a bad guy?

St. Maries Man Hurt Saving Others

A St. Maries man suffered injuries after he guided a runaway snowmobile away from a crowd at the annual Summer Sucks Grass Drags Saturday. Dan Reynolds sustained a broken arm, a broken jaw and lacerations on his leg after a snowmobile crashed into a parked pickup truck. “He started up a snowmobile and it took off at wide open throttle,” Mr. Reynolds’ father, Randy, said. “There was something mechanical that went wrong with it.” Randy said his son saw that the snowmobile was headed toward a group of people and so he tried to jump on it to stop it. “He was drug along the side of it,” Randy said. “It was headed toward a crowd, but he managed to get it to turn and it ended up hitting a pickup.” Dale Hill said the sled was headed toward a group of 10 to 15 people before Mr. Reynolds turned it away/Summer Crosby, St. Maries Gazette Record. More here.

Question: Can we simply call this guy a hero? Saaalute …

Wheelbarrow Wednesdays

Maybe Sandpoint is on the way to your next lakeside destination for summer fun. Perhaps music during the Festival at Sandpoint, Aug. 2-12, will be the draw. Either way, don’t miss some of the town’s gastronomic highlights while you’re in the area. During a recent visit, I tagged along with Mark Rivers, a consultant for the city’s downtown and economic development initiatives, to talk about new efforts to highlight the town’s foodie offerings. He’s working with city businesses on plans for a Taste Trail that would point visitors to some of those homegrown flavors. We shadowed chef Jeremy Hansen, owner of Spokane’s Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie, while he shopped at the Farmers Market at Sandpoint for ingredients for the first Wheelbarrow Wednesday dinner served outside Pend d’Oreille Winery. Then, Rivers and I sipped coffees at Evans Brothers Coffee and espresso bar/Lorie Hutson, SR. More here. (SR photo)

Question (for non-Sandpointers): When did you last visit Randy McNally's best small town, Sandpoint? Reason?

Edit: Go Close Another’s Tax Dodge

You'd search a long time to find anyone who is a bigger budget deficit hawk than Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo. A member of the Gang of Six, Crapo embraces closing tax loopholes as a way to lower overall tax rates and generate more money. That makes Crapo one of the few Republicans even willing to discuss revenues. And you'd travel far and wide before you'd find a collection of people who are more aghast at federal spending than Crapo's constituents - including many of those in the Tribune's readership. Except, of course, when it gets too close to home. Then the tune changes. Case in point: The New York Times recently highlighted Crapo's ardent defense of a $3 billion loophole for the pulp and paper industry/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: So is U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo guilty of talking out of both sides of his mouth here?

Chester Targets Cook, Roetter

Chester the Callow Keyboard Commando from Chuckleberries is backing off his promise for another big, ahem, reveal of the true IDs of HucksOnline commenters today. Now, he's saying it'll be Friday. Meanwhile, he's tell his followers — 9 of them according to the CBO Facebook page — to boycott Huckleberries. Ouch! Writes Cousin Chester: “abstain from hanging out at the cyber-swamp known.  Let’s quit helping DooFo make money to destroy your liberties and freedom.  If his web traffic takes a serious nosedive, the Cowles family won’t keep paying him a plush salary to be the minister of propaganda. He is expendable in their eyes, and if he’s not making money for them, they’ll not be paying him.  It’s that simple.” More here. In a rambling post today, Cousin Chester takes aim at “Lie-da Kook” (Almost Innocent Bystander aka Linda Cook) and “Rotter the Rabid Republican” (Matt Roetter), calling them names and sliming away at them while lecturing them about civility. Amazing. Click here for latest Clueless Cousin Chester rant. (Photo: Technorati's Redneck collection: Infant Pacifier)


High Noon: Spokane Valley-ites?

There's an item in the Slice column pipeline in which a reader uses the phrase “Valley-ites” to describe residents of Spokane Valley. That doesn't sound quite right. But what would be the preferred label? Valleyers? Valleyians? Valleyans? Valleytonians? Valleyenos? Valleyiscans?/Paul Turner, The Slice blog. More here.

  • DFO: You really need to check out Paul Turner's blog, if you enjoy trips down memory lane.

Question: What would you call a resident of Spokane Valley?

Worth Every Penny

Erik Finman, 13, eagerly raises his bidding number after getting the approval from his mother Lorna Finman to place a $6,500 bid Tuesday on a cruise on the 60-foot sailing yacht Sizzler and dinner for eight. The item was one of five available during fundraising event held at the home of Duane and Lola Hagadone for the Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County. (Jerome A. Pollos Coeur d'Alene Press photo)

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.25.12

  • 11:54 a.m. Motorcyclist in purple helmet w/passenger on back & white helmet hanging off the back is passing b/n vehicles on s/b H95 @ M/P 459 (Cocalalla Loop).
  • 11:30 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 24-25 here.
  • 11:19 a.m. 2-vehicle crash, with airbags deployed, is blocking traffic on H95 @ Orchard/Hayden.
  • 11:14 p.m. CPD is looking for 1996 Saturn, last seen Tuesday, w/sticker: “Let Love Lead.”
  • 11:10 a.m. A German shepherd is loose in traffic @ s/b H95 & Orchard/Hayden.
  • 8 more items below

Union Gospel To Open CdA Shelter

The hundreds of homeless women and children in Kootenai County will soon have a place of refuge. The Union Gospel Mission is opening a 42,000 square foot facility on 196 W. Haycraft in COEUR d' Alene designed to provide “rescue, recovery, and restoration” to its visitors. There is a dedication ceremony set for August 1st at 2pm. Public tours of the building will be available on August 1st and 2nd from 3-7pm. The Mission will officially open September 4th, after the Labor Day weekend. For more information you can call (208) 665-HOPE/Matt Rogers, SWX/KHQ. Story & video tour of new facility here.

Question: Are you excited re: the opening of the Union Gospel Mission site behind Taco Bell?

WSJ Editor Tweet Brings Backlash

James Taranto, an editor at The Wall Street Journal, has found himself the target of criticism after sending a tweet about the three men who died shielding their girlfriends from gunfire during the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., last week. “I hope the girls whose boyfriends died to save them were worthy of the sacrifice,” Taranto tweeted on Tuesday evening. Taranto, who writes the “Best of the Web Today” column and is a member of The Journal's editorial board, was highly criticized online for his comment/Huffington Post. More here.


Crash Kills Spokane Officer From PF

A Spokane police officer was killed when he was struck by a pickup truck after being thrown from his motorcycle in a crash on state Highway 200 near Clark Fork. The Idaho State Police are looking for the driver of the pickup that struck 47-year-old Kurt P. Henson of Post Falls at about 10:20 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities say Henson was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle with 43-year-old Kimberly Lenox of Post Falls as his passenger when he struck an abrupt edge in a construction zone. Both were thrown from the motorcycle. Henson was not wearing a helmet. An ISP news release does not indicate whether Lenox was wearing a helmet. A Dodge pickup following the motorcycle struck both Henson and the bike. The ISP says the driver of the truck fled the scene. The truck was described as a 2001 Dodge 1500 pickup/Spokesman-Review. More here.

AM: Hagadone Event Raises $500K

Duane Hagadone welcomes Larry Running and Peg Michaelsen to his home as they disembark one of the two cruise boats used to ferry passengers across the lake to the Hagadone's home. The event raised more than $500,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County. Story here. (Jerome A. Pollos Coeur d'Alene Press photo)

WWTD: What Will Tina Do?

Tina Jacobsonis shown  at a North Idaho Pachyderm Club meeting some time ago when the club was still meeting at IHOP.  She wanted to ask a question of the speaker.

Question: What do you think Tina will do — drop the matter, as the Coeur d'Alene Press insists, or pursue her defamation lawsuit against Linda Cook (aka, Almost Innocent Bystander)?

Meanwhile, Back At Chester Berries …

… I see that Chester & his Keyboard Commandos at Chuckle Berries Online are using a photo from my Web site without permission, which seems to be par for the course. And they're denouncing King DoFoo for a series of shortcomings, real and imagined. (I guess I should have better taste in Hawaiian shirts.) Also, Chester & Co., in full vent, are threatening a new release of names of anonymous posters at HucksOnline. Click here. Here's hoping they're more accurate today. In another post, Chester the Cowardly Keyboard Commando mocks HucksOnline & its “librul” commenters for our reaction to his silly outing list, Part I, yesterday. Click here. He should be grateful that he actually got some page-views yesterday. United Constitutionalists (er, Conservatives) of North Idaho must be proud of its online backer.

  • DFO: BTW, Chester the Classless CBO Keyboard Commander posted a photo of Linda Cook w/2 children (faces obscured), possibly pulled off Linda's Facebook page. Real class. Click here.

Felix Pitch Sends A-Rod To DL

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez rolls on the ground after being hit by a pitch in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday in Seattle. Even as Rodriguez writhed on the ground in pain, he didn't believe his left hand was fractured. Turns out A-Rod was wrong, and now the Yankees will be without another of their star players. (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey)

Question: Have you ever broken a wrist or your arm?

Huckleberries Hears …

… That the United Conservatives of North Idaho wing of the Kootenai County GOP CC succeeded last night in gaining $1200 from the GOP kitty to conduct 6 workshops to fight the county's proposed United Land Use Code. The planners believe they can stage the meetings for $200 apiece if they can get free venues. The motion passed after an amendment by Precinct Committeeman Duane Rasmussen was defeated. Rasmussen had tried to get an equal amount of money reserved to spend on actual Republican candidates. There was discussion re: whether or not to invited the three Republican county commissioners to the series of meetings.


Coeur d’Alene Fires Finance Worker

The city of Coeur d'Alene terminated the female finance department employee suspected of embezzling city money. City Attorney Mike Gridley said the termination was effective at 5 p.m. Tuesday after the employee did not show up for a personnel meeting with department heads Monday afternoon to address the allegations she stole city funds. “The result is that the employee is terminated,” Gridley said. “They had the hearing, the evidence was presented, she was not there.” The city is not revealing the employee's name. A records request by The Press for a copy of the letter the city sent the employee notifying her of her termination was declined, as personnel records are except from disclosure without the employee's permission. The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, which is investigating the case, said it plans on issuing a press release if an arrest is made/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

DFO: Hmm, Tom Hasslinger's a digger. So I'm sure he has the name of the employee. Now, it's all a matter of getting the name on the record.

Question: How would you get the name on the record?

Cindy Traumatized By Outing

Cindy comments that she was stunned by the Chuckle Berries online outing Tuesday. She comments, “Well you’d be traumatized, too, if you had this conversation at the dinner table last night”:

Husband: So. You’re CindyH, one of HucksOnline most liberal commenters?
Me: Well…
Husband: I thought those lips looked familiar.
Me: Well…
Husband: So after 26 years of marriage you decided to come out as a liberal?
Me: Noooo! I didn’t come out. There’s this idiot out there who thinks anyone who posts at HucksOnline is a liberal. Or maybe it’s just journalists or…
Husband: Bottom line. I need to know. Does this mean you’re going to stop shaving your legs and armpits, give up your Victoria’s Secret Angel collection bras and start wearing socks with Birkenstocks?
 Me: Well…

Question: Are you shaking in your boots waiting for the next CBO reveal?

Press: Tina Should Just Drop It

Linda Cook (pictured in Phantom Photographer photo, above, tending her garden) isn’t the squeamish type. Most of the time she says her piece — fire and brimstone included, no extra charge — with her name firmly attached. But back in February, she posed a question on a Spokesman-Review blog from the shadows of an online pen name, almostinnocentbystander. That question, which by Cook’s description was an admittedly “sarcastic, facetious query” that she subsequently apologized for, has made her the target of a lawsuit that would have outed Cook had she not stepped out of the shadows before a court mandated it. Now that the object of her facetious question, former Kootenai County Republican Central Committee Chair Tina Jacobson, inset photo, has learned the true identity of her critic, it’s up to Jacobson to decide whether the courts should attempt to provide further remedy. We hope not. We hope the public exposure is enough to make Jacobson decide that the bill for being criticized as a public official, even if the criticism was hurtful, has been sufficiently paid/Editor Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Sand Sharks?

Dancers rehearse prior to the start of the Beach Volleyball competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday in London. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) 

Question: Were you a decent volleyball player back in the day?

Adams: Rather Join Than Fight

A Coeur d'Alene city councilman who has voted against moving forward with nearly every component of the McEuen Field redevelopment plan, said he's ready to surrender the fight. “At this point, I've effectively conceded,” Steve Adams said Tuesday, one day after voting to approve a memo of understanding between the city and American Legion baseball. “What else am I supposed to do?” Siding with Adams in favor of the MOU at Monday's General Services Committee meeting - an advisory panel of the City Council -was member Ron Edinger, who, like Adams, has opposed all votes tied to the estimated $14.2 million park overhaul since the beginning but agreed to the MOU. Edinger said he approved the MOU “begrudgingly,” and did so only because American Legion baseball approved the agreement that would have them playing ball at Ramsey Park by opening day 2013. “The way I looked at it, the American Legion, their board was in favor of doing that,” Edinger said. “I've always supported the Legion program, although I don't believe (the proposed ballpark is) equal or better”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

DFO: I never thought I'd say this, but H/T to Steve Adams for seeing the light.

Question: Now are we ready to move ahead with making McEuen Field another terrific attraction on the Coeur d'Alene waterfront?

