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Archive for March 2012

Weekend Wild Card — 3.31/4.1.12

The Legislature's finished. Thank goodness. College basketball is finished, with Washington State falling to Pittsburgh in the championship game of the College Basketball Invitational last night. The Mariners and the A's kicked off the Major League Baseball season in Japan this week. Now, if we could get a Spokane weathercaster to cooperate, we can officially launch into spring. After all, the calendar sez it's spring. Right? Right? Now for your weekend Wild Card …

3 Tickets Win $640 Million Lottery

Three lottery tickets sold in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland hit the world record-breaking $640 million Mega Millions jackpot, lottery officials said Saturday, leaving scores of players across the country with busted multi-millionaire dreams.Illinois’ winning ticket was bought at a convenience store in the small town of Red Bud, near St. Louis, and the winner used a quick pick to select the lucky numbers, Illinois Lottery spokesman Mike Lang said. Each winning ticket was expected to be worth more than $213 million before taxes/AP. More here.

Question: Anyone come close?

Peek Preview

Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger peeks through a curtain while teammates participate in interviews in New Orleans Thursday. Ohio State is scheduled to play Kansas in an NCAA tournament Final Four semifinal college basketball game on Saturday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Question: Can anyone in the Final Four beat Kentucky?

Costello: Zimmerman Is Media’s Victim

Do you smell black churches burning? I do. Back in 1996 the Democrat/media complex created a false narrative about a wave of black church arsons. Then President Bill Clinton eloquently recalled how a strikingly similar epidemic in his home state of Arkansas had touched his heart when he was a child. Everyone swooned. It was a remarkably Clintonian feat of memory, because those church burnings that were seared into his memory didn't happen either. But the purpose of the fabricated narrative was to cement the re-election of Bill Clinton, who was portrayed as the only man capable of healing the racial rift that these burning churches represented. And it was all a fraud. USA Today strayed off the reservation, committed an act of investigative journalism and proved that the wave of black church arsons was wholly apocryphal.The mainstream news media was exposed for making it all up. They used to have a word for fake, inflammatory journalism. It was called “yellow journalism.” Today, it's called journalism. Democrats seized upon the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida as an opportunity to reprise their 1996 role as racial conciliators. And the media played along. But they've blown it mightily/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.


Canada To Stop Minting Pennies

Most Canadians greeted the news that their government would stop minting pennies later this year with tepid approval. This is, after all, the same country that eliminated $1 and $2 paper bills in the 1980s. South of the border, the reaction could charitably be called muted. “Once more people know that this is the (last year they’ll be made), they might inspire interest by collectors,” said Court Peterson, a store clerk for Coins Plus, a Spokane coin trader. “Or it may not.” The Canadian explanation for ditching the penny came down to saving money in a tough budget year. It costs 1.6 cents to produce a Canadian penny, with an annual price tag of $11 million. Other countries that have taken the same step include the United Kingdom, Australia, Norway and Switzerland/Tom Sowa, SR. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR photo: Court Peterson, who sells precious metals and coins, holds a bag of 1964 Canadian pennies at Coins Plus in Spokane on Friday)

Question: Should the U.S. get rid of the penny, too?

Moyer, 49, Makes Rockies Rotation

Jamie Moyer, at 49 years old, has made the Colorado Rockies starting rotation. “It is still Jamie Moyer. It’s the Jamie Moyer that was pitching prior to the arm injury that cost him the entire 2011 season. It’s the same guy,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Friday before the team’s spring training game against the Texas Rangers at Salt River Fields. “It’s the same worker. It’s the same professional. It’s the same stuff, same velocity, same pitches. When he’s right, same type of effectiveness. You’re going to venture into this.” Moyer, who is entering his 25th major-league season, posted a 2.77 ERA this spring and beat out 22-year-old Tyler Chatwood and 28-year-old Guillermo Moscoso for a rotation spot. Moyer will start the Rockies’ second game of the season April 7 against the Houston Astros. If he wins, he’ll be the older player in major league history to earn a victory/AP. More here. (AP file photo of Jamie Moyer pitching against the San Francisco Giants in spring training March 22)

Question: Describe an older worker you know who's still effective in a younger person's profession?

What Went Wrong With 2012 Legislature

This year’s legislative session was as much about what failed as it was about what became law. Hardly anybody would have predicted that conservative House Republicans would reject mandatory ultrasound exams for abortion-seekers, after the Senate backed it on a nearly party-line vote. But that’s what happened. Supporters, including Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, have pledged to bring the bill back for 2013, in a bid to help persuade women not to terminate their pregnancies. If it passes the next time around, would Gov. Butch Otter sign it? “No comment,” Otter told reporters Friday. Democrats say they aren’t taking any chances. They’ll be pushing a constitutional amendment, aiming for the 2014 ballot, to protect what they call citizens’ rights to refuse government mandated medical procedures/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Katherine Jones Statesman/AP photo: Retiring Senator Shirley McKague (R-Meridian) is tickled by a photo of her at the Senate podium earlier in the session)

Question: Can you name a specific thing that you thought went wrong with the 2012 Legislature?

Read more here:

TV Host Explains Idaho Hunting Citation

“On March 20,” writes Rich Landers, SR Outdoors, “I devoted my weekly Outdoors column to the case of Oregon hunter Bob Beck, a TV hunting show host, who pleaded guilty to shooting two deer in Idaho even though he had only one non-resident tag. The  case was made a year after the 2010 hunt when a sportsman gave Idaho Fish and Game a tip after seeing the hunt and the killing of both deer on Beck's Extreme Outer Limits program, which aired on the Sportsman Channel. Beck did not own up to the illegal kill until he was confronted by authorities. The guilty plea was entered and the fines were assessed in February 2012. Beck has issues with my reporting and commentary on the case, on which he's elaborated in posts at many online forums. Indeed, he's working to have details on the outcome of the case changed. But as of this week, the ruling remains the same as I reported it on March 20 based on information from Idaho Fish and Game Department investigators and the Benewah County prosecutor.” More here.


Anderson: Skittles

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

TGIF Wild Card — 3.30.12

For some reason, I feel the state is a little safer now that the self-congratulatory 2012 Legislature has adjourned & can do no more mischief. That's the good news. The bad news is that we're soon to be inundated by the ones from North Idaho who will be spinning their adventures in Boise in hopes of getting re-elected. Just ask them about their failure to embrace ethics reform and that $35 million in tax cuts they provided to the state's wealthiest 17 percent. Before I get too worked up, I'll simply do as Joker recommends: Embrace the Insanity. Now for your TGIF Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 3.30.12

One cormorant sits high as it opens it's beak wide while it and four others hitch a ride on a large piece of driftwood in the muddy, swollen Clackamas River in Oregon City, Ore., Friday. Another spring storm is swelling rivers in the Willamette Valley and adding to the snow pack in the mountains. After a relatively dry winter, the measurements show that Oregon now has more snow in the mountains than average, a promising sign for summer water supplies.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Cindy: I’m Still A Winner

Cindy tweets: “I don't need no stinkin' lottery ticket. My mama says I am a WINNER.” #SoThere.”

Question: Will your Mama still think you're a winner even if you don't win $640M Mega Millions?

PM Scanner Traffic — 3.30.12

  • 4:50 p.m. John reports to KCSD that someone is using his Social Security card.
  • 4:42 p.m. 16YO girl fled on horse back into Cataldo area woods when father tried to pick her up.
  • 4:24 p.m. Glenda wants to know where she can get help & sandbags; property under 3' of water.
  • 4:23 p.m. Mark reports landlord trying to get into house w/o giving required 24 hours notice.
  • 4:12 p.m. Drunk who fell in Trading Co/PF parking lot is bleeding from nose & face.
  • 15 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 3.30.12

Idaho Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis (R-Bonneville) had to keep a lot of bills moving through the Senate so that it could adjourn on Thursday evening in Boise. (AP Photo/Katherine Jones, Idaho Statesman)

SR Blogs: Don’t Care About M’s

My rain hat is a Detroit Tigers cap. I've been wearing one now and then for years. But this morning, walking over to my accountant's office a few blocks away on Riverside, a question occurred to me for the first time. Is someone going to see this cap and suspect that I am a frontrunner? The Tigers are expected to do well this season. So a stranger could see my cap and conclude that I am jumping on the bandwagon. Or something. It almost makes me want to hand out cards that say “I started wearing Tigers caps back when they had the worst record in baseball. So give me a break with the snarky looks. God Bless”/Paul Turner, The Slice. More here.

Question: Do you ever get hassled for pulling for pro & college teams that aren't from this region?

North Idaho Blogs — 3.30.12

At Stebbijo's Place, Stebbijo writes: “Yes, you read that right and you are probably shocked and disgusted, but I don't care. I don't cook like this all the time, but when I saw how this outfit back east on a foodie show did up their bacon, I jumped to it because I had all these leftover skewers I needed to do something with.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday): 8543/5198, and: (for Wednesday): 9403/5518)

Question: Have you seen that goofy Jack-in-the-Box commercial about a guy loving bacon so much that he marries it? Do you like bacon that much?

Bad Transformer Causes PF Outage

Approximately 4,500 Kootenai Electric Cooperative customers in the Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls areas lost power this morning. The outage was reported just after 10 a.m. Power was restored by 12:15 p.m. According to the cooperateive, a malfunctioning transformer in the substation that serves the area caused the outage. The cooperative restored power by drawing from another substation, and is assessing the scope of damage to the transformer to get the damanged substation up and running again/SR.

HuffPo Unpaid Blogger Suit Tossed

A New York district judge today threw out a $105 million lawsuit filed by former, unpaid Huffington Post bloggers who insisted they are entitled to a chunk of the blog's $315 million sale price to AOL. The bloggers - Jonathan Tasini, Molly Secours, Tara Dublin, Richard Laermer, and Billy Altman - sued HuffPo last year, arguing that they served as “modern-day slaves on Arianna Huffington's plantation.” Judge John G. Koeltl, however, disagreed. HuffPo was very clear about the fact that the bloggers would be unpaid. Their payment was the exposure that a contribution to the popular website brings with it/ More here.

Question: If I could/would sell Huckleberries Online to AOL, I'll gladly share the giant goose egg I expect to get for it with everyone Deal?

Rypien: What Cost Super Bowl MVP?

Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien (11) lies under the pile, center, during an NFC divisional playoff game the San Francisco 49ers, in San Francisco. Rypien is a Super Bowl MVP and champion, a former player for the Redskins and other teams who reached football's pinnacle and now wonders at what cost. Washington Post story here. And: SR columnist Shawn Vestal's comment here. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

Question: If you've had a concussion … how did you get it? What was it like?

Spokane To Discuss Gay Marriage

The debate on gay marriage is headed to the Spokane City Council. City Councilman Jon Snyder is sponsoring a nonbinding resolution in support of “marriage equality,” and despite a Republican-leaning majority on the City Council, it appears the resolution is on track for approval. “People need to understand that this is not a Seattle or West Side issue,” Snyder said. “We have gay and lesbian citizens all across Washington and a lot of them see Spokane as a place where they can make their home.” Spokane City Councilman Mike Allen, a Republican precinct committee officer, said he likely will support Snyder’s resolution. “The Constitution says all are created equal,” Allen said. “I don’t know how you could do a ‘separate but equal’ in this particular category”/Jonathan Brunt, SR. More here.

Question: Is “marriage equality” an issue that you would want to see the Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls/Hayden/Rathrdum city council take a stand on?

