Advertise Here

Huckleberries Online

Archive for June 2012

Weekend Wild Card — 6.30-7.1.12

We moved Mom into a nice, assisted-living facility close to my home this week. She spent her first night there last night. At 87, she's still spry and sharp. But we were always worried that she had to go up and down three concrete steps to get in and out of her apartment. Now she'll have staff to keep an eye on her. And she's living along my regular route for my daily walks. She's done remarkably well for herself for almost 36 years without Dad. Now it's time for a little extra TLC for her. Now for your Weekend Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.29.12

David Oliver prepares to start in the men's 110 meter hurdles qualifying round at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials earlier today in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Question: Did you participate in track and field in high school?

TGIF Wild Card — 6.29.12

Two days in a row of sunshine and decent weather in the Inland Northwest? What's going on? I might have to break out my bike again. Now that the speeding Ironman types have moved on, it should be safe biking on Coeur d'Alene streets again, right? How about the final Wild Card of the week …

Man Arrested w/Bombs At Hooters

A man was arrested with about 5,400 small explosive devices in his van during an undercover investigation at Hooters in Spokane Valley Thursday. Peter Ward Westhaver, 53, is in the Spokane County Jail on a no-bail federal hold. He met two men who turned out to be undercover investigators at the restaurant about 2:15 p.m. and “talked extensively about his explosives manufacturing operation,” according to documents filed in U.S. District Court. He was leaving the restaurant with the investigators about 3 p.m. when he told them he had explosives in his vehicle. The investigators, who work for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, broke their cover and arrested him for officer safety purposes and say he allowed them to search his blue Ford Windstar van/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Have you ever been to the Spokane Valley Hooters?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.29.12

  • 5:48 p.m. ISP told to watch for newer Camaro w/o front plates going 80 mph on I-90 east of CdA.
  • 5:44 p.m. Alarm @ Mountain West Bank on Ironwood/CdA proves to be a false one.
  • 5:15 p.m. 2 males in Montana pickup rode bumper of elderly female until she turned @ H95 & Prairie.
  • 5:08 p.m. Lake City Marina en route to tow disabled boat from Lake Coeur d'Alene.
  • 5:05 p.m. Wanted female turning herself in at Kootenai County Jail.
  • 4:38 p.m. Employee @ East Sherman Avenue business accidentally hits holdup alarm.
  • 4:37 p.m. CPD officers are looking for 8YO boy who is missing from 1800 block of Hattie.
  • 4:24 p.m. ISP officer is taking 2 illegal alien suspects into custody after I-90 traffic stop.
  • 4:12 p.m. Wholesale Sports, 3534 Govt Way/CdA, reports shoplifting incident.
  • 4:03 p.m. Female is unconscious & not breathing in 29000 block of Crowe/Athol after fall.
  • 20 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 6.29.12

David Keyes, publisher of the Bonner County Daily Bee, serves as master of ceremonies for the dedication of the Sandpoint Bypass, which was 65 years in the making. The bypass allows through traffic to escape the congested streets of Sandpoint. (Phantom Photographer photo)

Sandpoint Dedicates Bypass

The Phantom Photographer was at the dedication ceremonies of the Sandpoint Bypass earlier today, providing this photo of the color guard.

A crowd of nearly 500 people assembled to dedicate the Sand Creek Byway in Sandpoint today. “The project will benefit all of Idaho, not just the Sandpoint area and Bonner County,” said Jim Coleman, Idaho Transportation Board member from northern Idaho. “U.S. 95 serves as a transportation corridor for the entire state and is a critical artery that will continue to unite the state.” The contractor is putting the finishing touches on the project, and the route is expected to open in the near future. First proposed a half-century ago, the byway project included one of the most extensive efforts to involve the public during the decision-making process. Because of these efforts — and the community's participation in helping design the project — many of the community-driven amenities were included in the final project design. More below.

Idaho GOP Keeps Tea Party Planks

Idaho’s super-dominant Republican Party was widely expected to swing back toward the middle this year, after tea party activists peppered the party platform two years ago with planks urging abolishment of the Federal Reserve, eliminating direct election of U.S. senators and pushing Idahoans to stockpile gold - and then forced all state GOP candidates to pledge allegiance to the platform or specify publicly where they disagreed. But after last weekend’s Idaho GOP convention, very little changed. … The relatively few changes to the platform included hardening the party’s anti-abortion stance; removing a clause expressing support for the Idaho Human Rights Commission; and calling for “total abolition” of inheritance taxes. “I don’t think the party moved further right or came back any to the middle,” said state Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, (pictured) who chaired the resolutions committee at the convention. “I think maybe we have a good direction going forward right now”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you approve/disapprove action by the Idaho Republican Party to keep its Tea Party planks?

Out Of Harm’s Way

Helena, Mont., residents move their horses down the road Tuesday after evacuations were called for homes on both sides of Green Meadow Road. The nervous horses had to be pushed often to keep them going down the road out of harms way. (AP Photo/Independent Record, Eliza Wiley)

Question: Do you know anyone affected by Western wildfires?

Suspect In Mall Attack Bails Out

A Spokane sex offender facing a potential life sentence for allegedly molesting a girl at the NorthTown Mall is out of jail. Richard Michael Payne, 55, posted $250,000 bond through a bonding company and was released from Spokane County Jail about 10 p.m. Wednesday. Payne is under court orders not to contact children or visit places where children gather. He's also wearing an ankle monitor that tracks his movements, said his lawyer, David Hearrean. “I just don't want people to go out and try to take the law into their own hands,” Hearrean said. “What happened to innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?”/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Would you let this guy back out of jail?

Alleged Mail Thieves Denied Bail

A federal prosecutor said she's “appalled” by the number of people who had their mail stolen in in a suspected regional theft ring and may seek aggravating circumstances against four suspects. “This is an ongoing, every day thing,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Pam Byerly said. “This is their job.” Dominque M. Ryan, 18; her sister, Candice J. Thompson, 22; and Thompson's boyfriend, Eric J. Peltier, Jr., 29,  are in federal custody without bail after their arrests Monday. U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno denied requests by Ryan and Thompson's lawyers, Bevan Maxey and Jeffry Finer, to be released. Finer has appealed the decision and cites, among other reasons, the fact that the U.S. Probation Office recommended she be released to live with her father in Tacoma. Ryan's boyfriend, Kyle K. Croson, 21, is at large. Peltier's lawyer, Jaime Hawk, had his bail hearing postponed until Tuesday. Peltier has a misdemeanor warrant in Pierce County/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Have you ever had your mail stolen? If so, what problems did that create?

Obamacare: Idaho In State Of Denial

Idaho politicos have spent two years viewing President Barack Obama’s health care law with scornful suspicion. That is, when they haven’t covered their eyes and tried to wish the law away. State lawmakers spent the 2011 session indulging in constitutional conceit, convincing themselves that states possessed the power to “nullify” any federal law that they don’t like. In 2012, these same lawmakers ducked the idea of creating a state-run health insurance exchange — an online marketplace to enable individuals and small businesses to shop for insurance, and a component of the federal health care law. They explained away the dodge by saying they wanted to see how the Supreme Court would rule on health care. Clearly, many lawmakers fully expected the court to toss the law aside. We all know how that worked out/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman (editorial for Sunday). More here. (2010 AP file photo: President Obama embraces Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after he signed the health care bill)

Question: Have Idaho lawmakers acted responsibly in preparing for Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare?

‘Poop Art’ Comes To Plant Near You

Poop jokes come with the territory. As do snickers and giggles, says Allen Dodge, as he jokes about the possibility of including sculptures of dung beetles for a commissioned piece of art to be installed at Coeur d’Alene’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. Instead of beetles, Allen and wife, Mary Dee, created ten 10-foot-high abstracted welded-steel sculptures that will be installed at the Wastewater Plant’s new laboratory/administration building, collections shop and maintenance facility along Hubbard Street. Dale Young’s “Totem to the Water of Life” was also commissioned. The wastewater commission is just the latest in Coeur d’Alene’s ongoing tizzy about funding — the urban renewal organization known as Lake City Development Corp., the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, funding public art — but the Dodges are taking it all in stride. “All things repeat themselves in nature, from microscopic on up,” adds Allen, also known for his work with the Human Rights Education Institute, school districts and public libraries/Carrie Scozzaro, Inlander. More here. (Allen Dodge photo)

Question: Do you like the public art at the wastewater treatment plant?

CdA’s Flying Mammals Hit The Road

Flying Mammals International Send-Off Concert is scheduled with The Colour Flies, Sweet Rebel D, The Strangers, The Function, Angle of Incidence and Arcadia Is Burning. When, where: July 5 at 7 p.m. The A Club, 416 W. Sprague Ave, Spokane. (Courtesy photo)

Here’s the tally from a recent weekend rockathon for Coeur d’Alene band Flying Mammals: Days: 2, Shows: 3, Total hours on stage: 13, Total spectators: About 1,000, Blisters: 4, Broken drumsticks: 2, Broken guitar strings: 1, Trampoline jumps: Too many to count. For the better part of the last two years, the rock trio has been putting in overtime in an effort to be the area’s hardest working band. After averaging two to three shows per week in venues from here to California, Flying Mammals is making the jump to international touring status, launched by an international tour kickoff show Thursday. The tour covers 5,000 miles with shows in Washington, Idaho, Canada and Alaska/Isamu Jordan, SR. More here.

Question: Did you ever dream of being part of a rock band? What stopped you?

Court Nixes Idaho Lake Cabin Law

The Idaho Supreme Court ruled that leases of state-owned cabin sites, like those on Payette and Priest lakes, are subject to competitive conflict auctions when the leases come up, striking down a state law that exempted the cottage sites. You can read the court's full decision here.

Boise Tea Party: ‘Empeach’ Obama

Nearly 12 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark ruling, upholding much of what they call “Obamacare,” members of the Boise Tea Party broke out their tri-corner hats and Don't Tread on Me flags to protest the decision Thursday evening on the steps of the Idaho Statehouse. Chad Inman, president of Tea Party Boise, went through a laundry list of his group's priorities. “No. 1, repeal Obamacare, the largest tax increase in history,” Inman told the crowd. “No. 2, vote for congressmen that will overturn Obamacare.” Inman followed with his other priorities, including an elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Education and Energy. One of the tea partiers, Jim Haskin, complete with his misspelled “empeach” sign, insisted that Obama was what he called an “insider” but when Citydesk asked Haskin about any man or woman becoming an insider once they were elected into office, he thought for a moment/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here. (AP file photo from 2010 Boise Tea Party event)

Question: Is it time to “empeach” Barack Obama?

Ex-‘SNL’ Star Slams Catholic Bishops

Billy Hallowell at The Blaze reports that the Freedom From Religion Foundation – the Wisconsin-based atheists who’ve run newspaper ads on how “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church” – have drafted former Saturday Night Live cast member Julia Sweeney (formerly of Spokane) for a TV ad slamming America’s Catholic bishops as a threat to religious liberty. It comes smack dab in the middle of the bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign, which the freedom-from-religion crowd claimed is a “big wipeout.” “Hi, I’m Julia Sweeney, and I’m a cultural Catholic,” she says. “I’m no longer a believer, and I even wrote a play about it called Letting Go of God. But I wanted you to know that, right now, Catholic bishops are framing their opposition to contraceptive coverage as a religious freedom issue – but the real threat to freedom is the bishops who want to be free to force their dogma on people who don’t want it,” she continues/Tim Graham, NewsBusters. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Who are more Catholics likely to listen to — TV comedian Sweeney or their bishops?

O Canada! Here We Come

lot of people are threatening to leave the country. The Twitterverse was alive with people proclaiming that they were so upset over the Supreme Court’s upholding of Obamacare that they were moving to Canada. Rush Limbaugh threatened to move to Costa Rica. This ruling had the critics packing their bags, hypothetically and sarcastically. “SCOTUS holds up free health care for everyone?!” Tweeted one twit. “Screw this commie country, I’m moving to Canada.” Some of these people presumably know that Canada and Costa Rica have universal, socialist health care, and are operating at some other level of sarcasm – perhaps mocking liberal threats to leave the country if Dubya got elected. But some of them clearly didn’t see the irony in fleeing to a socialist country to protest “socialism,” and liberals had a lot of fun at their expense. It was more or less standard political warfare, cheap-shot edition. But, seriously, there are some people who ought to consider moving to Canada: poor kids in Idaho/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever thought of moving to Canada?

Cindy: Banjos Get No Respect

Super Sub Cindy spotted this sign at Dutch's Pawn Shop in downtown Spokane.

Question: Why aren't banjos as popular as guitars?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.29.12

  • 11:57 a.m. EMTs are en route to Hayden WalMart, where someone is suffering a seizure.
  • 11:43 a.m. 3rd party reports he broke up fight in which male was hitting female in face Hanley & Govt Way. Male left female on foot, driving off in black Lincoln Navigator.
  • 11:36 a.m. Red T-bird w/possible DUI driver is n/b on H95 @ M/P 422 (Chilco).
  • 11:34 a.m. Business in 500 block of W. Neider/CdA reports welfare fraud.
  • 11:26 a.m. Vandalism to property reported in 500 block of E. Walnut Avenue/CdA.
  • 11:13 a.m. WSP warns ISP of double-decker car hauler w/car not tied down @ I-90 & stateline.
  • 11:06 a.m. Mary @ Hayden Lake Elementary reports ceramic moose smashed at school.
  • 11:04 a.m. Loiterer reported @ 1932 Government Way/CdA.
  • 11 more items below

AM Headlines — 6.29.12

Nou Vang, and volunteers from Refugee's Harvest Project, picked pie cherries from Danny Pearson's back yard last year. Vang, a former refugee, started the project to say “Thank you, Spokane.” (Dan Pelle SR photo)

Coeur d’Alene Pilot Killed In Crash

Mia Carlson via Big Country News Connection Twitter: A 48-year-old Coeur d'Alene man was killed yesterday in a small plane crash in a remote area of Idaho County. The Idaho County Sheriff's Office says the pilot, Jahan Ashtiani, was attempting to take off from the Moose Creek Airstrip before a thunderstorm moved into the area. During takeoff, a gust of wind caught the plane and flipped it over. Ashtiani was killed and his passenger, 49-year-old Anthony DiPaola of Evergreen, Colorado, suffered minor injuries. The men had flown into the Moose Creek area for a fishing trip. The sheriff's office says Ashtiani's family has been notified and Idaho County officials returned to the crash site and recovered his body. The investigation will continue by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.


Actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party, in West Hollywood, Calif., in February. Cruise and Homes are calling it quits after five years of marriage. Holmes' attorney Jonathan Wolfe said today that the couple is divorcing, but called it a private matter for the family. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)


Poll: Obamacare Ruling Helps Obama

  • Thursday Poll: An almost supermajority of Hucks Nation say the 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of Obamacare Thursday helps President Obama more than GOP challenger Mitt Romney. 99 of 151 respondents (65.56%) said that the president was helped more. 52 of 151 respondents (34.44%) said Romney was helped more.
  • Today's Poll: Do you have a more/less/same favorable view of Councilman Ron Edinger as a result of his McEuen Field stand and alliance with Councilmen Dan Gookin & Steve Adams

Council-McEuen Meeting ‘Contentious’

HucksOnline asked a Berry Picker in attendance whether the City Council-LCDC-Team McEuen meeting Thursday morning was contentious. Here's the reply: “Yes it was contentious.  Dan and Ron pulled all the positive energy out of the room with their whine about Legion Ball. Dan said that we were 'kicking the kids who play ball to the curb.' Also: 'Baseball is the all american sport and we were talking it away.” What he failed to notice was that the amphitheatre part of the park would allow a pick-up baseball game for anyone who wanted to put together a game.  It actually shows how baseball could be played there on that site on the plans,  just no organized ball, no fences.  Ron, was just harping continually on the 'equal or better' and that we were breaking our promises to Legion. It was clear that they will continue to fight every part of the project and anything that could be related to it.”

Question: Will Councilman Ron Edinger's legacy of public service to Coeur d'Alene be affected in a positive/negative way by his dug-in position on McEuen Field?

Idaho Child Welfare System No. 1

Idaho's state-run child welfare system was ranked No. 1 in the nation Friday by the Foundation for Government Accountability. The study judged all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 11 outcomes and 41 data measures, including:

  • How quickly they reacted to abuse allegations
  • Whether they made sure abused children were put in safe, permanent homes quickly.
  • Whether foster care settings were supportive, safe, home-like and stable.
  • Their work to reduce abuse and neglect

The state last year received one report every 69 minutes of child abuse, abandonment or neglect. There are about 1,300 foster children in Idaho, down from a high of 1,900 in 2007.

Question: Isn't it nice that Idaho's No. 1 in an area that's positive?

Read more here:

Read more here:

The Thrill Of Victory

Kim Conley, reacts after seeing that her last second push against Julia Lucas won the third and final spot on the Olympic team in the women's 5,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Thursday in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)'

Question: When did you last experience a thrill of victory?

Jimmy: Get A Life, Local Republicans

Item: ULUC photos upset local Republican/Huckleberries Online

JimmyMAC: give me a frickin break. I’ve seen Duane at many different places taking photos — the first time being at Pappy Boyington taking pictures of one of my childhood buddy’s aboard his F-18. The only time I’ve heard of someone being so guarded about having their picture taken is when they have something to be afraid/ashamed of.

Question: Why are Hard Right local Republicans upset about silly things. All. The. Time?

Linda: Mugged By Obamacare

Linda Cook: Deep concerns here - I don’t have insurance for one reason - I can’t afford it. Now we have the biggest tax increase in history, an incredible burden on the middle class, never mind all those glowing campaign promises and a stumbling economy. The chances of finding the kind of job that could provide insurance are becoming smaller so the dilemma is: Do I stop eating or paying my mortgage to buy insurance or do I take a huge hit to my budget because of my inability to buy insurance? I have a theoretical gun to my head and nothing in my pockets to pay the mugger.

Question: How can you make people pay money they don't have for health insurance?

Reed: Recall Downfall

Former Idaho state senator Mary Lou Reed writes a postmortem on the attempted Coeur d'Alene recall for the Inlander:Almost everyone we know is smiling broadly with joy and relief. The agonizing ordeal has brought us together. But we are not about to ab initio the frightening experience as if it never happened. At Mayor Bloem’s suggestion, we Decline to Signers are asking what we have learned that will be helpful to the city in the future. First of all, the petition drive would have sailed along to victory had it not been for the quick action of Jennifer Drake and Sara Meyer, organizers of Stop the Recall, their husbands and friends, all of whom threw their hearts into halting the recall bandwagon in its tracks. The vast majority of Coeur d’Alene voters did, indeed, follow their advice and declined to sign the petitions. That energetic action by the next generation of leaders is immensely encouraging. These young parents have shown they are willing to fight for a McEuen Park as a future romping, stomping play space for their children and grandchildren.” More here.

Question: Would the Souza/Orzell/Sims Recallers have been successful without the quick action of Sara Meyer and Jennifer Drake in launching the Decline to Sign movement?

Bloem: Compromise Goes Both Ways

Item: Controversy jogs with latest McEuen plans/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Gookin questioned the compromising factor that has changed the current plan from the original conceptual plan, and Edinger, at one point during a discussion about the baseball field, muttered a swear word before stepping out in the hallway for a break. “Who are you compromising with?” Gookin said. “It looks to me you've run out of money so you change the plan and call it a compromise.” Not so, Mayor Sandi Bloem countered. The McEuen Field project has undergone meetings too numerous to count, and no other topic has received as much attention, she said. Compromise has been a big part of it. “There's been compromise all along,” she said. “Part of that compromise might be for those of you who want baseball there, to say, 'You know, we did get some of those things changed and baseball might not be changing right now.' Compromise works both ways.”

Question: Now that the recall has failed, isn't it time that Gookin, Adams and Edinger compromise?

Don’t Want To Be Road Kill

This image provided by the Idaho Department of Fish & Game shows deer using the game underpass on Idaho 21 this spring. An average of 2,600 vehicles travel to and from the Boise area on Idaho 21 each day. An estimated 90 percent of a herd of 5,000 to 8,000 mule deer and a herd of 300 to 1,800 elk cross the highway each fall, when they come down from the mountains to the Boise Front and the Lucky Peak area. (AP Photo/Idaho Department of Fish & Game)

Kerri: Hoopfest? Meh

On Kerri Thoreson's Facebook wall, Kerri writes: I'm always amazed when local people would say they avoid everything having to do with Ironman when it's in town. So much fun to watch I didn't understand the lack of enthusiasm. Until this week … can you say HoopFest? Never been to it and have no desire either. :) But on that happy note, any of my Kootenai County fb friends with HoopFest teams and/or fun stories to tell after Sunday, would love to hear from you.”

DFO: I've never been to Bloomsday or HoopFest. Don't plan to go either. But I consider the two events wonderful for the area, just not for me.

Question: Are there any major events in the area that you could care less to attend?

BaseballStar8: Nothing Like McEuen

BaseballStar8: I’ve played at McEuen field for 5 years and not once did i look around that field and say, wow this is a terrible place to play. It’s the only place in Coeur d’ Alene that has just that feel. I can’t explain it but its just the feeling like you’re actually playing for something, if you play at one of the high schools cool no one really comes and watches those besides parents and friends. If you’re playing downtown you get the tourists or just people walking to the lights wondering whats going on and end up sitting and watching the game. It also provides great history that you can’t even imagine the things that have happened on that field have changed my life in someways. (SR file photo of American Legion player wiping sweat from his face at McEuen Field)

Question: Have you played baseball/softball at McEuen Field?

Romney Revs Crowd w/Obamacare

Appearing in a swanky New York ballroom a day after the Supreme Court upheld the heart of the president’s healthcare law, Mitt Romney called on the country to vote President Obama out of office and his surrogates asked for money to help him do that. “What happened yesterday calls for greater urgency, I believe, in the election,” Romney said, to a crowd of donors in a ballroom at New York restaurant Cipriani, which is across from New York City’s Grand Central Station. “I think people recognize that if you want to replace Obamacare, you’ve got to replace President Obama. And the urgency of doing that is something which is galvanizing people across the county.” Romney said that the healthcare bill would cost the country $500 billion and warned the crowd that they would “now have a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor”/Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times. More here. (AP photo of Romney in Washington following court ruling Thursday)

Question: Are you concerned how Obamacare will affect you?

Honor System? Legislators? Ahaha

JEERS … to the Idaho Citizens' Committee on Legislative Compensation. Finding the task too complex, it essentially left lawmakers on the honor system when it comes to billing taxpayers for expenses. To cover the cost of living in Boise, Idahoans provide their legislators with a $122 daily per diem payment. (Those living in Boise get $49). But two Canyon County lawmakers who live within a commuting distance of the Capitol - Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, and former Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell - pocketed the extra cash by camping out in Boise. McKenzie slept on his Boise office couch; McGee stayed at his parents' home. Honor system? Don't you think that ship has sailed?/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune.

Read more here:

Anderson: Obamacare

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Thursday — 6.28.12

Looks like I finally need to turn on my sprinklers to greet summer weather that finally has arrived (if you can call temperatures in the low 80s “summer”). One of the benefits of summer arriving in July is lower water bills from the city of Coeur d'Alene. Dunno if the city watermaster appreciates the lower revenue. But I do. And I'd guess that you do, too. Here's your daily Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.28.12

Kentucky's Anthony Davis, left, appears on a monitor as he and Florida's Bradley Beal talk to reporters moments after they were selected during the NBA basketball draft Thursday in Newark, N.J. Davis was picked No. 1 by the New Orleans Hornets and Beal went No. 3 to the Washington Wizards. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Question: Are you following the NBA draft?