Kerri: Hagadones Deserve Attaboys

I have to respond to (Stickman's) comments about Duane Hagadone and his philanthropy. Beyond his investment in this community, of his own dollars, to provide jobs in his numerous business ventures, Duane and Lola do many untold quiet good deeds and acts of generosity. In every community the biggest dogs have the most detractors ie: the Cowles family in Spokane for example. True that the Hagadones live a lifestyle the majority of us will never know but that lifestyle was earned by hard work, shrewd investments and business acumen. I don’t begrudge anyone their success or second guess what’s in their heart to give back to their fellow man. I do what I can do and at the end of any given day sincerely hope I’ve made a difference somewhere, to someone. God bless anyone, including Duane Hagadone, who give of their time and treasure. The event tonight raised $500,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County and will absolutely make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children in our community. I’d call that worthwhile by any definition.

DFO: Couldn't agree more. Duane & Lola deserve a monster Hat Tip for hosting the fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club at their Casco Bay home — as well as all those other fundraisers for worthy causes in the community. Saaalute. (Coeur d'Alene Press story here)


Wild Card/Tuesday — 7.24.12

Things never seem to settle down here at HucksOnline. Which is good for you and interesting for me. The increasing attacks on this site leads me to believe that we are doing something very important here. And there are individuals who want to stop that from happening. I never had much use for bullies, in the flesh or online. So I'll keep doing what I've been doing — and let the chips fall. Now for your daily Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.24.12

A group takes a photo of themselves in front of Olympic Rings floating in the River Thames off of Battersea park today in London. The city will host the 2012 London Olympics with opening ceremonies scheduled for Friday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

OTV Review: Donut Burgers!

Anyway, I had already been done with my shift for an hour or so and was getting just a skosh tipsy wipsy and extremely tummy-rumbly.  Suddenly, a figure emerged at me from out of the smoky darkness of the bar, carrying an armload of white Styrofoam to-go boxes.  It was one of my most beloved regulars. “Hungry? You’ll never guess what I found at this food truck down on Sherman.” I cracked open one of the boxes, not totally sure what to expect, and there it was, something I’d only ever heard of as a gluttonous internet food meme, something I was terrified of and delighted by simultaneously at the same time, something enough to make Paula Deen’s boobs bounce excitedly at the possibility of adding new calories to their bodacious bounty. It gleamed in front of me, reflecting the colored lights of the dance floor like a golden, sugary disco ball. Behold: the Glazed Donut Burger/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Are you kidding me?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.24.12

  • 5:41 p.m. Battery just happened on South Fern Creek Road/Cataldo.
  • 5:20 p.m. Pickup pulling boat rear-ended @ n/b H95 @ Miles/Hayden, blocking traffic.
  • 5:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 23-24 here.
  • 4:54 p.m. Female caller tells CPDispatcher that another female pulled her hair.
  • 4:52 p.m. Caller from Friends Church on Miles/Hayden has caught Lab/boxer mix.
  • 4:48 p.m. ISP report: 46YO Boisean hurt in H95 motorcycle crash here.
  • 4:42 p.m. Bicyclist reports male in n/b vehicle swerved at him by RR tracks @ Ramsey & Chilco.
  • 4:24 p.m. A dog has been left in a vehicle @ Hayden Walmart on Honeysuckle.
  • 4:07 p.m. Mother-in-law named Tracy missing from 9400 block of Ash/CdA.
  • 19 more items below

PM Headlines — 7.24.12

Washington State head coach Mike Leach, left, quarterback Jeff Tuel, center, and defensive end Travis Long take question at the Pac-12 college football media day in Los Angeles Tuesday. See story below. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Stebbi’s Mac & Cheese Extraordinaire

Another foodie show idea! I have to say, this might be the best mac and cheese I have ever tasted and not just because it is mine. This foodie show sported some wanna be chefs to have their own half hour of fame and they were competing for the competition. This guy decided to title his presentation as “family style” and cooked up his Mom's mac and cheese from those days when they were too poor to get new shoes - we all know the story. However, some of us are still too poor to buy shoes and he says this is a great way to eat something good and cheap besides ramen noodles and still get some flavor. Great for college kids/Stebbijo's Place. More here.

DFO: Next time Stebbijo posts something so terrific looking late in an afternoon when my stomach's growling, I'm going to boot her off this place. I. Can't. Take. It.

Question: Do you like mac-and-cheese?

NIdaho Blog Rdp — 4.24.12

At her Cat House & Shooting Gallery, JeanC posts these two deer in velvet during a tour of a regional winery. More photos here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday): 10,448 page-views & 5563 unique views

Idaho Sends Lame-Duc Hartl To ALEC

The Idaho delegation is led by the American Legislative Exchange Council's Idaho chairwoman, Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston. The 39th annual meeting began Monday for board members and other leaders. Regular sessions begin Wednesday and run through Friday. Lodge, as a state chair, said she'll be in Salt Lake City today through Thursday, and expects to be joined by Reps. Steve Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, and Jeff Thompson, R-Idaho Falls. Lodge said she pays her own expenses. The group also offers scholarships. Two other lawmakers are attending at state expense, Reps. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, and Phil Hart, R-Hayden. Travel expenses for Barbieri and Hart have been approved by House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale. Hart was defeated in the May GOP primary/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.


Read more here:

Ask & Ye Shall Receive …

The Phantom Photographer responded to my HBO Signal when I asked for a random shot of Her Sandiness, to go with the profile ones that I have. Idawa had commented: “Exactly how many different images of Cook does DFO have? I’ve seen more different shots of Cook in the last two days than he posted of the mayor during the entire recall debacle.”

DFO: She's looking fierce, OTV.

Jacobson Lawsuit Factoid

Fun fact about the lawsuit filed by former Kootenai County GOP Central Committee chairwoman Tina Jacobson and defendant Jane Doe, whom we now know as Linda Cook, the commenter formerly known as Almost Innocent Bystander:

  • Linda Cook is a former aide for the late 1stCD congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage.
  • Tina Jacobson is a former aide for former 1stCD congressman Bill Sali.
  • The two backed different horses in the last congressional race — Cook for Ward and Jacobson for Labrador.

Hold Put On Batman Comic

This comic image from DC Comics shows a cover image from “Batman, Incorporated No. 3.” DC Comics is asking retailers to postpone sales of a Batman comic book out of respect for victims of the shooting at a theater showing “The Dark Knight Rises” in Colorado. In an email sent to shops, DC Entertainment asked retailers to delay sales of “Batman, Incorporated” No. 3, which was set to be available on Wednesday for a month. (AP Photo/DC Comics)

Question: Do you still read comic books? Which ones?

Rubber Obama Banks For Sale

Rubber Obama head banks are lined up for sale on top of a van roof near the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, where President Obama was scheduled to appear. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Question: Would you buy a head bank for Obama or Romney? Might be worth buckazoids if you could hold onto something like that for, oh, say … 50 years.

My Crown For A Fave Masseuse

On her Facebook wall, Cindy writes: “You think you're having a bad day? In addition to it not being Thursday, I just found out that my favorite massage therapist is no longer at BrickHouse | Massage & Coffee Bar and I'm going to have to let a new person give me a one hour relaxing massage. Tough times.”

Question: How can you tell that you're having a bad day?

School Board Seeks Zone 5 Apps

At yesterday evening’s school board meeting, the Coeur d’Alene School District Board of Trustees declared a vacancy for the trustee position Zone 5 and outlined the process by which the Board will appoint a person to serve the remainder of the current term through June 2013. Sid Fredrickson’s resignation earlier this month triggered the vacancy and appointment process. The Board of Trustees asks any eligible community member interested in applying for the trustee position to submit an application by Wednesday, August 15 at 5 p.m. to the Clerk of the Board, Lynn Towne at 311 N. 10 Street, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814/Laura Rumpler, Coeur d'Alene School District.

DFO: Hey, I'm in this district: “A northern boundary of Dalton, (East of Highway 95).  Westerly boundary of Highway 95/Lincoln Way.  Southern boundary of Garden Avenue and Eastern boundary following along 15th Street.  The full legal description of Zone 5 is on the school district’s website.

Question: Do you think DFO would have a good chance of landing a job with Coeur d'Alene School Board if he applied for Zone 5 opening?

Gymnastics Coach Faces Sex Charge

A Boise youth gymnastics coach has been arrested on charges of sexual battery after it was alleged that he engaged in sexual relations with two of his female students at least five and six years his junior. Boise 22-year-old Derek Nesbitt, arrested for sexual battery — Ada County Sherriff's Department As reported by Boise ABC affiliate KIVI and the Idaho Statesman, among other sources, 22-year-old Derek Nesbitt was arrested at the gymnastics facility where he works on Friday on charges of sexual battery of a minor between the age of 15 and 16. The charges followed a lengthy investigation by the Ada County Sheriff's Office after the department was notified of an incident where Nesbitt allegedly plied a group of teens with alcohol. That party, which was reported by an anonymous source, turned out to be one of many thrown by the gymnastics coach, who works with teenaged girls on both gymnastics and cheerleading squads/Cameron Smith, Yahoo! Sports. More here.

Question: Are you surprised any more by the types of individuals charged w/sex crimes against children?

Chuckle Berries Begins ‘Outings’

This is what Chester and the totally anonymous Chuckle Berries Online believes to be an outing. Let the guffawing begin. Many of these are no-brainers — MikeK = Mike Kennedy. Duh. Nic = Nic Casey. Duh. JohnA is John Austin. Shazam! A good part of the harder ones are merely guesses & comically wrong. BTW, I had no idea Duane Rasmussen was the Phantom Photographer. Absolutely. None. This is the best public relations firn that United Conservatives of North Idaho could hire? Really? You can read the total list here. Chester & his Cowering anonymous crew are promising more tomorrow. Before they out DFO, I confess that I'm David F. Oliveria, a columnist/blogger for The Spokesman-Review. BTW2, Chester & Co. is soliciting more outings of HucksOnline commenters (in attempt, I suspect, for the Far Right to intimidate commenters on this site. The kicker? He's promising total anonymity for the snitches who provide him information. Seriously. Click here. I'm Spartacus!


Cook is HBO Mystery Blogger

Linda Cook, the mystery commenter formerly known as Almost Innocent Bystander, reads a blog online. Cook outed herself to the Coeur d'Alene Press Monday. The Spokesman-Review has announced it will comply with a judge's order to provide information about her identity today. (Photo by Phantom Photographer)

North Idaho Republican political campaign worker Linda Cook says she is “almostinnocentbystander,” the anonymous online commenter on the Spokesman-Review website who allegedly defamed Kootenai County Republican leader Tina Jacobson. Cook worked in North Idaho on the Vaughn Ward campaign for Congress two years ago, a bid that fell short against current U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador. Ward said Cook was a campaign worker for him for nine months, but he declined further comment. Cook, 55, of Rathdrum, also has worked on campaigns for former Idaho state Sen. Mike Jorgenson, current Idaho state Rep. Kathleen Sims, and was a congressional aide for late U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage of Idaho. All are Republicans. A judge in 1st District Court earlier this month ruled the Spokesman-Review must give Jacobson and her attorney information that could lead to the identity of almostinnocentbystander. The newspaper won't appeal Judge John Luster's recent order/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Photo: Linda Cook being sworn in as an officer in a local Republican Women's club)


Sandpoint Is ‘Best Of The Road’

Sandpoint, Idaho, is an especially beautiful mountain and lake town that is tucked into the potato state’s upper panhandle. So lovely is this town – which is home to the state’s largest body of water, Lake Pend Oreille, and Schweitzer Mountain ski resort in the Selkirk Mountains – Rand McNally recently chose Sandpoint as the most beautiful small town in America in the map and travel giant’s “Best of the Road” competition, said Mack Deibel, communication specialist for the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce. The contest victory brings along a slew of publicity. A page in both the upcoming Rand McNally atlas and an issue of USA Today will be dedicated to the town. An hourlong Travel Channel special will also feature the contest winners/Betsy Cohen, Missoulian. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR file photo of Sandpoint's City Beach)

Question: Do you wished you lived in Sandpoint?

Readying For Olympics

Chinese gymnasts put chalk on the uneven bars during a training session in a practice arena ahead of the 2012 Summer Olympics Tuesday in London. The opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics will be held Friday. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Question: Were you or your kids ever gymnasts?

Hucks Poll: Don’t Screen Comments

  • Weekend Poll: 187 of 220 respondents (85%) say they don't want HucksOnline to screen their comments before they're posted online here. Only 27 of 220 respondents (12.27%) say they want comments screened. 6 (2.73%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Have you ever been bullied online?

IEA Helped Fund Keough, 4 Other R’s

A new group, Idaho Republicans for Our Schools, filed its independent expenditure report on Election Day, May 15, and I've only now tumbled to what was up. Idaho Education Association Vice President Rick Jones is the group's treasurer, and the $9,320 it spent on the five races was entirely paid by the Political Action Committee for Education, or PACE, the IEA's campaign fund. Jones, of Rathdrum, said Tuesday that he's a Republican. “There are many Idaho educators who are Republicans. What we're saying is let's vote for Republicans who support public education, they're not mutually exclusive.” Campaign finance reports filed last month establish the link between IEA and Idaho Republicans for Our Schools. PACE contributed $9,320 to the new PAC on May 13, representing two-thirds of what PACE spent in the reporting period of April 30 to May 25/Dan Popkey, Statesman. More here.


Read more here:

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.24.12

  • 11:29 a.m. Undisclosed harassment reported in 5800 block of West Twin Lakes.
  • 11:24 a.m. Female named Amber B. trespassed from Burger King on Appleway/CdA.
  • 11:16 a.m. 2 toddlers are walking northbound w/o adults supervision on 15th/CdA.
  • 11:10 a.m. Business in 300 block of Appleway reports vandalism to property.
  • 11:07 a.m. Burger King worker reports 9 transients in bushes behind Appleway business. Manager doesn't want to confront the individuals.
  • 11:04 a.m. Motocyclist w/passenger & trailer has crashed off H95, south of Silverwood. Unknown injuries. ISP has just arrived at the scene.
  • 9 more items below

Burglaries Prompt Sanders Watch

In one burglary, a Coeur d'Alene resident returned home to be greeted by a stranger coming out her back door. She turned and ran. In another, the victim was convinced a burglar was inside her home when she arrived with her grandchildren. She locked herself and the kids in a car until the home was searched. Burglaries are on the rise in the Lake City, and burglars are becoming as brazen as ever, even trying to break in when someone is home. Victims of one burglary in a Sanders Beach home are fighting back by forming a Block Watch program, and will hold a meeting this week. It will make a difference, said Coeur d'Alene Police Sgt. Christie Wood. “Neighborhood Watch is a proven deterrent to crime,” she said. “When neighbors are organized and aware of who their neighbors are, and who belongs in the neighborhood, they are much more likely to call the police when they see suspicious activity”/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Are you part of a Neighborhood Block Watch?