LA Observes Cesar Chavez Day

Although Cesar Chavez Day falls tomorrow, on Saturday March 31, government offices, courts, and the state legislature are closed on Friday in honor of the famed labor leader. The Sacramento Bee reports that the State Legislature is not in session on Friday and has begun its spring recess early with the Cesar Chavez day holiday. In Los Angeles, courts and government offices across Southern California will be closed Friday to honor Latino civil rights leader César Chávez. Schools are also closed Friday. Chávez's birthday, March 31, is celebrated as a state holiday in California and several other states. Chavez was a labor organizer and civil rights activist who sought better working conditions for migrant farm workers through nonviolent means/By David Fonseca and Dan Abendschein, Highland Park/Mount Washington Patch. More here.

Question: Do you know anything about Caesar Chavez?

IFF: Text Ban Creates Legal Enigma

One of the more curious legacies of the 2012 legislative session will likely be Senate Bill 1274, the bill to ban texting while driving. The bill passed the Senate 29-6 and the House 53-17. The bill is awaiting Gov. Butch Otter’s signature. Legislators passed this texting ban in an attempt to answer a cry from constituents to “do something” about a perceived problem. But legislators vote on words. Words have meanings and meanings have consequences. In its attempt to stop people from falling victim to distracted texting drivers, the Legislature has created a legal enigma that necessarily will make unsuspecting Idahoans victims of an unforgiving legal system. Should this bill become law, its implementation and enforcement will be fascinating, because the law’s construction is, well, difficult to imagine in real life/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: I can't figure out the hubbub over legislative vote to ban texting while driving. Seems to be common sense to ban such activity. Am I missing something?

High Noon: Missing Dad

On her Facebook wall, Cindy writes: A friend just asked me “17 years after his death, what do you miss most about your dad?” Wow. Everything. His voice. His smile. His thoughtfulness. The way he made me laugh. But most of all I miss his unshakeable, unwavering insistance that I could DO anything, BE anything. His confidence in me gave me courage to try new things, dream big dreams and to shrug off naysayers. Wouldn't the world be a different place, if everyone had a dad like that?

Question (for those who have lost their fathers): What do you miss most about your dad?

Mega Millions Odds: 176M To 1

A customer at a convenience store holds her money as she waits to purchase Mega Millions lottery tickets Friday in Portland, Ore. Lottery ticket lines across the U.S. swelled Friday as players drawn by a record $640 million Mega Millions jackpot took a chance at becoming an overnight millionaire. The jackpot odds were at 1 in 176 million. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Question: Have you ever won anything from a lottery or drawing?

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.30.12

  • Noonish: Rodney @ 3558 Nettleton Gulch/CdA reports blocked culvert has flooded driveway, creating 50-foot puddle including standing water on road.
  • 12:01 a.m. Firefighters responding to possible structure fire in Kidd Island Bay area.
  • 1:43 a.m. Two customers are arguing at Coeur d'Alene Hastings on Appleway.
  • 11:30 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for March 29-30 here.
  • 11:01 a.m. Post Falls mom takes knife away from 12YO daughter who was threatening suicide.
  • 10:58 a.m. Dispatcher answering 911 call hears only loud music & people talking in background.
  • 10 more items below

Idaho GOP Undercuts Voter Privacy

I know I’m not going to get any sympathy from some of you. Some might find it poetic justice to see journalists agonizing because of something public records might reveal about them. (And yes, I can see where there could be journalistic value in using the poll books to check up on a candidate who claims to be a lifelong Republican or a lifelong Democrat). That’s my point, though. This rule opens the door to all kinds of snooping, and this doesn’t just pose a problem for reporters. Anyone who works in nonpartisan city government — from the mayor and City Council on down — is subject to scrutiny. Same for anyone who works in the court system. Or on a university campus, in a public school or for a state agency/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you feel in any way disenfranchised by Idaho GOP move to closed primaries?

Read more here:

Flushed With Excitement

Campaign signs hang in a bathroom at the Bismarck Civic Center in Bismarck, N.D., today, before the start of the North Dakota Republican state convention. Convention delegates are choosing favored candidates for eight offices during convention floor sessions on Saturday and Sunday. (AP Photo/Dale Wetzel)

Feel free to suggest a cutline

RU: Didn’t We Use To Be Kinder?

Rational Universe: Didn’t we use to be a kinder people? Am I just being nostalgic? Or was there a stronger sense of community in the old North Idaho? An idea that we were all in this together? Now it is all- “Don’t tread on me”. “Take care of yourself”. “Don’t ask for any kind of assistance”. “Arm yourself!”

Question: Was North Idaho kinder & gentler before the turn of the century?

Spencer: ‘I’m Just A Hairy Guy’

Larry Spencer: “Why do men make fun of my hair, and women seem to like it?”

Also: For your reading pleasure, you can find the lyrics of “Hair” here


Mega Frenzy In Post Falls For Jackpot

With the Mega Millions jackpot reaching a record high of $540 million dollars, thousands of people across the Inland Northwest are shelling out big bucks for a chance to strike it rich. Jen Gass, a clerk at Ady's Convenience and Car Wash in Post Falls said she sold almost $4,000 dollars worth of lotto tickets on Thursday. “They come in and they are like 'I want a hundred dollar in Mega Millions' it's crazy,” she said. “You get asked to kiss a ticket or blow on it for good luck, people are strange,” she said/Annie Bishop, KXLY. More here.

Question: Have you purchased more than $10 worth of Mega Millions tickets?

AM: Soggiest March Ain’t Over

Golf balls lie in the soggy Indian Canyon golf course driving range as geese swim in some of the deeper puddles Thursday in Spokane. Rainy cold days have delayed the opening of the course which hopes to welcome golfers this weekend or the beginning of next week. The soggiest March in Inland Northwest history isn't over yet. Story here. (SR photo: Christopher Anderson)

Question: Do you enjoy living through record weather events, just to say you did (most snow, most rain, etc.)?

Poll: We’re Playing Mega Millions

  • Thursday Poll: Hucks Nation is playing the Mega Millions lottery. 76 of 135 respondents (56.3%) said they'd bought tickets for a chance at the $640M jackpot. 59 of 135 (43.7%) said they weren't.
  • Idaho Journalists: A whopping 94% of the respondents (68 of 72) said Idaho newspapers should allow reporters to vote in May's closed-primaries w/o repercussions despite the new requirement to affiliate with a political party. Only 3 of 72 (4.17%) said journalists shouldn't vote. One was undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Which letter grade would you give the 2012 Idaho Legislature?

2012 Legislature Is Over

Idaho Sens. Patti Anne Lodge, left, and Shawn Keough listen to Sen. Denton Darrington bid farewell to the Senate Thursday in Boise. Thursday was the final day of the 2012 legislative session. Betsy Russell's sine die story here. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski)

Question: Did the current Legislature perform better in 2011 or 2012?

Ardmoreite: KKKer’s Timing Is Bad

Tongue firmly cheeked, columnist Argus Hamilton of the Web site writes about a North Idaho neo-Nazi's problem with running for office: “Idaho Ku Klux Klan leader Shaun Winkler announced he will run for Bonner County sheriff in May. His timing was bad. Right now everyone thinks that anyone who wears a hood is protesting racial profiling in Florida, so he'll have trouble getting his message out.”

Question: Do you think that sheriff's race in Bonner County might be getting the wrong kind of national attention?

Winkler Seeks Bonner Sheriff Post

He has been an Aryan Nations member and Ku Klux Klan leader, and now Shaun Winkler wants to be the sheriff in a rural Idaho county near the Canadian border. The white power activist is running as a Republican in the May 15 Bonner County primary to become the top law enforcement officer. Winkler said despite the white supremacist beliefs he holds as a KKK imperial wizard, his brand of justice would be color blind. “In the event I was elected sheriff, I would not act on racial profiling,” Winkler said. “Being in the white power movement, I know how it feels to be profiled by law enforcement.” Rather, Winkler is running on a platform that includes coming down hard on sex offenders and meth manufacturers, and reducing the impact of federal law enforcement at the county level/Nicholas K. Geranios, AP. More here.

Question: Is it worth getting worked up about Winkler's candidacy since he has little chance to win in Tea Party-influenced Bonner County?

Vestal: Rypien Suit Raises Questions

Not long ago, my sister-in-law asked me a question that I hadn’t considered. Was I planning to let my son, who was then 3, play football? The question struck me as overly cautious. Why wouldn’t I? It won’t break my heart if he grows up with a wariness of the sports-worship that afflicts our culture, but if he wants to play, why not? After all, I played football – a little bit, very poorly – and look how well I turned out. You can get hurt doing all sorts of things. Then she gave me a few good reasons, involving the frequency of concussions, the frequency of repeated concussions, and the fact that frequent, repeated concussions can cause brain injury. The conversation came back to me this week when I read that Mark Rypien, local hero and Super Bowl MVP, was suing the National Football League for “repeated traumatic injuries to the head”/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Would you let your baby grow up to be a high school football player?

Marty Jeers LeFavour’s Gift Video

JEERS … to Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise. Idaho's only openly gay legislator, LeFavour has championed extending protection under Idaho's Human Rights Act to gays, lesbians and transgender people. As a Christmas present, LeFavour distributed DVD copies of “Brokeback Mountain” to 60 lawmakers at their homes. Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, took offense. Imagine returning from a St. Patrick's Day celebration to find a copy of “Clean and Sober” waiting for you. Or after participating in a Planned Parenthood rally, you discover an audio set of “Rush Limbaugh's Greatest Hits” at your door. LeFavour simply went too far/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (AP photo: Nicole LeFavour giving her farewell speech to Idaho Senate Thursday)


Some Idaho Solons Called It Quits

Non-returning Representatives gathered in the front of the Idaho House for photos. Erik Simpson (R-Idaho Falls), arms raised, has served two terms. The House finished up business and adjourned on Thursday in Boise. (AP Photo/Katherine Jones, Idaho Statesman)

Question: Which of the many retiring legislators are you glad to see go?

Conservatives Lose Trust In Science

Item: Conservatives lose trust in science, study shows: Better educated change the most/Los Angeles Times

More Info: A study released Thursday in the American Sociological Review concludes that trust in science among conservatives and frequent churchgoers has declined precipitously since 1974, when a national survey first asked people how much confidence they had in the scientific community. At that time, conservatives had the highest level of trust in scientists. Confidence in scientists has declined the most among the most educated conservatives.

Question: Is science ever influenced by politics?

Tuber Tour 2012 Begins Today

Call it Tuber Tour 2012. The Idaho Potato Commission is commemorating its 75th anniversary and hoping to dispel some bad press for potatoes by taking a lifelike, six-ton spud on a seven-month, 32-state tour. The Big Idaho Potato departs the state Capitol this morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Gov. Butch Otter. The building-size potato that was first seen at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will be making stops that include Chicago, New York, Washington, Denver and Los Angeles. The Idaho Statesman reports that one stop will be outside the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where officials last year questioned whether potatoes should be included in school lunches and banned it from the food stamp program/AP. More here. (Courtesy: Famous Idaho Potato Tour Web site)

Question: Will a seven-month, 32-state tour involving a 6-ton potato help or hurt Idaho's image in this country?

Spencer Seeks Courthouse Seat

Kootenai County commissioner candidate Larry Spencer doesn't believe the county needs a parking garage built at the administration complex. “Voters want a lean government, and there is nothing lean about planning to spend $7.8 million on a county parking garage,” said Spencer, running for the District 1 seat currently held by Dan Green. He also disagrees with the current commissioners' ballot initiative to restructure county government. If approved by voters, the initiative would allow for a county administrator, and would also make several county officials appointed, instead of elected as they are now/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Obviously, Spencer believes the proposed county parking garage and ballot measure to change county government structure are wedge issues for him. What do you think?

Signe: Town Watch?