If I Could Go Back To High School

At A Butterfly Moment, Jen posts “10 things I would do if I could go back to high school”:

  • 1. Study more and better. So that when I got to college, I wouldn't be rudely awakened and have to learn to study.
  • 2. Sing more. Like High School Musical and Glee sing. Like break out in song in the halls and in the cafeteria and in the classroom sing. And have so much fun doing it that the other students and teachers joined in! (What?! That's what happens on tv!)
  • 3. Be braver. Speak up and speak out. Stand up and stand out.
  • 4. Wear a coat and boots. In the winter. Like a person with half a brain.
  • 5. Join a team. Any team. Perferably something like volleyball or softball or chess. Okay, maybe not chess.
  • 6. Make more friends. And not be afraid to make friends.
  • More here

Question: What would you do if you could go back to high school?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.28.12

  • 5:56 p.m. Marine deputy has made BUI arrest on Lake Coeur d'Alene.
  • 5:52 p.m. Driver of full-sized pickup w/Benewah plates dumped couches & chairs @ I-90 & Sherman exit — and then drove off w/b on freeway.
  • 5:42 p.m. Caller reports dog in cab & dog under pickup in Silverwood parking lot.
  • 5:06 p.m. ISP officer reports dead porcupine on H95 @ M/P 444 (Corbin Hill Road).
  • 5:05 p.m. Mother is worried re: 15YO daughter who hasn't returned home from Post Falls High.
  • 4:58 p.m. Albertson's in Ironwood Square reports another attempt to cash $20 counterfeit bill.
  • 4:43 p.m. R/P reports trouble involving individuals on red-and-white Jetskis @ Tubbs Hill.
  • 4:32 p.m. H&W wants check Hayden home of student after student came to school w/bruiese.
  • 4:21 p.m. Male in blue Dodge pickup s/b on H95 @ Granite/Kelso passing in no-passing zone.
  • 4:02 p.m. R/P is in KCSD lobby to report battery in 100 block of West Wyoming/Hayden.
  • 3:59 p.m. R/P is at animal shelter after being bitten by dog in 3400 block of W. Hudlow/PF.
  • 15 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM Headlines — 6.28.12

State Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, who has a “day job” with the Associated Logging Contractors, Facebooked a photo of a bear cub that dropped by the office on Mica Flats this week. Shawn tells Huckleberries that it's unusual to see a bear cub, especially on the back porch, but “it is not unusual to see all types of wildlife wander through: moose, turkey, deer, and bears — at a distance! The cub ate all the cat food (someone abandoned a litter here and we got them all fixed and have fed them for a couple of years now) and then bounded off into the woods. It looks like it may have visited during the night but no sign since.”

North Idaho Blogs Rdp — 6.28.12

Stebbijo's unhappy with the outcome of the recall effort and the secretary of state's role in it. But I really like this photo she took of the “poop art” (the new public art at the wastewater treatment plant), so I'm giving it top billing this afternoon in the North Idaho Blogs roundup. You can read Stebbijo's comments here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday): 8950/5208, (for Tuesday): 10,006/5740, and (for Wednesday): 9837/5833

ULUC Photos Upset Local Republican

A former Kootenai County Republican Central Committee official is unhappy that attorney Duane Rasmussen takes photos of people in the crowd at public events. In a letter to the county commission criticizing the presentation by consultant Todd Messenger at the Unified Land Use Code workshop this week, Lorri Erickson concluded: “One more thing, could you tell me why Duane Rasmussen, an attorney, not a reporter consistently brings his long lens camera to these meetings? Is this an intimidation process? (Erickson's emphasis, not Huckleberries) Personally, I would like to know what he does with the pictures. If he is not an 'official' reporter than the intensity of him taking pictures of the audience is suspect. I recommend that they be eliminated in future meetings.” Occasionally, Duane sends photos to Huckleberries for possible publication. And they're appreciated. I can't say what he does with the others. Maybe Lorri should ask him?

Question: Should the county commission be in the business of trying to prevent individuals from taking photos at public meetings?

Johnson: Chief Roberts Makes History

There will be days and days of analysis – some of it even important – of today’s historic Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, or as those who hate the law say – Obamacare. We’ll hear every possible interpretation and then some. Here is my initial take on one sliver of the story; the fact that Chief Justice John Roberts authored the majority opinion upholding the law, went against four other conservatives on the Court with whom he often finds compatibility and maybe – just maybe – wrote himself firmly into the history books. I think most Court watchers would say that a Chief Justice – any Chief Justice – always wants to be in the majority. Roberts worked hard to get there even while taking pains to throw a rhetorical political bone to those who will see him as an updated version of former Justice David Souter, an appointee of the first George Bush who served to infuriate many conservatives/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here. (AP photo of Chief Justice John Roberts with President Barack Obama during 2010 State of the Union speech)

Question: Do you think Roberts made the right kind of history?

FatLadySings: Overalls Attracted Beau

FatLadySings: True story. My friend was on her way to work when her tire blew. So she pulled off to the side of the road (I-90) and got out of her car. She was wearing 5 inch heels and a suit with styled hair, make up and acrylic nails for her professional job. She walked around the car, viewed the damage. Another motorist saw her and turned around to help out. By the time he got turned around and arrived to assist she had already got in the trunk, pulled the spare, put on her coveralls, boots, gloves, tied her hair back in a dew rag, put a tarp on the ground and was jacking up her car. He was in awe and instead of offering to help he asked her out on a date :)

Question: Did someone ever ask you on a date after an unusual meeting?

World Harmony Runners Stop @ CdA

World Harmony Run team member Natabara Rollosson, center, of New York City held the torch during a stop at the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday, June 28, 2012. Ten members of the North America team will complete a 10,000 mile loop around the U.S., starting in New York City. Sri Chinmoy started the World Harmony Run in 1987 to promote world peace. Now people in 140 countries run 35,000 miles on seven continents to promote their message. (Kathy Plonka SR photo)

House Vote Holds Holder In Contempt

The GOP-led House voted Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder (shown in AP file photo) in contempt of Congress for failing to provide key information pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, making Holder the first sitting Cabinet member to be held in contempt. The vote was 255-67 with one lawmaker voting not present. Seventeen Democrats broke ranks to vote in favor of contempt, while two Republicans voted against the measure. … The GOP-led House took the step over the alleged failure to provide additional information about the failed gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious which was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — a division of the Justice Department led by Holder. Democrats walked out of the chamber ahead of the vote/FoxNews. More here.


Otter Denounces Obamacare Ruling

Gov. Butch Otter's statement re: Supreme Court approval of Obamacare: “Although five Supreme Court justices upheld Obamacare and the individual mandate under Congress’s power to tax, it does not mean it’s the right thing to do. Obamacare has been bad for America from the beginning. This is a sad day for self-determination and for individual liberty. Change is now in the hands of the American people and we must elect a new president and congressional candidates who will repeal Obamacare and protect our freedom to remain the architects of our own destiny”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. (AP photo: An Obamacare opponent demonstrates outside the Supreme Court in Washington earlier today)


Furrer: Olympic Size Dream In Sight

For Amanda Furrer the dream started small. “I just wanted to win a medal,” she said. And she did. In 2007, she won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games. But that win only whetted her appetite for more and her dreams are now Olympic-size.Furrer, 21, is a member of the U.S. Shooting Team and will compete in the Olympics in London in August. … Furrer may have missed some social functions in high school, but she didn’t sacrifice her femininity. The self-described girly-girl said, “I love wearing glitter, high heels and make-up and I love shopping”/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (Colin Mulvany SR photo)

Question: For female readers: Are you a girly-girl or a tomboy? For male readers: Which type of woman are you attracted to?

God & Countryfest Attracts Crowd

The ability to choose a religion and worship freely is one of the reasons attendees of the God and Country Festival said they are proud to be American. The God and Country Festival, an annual event that promotes the Christian faith and pride in country, drew a large crowd Wednesday night to listen to Christian music, learn about area churches and faith- based organizations and the U.S. military and armed forces and enjoy a fireworks display. Vic Clapp, a Vietnam veteran, was at a table for the Nampa Disabled American Veterans of with his wife Janie and their 9-year-old grandson Rayden, who was visiting from New Jersey. Janie Clapp said between their two families, they have had 12 people serve in the military. Vic Clapp spoke about veterans coming home from fighting in Vietnam and Korea and being unwelcome or even ignored. He said there are a lot of vets still hurting and struggling but they have support in Idaho/Torrie Cope, Idaho Press Tribune. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Is Idaho a good place to hold a God & Country Festival?

Huckleberries Hears …

… City Council members Dan Gookin, Steve Adams and Ron Edinger dug in again this morning at a meeting with Lake City Development Corp & Team McEuen, refusing to compromise on moving the American Legion Baseball field. Edinger insisted that the baseball diamond not be moved from McEuen Field unless another field of equal or greater value is built elsewhere, according to a Berry Picker. Adams wanted to delay action on McEuen Field for at least two years. (Either action, of course, would delay work on McEuen Field until after the 2013 municipal election.) The meeting was called to hear a progress report on upgrade planning from Team McEuen. At this point, the city plans to go to bid in August on the new parking facility along Front Avenue and break ground on the project in September. The city plans to go to bid for the rest of the McEuen Field upgrade in January and break ground in February. Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members — Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy — survived a recall bid on the McEuen Field upgrade when Mary Souza/Frank Orzell/Kathy Sims failed to get enough valid signatures for one.


Angry Bird

A crow dive-bombs Melanie Lochert as she walks across the Morrison Bridge Thursday, in Portland, Ore. For the past two months people crossing the west end of the Morrison Street Bridge have been dodging a crow that's been protecting a nest. From morning to night the bird swoops down from the sky, flying inches from the heads of unsuspecting bicyclists and pedestrians. Frequent travelers have taken to protecting themselves with umbrellas and hoods while keeping their eyes to the sky as they dash to the other side. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.28.12

  • 12:19 p.m. Officer reports silver-painted graffiti on stop sign & road sign @ Pine Tree & Buckles/Hayden (at entrance to Emerald Estates subdivision).
  • 12:18 p.m. Albertsons in Ironwood Square/CdA reports receiving $20 counterfeit bill.
  • 12:14 p.m. Firefighter en route to check smoke sighting in 2200 block of Johnson/CdA.
  • 11:39 a.m. Undisclosed traffic hazard reported @ H95 & I-90.
  • 11:10 a.m. Dog reportedly locked in vehicle @ Silverwood Theme Park lot.
  • 12 more items below

Luna: Yeah, We’re Next To Last — Trib

If you discovered the United States was spending less per capita on defense than 49 other nations, you wouldn't be doing cartwheels. If you watched your company earning less money than virtually all its competitors, you'd lose some sleep at night. What if you saw Idaho ranked 50th out of 51 states and the District of Columbia in terms of the dollars it puts behind each of its school children? You'd yawn. Old story. Irrelevant data, you'd say. Don't worry about it. Shrug it off. That's what the man Idahoans elected to safeguard and promote their public schools says and does. “If the amount of money you spend per child equals a high-quality education system, then Washington, D.C., would have the best schools in the country by far because they spend more than anybody else, and none of us would send our children to a public school in Washington, D.C.,” said Tom Luna/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question (for those who voted for Superintendent Tom Luna): Would you vote for Luna again?

Reward Offered For Fugitive Leiske

Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest has offered a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of fugitive Travis J. Leiske. Leiske is currently wanted for a felony probation violation stemming from a forgery conviction in July of 2011. Leiske altered a personal check for $2,000 over the original amount that was provided to him by a woman that had hired him for landscaping services. Anyone with information on the location of this suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 208-667-2111 or 1-800-222-TIPS. Information can be submitted on line at Callers are asked to use a code name or number and do not have to use their own name to be eligible for a reward.

AM Headlines — 6.28.12

“You meet a lot of friends,” said Marty Golden of Wichita, Kansas as she showed off one of her dresses at the Spokane Fairgrounds on Wednesday. Marty is in town this weekend for the 61st National Square Dance Convention at the Spokane Convention Center & INB Performing Arts Center June 27-30. Pia Hallenberg SR story here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo)

Sandpoint Bypass Dedication Friday

Idaho’s single largest highway project, and one that took 65 years from the time its was first discussed to completion, will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Sandpoint. The dedication ceremony will be held at 106 Bridge Street. Parking will be available in the City Beach lot located at the end of Bridge Street. The $100 million, 2.1-mile Sand Creek Byway will improve safety, accelerate commerce and enhance the community’s businesses by routing U.S. 95 through traffic by Sandpoint. U.S. 95 traffic has been winding around a series of Sandpoint streets since early in the 19th century.

Question: Did you ever think the Sandpoint Bypass would be built?

Poll: Still Support IronmanCdA

  • Wednesday Poll: The tragic death of triathlete Sean Murphy of Seattle in the 10th annual Ironman Coeur d'Alene hasn't dampened community enthusiasm for the event. 96 of 113 respondents (84.96%) say they're still strong supporters of the event. Only 14 of 113 respondents (12.39%) say they're less enthused about the event as a result of Murphy's death. 3 (2.65%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Who will today's Supreme Court decision on Obamacare help more — President Barack Obama or GOP challenger Mitt Romney?

Mitt Pledges To Repeal Obamacare

With the Capitol in the background, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks about the Supreme Court's health care ruling Thursday in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Question: Who will the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare help more in November — President Barack Obama or GOP challenger Mitt Romney?

Spencer: Free Perks Lure Transients

Spencer: And the victim was from Reno? So… now we have one person in jail, and will need to pay for his housing and medical expenses for the remainder of his life, or at least a long time, and one person being treated at the hospital and costing tens of thousands of dollars of county funds. Time to ask ourselves what we are providing that attracted them here…

DFO: You really think that tight-fisted Idaho is attracting transients by providing a whole bunch of freebies? Really? Is it possible that our free transportation system is helping a whole bunch of people who don’t have the money to afford vehicles & taxis, including the handicapped and elderly. Coeur d’Alene regularly rousts panhandlers and hitchhikers. Should we do something more, like tar & feather them & run them out of town on rails. All communities have transients. Spokane has a heckuva lot more of them than we do. It comes with the territory — and in our case the beauty of the territory. I’m going to start calling you Ebenezer Spencer. “Why are these people out here? Wearing rags, eating scraps! Why aren’t they in poorhouses?”

Question: Is the Coeur d'Alene area attracting transients by offering too many free services?

Court: Lying About Military Medals OK

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a federal law that made it a crime to falsely claim being awarded a top military honor, saying the law infringed on the Constitution’s First Amendment protection of free speech. The court ruling concerned the Stolen Valor Act, under which a California man, Xavier Alvarez, was convicted for claiming falsely in 2007 that he had been awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor. But Alvarez’s attorneys convinced a lower court that his untruths were protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. And Thursday the Supreme Court agreed/Washington Post. More here.

Question: Do you agree with this ruling?

Barbieri: ‘This Cannot Be Reality’

Outspoken Idaho Representative Vito Barbieri has pledged to continue his fight against President Barack Obama's health care reform despite the Supreme Court's final ruling on Thursday. Barbieri — who sponsored a 2011 bill to nullify health care reform in Idaho, told KTVB he wants to try to nullify the law again. “This cannot be the reality,” Barbieri told KTVB. Barbieri said he's deeply concerned that the federal government is overstepping its bounds and invading the personal lives of its citizenry. Barbieri said the next step for Idaho Republicans was to continue fighting the measure through any means possible/KTVB. More here.

Melissa Davlin, Twin Falls Times News via Twitter: “One repercussion: the ID Legislature didn't introduce a bill for the state-run insurance exchange, meaning the fed gov't will impose one.”

Question: Is the repeal of Obamacare a sure-fire winner in presidential/congressional races for the GOP?

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare

The Supreme Court today upheld the vast majority of President Barack Obama’s historic health care overhaul, including the hotly debated core requirement that virtually all Americans have health insurance. The 5-4 decision means the huge overhaul, still taking effect, will proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care. The ruling hands Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in approving the plan. However, Republicans quickly indicated they will try to use the decision to rally their supporters against what they call “Obamacare.” Stocks of hospital companies rose sharply, and insurance companies fell immediately after the decision was announced that Americans must carry health insurance or pay a penalty/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. relays the breaking news to her staff that the Supreme Court had just upheld the Affordable Care Act this morning)\

Question: Surprised?

JohnA: Ed Corridor Brings Healing

Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem addresses small crowd on hand for the dedication of Phase 1B (infrastructure) of future Education Corridor Wednesday afternoon at Military & River, north of North Idaho College. The project was a cooperative effort between NIC and the Lake City Development Corporation. Ribbon-cutting photograph here.

Item: The road to opportunity: Second phase of Education Corridor opens/Tom Hasslinger, Press

JohnA: What a difference a week makes. From the division of the recall we have the unity of the city and NIC completing this great project. None of it could have happened without visionaries at each entity finding a way to make this happen. And, the best part is they make it look so easy, when in reality it is far from that, as I’m sure Christie can attest. I’m also pleased that DanG attended, giving action to his words that it is time to heal the rifts and get back to making Coeur d’Alene the greatest city in Idaho.

Question: I agree with JohnA. That was a good gesture by Councilman Dan Gookin to be present at the ribbon cutting for Phase 1B of the Education Corridor. Such steps are needed to bring healing to this community. Thoughts?

Stabbing Suspect Had Long Rap Sheet

Police today arrested a convicted killer accused of trying to kill another man in a stabbing Monday night north of Coeur d’Alene. James H. Kountz, 56, was arrested about 5:40 p.m. in the same wooded area near U.S. Highway 95 and Wilbur Avenue where he stabbed another transient, James R. Hoglen, 42, on Monday. Kountz has a long criminal history that includes an involuntary manslaughter conviction in California. He was originally arrested for murder in 1989, said Sgt. Christie Wood, spokeswoman for the Coeur d’Alene Police Department. Kountz has amassed arrests from traveling all over the United States, Wood said. He’s been in the Coeur d’Alene area for about a year. Wood said police have arrested him three times for aggravated battery and contacted him several other times for trespassing/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Is it time to clean out the transient camp in the woods behind Target?

Ironman Death Stuns Triathletes

Before the start of Ironman Coeur d'Alene on Sunday, as he stood with more than 2,000 others waiting to plunge into Lake Coeur d'Alene, David Martin met Sean Murphy, pictured. They chatted for a minute and Martin helped the 44-year-old Seattle man zip up his wetsuit in final preparations for their 2.4-mile swim. “We wished each other the best,” the 73-year-old Martin said. “And then off we went.” Before long, Murphy was pulled from the water, not breathing. CPR on a boat failed to restart his breathing. He was rushed to an ambulance, and taken to Kootenai Medical Center. There, he remained on life support until he died at 1:07 p.m. Tuesday. Beth Clemens, chief deputy coroner with the Kootenai County Coroner's Office, said the cause of death is pending an autopsy at Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office. The death is the first in 10 years of Ironman Coeur d'Alene/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: What can be done to make the swim portion of Ironman Coeur d'Alene safer?

Bennett: Abe Lincoln: Vampire Slayer

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

CdA Stabbing Suspect In Custody

The North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force has located wanted subject James H. Kountz. Kountz was taken into custody at 5:40 p.m. today. He was located in the same wooded area where the stabbing occurred Monday evening Near US Hwy 95 at Wilbur Avenue. Kountz had an outstanding warrant for attempted 2nd degree murder. The victim in this case, James R. Hoglen, 42, originally of Reno, Nev., and currently a transient is in stable condition with no life-threatening injuries/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department.

Hump Day Wild Card — 6.27.12

The failed Coeur d'Alene recall attempt has given way to ULUC? Really? Dog days of summer appear to be upon us more than a month early. Oh well … the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee shows signs of being as dysfunctional as its previous incarnation. Which is always good for blog fodder. And the sun is showing signs of making an appearance today. Which is good for attitude adjustment. As is a second cup of coffee. Which I am about to get. Meanwhile, I'll post this Wild Card for your amusement & use …

Parting Shot — 6.27.12

KeithinCDA writes: “Here is a picture of Stickman and Bent mixing up a special batch of Keith's Bent Stick Lager for a future Decline to Whine get together/tasting.”

Idaho Ed Spending: We’re No. 50!

Idaho’s school spending per pupil ranks 50th in the nation for a second straight year, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census, while Washington’s is 32nd, one place worse than last year’s ranking of 31st. Washington education officials bemoaned the ranking as too low, but Idaho’s said their lower ranking wasn’t particularly concerning; the state beat only Utah on that measure. “Funding is a factor in education but it’s not the most important factor,” said Idaho State Department of Education spokeswoman Melissa McGrath, “and it is not the factor that determines the quality of an education system”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.

Question: The Idaho Department of Education and the Idaho Legislature don't appear to be concerned with Idaho's ranking in education spending per pupil. Are you?

‘My Three Sons’ Actor Grady, 68, RIP

Don Grady — who played one of the sons on the TV classic, “My Three Sons” — has died at the age of 68 … this according to one of his co-stars. “Sons” star Barry Livingston just posted on Facebook, “My dear friend and TV brother Don Grady passed away today. He was an inspiration to me in so many ways.” Grady had reportedly been suffering from cancer. Grady was an original Mouseketeer on the “Mickey Mouse Club”  … before going on to play the role of  Robbie Douglas on “My Three Sons” from 1960 to 1972/TMZ. More here.

Question: Feeling older?

PM: Ed Corridor Phase 1B Now Open

North Idaho College Trustee Mic Armon and Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem cut the ribbon for Phase 1B of the Education Corridor construction project Wednesday at the intersection of Military Drive and River Avenue. Also in attendance were representatives of various agencies that collaborated on the project including, from left, NIC Trustee Ron Vieselmeyer, Lake City Development Corporation Board Chair Denny Davis, NIC Vice President for Resource Management Ron Dorn (in back), and NIC Trustee Judy Meyer (behind Armon). (Photo courtesy of Tom Greene, NIC Press Room)

DFO: Seems to me that this is a perfect photo for connect-the-dots conspiracy types. After all, you have Mayor Sandi Bloem, LCDC Chairman Denny Davis & NIC Trustee Judy Meyer in the photo. How about connecting these dots. Here's an example of another major improvement on the waterfront brought to you by the progressive Bloem administration and the urban renewal agency. Of course, the community conspiracy theorists will have their own spin. BTW, Councilman Dan Gookin was the only anti-LCDC individual to attend the ribbon-cutting.

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.27.12

  • 5:25 p.m. ISP officers worry re: “median dodgers” & others trying to avoid I-90 blockage (5:16 item).
  • 5:16 p.m. Vehicle rear-ends another while rubber-necking traffic stop @ w/b I-90 near NW Blvd.
  • 5:11 p.m. Firefighters en route to extinguish barbecue on fire on Linwood Drive/Hayden.
  • 5:04 p.m. Resident @ 15th & Thomas reports juveniles drinking alcohol & trespassing.
  • 4:21 p.m. Female on Forest Park Lane/CdA is worried despondent husband might hurt himself.
  • 4:05 p.m. Road rager in red Ford pickup w/red camper is driving one foot of R/P's bumper @ w/b I-90 @ M/P 17 (Sunnyside/CdA).
  • 4:04 p.m. Motorist reports all drivers are speeding at 80 mph on H95 @ M/P 422 (Kidd Island).
  • 4:03 p.m. Child of undisclosed age is reported missing @ 2100 E. Sherman/CdA.
  • 4:02 p.m. Drivers are arguing following noninjury crash @ Pleasantview & Plonske/PF.
  • 10 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Cindy: ‘My Day Was Instantly Better’

On her Facebook wall, Super Sub Cindy posts: “After a rather disappointing afternoon I engaged in some retail therapy at the Mall. I saw this couple as I was leaving. And my day was instantly better.”

Question: Does it uplift you to see an older couple holding hands?

Linda: Let’s Swap Reading Lists

In an exchange with Duroc earlier today, Linda Cook commented: “I’ll tell you what, let’s trade lists of books. At the top of my list for you would be Storm Over Rangelands by Wayne Hage. It’s a history of land control, starting with the end of the Revolutionary War. The landed elites of the east wanted to control the vast lands of the west - and they did it by, among other things, instituting the Forest Service. What tops your list for me?”

Question: What is one book that you wished that this Huckleberry Hound would read? And/or: That you wished another HucksOnline poster would read?

End Notes: Remembering Nora Ephron

She Bewitched us and gave us Heartburn. She sent us (You’ve Got) Mail. We learned secrets deep within Silkwood and wondered if just maybe the best romance begins between best friends, like Harry Burns and Sally Albright. Every woman on the planet remembers Meg Ryan’s restaurant scene, feigning sexual pleasure between bites of her deli sandwich.   “I’ll have what she’s having,” evokes giggles every time I hear the phrase. Nora Ephron left us quietly yesterday, but she left us with a legacy of entertaining, truth-filled, messages. When we view her work, read her words, it is easy to think, “This is My Life”/Catherine Johnston, End Notes. More here.