AM Headlines — 7.24.12

Bob Williams of Longview, Wash rides a body bowl slide on Monday, July 23, 2012, at Splashdown water park in Spokane Valley. Williams said he and his son, Bob Jr. travel to the park from the west side of the state as much as they can. (Tyler Tjomsland SR photo)

Upside Down Perspective

Abby Madsen, 7, holds her headstand during practice at Flip Factory Gymnastics in Hayden on Monday. Several members of competition teams will be performing in an exhibition at Silverwood Theme Park just north of Coeur d'Alene on Friday. (Kathy Plonka SR photo)

Question: Can any of you still do a head stand?

DFO: Intimidation Tactics

HucksOnline commenters are under attack today from the totally anonymous Chuckleberries Online site, which supports candidates from the Far Right United Conservatives of North Idaho. Chuckleberries made this announcement this morning: “Chuckle Berries Online has just received a list of the identities of DooFo’s liberal minions from his blog (HBO).  Stay tuned to see who’s name made the list, you might be suprised…” Whatever. The site thought that Almost Innocent Bystander was Duane Rasmussen or Matt Roetter at one time. Let 'em guess. (A note about Chuckleberries … for all the disagreements I have with Bill & Mary @ OpenCDA, I respect them for having the guts to post their opinions under their own names. I consider the individuals behind Chuckleberries to be gutless cowards for hiding behind anonymity. It's one thing to comment anonymously. Quite another to run a Web site anonymously.) Meanwhile, I've booted commenter Justin Cottrell to the curb for posting the following notice on his online Web site: “JOKER/DUROC/MOSCOW MINIDOKA — You shouldn't have been so careless with your IP address.” Click here. I consider that post on another site as possible attempt to intimidate a HucksOnline poster. My SR technical adviser tells me that an online operator can get an IP address from individuals who click on their sites. But not the names of the individuals. And they have absolutely no access to the SR to get those names. So not to worry. Meanwhile, I plan to tighten things a bit here in the comments section. I will be more aggressive on knowing the identities of anonymous posters who throw elbows. If such an individual is unwilling to tell me who s/he is, I'll throw them in the cooler. Now back to your regular programming — DFO.

Do You Back Higher Minimum Wage?

The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce supported the last increase in the federal minimum wage on July 24, 2009 and we believe another raise is overdue. The business owners I talk with every day say that, far from hurting their businesses, raising the minimum wage in fact helps small businesses and the broader economy. The number one problem for our member businesses is weak customer demand. Too many people forget that workers are also consumers. Consumer spending drives 70 percent of our economy, and we must repower consumer spending – backed by adequate wages rather than unaffordable debt – if we are going to repower our economy, create jobs and rebuild our middle class.  Raising the minimum wage puts dollars in the pockets of workers who are by necessity most likely to spend them immediately at the grocery store, the pharmacy, the auto-repair shop and other local businesses. Raising the minimum wage boosts the economy from the bottom up, which is exactly what we need/Margo Dorman, Congress Blog, The Hill. More here.

Question: Some will argue that raising the minimum wage hurts business because it forces owners to lay off workers. What do you think?

Hollywood Skirts Massacre Blame

There seems to be very little of the blame-it-on-Hollywood backlash in the wake of the Colorado theater massacre that so often occurs when people struggle to make sense of a senseless, violent act. Many agree that you simply can't hold the art form itself responsible in the shooting that left 12 people dead and 58 others injured at a packed midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” The alleged shooter, 24-year-old James Holmes, appeared in court Monday for the first time since the bloody attack of early Friday morning. While his hair was dyed the kind of bright, orange-red shade you might see in a comic book, authorities say it could take months to determine a motive. Still, the film industry seems to recognize the potential for scrutiny and has shown sensitivity in response to the tragedy, if not some defensiveness/CBS Money Watch. More here. (AP photo from “Dark Knight Rises”)

Question: Does Hollywood deserve any of the blame for the Aurora massacre?

School Board Targets IB Program

The International Baccalaureate program is back in the cross-hairs in the Coeur d'Alene School District. School board members met Monday for a workshop focused on the performance of students enrolled in the district's two advanced learning courses offered to high school students: IB at Lake City and Advanced Placement at Coeur d'Alene High. Educators from each of the schools - Lake City IB coordinator and English teacher Andrea Partington and CHS Principal Warren Olson and AP Chemistry teacher Erik Karns - were present to answer trustees' questions about the programs. Many of the board members' queries and comments pointed to dissatisfaction with the IB program's results, primarily that just 54 students were enrolled in at least one IB class at Lake City during the last school year. “My concern is, is it worth having the program?” said Trustee Jim Purtee/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Given the current makeup of the Coeur d'Alene School Board, do you really think the International Baccauleate program has a snowball's chance in Hades of surviving?

Clark: Lawmaker Of A Higher Caliber

Posing at the Ron Paul visit to Spokane during his presidential campaign earlier this month, are Idaho Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, Spokane Valley legislator Matt Shea, a Paul campaign aide, and Idaho. Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens. Shea has been charged with weapons violations in an alleged road raid incident.

Nothing says “Welcome back from vacation, Doug” like a Road Rage Republican. So thanks to whoever gifted the newspaper with court documents about the firearms violations that were issued to Matt Shea after the Spokane Valley legislator’s dustup with another driver last November. Yeah, I realize this hubbub’s a bit long in the tooth. But you learn to settle for whatever you can get in this game. The sad truth is that we’ve been in a dry spell as far as ill-behaving politicians go. It’s a cyclical thing, I believe. A few years ago, for example, we were up to our fedora feather in GOP cross-dressers, toilet stall toe-tappers and city council psychos. It was a glorious time to be a columnist. Then something really disturbing happened: Many of our elected officials started behaving responsibly. Too many, if you ask me/Doug Clark, SR. More here.


Blanchette: Ichiro Trade Good For M’s

Going on record here that the Seattle Mariners shouldn’t have traded Ichiro Suzuki. They should have made him CEO. At least he grasped that he was no longer a fit with the only Major League Baseball franchise he’d ever known at this particular stage of its patented inertia. Howard Lincoln and his right-hand barnacle, Chuck Armstrong, would never have dared come to that conclusion themselves, nor would they have allowed their general manager to take any independent action.  It was Ichiro who asked out. Huck and Chowie have been studiously avoiding any tough decision on the matter – and any matter outside of where to go for lunch – for years now. Just one more reason for the congregation of 29,911 that assembled at Safeco Field on Monday night to murmur some proper amens/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (AP photo of Ichiro for first time in New York Yankees' uniform last night)

Question: I agree with colleague John Blanchette — the trade of declinging Ichiro was great for Seattle. How about you?

Bennett: One More Nut

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Wild Card/Monday — 7.23.12

My extended family enjoyed the wiener dog races at Rathdrum Days Saturday, where two dogs belonging to friends failed to perform up to expectations. I won't name names. But the two mutts didn't venture more than a foot or two from the starting line, with one of them ultimately hiding behind its owners, who watched red-faced as more professional wiener dogs raced down the course. My friends enjoyed telling the tale later, faking mock embarrassment. And everyone had a good time. Now for your first Wild Card of the week …

Parting Shot — 7.23.12

In this June 1983 photo released by NASA, astronaut Sally Ride, a specialist on shuttle mission STS-7, monitors control panels from the pilot's chair on the shuttle Columbia flight deck. Ride, the first American woman in space, died Monday, after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 61. More here. (AP Photo/NASA, File)

Question: Did Sally Ride inspire you? What other pioneering women have inspired you?

SR To Confirm Mystery Blogger Tues

Original: Mystery blogger takes off mask (H/T: Coeur d'Alene Press)

North Idaho Republican political campaign worker Linda Cook says she is “almostinnocentbystander,” the anonymous online commenter on the Spokesman-Review website who allegedly defamed Kootenai County Republican leader Tina Jacobson. Cook worked in North Idaho on the Vaughn Ward campaign for Congress two years ago, a bid that fell short against current U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador. Ward said Cook was a campaign worker for him for nine months, but he declined further comment. Cook, 55, of Rathdrum, also has worked on campaigns for former Idaho state Sen. Mike Jorgenson, current Idaho state Rep. Kathleen Sims, and was a congressional aid for late U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage of Idaho. All are Republicans. A judge in 1st District Court earlier this month ruled the Spokesman-Review must give Jacobson and her attorney information that could lead to the identity of almostinnocentbystander. The newspaper won’t appeal Judge John Luster’s recent order. Spokesman-Review editor Gary Graham said in an email Monday, “Our attorneys advised us that it was highly unlikely that an appeal would have been successful in Idaho”/David Cole, SR. More here.


Legion Move Gets Edinger, Adams OK

In the pigs fly department, Huckleberries has learned that the General Services Committee voted 3-0 earlier today to move the American Legion Field from McEuen Field to Ramsey Park. The GSC voted for the move despite member Ron Edinger's oft-raised comment that the new field will not be “equal or better” than the current one in the picturesque setting on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Councilman Steve Adams, another adamant opponent of McEuen Field changes made the motion to support the memorandum of understanding that had been approved between the city and the American Legion Baseball Board. The final vote was 3-0 with General Services Committee Chairman Mike Kennedy providing the third vote. The matter now goes to the City Council for final approval. ALB President Janice Duman was in the audience when the vote was made.

Question: Do you agree with this deal?

PM Headlines — 7.23.12

Ryan Adams rides through a wedge of sunlight under the Interstate 90 overpass at 15th Street in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho as he travels home Tuesday. (AP Photo/Coeur d'Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

Legislator Cited For Gun Violations

Spokane Valley legislator Matt Shea shakes hands at Ron Paul presidential event in Spokane earlier this year. (Phantom Photographer photo)

A Spokane Valley legislator pulled a gun during a confrontation with another motorist last November in what police reports describe as a road rage incident. He was cited for two violations of state firearms law. Republican Matt Shea, a state representative seeking a third term this fall, had a handgun in his pickup truck and had let his concealed weapons permit expire, a violation of state law, when he was contacted by Spokane police investigating reports of erratic driving and one driver threatening another with a handgun. Shea eventually was charged with a single firearm count – having a loaded handgun in a vehicle without a concealed weapons permit – which will be dismissed next January if he has no further criminal violations before then, according to documents from the Spokane Municipal Court that were sent to The Spokesman-Review by someone with no apparent connection to his opponent’s campaign/Jim Camden, SR. More here.


Many Faces Of Suspected Shooter

This photo combination shows a variety of facial expressions of James E. Holmes during his appearance at Arapahoe County District Court Monday in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is accused of killing 12 and wounding 58 in a shooting rampage in a movie theater on Friday in Aurora, Colo. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)

Thumb Out To Hitchhike

Earlier today, an ISPer stopped a man in a cowboy hat from hitchhiking along Interstate 90 at Spokane Street in Post Falls. Local/state law, I believe, prevents hitchhiking on the interstate and the interstate exchanges. Hitchhikers & panhandlers on the I-90 interchanges are rousted promptly. So here's the question:

Question: Have you ever hitchhiked? Can you tell us what that was like?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.23.12

  • 5:42 p.m. City vehicle involved in 2-vehicle crash @ H95 & Ironwood, near KMC.
  • 5:40 p.m. Caller reports driver of Toyota Camri w/b on Locust Avenue won't give her keys back.
  • 5:31 p.m. Woman on Ramsey Road reports juveniles skateboarding on her property.
  • 5:14 p.m. Driver brake-checking in possible H53XHidden Valley road rage incident.
  • 4:51 p.m. Officer: Motorcyclist is popping wheelies at 90 mph, south of Ramsey & Kathleen/CdA.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 22-23 here.
  • 4:18 p.m. Resident of 9468b Upper Hayden Lake can't find smoke smell source in laundry room.
  • 13 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

M’s Trade Ichiro To Yankees

Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki attempts to bunt during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday. The Seattle Mariners have traded longtime superstar and fan favorite Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees in exchange for two minor-league prospects, the baseball team announced Monday. In the deal, the M’s have received right-handed pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar, who will report to the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers. The Mariners said “cash considerations” were also included in the trade, but did not elaborate. “On behalf of our ownership group and everyone in the Seattle Mariners organization, I thank Ichiro for the great career he’s had here in Seattle,” Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln said in a news release. “Several weeks ago, Ichiro Suzuki, through his long time agent, Tony Attanasio, approached Chuck Armstrong and me to ask that the Mariners consider trading him. Ichiro knows that the club is building for the future, and he felt that what was best for the team was to be traded to another club and give our younger players an opportunity to develop/Seattle PI. More here. (Seattle Mariners' Suzuki attempts to bunt during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday)

Question: Do you think this is a good deal?

Salazar: Grizzlies De-Listed In 2014

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is telling Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead that he shares the governor's desire to end federal protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears. Salazar wrote to Mead last week saying he expects the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies will finish their court-ordered analysis of the effect of the decline of the whitebark pine tree on bear populations by early 2014. Mead wrote to Salazar in May saying that the gravity of the bear situation around the nation's oldest national park cannot be overemphasized. Mead said bears killed four people in the area over the past two years. Biologists estimate the Greater Yellowstone area had about 600 bears last year. The area includes parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho/AP.