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Thursday — 3.29.12

Huckleberries hears … that no fireworks occurred at the Kootenai County GOP CC meeting Tuesday night, three days after the 2012 Lincoln Day Dinner, featuring controversial Richard Mack. One eyewitness told Huckleberries that sometimes when there's extraordinary tension in the air nothing happens. That may have been the case Tuesday night. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 3.29.12

Kadie Anderson, a veterinary intern at Pt. Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Wash., gets up close with Sumatran tiger Malosi's teeth during a cleaning as part of a physical examination earlier this month. The tiger, under general anesthesia during the procedure, had a breathing tube inserted down his throat to help protect his airway. (AP Photo/The News Tribune, Dean J. Koepfler)

Aaron Claims California Roots But …

Aaron: I’m not afraid to claim my California roots :) Being born in Los Angeles County and raised in the less populated areas of Riverside County-I watched a sleepy outlaw town of 30,000 swell into a sprawling city. I like the small town feel, amazingly kind neighbors, natural beauty and the slow pace for my family. I spent that last 5 years working in CA and hated every minute of it. North Idaho is my home, it’s been the best decision of my life.

Question: Do you ever hide your California roots?

PM Scanner Traffic — 3.29.12

  • 5:28 p.m. 2 males, 1 in orange beanie & red coat & other in all black, jumped off BNSF train @ refueling station, H53 & McGuire, Hauser. RR police from Spokane en route.
  • 5:19 p.m. Coeur d'Alene resident reports neighbor's pitbull is loose & rummaging through garbage.
  • 5:09 p.m. Traffic lights are flashing red in all directions @ Northwest Blvd & Ironwood/CdA.
  • 4:57 p.m. A wanted person reportedly can be found in 200 block of East Dalton/CdA.
  • 4:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for March 28-29 here.
  • 4:28 p.m. 3 officers are on scene of head-on crash possibly involving DUI @ H95 & Prairie/CdA. (Update: Male driver of one vehicle transported by ambulance to KMC.)
  • 4:04 p.m. Caller in 300 block of Dakota/Hayden reports male hammering on door wants to fight.
  • 3:49 p.m. Male thief has been cornered in the front yard of home @ 2314 N5th/CdA after an attempt to dine & dash from Panda Express @ 4th & Best.
  • 14 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM Headlines — 3.29.12

A trio of turkeys were hanging out on Stickman's breezeway earlier this week in the East Tubbs Hill Park area by Coeur d'Alene's Sanders Beach.

Dino: Drawing Blanks

Dinosaurman (re: right-wing blog political cartoon lampooning DFO): I admit I chuckled too, but didn’t want to say so for fear of getting shipped to Siberia. Perhaps message Chuckleberries, I’ll check my side to see if anyone knows a source. I’m drawing blanks, but do think I’ve see their drawings before. BTW, it’s not me, I’m limited to crude paleolithic stick men, but only after a shot of rum to help me focus. I wish I could draw better, but I’m forever stuck with the skills of a kindergartener. Tips hat to in envy of the hundreds of artists in the CDA area.

Question: Can you draw well? And/or: Who is your favorite political cartoonist?

DeLange Withdraws From Hart Race

Republican Jeri DeLange (pictured) announced today that she is withdrawing her candidacy in the primary for State Representative, District 2, Seat B, due to the high number of candidates who filed for this position.  DeLange believes that it’s more important to step aside to allow a greater opportunity for the incumbent to be defeated because it’s inappropriate for an elected official and lawmaker to demand a special standard that is not equal to the same other citizens are bound to by state, federal, and local laws.  She encourages voters to make their voices heard at the ballot box in May.  “For change to occur, action must happen.  We are each responsible for our greatest freedom and privilege at the ballot box.”

Question: Should anyone else withdraw from race?

NI Senators Back Secret Tribunals

The Senate has adopted proposed new ethics rules in a straight party-line vote, 28-7. In his closing debate, Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis said, “There's a lot that was said in opposition to the bill that I agree with.” But he said a public ethics process before probable cause has been determined “does not … preserve reputations against frivolous allegations.” He said, “When we make it part of the public discourse, let's at least have confidence that we've met a probable cause standard, and if we have, then it should be part of the public discourse”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

DFO: This 28-7 party-line vote means all five North Idaho GOP senators supported the secret ethics tribunals. Extremely bad form, Shawn Keough, Joyce Broadsword, Steve Vick, John Goedde & Jim Hammond. What was the need to rush this through in the closing hours of the 2012 Legislature?

Question: Does this issue matter to you?

Gonzaga Alumni Fight Tutu Speech

Gonzaga University, like many religious academic institutions, see-saws in perpetual tension between its Catholic tradition and its broad academic focus. Is it okay for the school to perform the Vagina Monologues? Have a pro-life club on campus? Have a non-Jesuit president? If you thought the selection of Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Nobel peace laureate, apartheid-toppler, preacher against injustice and for forgiveness) commencement speaker, would avoid that sort of tension, apparently, you thought wrong. Now, Tutu’s the subject of a critical petition from a few Gonzaga alumni. First came a blog from the Cardinal Newman Society – a group with the goal to “help renew and strengthen Catholic identity in Catholic higher education” – which takes this angle on the story: “Gonzaga to Honor Pro-Abortion Rights Archbishop Desmond Tutu”/Daniel Walters, Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo)

Question: Do you see a problem with Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu speaking at Gonzaga's commencement exercise this year?

Grizzly Adams Visits Kootenai County

On her Facebook wall, Kerri Thoreson posts: “It's become tradition that whenever family comes to Post Falls to visit I take their photo with Frederick Post in the City Hall rotunda. Dan aka Grizzly Adams was a good sport to pose with our town founder. Dan's a very nice and very gracious down-to-earth guy. It was a genuine pleasure to visit with him this morning.” Haggerty, along with co-managers Tod Swindell of Los Angeles and Julie Magnuson of Coeur d'Alene, are planning an educational series based in Coeur d'Alene.

  • Did You Know: Charles Sellier Jr., creator of “Grizzly Adams” show, died in Coeur d'Alene in February 2011? Story here.

Question: Did you watch “The Life & Times of Grizzly Adams”?

Quotable Quote — Nicole LeFavour

“In this session, conducted in private, three senators can block the ability for an ethics complaint to proceed. On a party-line vote, one party, in darkness, can squash an ethics complaint. That is not a strengthening of our ethics rules. That is a weakening of our ethics rule. That is a way to ensure that one party can ensure that the other party is not capable of bringing forth a complaint” — Sen. Nicole LeFavour, quoted by Eye On Boise. More here.

Chocolate On Parade

A model gets a dress made of chocolate, at a fashion show on the occasion of the “Salon du Chocolat” in Zurich, Thursday. The “Salon du Chocolat”, supposed to be the world's largest event dedicated to chocolate, takes place in Zurich Friday through Sunday. (AP Photo/Keystone/Steffen Schmidt)

Question: Could you resist a dress made of chocolate?

Limerick: Last Minute Mischief

On the new $200,000 legislative legal fund, controlled by the speaker and pro-tem (APhoto AG Lawrence Wasden, who is being dissed by legislation):

Things that come up very late
May not be a plus for the state
The legal slush fund
Is case No. 1
Would more scrutiny have sealed its fate?

Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise

Senate Wants More Ethics Secrecy

The Senate Judiciary Committee this morning took up three changes to Senate rules, including a major revision of its ethics rules. Among the changes: More secrecy. Under the proposed changes, ethics complaints would be secret until the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee votes that they are valid and should proceed to a full investigation; the Ethics Committee would meet in closed-door executive session to deliberate on that/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

DFO: Absolutely amazing. The Idaho Legislature began the session promising to clean up its act in wake of John McGee scandal and ongoing tax problems with Idaho Rep. Phil Hart. And now the arrogant senators on the Judiciary Committee are calling for more secrecy on ethics issues.

Question: Don't these guys get it? Or is it a case that they've become so isolated & arrogant that they don't think the public will ever hold them accountable?


Limbaugh Surviving Fluke Putdown

Protesters carry boxes containing petition signatures Wednesday in Jefferson City, Mo. The protesters delivered 35,000 petition signatures Wednesday to the House speaker's office opposing the inclusion of conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh in the Hall of Famous Missourians in the latest in a series of opposition efforts to Limbaugh's selection. Story here. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Meanwhile: Furor caused by Limbaugh's comment re: Georgetown student Sandra Fluke is dying down here

Question: Are you surprised that Rush Limbaugh seems to be surviving Sandra Fluke putdown?

Nonini Gives Up On $10M Tax Credit

House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, has thrown in the towel on his $10 milion tax credit bill for private school scholarships; he just asked for unanimous consent to return the bill to the House Education Committee. “In light of HB 670 as amended and we being at the end of our session, I think probably the right thing to do without asking this body to vote on a suspension of rule and to continue to work on this and maybe look at it again, next year, I would ask HB 670 be returned to the Education Committee,” Nonini told the House/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


Vick: Why I Back 2/3s Vote Rule

In an op-ed article, Idaho Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, defends his unsuccessful legislation that would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raises taxes & fees: “When considering taxes and our liberty, I think of a quote from Daniel Webster, during the famous Supreme Court case McCullough v. Maryland, stating “An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy.” I believe there is an important relationship between taxes and individual freedom: any time you raise taxes, you take a little bit of freedom away from those you are taxing. Therefore, it is important that the Legislature puts this in place to ensure that proposals which have a deep impact on our liberties are deliberative and have widespread support from our elected representatives.” More here.

DFO: I believe this bill would hamstring the already tight-fisted Legislature from reacting responsibly to growing revenue needs for education, social services, corrections, and sundry other budget items.

Question: Do you think the Republican dominated Idaho Legislature already does a good job keeping the state budget in check?

Labrador Praises Mom For His Start

From Labrador spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael: Congressman Labrador just spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives during the budget debate. In his speech, Congressman Labrador detailed his upbringing in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Raised by a single mother who struggled to make ends meet, Congressman Labrador was taught not to envy the success or covet the wealth of the prosperous. Instead, his mother encouraged him to aspire to become a successful person to create a life better than the one he had. In today’s speech, Congressman Labrador said, “If my mother would have had the same mentality the other side has, I would have never been able to amount to anything in my life, because what they believe is the only way you can actually amount to something is if you take from the ones who have if you are a have-not.” Video of speech here.

Question: How did your mother help you get a good start in life?

KCres: Why I Moved To Idaho

KCres: I have been asked many times why I moved to Idaho (from the UK). The most memorable occasion was while talking to someone when we were in Farragut, looking across the lake at the steep hills the other side on a beautiful August afternoon. Well, d’uh.

DFO: I moved to Idaho in 1982 from Montana for a job with the Lewiston Tribune.

Question: KCres brings up a wonderful question that I might not have asked before. Why did you move to Idaho?

You Never Know

A Mega Millions lottery contestant buys his ticket for Friday's $500-million game at a corner newsstand in New York Thursday. Forget setting up a charity or establishing a trust, the winner of the $500 million Mega Millions jackpot could save teachers' jobs or help pay for Medicaid-funded doctor appointments in their home state just by paying taxes. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

DFO: If I won the lottery, I'd pay off every mortgage held by a sibling or one of their children, ditto for my kids, drop a chunk on my church, and then set up a foundation for a worthy local cause. How about you?

Question: What would be the first thing you did if you won the lottery?

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.29.12

  • 11:47 a.m. Hayden female reports being harassed by male texting & driving by her home.
  • 11:26 a.m. Female along Riverview, south of Spokane River, reports vehicle stolen overnight.
  • 11:12 a.m. KCSDeputies en route to Hayden to search for runaway who may be endangered.
  • 11:03 a.m. Caller reports hearing a lot of teens yelling from Spirit Lake pond area the night before teen's body found in water.
  • 10:53 a.m. Female driver w/back pain refusing medical response after two-vehicle crash on H95 near Alpine Store/Garwood involving blue VW & Ford Explorer. Debris on road.
  • 10 more items below

M’s Fall To 1-1 With 4-1 Loss To A’s

Mariners' Justin Smoak hits a solo homer in front of Oakland Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki in the seventh inning of their American League MLB baseball game at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo onThursday. Story here. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Question: Predict the finish of the 4 teams from the American League West.