Other SR blogs:

Columnist: Time To Unfriend Death

We recently had an old family friend die, and his relatives chose not to have a funeral. In lieu of a service, they created a fan page on Facebook where people could visit, view pictures of the deceased and leave comments. No more than a couple months ago, one of my friends from high school also, sadly, lost her mother to cancer. As she sat with her mother in the hospital a few hours before her mother passed, my friend was checking Facebook on her phone to see if anyone had posted information and status updates about her mother being close to dying. When did Facebook become the modern-day funeral parlor? I understand Facebook has become something of a staple in our culture in terms of connecting with others and putting our lives on display for the world to see, but I do not believe death is a good fit for Facebook. This “in your face” approach to death and grieving just doesn't seem appropriate for social networking/Carrie Neppel, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More to come.

Question: Do you consider the “in your face” approach to death and grieving suitable for Facebook?

Richert: Supreme Court Flexes Muscle

Brianny Abreu, 6, has her vitals checked at the William F. Ryan Community Health Center in New York, earlier today. Presidential candidates, governors of virtually every state, insurers with billions at stake, companies large and small and countless millions of Americans concerned about their own medical care and how they'll pay for it are awaiting a Supreme Court ruling expected Thursday on whether or not the Affordable Care Act passes the test of constitutionality. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Opinion Editor Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman writes: “You had to know the U.S. Supreme Court who save the health care ruling for its June encore. So while we policy wonks hold our Bic lighters (or smartphones) aloft, waiting for today’s news, let’s reflect on an already newsy week for the Supremes. News that came on two fronts, and largely at the expense of the states.

  • “Monday court’s ruling on the Arizona immigration law, while cluttered, managed to deliver a cogent message. On immigration, the states must defer to the federal government. …
  • “Also on Monday, the court exerted its primacy over campaign finance law, saying its controversial Citizens United ruling, and the new political Wild West of unlimited independent campaign spending, trumps a 100-year-old Montana law banning corporate contributions. The ruling wasn’t just a setback for Montana; 22 attorneys general, including Idaho’s Lawrence Wasden, supported the challenge to Citizens United. More here.

Question: Any predictions re: how the court will rule tomorrow on Obamacare?

Read more here:

Read more here:

Bonners Ferry Sandbagging Casino

From Cynthia Taggart, Panhandle Health District spokeswoman: “U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began supervising the project of sandbagging the city levee in front of the Kootenai River Inn early Wednesday morning.  The community surrounding the City of Bonners Ferry has stepped up to assist in filling and placing sand bags on the city levee. It is estimated that the sand bag project should be completed by late afternoon.  Tuesday, the City of Bonners Ferry held an emergency city council meeting to make a disaster declaration regarding the current flood danger from the rising Kootenai River.  The meeting was held to bring the stakeholders of our community together to prepare for the possibility of the rising Kootenai River affecting the infrastructure of the City.

Ironman Triathlete Died Tuesday

Officials have announced that a man died early Tuesday afternoon following complications he suffered during the swimming portion of the Ironman triathlon in Coeur d’Alene this weekend. The man has been identified as 44-year-old Sean Murphy from Seattle. Ironman personnel spotted Murphy struggling in Lake Coeur d’Alene about 20 minutes into the race and pulled him out of the water. They tried to resuscitate him at the medical tent, then transferred him to Kootenai Medical Center, according to a statement from the Kootenai County Coroner’s Office. Murphy was maintained on life support until he died at 1:07 p.m. Tuesday, the statement said. An autopsy to determine the cause of death will be performed at the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office/Justin Runquist, SR. More here(Photo from Sean Murphy Facebook page)

Dino: ULUC Crowd Wasn’t Unruly

Jennifer Locke, who opposes the Unified Land Use Code project, looks toward fellow protesters while Todd Messenger presents his ideas during a Kootenai County workshop at the Coeur d'Alene Library Tuesday.  (Phantom Photographer photo)

Dinosaur Man: Not all the crowd was unruly, but some were definitely po’d. It did’nt help that Messenger right off the bat slammed Brent Regan, totally uncalled for. His setting of the tone with that made things go downhill. Couple that with him not giving direct answers to questions, and the crowd was stirred. Despite that there were some calm speaking people, many that I’ve never seen before, that eloquently voiced their concerns. the demographics of the crowd was not hard-right either, but was made up of people from all walks of life. (Phantom Photographer photo of consultant Todd Messenger speaking at Unified Land Use Code workshop)

Question: Izzit just me, or are crowds gathered for controversial issues in Coeur d'Alene/Kootenai County/North Idaho becoming increasingly hostile?

News Quiz Offers Movie Tickets, More

Who wants to go to the movies? Simply by taking this week's current-events quiz, you're eligible to win a random drawing for two tickets to area cinemas. And if you finish on top of the leaderboard, a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel could be yours. Good luck! You can take the quiz here.

  • 6 HucksOnline commenters are on the leaderboard this week, including 4 with perfect 10 for 10 scores: Eddie Torreal, TLPoelstra, Lolo & KCres

Carlson: Definitions Of Political Party

“You’re really a Republican, you just don’t want to admit it,” my publisher said to me the other day. “I’m a business Democrat,” I countered, “if you insist on trying to label me.” “No such thing,” he replied, adding “and just what the heck is that?” Back and forth we go, having fun by trying to put each other on the defensive and deliberately distorting what the other says. We take our politics seriously and often disagree without being too disagreeable (at least in my case!). At the end of the day, though, we both say a pox on the houses of each party for being enthralled to their particular special interests. Neither of us has ever voted a straight ticket and both of us sometimes despair about the future direction of both Idaho and the nation. We are both dismayed at the inability of the two parties to work together for the common good/Chris Carlson, St. Maries Gazette Record. More here.

Question: Do you vote straight ticket for either party?

Square Dancers Visit Spokane

They come from 49 states and nine foreign countries, and they come here to dance. More than 5,200 dancers are expected to participate in the 61st National Square Dance Convention, which begins at the Convention Center today and runs through Saturday, sharing one day with Hoopfest. “We get quite a number of late registrations, so we may make it to 6,000 dancers,” said Don Pruitt, general chairman of the convention together with his wife, Cheryl Pruitt. The convention is organized by the Washington Square and Folk Dance Federation and features square dancing, round dancing, line dancing, clogging and some folk dancing. “It’s a very active group,” said Pruitt/Pia Hallenberg, SR. More here. (Tyler Tjomsland SR photo: Jeanne Cozad, of Pasco, smiles as she pins on her ID badge with her husband, Jim Cozad, before the start of the 61st National Square Dance Convention)

Question: Do you know how to square dance?

Today Is Helen Keller’s Birthday

Today is Helen Keller's birthday. Keller, pictured, (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled, and was outspoken in her anti-war convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women's suffrage, labor rights, socialism, and other radical left causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1971/Wikipedia. More here. (Wikipedia photo)

Question: Have you been inspired by someone that others consider handicapped?

How Do You Trim This Tree?

Super Sub Cindy spotted this “beer Christmas tree” at a neighbor's garage sale, noting that the neighbor probably was from Idaho.

Question: What is the strangest thing you've seen — or bought — at a garage sale?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.27.12

  • 12:17 p.m. Unknown medical emergency reported in 5900 block of Harbor Drive/CdA.
  • 12:16 p.m. Male w/dog & sign may be hitchhiking along e/b I-90 b/n Spokane & Selticeway/PF
  • 11:59 a.m. Richard has questions re: no-contact order & a possible violation.
  • 11:41 a.m. CPD officer reports transient camp b/n H95 & Hubbard, west of NW Blvd/CdA.
  • 11:30 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 26-27 here.
  • 11:21 a.m. Firefighters en route to reported fire @ Riverview & Carpenter Loop/PF.
  • 11:04 a.m. Business alarm @ Wine Cellar on Sherman Avenue/CdA is false one.
  • 10 more items below

Poll: Comp Plan Update? Not Worried

  • Tuesday Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation isn't worried about the Unified Land Use Plan project to bring codes & ordinances into compliance with Kootenai County's revised comprehensive plan. 45 of 91 respondents (49.45%) said they aren't worried by the revisions considered by the county commission. 39 of 91 respondents (42.86%) said they are concerned about the revisions. 7 (7.69%) were undecided.
  • Today's Question: Does the death of a triathlete swimmer dampen your enthusiasm for grueling Ironman Coeur d'Alene?

Fired Breast-Feeding Advocate Sues

A Spokane mom and breast-feeding advocate says her former employer wrongfully terminated her after a media frenzy surrounding photos of two military moms breast-feeding in Air Force uniforms. Crystal Scott, a civilian and the program director for Mom2Mom Breast Feeding Support Group at Fairchild Air Force Base, said she was fired June 1 from her job as a mobile X-ray technician at Schryver Medical following a history of discrimination and harassment at the company. The termination occurred just weeks after she coordinated the photos, which went viral on the Web and stirred controversy at Fairchild. Scott said Schryver used her publicity as an excuse to fire her. Schryver countered that bad behavior on the job was the reason for the termination, saying Scott used company time to field media requests. Scott has filed a lawsuit/Chelsea Bannach, SR. More here. (Colin Mulvany SR file photo: Crystal Scott, pictured with her sons Aedan, 4, and Roman, 1)


AM Headlines — 6.27.12

Aaron Cada left and Alicia Tatum had to use a rowboat to get to Tatum's cousin's mobile home in Bonners Ferry Tuesday. Becky Kramer SR story here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo)

Jai Offers Explanation At Workshop

Commissioner Jai Nelson and Martha Cook of the Mica Flats area review papers during the presentation by Todd Messenger.  Commissioner Todd Tondee introduced Messenger, who represented of consultant Kendig Keast Collaborative at a county workshop on the Unified Land Use Code project. (Phantom Photographer photo)

Joker: Thou Shalt Not Plan, Permit

Jesus gathered his disciples around his father’s workshop and picked up a fresh cut board, smelling the richness of the wood. “Today, I want to talk to you about a troublesome scourge that each one of you will face one day. As we build our homes, there will be those who will try and pull the nails from each plank. They will not use their arms or beast to destroy what you have created. No, they will use the devil’s tool box and you should know how to spot this evil.” The disciples gathered closely around Jesus. They were concerned. They gave worried looks and began to whisper amongst themselves. “Be not afraid. The devil will attempt to lure you into what’s called the permitting process. He will make you sign papers and make you pay fees to build. The entry into the Lord’s home is not through permits. You will also hear about zoning and comprehensive plans.” The audible gasp filled the workshop. More here.

Question: Do you think planning, zoning & comp plans are the spawn of the debbil?

Bonners Ferry Residents Paddle Home

To get from her front door to the end of the driveway, Alicia Tatum needs a boat. Two weeks ago, she could park her car in the meadow surrounding the mobile home where she lives with her cousin. But steady rains and high flows in the Kootenai River have created a deep pool in the front yard. Helpful friends brought over their aluminum fishing boat. On Tuesday, Tatum, 21, used it to take her laundry into town. “I boated my laundry across because we don’t want to use the washer,” she explained, holding her shivering dog while yet another storm pelted Bonners Ferry with heavy rains. “We’re concerned about the septic system failing.” It’s been an exceptionally soggy month in this North Idaho town, with 4.39 inches of rainfall recorded during June. The relentless dousing set a precipitation record, surpassing the previous record of 3.96 inches in June 1981/Becky Kramer, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo: Aaron Cada looks on as he helps a friend get to her flooded mobile home in Bonners Ferry on Tuesday)

Question: Which do you prefer - a lotta rain or a lotta snow?

Raul Wants Idaho To Manage Forest

Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador is looking past the November election with a bill that would give states opportunities to show they do a better job managing national forest lands. Labrador knows his bill, which would establish pilot projects to turn over about 1 percent of Idaho’s 20 million acres of national forests to the state to manage, is not going to fly now. Not with a Democratic Senate — which has blocked similar plans in the past — and with a Democrat in the White House. But Labrador is laying the groundwork with the Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act for a time when the GOP controls the Senate. Campaigning in Idaho in February, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed support for state management of federal lands. Romney’s proposal, which he said came after talking to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, was offered as an alternative to Rick Santorum’s call to transfer ownership/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you think Idaho can manage federal land in the state better than the federal government?

Read more here:

Read more here:

Hammes: An Orphan Reporters Love

If only real orphans, you know n the kind that lack fur, sharp teeth and the instinct to kill n received so much attention. The good news, of course, is the little wolf pup has found a home. And a family, according to news reports n of which there has been no shortage. News reports n not families. And that brings us back to our original point. For those who missed it (a difficult endeavor given the widespread media infatuation with this story) a family on vacation picked up what they believed was a puppy while on a camping trip near Ketchum last month. The couple called police to ask what to do with the cute little puppy. The police, fully aware that there is no shortage of cute little homeless puppies - and absolutely certain there will continue to be ample supply of cute little homeless puppies - showed good sense and passed the buck. They told the couple to call the local veterinarian. The vet took one look at the cute little homeless puppy and decided it was neither a puppy nor homeless. The critter was actually a wolf/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette Record. More here.

Question: Why were we so fixated on the story of the found wolf pup?

Protesting Land Use Code

Jennifer Locke, a Kootenai County GOP precinct committeewoman, looks for a reaction from a fellow protester during presentation by Todd Messenger of consultant Kendig Keast Collaborative at a county workshop on the Unified Land Use Code project.  Both attended the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee meeting held shortly thereafter. Jennifer Locke recently challenged Donna Montgomery, long time leader in the Republican Women organization, for a local precinct seat and won. Locke and allies offered a resolution at the Central Committee meeting protesting the work being done for the county by Kendig Keast, according to a Berry Picker. Agenda 21 was one of the subjects addressed in the original draft of the resolution. The resolution was deferred to the Legislative Affairs Committee. (Phantom Photographer photo)

Question: Are protesters really saying no to the Unified Land Use Code project specifically or no to planning in general?

Trib: Who Made Grover King?

Who gave Grover Norquist, pictured, head of Americans for Tax Reform, authority over what, if any, tax can be raised to bring the country back from the brink of financial disaster? Ask your member of Congress. Ask Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. Ask Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, both R-Idaho. Ask Reps. Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson, also both R-Idaho. They are among 238 House members and 41 senators who at some point in their careers gave Norquist their signature in blood, pledging to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and businesses; and … oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”Woe to the GOP politician who violates that pledge. Norquist will unleash an assault from the right, defeating the incumbent in his next primary election battle/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Wikipedia photo)

Question: Had you heard of Grover Norquist before now?

Orzell Wants Rejects To Fix Vote Info

Recall organizer Frank Orzell, pictured, isn’t done after all. Relax: He’s just asking the newspaper to perform a public service. Orzell compiled a list from Kootenai County Elections Department data of nearly 370 people who signed recall petitions against four city incumbents, but whose signatures were thrown out because of various registration issues. The list doesn’t include any signers who were rejected because they were not qualified Coeur d’Alene voters, which was a requirement of the recall petition drive. It essentially identifies voters whose registration information on the petition form isn’t consistent with the information on the voter information system (ISVRS) maintained by the Secretary of State. “They show up on the reject list,” Orzell said. “That’s it”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: And you thought Orzell's 15 minutes of local fame were over?

Career Criminals Plague Spokane

The cops call them “ropes,” and they are tying themselves into knots – big, expensive, dangerous knots – throughout the community. Repeat offenders, career criminals, call them what you want. A huge proportion of crime is committed by a tiny number of people whose entire lives orbit the criminal justice system. Federal estimates suggest that 6 percent of criminals commit 70 percent of crimes; half the people released from prisons are back within three years. Last week’s extraordinary shooting and police chase shined a bright light on that wholly ordinary reality. Charles Wallace, pictured, the man who shot two deputies and then himself, had a rap sheet longer than a Russian novel. The judge who last let him out of jail to attend drug treatment has taken a lot of heat. But the truth is, people like Wallace are revolving in and out of jail constantly. It’s not a ton of people. But they’re behind a ton of crime/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: If you were ruler of the universe, what would you do with “ropes” (career criminals)?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 6.26.12

Someone in the office remarked this morning that the weather outside reminded her to Portland — in February or March. That's not a good thing to be said for the weather in late June in the Inland Northwest. Ten months of winter and winter lite and two months of springtime summer. Hmm. No wonder the snowbirds are slow in coming back from Arizona this year. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting (Tee) Shot — 6.26.12

A golfer tees off as his partner watches a wildfire burning in the Scratchgravel Hills on Monday in Helena, Mont. Scorching heat and high winds caused wildfires to break out across southwestern Montana, forcing the evacuation of more than 200 homes. (AP Photo/Matt Volz)

Cindy: Clean Up/Makeup On Aisle 7

On her Facebook wall, Cindy writes: “True story: In the grocery store ,no makeup, wearing sweats and a guy asks me, “Where's the soup?” #DoILookLikeIWorkHere. Now, I have to make a confession. I wouldn't be caught dead in sweats going to a store. Yet, one morning last year, I wear sweats to ride my bike to work. And never got around to changing into the clothes I'd backpacked with me. I spent the whole day in my back corner, out of sight, in my sweats. My wife has never allowed me to forget that.

Question: Do you ever wear sweat pants in public?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.26.12

  • 5:16 p.m. R/P reports broken window in old IFI building and wants building checked for interlopers. But patrol officer reports window has been broken for 6 months.
  • 4:56 p.m. Suspicious vehicle reported in 2400 block of Old Mill Road/CdA.
  • 4:55 p.m. Deputies are responding code to Spirit Lake trailer park @ 9th & Jefferson, where 3 gun shots were heard moments ago.
  • 4:25 p.m. Bonner County woman en route to North Idaho Behavorial Center is threatening suicide.
  • 4:15 p.m. Possible DUI female driving red 1993 Buick Century @ 4th & Appleway/CdA.
  • 4:09 p.m. Male in red sports vehicle @ Fernan Hill & Pennsylvania is shooting at deer from car.
  • 18 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM Headlines — 6.26.12

Aaron Cada was on hand to help a friend get to her flooded mobile home in Bonners Ferry earlier today. Bonners Ferry has endured over 4 inches in the month of June. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

College Football OKs 4-Team Playoff

The Coaches' Trophy is displayed before the BCS National Championship game between the LSU and Alabama in New Orleans in this file photo in January. College football will finally have a playoff. Come 2014, the BCS is dead. A committee of university presidents on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, approved the BCS commissioners' plan for a four-team playoff to start in the 2014 season. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Question: Do you support a 4-team playoff for the national college football title?

CPD Seeks Suspect In Knifing

Update: Sgt. Christie Wood tells Hucks Online that there's nothing new in search for suspect, other than fact that he faces attempted 2nd degree murder charges & a bail of $100,000 when caught.

Coeur d’Alene Police officers, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department and Idaho State Police responded to the area of US Hwy 95 at Wilbur Ave at 6:00pm for the report of a stabbing. Motorist reported seeing a male stagger out of the wooded area on the east side of Hwy 95 and cross over the highway to the grassy highway divider. The male victim collapsed in the grass and bystanders provided basic first aid to his wounds. Officers arrived and also provided first aid while waiting for EMT’s to arrive. A 42 year-old male transient sustained multiple stab wounds to his upper torso and one on his face. He was transported to KMC and is currently in stable condition. He was able to provide the name of the suspect who stabbed him as James H. Kountz. Kountz is a 43 year-old transient and is known to law enforcement for prior arrests for aggravated battery. Officers immediately shut down US Hwy 95 at Canfield and Wilbur as well as surrounding streets in order to contain the suspect in the wooded area/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. (KHQ photo) More below.

Akey: UI May Go Independent

Idaho football coach Robb Akey said the Vandals are considering independence as a way to keep their program's Football Bowl Subdivision options open. Idaho is one of two football-playing schools left in the decimated Western Athletic Conference. New Mexico State is the other. “We've been trying like a son of a gun to find a home. The best place for us would be the Mountain West. They don't want us right now. I understand all those things. Hopefully, it's going to re-allocate. I would expect there would be a change again in a couple more years,” Akey told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday. “I wouldn't be surprised if we end up having to operate as an independent for a few years. We're just looking for a home, my brother”/Rob Murphy, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Would you support UI Vandals becoming an independent football school to stay in the Football Bowl Subdivision?

Read more here:

Idaho Call For Laptop Bids Fizzles

Citing insufficient competition, Idaho officials have abandoned their original bidding process meant to equip public school teachers with laptop computers starting this fall. Instead, the state will negotiate directly with providers of computers and services, in hopes of keeping this five-year estimated $60 million piece of public schools chief Tom Luna’s “Students Come First” reforms on track even as he tries to fend off repeal measures on November’s ballot. State purchasing officials say only three private groups submitted bids following a request for proposals, or “RFP,” earlier this year. One missed the June 11 deadline and was excluded. Another was on time, but failed to meet state requirements. Only one actually met the qualifications/AP. More here.

Question: Why do you suppose there was so little interest in Idaho's call for bids for laptops?

Poll: We ♥ Ironman Coeur d’Alene

  • Monday Poll: Two-thirds of Hucks Nation sees Ironman Coeur d'Alene as a boon to the greater Coeur d'Alene area — and were glad that the Lake City reached an agreement for 5 more years of the event. 109 of 163 respondents (66.87%) took that position. 25 of 163 respondents (15.34%) have mixed emotions about Ironman. 24 of 163 respondents (14.72%) consider Ironman a nuisance. 5 were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Are you concerned that Kootenai County commissioners are fixing the codes & ordinances to match the revised comprehensive plan?

Ladybug At Twilight

Nature photographer extraordinaire Robin Loznak of Kellogg, Ore., posts this on his Facebook wall, with the note: “I found this little gem last night just as the last color was fading in the western sky.” You can see more of Robin's nature photography here.

Marc: Corporations ARE Really People

While the nation holds its collective breath over the fate of Obamacare (hint, it’s going down) the conservative judicial activists on the U.S. Supreme Court have affirmed their original controversial decision that its just fine to have unlimited and often undisclosed corporate money flow into our political system. At issue in the case summarily disposed of Monday was a Montana Supreme Court decision that attempted to uphold the Treasure State’s 100-year plus ban on corporate money in state elections. The Court’s five man majority reversed the Montana court decision and reminded all of us of the essence of its earlier ruling in the now infamous Citizens United case.  “Political speech does not lose First Amendment protection simply because its source is a corporation,” the majority said in an unsigned, one-page ruling/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: Do you think corporations are people (or just Soylent Green)?

Luna: Son Of Scott Walker — McGurn

It's on. On the Idaho ballot, that is. Come November, Idahoans will vote on three referenda aimed at repealing what may be the nation's most sweeping education reform, including new limits on collective bargaining for teachers. Think of it as the sequel to Wisconsin, where similar reforms led to a similar effort—the attempted recall of Gov. Scott Walker. At the heart of the political drama in Idaho is the state's superintendent of public instruction, Tom Luna. A glance at Mr. Luna's résumé shows a career businessman who became involved in his local school board and went on to serve in the Bush Education Department before returning to Idaho to run for his present office in 2006. Most refreshing is what's not on Mr. Luna's résumé: a degree in education/William McGurn, Wall Street Journal Main Street. More here.

Question: Do you see Idaho Superintendent Tom Luna as the ideological son of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker?

Idaho Priest Prays For Obama Defeat

The Roman Catholic Diocese had no official comment when Boise Weekly asked about Father Michael St. Marie's choice of words June 22. But St. Marie wasn't simply commenting on the presidential election; he was praying in a very public setting. “Dear Lord, I ask that on Tuesday, Nov. 7, you find a new job for President Obama,” prayed St. Marie, pictured, faith leader of the St. Edward Parish in Twin Falls. “The Diocese has no comment, but I can tell you that the Diocese does not condone or support any candidate for public office,” Diocese spokesman Michael Brown told Citydesk. St. Marie's prayer was greeted by cheers by nearly 400 Idaho Republicans June 22. His invocation opened the Idaho State GOP Convention/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here. (Photo from Diocese of Boise Web site)

Question: Would you mind if your pastor prayed for the defeat of President Barack Obama from the pulpit or other public setting?