Question: Do you think grizzlies should be de-listed?

Airlines Raising Fares

American Airlines Boeing 767 taking off from Miami International Airport, in Miami. Airlines are raising ticket prices again after a long lull that coincided with falling fuel costs. Over the weekend several big airlines matched United Airlines' increase in base fares of up to $10 per round trip within the U.S. Fare watchers said it was virtually certain that the new prices would stick, resulting in the fourth fare increase this year and the first since late March. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, file)

Question: How often do you fly? And/or: Can you still afford to fly?

Mystery Blogger Takes Off Mask

The Spokesman-Review has decided not to appeal Judge John Luster's order that it turn over information re: the indentity of commenter Almost Innocent Bystander to attorneys for former Kootenai County GOP Central Committee Chairwoman Tina Jacobson. The paper will turn over those documents Tuesday. Meanwhile, Linda Cook has identified herself in a posting in the Coeur d'Alene Press this morning as Almost Innocent Bystander. You can read her comment identifying herself here.

Journalism Isn’t Dying, Just Changing

It is refreshing for a community to embrace my profession, which I am repeatedly told is dying. It’s not dying, just changing, and it’s something I’m proud to be involved with. The first event I covered in the field proves these points. I’d only been at the Canyon County Sheriff’s Crime Auction for a few minutes when a community member asked me what paper I was with. Upon my answer, the gentleman praised the Idaho Press-Tribune. Since then, a number of community members have complimented the work our staff produces. Not only does the community read the “dying” newspaper, but it respects and appreciates it. The media model shift we are experiencing is positive. It provides the community with every opportunity possible to be informed. Nearly every story I’ve written since joining the Press-Tribune has a box with more information, linking readers to, more information about the story or sources and organizations involved. The paper utilizes Twitter and Facebook regularly. The news will happen and the Press-Tribune will report it one way or another. Journalism’s platform is changing, not dying/Nick Groff, Idaho Press Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you agree with reporter Nick Groff that journalism is changing, not dying?

8 Rescued On Lake Pend Oreille

Timberlake Fire posted the following on Herb Huseland's Bay Views blog this weekend, after the department and the U.S. Navy took part in the rescue of 8 individuals, including 3 elderly people, and three dogs who had ignored storm warnings on Lake Pend Oreille and nearly sank:

“Apparently of the eight passengers aboard three were elderly and had trouble climbing out of the sinking craft. Paying absolutely no attention to the widely circulated Thunderstorm warnings which went out over all weather channels including marine channel 16.   When the storm hit high waves estimated at 6 to 8 feet were pounding against the heavily loaded craft. This caused water to enter the front vents. When the fire district boat arrived the sinking craft was kind of beached near the Cement Plant on the south shore of Lake Pend Oreille, Why they didn't even look up at the sky as the storm neared is a mystery. Apparently many adults do not have the basic survival training needed to safely cruise the unpredictable waters of the lake.” Entire post here.

Question: Why do people regularly ignore Nature's danger signs & get themselves in trouble?

Drive-In Theater Returns … Sorta

It’s a warm summer evening. Children in pajamas run here and there. Adults sit in their car or in lawn chairs nearby. Most people chow down on favorite snacks, whether it’s red licorice or a big tub of buttered popcorn. It’s drive-in movie night in Twin Falls. The scene has been an American entertainment staple since 1933 when the first open-air movie theater opened in Camden, N.J., with admission of 25 cents for a car and another 25 cents for each person inside. It was a long way from today’s outdoor theaters such as the Motor-Vu and Grand-Vu in Twin Falls. The industry’s initial audience lined up in Richard Hollingshead’s driveway to watch images on a bed sheet strung between trees in his backyard/Steve Kadel, Twin Falls Times-News. More here. (A movie trailer is projected onto the screen before the start of a feature showing recently at the Blue Fox  Drive-In Theater in Oak Harbor, Wash.)

Question: Do you remember the last movie that you saw at a drive-in theater?

Colorado Versus James E. Holmes

Carol Chambers, Arapahoe County District Attorney, arrives at the county courthouse, Monday in Centennial, Colo., the day of the first court appearance of James E. Holmes, who is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and who could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations, stemming from a mass shooting last Friday in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Question: How would you like to be on the other side, representing the alleged shooter in the Aurora massacre?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.23.12

  • 11:28 a.m. Gold 2005 Dodge pickup reportedly involved in road rage @ Hanley & Govt Way/CdA.
  • 11:25 a.m. St. Maries male held gun to his head in front of girlfriend before leaving in vehicle.
  • 11:17 a.m. Undisclosed found property @ Hayden Lake Road & Upper Hayden Lake Road.
  • 11:13 a.m. Female in Dalton Gardens reports mom won't let her leave house w/her things.
  • 11:12 a.m. Woman walking dog reports that sprinklers at LDS church on Honeysuckle are splashing into the street, hitting passing vehicles.
  • 14 more items below

AM Headlines — 7.23.12

Nakia Williamson of Lapwai waits on his horse, Pisaqis, during the horse parade that precedes the entry of dancers into the arena Saturday at the Julyamsh Powwow at the Coeur d'Alene Greyhound Park. Williamson is a Nez Perce tribal member. The annual event attracted hundreds of dancers and many more spectators for the drumming and dancing, native art and handicrafts and many food booths. (Jesse Tinsley SR photo)

Campaign Targets Wild Pigs

Oregon and Washington have jointly launched a “Squeal on Pigs” campaign to combat the latest invasive species - feral swine - that’s turned up in all three states. Originating in Europe and Asia and imported for domestic use, the wild pigs, also known as the Russian boar, can grow to several hundred pounds and cause extensive damage to crops, wildlife and habitat; the three states’ invasive species councils want folks to be on the lookout for the swine in the wild and report them if seen. It’s not just their destructive rooting and grubbing. Feral swine, defined as any pig that is not confined within a fenced property, often carry diseases that may be transmitted to livestock or humans; they prey on lambs, calves, fawns, upland birds and other wildlife; and they’re remarkably fertile, producing a couple of litters of four to eight piglets a year and traveling long distances to invade new watersheds/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Have you ever hunted wild pig? Tasty?

Underpasses Protect Wildlife, Drivers

Come this way, deer. Thanks to a wildlife underpass, animals in the Athol area can now see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to darting across busy U.S. 95. The underpass aimed at reducing the risk of vehicles vs. wildlife collisions is part of the highway improvement project just north of the Chilco interchange north of Hayden. Wayne Wakkinen, a wildlife research biologist with Idaho Fish and Game, said animal tracking information and the flat terrain made the location ideal for a wildlife underpass. “It seems to be approachable for animals,” Wakkinen said. There's three underpasses along U.S. 95 north of Bonners Ferry and the popularity varies widely to the animals/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust Coeur d'Alene Press photo)

Question: Are wildlife underpasses worth the money?

‘Dark Knight’ Rakes In

Despite the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the film took in about $162 million in North America over the weekend. Warner Bros. announced it would hold off reporting the film's opening grosses until Monday, but the information was leaked to several media outlets Sunday. “Out of respect for the victims and their families,” the studio said in a statement to ABC News. “Warner Bros. Pictures will not be reporting box office numbers for 'The Dark Knight Rises' throughout the weekend. Box office numbers will be released on Monday.” James Holmes, 24, is accused of opening fire on unsuspecting moviegoers Friday during a sold-out midnight screening of the new “Batman” film at a mall in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and injuring 58 others. Police said the alleged shooter was wearing a gas mask and was dressed in body armor/ABC News. More here. (This undated film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Tom Hardy as Bane in a scene from the action thriller “The Dark Knight Rises”)

Question: Have you seen “The Dark Knight Rises”? Thoughts?

More Drinkers Than Ever

SR colleague Becky Kramer passed this along: “Just got this updated figure from the Department of Ecology, so I'm passing it along: '…the Spokane Valley Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer provides drinking water to more than 620,000 residents in the Spokane/Coeur d'Alene area.'”

Question: Do you fully appreciate the importance of the Rathdrum Aquifer?

Holmes Makes First Appearance

In this image taken from video provided by, James Holmes, left, the suspected gunman in Friday's Colorado theater massacre, makes his first appearance in court with his attorney Tamara Brady in Centennial, Colo. on Monday. (AP Photo/

His hair dyed orange-red and a dazed look on his face, the man accused of going on a deadly shooting rampage at the opening of the new Batman movie appeared Monday in court for the first time. An unshaven, handcuffed James Holmes, 24, sat in maroon jailhouse jumpsuit as the judge advised him of the case. Holmes sat motionless, his eyes appearing tired and drooping. At one point, he closed his eyes as the judge spoke. Prosecutors said later they didn’t know if Holmes was on medication. Authorities have said he is being held in isolation at the jail. Holmes didn’t speak once during the hearing. His attorneys answered for him when the judge asked if he understood his rights. One woman’s eyes welled up with tears during the hearing/Associated Press. More here.


Romney, Obama To Idaho Fundraisers

The presidential campaign is on its way to Idaho, with both the Republican and Democratic candidates planning major fundraisers in Sun Valley - within a two-day span. Mitt Romney has a $1,000-a-head reception scheduled for the Sun Valley area on Aug. 3, possibly followed by a high-dollar dinner; Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey reported here on that event. And now it turns out that the Obama campaign will hold a  high-dollar reception and dinner in Ketchum the previous day, Aug. 2, featuring Vice President Joe Biden. The Sun Valley area is a target for national campaign fundraisers because of its high-dollar givers to both parties/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that President Obama would fund raise in bright-red Idaho?

Hedberg: Film Memories Outlive Film

Those movie makers who are filming “Admissions” at Washington State University are doing way more for the people of this area than just increasing hotel and restaurant revenues. They are making something that will last far longer than the two hours it will eventually take to view that show at a theater. They are making memories in some people's lives that will imprint them more deeply than if they had a personal encounter with the Virgin Mary. Say what you will about the goofy priorities of the American people. We might underpay teachers and lavish salaries on baseball players. We might skimp on health care benefits while making sure that there's a big-screen TV in every home. We could continue shipping jobs overseas until there are no more jobs here. Or hardly any. But one thing we will hold onto as long as liberty reigns from sea to shining sea and that's the entertainment industry. Those car manufacturers and widget makers will just have to make do with jobs selling popcorn at the movie theaters. I know this is true because I've known people who had slight brushes with a movie-in-progress and never forgot it the rest of their lives/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Have you ever participated in a movie? Or had a close encounter with a movie in progress?

Knowing When To Use Deadly Force

An intruder breaks in late at night. You reach for a loaded handgun next to your bed, get up, creep closer and spot a shadowy subject rifling through your belongings. Should you shoot? You're a bystander when a street fight breaks out. Someone brandishes a gun and points it at someone else. Should you pull your concealed weapon, take aim and stop the would-be shooter? A woman is threatened by an enraged man who forces her back against a wall. Should she use the Pink Lady handgun she's already pulled from her purse? In all three examples, the ability to pull a trigger is obvious. But the legality of using deadly force is always in question.That's why Phil Nelsen, a 28-year-old recent University of Idaho law school graduate, teamed up with his brother, also a lawyer, to form a company called “Legal Heat.” The two, along with other attorney instructors, offer concealed weapons training classes throughout the United States. And business, you might say, is going great guns/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Steve Hanks Lewiston Tribune photo)

Question: Would you know when to use deadly force to protect yourself?

Massacre Suspect Not Talking

University of Colorado officials were looking Sunday into whether James Holmes used his role in a graduate program there to amass an arsenal used in a theater shooting rampage, but school officials aren’t saying whether they had any clue that he was anything more than a hardworking student. Holmes, 24, was not cooperating with officials as he was being held in solitary confinement at a Denver-area county detention facility, Aurora police Chief Dan Oates said. “He lawyered up. He’s not talking to us,” the chief said. It could be months before they learn the motive behind the shootings that left 12 dead and 58 injured, with authorities working with FBI behavioral analysts and looking into Holmes’ relationships. Holmes is scheduled for an initial hearing today at 8:30 a.m. PDT and has been assigned a public defender/AP. More here. (AP photo: A woman visits a memorial for the victims in the shooting across the street from the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., Sunday)


Penn State Reacts To NCAA Penalties

Penn State students, employees, and faculty reacts as they listen to a television in the HUB on the Penn State University main campus in State College, Pa., as the NCAA sanctions against the Penn State University football program are announced Monday. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

NCAA Fines Penn State, Strips Wins

The NCAA slammed Penn State with an unprecedented series of penalties Monday, including a $60 million fine and the loss of all coach Joe Paterno’s victories from 1998-2011, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Other sanctions include a four-year ban on bowl games, the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years and five years’ probation. The NCAA also said that any current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school. NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the staggering sanctions at a news conference in Indianapolis. Though the NCAA stopped short of imposing the “death penalty” — shutting down the Nittany Lions’ program completely — the punishment is still crippling for a team that is trying to start over with a new coach and a new outlook/AP. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Correct punishment?

Huckleberries: Recalling Grandma

You’ve lived a good life when a grandson rides his longboard across Alberta to tell Canadians about your courageous battle with cancer. Erma Farmer lived a good life. Before the Coeur d’Alene grandma died on July 5, 2011, Canadian Bobby Jensen promised that he would make the “biggest tribute to her” that he possibly could. That’s how Highway Surf for Cause Raising Cancer Awareness was born. On the fifth of July, a year after Erma died, Bobby began his 300-mile ride on a longboard, from British Columbia to Saskatchewan, during a bad heat wave. It took him six days. Along the way, he told newspapers and other media about his grandmother and her long fight with cancer. Bobby tells Huckleberries: “I was only able to be successful with this because of the love, support and prayers of the people that have reached out to me sharing how cancer has somehow affected them or their loved ones.” What’s next for Bobby? He plans to repeat the longboard journey again and again. Mebbe until there’s a cure/DFO, Huckleberries print. More here.