Betsy Russell: To Vote Or Not?

Earlier this week, I posted information re: the dilemma that SR colleague Betsy Russell and we other Idaho journalists find ourselves in — whether or not to vote in 2012 primary election in May. For the first time, as a result of the GOP-pushed closed primaries, journalists will be required to state a party preference to vote. Betsy has been told by the paper that she could be reassigned away from covering politics & government, if she declared a party affiliation & it became the source of contoversy. I've been told by the paper that I'm free to vote because I'm not a reporter but an opinion writer. Betsy is president of the Idaho Press Club. The column she wrote about her dilemma wasn't posted on the group's Web site when I posted the initial story. Now it is. You can read it here.

Question: Should the newspaper allow Betsy to vote in the primary w/o potential consequences? Should it allow me to vote?

Poll: Idaho Journos Not Fair, Accurate

  • Wednesday Poll: 79 of 131 respondents (60.31%) said that Idaho reporters don't report the news fairly & accurately. 43 of 131 respondents (32.82%) said they do. 9 were undecided.
  • Who Do You Trust: 53 of 64 respondents (82.81%) said they'd trust Attorney General Lawrence Wasden to handle a constitutionally questionable matter being handled by the Idaho Legislature. Only 11 of 64 (17.19%) said they'd trust outside counsel hired by the Legislature.
  • Today's Poll: Are you playing the $500M Mega Millions lottery?

AM Headlines — 3.29.12

Llamas Cinders, left, and Sunset keep watch outside as windy weather whipped their wooly winter wear, Wednesday in Benton City, Wash. Expect windy conditions again today with rain likely and highs in the low 60s, according to the National Weather Service. (AP Photo/The Tri-City Herald, Kai-Huei Yau)

Lake Of Nonini Tactic: ‘Think It Stinks’

Asked what he thinks about House Education Chairman Bob Nonini's scholarship tax credit bill bypassing the House Rev & Tax Committee, instead coming through Education, House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, said, “I think it stinks.” Asked if the bill would have passed in Rev & Tax, Lake said, “Who knows? I'm not going to speak for the committee, but at least we ought to have a chance to take a look at it and see how it fit in with all the other tax credits we do, and we do a lot of 'em.” He noted that the panel hasn't done any this big in some time. Nonini's bill would give $10 million a year in tax credits for donations to scholarships for K-12 kids to attend private schools/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Nonini claims his bill will save money because it'd thin the ranks of public school students. Lake says he thinks the bill stinks. Who's right?

Mary Decries Council ‘Loyalty Oath’

In her newletter this week, Mary Souza of is claiming today that the Coeur d'Alene City Council has some sort of “loyalty oath” to keep everyone in line. She sez that “Coeur d'Alene City Council Standards and Norms” is akin to a loyalty oath in offering 24 points, much of which begin with the statement, “I will …” For example, two points reads, I will tell the truth,” and “I will be accountable.” (Shazam, I smell a conspiracy coming) Now, for Mary's take: “In order to put the “Loyalty Oath” in perspective, I asked some city administration and council folks from nearby towns if they have ever seen  anything like this document.  They were all shocked.  They said they had never heard of such a thing, and that city councils are elected by the people and are not beholden to the mayor or any other city official. City Council members are responsible to the citizens.” You can read the rest of Mary's complaint here.

Question: So is this a loyalty oath or simply a code for good conduct while serving at a City Council member?

‘Babe Ruth Of Banjo’ Scruggs, 88, RIP

Earl Scruggs, performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. Scruggs' son Gary said his father passed away Wednesday morning at a Nashville, Tenn., hospital of natural causes. He was 88. Wall Street Journal story here. (AP Photo/Eric Parsons, File)

Tagging Earl Scruggs as a legend is to diminish what he was to Mountain Music. He was arguably the best banjo picker that ever lived or ever will. Prior to his leap to fame in the 1940's, 5-string banjo was frailed rather than picked with three fingers. He invented the style which is used by most traditionalists including yours truly/Bay Views. More here.

Question: Do you enjoy hearing bluegrass/banjo music?

Storytime Reads Keep Library Going

In recent years budget cuts have sent Spokane Public Library staffers scrambling. Reductions in branch hours and personnel threatened one of the most popular services the libraries offer: storytime. “We have one children’s librarian for three branches,” said Sally Chilson, youth services coordinator. “So, in 2006, we decided to take the leap and train storytime volunteers.” Lara Voigtlaender was one of the first to volunteer. “I saw a sign posted when I brought my kids to storytime. They were going to have to eliminate storytime altogether”/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (SR photo: Lara Voigtlaender, a volunteer storytime reader, reads to children March 10 at the Indian Trail Library)

Also by Cindy: Watercolor society members exhibit at Chase

Question: How often do you visit your public library?

CC: Why ObamaCare Is Here To Stay

“Obamacare,” as it is infamously called by its critics, is not about rationing an ever more costly health care system. At its core lay two key concepts: Insurance companies cannot refuse coverage for pre-existing conditions and access to money is not going to determine who lives or dies — everyone has access to care and everyone pays something. Rightly or wrongly, we are fundamentally a compassionate people. We do not turn away people at emergency rooms who are in need of life-saving care because they cannot afford it. Nor do we hold people accountable for poor life-style choices, such as excessive drinking, eating or smoking. Perhaps we should, but we don’t/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Chris Carlson that ObamaCare is here to stay in some form?

Hammes: Equal Rights

The good news is property owners now have the same rights as child rapists. The bad news is it took millions of dollars and a Supreme Court decision before government bureaucrats understood that. This is one of those stories that most folks read and say “duh” … Last week’s 9-0 Supreme Court decision on behalf of an Idaho couple who had been targeted by the EPA caused quite a stir among people who believe in property rights. As it should. In essence, the court decided that the EPA can no longer act as judge, jury and executioner when issuing decrees as to which property deserves what protection, when and at what cost. In other words, the Supreme Court affirmed that property owners do have a right to their day in court. It seems insane, but prior to last week’s decision, that was not true. Before last week, an EPA bureaucrat could levy up to $75,000 a day in fines AND threaten prison to any property owner who did not obey a directive issued by that bureaucrat/Dan Hammes, St. Maries Gazette Record. More here. (2011 AP file photo: Mike and Chantell Sackett of Priest Lake pose for a photo in front of the Supreme Court in Washington)

Question: Were you surprised by the Supreme Court's unanimous decision on behalf of the Sacketts?

Paying For Crime?

Jose Gonzalez, 12, holds a sign he was made to carry on the corner of 22nd and Larimer Street in downtown Denver Tuesday for his punishment. Gonzalez took $100 from the wallet of his cousin in their Aurora home. His father Joseph set his punishment to carry the sign telling of his mistake, near the Fast Cash where he works. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Joe Amon)

Question: Cruel & unusual punishment for a 12YO? Or appropriate punishment to fit the crime?

Uscager: Who’s Calling The Shots?

Uscagerpidbw: I agree with Rusche on this at least: the ultrasound bill was terrible medicine, terrible public policy, and an assault on personal freedom. Was amazed to hear that the Right to Life organization decided to pull the bill, even having the audacity to put out a press release announcing their decision to “pull the bill.” Since when do unelected people have the right to decide on whether the Idaho Legislature will vote, or not vote on a bill? Clearly, some of our legislators are mindless zombie pawns.

Question: Do you consider some of our legislators to be “mindless zombie pawns”?

Duroc: No Arm Pits In Idaho

Duroc: I’ve visited every county in this state, and I must say that I wouldn’t call any place in Idaho an “armpit.” there’s something beautiful and charming about every place in Idaho, if you care to look and open your mind. Some towns have seen better days, and some places could use better odor control. Some could benefit from offering more opportunities to young people and less hostility towards the outside world (and towards young people with new ideas). But Idaho is a special place, and I still love it — warts and all.

Question: Yesterday, we concentrated on discussing the arm pit of Idaho. Now, Duroc says there's no such thing. So what spot would you consider to be the best of the best in Idaho?

ObamaCare Arguments Conclude

Whether the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold President Obama's landmark healthcare overhaul or scrap at least the most controversial part — the requirement that most Americans have health insurance — won't be known until probably this summer, when the justices are expected to rule. But after three days of oral arguments concluded this week, four constitutional law experts weighed in on the strengths and weaknesses of the cases made by the administration's top lawyers, Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr. and his deputy, Edwin Kneedler, and Paul D. Clement, solicitor general in the George W. Bush administration, who represents the 26 states challenging the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act/Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times. More here. (AP photo: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., center, speaks against ObamaCare in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday)


Bennett: Self Defense

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Hump Day Wild Card — 3.28.12

HucksOnline hasn't heard how the Kootenai County GOP CC meeting went last night. Did Tina relish in her victory at having “Sheriff Mack” — his words, not Huckleberries — speak at the Lincoln Day Dinner Saturday? Did Jeff follow through on his bigger-fish-to-fry conciliatory statement before the meeting. Did anyone say anything about Rathdrum Mayor Vic Holmes, who is running for county commissioner, & a campaign aide being bounced from the UCNI/Rally Right meeting at the Golden Spike in Rathdrum Monday night because they hadn't been specifically invited to learn how to take over the local CC? Inquiring minds want to know. Now for your Hump Day Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 3.28.12

Shenandoah Elementary third grade students show the bracelets they made Wednesday in memory of fellow student Cristian Sanchez who died in a Tuesday morning house fire in Shenandoah, Pa. (AP Photo/Republican-Herald, David McKeown)

2 Near Hits In Spokane For MMillions

No one won the big jackpot in Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing, but several people picked five of the six numbers to win $250,000, and three of those winners are in Washington. The Washington Lottery says two of the quarter-million dollar tickets were sold in Spokane and one in Ferndale. In addition, a $10,000 prize was claimed Wednesday by a Naval Base Kitsap worker who played with a group of 28 friends. The Mega Millions jackpot is now the largest in U.S. lottery history — $500 million for the Friday night drawing/SR. More here.

Question: Are you playing the $500M Mega Millions lottery? What will you do if you win?

Jeanie: I Want A Transplant, Too

Oooo, former VP Cheney made big headlines - he got a heart transplant! Good for him! It means that age is no limitation. He is 72. Can you imagine getting a heart transplant??? It boggles the brain. I think of the heart as pretty darned close to being my soul. How can you transplant a soul??? Anyway — I think I’m an almost expert on this subject. I have officially been placed on the “list” for a kidney transplant. I have gone through a myriad of tests to prove I am ultra healthy, other than my kidneys. All transplant wannabees have to be healthy in every aspect - particularly be cancer-free. I am 62 (63 at the end of April). I am still viable (what a relief!)/JeanieSpokane, Nuts & Nonsense. More here.

Question: Do you have a family member or friend on a transplant list?

PM Headlines — 3.28.12

Tim Flores, left, moved his belongings by bicycle to a new Bellingham, Wash., residence, with a little help from his friends. Flores, an employee of the Community Food Co-op in Bellingham, and his friends rode over five miles during rush-hour traffic. (AP Photo/The Bellingham Herald, David Rzegocki)

PM Scanner Traffic — 3.28.12

  • 4:34 p.m. Female driver ran a stop sign & is speeding on Cecil/PF.
  • 4:32 p.m. Male in beanie w/gas can just siphoned gas in 1900 block of N8th/CdA.
  • 4:31 p.m. Darla wants to be sure that dog that attacked hers is up-to-date on its shots.
  • 4:16 p.m. EMTs are responding to rollover on Hanley Avenue (unknown exact location)/CdA.
  • 4:11 p.m. Freeway Texaco @ 2105 N4th/CdA reports a disorderly male in station/store.
  • 4:06 p.m. Aggressive driver in blue Taurus flipping people off @ s/b H95 & Dalton/CdA.
  • 13 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

Sign Of The Times?