Another Fake $20 Surfaces In CdA

A Coeur d'Alene produce vendor lost some limes, honey sticks and cash to a “skinny white male” who used a fake $20 bill to make a purchase at her business on Monday. The suspect has brown hair and was wearing black pants and a red shirt with an iron cross on it, according to the Coeur d'Alene Police Department's incident report. There were several customers in the store when the counterfeit bill was used by the suspect. The police report says that when he passed the owner the fake $20, the bill was folded and the owner did not examine it until the customer was gone - taking $17.88 in change with him/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Have you ever been victimized by a counterfeiter?

Norther: Other Blogs Drew Me Here

Norther: methinks Digger is the official chronologist of HBO. I think I have only been here for a couple of years, not honestly sure. I originally started reading here because of DFO’s blog roundup to read all of the blogs on the right rail. It helped me immensely when I was still working campaigns. I still read almost all of the blogs on the rail, but only comment here.

Question: Why did you first start reading/commenting at HucksOnline?

Gas Prices Are

Gasoline prices are well below the $3 mark at the Kangaroo Station in Carolina Forest, S.C., today. The price of gasoline has dropped to the lowest level in five months, giving drivers some relief ahead of the July 4 holiday. (AP Photo/The Sun News, Steve Jessmore)

Question: Will lower gas prices encourage you to leave town this 4th of July holiday?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.26.12

  • 12:13 p.m. Jennifer from Post Falls reports theft of a trailer.
  • 12:11 p.m. ISP officer reports traffic lights are malfunctioning @ Govt Way & Dalton/CdA.
  • 11:55 a.m. Older green vehicle w/Kootenai plates abandoned on H95 @ M/P 423.5 (Kidd Island).
  • 11:30 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 25-26 here.
  • 11:15 a.m. PFPD is seeking blue 1993 Honda Civic stolen from 304 Greensferry  this AM.
  • 13 more items below

Recall Verification Count Cost: $6750

Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes released the costs of verifying the signatures on four recall petitions for the City of Coeur d’Alene.  “We’ve had several requests for the cost information,” Hayes said.  “The total is approximately $6,750, all of which is for wages.  This does not include 180 hours of time by the Clerk, Chief Deputy Clerk and the Elections Manager, who are salaried employees,” Hayes noted. All permanent Elections staff members worked on the recall verification task, plus two County employees loaned from the Auditor’s department.  In addition, several temporary workers who had previously worked on Elections tasks joined the project, and one Saturday, five additional temporary workers helped out. “Most days the crew worked 10 or 11 hours, so there were several hundred hours involved, including some overtime,” said Hayes/Kootenai County Clerk's Office press release. More below.

Question: Do you consider the cost to verify recall petitions too much/too little/just right?

Land-Use Code Workshop Set Today

Brent Regan, who is seen leaving to applause at the first local Tea Party event (April 15, 2009) at Independence Point, will be one of those in attendance at a Unified Land Use Code Project workshop scheduled at 5:45 p.m. today in the community room of the new Coeur d'Alene Library community room. Kendig Keast Collaborative (KKC) will be giving a presentation of Chapter 3, Density, Bulk and Scale, Chapter 4, Accessory Structures and Signs, Chapter 6, Site and Subdivision Design. More here. Mary Souza circulated an email urging followers to attend the workshop: “(Brent Regan's a good friend and a very smart man, so please join me and let's learn more about this important topic that touches all of our lives.” Recently, Regan wrote on op-ed piece for the Coeur d'Alene Press Online warning county residents that their property rights were under attack and that they need to be wary of changes to the comprehensive plan. You can read Regan's op-ed here. (Phantom Photographer photo)

Question: Which side worries you more when it comes to county planning — commissioners or Hard Right critics?

Idaho Solons Slated For 2% Raise

Idaho state legislators should get a 2 percent raise next year, a citizens committee decided Monday, while also tightening up rules about compensation for a lawmaker's second residence near the capitol. “They've not had a raise since 2007,” said Eva Gay Yost, a member of the panel. “They rejected the last one. State employees got 2 percent, so I thought it was appropriate.” Lawmakers this year approved 2 percent raises for all state employees performing to standards in the coming year, the first state employee raise they've funded in four years. The committee's recommendation takes effect unless lawmakers reject it - which they did in 2009, when the panel recommended a 5 percent raise. Two years ago, the committee recommended no raise/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you support a 2% raise for Idaho lawmakers?

Luna Reform Foes Kick Off Drive

More than 100 people gathered on the steps outside Boise High School today to kick off a statewide campaign against the “Students Come First” school reform laws, which are up for possible repeal in three referendum measures on the November ballot. “We urge Idahoans to vote 'No' on all three propositions,” said Mike Lanza, a Boise father of two and campaign chairman. “These laws take us backward, not forward. They make it harder for teachers to do their jobs effectively. They are bad for children, bad for teachers and bad for Idaho.” Gov. Butch Otter already has formed a PAC to fight to preserve the laws, and state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna, the laws' author, pushed hard for them at last weekend's state Republican Party convention/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Who do you trust more with public education — Tom Luna/Idaho Legislature or teachers?

SR: Ed Reform Hurts Idaho Teachers

Idaho Schools Superintendent Tom Luna could not resist an opportunity last week to beat up the Idaho Education Association for alleged lies about “Students Come First,” his controversial program to substitute online learning for live teaching, implement merit pay and put an end to collective bargaining. He told Republicans gathered for their annual state convention the teacher organization was not, for example, informing members their average pay will go up by about $2,000 when his plan is fully implemented. In fact, there is a good chance that it will not unless the economy produces significantly more revenue for the state than it does today/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.


AM Headlines — 6.26.12

Blake Jones, 22, an intern with the Spokane Hoopfest Association checks out nets and backboards stickers on Hoopfest hoops on Monday in Spokane. Jones wanted to make sure the advertising logos on the backboards looked right before they will be transported to courts for this weekend's events. Jones, along with a crew of inmates and volunteers from the Spokane Sheriffs Department were loading trucks with Hoopfest gear, Monday. (Tyler Tjomsland SR photo)

Shaping ‘Em Up

U.S. Coast Guard Academy Second Class Cadet Emily Marks yells instructions to a group of swabs Monday at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. In all, 251 members of the incoming class of 2016, known as swabs, reported in during an event called R-Day or Reporting In Day. Each year the Academy accepts incoming freshmen for R-Day, which marks the start of a military career as future officers of the U.S. Coast Guard and indoctrinates them to military life. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, NyxoLyno Cangemi)

Question: Did you have tough drill instructors?

Roundabouts Are Part Of Conspiracy

JMRusche (re: Lewiston straightens out roundabout issue): We just had an attack on a roundabout project here in Lewiston. The initial vote failed and would have cost the city $800,000 to repay funds to the state and Feds. Why the opposition? Roundabouts are part of Agenda 21 don’t you know. Part of the UN take-over, the new world order. We sell tinfoil helmets too.

Question: Are roundabouts part of the UN's Agenda 21 crusade, too?

Court Ruling On Obamacare Thursday

When the US Supreme Court offers its ruling on President Obama’s health-care reform law Thursday, only one thing is certain: At least half of Capitol Hill is going to be ticked off. If the law stands, Republicans will fume. If the law is curtailed or struck down, Democrats will seethe.  But what next? Republicans have vowed that, rain or shine, they’ll keep their focus on jobs and the economy – and incorporate whatever happens at the Supreme Court into that larger message. Democrats, on the other hand, have not even countenanced the fact that the law might fail. At least in public, they're lining up with House minority leader Nancy Pelosi’s claim that the legislation is “ironclad” from constitutional challenge/David Grant, Christian Science Monitor. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Any predictions re: how the Supreme Court will rule on Obamacare?

Clark Plans Road Trip To North Idaho

Today I’m offering ONE LUCKY READER the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m talking about a chance to ride shotgun in my 1967 Oldsmobile Vista Guzzler as we travel to wild and crazy … North Idaho. That’s right. At a mutually acceptable date, we will leave Spokane for this less-regulated land where Republicans outnumber the wood ticks. First stop is the bawdy hamlet of Stateline, where we will skip the strip joint and focus instead on a certain convenience store where I will buy my contest winner a jumbo box of that “banned in nanny Washington” Cascade dish soap. Then it’s off to Post Falls for a cheap booze run. (Sorry. Due to editor concerns, the winner must spring for his or her own hooch.) Once we’re loaded with suds and liquor, we will aim for Coeur d’Alene, where we will gorge on Hudson’s hamburgers. (Yep, I’m buying. Just don’t embarrass me by trying to order fries, or you’ll find yourself walking back to Spokane)Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: What do you think of Clark's itinerary for a road trip to North Idaho?

Mr. Bill: Mayor Hasn’t Changed Ways

If you thought that OpenCDA-dot-Com was going to leave the failed recall attempt alone, you need to think again. Mr. Bill was busy spinning a City Council encounter between Mayor Sandi Bloem and audience member Charlotte Gherke, whom I thought was borderline rude in her statement to Bloem and the council at the last City Council election. Mr. Bill, of course, dumps everything on Mayor Bloem: “Let’s play make-believe that Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem has changed her ways since the recall effort and has begun being honest with the citizens.  We have to make believe, because it certainly isn’t reality.” You can read the rest of Mr. Bill's trip through the Looking Glass here. Someone should tell Mr. Bill that his side failed to trigger a recall election despite one of the most intense political campaigns I've seen in almost 30 years in Coeur d'Alene. He's acting as though he represents the majority. Which, fortunately,, he does not.

Question: Isn't it time Mayor Bloem & the council quit listening to the bellyachers who couldn't get enough signatures to recall 4 of them — and move boldly ahead with their agenda?

Celebrating Summer

Jenny Arnerich lifts her son Wyatt, 5, up into the flowing, wall of water from an artificial waterfall at the Joe Humbert Family Aquatic Center in Milton-Freewater, Ore. while another son, Colin, 14, joins in the celebration of summer on Monday. (AP Photo/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Jeff Horner)

Question: Summer? What's that?

County Weighing Space Options

Item: Little space, many opinions: County officials weigh in on infrastructure/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Kootenai County department heads are on the fence about costly structural improvements the commissioners are considering in a draft facilities master plan. Although officials agree on the need for the recommended infrastructure overhaul, projected at roughly $36 million, some have doubts about the details. “We do have to plan ahead and know where we're going to go in the future, so this master plan is a benefit,” Treasurer Tom Malzahn said of the draft prepared by NAC Architecture, which calls for new buildings and consolidating operations on the main campus. “But is it appropriate in its form right now? From my opinion, no.” Malzahn acknowledged the parking demand at the Government Way campus, which the draft plan recommends fixing with a 6- or 8-level parking garage.

Question: Is Kootenai County wise in planning for expanded space to meet staffing/courthouse needs?

Ironman Brings Drama At Midnight

With the clock clicking down on Sunday night, two runners were still a few miles from the finish line of Ironman Coeur d'Alene. One was Jordan Khani, an 18-year-old high school graduate from Ladue, Mo., not far from St. Louis. The other was Cathy Stephens, a 43-year-old administrator from Spokane. Both had already battled through a long day that started at 7 a.m. on the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene. Each completed a 2.4-mile swim in cold, choppy water. Each finished a 112-mile bike ride over a course with more than 5,000 feet of climbs. Each was weary as they began their next challenge, 26.2 miles. It would be their last to complete their quest to officially be declared an Ironman. But time was running out/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Jerome A. Pollos/Coeur d'Alene Press photo)

Question: Have you ever narrowly missed accomplishing a goal?

Bennett: None Shall Pass

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Wild Card/Monday — 6.25.12

The Idaho primary elections have come and gone. The Coeur d'Alene recall attempt has come and gone. The summer solstice has come and gone. And we're still waiting for summer to arrive. Last year, it arrived around the 4th of July. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Meanwhile, I'm saving money by not watering the lawn. So I'll take that as my silver lining in another year without summertime weather in June. I keep thinking I should ride my bike to work. But I haven't got up the gumption to do so. Now for the first Wild Card of the work week …

Parting Shot — 6.25.12

Coeur d'Alene business owner, Graham Christensen, 39, douses himself with water as he runs up Bennett Bay Hill heading west towards town.  His official time was 10:18:55 and he ranked the top local finisher in Ironman. (Christa Hazel photo special to Huckleberries Online)

Navy Thanks Cindy For Good Time

The Department of the Navy sent Super Sub Cindy a thank you note for a recent article. It read in part: “On behalf of the United States Navy, thank you for your personal involvement in making Spokane Navy Week a great success, and for making the visiting sailors fee so welcome … With you and your organization's help, we were able to show Americans throughout the Spokane area, the tremendous investment they have in their Navy.”

Question: When did you last write or receive a “thank you” note?

Court Rejects Montana Election Law

In a reaffirmation of its controversial Citizens United decision on campaign finances, the US Supreme Court on Monday struck down as unconstitutional a 100-year old Montana law that banned corporations from spending money to influence state elections. The high court voted 5 to 4 to summarily reverse a December 2011 decision by the Montana Supreme Court upholding the state’s Corrupt Practices Act of 1912. The 1912 ban on corporate money in elections was passed to prevent a return of the widespread corruption of the “Copper Kings,” when wealthy and powerful mining interests in Montana routinely bought judges, controlled newspapers, and bribed lawmakers. The majority justices dismissed the Montana high court’s decision in a two-paragraph opinion/Christian Science Monitor. More here. (AP file photo of Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock)

Question: Do you agree with the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down Montana's Corrupt Practices Act banning corporate money in elections?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.25.12

  • 4:56 p.m. R/P from Shore Drive/Cataldo reports neighbor cutting brush in disputed property area.
  • 4:41 p.m. Charles, from Hauser View Drive, reports someone shot pickup w/pellet while parked at Upper Twin Lakes boat launch.
  • 4:35 p.m. Female reports to animal control that she has a small dog contained in bathroom.
  • 4:25 p.m. EMTs are en route to help someone hurt in fall @ 5374 E. Mullan Trail Road.
  • 4:21 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 24-25 here.
  • 4:13 p.m. A disabled pickup & trailer is pulled onto offramp @ e/b I-90 & M/P 17 (Sunnyside).
  • 18 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

Rainey: Birchers Influence Idaho GOP

I’m not anti-Republican. I’m not. I swear. I have friends who are… well, you know. But – from precinct to national level – more and more stories dealing with Republicans are filled with examples of ignorance of politics in general and the workings of all levels of government specifically. They’ve elected some goofballs to Congress who’ve proven THEY don’t know how it operates, either State groups continue to advocate party positions with no forethought of reality. All in all, what’s left of Grand Old Party leadership, in many states, is some old John Birch types with official titles they worked so many years to get. The near-rabid GOP stalwarts in Idaho have provided the latest evidence of such ignorance, meeting in Twin Falls this month in state convention. As they do each session, they created a party “purity” platform with the usual impossible planks of going back to the gold standard, taking away the vote for U.S. Senators from fellow citizens, etc. But they topped themselves this year/Barrett Rainey, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Can you give an example of a John Birch Society influence on the state or local GOP?

North Idaho Blog Rdp — 6.25.12

“I've decided that Sundays will be the day I go all out for breakfast, if I have the energy and ingredients,” writes JeanC of JeanC's Cat House & Shooting Gallery. “This last Sunday I decided on something a little different. Baked some pork chops and served them up with hash brown patties, farm fresh eggs (in my case sunny side up) and homemade hollandaise sauce.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for week of June 17-23): 59,959 page-views, 34,295 unique views

Question: How often do you eat eggs in the morning of an average week?

The Bard: 112 Miles On A Bike

It takes a mighty ride
to complete the Ironman,
required are thighs of steel —
and of course an iron can.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

(Christa Hazel photo special to Huckleberries Online: Hayden resident, Jerry Brensinger, 50, supported Boise State Broncos during Ironman as he began to ride out of downtown Coeur d'Alene heading south on Highway 95.  He finished with a time of 15:58:10)

Richert: Study Closed Primary? Pshaw

Statesman opinionator Kevin Richert gives us a preview of Tuesday's editorial: “As the old political joke goes, there’s nothing more permanent than a temporary tax. Same goes, perhaps, for Idaho Republicans’ “experiment” in a closed primary. During their convention last week, Republicans didn’t dump the closed primary, opposed by Gov. Butch Otter, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa and other party leaders. They decided instead to study the primary — and try to figure out whether the party registration requirement affects voter turnout and the GOP’s success in November elections. The GOP won’t make any changes before 2014. Sometimes, ideas get studied to death. Then again, maybe Republicans will study this issue until internal angst quietly fades away”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Idaho GOP Logo: Wikipedia)

Question: Do you think the Idaho GOP is serious about studying the impact of its new, closed primary?

Read more here:

Spokane Remains Washington’s No. 2

Washington grew slowly — less than 1 percent — in the last year from a slight increase in people moving into the state, the Office of Financial Management said today. The annual estimate of state population said net migration, the difference between the number of people moving in and those moving out, had been falling since 2007, but that turned around in 2011 for a slight uptick. For the year ending April 1, the state gained an estimated 49,870 persons, making the overall population 6,817,770, OFM said. Seattle is the largest city, with an estimated population of 616,500. Spokane remains second, at 210.000, ahead of Tacoma at 199,600. The City of Spokane Valley remains the state’s 10th largest, with 90,550/Jim Camden, SR. More here. (Christopher Anderson SR file photo)

Question: Izzit just me, or is Spokane proud to be Washington state's equivalent of Avis?

High Five Keeps Triathlete Going

Coeur d'Alene resident, David Scammell, 35, received a high five from Coeur d'Alene Assembly Church of God's pastor, Dan Christ, as he ran through Run Aid Station No. 6 on the east side of Bennett Bay Hill.  Scammell's official time was 13:08:23. (Christa Hazel photo special to Huckleberries Online)

This One’s For Mom

Coeur d'Alene resident, Jennifer Cowper, 42, stops to dump water on her head as she runs through Run Aid Station #6.  This was Cowper's first Ironman.  Cowper received news covereage for her Ironman inspiration that came from her mother who was diagnosed with ALS disease.  You can view the coverage here. Her official time was 12:51:13. (Christa Hazel photo special to Huckleberries Online)

Freezing For A Great Cause

That's SR buddy Alison Boggs directing traffic during the swim portion of Ironman Coeur d'Alene Sunday. She writes: “I volunteered until the end of the swim which was totally awesome but nearly broke my heart when you watch people struggling to get there by the 9:20 cutoff but then not make it. The spirit of jubilation and party that existed among the volunteers during the whole swim portion immediately turned sad and pretty somber seeing the faces of those athletes who worked so hard only to miss the cutoff by seconds or minutes. After taking a hot shower in the S-R building, I went back out on the course and tracked my friend Tom Aylward, who I wrote the six-month series about, until he dropped out about 3 hours before the bike cutoff time. He just didn’t think he’d be able to do the second loop on Highway 95 but he gave it a valiant effort. Congrats to all the athletes!” (Christa Hazel photo special to Huckleberries Online)

Nina: Crime Invades My ‘Hood

On her Facebook wall, SR colleague Nina Culver of the Spokane Valley blog writes: My neighborhood is now a crime mecca. That pile of stuff on the lawn next door from the evicted neighbors is attracting a steady stream of thieves who have expanded to other houses in the neighborhood. My daughter and I called the police five times between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday and got no response. She has pictures and everything. Today people are going through stuff in broad daylight and this time the police actually showed up! As it turns out, one guy had a knife. Anybody got a shotgun I can borrow?”

Question: Have you ever lived next to a sketchy neighbor?

Porn, Online Media Share Problem

In Atlantic Monthly, Jordan Weissman writes in “Why Porn, online media share same big problem”:

” … convincing people to pay for to watch sex is a much taller task these days than getting them to pay for a song. In fact, it's a bit like getting them to pay for a newspaper. Like the porn studios, big media companies have seen their own profits plummet in the face of free aggregators, amateur bloggers, and the nearly limitless competition supplied by the web. Unsurprisingly, micropayments have been a hot topic in the news industry over the past few years. But so far, they haven't really taken off.”

Question: Do you pay for any online media subscriptions?

Companies Get Grants, Stiff Idaho

Last month, Transform Solar announced that it was closing and laying off about 250 people at its facility in Nampa. As StateImpact reported, the manufacturer of high-tech solar cells, had received $1.68 million in workforce training grants from the state of Idaho — money that the company will not have to pay back. It’s not the first time that’s happened. Eleven companies that have received more than $5.3 million in training grants from the Idaho Department of Labor since 1996 no longer exist in the state.  That’s according to data from the department and StateImpact’s analysis. The 11 companies are a combination of out-of-state businesses that no longer operate here and local companies that shut down a piece of their businesses/Emilie Ritter Saunders, StateImpact. More here.


Spudbob: Newbies Need ‘Gum’ Control

Spudbob: Wow! Once again we have been inundated with newbie drive-by blogopottomi comments over the weekend. I know we all want to preserve our constitutional rights but Dave, could we possible exercise some “gum” control here? I mean “gum” as in “flapping gums”. Maybe there could be some sort of waiting period between when people first sign up to comment and when they get to start shooting of their mouths. Please?

Question: What advice would you give a newcomer to HucksOnline comment section — if any?

Solons Perform ‘Vagina Monologues’

This June 18 file photo shows, from left, Rep. Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, Rep. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield, playwright Eve Ensler and Sen. Rebecca Warren, D-Ann Arbor, posing for a group picture during an event including a performance of “The Vagina Monologues” by Brown and 10 other lawmakers on the Michigan Statehouse steps, in Lansing, Mich. Brown, who says she was barred from speaking in the Michigan House because Republicans objected to her saying “vagina” during debate over anti-abortion legislation, performed “The Vagina Monologues” with a hand from the author Eve Ensler. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Dale G. Young)

Question: Have you seen “The Vagina Monologues”?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.25.12

  • 11:33 a.m. R/P is in the KCSD lobby to report possible lewd & lascivious conduct.
  • 11:28 a.m. Business @ 750 Appleway/CdA reports recovering an undisclosed stolen item.
  • 11:13 a.m. EMTs are responding to vehicle-vs-pedestrian accident @ Govt Way & Walnut/CdA.
  • 11:10 a.m. Female in KCSD wants to see an officer re: being harassed by text messaging.
  • 11:06 a.m. Officers taking uncooperative man into custody for alcohol abuse on Dartmouth/CdA.
  • 11:05 a.m. County resident reports finding 3 articles of clothing on his property this morning.
  • 11:03 a.m. R/P reports unknown type of disturbance in 800 block of 22nd Place/CdA.
  • 15 more items below

Poll: Ironman Doesn’t Inspire Us

  • Weekend Poll: Fit athletes have invaded Coeur d'Alene for the last 10 years. But they have failed to inspire the overwhelming number of local residents to become more fit. 127 of 158 respondents (80.38%) said they haven't been inspired by Ironman Coeur d'Alene to get in better shape. 31 of 158 respondents (19.62%) said they have been inspired to shape up.
  • Today's Poll: Are you glad to see the city of Coeur d'Alene and Ironman agree to stage five more years of Coeur d'Alene Ironman?

Wealthy Idaho Malefactors Want More

The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry does not speak for you or even Idaho's mom and pop businesses. Manipulating its strings are what Teddy Roosevelt might call Idaho's malefactors of great wealth: Clearwater Paper, Idaho Forest Group, Idaho Power Co., Simplot, Melaleuca, Micron and Union Pacific Railroad. When IACI bemoans the personal property tax paid upon equipment, it is not talking about pens, paper, desks and copying machines. It is describing huge, expensive industrial machinery, power generators, pipelines and railroad tracks. Some high-minded purpose, such as eliminating an onerous method of taxation, is not motivating IACI's pitch for repealing that tax. What you're seeing on full display is greed in its purest form. Should IACI win, you and your children will lose/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Logo from IACI Web site)

Question: Do you consider IACI (Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry) to be a malefactor dedicated to opposing Idaho's common good?

Sharbono Ends Bike Leg

Coeur d'Alene resident, Kip Sharbono, 31, comes into the bike-to-run transition after 112 miles.  Sharbono's official time was 11:00:59.  (Angie Phillips photo special to Huckleberries Online).