Question: Have you ever memorialized a loved one by participating in a worthy cause?

Kralicek Gets HREI Award

Retired Coeur d'Alene police officer Mike Kralicek has plenty of stories to share. And he tells most of them with a joke and a smile. Even the harrowing one from 2004, when the officer was shot in the face in the line of duty, and the long road to recover since then. But even on that one Kralicek can crack a quip. “Today's a good day, you know why?” he said Friday evening before the Human Rights Education Institute's quarterly social gathering. “Because every day someone's not shooting at me is a good day.” Behind that humor is Kralicek's true message: Always work toward a better tomorrow, regardless of what the odds are, regardless of how difficult it is/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Jessie Tinsley SR file photo of Mike & Carrie Kralicek)

Question: Can you think of someone more deserving of honor?

Signe: The Bane of Our Existence

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Weekend Wild Card — 7.21-22.12

As I write this early Saturday morning, I'm listening to a debate led by Piers Morgan re: the possible need for tighter gun control in this country in wake of the latest massacre by a mad gun man. I know those are fighting words for many North Idahoans. I also know that it's only a matter of time that another slaughter like this one. Or Virginia Tech. Or Tucson. Or Columbine will occur to shock us. I don't know what the answer is. But I know that we can't continue to wring or hands, say solemn words and pray that we personally will never be victimized by this sort of madness. Now for your Weekend Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.20.12

A woman and a child stand near a sign that reads “7/20 Gone Not Forgotten,” near the movie theater where a gunman killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens of others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history today in Aurora, Colo. The pair left their flowers next to the sign. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

TGIF Wild Card — 7.20.12

Colorado shooting this morning hits home. Junior & Sweet Stephanie lived in Aurora for awhile while he attended University of Colorado medical school at Denver. Junior received his medical degree from the Denver medical school, where the suspected shooter is said to have been a student until a month ago. It'll be interesting to hear what Junior has to say about this horrific massacre. Now for your TGIF Wild Card …

Hooligan Makes A 1st Impression

So Christa Hazel dropped by the SR/CdA office this afternoon with her two children and new pup, Hooligan. I'll let Christa provide the rest of the story: “Our new puppy, Hooligan, paid a visit to the offices of Witherspoon Kelley today. He was a good boy. Since we were in the building, we also stopped into to see D.f. Oliveria, where Hooligan promptly pee'd in the lobby. Terribly embarrassing. I'm sure Cindy Hval will point out that this doesn't happen with cats.” Here is some of the reaction:

  • It was a statement pee expressing disdain — Joel
  • Can't quit laughing at the mental picture!!! — Beverly
  • Hooligan is obviously a cda press dog…or else he is using his 1st amendment rights to show how he feels about newspapers having to reveal the names of bloggers in court cases — Mary.
  • Hooligan was PO'd that I wouldn't give up identity of Chouli Girl, who has a feline avatar — DFO

Feel free to wade in …

No Costumes For AMC Batman Shows

Theaters across the country were on high alert Friday for the regular screenings of Batman’s “The Dark Knight Rises” following the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., where 12 were killed and dozens more injured. Earlier today, Regal Movie Theaters released a statement saying the chain will “continue to monitor the situation and adjust our security needs as necessary. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.” AMC theaters across the nation are not allowing any movie-goers into theaters with “face-covering masks, costumes that make guests feel uncomfortable or fake weapons,” according to a corporate news release/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here. (AP photo: Brittany Diemer shows the ticket stub for the Dark Knight Rises Friday morning in Aurora, Colo.)

Question: Are you more/less reluctant to see “The Dark Knight Rises” as a result of the Colorado massacre?

PM Headlines — 7.20.12

Two Elm Seed Bugs are seen in this undated handout photo provided by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. A federal official said Wednesday that the invasive insect commonly found in south-central Europe has been detected in southwestern Idaho, marking the first time the elm seed bug has been spotted in the U.S.  Story here. (AP Photo/Idaho State Department of Agriculture)


PM Scanner Traffic — 7.20.12

  • 5:42 p.m. Suicide threat reported at Taco Bell restaurant on Appleway/CdA.
  • 5:32 p.m. Fire boat has 5 of the stranded people on board — a maximum — and is asking for help from U.S. Navy vessels en route to pick up the other 3 individuals. All 8 people & 3 dogs are safe.
  • 5:24 p.m. 8 people & 3 dogs have made shore in sinking pontoon boat but are now stranded near cement plant in old Lakeview on Lake Pend Oreille. 2 rescue boats en route from Bayview.
  • 4:54 p.m. Unconscious person reportedly hanging out of vehicle at Post Falls tattoo shop.
  • 4:48 p.m. Pontoon boat w/handicapped individuals on board partly submerged & taking on water in Lakeview area of Lake Pend Oreille.
  • 4:45 p.m. Business alarm sounds from Country Porch on Schreiber Way/CdA.
  • 4:43 p.m. Semi running doubles is swerving badly on e/b I-90 @ Spokane/PF.
  • 4:36 p.m. ISP release: “State highway 57 in the Priest Lake area, drivers are asked to use extreme caution due to the storms in the area there are trees and debris on the roadways.”.    
  • 4:35 p.m. Richard in 1100 block of W. Heron/Hayden reports computer stolen from residence.
  • 21 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

North Idaho Blogs Rdp — 7.20.12

Here's one of the evening scenes that Marianne Love/Slight Detour discovered en route to Grouse Creek Thursday. More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday): 8802/5242, (for Wednesday): 9985/5740, and (for Tuesday): 9733/5559

Paterno Still Has Penn State Presence

Jenni Kahler, right, holds her daughter, Emma, 4, as they have a photo taken with the statue of Joe Paterno located outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., today. Paterno's statue stands outside the stadium even as his reputation has swiftly fallen following a scathing special investigative report that found he helped cover up child sex abuse allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. (AP Photo/John Beale)

Question: Should Penn State remove all vestiges of Joe Paterno?

Diamond Cup Calls Off 2012 Race

Hydroplane racing will not return to the Lake City this summer after all. Organizers say the Coeur d’Alene Diamond Cup hydroplane race event needs more sponsors. With sponsorship deals still in the works, the race has been rescheduled from this summer to Labor Day weekend of 2013, said Doug Miller, Diamond Cup president. Organizers of the return to racing announced last month that the boats would be back on Lake Coeur d’Alene for exhibitions and the first racing event held here in racing 44 years. “We will become the No. 1 race in the United States,” organizer Dennis Wheeler said at the time. The hydro races were to run southeast of downtown as part of the Diamond Cup Regatta during Labor Day weekend/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (SR file photo: Driver Joe Souza discusses hydroplanes at the June 8 annoucement at Silver Beach that the races would be returning to Lake Coeur d'Alene this fall)

Question: Do you expect the Diamond Cup to be ready to stage races in 2013?

News Release Errs In K12 Criticism

The news release showed up at the Idaho Statesman on Wednesday. Produced by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado, it said students from Idaho and other states enrolled in K12 Inc. virtual schools lag behind traditional students in math and reading. K12 is controversial. A for-profit education company, K12 powers the Idaho Virtual Academy, the state's oldest and largest online charter school, which served 3,000 students from 43 counties in 2011. K12 also contributed $44,000 in 2010 to Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna’s re-election campaign. The company was cofounded by William Bennett, education secretary under President Ronald Reagan. So the news release caught reporters’ attention. The Associated Press filed a story the next day that was picked up by news outlets around the state. “A new report takes aim at the nation's largest for-profit online education provider and finds students taking K12 Inc. classes in Idaho and four other states are falling more behind in math and reading than their traditional school counterparts,” the AP reported. But there was a problem: The release was wrong/Idaho Statesman. More here.


Read more here:

Summer Olympics Torch Arrives

Torchbearer Abdul Kasam, center right, shakes hands with London Mayor Boris Johnson as he carries the Olympic torch at the Tower of London today. The Olympic Torch arrived in London after it was carried around England in a relay of torchbearers to make its way to the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony on July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Question: Which Summer Olympics sport is your favorite? Why?

Sandpoint Byway To Open Next Friday

The Sand Creek Byway will open in one week. Idaho Transportation Department officials announced today that the Highway 95 realignment project will open to traffic on Friday, July 27. The $100 million project was officially dedicated June 29 at a ceremony which attracted more than 500 people/Coeur d'Alene Press.

Question: How often do you drive through Sandpoint?

OTV: So Tired, Tired Of Waitin’ …

I don't like to use drive-thrus, unless I see hardly any vehicles are in line. Can't stand the thought of wasting expensive gas idling. This came to mind moments ago when I saw OrangeTV's post re: waiting 16 minutes in line — and counting — at the Panda Express drive-thru. Dunno if it's the one @ 4th & Appleway or the Hayden one. OTV labeled his experience as the “drive thru wait to end all drive thru waits.” Which prompted an OTV FB friend to say that she spent an entire year when she was 20 waiting in a Jack and the Box drive thru. How about you?

Question: How often do you use drive thrus? What type of drive thru? Which drive thrus have the longest waits?

Shooter Was Neuroscience Student

Federal law enforcement officials say the suspect in last night's deadly shooting in Colorado is James Holmes, a 24-year-old American. Officials believe Holmes killed a dozen people when he fired into a crowded movie theater in a Denver suburb. He was wearing a gas mask and set off an unknown gas in the theater. Holmes is in police custody, and the FBI says there is no indication that incident is tied to any terrorist groups. Holmes was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver graduate school. University of Colorado spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery says Holmes was a student until last month. Montgomery says Holmes enrolled in the program in June 2011 and was in the process of withdrawing/AP. More here. (AP photo: Tom Sullivan, center, embraces family members outside Gateway High School where he has been searching franticly for his son Alex Sullivan who celebrated his 27th birthday by going to see “The Dark Knight Rises,” movie)

DFO: Now this is getting strange as all get out. Sounds like this guy was enrolled in the same neuroscience PhD program in same UColorado/Denver medical center as my son. He entered program in 2011. My son left for UFlorida in 2009. I met many of the professors of that neurosurgery program during my son's doctorate dissertation. Shudder.


Pollster: ‘Romney’s Race To Lose’

For 20 years, Greg Strimple was a fixture in the Republican Party’s New York-Washington campaign machine and also worked for corporate clients such as AARP, AT&T, Fox, GE and the NFL. By 2009, he had four young children and had spent all but 89 days of the year away from home. “I needed to create some better life balance,” said Strimple, who moved his family to Boise in 2010. He said he and his wife, Kari, a stay-at-home-mom, used a Venn diagram to pick the city. Their intersecting sets: the West, good public schools, healthy economy, modest taxes, lower cost of living, easy airport access, good weather and fly fishing. “When you start doing that, quickly it narrows to Boise,” said Strimple, 45/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP photo: Mitt Romney hugs a supporter after speaking about the tragic mass shooting at a movie theater in Colorado during a campaign event in Bow, N.H., today)

Question: Do you agree that GOP nominee Mitt Romney should be favored in the November election?

High Noon: Should Movie Be Pulled?

The Dark Knight Rises' once-bright, perhaps-historic box-office prospects have clouded in the wake of the shooting at a Colorado theater that left at least 12 dead. “Nothing like this has ever happened,” Exhibitor Relations' Jeff Bock said Friday. The Christopher Nolan Batman epic grossed $30.6 million in Friday midnight screenings, Warner Bros. estimated, a staggering debut that was the second-biggest such take on record, but felt beside the point as the news from the Rocky Mountain state sunk in. “i'm at a loss for words, which is rare,” said's Paul Dergarabedian, an always reliable sound bite on the box office. The loudest silence was at Warners, the studio behind the final chapter in Nolan's comic-book trilogy/Joel Ryan, E!. More here.

Question: Should Warner Bros. pull “Dark Knight Rises”?

Eyewitness To Horror

Eyewitness Jacob Stevens, 18, hugs his mother Tammi Stevens after being interview by police outside Gateway High School where witnesses were brought for questioning today in Aurora, Colo. A gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into the crowded movie theater killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others, authorities said. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, RJ Sangosti)

Question: Should Riverstone and other local area cinemas beef up security in view of the Aurora massacre?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.20.12

  • 12:09 p.m. Caller reports unconscious person in 1600 block of E. Meadow Lane/PF.
  • 11:45 a.m. Rathdrum police report 2004 white Mitsubishi Outlander stolen early this AM.
  • 11:35 a.m. CPD reports 1993 Honda Accord stolen w/”USA” sticker from Day's Inn this AM.
  • 11:24 a.m. Quantity of gas in ditch (possibly from wreck) near Hutton's General Store/Harrison.
  • 11:22 a.m. Drive of gold car w/Washington plates possibly DUI n/b on H41 @ M/P 17 (Spirit Lake).
  • 11:04 a.m. Non-injury crash b/n vehicle & pickup reported @ Hayden & Meyer/Rathdrum.
  • 10 more items below

IPT: AG Wasden Sets Example

In today’s hyper-partisan, bitterly polarized political environment, the battle lines have been clearly drawn: you’re either an immoral, Constitution-hating, America-despising, God-loathing commie or a greedy, selfish, homophobic racist waging a perennial War on Women. Of course, there’s also a third category that’s even worse: a wishy-washy moderate with no principles or backbone. Sigh. Is it any wonder so many people are turned off by politics? That’s why Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden of Nampa is such a breath of fresh air. In an era where seemingly every elected official puts rigid, unbending ideology first, Wasden is a throwback to a bygone era in which adherence to the sworn duties of office trump political affiliation. Wasden is a Republican in good standing. But his lack of fear at telling fellow party members they’re wrong in the eyes of the law when they are has earned him an ample supply of complaints from more than a few disgruntled fellow GOPers/Idaho Press Tribune. More here. (AP file photo of AG Wasden, center)

DFO: I approve of this message. Lawrence Wasden is the best elected official at the state level, with Secretary of State Ben Ysursa a close second.