A Berry Picker sends along this Larry Spencer sign spotted on a fence on Spokane Street/Post Falls.

Otter Presses Tax Cuts For Wealthy

A Senate panel is due Thursday to help decide the 2012 Legislature's last critical question: Will Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter win his coveted $35 million tax relief bill, or will more-cautious lawmakers direct at least some of that cash toward savings, to be used if the economy sours again. The Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee has agreed to an 8 a.m. hearing on Otter's bill, which passed the House but languished for weeks in the Senate. In the world according to Otter, Idaho's economic turn-of-fortune has left it flush enough to direct about $35 million over five years toward teacher salaries, $35 million toward rainy-day savings - and give $35 million back to taxpayers/John Miller, AP. More here.

Question: Would you rather have $35 million in budget “surplus” go for tax relief for the wealthiest Idahoans or used to prop up rainy-day funds or programs hurt by spending cuts of recent years? (I know this is a loaded question)

Read more here:

Spokane To Get Ousted CdA Brewery

The owners of Coeur d'Alene Brewing Co., which had to close last year when their building's landlord didn't renew their lease, have re-formed and will open another Brewery this time is Spokane.The new brewery will be called River City Brewing and will be located at 1325 W. 1st Ave on the west side of Downtown Spokane.The beers from River City Brewing will be available at a few locations but unfortunately not directly from River City as the Brewery will not feature a tap room or pub attached/Inland Northwest Business Watch. More here.

NIBlogs: Jets & Sharks Meet In Alley?

After her Wednesday morning KVNI/ESPN 1080 radio show with Joe Paisley this morning, Kerri Thoreson drove to Sanders Beach and saw this scene. Kerri posts on her Facebook wall: “It must be mating season for turkeys, several big toms flashing their tail feathers were making their way through the neighborhood. I had to laugh when I looked down an alley and saw two rival “gangs” heading towards each other. Urban wildlife photography from the driver's seat is my specialty.”

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday): 8875/5334, and (for Monday): 8846/5195

Question: Feel free to submit a cutline for the photo above.

Digger: St. Maries Is Idaho’s Arm Pit

Digger: St. Maries is not urban. Nor a city. Its more of a blip on a map, or as someone once explained to me as a child “the armpit of lake CDA and the Weippe of Benewah County”… a phrase I never got until I actually visited Weippe.

Question: What town would you consider to be the arm pit of Idaho?

We All Wear Hoodies Now

This series of handout frame grabs from video, provided by House Television shows Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., taking off his jacket to wear a a hoodie and sunglasses as he speaks on the floor of the House on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday. Rush donned a hoodie during the speech on the House floor deploring the killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, receiving a reprimand for violating rules on wearing hats in the House chamber. (AP Photo/House Television)

Question: What do you think of the action Rush took above?

Quotable Quote — John Rusche

“It's (ultrasound bill) terrible medicine, terrible public policy, and an assault on personal freedom. … And unfortunately, that's what this session is going to be known for” — Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, a retired physician.

Question: Do you agree with Rep. Rusche that the 2012 Legislature will be known for the battle over the failed mandatory ultrasound bill? Or will it be known for something else?

Senate Votes For $200K Legal Fund

The Senate has voted 23-11 in favor of HB 695, which sets up a new $200,000 legislative legal fund to be spent at the sole discretion of the Senate president pro-tem and the House speaker, with each in charge of $100,000. The bill already has passed the House, so it heads now to Gov. Butch Otter. Currently, the Idaho Attorney General, an elected official, provides legal opinions and other legal representation for the Legislature; the new fund would allow lawmakers to turn to outside counsel rather than use the Attorney General's staff/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise.

Question: Who would you trust more to handle a constitutionally questionable legal question for the Idaho Legislature: Attorney General Lawerence Wasden or an outside attorney?

House Sends Death Bill To Otter

The House has passed the death bill, SB 1348a, which would ensure that treatment, food and fluids aren't denied to a dying patient if the patient wants them and if they “in reasonable medical judgement will preserve the life of the patient,” on a 57-12 vote; it now goes to Gov. Butch Otter. Rep. Erik Simpson, R-Idaho Falls, called the measure “a good bill for Idaho citizens that helps balance the end of life equation”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you support the death bill (SB 1348a)?

Supreme Court Rules In Duncan Case

Convicted serial killer Joseph E. Duncan should have been given a formal hearing to determine his mental competency before being allowed to waive his right to legal representation and to appeal his death sentence, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. The ruling means Duncan, who killed a North Idaho family and one of the two children he abducted and took to Montana in 2005, will return to federal court for hearings to determine whether he was mentally competent when he decided to represent himself in the death penalty case. … If Lodge finds that Duncan was incompetent, which his attorneys have previously argued, Lodge would be required to vacate Duncan’s death sentence and hold a second sentencing trial detailing the deadly claw-hammer attack on the Groene family at their small home at Wolf Lodge near Coeur d’Alene/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here. (2006 SR file photo of Joseph Duncan)


St. Maries Council Frustrates Girl

Which came first, the chicken or the veto? After agreeing to allow residents to keep chickens within city limits in May last year, the St. Maries City Council decided against it last month. Jenna Bauer, 11, the girl who asked for the change said she feels the council deceived her. “They said I could have them and all voted yes, and now here they are changing their minds,” she said. “That is unfair.” Despite their latest decision, Jenna said she was going to keep her chickens and attempt to convince the council to reconsider/Mary Orr, St. Maries Gazette Record. More to come. (Gazette photo: Jenna Bauer with her grand champion chicken at their coop in her yard)

Question: What would you advise Jenna re: the St. Maries council changing its mind?

When The Pilot Goes Bananas

Broadcast journalist Laurie Dhue talks with members of the media after arriving at McCarran International Airport, Tuesday in Las Vegas. Dhue was a passenger on board Jet Blue flight 191 from New York JFK when it was diverted to Amarillo, Texas after the captain stormed through the plane rambling about a bomb and threats from Iraq Tuesday until passengers on the Las Vegas-bound flight tackled him to the ground just outside the cockpit. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Question: Have you ever been on a flight in which a passenger or member of the flight crew acted up?

NIC Trustees Name 5 Prez Finalists

The North Idaho College Board of Trustees has just announced the five finalists to replace retiring President Priscilla Bell:

  • Jack Becherer, who serves as president of Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill.
  • Joseph Dunlap, who serves as president of Spokane Community Colleges.
  • Karin Hilgersom, who serves as vice president for instruction at Central Oregon Community College in Bend, Ore.
  • Nathan “Clark Williams, current vice president of operations at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Ore.
  • Denise Yochum, who serves as president of Pierce College/Fort Steilacoom in Lakewood, Wash.

The college will conduct open public forums for each candidate beginning the week of April 9. You can see the schedule for those forums and read more information about the candidates above here.

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.28.12

  • 12:24 p.m. KCSD Marine deputies were en route to Spokane River @ State Line Village after motorist reported that a kayaker had flipped over. But investigating deputy reports kayaker righted himself.
  • 11:49 a.m. Male on black w/backpack & mental condition tells officer by phone from LaQuinta, 2209 E. Sherman, says he's thinking about hurting himself.
  • 11:24 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for March 27-28 here.
  • 11:19 a.m. 911 dispatcher reports I-90 BOSS stolen vehicle hit on red Honda w/Montana plates & a “Bong Water Beer” sticker on the bumper.
  • 12 more items below

A Dog Named Huck

Meet the official mascot of HucksOnline: “Huck.” Digger provides this intro to the dog that he & Spazz own in Moscow: “This is Huck. He was named Huck because (a) Hucks Online is my favorite blog; (b) Spazz and I both thought it'd be fun in case we got a black lab we could name Jim and (c) he was a rescue dog found in a huckleberry patch. Notice that reason (A) has to do with you.”

Phaedrus: Dems Can’t Win For Losing

Phaedrus: When Democrats don’t run for an office it is often because the numbers just don’t add up for them, fundraising numbers, voter numbers, etc. But then, the likes of OST, HH , Joker, et al. slam the Democrats for not trying, not running candidates. Then when the Dems do put forth a “intelligent and very hard-working” candidate, they get slammed anyway. Six of one, half-dozen of another. Idaho sucks.

Question: How would you re-invent the Idaho Democratic Party to make in-roads into the monolithic Republican state?

Missoula Trustee Quits Over IB

Missoula County Public Schools district trustee Larry Foust, not a year into his term, abruptly quit the school board Tuesday evening, leaving board members with their jaws hanging open. Foust, a recently retired 37-year MCPS teacher, resigned after reading a short letter he had written for the special board meeting, called to approve the ballot language for the upcoming May school trustee elections and to discuss the budget. Foust, reached at home, said he has been increasingly frustrated at being asked to approve school direction and policies enacted before he began to serve last May – particularly the International Baccalaureate Program, an academically elite program that will open next year at Hellgate High School. “We should be concentrating on educating the ‘unwashed masses,’ the kids who don’t have all the nurturing,” he said. “All the kids who need a good, basic education”/Jamie Kelly, Missoulian. More here.

Question: Sounds like this guy is attacking the International Baccaulaureate program from the opposite side that Coeur d'Alene School District patron Duncan Koler is. What say you?

News Quiz Offers Movie Tickets

Who wants to go to the movies? Or take $50 in spending cash to the Davenport Hotel? This week's news quiz is offering both — two movie tickets in a random drawing and the $50 for the overall champ. You're 10 interactive questions from being in the running! Last week's winners: Mary Tafuri of Spokane Valley won the Davenport prize, and Joseph Kramarz of Spokane and Wes Floyd of Spokane Valley each won two tickets to the next Spokane Shock home game. Congrats!

Poll: Move 3rd Street Boat Parking

  • Tuesday Poll: By a narrow margin, Hucks Nation wants the city of Coeur d'Alene to follow through on plans to move the boat-trailer parking from its current location adjacent to the 3rd Street docks. 82 of 158 respondents (51.9%) favored that position. 74 of 158 (46.89%) want the trailer parking left alone. 2 respondents were undecided.
  • Today's Question: Do you think Idaho journalists report the news fairly and accurately?

AM Headline — 3.28.12

Raindrops from Monday's deluge are illuminated by morning sun as they cling to the canes of a dogwood shrub in Post Falls on Tuesday. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Yarn Stormer Attacks In Michigan

A vehicle passes a bus stop sign that is covered with a yarn, decorated with polka dots Tuesday in Royal Oak, Mich. A Yarn Bomber has struck on the west side of Coolidge Hwy south of 14 mile; knitted cozies cover a bus stop sign and three tree stumps. (AP Photo/The Detroit News, Brandy Baker )

Question: Do you knit?

Bush 41 To Endorse Mitt Romney

On Thursday, former President George H.W. Bush will formalize his support of Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential at an event in Houston, Romney officials said Wednesday. Bush, who in December told the Houston Chronicle that “I think Romney is the best choice for us” met with Romney shortly before Christmas, but has not made any public campaign appearances with the former Massachusetts governor. The 87-year-old former president joins his son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in offering Romney formal support, though Jeb Bush has not campaigned with Romney. Former President George W. Bush has yet to make an endorsement or speak publicly about the field of GOP presidential candidates/Reid J. Epstein, Politico. More here.

Question: Is Mitt Romney better prepared to take on President Obama as a result of his grueling GOPrimary race?