Post Falls Woman Heads To Bike Leg

Post Falls resident (and Coeur d'Alene High School alum), Vicki Kimball, 36, finished with an official time of 13:58:56. (Christa Hazel photo special to Huckleberries Online)

Stockbroker Bullock Finishes Ironman

Coeur d'Alene resident amd stockbroker, Scott Bullock, 40, finished Ironman with an official time of 13:33:15. (Christa Hazel special photo for Huckleberries Online)

‘Jeopardy!’ Host Suffers Heart Attack

Alex Trebek was in the hospital after suffering a mild heart attack Saturday, the producers of his long-running quiz show “Jeopardy!” said Sunday. The 71-year-old game-show host was under observation and undergoing further testing at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A., Sony Pictures Television said in a statement. “He is expected to fully recover and be back at 'Jeopardy!' when production begins taping in July for the new season, the show's 29th,” producers said. It's Trebek's second mild heart attack. He was also back at work about a month after the first one, which hit him in December 2007. Trebeck turns 72 on July 22/Los Angeles Times. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Are you a fan of Alex Trebek's “Jeopardy!” program?

Obama ‘Library’ No Laughing Matter

Dave Hurtt will be the first to admit that his sense of humor can sometimes take an odd turn. And he’s now ready to say that his latest attempt at humor may have gotten a little out of hand. The Florence area rancher spent close to $700 this winter to build an outhouse with the sign “Obama Presidential Library” tacked to its side and to buy the smaller trailer that he’s used to transport it to events in Ravalli County and beyond. The idea came to him from a photo he saw on the Internet. “It was just meant to poke fun,” Hurtt said. “It’s apparently been taken in a different light.” The bullet-riddled outhouse, with its graffiti reading “For a good time call 800-Michelle (crossed-out), Hillary (crossed-out) and Pelosi (circled in red)” and a fake birth certificate stamped “Bulls**t,” captured national attention after Hurtt parked it outside the recent Montana GOP convention in Missoula/Perry Backus, Ravalli Republic. More here. (AP file photo of President Obama)

Question: Are people overreacting to Dave Hurtt's attempt at humor?

AM Headlines — 6.25.12

Jennie Linn McCormack's civil suit challenges and Idaho law that makes it illegal to obtain abortion pills from out-of-state doctors over the Internet. She is shown in Pocatello, Idaho, with her attorney Richard Hearn. Story here. (Kim Murphy/Los Angeles Times)


From Nymph To Dragonfly

Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns blog calls this photo from her Priest Lake neck of the woods “From Nymph to Dragonfly.”

Otter Backs Flip-Flop On Five Wives

As the brouhaha dies down over Idaho’s initial rejection, then change of heart on allowing Five Wives vodka to be sold in the state – despite concerns that the name could be offensive to the state’s Mormon population – Gov. Butch Otter says his state liquor division chief did the right thing. “They did the right thing in saying, ‘If people want to special order it, we’ll do that,’ ” Otter said. Last month, Idaho banned the sale of the Utah-made vodka in Idaho state liquor stores and barred it from special-order sales as well. The provocatively named liquor’s label features a picture of five women tucking up their skirts from an old-fashioned, racy vaudeville act. “Jeff Anderson let me know that there was some controversy,” Otter said of his state liquor chief. “They run the department. They’re the ones that know what they’ve got the shelf space for, what items move, what don’t”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Has anyone purchased Five Wives vodka since the controversy receded?

Parts Of Immigration Law Rejected

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down three portions of Arizona's controversial immigration law on Monday, but allowed one of the key provisions to stand in a highly anticipated split decision. The justices ruled that Arizona overstepped its authority by creating state crimes targeting illegal immigrants. One provision made it a state crime for illegal immigrants not to carry registration papers and another created a crime for soliciting work. The third portion of the law struck down allowed state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants without a warrant in some cases. The court did allow the main component of the law to stand. That requires state and local police to check the immigration status of people they've stopped or detained if a “reasonable suspicion” exists that the person is in the country illegally. But the court indicated that section could face further legal challenges/Alan Gomez, USA Today. More here. (AP photo: Rosa Maria Soto, right, and Maria Durand react to the United States Supreme Court decision regarding Arizona's controversial immigration law)

Question: Are you surprised by the court's decision?

Indian Sovereignty Snags Woman

Eighty-year-old Dorothy Tollett gambled so often at the Coeur d’Alene Casino that she received a free room in 2007. But on that final visit, before the retired nurse’s aide placed her first bet, she tripped on a hotel bedspread and fell into a complicated and largely overlooked legal quagmire: sovereign immunity. While Tollett endured two broken arms, a “horrible” medical experience and months living essentially as a paraplegic while her bones slowly mended, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe successfully fought the woman’s lawsuit, first by requiring her Spokane lawyer to earn certification to represent clients in its tribal court, then forcing the suit’s dismissal by asserting sovereign immunity rather than arguing the facts of the case. Even the tribe’s own judge called its approach to the matter “Draconian”/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here. (Colin Mulvany SR photo)

Question: Have you ever had problems at one of the local casinos?

GOP Picks Peterson As Idaho Chair

Idaho Republicans on Saturday elected a Mountain Home hardware store owner to lead the state's dominant party ahead of November's big ballot fight over education reforms. Barry Peterson, pictured, was chosen chairman over charter school activist Gayann DeMordaunt from Eagle. Peterson replaces outgoing chairman Norm Semanko. The 64-year-old Peterson was described by backers as an example of rural Idaho's conservative roots. His grandfather settled Elmore County in 1885. Peterson said among his first tasks will be choosing a new executive director to run the Idaho GOP's day-to-day affairs. Like Semanko, current executive director Jonathan Parker is leaving the office for employment elsewhere. … Apart from staffing the office, Peterson's main political task will be raising money and helping organize the state GOP's opposition to attempts to repeal the 2011 Legislature's education reforms on Nov. 6/AP, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Will Peterson's tenure as Idaho GOP chairman be as contentious as Norm Semanko's?

Encouraging An Ironwoman

Greg, right, and Natalie Gallagher, left, offer encouragement as they help Cathy Stephens, center, remove her wetsuit between the swimming and cycling portions of the 2012 Coeur d'Alene Ironman on Sunday in Lake Coeur d'Alene in Coeur d'Alene. The Gallagher's were volunteering during the event, but knew Stephens from their Spokane-based triathlon club Tri-Fusion. (Tyler Tjomsland SR photo)

Question: What did you do during the Ironman Coeur d'Alene race Sunday?

Ziggy’s Keeps Up w/Times, Rivals

Vern Ziegler, pictured, keeps a list of local companies that have come and gone since he began selling building materials. It’s a long list, filling one page and two columns of another. “The problem was their inability to adapt to changing conditions,” Ziegler said. “The only thing that’s constant is change. We’ve adapted.” Ziegler Lumber opened in 1965 – 14 years before anyone heard of Home Depot – when Ziegler saw a business opportunity in serving the needs of do-it-yourself home remodelers. “Traditional lumber yards worked mainly with contractors,” he recalled, “and they charged individuals excessive prices. So we became kind of a mini-Home Depot for anyone building a fence or a deck or redoing a kitchen.” Before long, Ziegler Lumber became Ziggy’s Building Materials and expanded to 13 stores. Today, six Ziggy’s serve Eastern Washington and North Idaho, and the chairman of the board shows no sign of slowing down/Michael Guilfoil, SR. More here.

Question: Where do you go for your building supplies?

Hucks: Councilman Changes Tone

Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Dan Gookin recovered well from a recent political faux pas. Gookin, an outspoken critic of proposed changes to McEuen Field, offered verbal balm to the town a day after the recall petition drive against Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members failed. At the Tuesday council meeting, Gookin said he told recall allies that “it’s over” and insisted that they file no lawsuits to extend the controversy. Gookin said he was ready to move forward with the McEuen Field work and promised to bird-dog spending on the $14.2 million project. His conciliatory tone contrasted sharply to the angry email he fired off to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel (Huckleberries, June 17), belittling her for accidentally leaving him out of the loop in a media announcement about a proposed McEuen Field compromise (for which Gookin later apologized three times). Gabriel wasn’t present Tuesday when Gookin remarked that the public accuses the council of not listening when it is/DFO, HucksOnline. More here.

Zyemtsev, Kessler Win Ironman CdA

Christa Hazel provides this panoramic view of the start of the race.

Viktor Zyemtsev, pictured at finish line, insists he’s not getting better with age, but his results suggest otherwise. The 39-year-old from Ukraine on Sunday became the first three-time Ironman Coeur d’Alene professional men’s champion, covering 140.6 miles of swimming, biking and running in 8 hours, 32 minutes and 29 seconds. That’s slightly faster than his winning time in 2007 and nine minutes slower than his 2005 time. “No, no,” responded Zyemtsev, when asked if he’s improving as the years go by. “Training less, not (as many) intervals, more recovery (time), a lot of suffering when training … but the experience I get from 10 years racing in Ironman is important.” In the women’s pro race, Meredith Kessler won for the first time in six tries in Coeur d’Alene, timing 9:21.44. Kessler, a 33-year-old who lives in San Francisco, has won three events this season. Spokane’s Haley Cooper-Scott took second place, battling through a rugged swim and more struggles in the 26.2-mile run for her highest placing in Coeur d’Alene/Jim Meehan, SR. More here. (Bruce Twitchell's special photo to the SR)

Signe: That Guy Needs Help

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Weekend Wild Card — 6.23-24.12

The old bike course for Ironman Coeur d'Alene was a pain because it divided the Coeur d'Alene-Hayden area. But I'm going to miss one aspect of it, now that the bikes are detoured onto Highway 95, south of the Lake City. I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with the Coeur d'Alene Bible Church members who provided free burgers, dogs and picnic spread as bikers pedaled by on Fourth Street. Still, it's nice to know that the city will have Ironman at least another five years after this one. Now for your weekend Wild Card …

Sandusky Guilty Of Assaulting Boys

Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse Friday after being found guilty in his sexual abuse trial, in Bellefonte, Pa. Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years, accusations that had sent shock waves through the college campus known as Happy Valley and led to the firing of Penn State's beloved Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno. Story here. (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark)


County To Unveil Facilities Master Plan

Item: County to unveil facilities plan: Recommended improvements total more than $36 million/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Makeover is an understatement. NAC Architecture presented a final draft of a facilities master plan to the Kootenai County commissioners on Friday, which called for a county infrastructure overhaul, including a new justice facility, a 6-story parking garage and an expanded administration building. NAC's entire recommended improvements total more than $36 million. The three elected officials said they have yet to determine which improvements they will pursue, or how soon.

Question: Are Kootenai County commissioners wise to develop a facilities master plan?

Regan: Property Owners, Beware!

In the Coeur d'Alene Press Online today, Brent Regan of Regan Designs sees grave danger re: revision of the county's comprehensive plan: “Your property rights are under attack. All Kootenai County landowners will be affected. In 1975 the Idaho Legislature passed into law Title 67 Chapter 65 Local Land Use Planning Act with the purpose of protecting property rights and the environment while promoting development. Idaho code (I.C. 67-6508) was revised in 1995 to require that planners “ensure that land use policies, restrictions, conditions and fees do not violate private property rights, adversely impact property values or create unnecessary technical limitations on the use of property.” The County Planners routinely ignore this requirement. It is the stated policy of the Kootenai County Community Development Department that ALL land uses are forbidden unless specifically allowed in the code. If it isn’t on the “Permitted” list it is forbidden and you can be charged with a crime and fined. Their attitude is, “We have what it takes to take what you have!” More here.

Question: Are you worried that the county is revising its comprehensive plan?

Parting Shot — 6.22.12

A young raccoon's head is shown stuck in a storm drain cover in Dearborn Heights, Mich. Dearborn Heights Department of Public Works employees, using some vegetable oil, liquid soap and some TLC, managed to free the critter unharmed. The crew took the raccoon to the Public Works yard for a “much-needed shower” before letting it go in the woods. (AP Photo/Dearborn Heights Department of Public Works)

TGIF Wild Card — 6.22.12

Nicole Hensley of KXLY tweets this morning: “While getting my coffee this morning, somebody said to me: 'May the news be with you.'” Indeed. The news seems to have stopped now that the Coeur d'Alene recall drive has failed. We can always hope for the Idaho GOP to approve platform planks even more senseless than the last time it got together. But that only has so much interest. Even the scanner is dead, dead, dead today. But I'll keep trolling the Web sites, Twitter and Facebook for fodder to feed this cyber beast. Now for your last Wild Card of the work week …

Trish: Grandma’s Garden

Keira searched for flowers in a tall patch of unmown grass in my backyard. Most of the grasses were just over her two-and-a-half-year-old head, and some of the dandelions lurking within were nearly as tall. There were other flower surprises hidden in the grass for a patient eye to find, and when it comes to picking flowers, Keira has a patient eye. As I sat in the sun on the back step and watched her exploration, I found myself suddenly transported almost 50 years back in time, to a hot little garden in Jackson, Tennessee, in the back yard of my paternal grandparents. I was probably about the age that Keira is now … My grandmother Ella Joy’s garden was probably typical of the kitchen gardens at the time, but to my little self, it was a jungle: green and mysterious, towering over my head/Trish Gannon, River Journal. More here.

Question: Do you encounter any special gardens during your youth?

RRepub2: Our Tent Bigger Than UCNI

ReaganRepub2: DFO you pegged Dino man correct. The UNCI crowd drinks Pedersen’s cool aid of hatred for RR’s (instead of working with RR’s for the achievement of more elected republicans) and would NEVER vote for an RR no matter if more conservative than they. Would they want RR’s to vote democrat rather than support one of theirs? RR’s will support ALL republican nominee’s even if we did not endorse them, that is what a republican club does. Much better than liberal democrats in our view anyway. The UNCI crowd will vote for Ron Paul at the state convention even though Rand Paul endorsed Romney (they probably are calling Rand Paul a Neo Con by now) and the voters of our state have spoken. I just hope they don’t wear pig masks again like they did at the National Convention two years ago. Our club is open to all real republicans to attend, (we don’t kick other republicans out) if the cool aid has soured in the mouth of an UCNI member you are welcome to join us in the spirit of Ronald Reagan.

Question: Do you see the rift between the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans and United Conservatives of North Idaho healing any time soon?

PM Headlines — 6.22.12

Robert Ruth, who's accused of helping cop shooter Charles Wallace, is seen on a closed-circuit courtroom television earlier today at Spokane County Superior Court in Spokane, Wash. Ruth is being held on $100,000 bond. Story below. (Tyler Tjomsland SR photo)

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.22.12

  • 6:02 p.m. Grandfather on bike can't find 8YO boy who left in go-cart on H97 in Rose Lake area.
  • 5:27 p.m. Possible DUI driver behind wheel of silver RAV4 @ e/b Prairie & Meyer/Rathdrum.
  • 5:18 p.m. Male blew stop sign @ Bobby's Bar in Worley, fought 2 men in street and drove off.
  • 5:14 p.m. A disabled vehicle is causing a traffic problem @ busy H95 & Appleway intersection.
  • 4:55 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 21-22 here.
  • 4:46 p.m. R/P reports grass blowing from bed of landscape truck @ H41 & Prairie/PF.
  • 4:37 p.m. R/P in 1900 block of Ridgemont Avenue/Hayden reports catching a loose pig.
  • 4:29 p.m. Disorderly skateboarder being physical in front of Paine-Hamblen, 701 Sherman/CdA.
  • 4:28 p.m. Angry male trying to pull out stop sign & kicking post @ Clagstone & Blanchard Cutoff.
  • 4:11 p.m. Security @ Hayden Super 1, H95 & Hayden, has caught a shoplifter.
  • 17 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Quotable Quote — Bubblehead

Tongue firmly cheeked, Bubblehead wrote on his Facebook wall: “Noted a couple of historical errors in the movie about Abraham Lincoln killing vampires; for example, there was actually no applause at the end of the Gettysburg Address, as the crowd thought it was a prayer. Otherwise, it seemed pretty believable.”

DFO: I saw “Cowboys & Aliens,” so I'll probably be a sucker to see “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer.” How about you?

North Idaho Blog Rdp — 6.22.12

On his Facebook wall, FF Robin Loznak of Kellogg, Ore., posts: “My pollen photo is gracing the electronic pages of National Geographic's website this morning. You can see more of Robin's terrific wildlife photos here

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday): 9767/5603, (for Wednesday): 10137/5633 and (for Tuesday): 11280/6521


Wolf-Whistle Billboard Comes Down

A billboard is shown at the MarketFair Mall in West Windsor, N.J., that drew criticism and was taken down after a protest that its message about wolf whistles treated sex harassment as a joke.(AP Photo/Elizabeth Harman)

Question: Have you ever had someone wolf-whistle at you?

Idaho GOP Punts On Closed Primary

Idaho State Republican Party convention delegates in Twin Falls likely skirted a renewed, potentially messy internal fight over their party's closed primary by recommending the issue be studied, not addressed head-on. According to a resolution that cleared a convention committee Friday, state leaders will be asked to scrutinize the 2012 closed primary's consequences on turnout and Republican success before deciding if changes are necessary come 2014. The Republican Party limited its May 15 primary election to registered GOP voters, due to concerns that Democrats were crossing over and skewing results. Some Republicans, including Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, want to undo it/Associated Press. More here.

Question: By avoiding discussion of their unpopular closed primary, have Idaho GOP delegates embraced the idea by default for 2014? Are Idaho Republicans really going to study this bad idea?

Luna Claims IEA Is Lying Re: Reform

Public schools chief Tom Luna whipped up partisans at the GOP convention in Twin Falls, accusing teachers unions of lying about the 2011 Legislature’s education reforms. Foes have gotten measures on November’s ballot to torpedo the reforms, which curtail teachers’ bargaining rights, promote merit pay and redirect funding to online classes and student laptops. Luna on Friday told a 500-plus crowd at the College of Southern Idaho the Idaho Education Association was misleading members about “Students Come First.” He predicted average teacher pay will rise $2,000 following the reforms, claiming union leaders are keeping details like that from teachers/Associated Press. More here.

Send ‘Em To The Sheriff

One Kootenai County department head sent around the following memo to his staff: “Apparently the hydro-plane races are coming to Kootenai County!!  If you receive any calls or questions regarding this race, everyone needs to be aware of the following:

  • The County had determined the hydro-plane race to be EXEMPT from any land use approvals; and,
  • The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office HAS issued a PERMIT APPROVAL for the event; and,
  • Questions regarding this event (scope of the event -and/or- permit conditions etc.) should be directed to the Sheriff’s Office at (208) 446-1300.

Question: So this hydroplane race is a done deal?

Calm Before Ironman CdA Race

An Ironman Coeur d'Alene triathlete visits with a vendor in the Ironman Village at City Park moments ago. Triathletes and their families are spending a leisurely day perusing products and samples provided by vendors this afternoon prior to the 10th annual IronmanCDA race Sunday. (Christa Hazel photo special to HucksOnline)

DOTC Drops By Campaign Material

Now that the Coeur d'Alene recall attempt is over, the fall campaign for the Idaho Legislature appears to be under way. Former county clerk Dan English, a Democrat, dropped off some campaign literature for his general election race against Republican Ed Morse for state Rep. Phil Hart's current seat in House District 2. Morse beat Hart in the May 15 GOP primary. English told me that the two elephants at the top of his literature symbolize receding Republicans. We'll see in November.

Shooting Suspect Jailed w/o Incident

Pursuit of a suspected shooter had law enforcement hunkered down at a Coeur d'Alene apartment complex from early morning through early afternoon on Thursday. After Coeur d'Alene police and a multi-agency SWAT team had surrounded his residence for roughly seven hours, Zebulon R. Batke, 33, was detained with little fanfare at Park Place Apartments on Ramsey Road. Police reported that the SWAT team breached Batke's apartment and found him asleep in his bedroom, where he had barricaded himself. Taken into custody peacefully, the Coeur d'Alene man was arrested and charged with two counts of shooting into an occupied residence, a felony, and one count of aggravated assault, also a felony/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Mary Hinting At Another Recall Try?

In her latest newsletter, recall organizer Mary Souza sounds the same theme provided by Councilman Dan Gookin on Tuesday: “It's over.” Although she and other recallers continue to scrutinize the signatures on recall petitions, Mary says, “Let's hope the four officials we tried to recall will get the message; let's hope they change their ways. And if they don't? … we have a data tase of 4100 valid, certified people and about 300 more who just need updated registration cards.” Then Mary hints darkly that another recall could be in order this fall: “The law says there must be a 90 day waiting period before any further action can be started.  That’s late September.  Let’s keep watching them and stay tuned.” Mary Souza's latest newsletter here.

DFO: Mary & the Recallers would have to wait until mid-September to launch a second recall drive. Which would take 75 days again, taking us through November. At that point, if the petition drive was successful, City Clerk Susan Weathers could set one of the next four election dates for the recall election, including the day of the municipal election the following November. Which would make the whole exercise in divisiveness moot.

Question: Could Mary Souza possibly be hinting at another recall petition drive this year?

AM Headlines — 6.22.12

Delegate Paul Workman from Legislative District 25 (left) listens during the GOP Platform Committee Meeting Thursday at the College of Southern Idaho campus in Twin Falls. Stories below. (AP Photo/Drew Nash, Times News)

The Village That Makes CdA Great

Hospice of North Idaho posted this photo of Barbara Mueller's “Portrait of a Town,” which was unveiled Sunday in Fort Sherman Park, near 4th & Sherman Avenue in downtown Coeur d'Alene.

Question: How many individuals do you know who have their portraits on the Fort Sherman wall?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.22.12

  • 12:03 p.m. Logging truck rear-ends under vehicle in turn lane of H95 & Rockford Bay Road.
  • 12:01 p.m. Rathdrum Super 1 rep reports suspicious male @ Smoke Shop next door.
  • 11:53 p.m. 2-vehicle, noninjury crash is blocking s/b H95 south of Kathleen/CdA.
  • 11:33 a.m. R/P reports 2YO boy wandered by himself onto his place in 1800 block of Melrose. But left while he was calling 911. Boy reportedly is naked from waist down. (11:46 a.m.: Officer finds child.)
  • 11:31 a.m. 2 horses — one white, one brown — are loose along s/b H95 @ M/P 449 (Grove/Athol).
  • 11:28 a.m. R/P reports finding small child on loose by itself on in 2700 block of Fruitland/CdA.
  • 8 more items below

Look, Up In The Sky!

Yves Rossy, known as the Jetman, flies with the Breitling DC-3 over Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, earlier today. It is the first time that Rossy has ever flown with a passenger plane as passengers watch him at eye level. The Swiss aviator dropped from a helicopter and deployed the Jet powered carbon-kevlar Jetwing which he uses his body to steer to perform the flight. (Katsuhiko Tokunaga/PHOTOPRESS via AP Images)

Poll: Gang Problem In CdA? Nah

  • Thursday Poll: A majority of Hucks Nation doesn't think that the Coeur d'Alene area has a serious problem with criminal gangs. 72 of 135 respondents (53.33%) took that position. Meanwhile, 47 of 135 respondents (34.81%) do believe there is a serious gang problem here. 16 respondents (11.85%) were undecided.
  • Weekend Poll: Are you more health conscious after being exposed to Ironman Coeur d'Alene annually for the last 10 years?

Stapilus: Partisans Didn’t Get Way

In his weekly newspaper column, Randy Stapilus of the Ridenbaugh Press discusses recall, saving the failed Coeur d'Alene recall for last. After providing background information re: how the county's dysfunctional Republicans had inserted partisanship into nonpartisan city races, Stapilus writes: “That was the backdrop for this month’s recall effort, targeting (Mike) Kennedy, Mayor Sandi Bloem and two other council members; recall backers failed to get enough valid petition signatures to force the election. The ostensible rationale was a council upgrade (using no tax funds) of a part of the city’s waterfront, but there was much more to it. This was a partisan battle of partisan sides, and it may be the first serious Idaho recall effort (unless you count Luna’s) waged in that context. Republican state Representative Kathy Sims was one of the leading activists. Jeff Ward of the Reagan Republicans remarked in a blog post, 'Many of us are quite disappointed that we do not have a recall campaign to wage in August or November.' Less partisan Coeur d’Alene voters may be less disappointed.” Stapilus' entire column here.