Question: Who do you consider to be the best elected official at the state level?

Shooter Was Former Med Student

A former medical student at the University of Colorado - Denver, barged into a crowded Denver-area theater during a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie on Friday, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history. When the smoke began to spread, some moviegoers thought it was a stunt that was part of the “The Dark Knight Rises,” one of the most highly anticipated films of the summer. They saw a silhouette of a person in the haze near the screen, first pointing a gun at the crowd and then shooting. “There were bullet (casings) just falling on my head. They were burning my forehead,” Jennifer Seeger said, adding that the gunman, dressed like a SWAT team member, fired steadily except when he stopped to reload. “Every few seconds it was just: Boom, boom, boom,” she said. “He would reload and shoot and anyone who would try to leave would just get killed.” The suspect was taken into custody and identified by federal law enforcement officials as 24-year-old James Holmes/AP. More here.


AM Headlines — 7.20.12

“They just prick your finger really quick,” Iliana Lewis, 6, said as she showed off her bandage after participating in the blood-lead screening offered by Panhandle Health District at Osburn Seventh-day Adventist Church on Thursday. Becky Kramer/SR reports that blood-testing is still crucial for Silver Valley children. Story here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo)

Hucks Poll: Punching Bag ‘Tasteless’

  • Obama Punching Bag: 103 of 179 respondents (57.54%) said an Obama punching bag featured at an Indiana GOP county fair booth was tasteless & disrespectful. 55 of 175 respondents (30.73%) said the exhibit was “funny.” 18 (10.06%), including Sisyphus, voted “meh.” 3 (1.68%) were undecided.
  • Thursday Poll: 63 of 97 (64.95%) blamed “politics” for the firing of former ITD director Pam Lowe. 17 of 97 (17.53%) blamed “sexism.” 3 (3.09%) marked “other.” And 14 (14.43%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Should Huckleberries Online screen comments before they're posted?

Screening Online Comments?

Sisyphus: “There’s lots of rubbish printed daily in the Letters to the Editor by people who may or may not be using their given names (i.e. Kage Mann) It’s a good analogy to comment boards. But comments like AIBs would never have been published because those letters are screened. Not sure why newspapers think they don’t need to put the same effort into their comment sections.”

DFO: As you may know,  I was interviewed about online anonymity by NPR reporter Martin Kaste from Seattle Thursday. He asked me two questions that made me pause: Why don't you screen comments before they are posted? And: Why don't you post the rules for anonymous blogging at the top of your comments thread, so your posters would know full well that they're entirely responsible for their comments?

Question: Should I screen comments before they're posted?

Inlander Looks At Jacobson Suit

Above, Jim Campbell political cartoon for Pacific Northwest Inlander article by Chris Stein, entitled: “Trouble for Trolls: An online commenter may be about to learn the hard way that even on the Internet, no one is truly anonymous.”

Chris Stein of the Pacific Northwest Inlander penned a lengthy piece about the ongoing case involving former Kootenai County GOP Chairwoman Tina Jacobson's attempt to discover the identity of a HucksOnline commenter she claims defamed her. It includes:

Online commenting started as an offshoot of letters to the editor, says Lucy Dalglish, former executive director of the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press. “In this day and age, news organizations care just as much about how readers react to the news as what the news is,” Dalglish says. And if more users are engaged with the comment boards, maybe they’ll click on more ads, Dalglish says, thereby brining newspapers more money. Despite the kerfuffle in Idaho, Graham says the paper won’t do anything differently with their commenting system. “We think that helps the community conversation,” Graham says. That doesn’t mean he’s happy with the comments that follows many of the Spokesman’s articles. “The level of civil discourse is often very disappointing, to put it mildly.” (Full story here)

Question: Let us know what you think after you read the article.

Thunderstorms In Offing This Morning

Severe weather is making its way to the Inland Northwest. Thunder and lightning were already in the area by early Friday morning, but the system is expected to increase as the day continues. The StormTracker 2 team predicts the strongest storms will hit between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. locally. Thunderstorms capable of heavy rainfall caused the National Weather service to issue a flash flood watch, which is currently in effect for portions of northern Idaho and Washington, including: Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, Latah and Shoshone counties in Idaho/KREM. More here.

Question: Anyone hear of any damage from the thunderstorm this morning?

Trib: Who Yanks Hoffman’s Leash?

Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune opines that many appointments to the governor's health care task force make sense. But he wonders why Wayne Hoffman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation is on a second panel that deals with exchanges, something Hoffman vehemently opposes. Trillhaase writes: “Earlier this year, he was instrumental in frustrating Otter's attempts to launch a state-based exchange. Obviously, the governor is following the adage of keeping one's friends close and one's adversaries closer. But what makes Hoffman so special? Sure, he's a talented fellow. Before he went to work as a press aide to former Congressman Bill Sali, Hoffman was one of Idaho's brightest government reporters. But he's not the only one. Hoffman is an ardent libertarian and a skeptic of government. He has no use for Obamacare. But neither does many, if not most, Idaho voters. What sets Hoffman apart is his forum, an organization that in 2010 netted $494,134 after spending about $10,500 on fundraising costs. From that, IFF spent $350,000 — including $81,259 for Hoffman's salary — promoting its vision of limited government. It ended the year $138,000 ahead.” More here.

Question: Why has Wayne Hoffman become so influential in Idaho politics?

Bar Gets Reaction To Product Ban

Mike Fuller, co-owner of the Waha Bar and Grill, said Thursday he and his wife, Mari, weren't seeking publicity and attention when they explained at the bottom of their menu why they don't sell Miller-Coors and Pepsico products. “But we've been inundated the last couple days,” Mike Fuller said about fallout from the posting.“We are Christians who do not believe in supporting the goals and the politicians who support the goals of the NGLCC,” the menu reads in part. NGLCC stands for the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce headquartered in Washington, D.C. Laura Barry, spokeswoman for the NCLCC … sent the following email response: “The NGLCC is proud of our more than 130 corporate partners, including PepsiCo, MillerCoors, and their industry colleagues, who remain committed to supporting LGBT and allied small business owners. Our corporate partners are essential to the economic development of LGBT-owned small businesses so those employers can continue to create jobs and provide health care for their employees”/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Steve Hanks Lewiston Tribune photo).

Question: Am I the only one who thinks it's odd that these religious individuals are operating a bar?

Letter: Use Local Prep Diamonds

Here’s a thought… Why can’t we simply choose to operate the American Legion baseball programs within our cities’ pre-existing, paid for facilities at Coeur d’Alene and Lake City High Schools? Both offer ample parking, concession and bathroom areas, extended facilities such as weight rooms, sports medicine centers, and each will soon offer indoor hitting facilities for year round training – not to mention the many amenities offered within each outdoor ballpark. For District #271’s patronage and partnership, the city and Legion program should provide annual funds for the usage, upkeep and future improvements to the baseball facilities. Such an arrangement seems commonplace in other cities around state and region – my main example being the many Legion programs operating out of high school facilities in Boise and Meridian/Bryan Rasmussen, Coeur d'Alene Press letter to the editor. More here. (In this Jesse Tinsley SR file photo, a Lake City High pitcher is about to deliver a pitch to a Coeur d'Alene High batter)

Question: What do you think of the letter writers idea? Why doesn't the American Legion Baseball program use the baseball diamonds of local high schools?

Shooter Kills 14 In Movie Theater

Tom Sullivan, center, stands with family members outside Gateway High School where witness were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises Batman movie today in Aurora, Colo. Sullivan later pleaded with the media to help find his missing son, Alex Sullivan, who attended the movie to celebrate his 27th birthday. A gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into the crowded movie theater killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others, authorities said. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

A gunman wearing a gas mask set off an unknown gas and fired into a crowded movie theater in suburban Denver theater at a midnight opening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” killing 14 people and injuring at least 50 others, authorities said. Moviegoers didn’t know what was happening and some thought the attack was part of the show. Then they saw a silhouette of a person in the smoke at the front of the theater near the screen, pointing a gun at the crowd. “I told my friend ‘we’ve got to get out of here,’ but then he shot people trying to go out the exits,” Jennifer Seeger told NBC’s “Today.” She the shooter made his way up the aisle, shooting as he went, saying nothing. Some of those injured are children, and victims are being treated for chemical exposure apparently related to canisters thrown by the gunman. The shooter, a man in his 20s, was arrested shortly after the attack at 12:30 a.m. MDT at the multiplex theater at a mall in Aurora/AP. More here.

Question: Why do these massacres happen at intervals in American society?

Obama, Romney Pull Negative Ads

President Obama called for “prayer and reflection for the victims” of the Colorado shooting Friday, cutting short a campaign swing through Florida as he pledged federal support for state and local officials. “There are going to be other days for politics,” Obama told a crowd of several hundred supporters on hand to see him at the Harborside Event Center here. Obama said he had spoken earlier in the morning with the mayor of Aurora, Colo., the Denver suburb in which the shooting had taken place and with the state’s governor, John Hickenlooper, and that the federal government would assist in any way possible with local law enforcement efforts. … Before the event, campaign press secretary Jen Psaki said that the Obama campaign had asked television stations in Colorado to pull “contrast” ads critical of Republican Mitt Romney off the air for the time being. Romney campaign press secretary Andrea Saul announced shortly afterward that the GOP campaign would do the same. SuperPacs supporting the two candidates said they also had pulled their advertisements in the state/L.A. Times. More here. (AP photo: President Barack Obama walks down the steps after speaking about the Aurora, Colo., shooting at an event at the Harborside Event Center in Ft. Myers, Fla., Friday)

Question: Does angry political discourse affect the public?

Is There Link Between Film, Shooting?

With the deadly shooting in Aurora, Colo., inside a packed movie theater showing “The Dark Knight Rises,” questions are being raised as to whether there is any connection between the killings and the movie’s plot and the character of Batman. In “The Dark Knight Rises,” a masked villain leads a murderous crew into a packed football stadium and wages an attack involving guns and explosives. It’s just one of the more haunting scenes in what was one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, if not the year. It’s unclear whether the shooter’s motives had any specific link to “The Dark Knight Rises.” The shooting happened at 12:30, not far into the midnight screening that marked the film’s opening day. Violent attacks on the public by villains are key components of most superhero movies, including “The Avengers” and “The Amazing Spider-man,” both in theaters now. By Hollywood standards, the Batman movies are more grim than bloody/AP. More here.

Question: Do movies, like “The Dark Knight Rises,” prompt marginal individuals to act out in murderous ways?

Anderson: Voter Fraud

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Thursday — 7.19.12

I just spent the last hour talking to a Seattle reporter from National Public Radio re: what goes on here. He was particularly interested in the anonymity aspects of the blog in light of Judge John Luster's ruling that the Spokesman-Review must provide information re: the identity of commenter Almost Innocent Bystander. (The SR has until Tuesday to comply with that order or to file an appeal.) I'll post the NPR story when it becomes available. Now for your Thursday Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.19.12

I don't know why I'm so captivated by a couple of Lyndon LaRouchers from Seattle spending part of their day today in front of the Hayden post office, collecting signatures calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama. Do you suppose that I miss the excitement of the failed Coeur d'Alene recall attempt when it was hard to drive anywhere in town without someone trying to get you to sign their petitions? Hard to say. But I appreciate the photos emailed to HucksOnline by photographer Duane Rasmussen.

Question: Why do you suppose the Seattle LaRouchers picked the Hayden post office for their HQ?

Deal-Breaking Books

There's a lot of red tape to cut through before completely committing to a relationship: There's the ex talk, the meeting of the parents, and if you're a literature nerd there's the unavoidable conversation about your respective favorite books. We hold our breath and hope for Woolf or Wharton or Waugh—anything but Rand!—because a person's favorite book is like a family member or a mantra. It's an essential component of their life and can paint a pretty clear picture of their character. A Jane Austen girl might be lovably fiery, if a bit traditional, and a Christopher Hitchens guy could play devil's advocate over issues both large and trivial (he may also live a double life as a compulsive Internet commenter). Ryan Britt says in an article for GOOD Magazine's “Dealbreaker” series that a date reading the wrong kind of books, or reading for the wrong reasons, is a deal breaker/Huffington Post Books. More here. H/T: Tyler Slauson

Question: What does your favorite book say about you?

Hyphenated Names Cause Quandry

NPR offers a story of a couple who met, fell in love and are wondering what to do about a new last name because both have a hyphenated last name — Green-Walsh and Rathert-Knowles. At one point, the story reads: “The pair chatted and flirted for a bit. Those were the good old days, before they started discovering the kind of issues that inevitably pop up later. Like when Brendan first noticed the name on Leila's mailbox. 'I remember looking at hers and being like, 'Holy crap, there's another hyphenated last name!' We had the potential of being the McKenna-Thomas Camera-Smith household. Which sounded too much like a law firm, really.' Full story here. (AP file photo: Farrah Fawcett-Majors had one of the most recognizable hyphenated names of the 1970s)

Question: Are you a fan of hyphenated names?