LeFavour Runs For Congress

Nicole LeFavour knows what it’s like to fight incredible odds. LeFavour, Idaho’s only openly gay legislator, gave copies of the movie “Brokeback Mountain” for Christmas to 60 fellow members of one of the most conservative legislatures in the nation and pushed in vain a bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. “Watching good people get hurt is something you can only be a part of for so long,” she said. Now, LeFavour is leaving the state Senate in frustration. She’s taking on Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson, a well-funded veteran congressman of 14 years who has never had even a close race for re-election. No Democrat has held the congressional seat since Richard Stallings, who is LDS like many of his constituents, left office in 1993/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Wouldn't Sen. LeFavour have better served her party & constituency by staying in the Idaho Legislature, where she has a voice, than attempting a quixotic race against Congressman Mike Simpson?


Read more here:

Solons Dis Higher Ed To Help Firms

If you want to strip Idaho's colleges and universities of their already eroding share of public funding, encourage the Idaho House to pursue its present course. It just voted 48 to 21 to transfer millions of dollars in tax goodies to Idaho's largest corporations. And to pay for it, the House would eventually wipe out the state's support of its colleges and universities. Notably, none of the lawmakers who represent Lewis-Clark State College or the University of Idaho were among those supporting it. Even though state spending is still 10 percent below its pre-Great Recession level, lawmakers such as Rep. John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, want to strangle it further/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.


‘Brokeback’ Xmas Gift Offends Nonini

A bit more on an Idaho Legislature culture clash, which was reported Wednesday by the Statesman's Sean Cockerham in a profile of Boise Democratic Sen. Nicole LeFavour, who is retiring from the Senate to run for 2nd District Congress. Cockerham was unable to reach House Education Committee Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, who LeFavour said was the lone lawmaker among 60 who received a DVD of “Brokeback Mountain” as a Christmas gift and expressed his disfavor. LeFavour intended the gift as an icebreaker that might help convince lawmakers to finally expand the Idaho Human Rights Act to cover discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. I caught up with Nonini this morning after his committee passed a compromise on teacher pay that's one of the few puzzle pieces left before lawmakers can adjourn for the year. Nonini explained why he took offense and how he returned the disc to LeFavour when the Legislature convened in January/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Was it bad form on Sen. LeFavour's part to send “Brokeback Mountain” to a social conservative like Nonini? Or bad form on Nonini's part to make an issue of it?

Read more here:

Obama, D’s Embrace ‘ObamaCare’

Holding a sign saying “We Love ObamaCare” supporters of health care reform rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 27, 2012, as the court continued hearing arguments on the health care law signed by President Barack Obama. Go ahead, call it ObamaCare. Obama’s re-election campaign has lifted an unofficial ban on using the opposition’s derisive term for his health care law. Democratic activists have been chanting, “We love ObamaCare,” in front of the Supreme Court. And the campaign is selling T-shirts and bumper stickers that proclaim: “I like ObamaCare.” (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Question: What do you think of the move by the Obama administration to embrace the opposition's word, “ObamaCare”?

Random: A Pox On All Journo Houses

Random RE: Decision time for Idaho journalists: As much as our journalists twist and change the facts, who cares or trusts them? The journalists of today have lost the ability to portray and report the truth … their bias is more than evident. Who cares how they vote? They don’t know how to tell the truth so their vote can’t be trusted as to their views … they will vote how it will best serve them.

Question: Do you distrust/despise  journalists as much as Random does?

Ichiro, Ackley Lead M’s In Opener

Ichiro Suzuki racked up four hits — including an RBI single in the 11th inning — as the Mariners' right fielder had a homecoming to remember in a 3-1 victory for the Mariners in the first game of the Japan Opening Series with the A's on Wednesday. Second baseman Dustin Ackley drove in Seattle's other two runs with a home run in the fourth and the go-ahead single in the 11th, while Felix Hernandez pitched eight innings of one-run ball. “More than the four hits, it was more being able to enjoy the atmosphere with the fans,” Ichiro said through interpreter Antony Suzuki in the cramped Tokyo Dome visitor's clubhouse. “Being there with the same feelings, that was special to me. That's what will stay in my heart”/Greg Johns, More here. (AP photo: Dustin Ackley hits an RBI single in the 11th inning of their American League season opening MLB baseball game at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo today)

Question: How does it feel, Seattle fans, for your beloved Mariners to have the best record in Major League Baseball (1-0)?

Kroc Center’s Chamnesses Promoted

Majors John and Lani Chamness of Coeur d'Alene's Salvation Army Kroc Center are being transferred to new positions as the divisional commanders of the Hawaii and Pacific Island Division of The Salvation Army in June. The Chamnesses have been with The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Coeur d’Alene since its inception in 2006. They helped lead the initial bid to bring a Kroc Center to Coeur d’Alene, and subsequently spearheaded the planning and construction of the building. Both majors have served as an integral part of center, overseeing pre-development, fundraising, planning of Kroc Church, creation of the advisory board and more … Kroc Center Associate Officer Major Ben Markham will be stepping into the role of Kroc Center executive director/Kroc Center news release. More here. (2006 SR file photo: Major John M. Chamness, left, of The Salvation Army shakes hands after learning Coeur d’Alene was selected as a site for a $65 million Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center)

CDAJim: I am saddened, but not surprised to hear of their well-deserved promotion back to the area where Lani’s family lives and where they were stationed in the past. John and Lani are incredibly dedicated to The Salvation Army’s mission of “Doing the Most Good” which they have shown that since they first arrived in our area. I know they will continue that dedication for many, many years to come. A very sincere “God Speed and Aloha”.

Question: Have you had the pleasure to know the Chamnesses during their time in Coeur d'Alene?

Anderson: Individual Mandate

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Tuesday — 3.27.12

The forecast calls for rain sometime today. But Hucks Online is enjoying the sunny view above Northwest Boulevard this morning in our viewtiful city by the lake. Here's hoping sunshine will be the rule for awhile, so we can enjoy the next two months before the tourists & visitors take over. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 3.28.12

On his wall, Facebook Friend Robin Loznak of Roseburg, Ore., posts this photo with the caption: “The jumping spider appears to wave hello from a fern frond this afternoon near my home in western Oregon. Did you know jumping spiders have highly developed eyes and are considered to have the best vision among invertebrates?” You can see more of Robin's work here.

Angry Birds Space: 10M Downloads

If you spent a significant portion of your weekend hurling birds through space, you aren't alone: This week, Rovio tweeted that its new game Angry Birds Space has been downloaded 10 million times in just three days. “I can't think of another app that has done this well, especially when you consider that they only have a paid version available in the iTunes App Store,” said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at the mobile analytics firm Flurry. “The closest success story I can think of is OMGPOP's Draw Something, which racked up 20 million total downloads in five weeks.” Rovio released Angry Birds on Thursday in the US on Apple iOS, Google Android, PC and Mac simultaneously/Digital Life. More here. (AP photo: A visitor tries on the new game “Angry Birds Space” during a launching ceremony last Thursday)

Question: Are you an “Angry Birds” fanatic?

PM Scanner Traffic — 3.27.12

  • 5:26 p.m. Female pursued by 4 males in I-90 road rage incident in Post Falls drives to county jail.
  • 5:22 p.m. Caller from church @ 5225 16th/PF reports having to throw rock @ aggressive Lab.
  • 5:21 p.m. ISP officer reports removing dead cat from unknown location along I-90.
  • 5:13 p.m. Female reports custodial problems with stepdaughter's aunt.
  • 4:48 p.m. Caller reports gray car w/taped left tail light cut her off before exiting e/b @ the state line. She followed him to the State Line Speedway.
  • 4:32 p.m. Ronald reports garage burglary try 2 nights ago in 20500 block of Altamont/Rathdrum.
  • 3:58 p.m. Caller reports wanted man named Travis is now @ house @ Kyler & Tessa/Hayden.
  • 3:55 p.m. Caller reports neighbor on Cartwright/Bonanza Ranch let's pitbull roam free.
  • 16 items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM Headlines — 3.27.12

Portland Fire and Rescue personnel work to extricate 34-year-old quarter horse Roxy after she had fallen into an old septic tank and was unable to get out in Portland, Ore. The only injury appeared to be a laceration to her front leg, which firefighters bandaged up before a veterinarian arrived.  The horse was stressed out and shaking after the incident, but was able to walk on her own to her barn after a thorough hose bath.(AP Photo/Portland Fire and Rescue, Greg Muhr)

Stebbijo: Voting Is Privacy Issue

Stebbijo: I agree, however, that it is a gold mine for folks like Wayne Hoffman because the primary vote becomes a a ‘public record.’ One could even argue that it creates a stigma and a hostile or unsafe environment once your political view becomes public record without your permission. You will never see me particpate in any sort of thing like a primary for this very reason, not that I would lose my job or anything, it’s just that I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business — it is a privacy issue.

Question: Will you be more reluctant to vote in the 2012 primary as a result of the closed-primary requirement that you declare political affiliation?

Susan Boyle Still Wows ‘Em

Susan Boyle performs during her musical 'I Dreamed A Dream' at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle, England, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

Question: Do you still thrill at the thought of how Susan Boyle burst onto the music scene?

Decision Time For Idaho Journalists

In her Idaho Press Club President's Column for the spring newsletter, SR colleague Betsy Russell tells of a dilemma facing us journalists in Idaho this spring. We have to decide whether or not to vote in the primaries, which for the first time will require party affiliation. Seems Wayne Hoffman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation has hinted that he might track how Idaho journalists vote & in which primary they vote. Betsy says she has no problem complying with SR rules that journalists are not to take part in a party-run event designed for partisans, like a caucus. But a primary is another matter, especially in Republican-dominated Idaho where primaries often decide who wins the general election. Betsy goes on to say that she's been warned by Editor Gary Graham that a vote by her in the primary could compromise her ability to cover government & politics. (Gary has told me that I'm in a different situation in that I'm an opinion writer with well known political proclivities. Read: I'm going to vote the Republican ticket, Wayne.)

Question: Do you think it's right that journalists are somewhat disenfranchised by the Idaho GOP push to require party affiliation at the primary polls?

Nonini Says Why He Sat On Bully Bill

House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, defended his decision not to hear the (anti-bullying) bill. “We had a hearing on that last year, and it was somewhat of a contentious hearing,” he said. “I talked to  (Senate Education) Chairman (John) Goedde early in the session and said I wasn't interested in seeing a bullying bill over here.” The bill came through the Senate Judiciary Committee this year. Nonini said, “I'm not hearing that it's a big problem — I'm sure there's isolated instances, for sure, but I think the districts have policies to deal with those.” He added, “Some of my committee members asked if we could just get by another year without hearing another bullying bill”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you buying what Nonini's selling here re: not wanting to get into contentious hearing?

Cindy: Baseball? Bah, Humbug

Nebraska's Chad Christensen (2), home plate umpire Pat Spieler and Nebraska third base coach Will Bolt (6) signal a safe call for Richard Stock (39) sliding past Illinois catcher Kelly Norris-Jones in the third inning of an NCAA college baseball game Saturday in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/The Journal-Star, Ted Kirk)

On her Facebook wall, Cindy writes: “The only thing worse than watching Major League Baseball is a root canal. Unless they offer nitrous oxide. Then I'll take the root canal.” Dunno about you, but I (heart) Major League Baseball. I've followed it and the San Francisco Giants since I was 8 in 1958. Even pay $20 to, so I can listen to any ballgame I want while puttering in my home office. How about you?

Question: Are you a true blue fan like DFO or are you an unbeliever like Super Sub Cindy?