Hardliners Emit Agenda 21 Bat Signal

They may have been beaten at the GOPrimary election but Kootenai County's uberconservatives are unbowed, still giving credence to their notion that Kootenai County is about to embrace socialist land-use planning. Imagine our conservative commissioners doing something like that. Case in point, this ad from the current Nickel's Worth: “BEWARE! YOU HAVE been zoned by the ULUC (United Land Use Code). You will comply. Your Kootenai County Commissioners are in the process of taking away your property rights. Stand with us in opposition at the public ULUC workshop on Tuesday, June 26th, 2012, 5:45pm-7:45pm, CdA Library, 702 E. Front Ave., CdA in the community room. Paid for by Concerned Citizens of Kootenai County, David Crane, Melanie Vander Feer, Jennifer Locke.” (AP photo: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gives a speech at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, earlier today)

Question: How can anyone sincerely believe that the conservative commissioners of Kootenai County are part of some grand scheme to put land-use planning under outside control?

Otter Reveals Idaho’s Budget Secret

In delivering a warning to his department heads, Gov. Butch Otter is also giving a heads up to lawmakers. Don’t expect an unabated flow of federal dollars into state government. Otter is asking his agency directors to come up with a contingency plan for absorbing a 20 percent cut in federal dollars. They’re supposed to report back by Aug. 1. I don’t have any problem with this exercise, even if a 20 percent cut is an unlikely worst-case scenario. By asking state agencies how they would go without help from Uncle Sam, Otter is shedding a little light on a conveniently forgotten reality of budgeting: Idaho depends on federal dollars more than its fed-bashing citizen lawmakers ever care to admit/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Did you realize that Idaho depends on federal dollars to fund a number of state budgets? Still hate federal gummint?

Read more here:

How Abusers Skirt Court Orders

Even inside her Spokane Valley home, with a security camera turned on, Traci doesn’t feel safe. She avoids the windows at night, knowing that he might be outside again, standing in the shadows, watching. One day she counted the number of times he called and texted her phone: 42. His messages haunt her. “By the way, I have a key to the house,” he said in a text. “Want me to tell you how I got it?” Traci, a former medical assistant, says she’s tried to be reasonable with her ex-husband. Through their parenting plan, he is still allowed to visit their 7-year-old son. Yet on several occasions the boy has returned home with a message from his father. “He told me, ‘Daddy is going to kill Mommy,” recalls Traci, speaking on the condition her last name not be published. “He said, ‘Daddy was going to bash Mommy’s head in with a hammer, stab her and blow off her head’”/Jordy Byrd, Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo)

Question: Anyone have a loved one who was haunted/stalked by an ex-husband or ex-boyfriend? How did they deal with the sick jerk?

Press: Ironmen Of The Future

Some things can’t be measured by money. Sure, Ironman has had a nice economic impact on Coeur d’Alene. We’re a bit dubious that it actually nets in the $8 million-$10 million range annually because at this time of year, the hotels and restaurants and retail stores are mostly busy with visitors anyway, but there’s little question the money that flows from these athletes and their families helps our communities financially. It’s also possible that after Ironman made North Idaho one of its homes, additional property has been gobbled up and perhaps businesses started by those who were introduced to the area by the event. But now, looking in the rear-view mirror of a decade as hosts, citizens and other community officials can rightly weigh what Ironman means — and what impact it will continue to have since agreeing to a new five-year contract — to them. While many of us in varying stages of codgerdom have been suitably inspired by Ironman to engage in healthier lifestyles, an even greater benefit might only now start to show up with our kids and grandkids/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here. (SR file photo of 2011 Ironman champ Craig Alexander high-fiving at finish line)

Question: Are you and your family more fitness conscious as a result of Ironman Coeur d'Alene?

Family That Zombie’s Together …

In her never-ending quest to post cat photos on Huckleberries Online, Super Sub Cindy offers this shot of a family of four, depicted on the back of their Ford in zombie form. Even the cat is a zombie. Cindy Facebooks that she spotted the Zombie family during a trip to Coeur d'Alene Sunday.

Question: What kind of stickers or decals do you have on your vehicle(s)?

Marigold Vandals Hit Bentwood

Huckleberries Online made the recent issue of the Bentwood Park Bulletin. Bentwood Park? A year ago, this Huckleberry Hound joked about some vandals who were egging streets in the Bentwood area, off 15th Street. The egging wasn't funny. But the neighborhood newsletter describing the vandalism in terms of “egg spatter” was. Sorta. This year, the Bulletin has put out an all-points bulletin re: vandals who are snipping of the blossoms off marigolds lovingly placed in a couple's front yard — to a point they are almost gone. “We know this isn't the work of deer,” writes the newsletter reporter, because the vandals have moved the pulled flowers to another location and placed them like new flowers, sometimes as many as a dozen. This occurs sometime between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM. It's happened five times now. And, its very frustrating after working so hard to plant the flowers.” Remembering the “egg spatter” comments of a year ago, the reporter adds: “Some may think this trivial. I know the Huckleberries guy does, but isn't this trespassing?” (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo)

DFO: For the record, I don't consider this vandalism trivial at all. How about you?

Question: I have quite a few marigolds in my yard, but the understated petunia is my go-to annual for color? Which annual do you prefer?

Jeers — To Cathy, Raul, Mike

JEERS … to U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson, both R-Idaho. They were among 216 Republican and 16 Democratic House members who just voted to gut most of the nation's environmental laws. At issue is a bill giving the Border Patrol the ability to pretty much do whatever it pleases within 100 miles of the Mexican and Canadian borders. Put on hold are the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Wilderness Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Forest Management Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune Cheers & Jeers column. More here.

Question: Which side to you trust more in dealing with environmental laws — Republicans or Democrats?

Mansfield Chides Ex-Buddy Fischer

Both in Jane Mayer's New Yorker profile of (American Family Association talk radio host Bryan) Fischer and then again in his own blog, (Dennis) Mansfield bemoans Fischer's intolerance.”Debating the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality in our culture is something that Bryan Fischer is actively engaged in, and has been for over a decade. You know what? I used to be there, too. The term 'righteous anger' would have been an appropriate term to describe the ferocity with which I would debate this issue, and others,” Mansfield wrote. “The problem is that it doesn't work. Somebody who yells and screams makes for great entertainment, but little else. I've found that it is exponentially more difficult to shut my mouth, and listen. It is also exponentially more rewarding”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune Cheers & Jeers column. More here.

Question: Are you more tolerant to other viewpoints today than you were 10 years ago? Or less tolerant?

Doty Didn’t Get Gookin’s Message

Apparently, diehard Recaller Jim Doty didn't get the message from Councilman Dan Gookin (pictured) and eight-ninths of the registered voters in Coeur d'Alene: “It's over.” In a lengthy rant reviving the Recall grievances, Doty writes in the Coeur d'Alene Press Online this morning: “This isn’t personal and has never been. We are not a band of disgruntled individuals with a personal agenda, but a group of concerned citizens attempting to support the constitutional rights that we believe are not being granted to use in the City of Coeur d’Alene. Remember, free government requires active citizens, which right now we don’t have.” At least it gives Recallers somewhere to hang out today cyberwise while they're licking their wounds. Full Doty post here.

DFO: Yeah, yeah, I know, it's time to move on from the Recall. In fact, I ran into a Post Falls blurker last evening while Mrs. O and I were walking downtown. He was eating with his wife at Tito Macaroni's. After exchanging pleasantries, he said: “Cindy's right. Quit putting stuff up about the recall. It is time to move on. But you have to keep an eye on them.

All In For German Soccer

A German soccer supporter sports eyelashes painted in the colors of the national flag prior to the Euro 2012 soccer championship quarterfinal match between Germany and Greece in Gdansk, Poland, earlier today. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Question: Have you ever painted yourself in any way to support an athletic team? Tell us about it.

Raven: Kissed Frogs To Find Prince

RavenLady: Congratulations! It is good to hear so many Huckleberries are having long marriages (comments section). Hope they are good ones too. We hit our 29th next week. I’m glad I kissed a lot of frogs to get to the prince.

Question: Did you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince? And/or: Do you suppose that someone else might think your one of the frogs she kissed to find her prince?

Joker: Handling ‘Em With Kid Gloves

Here’s a scenario for all (those) who think the police went overboard today — Joker

Police officer 1: OPEN UP POLICE

Police officer 2: Do you have to yell so loud? What if he’s sleeping? He had a late night!

Police officer 1: You’re right. Should I ring the bell a few more times?

Police officer 2: Ok, but you know how grumpy people get when you interupt their naps.

Police officer 1: Don’t worry, he can sleep in the squad car. I brought an extra pillow.

Police officer 2: Did you bring the ones with goose feathers? I hope so. Wait, I have an idea, what if we leave a note to come in after he wakes up? (More below)

Arpie: Marble Craze & Other Fads

Arpie (re: They didn't lose their marbles):  I think I’ve typed this before, but after thirty years of teaching, I survived my first marbles craze. I’ve made it through 2-3 jump rope crazes, a few hacky sack crazes, a nard nocker craze(Is that what you call those two hard plastic balls on strings that you cracked together?), countless yo-yo fads, and other short lived flings too numerous to mention. My principal was masterful in handling this. She asked anyone on duty to make it perfectly clear that no adults were going to get into any marble hassles. Playground rules ruled. If you think the guy wanting to play you cheats, don’t play with him/her. If you lose your best marble to, bad so sad. The kids became very discerning and street wise. The few big cheaters straightened their acts or moved on to something else. There were no real sharks, but it was fun to see the kids so in to it and starting to look at the beauty of marbles.

Question: Which fads have you survived? Which was your favorite?

Ramirez: Selective Editing

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Wild Card/Thursday — 6.21.12

Happy day for me today. Mrs. O & I have been married 37 years. She's a special woman to have put up with a newspaperman through many moves to many towns and three states before planting roots with me in Idaho 30 years ago (28 years in Coeur d'Alene). She has provided me with two children whom I consider my magnum opus. And one that tragically died at child birth. She has seen me on too many bad days. Yet she continues to love me. Amazing woman. I'd marry her again in a heart beat, if I already hadn't. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.21.12

Young Marine, Chris Farnsworth, 12, of Post Falls, helps pick up trash with other Young Marines at a gravel pit on Thursday at near Hayden Lake. The gravel pit serves as a shooting range, and has become a popular dumping site for potentially hazardous materials over the years. (Tyler Tjomsland SR photo)

Question: Have you ever picked up trash along a roadway as part of a litter cleanup project?

KimK: Let’s Hang On To Mayberryness

Kim Knerl: Compared to some places I’ve left, Coeur d’Alene still retains some of the “Leave It To Beaver” qualities, and I mean that in a positive way. I like that sort of life and not so long ago it was strong here. No doubt there is a beautiful lake that will attract many, but as long as you can hold on to a small town atmosphere, many will look out for the community.

Question: Which aspects of the Coeur d'Alene area (or your North Idaho town) makes you think of Mayberry?

PM Scanner traffic — 6.21.12

  • 5:49 p.m. Motorhome has lost wheel & is b/n w/b I-90 & onramp @ M/P 48 (Bunker Hill Creek).
  • 5:44 p.m. PFPD officers are seeking 5-10, 160lb, Hispanic male in gold 2002 Intrique w/Montana plates who pulled a 4-inch knife on 2 people near Post Falls WalMart East/Mullan.
  • 5:35 p.m. 2 men are involved in a fistfight in 200 block of Hubbard/CdA.
  • 5:10 p.m. R/P reports driver of Dodge pickup crossing on double-yellow @ n/b H95 & Hanley/CdA.
  • 5:07 p.m. Possible DUI driver involved in 2-vehicle, noninjury crash @ Hope & Bunco/Athol.
  • 4:56 p.m. Street lights aren't recycling @ Government Way & Appleway/CdA.
  • 4:41 p.m. R/P reports that all vehicles pulling boats has made a mess @ 3rd & Sherman/CdA.
  • 4:22 p.m. Stolen blue Dodge Neon that triggered BOSS hit hour ago now s/b on H95 @ Kathleen.
  • 4:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 20-21 here.
  • 13 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

Library To Enforce 2-Hour Parking

Beginning Wednesday, June 27, two-hour parking will be enforced in the upper parking lot at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library and Coeur d’Alene City Hall (the lot accessed from Front Avenue and Eighth Street).      According to Library Director Bette Ammon this is being done to assure consistent parking availability throughout the day for library users and for people with business at City Hall. Parking beyond the two-hours limit will result in a $15 citation. Enforcement by Diamond Parking has been arranged so that people attending evening meetings and programs will not be ticketed. Patrons and volunteers who need to be in the library or City Hall for longer than two hours are advised to use the lower parking lot during the day and to enter the buildings though the lower entrances/Coeur d'Alene Today. (Kathy Plonka SR file photo)

Question: OK, I'll 'fess up. I've parked in the Coeur d'Alene Library parking lot when I wasn't using the library — but not for more than 2 hours. How about you?

They Didn’t Lose Their Marbles

Girls champion Logan Mayberry, left, 11, of Clay County, Tenn., receives the traditional kiss from boys champion Caleb Isaacson 13, of Gunnison Colo., at the 89th annual National Marbles Championships at Ringer Stadium Thursday in Wildwood, N.J. (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Dale Gerhard)

Question: Did you play marbles as a youngster? Were you good at marbles?

Update: CdA Shooter Identified

The Multi agency SWAT team took Zebulon R. Batke, 33, of Coeur d’Alene into custody at 1:50 p.m. today. Coeur d’Alene Police and the SWAT team had surrounded his residence for several hours and attempted to get him to comply with lawful orders before breaching the door to his apartment. Batke was found inside the residence asleep in his bedroom. He had barricaded himself in his room. He was armed with a fully loaded AK 47 assault rifle, a loaded 357 Mag. and a single shot shotgun. Batke was arrested and charged with two counts of shooting into an occupied residence (felony) and one count of Aggravated Assault (felony) connection with the shooting that occurred at 2:30 am this morning in the 700 block of 3rd St.  The residence he shot at is the home of his ex-girlfriend. Batke has prior arrests for alcohol offenses, battery, and mayhem/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. More below

H/T: Dylan Wohlenhaus/KXLY for providing HucksOnline w/old photo of Zebulun Batke

Boise State Joins Crusade For Kramer

Boise State president Bob Kustra is joining the rush of support to get former Idaho Vandals All-American and Green Bay Packers legend Jerry Kramer into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Boise State announced Thursday it is urging “Bronco Nation” to participate in a letter writing campaign. “In addition to being one of the greatest football players of all time, Kramer also is an outstanding citizen of Boise and a true ambassador of Idaho,” wrote Kustra in his June 15 letter to the Senior Selection Committee. “His commitment, volunteerism, and loyalty to our community are values shared by Boise State University and qualities we feel are equally important as his athletic accomplishments.” … In 1969, Kramer was named the ‘Outstanding Guard of the First 50 Years of Football’ by the NFL, but he is the only player on that list who is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame/Idaho Press Tribune. (IPT photo by Charlie Litchfield)

Ed Corridor 1B Ribbon Cutting Set

North Idaho College and the Lake City Development Corporation are planning a ribbon-cutting for Phase 1B of the Education Corridor project at 3 p.m. Wednesday at River and Military in the Fortgrounds area.

DFO: I've been saying that the Bloem administration has been vulnerable to the naysayers in this community because it has done a lousy job touting its many accomplishments to the community. This ribbon-cutting provides a golden opportunity to do just that. So you be the public relations expert here.

Question: How should the Bloem administration use this ribbon cutting to tout its accomplishments, LCDC's role in them, and the future of the Education Corridor?

Bubble: Idaho D’s Fear Own Shadows

Bubblehead: I went to the state Democratic convention, and it was an eye-opening experience for me. I tried to get some very strong planks added attacking some specific idiocies in the Idaho GOP platform (repeal the 17th, return to the gold standard, nullification) but several Democrats, especially from eastern Idaho, got up and said, basically, that we shouldn’t mention Republicans because otherwise the Republicans would be mean to them. They seemed to have no self-confidence, and I wondered why they were even involved in politics if they weren’t willing to fight for what they believed in. As it was, we did put some strong language in the preamble.


Montana GOP Drops Anti-Gay Plank

The Montana Republican Party has ended its effort to make homosexual acts illegal. The state party made the decision during a convention last weekend. The issue had been part of the state GOP platform since the Montana Supreme Court struck down similar state laws in 1997. Bowen Greenwood, the state party’s executive director, said the decision was part of a larger effort to streamline the group’s 31-page platform. However, delegates at the convention made clear the state party still does not support gay marriage/Fox News, AP. More here.


News Quiz Offers Gift Card, Tickets

If you think you can find a way to use free movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel, this week's news quiz offers opportunities to win both. All entries are eligible to win two tickets to area cinemas, and the overall champion will take the Davenport Prize. You're 10 interactive questions away from being in the running! Take the quiz here.

  • Last week's winners: Janielle Monroe of Spokane Valley (movie tickets) and Jennifer Neff of Medical Lake (gift card).
  • Only 2 Berry Pickers on leaderboard among Top 37: Lolo & TTaggart

In Praise Of 3rd Street Boat Launch

CdALocal: As a boater on this lake for as long as I can remember…I do not like the traffic on the boat these days and the rudeness that has become a “norm” on out beautiful lake. So, I can also appreciate that by removing the launch from downtown may deter boaters because of the convieniences we do offer boaters to our town; restaurants, shops, gas stations close by, etc. so in turn our lake may be a bit more enjoyable again and less boat chop! On the otherside of the coin in the respect for safety…it is by far the safest boat launch around! On a windy day there is NO WAY I would dare launch at any other launch on this lake, this is due to the protection of Tubb’s Hill, breakwater barrier and the CdA Resort protection. I have watched in the winter months the lone retired fisherman launch his small vessel and easily tie off his boat on the dock and easily park his truck & trailer and not walk a long distance to do this process. In summer months the individual that is trying to launch his/her boat alone can also do this with ease the way our parking is currently set and not hold up traffic getting their boat moved on for others to continue to launch/load out.

Question: One of best-reasoned comments in support of keeping current Third Street boat launch. Thoughts?

Title IX Approaches 40th Anniversary

Emily Miller remembers learning about Title IX during history class, probably sometime in junior high. She's a little fuzzy on the details, including how and why it came about. Every time she steps on the soccer field, though, she feels its effect. At 16, Miller can't even imagine who she'd be without the game. She's played since kindergarten, and credits soccer for her independence and self-confidence. Now a starter on the varsity team at New Trier High School in suburban Chicago, she's proud when someone describes her as “the athlete” or “the soccer player.” “Soccer,” she said, “is what makes me Emily Miller.” As Title IX celebrates its 40th anniversary Saturday, the WNBA is in its 16th season, Hope Solo and Natalie Coughlin will be two of the biggest names at the London Olympics and participation numbers for women in college and high school athletics are at an all-time high/Associated Press. More here. (2011 AP file photo of U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo of the Tri-Cities, Wash., during Women's World Soccer Cup)

Question: How has Title IX affected you?

Headlines — 6.21.12

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf, right, listens alongside his defense attorney, Kenneth Olson, during Leaf's sentencing Tuesday in Great Falls, Mont. See story below. (AP/Great Falls Tribune photo)

Ring Was Lost But Now It’s Found

Darlene King holds her late husband's long-missing wedding band at King's home in Auburn, Calif. The ring is 14-karat white gold with five diamond flecks and is inscribed with the date of King's wedding 51 years ago. Story here. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Randall Benton)

DFO: I lost my high school class ring a week after I got it. I took it off in the bathroom of a gas station in Marysville, Calif., before washing my hands. It was gone moments later when I went back to find it. I've always regretted losing that ring. How about you?

Question: Have you ever lost an important ring?

AM Scanner: Police Action Under Way

Via Twitter, Anusha Roy of KXLY provides this photo of resident of a Coeur d'Alene apartment complex, Ramsey & Kathleen, waiting to get back into their homes after being ordered out of them early this morning by a SWAT team.

Coeur d’Alene Police officers are staged in the 3800 block of Ramsey Rd. for a possible weapons offense. Officers have contacted residents in the apartment complex and asked them to evacuate. If residents choose to stay in their apartment then they are asked to keep the door and windows locked until this police action is resolved. Area businesses and daycares have been notified to lock down. Air One is circling the area as a precaution. The Coeur d’Alene Police Department shares a partnership with Spokane County Sheriff’s Department for services of Air One. A Coeur d’Alene Police Officer is assigned to that team. No further information is being released at this time. Updates will be provided as soon as possible/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department news release.

  • 11:48 a.m. Possible DUI driver of white car w/black top exits e/b I-90 @ Sherman/CdA.
  • 11:45 a.m. Hispanic male & African-American male are fighting @ City Park/CdA.
  • 11:32 a.m. R/P in 1600 block of Front Avenue/CdA reports vandalism to property
  • 11:25 a.m. From Coeur d'Alene Press Online: “The police are tracking a suspect for a “possible weapons offense” and limited details are available at this time. The individual may have a “long rifle.” Short story & photo here.
  • 10 more items below

Grant: How Idaho D’s Can Rebound

Larry Grant, chairman of the Idaho Democrats, tells Boise Weekly how state D's can make in-roads into Republican dominance this year:  “Grant said some of the Democratic candidates had better odds of being elected than others but having a near-full slate was imperative. “You never know when somebody is going to have too much to drink and take somebody's SUV,” said Grant, referring to former Republican Sen. John McGee, who won by a comfortable margin two years ago but resigned from the Senate following a string of charges involving a 2011 Father's Day drunken-driving incident and alleged impropriety with a Senate attache. “And you never know when a lawmaker is going to refuse to pay their taxes,” referring to Athol Republican Rep. Phil Hart, who also won by a wide margin two years ago but lost in the May GOP primary while dodging charges of tax evasion/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here.

Question: I keep wondering when the arrogance of the Idaho Republican Party, which sued to close its primary & supports the Legislature picking the state's U.S. senators, is going to erode its dominance?

CDA TV-19: Gookin: ‘It’s Over’

CDA TV-19 provides HucksOnline with a video of Councilman Dan Gookin's comments re: recall and City Clerk Susan Weathers. Of the recall, Gookin said he'd talked to Recall leaders, tell them: “This is it. It's over. It's done. That there's going to be no lawsuits … We have to move on as a community.” Gookin calls on to applaud the city clerk's professionalism during the recall petition drive. Also, Gookin has some dead-on thoughts about listening at the end of the clip.

OTV: Beware IM ‘Spandex Zombies’

OrangeTV: This thread feels a little like now there’s no recall to bicker about anymore so let’s work out our leftover angst by having a pissing match about something utterly random and unimportant. Get outside and enjoy the sun today, kids, before the fabulous spandex zombies take over our streets this weekend! Forget gangs, the Ironman hordes are the real threat of the moment! (Not really, I appreciate Ironman, just makes it a little hard to get around for a few days when you live downtown…)

Question: Please report any close encounters with Ironman “spandex zombies” over next few days.

Poll: Think Before Hitting ‘Send’

  • Wednesday Poll: A large majority of Hucks Nation say Councilman Dan Gookin was wrong to fire off an angry email to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel last week. 72 of 227 (31.72%) respondents said Gookin should “think before hitting send.” Another 68 of 227 (29.96%) said Gookin's blistering email was “hostile and demeaning.” On the other side, 47 (20.7%) voted for “he apologized, let's move on.” 25 (11.01%) said Gookin “had a right to be angry.” 12 (5.29%) dismissed flap as a “tempest in a teapot.” And 3 (1.32%) marked “other.”
  • Today's Question: Do you think the Coeur d'Alene area has a serious problem with gang activity?
  • Below, from Coeur d'Alene TV Channel 19, civil rights attorney Norm Gissel of Coeur d'Alene warns City Council Tuesday night to avoid creating a hostile work environment at City Hall:

Cancer Survivor To Swim Topless

Jodi Jaecks, 47, has pressed for months to swim topless in a city pool after her double mastectomy made wearing swim tops painful. The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department has reversed a decision by its aquatics manager and decided to allow Jaecks to swim topless in a public pool. Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams says there's nothing to alarm the public, so the department decided to make an exception to its dress policy for public pools. Seattle Times story here. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Dean Rutz)

Question: Do you see anything wrong with the decision to allow breast cancer survivor Jodi Jaecks to swim topless in a Seattle public pool?