PM: LaRouchers Visit Hayden

Lyndon LaRouche followers collected signatures this afternoon in an attempt to encourage the impeachment of President Barack Obama. They set up on the lawn just off the sidewalk on someone's right a way in front of the Post Office in Hayden on Honeysuckle between Government Way and Highway 95.  A Sheriff's deputy asked them not to block the side wallk so they moved away from the mail box pick up area to the lawn at the turn out from the mail box pick up road. The woman above introduced herself as Hadiye from Seattle. (Duane Rasmussen photo for HucksOnline)

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.19.12

  • 5:53 p.m. CPD is seeking male who cut own neck & arm in 100 block of E. Anton/CdA.
  • 5:49 p.m. Caller from Howard & Marie/CdA reports possible vehicle theft.
  • 5:26 p.m. 2 adults & child aren't wearing seatbelts in Montana vehicle w/b on Golf Course Road/CdA.
  • 5:11 p.m. 2 neighbors are pushing each other in 1800 block of E3rd/PF.
  • 5:09 p.m. Male trying to sell meat door-to-door in 1600 block of Foxglove Lane/PF.
  • 4:40 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 18-19 here.
  • 4:19 p.m. Red Honda reportedly speeding in Twin Lake launch area en route to H41.
  • 4:12 p.m. Smoke reported in are of Carpenter Loop & Millsap Loop/PF.
  • 14 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

LaRouche Backers Invade Hayden

Lyndon LaRouche people from out-of-stater were in front of the Hayden post office today collecting signatures in an attempt to impeach President Barack Obama. Remember that Scanner Traffic item re: loiterers on the sidewalk in front of the post office. Apparently, it was these guys. Huckleberries hears … that they were polite and moved away from certain areas when they were told to do so. (BTW, I noticed that Hitler-type mustache on President Obama's photo in case you were wondering.) Duane Rasmussen photo special to HucksOnline.

Question: Why would anyone come to Idaho to waste time gathering signatures for the impeachment of President Barack Obama?

Study: Idaho Virtual Pupils Lag Behind

A new report takes aim at the nation's largest for-profit online education provider and finds students taking K12 Inc. classes in Idaho and four other states are falling more behind in math and reading than their traditional school counterparts. The study was released Wednesday by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. Along with lagging test scores, the report says the rate at which K12 students graduate on time is far lower than in regular schools. The study “into K12 Inc. raises enormous red flags,” said center director Kevin Welner. The group has previously issued reports critical of online learning. A study released by the center in October said school-choice advocates are pushing states to rush headlong into virtual education despite limited data on these programs/Jessie L. Bonner, AP. More here.

Question: Why do you suppose virtual academy students are lagging behind traditional school counterparts in math and reading?

Batman To Show At Riverstone?

Batman impersonator Danny Lopez, 24, from Los Angeles, left, poses with fans in front of a vehicle featured in the film, known as a Tumbler, ahead of today's opening for “The Dark Knight Rises,” the final installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, outside the AMC Cinemas at Universal CityWalk in Universal City, Calif., earlier today. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

For those keeping score at home, Huckleberries hears that … Lenny Robinson, AKA Batman (who appeared in the Fourth of July Parade) is still in Coeur d'Alene and intends to drive his Batmobile to the Riverstone theater sometime between 9 and 10 this evening to greet the movie goers attending the opening of the movie Dark Knight Rises.”

Question: Do you plan to see “The Dark Knight Rises”?

PHD Lifts Advisory For Fernan Lake

Dick Martindale of the Panhandle Health District sends this news release: “A health advisory was issued on July 11th for Fernan Lake by the Panhandle Health District and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality due to the presence of high concentrations of blue-green algae that can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals. Officials from Idaho Department of Environmental Quality have been monitoring the lake since the advisory was issued and they now confirm the concentration of the blue-green algae in Fernan Lake is no longer a concern for the presence of harmful toxins produced by the algae.  Therefore the health advisory has been lifted, and Fernan Lake is safe again for fishing, swimming, and domestic water  supply using the appropriate water treatment technology.”

Journos Paid Less Than Average Guy

Americans hate the media with a passion. So they'll be happy to know that the average U.S. journalist—grrr, the MSM!—is paid even less than the average American. Do you know how much the average U.S. journalist makes? How much would you guess? Just guess. Take a few minutes and think about it. Now. How much would you guess? $31,580 per year, as of 2011/Hamilton Nolan, Gawker. More here.

DFO: Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be journos.

Question: Do you have a journalism degree? How did it help you in life? Do you have a child who wants to go into journalism?

Julyamsh Kicks Off Friday Evening

Dion Smith of Lapwai, Idaho rides his horse, Mioxat, onto the grass dance circle during the horse parade at 2011 Julyamsh, the annual celebration of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe at the Greyhound Park. The annual Julyamsh will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday with another horse parade. (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo)

Julyamsh is more than a powwow. It’s a celebration of American Indian culture – dancing, music and art. This year’s powwow features plenty of music and dancing. It also will feature the Painted Faces art show and auction, including works by some of the region’s best-known Indian artists. The works will be on exhibit at the Greyhound Park and Events Center in Post Falls before the auction, at 4 p.m. Saturday. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane/Carolyn Lamberson, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever attended the Julyamsh? Impression?

Post Falls Reports Sewage Spill

The City of Post Falls reported a 4,000 gallon wastewater spill at Osprey Drive and Shoreline Drive on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. The spill occurred when a 6-inch pressurized sewer pipe failed and caused a leak. City crews immediately shut off the broken pipe and disinfected the affected areas. A backup sewer pipe is currently in use, and a street sweeper provided final cleanup of the area this morning. There was no disruption of sewer service in the neighborhood. The City notified the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality about the spill. Repair of the broken sewer pipe will be done on Tuesday, July 24. Local traffic will be routed around the work area/Post Falls news release. More here.

Burger King Fires Lettuce Stompers

Within minutes of a Burger King employee posting a photo on 4Chan – his feet firmly planted in the restaurant’s lettuce containers – users of the online image board had figured out exactly which Cleveland store he was at. The photo, featuring the worker standing in the greens with his shoes on, was subtitled “this is the lettuce you eat at Burger King.” The image didn’t sit well with the anonymous – and often roguish – denizens of 4Chan, who on Monday began forwarding it to news outlets in and around Mayfield Heights. Based on GPS data in the image, online sleuths had determined the suburb to be the setting of the disturbing tableau, according to the Cleveland Scene. Since then, the three employees involved have been fired, according to a statement from Burger King, which stressed that the restaurant involved “is independently owned and operated by a Burger King franchisee”/Tiffany Hsu, L.A. Times. More here. (A photo posted on 4Chan showing a Burger King employee stepping in two tubs of lettuce (4Chan / July 18, 2012)

Question: Are you confident that employees of your favorite fast-food restaurant aren't mishandling the ingredients in your order?

No Excuse For Absences In Pullman

Pullman High School is tightening its attendance policy by setting a limit on excused absences. Under the new policy, which goes into effect in the fall, a student with nine absences in any class during a semester, excused or not, will receive a pass or fail grade. A student with 13 absences will receive no credit for the class. The current policy doesn’t address penalties for excused absences. The addition to the policy was at the request of the Pullman High School staff because of “a trend of more students not attending school,” said Pullman School District Superintendent Paul Sturm. “It communicates the importance of attendance.” School-related activities such as sports won’t count toward the limit on excused absences/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here.

Question: How often did you miss school as a kid? College student?

Study: Couch Potatoes, Beware

Physical inactivity causes 1 in 10 deaths worldwide, according to a series of studies released in British medical journal The Lancet, putting it on par with the dangers of smoking and obesity. The results also suggest that public health officials treat this situation as a pandemic. Specifically, Harvard researchers say, inactivity caused an increase in deaths from coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers and caused more than 5.3 million deaths in 2008 worldwide/CNN. More here.

Question: Are you a couch potato?

High Noon: Quest To De-Fat Fat Cat

Last month Thor got an email from the vet notifying him that he was due for a checkup. I found the note in my spam filter. Very clever, Thor. But the vet was smarter and mailed him a postcard, too. It read: “Attention Thor! It’s time for a visit!” I found the card near the litter box and scheduled an appointment. Now, Thor is an extremely easy-going feline. Nothing rattles him except perhaps an empty food bowl, but more about that later. “You’re going to go on a road trip!” I told him. He yawned and covered his eyes/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question: Do you have a pet with a weight problem?

GOP Removes Obama Punching Bag

This punching bag depicting President Barack Obama was on display at the Republican tent Wednesday at the Delaware County Fair in Muncie, Ind. The punching bag will not be displayed any longer after members of the public, including some there for Democrat Night at the fair and at least one Republican, raised concerns with Republicans manning the GOP tent. (AP Photo/The Star Press, Keith Roysdon)

Question: Funny or tasteless?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.19.12

  • 12:02 p.m. Fire boat en route to south side of Black Rock Bay for undisclosed reason.
  • 12 p.m. Group gathering in Hayden post office right of way w/o permit to do so.
  • 11:56 a.m. Male driver of black pickup aggressive, flipping bird @ H 95 & Bosanko/CdA.
  • 11:43 a.m. Possible illegal burn @ Hillcrest & Panoramic Drive/CdA.
  • 11:22 p.m. Slash piles burning in new subdivision @ Jackleg & Harrow (across from Carlin Bay).
  • 11:06 a.m. Possible trespassing reported on 2nd Street/Athol.
  • 11:01 a.m. A broken house window in 7600 block of Heartland/CdA is suspicious.
  • 10 more items below

Boisean Faces Lego Theft Charge

Authorities are building a case against a Boise man accused of trying to steal $400 worth of Lego sets. KTVB reports ( ) 31-year-old Jeremy Mark Liedtke was arrested Monday for attempting to steal the Legos from a Boise store in late June. According to the Ada County Jail, Liedtke was taken into custody on a felony burglary charge and has since been released on bond. He is accused of filling up a shopping cart with Legos and then leaving the store without paying for the toys/AP via Eye On Boise. More here. (AP file photo of toy built from Legos, for illustrative purposes)

Question: Do your kids play with Legos?

Poll: Boy Scouts Stand Backed

  • Wednesday Poll: A majority of Hucks Nation supports the Boy Scouts continued stand re: excluding “open and avowed” gays. 152 of 287 respondents (52.96%) supported the Scouts stand. 126 of 287 respondents (43.9%) opposed it. 9 (3.14%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Why do you think the Otter administration wrongfully fired then ITD director Pam Lowe?

Hot Dogs

A hot dog’s largely tripe and fat

With snouts and tails and such as that;

Because of this some folks eschew them,

Though I’m quite pleased to barbeque them.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

AM: War Victim Made Whole in Idaho

Rahim, an 11-year-old boy from Helmand Province, Afghanistan gIves a thumbs up after being fitted for a new prosthetic leg at Kootenai Prosthetics & Orthotics in Post Falls on Wednesday. Rahim stepped on a land mine nearly three years ago. He lost his left leg, and shrapnel punctured half of one eardrum. His cousin was killed in the explosion. It's one of a series of remedies the boy is receiving during a 6-month stay in the Inland Northwest, through a program called Solace for the Children. Other local health care providers will rebuild his ear drum, perform plastic surgery, do dental treatment, and give him inoculations.  Story here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo)

Combined Vet Services Available

On Monday, the Kootenai County Veteran Services Office opened its doors after a month long renovation project. The renovation served a two-fold purpose. First, improvements to the customer service area were made, allowing for better customer contact. Second, two offices spaces were added. One office will be utilized as a resource room for work studies while the second office provides for an Idaho Division of Veteran Services (IDVS) officer. That new IDVS officer is Darryl Heisey. Darryl was the previous County Veteran Services Officer, recently selected to represent the State of Idaho’s Veterans in the four northern counties of Kootenai, Shoshone, Bonners and Boundary. Scott Thorsness has joined the county as the new County Veteran Services Officer/Kootenai County commissioners news release. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo)

DFO: Darryl Heisey is a good bud who is totally dedicated to veterans services. The state — and before that, Kootenai County — is lucky to have him. Coeur d'Alene Press did a feature on Darryl last August here.

Question: Have you or a family member used the veterans services offered by the county of the state? Was it a good experience?

Casino Features Earth, Wind & Fire

It’s time to bust out your hairspray and dust off your platform dancing shoes: Earth, Wind & Fire is coming to a casino near you. Merging jazz, R&B, soul, funk, rock, and yes, even disco, this legendary band has been together since 1969 and is still touring internationally. They are renowned as one of the most successful bands of all time, earning 20 Grammy nominations, and five members of the group are recognized in the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. But, being a big fan, you probably already knew that, right? Catch the show tonight at 7 pm at Northern Quest Casino. Tickets: $30-$60/Pacific Northwest Inlander. (Wikipedia photo of Earth, Wind & Fire performing in 2009)

Question: When did you last see an oldie-but-goodie band in concert? Were you disappointed that the old rockers had lost it?

Emmys Announce Nominations

In this image released by PBS, Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess Grantham, is shown in a scene from the second season on “Downton Abbey.” Smith was nominated for an Emmy award today for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series. The 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented Sept. 23 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and airing live on ABC. (AP Photo/PBS, Carnival Film & Television Limited 2011 for MASTERPIECE, Nick Briggs)

DFO: Love Maggie Smith's performances in “Downton Abbey.” May be my fave current TV series.

Question: Which television series is your favorite?

Deis: Lovin’ On Krispy Kremes

KXLY's Derek Deis tweets: “3 boxes of @krispykreme donuts mysteriously showed up at #KXLY a few minutes ago. They're almost all gone. And don't judge me for eating 2.”

Question: When did you last eat a Krispy Kreme?

Sandpoint Lotto Winner: ‘Cool, I Won’

In what could be described as the understatement of the century, a Sandpoint man who won $1 million in the lottery last week told himself, “Cool, I won.” Brian Reed was coming home from a fishing trip on Lake Pend Oreille Saturday, when he made a fateful stop at the Travel American Plaza in Sagle. “I asked for a $5 quick pick, but actually had an extra dollar so I got three,” Reed said in a press release issued by the lottery Wednesday. The middle pick was the winner. How did the new millionaire react?  “I didn't get too excited, I just said 'Cool, I won',” Reed said. Reed told the lottery he plans to invest his winnings in some business ventures and spend more time with his grandchildren/Melissa Deis, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo)

Question: Yeah, yeah, I know — a million bucks ain't what it used to be. But how would you react if you won that amount?