We All Wear Hoodies Now

Hoodies are much in the news now as a result of the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin by a security guard in Florida. National Basketball Association star LeBron James and his teammates on the Miami Heat as well as rap artist Sean Combs are among celebrities who've joined a social media campaign rallying “A Million Hoodies for Trayvon Martin,” according to a Bloomberg News story here. I didn't think much about hoodies until this tragedy occurred. I own one. My favorite one, a blue Gonzaga bulldog hoodie that I wear when walking or biking outside in this weather. It's my go-to sweatshirt. I rarely put the hood up, however. It was bone-chilling cold & windy during a walk along the north shore last time I wore it. How about you? (AP photo: Congregants wear hoodies during a service at Middle Collegiate Church in New York Sunday)

Question: Do you own/wear a hoodie?

Richert: Ultrasound Battle May Return

Opinionator Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman provides us with Wednesday editorial: “It’s a good outcome — even if it’s inconclusive. A bill requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion has been tabled for 2012. For the time being, score one for citizen engagement. For the Idahoans who stood up against intrusive, demeaning legislation. For the Idahoans who went to a conservative Statehouse to espouse conservative principles — personal privacy, and freedom from government mandate. This is a victory. But perhaps just a temporary one. On Tuesday, House State Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Loertscher put an end to the legislative limbo, saying his committee will not consider the ultrasound bill. But, if he’s re-elected, Loertscher he would work with anti-abortion groups on a new bill. What would it look like? Good question.” More here.

Question: Do you think this bill will be back in 2013 Legislature?

Nonini’s Bill Helps Private Schools

Among the bills successfully amended in the House this afternoon: HB 670, Rep. Bob Nonini's bill to grant up to $10 million a year in tax credits to individuals or corporations for donations to “scholarship granting organizations” that would give scholarships for K-12 students to attend private schools; and SB 1303, the Senate-passed animal cruelty bill, which was amended to include one of the provisions of HB 650, the House-passed animal cruelty bill, regarding penalties for cockfighting/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you support Rep. Bob Nonini's bill to grant up to $10 million per year toward scholarships for private K-12 schools?

Hi-Noon: No Harm, No Foul

Odd tweet from about 11:20 a.m. from Coeur d'Alene Police Department: “There has been some questions about a rape that occurred this week in CdA.The incident was not classified a crime and was a consensual act. The magazine company noted was a legitimate company. We do not recommend allowing solicitors inside however.”

Question: Do you routinely chat with door-to-door solicitors? Or do you cut them off with a “not interested”?

Kissing Him Goodbye

Marissa Shadler kisses boyfriend Cory Dutkiewicz goodby as he prepares to deploy on The USS New York, an amphibious transport dock ship, from Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Va. on Tuesday. This is the first deployment of the ship, parts of which were built with steel from the World Trade Center. The New York is part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and will operate in the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley)

Question: Did you ever have to leave your sweetheart or family for a year or more? What was that like?

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.28.12

  • 12:13 p.m. Post Falls WalMart/Mullan reports a disorderly person on store grounds.
  • 12:07 p.m. PFPD officer looking for wanted person in area of McGuire & Seltice Way.
  • 12:01 p.m. Caller reports male taking things from property of neighbor who has recently died in 9800 block of West Riverview/CdA. Deputy found that male is related to deceased.
  • 11:46 a.m. Sarah, from 509 area code, has found ring that may be from Kootenai County burglary.
  • 11:22 a.m. Driver may have concussion from 12th & Greensferry/PF crash but eschews medical.
  • 11:10 a.m. Guy wanted for giving female black eye now backing car around Post Falls WalMart lot.
  • 11:05 p.m. Bonnie has questions for county animal control re: wild cats.
  • 11:04 a.m. Caller from 1600 block of Cardinal Avenue/Hayden.
  • 11:01 a.m. Rider truck & Ford Taurus may be involved in road rage @ e/b 53 & Greensferry.
  • 12 more items below

LBJ: Fascinating, Flawed Prez — MJ

The steady re-examination and reinterpretation of our 36th president is one of the most interesting developments in the shifting world of political history and biography. There are new and often very good books all the time about the Roosevelts, Kennedy and, more often now, Reagan, but the story of the big, drawling Texan is simply a political historian’s dream. The fact that LBJ biographer Robert Caro is about to release the fourth volume of his massive and nearly life-long work on Johnson was, in and of itself, a significant news story. The book, Passage to Power, is out May 1/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: Last play favorite president of last 50 years. Mine? Ronald Reagan. Yours?

Poll: ‘Obamacare’ Unconstitutional

  • Monday Poll: A large majority of Hucks Nation considers the health insurance mandate supported by the Obama administration to be unconstitutional. 129 of 222 respondents (58.11%) said the law, which is being argued in the U.S. Supreme Court today, is unconstitutional 82 of 222 respondents (36.94%) say it is constitutional. 11 (4.95%) are undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Should parking for boat trailers be kept on the waterfront adjacent to Coeur d'Alene's Third Street docks?

Did Solon Compare Fluke To Bulldog?

Planned Parenthood of Montana has denounced as “degrading, sexist and inexcusable” comments made by state Rep. Krayton Kerns (pictured), R-Laurel, about contraception. Kerns is a veterinarian who writes a regular article on his personal website called, “Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor.” In his article, “Sandra Fluke: Poster Child of a Progressive America,” Kerns discussed the Georgetown University law student, who raised the cost of contraception at a hearing held by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Kerns later talked about how when he was at veterinary school at Colorado State University, a bulldog made $1,000 a month for stud services. Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Stacey Anderson accused Kerns of linking an American college student to an animal, while the legislator denied that he had done that/Charles S. Johnson, Billings Gazette State Bureau. More here. (Photo: Montana Legislative information office)

Question: Did the legislator link Sandra Fluke to the old Colorado State bulldog or not?

Joker: ‘Embrace The Insanity’

Joker comments: Have you ever heard the voice of God, Great Spirit or something out of this world command you? I heard a voice last night. At first I ignored the voice. Then the voice got louder. Finally, I gave in. I let the voice speak to me – it was a like a chorus of angels or a heavenly symphony – so beautiful. The voice told me I needed to vote for some messengers of madness in the Republican Primary, specifically Kootenai County commissioner candidate Larry Spencer, Kootenai County sheriff candidate John Green and Kootenai County Prosecutor candidate Donald Gary. Now some of you may think I am crazy for supporting these candidates – I am not. I have looked madness in the eye and it told me that we need to “embrace the insanity” and elect these guys. More below.


AM: Ultrasound Bill Dead For 2012

Kerry Uhlenkott, of Right to Life of Idaho, at podium, speaks to a crowd of 150 supporters of a bill to require an ultrasound be performed on women seeking an abortion in Idaho Monday on the steps of the Ohio Capitol in Boise. The rally was aimed at convincing lawmakers to resurrect the bill, which was sidelined last week on concerns in the Idaho House that it was a government overreach into the private lives of women and their doctors. This morning, State Affairs Chairman Tom Loertscher declared the bill dead for the 2012 Idaho Legislature. Story here. (AP/Statesman photo: Darin Oswald)

DFO’s Critters: Tiny Dog

A female Dachshund mix named Beyonce is fed in El Dorado Hills, Calif March 10. The puppy named after one of the world's biggest pop stars could set the world's record for tiniest dog. Animal rescuers in Northern California say that Beyonce was so small at birth that she could fit into a spoon. (AP Photo/El Dorado DOG Photography, Lisa Van Dyke)

DFO: Speaking of dogs, Digger & Spazz have named their new pup Huck, partially because Huckleberries Online is their favorite blog. How cool is that? And you thought I was the real Huckleberry Hound?

Question: How did you choose the name for your dog (or cat, if Cindy is out there blurking)?

Nonini Sitting On Anti-Bullying Bill

Rep. Brian Cronin, D-Boise, tried a parliamentary maneuver in the House this morning to pull SB 1358, the Senate-passed anti-bullying bill, out of the House Education Committee, where Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, hasn't held a hearing on it. Nonini argued against the move. “I have talked about SB 1358 with my committee members, and I believe the best place for that Senate bill to sit right now is in the Education Committee,” he told the House/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you support Nonini's attempt to kill the anti-bullying bill?

Hall: Heal The Young Indestructibles

They have been called the young indestructibles, young adults in the prime of life who are pretty darned sure they are immortal and don't need medical insurance. Life can have wicked surprises for people who don't have insurance. When you suddenly decide you need insurance, it's usually too late. Insurance doesn't get your attention until you have run up a large and unexpected medical bill. Insurance is a strange purchase. You buy it hoping you never get your money's worth. If you didn't get your money's worth this year, it's because you didn't get seriously sick or hurt. However, if people who shun insurance protection are called the young indestructibles, then most of the rest of us should be called the old suckers because we end up not only buying our own protection but paying for the medical care of those who walk the tightrope of life without an insurance net beneath them/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More to come.

Question: What life's lesson taught you that you aren't indestructible?

Ultrasound Backers Want Hearing

Six supporters of Senate Bill 1387 drove from Sandpoint to Boise to lobby for the bill. After a 10-minute hallway conversation with House State Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Loerstcher early Tuesday, they remain frustrated that the bill has yet to receive a hearing. “We came 500 miles,” said Judy Howrey, board chair of the Life Choices Pregnancy Center in Sandpoint, which offers free ultrasounds. “We want to find out about the meeting and why it was canceled.” Loertcher canceled a hearing on SB 1387 last week, after objections were raised in a closed-door Republican caucus. “There is no hearing scheduled,” said Loertscher, R-Iona, who was headed to his office for a private meeting with two prominent backers of the bill, Kerry Uhlenkott of Right to Life of Idaho and Julie Lynde of Cornerstone Family Council, the Idaho affiliate of Focus on the Family/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you think the 2012 session will end session without the ultrasound bill hearing?

Read more here:

Paul: Don’t Count Me Out

Ron Paul on Monday argued that people should not dismiss his candidacy simply because he lags far behind in the fight for the Republican presidential nomination. “Our people are in the right places. They’re doing the things to become delegates,” Paul said on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” adding that it was too soon in the process to “write anybody off.” While the Texas congressman has yet to win a contest in the GOP primary, he has so far picked up 71 delegates, according to CNN’s latest estimate. The number puts Paul in a distant fourth place in the delegate count, as front-runner Mitt Romney has 569, Rick Santorum comes in second with 262 and Newt Gingrich has 136 delegates/Ashley Killough, CNN. More here.

Question: What impact can Ron Paul have at this point?

Here’s Looking At You, Kid

Twins Andrew and Ryan Jouannet with there head already shaved with a smile design are supporting their sister's Lindsey Jouannet having her hair cut by 10 inches for Locks of Love during the St. Baldrick's Foundation event Saturday in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/The Durham Herald-Sun, Bernard Thomas)

Question: What's the oddest hair style that you've worn?

Paul: We Prefer ‘North Idaho,’ Period

Paul Matthews re: “North Idaho or northern Idaho?”: It is a common courtesy to allow an individual to define his/ her own term of address, as in “please call me Paul” or “Mr. Matthews will be fine” I think everybody here prefers North Idaho. I have always been vaguely insulted by people like our Governor who make a point of saying “northern” Idaho. Reminds me of the kind of insecure people who call a person “chief” or “sport” or “boy.”

Question: Do you think Gov. Butch Otter knows or cares that residents of this region prefer that it be called “North Idaho”?

Plan Seeks More Accessible Tubbs Hill

Item: A more accessible Tubbs Hill: Plan would reduce grade of trail, create wheelchair turnarounds/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: The city of Coeur d'Alene is trekking forward with its plans to alter the east side of Tubbs Hill to make the popular hiking trail more accessible for people with disabilities. The General Services Committee, a subcommittee of the Coeur d'Alene City Council, recommended Monday the city contract Welch Comer Engineers for $9,000 engineering studies to determine how to improve wheelchair accessibility on the downtown hill. The proposed project doesn't have anything to do with creating a north trail on Tubbs Hill, which is how it earned its support from the Tubbs Hill Foundation.