Smart Phones, Dumb Service Reps

I didn’t cry, but I wanted to scream. And I really, really wanted to stamp my feet and maybe throw something – preferably a cellphone. Three hours at a Costco phone kiosk can have that effect on anyone.All I wanted was a new phone. My carrier offered me a free upgrade to a fancy-schmancy smartphone, so last Saturday I confidently headed out to Costco to pick it up.For tax purposes I wanted to separate my account from my husband’s. Matthew, the helpful cellphone salesman, assured me a quick call to customer service would take care of that. Of course, that was before we realized customer service for this particular provider had been outsourced to a country far, far away/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Question: Share your worst electronics customer service experience?

Timeless Asks Mary Hydro Question

Interesting exchange on Coeur d'Alene Press Online thread re: Mike Patrick's editorial, Wednesday (“From the recall ashes”):

  • Timeless: “You have no problem thumbing your nose at 2 (past) PUBLIC VOTES BANNING THE HYDROPLANE RACES, by simply moving them just outside the City limits. Why aren't you STANDING UP FOR THE WISHES OF THE CITIZENS OF CDA? Where is the outrage?! Oh yeah, because your husband is on the committee that is bringing the hydroplane races back to CDA Lake, there will be no outrage from you. I am not adverse to the hydroplane races returning, particularly. But I am adverse to your double standard when it suits your personal agenda.
  • Mary Souza: Anytime there's an article about the hydroplanes, I'll be happy to discuss that topic on an appropriate thread. This is not it.
  • Entertaining Press thread here.

DFO: Talking Point for HBO Truth Squad on Press thread: The recall & hydroplanes are related issues because both involve discussion of an advisory vote. Mary demanded an advisory vote for McEuen Field upgrades but she seems unconcerned about the two public votes against hydroplane racing. Of course, it's possible that Mary's against the races while her husband serves on a committee for them.

Question: Now that the recall is over shouldn't Mary & the community be addressing the next political tsunami headed our way. After all, her attempted overthrow of City Hall government is so … last Monday now?

GOP To Mull Urban Renewal Repeal

Rachel Gilbert, a hardliner from bygone years in the Idaho Republican Party, will present this anti-urban renewal screed to the state GOP convention this weekend: “Do you wonder why your property taxes are so high and continue to rise year after year? Do you wonder why cities and counties are forced to raise your property taxes to pay for fire and police protection, schools, streets and roads, the courts, libraries, county sheriff operations, and a host of other essential services for cities and counties? Are you concerned about school levies year after year? Here’s the problem, and it’s huge and complicated: URBAN RENEWAL AGENCIES are eviscerating our property tax base and getting away with it! How does that happen?” More here.

H/T: Sam

Question: I believe that the GOP hardliners who control state and Kootenai County Republican politics will eventually repeal the state's urban renewal laws. But I take comfort in the fact that they won't be able to turn back the clock on the enormous progress accomplished in Coeur d'Alene with the aid of urban renewal laws. How about you?

Spence: Government Is Like Golf

Here we are at the 18th green, late on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, staring at a 20-foot putt to win the U.S. Open. Do we make it, or do we choke? Back when I actually played golf with some regularity, I almost always choked. It was so disappointing. Over time I came to think of it as a character flaw, a weakness in my moral fiber. It was like sin. That one chance I had to shoot par for nine holes? Missed it. Setting a personal best at Glen Abbey, site of numerous Canadian Open tournaments? Missed it. The time I heroically drove the last green and needed a short, curling birdie to halve the match? Missed it. No matter how hard I practiced I could never convince myself I was a great putter. And so I wasn't. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Such prophecies aren't limited to sports, of course. In the first conversation I had with Lewiston Rep. John Rusche four years ago, he said if lawmakers think government is bad, they'll never try to use it to do good. Nothing I've seen since then suggests he was wrong/William Spence, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are you as tired as I am of all the political parrots in this state who consider government bad?

Forgot His Skateboard

A young bull moose wandered into the skate park in Nederland, Colo., Wednesday morning. He was tranquilized and relocated by Nederland police and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. (AP Photo/Lois Ott, Town of Nederland)

Question: Have you ever ridden a skateboard?

Dino: Gangs Are Moving In To CdA

Dinosaur Man: I’ve spoken with cops downtown who couldn’t tell a Suerno from a IPO (Indian Power Organization), or a Piru (associated with the IPO) from a Norteno. I’ve even spoken with CDA’s gang enforcement expert, who I respect as the only one in the force with his finger on the problem. He even told me his street officers were severely under-informed when it came to gangs. He said back when it was just the Crips infiltrating it wasn’t that bad, but now there are new gangs drifting in every year and the problem is the worst it’s ever been in CDA. He acknowledged we’re not near as bad as some of the towns in central WA or OR, but he doesn’t want this town to get any worse.

Question: Do you think Coeur d'Alene has a bad gang problem?

Gone Fishin: Move Dang Boat Launch

Gone Fishin: I live in Coeur d’Alene and I am pretty dang poor. I’m blessed to be able to make a living in CDA, but I fall squarely in the poor-lower middle class range. I don’t have a boat. I don’t see boat ownership in my near future (or distant future if I stay here to be honest.) You scream “elitist” when I am the one who’d love to see that boat launch for rich Washingtonians quit clogging up downtown and moved to somewhere reasonable? I’m an elitist because I’m sick of being stuck in traffic downtown Sherman so some out-of-state yahoo can squeeze his yacht into a boat launch created at the turn of the century?

Question: Who uses the Third Street boat launch more — locals or Washingtonians?

State Elephants Launch Confab Today

Reopening the Idaho Republican Party's closed primary and dismantling federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency are among 16 proposed resolutions up for consideration at the state GOP convention in Twin Falls this weekend. According to a list obtained by The Associated Press, the proposals have been submitted ahead of the Thursday-through-Saturday confab. Since they're non-binding, these resolutions represent a kind of wish-list for GOP delegates. But those that get adopted help direct Idaho GOP priorities. One recommends reopening Idaho's closed Republican primary, a hot topic, given the party's recent federal court fight to close it. Others would abolish the federal Department of Energy, Department of Education and EPA/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Will the Idaho GOP come to its senses and vote against the closed primary at its state convention — or do something symbolic but toothless in passing a resolution to abolish the EPA & other federal agencies?

Anderson: Crash & Spurious

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Hump Day Wild Card — 6.20.12

A number of you have asked about the pending decision on the SR motion to quash former county GOP CChairwoman Tina Jacobson's subpoena asking the newspaper to cough up the real names of almostinnocent bystander and 2 others who post at HucksOnline. I don't know when. SR attorneys don't know when. And, frankly, I've been so distracted about the recall's final days that I haven't given it much thought. You can rest assured that I'll let you know if something is coming as soon as I'm allowed to do so. Now for your Hump Day Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.20.12

How about a wonderful wildlife photo from Robin Loznak of Kellogg, Ore., before we close the workday? Robin writes: “Don't forget to stop and slime the flowers. A small banana slug slimes a daisy growing along a country road in southwestern Oregon on Tuesday.” You can see more of his wunnerful wildlife art here.

Question: What do you do when you see a slug in your garden? Cut it in half? Pour salt on it? Flip it into the neighbor's yard? Kill it & put out snail pellets? What?

Bill: Confused By Suitcase Packing

In his Facebook wall, Bill Blumenauer from Bonner County has run into a dilemma while packing for this weekend's Idaho Republican convention in Twin Falls, beginning Thursday: “I am pretty sure at some point in my life I knew how to pack my own suitcase. Not quite sure what happened, but I can't seem to figure this out. I actually had to take out a piece of paper and pencil to write down what I thought I would need for a two nighter and I still got confuzzled as to how many socks I was supposed to bring.”

Question: Are you a good suitcase packer? What would you pack to attend a 3-4 day convention?

PM Headlines — 6.20.12

Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns was sitting on the dock of her bay on Priest Lake last night when she snapped this photograph of the viewtiful rainbow.

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.20.12

  • 5:36 p.m. R/P believes a male walking @ Hayden & Tartan may be missing person from Spokane.
  • 4:56 p.m. Deputy is responding to unknown type of juvenile problem @ Hayden Meadows.
  • 4:41 p.m. CPD officers ask for sheriff's canine unit for traffic stop on freeway.
  • 4:40 p.m. Cooperative wanted teen is prepared to be arrested at juvenile detention center.
  • 4:25 p.m. Hayden WalMart reports catching shoplifter who's being cooperative.
  • 4:17 p.m. 2 young boys are driving golf cart on e/b Avondale Loop from St. James/Hayden Lake.
  • 4:04 p.m. R/P reports wounded animal hit by vehicle @ 142 E. Hayden Ave.
  • 15 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Reagan Republicans Fight For Name

During the recent Primary Season the KCRR was attacked by the opponents of our endorsed candidates in an attempt to steal our name - the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans. While this attempt to intimidate us into not using our name in support of our endorsed candidates failed, while setting a new low for despicable behavior in Kootenai County politics, now that the primary is over we are still fighting to protect our name. We have retained the services of a lawyer and will be pursuing this legal battle as far as we have to in order to retain sole use of our name. More here.

Question: Who do you want to win the battle for the name of Reagan Republicans?

RRepublicans Lament Recall Failure

From Jeff Ward's latest Kootenai Weekly Conservative newsletter: “It appears that summer has finally made it to North Idaho. Being in one of the more glorious places to spend a summer makes keeping our minds on the work of politics much more difficult.  I catch myself staring out my window at the sunlit tableau of blue sky and green trees and not want to work or even write this column. There is a lot for us to do but the allure of the mountains, the lakes, and the sun can be distracting. 2012 may be the most important election of our life times and Republicans must work now to prepare for the battle this fall.  Please do not buy into the conventional wisdom that says that the election is already over in Idaho. We may have been highly successful in the May Primary. Many of us are quite disappointed that we do not have a recall campaign to wage in August or November.  But the election battle for Reagan Republicans is far from over”/Jeff Ward, Reagan Republicans. More here.



I thought I needed a cute-kid photo to toss in here & shift away from serious news: Madi Grace Hawkins, 2, takes a little break from day care with some me time in her cubbyhole at the First United Methodist Church in Sevierville, Tenn., earlier today. (AP Photo/The Mountain Press, Curt Habraken)

Question: Were you a cute kid?

Oil Firms Pull Megaload Applications

Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil has withdrawn its application to the state of Montana to haul more than 200 megaloads of oil sands equipment over Lolo Pass and through northwestern Montana into Canada. The company said it's already brought in all the loads it needs for the first phase of its oil sands project via other routes, the Associated Press reports. Imperial spokesman Pius Rolheiser told the AP that the company has contracted for the demolition of a huge test module that has been sitting in a parking lot at Lolo Hot Springs since May 4, 2011. The load will be removed in chunks that won't require oversized permits/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. (Lewiston Tribune file photo)

Question: Are you happy to see the megaloads go away?

Ironman Set-Up Begins

Via Coeur d'Alene Police Department Twitter: “Ironman set-up has begun. The vendor village will open Thursday morning at 9 a.m. The bike storage is set up in the park. The large tent is also being set up in Third Street lot. The Sherman Avenue finish line grandstands will be erected which will block the street by 5 p.m. Thursday.”

Question: Are you participating in Ironman — as an athlete, volunteer, observer, or anything else?

Labrador Backs Holder Contempt Vote

Today Idaho First District Congressman Raúl Labrador voted with the majority of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his role in the Department of Justice withholding evidence from the Committee in the botched Fast and Furious scandal.  The gun-running operation resulted in the death of United States Border Patrol agent Brian Terry as well as hundreds of innocent Mexican citizens.  The vote was 23-17. Labrador: “It has been over a year since this committee first requested and then demanded full documentation of DOJ files regarding this terrible operation.  We sought basic answers: who authorized it, when they authorized it and why they continued to authorize it.  Attorney General Holder has evaded questions and provided false information in an attempt to stonewall this committee from discovering the truth, and he must be held accountable for these actions.” Full Labrador news release here. (AP photo of Attorney General Eric Holder answering reporters' questions Tuesday)

Question: Do you agree with Congressman Labrador's vote?

DFO & Kosh At Last Motorboat Event

Kosh Shioya and DFO during a break in sets at the final appearance of local fave band Motorboat at City Park last Sunday. Steve Bickel's leaving the band and Coeur d'Alene for greener fields at the chamber of commerce in former hometown of Huntington Beach, Calif. Kosh participates in other local bands. H/T to Kosh & Motorboat for performing my favorite song of theirs upon my request, Israel Kmakawiwo'ole's version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” You can visit Kosh's site to hear his music & see a list of performance dates here. Meanwhile, Chris Guggemos of Handshake Productions will resume his summer series at City Park Sunday, July 1, with country-rock band, County Line. You can see the full schedule here. Handshake Productions concert series at Fort Sherman Square in downtown Coeur d'Alene begins Tuesday, June 26, here.

Question: How often do you attend the free concert series at City Park, Fort Sherman Park, Hayden City Park & Rathdrum, presented by Chris Guggemos' Handshake Productions? How about the concert series at Riverstone Park?

Carlson: Iconic Darrington Retires

With his closely cropped hair resembling a military buzz cut one would think Denton Darrington (pictured) was a former U.S. Marine. He’s not, but he is the living personification of the Marine motto —Semper Fi (Always faithful) — with his fidelity to family, friends, LDS faith, his state and country, the Idaho legislature and the teaching profession. After a record 30 years of service in the state senate, Denton is leaving and returning to his farm full-time since he also retired from the classroom, having been an educator for 33 years. The people of Idaho in general and supporters of education in particular owe him a solid vote of gratitude for a job well done. Rather than run against good friend State Senator Dean Cameron (R-Rupert), chair of the powerful Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, when redistricting combined their districts, Darrington, true to his genuine modesty, chose to retire/Chris Carlson, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Question: Will you be missed at your workplace when you retire?

Richert: Can Ads Rein In Obesity

Michael Bloomberg got the headlines for his assault on the Big Gulp, but I’m more intrigued by Disney’s anti-obesity push. Last week, Disney said it will dump TV, radio and web ads for junk food, sweet cereals and candy, a ban that goes into effect in 2015. It calls to mind 1971, when Congress banned tobacco TV advertising. That was a government edict, of course, and this time, one private company is making the move unilaterally. But the intent is the same: to insulate young, impressionable viewers from slick ads pitching unhealthy products. The parallel between our nation’s campaign against smoking and its looming battle against obesity has been on my mind since Monday, when I listened to former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler speak in Boise/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Will fighting obesity in this country be the 21st Century equivalent to the battle against tobacco? Or will it fade away because America enjoys eating?

Read more here:

SR: Rightly, Lake City Recall Fails

Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and City Council members Deanna Goodlander, Mike Kennedy and Woody McEvers will be keeping their seats until the next general election, a fact their constituents should stand up and applaud. Foes of the foursome failed to get the 4,300 signatures that would have put a recall measure before city voters on any of four dates prior to the next municipal election. Although they submitted what would normally be a comfortable surplus of signer ink, their effort failed when about 23 percent of the signatures were ruled invalid. The sad fact is many a passer-by is only too happy to scrawl their names on a petition, but heaven forbid they make the effort to register to vote. They might – OMG! – have to get out of their cars. But the bigger challenge was convincing a community that has come so far over the last 10 years that the individuals responsible for helping make it happen should be ousted for continuing to do what they have done so well: make Coeur d’Alene a small city with enviable business, residential, recreational and education resources/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here. (Jerome A. Pollos Coeur d'Alene Press file photo of Jennifer Drake, right, and Michael Sheneman outside City Hall April 5)


Hayes Offers Link To Rejected Names

Kootenai County has posted reports showing accepted and rejected signers of recall petitions for three Coeur d’Alene City Council members and for the Mayor on its website.  (Go to the Elections homepage, Department Links, Recall Verification Reports; or click The reports show accepted signers first, then rejected signers.  Both groups are sorted by precinct and then in alphabetical order by last name. “Searchers can save lots of time by using the ‘Find’ box in the upper right corner of the task bar,” said County Clerk Cliff Hayes.  “Type last name first for the fastest results,” he continued.  (If there is no “Find” box already showing on your toolbar, click Edit, then Find and one will appear.) The rejected listings note whether the rejection was for an invalid address or an invalid signature.  A “not valid” rejection means signers who signed a petition on a date earlier than their voter registration information was accepted/Kootenai County clerk news release. More here.


Noon Headlines — 6.20.12

Todd Clites, of the PatRick fire crew in Boise douses his head with water at the High Park Fire Incident Command Post at the National Guard Armory in Fort Collins, Colo. on Tuesday. Firefighters are making progress on a wildfire burning on more than 100 square miles in northern Colorado that has destroyed more homes than any other in state history, but some residents were on standby Wednesday to be ready to leave because of a spot fire that ignited near the main blaze. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, AAron Ontiveroz)

CdA Signs w/Ironman 5 More Years

Not to be overlooked from last night's City Council meeting … the council unanimously agreed to another five-year contract with Ironman for the city to continue hosting Ironman Coeur d'Alene. This is from City Clerk Susan Weathers' rough draft of the minutes: “City Attorney Mike Gridley noted that it has been 10 years since Ironman came to Coeur d’Alene.  He presented a 5-year contract with World Triathlon Corporation for continuing the Ironman race in Coeur d’Alene.  He noted that not much has changed in the contract but noted that one of the changes is the bicycle course now going south on US 95. Councilman McEvers noted that there is not much of a change in the cost to the City, but rather just more specific language in the contract.  City Attorney Gridley confirmed that is the case. Steve Wilson, representing the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce, confirmed that the sponsorship fees have gone up around the country but they have kept our Chamber’s sponsorship fees the same and have also allowed the Chamber increased opportunities for fund raising.” Complete rough draft of council minutes here. (SR file photo)

Question: Are you a fan of Ironman? Indifferent? Oppose it?

Summer Solstice Arrives At 4:09

Bikram yoga demonstrators take a break for a drink of water in New York's Times Square on Wednesday. Temperatures across the Northeast are expected to approach triple digits. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Question (from Cindy): Summer arrives at 4:09 this afternoon. How will you celebrate its appearance?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.20.12

  • 12:13 p.m. Owner of mobile home parked @ Hayden WalMart reports theft of property last night.
  • 12:12 p.m. EMTs are en route to motorcycle crash on H97 @ M/P 85 (Gotham Creek).
  • 12:07 p.m. Thomas reports crashing his Mazda into tree last night avoiding deer 6-7 miles up Hayden Creek Road.
  • 11:45 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 19-20 here.
  • 11:26 a.m. Ace Hardware, 1217 N4th/Midtown CdA reports theft of undisclosed item.
  • 11:24 a.m. R/P concerned re: small child alone by outside fence @ 15th & Hanley/Dalton Gardens.
  • 12 more items below

Poll: Recallers Will Sue

  • Tuesday Poll: Hucks Nation is almost evenly divided re: whether Recallers will sue to try to overturn results of failed petition drive. 75 of 158 respondents (47.17%) believe the Recallers will sue despite organizer Frank Orzell's comments that his side wouldn't. 74 of 158 respondents (46.54%) said the Recallers won't sue. 10 of 158 respondents (6.29%) were undecided.
  • Today's Question: What do you make of Councilman Dan Gookin's angry email to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel re: McEuen Field changes last week?

Mary Emerges

Mary Souza, thrice denied by Coeur d'Alene voters (loss to Mike Kennedy in 2005, Brannon's loss to Kennedy at polls and court 2009, and now RecallCDA loss), has emerged to denounce Secretary of State Ben Ysursa for recall failure. Seems Mary (shown in Phantom Photographer photo setting up for a Tea Party event at Greyhound Park) thinks Ysursa affected recall effort by shortening petition process & by declaring “that any person signing the Recall petition must have their petition city address match their Voter Registration city address exactly.” Seems Mary thinks that Ysursa's “second pivotal interpretation” cost Recallers 200 signatures. You can read her 10:01 post under today's editorial by Coeur d'Alene Press at Press Online here. You'll notice that Meesterbox & Timeless are engaged in thread, trying to match facts with fiction provided by Mary & her entourage (MisterD, LTRLTR, DeNiles, etc.) Don't be afraid to join the online party.

  • Talking points to counter Mary & Co. at Press Online: Ysursa has forgotten more about election law than they'll ever know; hundreds of signatures were accepted before voter registration cards were turned in; signature gatherer Rod Bitterman's petitions were accepted and counted; and get over it.


City Clerk Announces Recall Results

Here is the complete YouTube video from Jeff @ Bunkhouse Media of City Clerk Susan Weathers announcing the results from the petition verification process Tuesday afternoon:

Trib: No More Rex To Kick Around

How will Idaho ever survive without Rex Rammell? Says the itinerant politician who abandoned eastern Idaho for the promise of elective office from north central Idaho: You'll just have to try. After this region turned thumbs down on his legislative ambitions in the May 15 primary, Rammell decided to head into the sunset - make that, sunrise - and go east, young man, to Torrington, Wyo. He's lined up a new career as a veterinarian at the Torrington Livestock Auction. “I've kind of given up on Idaho, to be right honest with you,” Rammell told the Tribune's Kathy Hedberg. “Nothing's ever going to change here and people are just going to continue to suffer and I don't want to be a part of it.” Nor is this the first batch of sour grapes from Rammell/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (SR file photo of Rex Rammell in Sandpoint)

Question: Now that Rex Rammell has left Idaho … who do you think is the most annoying current Idaho politician?

Sara: Time To Take Down D2Signs

Sara Meyer just posted this message on the Decline to Sign Facebook page: “Since this is now officially over it is time to take down the Decline To Sign signs.  If you have not taken yours down already, please go ahead and take them down as soon as you have a chance.  We will also be picking up signs as we see them around town.  So, if yours disappears, there is a good chance that one of us picked it up. If possible, we would love to get the sign stakes and signs returned as the stakes were borrowed and the candidates would like to have them. back.  If you are able to drop them off that would be great, if not let us know and we'll come pick them up.  You can drop signs off at the following locations: Johannes downtown (406 E Sherman), Pita Pit offices downtown (105 N 4th Street)  or at the Caddyshack tonight (Wednesday). Hope to see all of you tonight at the Caddyshack (5-8) to celebrate!”

Question: Do you plan to join the celebration at the Caddyshack this afternoon?

Garnet Cafe: A CdA Breakfast Gem

If you are thinking about having breakfast at the Garnet Café, here’s a piece of advice: Eat before you go. Or at least have a snack. The wait at this popular Coeur d’Alene breakfast spot can stretch up to an hour. That’s not to say the food isn’t good – it’s outstanding. The menu is straightforward, breakfast favorites done right with a few unexpected twists. Ham and eggs share the menu with spam and eggs, “everyone’s favorite,” the menu claims. If the number of empty Spam cans decorating the café is any sign, the dish is popular. The Garnet Café was full on a recent weekday morning with a healthy waiting list, but my companion and I snagged seats at the bar. We were offered coffee immediately, but passed it up for a Bellini, a sweet, tangy blend of peach nectar and Prosecco, which arrived in a generous wine glass for $6. Like the rest of the menu, the price seemed very reasonable/Kirsten Harrington, SR. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR photo: Proprietor Autumn Basso, left, serves breakfast on the open-air patio to Carolyn Joslin, center, and Linda Churchman)

Gissel Warns Re: Hostile Environment

Although he never mentioned Councilman Dan Gookin by name or his dust-up with City Administrator Wendy Gabriel, Coeur d'Alene attorney Norm Gissel warned City Council members to avoid creating a hostile work environment for staff. Speaking during the public comments period of the council meeting Tuesday, Gissel, a long-time leader in the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, said: “All of you have an affirmative duty to make sure none of you harass staff.” On Thursday, Gookin fired off an email to Gabriel in which he belittled her for failing to alert him before a story appeared on the Coeur d'Alene Press Web site that Team McEuen had proposed a change to boat-trailer parking in the McEuen Field upgrade. Gissel recommended that council members  “get ahold of counsel and review matters pertaining to a hostile environment.”