Tea Party Still Active In Idaho

The surprise story of the 2010 midterm elections was the Tea Party, both in Idaho and across the nation. If was as if the silent majority that former President Richard Nixon referenced awoke from a long winter’s nap and made its collective voice heard on Election Day. But the party in Idaho has been less seen and not very vocal since. However, don’t be fooled, say some Idaho Tea Party folks. The surprise star of the 2010 election cycle is “just getting warmed up” and is growing “larger and stronger.” Tea Party Boise is the largest such organization in Idaho and claims a membership of “about 3,500 people.” And its noted skill at getting out the vote on election day 2010 popped up again on the day of the Supreme Court decision on President Barack Obama’s health care plan/Parrish Miller, Idaho Reporter. More here. (Idaho Reporter photo of Tea Party Boise protesting Obamacare decision)

Question: Is the Tea Party movement in Idaho as strong today as it was two years ago?

Edit: Size Matters In Lowe Settlement

Take your pick: Either former Idaho Transportation Director Pam Lowe got the boot without cause and in violation of a law that protects people in her position from political reprisals. Or Lowe was the victim of blatant sexism. She took on cronyism and because she lost, more of your tax dollars went into the pockets of Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter's corporate allies. And when she wouldn't knuckle under, a powerful state senator threatened to change the law to make transportation more susceptible to political interference. Only the size of the check Idaho wrote to Lowe to settle her three-year lawsuit - after paying its own lawyers almost $540,500 to fight off the case - will illuminate what truly happened/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Why isn't there more of an uproar re: this firing by the Otter administration?

Here’s Mud In Your Eye

Chinese paramilitary policemen covered in mud train with logs in Chuzhou city in central China's Anhui province. (AP Photo)

Question: Was your military boot camp as tough as this?

Judge To Reconsider Easton Ruling

A judge says he will reconsider his earlier ruling allowing a land deal involving a historic Boy Scout campsite along Lake Coeur d’Alene to go ahead. District Judge John Luster said after a hearing Wednesday that he will consider new points raised by representatives of Camp Easton Forever Inc. and the Inland Council of Boy Scouts. Camp Easton Forever sued the Boy Scout council over the council’s plans to trade the 80-year-old camp to a luxury developer for a new camp at Sunup Bay/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Should the decision allowing the sale of Camp Easton be overturned?

CdA Plans Appeal Of Dixon Ruling

A federal judge denied the city of Coeur d'Alene's request for a new trial for a wrongful termination suit involving a former police officer. United States Magistrate Judge Larry M. Boyle ruled Wednesday the court did not err when it decided former Police Lt. Daniel Dixon had been wrongfully terminated by the city in 2009. The order shot down several of the city's claims - including jury misconduct and the failure of the court to allow the use of polygraph results as evidence - but did reduce Dixon's awarded amount by nearly $500,000 to $3.2 million. … City Attorney Mike Gridley said the city was pleased that the awarded amount was reduced, but the city would appeal the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. “We're pleased that the judgment was reduced,” Gridley said. But “we think there were errors made”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Should the city of Coeur d'Alene appeal this decision to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals?

Adams Says He’s Not Stalling

Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Steve Adams says his attempt to postpone the McEuen Field financial contract pending a nearly 3-year-old court case wasn't a stall tactic aimed at boondoggling the controversial project. It was a legitimate request because the court case's final verdict could change the City Council's makeup, he said. Adams' motion - which died Tuesday night 4 votes to 2 — asked the city to hold off on entering into an $11.5 million contract with its urban renewal agency because the 2009 city election challenge lawsuit is scheduled to go before the Idaho Supreme Court in September. “I thought it had true validity,” Adams said of his request, adding it wasn't his goal to be an “obstructionist” or to “agitate” Councilman Mike Kennedy. “This could change the makeup of the council.”

  • Mike Kennedy: “This is purely about obstructing the project from going forward,” he said of the controversial park plan, which has split the council all year. “I have no idea what the next gimmick will be, but I guess we will wait and see.”

Question: Do you believe Adams when he says that he's not engaged in stalling work on McEuen Field?

Heller: Obesity Epidemic?

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hump Day Wild Card — 7.18.12

I've been tied up a little this morning. So the posting has been spotty, especially that involving the Scanner Traffic. But I'm back fully engaged. Expect things to pick up. I've asked Coeur d'Alene Channel 19 for clips re: the discussion of McEuen Field. Sounds like there's some funny stuff there. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.18.12

Wildlife photographer Robin Loznak of Kellogg, Ore., calls this photo of a dragonfly: “Day Is Done.” He snapped it Tuesday. It's now posted on his Facebook wall with more of Robin's photos here.

Joe: Out, Out, Damn Dimes

On his Facebook wall, Joe Butler writes: “This morning I came to the revelation that I hate dimes. Not for political reasons like some family members who avoid them because FDR is on them, but because they're so hard to sort and count. This is your moment to shine, nickels.”

Question: Do you have favorite/least favorite currency?

Bar Quits Selling Gay-Friendly Brands

The owners of a popular Waha restaurant no longer sell MillerCoors or Pepsico products because the values of the companies do not meet with their own. Waha Bar and Grill, owners Mike and Mari Fuller will no longer sell certain products at their rest stop, just south of Lewiston along Waha Road.  They will no longer sell Pepsico or MillerCoors products because those corporations support the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. “The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is an entity that collects money from major corporations to further promote policies for the gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders,” said Mike Fuller. “And as Christians, we don't support that.” The Fullers have owned the restaurant since 2008 and made their decision to be conscientious consumers one year after they opened/KLEW. More here. (Facebook photo from Waha Bar & Grill photo album)


PM Headlines — 7.18.12

On her Facebook wall, Kerri Thoreson writes: “The latest installment of I Love Where I Live … following the concert in the pavilion at Q'emiln Park, a moonlight swim in the river. Bert and I were the only people on the beach while enjoying the quiet and the cool breeze on a hot summer night.”

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.18.12

  • 6:01 p.m. Officer checking on hitchhiker in Civil War hat on e/b I-90 onramp @ NW Blvd/CdA.
  • 5:50 p.m. ISP report: 2 Bremerton, Wash., people hurt in H95 crash near Lancaster. Click here.
  • 5:46 p.m. Hubble Street/Hayden resident reports neighbor is smoking pot in back yard.
  • 5:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 17-18 here.
  • 5:26 p.m. Driver of bright-blue hatchback on e/b I-90 @ Wolf Lodge is nearly asleep, weaving.
  • 5:22 p.m. Officer reports juveniles @ Spirit Lake park are using foul language around little kids.
  • 5:18 p.m. Undisclosed parking problem reported @ Hauser Lake boat launch.
  • 4:52 p.m. Male hit caller's white Ford Focus w/stick in Albertson's lot in Ironwood Square/CdA.
  • 4:46 p.m. A black-and-white boxer is roaming free on Hayden Lake Country Club course.
  • 4:22 p.m. Resident @ 5th & Locust/CdA reports male sought by police jumped fence into yard.
  • 4:16 p.m. Motorist @ I-90 & Pleasantview reports Honda has tail-gated him since Liberty Lake.
  • 14 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Windows 8 Available In October

Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) long-awaited Windows 8 operating system will go on sale Oct. 26, its most critical software upgrade in a decade. Designed to work on both PCs and tablet computers, Windows 8 is Microsoft's best hope for competing with devices running Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system and Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPad. The Redmond, Wash., company made the announcement in a blog post late Wednesday after Steven Sinofsky, head of Microsoft's Windows team, announced the date at the company's annual sales meeting. Windows powers nearly a billion PCs world-wide/Wall Street Journal. More here.

Question: When did you last upgrade your computer system? Which version are you using now?

City On Hook For $3.24M To Ex-Cop

I haven't had time to fully digest this court ruling on an appeal by the city of Coeur d'Alene of the jury award to former Coeur d'Alene police officer Dan Dixon and his wife, Heidi. But it sounds federal Judge Larry Boyle has sided with the Dixons after reducing the award by $499,000. The city is now facing an overall adverse judgment of $3.24 million that it'll have to pay the Dixons re: the firing of then Lieutenant Dixon in June 2009. The plaintiff Dixons have 20 days to appeal the ruling that reduces the amount the city is to pay them. Judge Boyle's appeal ruling here.

Statement, from Larry Beck of Beck Law Office/Hayden: “The Dixon's are extremely pleased and relieved that one of the most highly respected federal judges has upheld approximately 90% of the jury award issued by a North Idaho jury in this case. This is the largest employment law verdict in Idaho and one of the largest jury verdictsever issued in North Idaho. The Dixons feel that it would be futile for the City to try to overturn this very well reasoned decision from Judge Boyle. Any further appeal by the City would simply be a waste of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in the form of additional attorney's fees, costs and interest.”


Airport Stripper Found Not Guilty

John Brennan, the man who stripped at Portland International Airport to protest TSA screeners, receives a hug from Amy Baker following his trial today in Portland, Ore. Brennan, of Portland, was found not guilty in his trial on charges of indecent exposure. A judge found that his nudity was an act of protected speech. Brennan says he went nude at the airport on April 17 to protest the Transportation Security Administration's security procedures. After a TSA agent at the airport detected nitrates, Brennan took of his clothes. Story here. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Question: Would the verdict be the same if this had happened in Idaho?

Spear: Big Sky Talk Omits Football

Idaho Athletic Director Rob Spear clarified a report Tuesday night that said he was negotiating with the Big Sky Conference to  move the Vandals out of the ailing WAC. Spear said via Twitter:

“Despite reports at this point in time the only conversations with the Big Sky have centered around a home for our non football sports” - @Rob_Spear

The tweet seemed to clarify a conversation the Big Sky commissioner had with a reporter for The Missoulian newspaper, which revealed that the Big Sky was in negotiations with Idaho. More here.

Question: Anyone object to UIdaho moving all sports programs but football to Big Sky Conference?

McEuen Field Rainout

SR bud Jesse Tinsley snapped this photo of a wedding couple at McEuen Field during a down pour over the weekend. Jesse posts of Facebook: “A hailstorm broke out last Saturday in a park in Coeur d'Alene while a wedding party was shooting photos and they had to duck under some nearby trees. It never let up so they ran to their limos and escaped.” In an email, Jesse told me: “It was at McEuen Field on the Third St. side. The couple was about to shoot photos on some rocks at the edge of Tubbs Hill when all heck broke loose.”

Question: Can you tell of a time when Mother Nature rained on your parade, canceling or severely hampering a long-planned event?

Naked Man On Trial

In this April 17 file photo taken at Portland International Airport, shows John E. Brennan standing naked after he stripped down while going through a security screening area, as a protest against airport security procedures. The trial of John E. Brennan, the 50-year-old Northeast Portland man who garnered international attention after he stripped naked at Portland International Airport security, has begun today. Brennan was charged with indecent exposure. Background story. (AP Photo/Brian Reilly)

Question: How would you rule on this case?

Jilted Wife Sez So On For-Sale Sign

Elle Zober describes herself as “scorned” and “slightly bitter.” And the recently divorced Oregon woman hopes those feelings of resentment will help her sell a house. Local Fox affiliate KPTV reports that the For Sale sign in Zober's front yard reads, “Husband left us for a 22-year-old. House for sale by scorned, slightly bitter, newly single owner.” Zober even created a website for the house titled Great Family Home. However, Zober is practicing some discretion in screening potential buyers; as the sign points out, “Adulterers need not apply.” … As the sign notes, Zober says she and her former husband split after he allegedly left her and their two children for a younger woman/Eric Pfeiffer, Yahoo! News. More here.

  • H/T: Dinosaur Man

Question: Is the gambit by Elle Zober to use her husband's alleged indiscretions as a selling point for her house a good one?

Washington Allows Online Registration

Facebook users in Washington state will have something else to brag about to their online friends: that they registered to vote on Facebook. The secretary of state’s office said Tuesday it will have an application on its Facebook page that allows residents to register to vote and then “like” the application and recommend it to their friends. It’s expected to launch as early as next week. “In this age of social media and more people going online for services, this is a natural way to introduce people to online registration and leverage the power of friends on Facebook to get more people registered,” said Shane Hamlin, co-director of elections/Michelle Malkin. More here.

Question: Should Kootenai County or Idaho establish a Facebook page that allows voters to register or change their registration online?

Press: Most Onliners Won’t Change

A judge’s order that will likely lead to the unmasking of an anonymous commenter on the Spokesman-Review's Huckleberries Online blog won’t change the way most Press readers post online comments. Here is how Press readers responded when asked: Will a Kootenai County judge’s recent ruling that the Spokesman-Review must turn over information that will likely reveal the identity of an anonymous blogger change your online commenting habits?

  • “Yes” - 159 voters - 30 percent
  • “No” - 377 voters - 70 percent

Question: Have you changed your commenting style since Judge Luster's ruling?

Noon Headlines — 7.18.12

This July 14 file photo shows gas station owner Kent Couch, right, conferring with Iraqi adventurer Fareed Lafta before taking off from Bend, Ore., in tandem lawn chairs suspended from helium-filled party balloons. The men said Tuesday after hitting thunderstorms about about 14,000 feet, they considered bailing out, but decided to land, coming down safely in a hay field about 40 miles from their starting point. The two men recounted their harrowing experience here. (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard, File)

High Noon: Stress Reliever

On her Twitter page, Katy Moeller of the Idaho Statesman writes: “Stress reaching maximum levels, and I fell off #nosugaradded wagon. ate whole pint of chocolate fudge chunk last night. may be repeat 2-nite.”

Question: What do you do to relieve stress?