Yoga Enthusiast Welcome Summer

Ten-month-old Leo Erichsen is held up by his mother, Tatjana Eres of Denmark, as she joins thousands of yoga enthusiasts for a class in New York's Times Square to mark the summer solstice today. Temperatures are expected to be near 100 degrees (37C) Wednesday. (AP Photos/Mark Lennihan)

Question: Does this feel like the summer solstice to you?

Gookin: Let’s Move On, No Lawsuits

Early in the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting Tuesday evening, Councilman Dan Gookin said that he didn't want to see the Recallers sue as a result of the failed attempt to trigger a recall election for Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members. “This is over, done,” Gookin said. “I've talked to the recall people … we need to move on.” Then, he said that the city is going forward with the upgrade to McEuen Field, adding that his job is to ensure the process is open and transparent and to make sure that the city saves every nickel possible. Later, he added that the job performed by City Clerk Susan Weathers during the trying 75 days (remember the first day wasn't counted because the Recallers had to refile the petition to trigger the petition drive) was “outstanding,” calling Weathers “phenomenal and fair.”

Question: I'm beginning to think that we may be allowed to move on without a lawsuit. How about you?

Kerri: Burnett Was A Newspaperman

Tom Burnett was a newspaperman. There are many people who earn a living in the newspaper business in a variety of capacities, but in my decades-long experience there's only a handful I'd describe as a newspaperman, the kind of person who bleeds ink and considers the 4th Estate a noble calling. If you don't get a little misty-eyed when the printing presses are rolling and another edition is put to bed, forget it. I never worked with Tom in my career but our paths crossed many times. He had a passion for the role of a weekly newspaper and at one time owned the Post Falls Tribune, selling it a few years before I became publisher/editor/Kerri Thoreson, Coeur d'Alene Press Main Street. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo)

Question: Do you have any family ties to newspapering?

Press Edit: From The Recall Ashes

The bid to recall four Coeur d’Alene city officials failed, a lack of petition signature oxygen leading to political asphyxiation. One side is celebrating. The other is commiserating. And in between is a big camp of constituents who simply want the appropriate electoral process to resume so citizens may choose their elected representatives. As tempting as it is for anyone to read volumes of irrefutable truths into the failure, now is the time for the community to take a deep breath, exhale slowly and think clearly. Knee-jerk reactions based on emotion, rather than reason, will only deepen the divide. A little time for healing and for real analysis to take place will pay huge dividends. React quickly with emotion, and we’ll just end up back in some similar mess a little further down the road/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Is it time to forgive & forget?

Anderson: The Justice Department

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Tuesday — 6.19.12

Coeur d'Alene Set Free, Day 1: I had thought that this day would be Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 75 — that we would be headed for a recall election in August or November. But the failure of the Souza-Orzell-Sims Recallers to obtain the necessary 4311 signatures for a recall election has set the community free. Frank Orzell has said he has no plans for a lawsuit. I hope that's true. I joked with Mayor Bloem along the way that the recall attempt was terrific for blog traffic. But not for the community. We still have Judge John Luster's decision on the SR's motion to quash Tina Jacobson's subpoena seeking to out three HucksOnline commenters. And then the general election beyond. So it's not as though we're without material. So, onward. Here's your first Wild Card for the rest of our lives in Coeur d'Alene …

Parting Shot — 6.19.12

Mayor Sandi Bloem embraces departing Kroc Community Center Director John Chamness Monday at Bloem's store, Johannes and Co. in Coeur d'Alene. A recall campaign targeting the mayor and three city council members in Coeur d'Alene has failed. Kootenai County election officials ruled Monday that recall organizers failed to collect enough signatures to trigger a recall election. (Gabe Green Coeur d'Alene Press photo)

Certified Petitions Ready For Viewing

The final recall petitions showing the certified and rejected signatures have been scanned by the city of Coeur d'Alene. The city has provided the following link from which the documents (in a .zip file) can be downloaded, opened and saved directly to readers' computers for viewing. It is a very large file that includes four separate pdfs. Scanned petitions. Coeur d'Alene City Clerk Susan Weathers told The Press that the verified petitions were delivered by the county in boxes and counted, but not scanned on Monday when the signature count was announced. Some irregularities were discovered, but do not change the end result; there were not enough valid signatures to trigger a recall election/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Arsaken: The signature count done by Stop the Recall only took out people who were not registered and who had completely incorrect addresses. We left in all names that were close, all addresses that were close, all same-day registrations, and certainly accepted names without middle initials. Our count was within 15 signatures of the ones done by the clerks, so I’d say they did a good job.

Question: Do you think there'll be any fallout for those who signed the petitions?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.19.12

  • 5:43 p.m. Possible DUI driver behind wheel of gray Toyota Sequoia @ e/b I-90 & Huetter.
  • 5:39 p.m. BNSF RR engineer reports 2 people on horses were too close to tracks when train passed by this afternoon @ Mallory & Trail's End/Rathdrum.
  • 5:20 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 18-19 here.
  • 5:04 p.m. Carlos has questions re: jumping off a platform into Spirit Lake
  • 4:56 p.m. R/P reports someone possibly suffering stroke on Cliffhouse/Hauser Lake.
  • 4:34 p.m. 24YO female in 100 block of Anton/CdA intentionally took overdose of insulin.
  • 4:11 p.m. R/P from 800 block of N15th/CdA reports finding undisclosed property.
  • 4:01 p.m. A loose dog is creating a safety hazard @ 3rd & Roosevelt/Midtown CdA.
  • 17 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM Headlines — 6.19.12

City of Coeur d'Alene staff count the number of certified signatures on recall petitions behind closed doors Monday at city hall in Coeur d'Aene. The ecall campaign targeting the mayor and three city council members in Coeur d'Alene has failed. Kootenai County election officials ruled Monday that recall organizers failed to collect enough signatures to trigger a recall election. Tom Hasslinger's Coeur d'Alene Press story here. (Shawn Gust Coeur D?Alene Press photo)

Officer Shot In North Spokane

Spokane police are searching for a suspect in the shooting of a police officer this afternoon in north Spokane. Eyewitnesses said they saw two injured people being taken away by ambulance. In a possibly related development, police received a report a short time later of a carjacking nearby. The reports indicate an officer was shot and is down along the Newport Highway about a half mile north of the Y, near the intersection of North Elm Street. The reported carjacking was at 9901 North Andrew St. Paramedics treated the officer at the scene and are rushing the officer to the hospital/SR. More here.

North Idaho Blog Rdp — 6.19.12

I'm not exactly sure where JeanC was fishing when she caught this first one that was worth keeping. But you can see photos of eagles, a sunset and waterway on JeanC's Cathouse & Shooting Gallery here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, June 18): 14,761/7689

Child Porn Brings 8-Year Sentence

A registered sex offender was sentenced to eight years in prison today for distributing child pornography. John Patrick McClaren, 46, of Hayden Lake, is to be on probation for 15 years after his release. The Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began investigating McClaren in December 2009 after a Shoshone County sheriff's deputy learned his Internet Protocol address was involved in the distribution of child pornography online. Investigators seized a laptop computer and two hard drives from his home in the 3100 block of East Cambridge Drive on Jan. 27, 2010, that contained at least 160 sexually explicit images of minors/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Edit: 2-Headed Fish Funny, But …

Call it life imitating animation. The J.R. Simplot Co.’s infamous two-headed trout channels “Blinky,” the imaginary three-eyed fish that lived near the nuclear power plant on “The Simpsons.” Inevitably, the real wo-headed trout captured the attention of a not-exactly-real news program, Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” which ran a segment on the mutated fingerling last week. Sure, if you can’t dream up a one-liner about a two-headed fish, you’re not trying hard enough. But the underlying issue is serious stuff: water quality in Idaho’s mining country, and the role a powerful Idaho industrial leader should take in protecting the environment. Simplot is petitioning the state for relaxed water quality standards below its Smoky Canyon Mine, an open-pit operation near the Wyoming border that yields more than 2 million tons of phosphate ore each year. The state’s Department of Environmental Quality will have to decide whether to allow higher levels of selenium in creeks below the plant/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: How important is water quality in Idaho to you?

Read more here:

A Note From Greece

Our bank accounts are
down to zeros;
please send us money
to buy gyros.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Boat Trailer Compromise Graphic

Do you remember that proposed compromise re: the boat-trailer parking that inadvertently upset Councilman Dan Gookin, who felt left out of the loop last week? Well, here's the graphic (area circled in black) that shows where Team McEuen is planning to put some 32 spots, moving them closer to the Third Street dock boat launch. Coeur d'Alene Press story here.

DFO: One thing amusing about this graphic & compromise involving the boat-trailer parking? By muncipal election 2013, many of us might be using and enjoying the new McEuen Park. Which would cause a significant healing in the community — and a lot of support for the incumbents should they choose to run again. It might be a situation similar to the Education Corridor. Before the infrastructure was put in place, the community couldn't envision the change. Now, I'd guess, the community is excited re: what's happening on the old DeArmond mill site. Just sayin'.

Final Signature Count Changes Slightly

The petitions with the certified signatures have been scanned and can be accessed through the following link:, according to City Clerk Susan Weathers. Through the scanning process it was discovered that 3 petitions for Mayor Bloem and Councilman Goodlander were incorrectly placed in the certified boxes as received from the County. … The end result is that Mayor Bloem’s final count is 6 signatures less than original reported for a corrected total of 4,120 signatures and Councilman Goodlander’s final count is 6 signatures more than originally reported for a corrected total of 4,079. These corrected totals do not affect the final disposition of the petitions.

Question: Are you satisfied that the offices of City Clerk Susan Weathers and County Clerk Cliff Hayes did the best job possible in handling and/or verifying the Recaller petitions?

Way We Were: Joker Called It Right

After the Souza-Orzell-Sims Recallers announced their intention to try to recall Mayor Sandi Bloem & 3 City Council members, Joker wrote this later in the day, April 4: ”

It’s 4,000 signatures to rapture for Mary and the gang. They had better be organized and smart. Given her track record, I wouldn’t be dancing in the streets if I were them. Political statistics indicate they would need to get at least 6,500 signatures in 75 days to make sure they’re all valid. I would expect they could get 1,000 signatures from rallies and political meetings such as the Reagan Republicans. How are they going to get these rest of these signatures? The major retailers, Fred Meyer, Costco, Wal-Mart, Target are not going to allow them to set up shop and ask for signatures on weekends. Even local grocery baron Ron McIntire is not going to go bless a political effort to happen on his properties. That means they can go door to door or direct mailings. Both take time and money. More below.

D2Sign Moms Face Frank Orzell

Jennifer Drake, center, and Sara Meyer, a supporter of Decline to Sign, and Frank Orzell, a supporter of Recall CDA, discuss events leading up to an announcement Monday, June 18, 2012, at city hall in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, that there will be no recall on upcoming ballots. Kootenai County election officials ruled Monday that recall organizers failed to collect enough signatures to trigger a recall election. (Gabe Green Coeur d'Alene Press photo)

Remember how this all started?

DFO: I watched and listened to this encounter. Sara had just told Frank Orzell that she was disappointed that he'd gone submitted petitions circulated by Rod Bitterman, who was later investigated for providing incorrect information in gathering signatures. Sara concluded that it was time for both groups to move on. I tip my cap to Orzell that he was willing to face the music re: the failure of the recall when no other Recaller did.

Surviving Flamin’ Joe’s Challenge

In other kid-bragging news, Super Sub Cindy writes of 20YO son, Alex, who conquered the Flamin' Joe's Code Red challenge. Egged on by the swing-shift crew from GU, he consumed 12 of Flamin Joe's spiciest wings in under 4 minutes without water, other food or condiments. He's pic's on the wall at Flamin' Joe's on the South Hill and he got a t-shirt. Was it worth it? Said Alex, “My whole body went numb for awhile.”

Question: What's the spiciest thing you've ever eaten?

Steroid Era: Not Guilty As Sin

So what date would Coeur d’Alene City Clerk Susan Weathers have selected? If there had been enough certified signatures Monday to prompt a recall election against four Coeur d’Alene incumbents, when would it have been? Would it have been the first possible option, Aug. 28? Or maybe it would have been Nov. 6 — the same day as when America chooses its President? Surely, Weathers wouldn’t have shocked everyone and declared the election for March, or May, the other two options from which she had to choose. Or would she have? One thing is certain, it was Weathers who would have had to make the call/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (AP photo)

Question: I'm a ha-huge S.F. Giants fan. But I'm not proud of Barry Bonds' breaking Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. How about you? Do you have ambivalent feelings re: a steroid era MLB favorite?

Total Recall: Anger Management

Joker, tongue firmly cheeked, presents his latest (last?) episode of “Total Recall.” This is pure fiction. Any resemblance to real people or actual events is a coincidence: “I want you all to close your eyes and find a happy place,” Bernie told the group. “Imagine your best day. Find that feeling of satisfaction or achievement. Imagine you’re at the beach with your family.” Mary spoke first, yelling, “It’s not working! I am SOOOO ANGRY. I CAN’T STAND IT. Mike Kennedy and Sandi Bloem are spawns of the devil. SOMEBODY NEEDS TO STOP THEM.” Bernie, “That’s ok Mary. The point of this exercise is to find your center. Think about whatever makes you happy and hold it for 30 seconds.” Mary fumed quietly, clenching her fists into a ball until the nails drew blood. Tears ran down her face. The room was silent for 15 seconds when suddenly Frank bellowed, “I am not even sure why I am here. This is a joke right?” More here.

Question: Have you enjoyed Joker's Recall series?

Noon: Baldwin, Paparazzi Mix It Up

A photographer with New York tabloid newspaper Daily News accused actor Alec Baldwin of attacking him on Tuesday, but the actor's representative told a different story. Photographer Marc Santos said Baldwin, 54, approached and punched him in the face for taking photographs of Baldwin and his fiancée, Hilaria Thomas, 28, outside New York City's Marriage Bureau, according to a story and photos on the newspaper's website that appeared to show a scuffle between the two men. Baldwin, a star of the TV show “30 Rock” and who also appears in the new “Rock of Ages” movie, posted a series of tweets Tuesday that disagreed with the account, saying, “A 'photographer' almost hit me in the face with his camera this morning”/Reuters. More here. (AP file photo of Baldwin & his fiancee at the Waldorf-Astoria last week)

Question: Am I the only one who thinks Alec Baldwin is a terrific actor and a miserable human being?

Hayden Lake Road Cracked

Sunday evening, Lakes Highway District Commissioner Monty Montgomery examines the ever-widening asphalt crack on Hayden Lake Road.  Highway District  staff and workers are continuing to deal with the problem today.  The crack has been expanding since early Sunday morning. (Phantom Photographer photo)

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.19.12

(I apologize for the skimpy Scanner Traffic of late. I haven't been able to follow Post Falls/Rathdrum for 2-3 weeks as a result of Post Falls police converting to digital. Kootenai County will convert to digital this fall. Not to worry, though. SR popped for pricey new digital scanner for me. Which will be delivered in next week or so.)

  • 12:07 p.m. Hayden Super 1 employee reports domestic fight behind store.
  • 11:53 a.m. Authorities have located 12YO (10:41 item), deeming her as runaway.
  • 11:38 a.m. EMTs are en route to unknown medical emergency @ Lakeview & Twin Lakes Road.
  • 11:34 a.m. Empire Airline employee reports delusional male at Atlas Road/Hayden business.
  • 11:14 a.m. Mark's Marina on H95/Hayden reports theft of items from yard.
  • 10 more items below

Tea Party Influence Faces Idaho Test

The upcoming Idaho Republican Party convention, which kicks off Thursday and runs through Saturday, will show whether Idaho's tea-party tide will rise further or if it's on the ebb in this election year, writess AP reporter John Miller. Miller reports that at the party's 2008 Sandpoint convention, as well as the 2010 edition in Idaho Falls, mainstream Republicans rolled their eyes as libertarians added planks to the party platform — the GOP's guiding document — urging the Federal Reserve's abolition, the gold standard's resurrection, support for “nullifying” federal laws and abandoning popular elections of U.S. senators. Yet tea party candidates were repudiated in May's GOP primary, with several high-profile challenges to mainstream GOP incumbents falling far short/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Will the Tea Party emerge stronger/as strong/weaker from Idaho Republican Party convention?

AM: Graduating With Grace

Derek Mobley will graduate from homelessness Tuesday evening after two rigorous years in the Union Gospel Mission's Grace Program. He has gone from abusing drugs and alcohol to working as a chef at the Spokane Country Club. Chelsea Bannach SR story here. (Colin Mulvany SR photo)

Poll: Recall Failure Blame Game

  • Monday Poll: When asked who the Souza-Orzell-Sims Recallers will blame for the failure of the recall attempt, Hucks Nation said “saboteurs who fraudulently signed petitions, following by Huckleberries Online and Decline to Sign movement. 114 of 543 respondents (20.99%) said Recallers would blame saboteurs, followed by HucksOnline, 85 of 543 (15.65%) and Decline to Sign, 73 of 543 (13.44%). Others receiving votes were: “fat, dumb and happy Coeur d'Alene residents,” 69 votes (12.71%); County Clerk Cliff Hayes, 57 (10.5%); City Clerk Susan Weathers, 52 (9.39%); Coeur d'Alene Press, 38 (7%); paid signature gatherers, 31 (5.71%); and “other,” 25 (4.6%).
  • Today's Poll: Do you think Souza-Orzell-Sims Recallers will sue to overturn results of failed recall attempt?

My 2 Cents: Which Message Sent?

I agree with the Recallers licking their wounds this morning that they sent a message to Mayor Sandi Bloem and the three Coeur d'Alene City Council members targeted for recall. But it's not the message they think they sent. The Recallers don't represent a majority of this community. That was evident in their inability to gain the required 4311 valid signatures after trolling Hard Right (Tea Party, Reagan Republicans, anti-property tax) precincts early and then beating every bush in Coeur d'Alene. The Recallers were unavoidable. I'd guess almost all of the registered voters in Coeur d'Alene saw them hanging out with their signs in high-visibility sidewalks and street corners, as well as Primary Election Day polling places. Yet, they didn't get the necessary signatures. They failed because the community didn't support the recall. On the other hand, Mayor Sandi Bloem & targeted council members know now that the Recallers aren't going away. Backed by the well-organized Reagan Republicans, they'll be back next fall to try to capture at least one more seat to take control of the council (now the Ron Edinger has thrown in his lot with Councilmen Dan Gookin and Steve Adams). Hard Right Republican partisans have already captured the Coeur d'Alene School Board (including two seats held by Trustees, Terri Seymour and James Purtee, who supported the recall). The message Mayor Bloem, the recall targets and their supporters must learn from this is … the 2013 municipal election campaign begins today. The Bloem administration and them must  communicate its message of accomplishment much better. They need to stop being bullied by political opponents and confront propaganda and quarter truths with fact. Every time. In every venue — print, online or over the air. They need to start promoting new candidates, if any of them are certain now that they won't run for re-election in 2013. They should celebrate the defeat of the recall effort Wednesday night — and then get busy with their 2013 campaigns. I'm sure the other side has already began discussing Plan B — DFO

Stickman Sticks And Tubbs Hill

Two of Cindy's urchins with new Stickman sticks on the swinging bridge on the east side of Tubbs Hill (on Father's Day, I believe). I haven't hiked Tubbs Hill this year yet. Keep waiting for spring to arrive.

Question: What is your favorite part of Tubbs Hill?

Gookin Balks At Council Guidelines

At the North Idaho Pachyderm Club last Friday morning, Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Dan Gookin complained that the “Council Member Information Packet” (which he is holding in the inset) is inadequate. Also, according to a Berry Picker who recorded Gookin's talk to the Pachyderms, Gookin said he's not happy with the agreement he was asked to sign as a member of the City Council. Gookin said he refused to sign. Curious, I checked to see who onerous were the council's 24 “standards and norms.” 

  • 1. I will maintain confidentiality on personnel and other matters that are discussed in executive session.
  • 2. I will show respect to Department Heads.
  • 3. We acknowledge the Department Heads are a team and we respect open communication between them.
  • 4. If I have an issue with a Department Head, I will bring it to them first and then to the City Administrator.
  • 5.The citizens are our customers and their problem is our opportunity.
  • All 24 “standards & norms” here.

Question: Would you want your City Council members to abide by the guidelines of the “Coeur d'Alene City Council Standards and Norms”?

Stolen Post Falls Camaro Found

David King figured his two 1967 Chevy Camaro Rally Sport show cars were history. The Post Falls man thought they had been parted out. His insurance company was preparing to pay King for the stolen cars as nearly a month had passed since the theft. Then a car collector in Garden City in the Boise area called King on Friday night to say he had looked at his black Camaro for sale at a storage facility in that town. “The seller was asking $27,500, but the potential buyer knew something was up because the car is worth at least twice that much,” King said. The potential buyer, Don Copple, said he would think about the purchase and, sure enough, later saw photos on the Internet that the vehicle had been reported as stolen by King. King said police asked Don to meet the seller, Anthony Bauer, 48, Post Falls, again at the storage facility to discuss the car on Saturday/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Police mug shot via Idaho Statesman of suspected accomplice Sarah M. Cornett, 19, of Post Falls)

Question: Have you ever had your car stolen?

BillMc Explains Reason For Some DQs

As you can imagine, there's a lot of suspicion at OpenSewer-Dot-Com today re: why so many signatures were thrown out by County Clerk Cliff Hayes' Election Department & other hired hands. Some on the site — and on the Coeur d'Alene Press Online site — are questioning whether the Idaho State Voter Registration System was working properly. However, to his credit, Bill McCrory provides a simple explanation why many of the signatures might have been rejected. The signers had a Coeur d'Alene mailing address and thought they were eligible to sign the petitions. But they live outside city limits and aren't eligible. Mr. Bill writes in a comments thread under an understated post about Cliff Hayes final disqualification percentage (there was no follow-up announcing the official results of the recall failure): “It is the elector’s responsibility to acquire that information and to get it clarified if they don’t understand it.” You can read the entire thread here.'

Question: Why do you think so many — 23% of the total — signatures were disqualified?

DTS: Bloem Needs To ‘Sell Ideas’

DTSinIdaho: Democracy is not clean and pretty. There are many wounds that need to be healed. To start with, I hope the council takes a bit to ponder this whole situation to figure out how it all grew to such a rediculous spectacle. First of all, Mayor. This is not your second grade class. They will not do something, just because YOU say it is right. You need to look into getting a professional marketing person to show you guys how to communicate to the general public. SELL your ideas to the public at large… don’t just plop down a very large, and expensive product with out a nice fanfare. Analyse where people were getting their incorrect infromation from and work with those outlets… I realize the opencda site will always be the negative, sour, hateful face of Coeur d’Alene, but you need to follow it so you can be ahead of the propoganda curve.

DFO: I agree with DTS that Mayor Sandi Bloem & the better half of the City Council have done a poor job explaining Lake City Development Corp. and the tremendous progress in this community to the public. They shouldn't waste a minute on the OpenSewer-Dot-Com site, trying to explain that progress. But they no longer can allow Mary Souza, Kathy Sims and other political opponents to define the issues and questions. Propaganda and quarter-truths need to be confronted in print, online, on the air and anywhere else with facts.

A Sigh Of Relief

Three of the four Coeur d'Alene elected officials targeted in the recent recall drive stopped by the Fort Ground Grill to meet with supporters after learning that the recall effort had failed. Here, they take a photo with the two young Moms who were instrumental in stopping the recall effort. Pictured, from left, Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander, anti-recall organizers Jennifer Drake, Councilman Woody McEvers, Mayor Sandi Bloem and anti-recall organizer Sara Meyer. The anti-recall group is organizing a celebration from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Caddyshack, 1100 W. Prairie Ave/CdA.

Question: Wouldn't it be swell if Sara and Jennifer decide to step up their political involvement next year & run for council, if one or more of the three targeted elected officials decide not to do so?

US Is World’s Heaviest Nation

Here is one more reason why obesity and overweight need to be tackled on a war footing. They put undue pressure on Earth's dwindling resources, say