Question: Does Tubbs Hill need to become more accessible?

Move Afoot Not To Move Boat Parking

A boat launch without trailer parking attached to it isn't much of a boat launch, according to a pair of City Council members. City Council members Steve Adams and Ron Edinger (pictured) want to revisit the McEuen Field conceptual plan by directing its designers, Team McEuen, to include the current boat trailer parking lot at the Third Street marina. It doesn't make sense to keep the boat launch and not the adjoining parking lot, they said. “In the spirit of compromise, I think that's fair,” Adams said Monday. The topic will go before the City Council next week after Adams and Edinger requested it be placed on next week's agenda during Monday's General Services Committee meeting/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Should parking for the Third Street boat launch remain adjacent to the docks?

Wild Card/Monday — 3.26.12

I was accosted by Larry Spencer signs while driving to church on 4th Street Sunday. I counted 4 or 5 between from the Nazarene Church to Finucane Park. Spencer slamming Dan Green for the parking garage proposal. Spencer's smiling face with the Elvis Presley forelock working for him. Spencer warning that government can't fix itself. Spencer, Spencer, Spencer. I thought I'd stepped through the looking glass and was in Bonner County. Help us, Obi Wan Kenobi, you're our only hope. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 3.26.12

St. Louis Cardinals' Tyler Greene, left, and David Freese are reflected in teammate Erik Komatsu's sunglasses as they walk into the dugout after the top of the seventh inning of a spring training baseball game against the New York Mets in Jupiter, Fla., Monday. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

DFO: I've been a fan of the San Francisco Giants almost 55 years. I expect them to rebound from their injury-riddled season in 2011 & do well this year.

Question: Which Major League Baseball team is your favorite? Why? And how do you expect it to do in 2012?

Ward: ‘Bigger Fish To Fry’

Jeff Ward of the Reagan Republicans sent this e-mail this afternoon to friends who wondered what they should do at the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee meeting Tuesday night re: the Richard Mack Lincoln Day speech: “A number of people have contacted me concerning a strategy about Tuesdays Central Committee meeting. My recommendation is to have no meeting strategy. Our previous goal was to change the speaker at the Lincoln Day Dinner. Although we won a legal vote, a decision was made to disregard the will of the majority and Mr. Mack spoke anyway.  Regardless of the numerous law and bylaws violations that took place,  the milk is spilled and the point now is moot. Although the Mack invite was a mistake, I have to commend those who worked so hard on the Lincoln Day Dinner for making best out of a bad situation,  as well as the financial angels and candidates to picked up the slack by sponsoring extra tables to avert disaster.  I hope enough funds were raised to counteract the extra costs of the caucuses and pay our outstanding county quota to the state party.” More here.


PM Scanner Traffic — 3.26.12

  • 5:03 p.m. Female frantic b/c 25YO & 19YO males fighting in home in 3900 block of Laurel/CdA.
  • 5:01 p.m. Boy w/baseball bat & 2 friends confronting 6-7 others at Bluegrass Park in CdA Place.
  • 4:53 p.m. Suspicious male in gray hoodie appears to be checking out vehicles in parking lots of KMart (first) & then Home Depot (near garden center), according to another driver.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for March 25-26 here.
  • 4:23 p.m. Government Way, from Hanley to Dalton, will be closed for 10-12 hours until repair crews can fix a gas leak caused by road construction crew rupturing a natural gas line.
  • 4:16 p.m. A Yorkshire & a Lab are running into traffic on H95 @ M/P 428 (Blackwell Island)
  • 3:49 p.m. Officers are shutting down n/b traffic @ Govt & Dalton as result of gas leak near Cenex.
  • 18 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 3.26.12

Barricades block the intersection of Fifth and Roosevelt Streets in Moscow on Monday. Flood water from Paradise Creek was flowing up through the storm drains on the street. (AP Photo/Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Geoff Crimmins)

EOB: Legislature Adjournment Nears

The Senate has adjourned for the day, and Senate Republicans have headed into a closed-door caucus. The Senate will convene at 9 a.m. tomorrow, as will the House. Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, said the Senate will work through the morning and finish its calendar by noon, after which focus will turn to the three remaining big issues that are hampering the close of the legislative session: tax cuts, teacher pay, and state savings. Davis said the Legislature will “hopefully be out of here a few days thereafter.” Amid murmuring, he added, “Think positive, folks”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Would you rather have the legislators in Boise or at home?

Jackson: ‘Blacks Are Under Attack’

Rev. Jesse Jackson, right, speaks as Rev. Al Sharpton listens during a community forum on slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin at the Macedonia Baptist Church in Eatonville, Fla., Monday. Jackson called the death of unarmed Martin a turning point. Story here. Students also held rallies on the campus of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee and outside the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, where prosecutors are reviewing the case to determine if charges should be filed. (AP Photo/Julie Fletcher)


The Tin Man

Old Dick Cheney
is sly and smart,
and now at last
he has a heart.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Lew2nl: North Or Northern Idaho?

In responding to an issue raised by DeePee re: Idaho going back to Mountain Standard/Daylight Time, Lew2nl asks whether we live in North Idaho or northern Idaho. We haven't discussed this issue for awhile, so I'll post it out here with this caveat: The Lewiston Tribune (where I worked from 1982-84) labels the 10 northernmost Idaho counties “northern Idaho.” The SR calls the 5 northernmost counties “North Idaho.” Politicians from Boise, like Gov. Butch Otter, refers to the Panhandle as “northern Idaho.” And I've always called the southern counties “Sufferin' Idaho” because they don't have the beauty of North Idaho.

Question: So what do you call the 5 northernmost Idaho counties?

NIBlogs: Not Just Any Ol’ Hotdog

I don't know how Stebbijo's husband stays so lanky when she prepares mouth-watering Food Porn like this. More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for week of March 18-24): 49,267/30,360

‘Survivor’s‘ Rupert Runs For Guv

In this May 27, 2007, file photo, May Rupert Boneham, from the television show “Survivor,” pumps up the crowd before a race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis. Libertarian Party members are set to nominate the former television reality series star as their candidate for Indiana governor during its state convention on Saturday in Indianapolis.. (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)

Question: Have you ever voted for a Libertarian candidate?

Kelsey: Beware Terror Gulch At Night

Reporter Kelsey Saintz of Shoshone News-Press tweets about one of the offbeat places in the Silver Valley: “Funny place names: Terror Gulch, near Osburn. Remind me not to drive there on dark and stormy nights.”

Question: Can you think of other odd names for a place in the Inland Northwest?

Denney Blocks Pension-Spiking Bill

A few weeks ago, Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, blocked a bill to end legislative pension-spiking by former lawmakers. The bill, brought by Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, would have essentially prevented legislators spiking their taxpayer-funded pensions by taking high-paying state jobs after lengthy careers in the Idaho Capitol. The bill was heard by the House State Affairs Committee early in the session, but because Lake had to attend another meeting during the hearing, committee members couldn’t get answers to their questions and held the measure at the call of the panel chair. That call never came and will not come this year. House State Affairs Committee chair Tom Loertescher, R-Iona, told last week that he placed a hold on the bill at Denney’s request. When approached about the issue, Denney said that he feels it’s completely improper for lawmakers to decide issues relating to their own salary and benefits/Dustin Hurst, Idaho Reporter. More here.


SR: Caustic Wit Enlive ‘Pete ‘N Keely’

Showmanship and swingin’ music flourish in Lake City Playhouse’s “Pete ’n’ Keely.” Cabaret singer and local theater veteran Abbey Crawford directs and performs in this entertaining production of James Hindman, Patrick S. Brady and Mark Waldrop’s well-received off-Broadway musical. Crawford reunites with musical director Carolyn Jess; the two were also part of the Actors Repertory Theatre’s production of this show in Spokane in 2008. Set in a glitzy NBC studio in 1968, the show follows famous singing duet Pete Bartel and Keely Stevens – once “America’s swingin’ sweethearts,” now bitterly divorced – as they attempt to restore their showbiz careers and reunite for a live television special/Tracy Poindexter-Canton/SR. More here. (2008 SR file photo for illustrative purposes, of Spokane Falls Community College performance of “Pete 'n Keely)

Question: Which play did you last see at the Lake City Playhouse? How would you rate LCPlayhouse plays?

An Oscar For ‘Hunger Games’ Star?

After starring in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara managed to land a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance in the violent film adaptation of a cult-smash novel. Can Jennifer Lawrence do the same with The Hunger Games? At this point we have no real idea of what her potential competition could be, but I’d say it’s not out of the question. After all, Lawrence has already caught the Academy’s eye thanks to her breakout turn in the 2010 Sundance hit Winter’s Bone. And The Hunger Games has become an instant hit with both audiences and critics/David Karger, Inside Movies. More here. (AP/Lionsgate file photo: Elizabeth Banks portrays Effie Trinket, left, and Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from “The Hunger Games”)

Question (for those who have seen “Hunger Games”: Review?

Hi-Noon: Age Limit For Transplants?

SpudBob: “I read that Former VP Dick Cheney, aged 71, got a heart transplant over the weekend. Politics and personalities aside, do you think there should be an upper age limit for heart transplants? If you do, where would YOU set the limit?” Story here.

Question: I thought the same thing. So I'll push SpudBob out front with his question: Should there be an upper limit re: age for transplant patients?

Pope Styles In Sombrero

Pope Benedict XVI waves from the popemobile wearing a Mexican sombrero as he arrives to give a Mass in Bicentennial Park near Silao, Mexico, Sunday. (AP photo)

Question: Is a sombrero a good luck for Pope Benedict XVI?

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.26.12

  • 12:23 p.m. Idaho Liquor Store worker reports male who has been sitting outside for 2 hours & has officer safety alert for him has entered the store. He left his backpack on the curb.
  • 12:16 p.m. Likely false holdup alarm sounding @ Medicine man, Cornerstone & Prairie/Hayden.
  • 12:04 p.m. Pharmacy @ 208 W. Ironwood/CdA reports possible prescription drugs problem.
  • 12:03 p.m. Tonya reports to KCSD that she's receiving harassing texts
  • 11:48 a.m. Unknown type of suspicious activity reported @ 9th & Front/CdA (close to library).
  • 11:45 a.m. A disabled Dodge Caravan is partially blocking Mullan & Regal/PF.
  • 11:34 a.m. Hayden resident wants to see deputy re: possible sexual abuse.
  • 11:27 a.m. Black Jeep driven by older female bumping curbs @ H95 & Honeysuckle/Hayden.
  • 9 more items below

Katie: You’re Killing Me, Ma Nature

A tweet from Katie Utehs/Krem expresses my sentiments exactly re: grapple currently falling outside my office window on Northwest Boulevard: “Mother nature you're killing me! What is this slush falling from the sky?” Is it time to sacrifice a local weather forecaster in the nearest volcano to see if we can get things changed around?

Question: What do you make of grapple/snow on March 26?

House OKs $200,000 Legal Defense

The House has voted 53-16 in favor of setting up a $200,000 legal defense fund for the Legislature, funded from the state's general tax funds and controlled by the Speaker of the House and the President Pro-Tem of the Senate. “It is for any time that they should happen to need outside legal counsel,” House Appropriations Chair Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, told the House. Minority Democrats spoke out against the bill. “This is a really interesting and I think wrong-headed precedent that we're setting here … and appropriating what's really a significant amount of money,” said Rep. Brian Cronin, D-Boise. “We already have a constitutionally elected officer in an office that handles these matters, and so we pay for that. So to have duplicative efforts like this definitely represents a growth of government, and I don't think it's prudent”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Doesn't this legislation show a lack of confidence in the voter-approved attorney general?

Aggressive Parents Ruin Egg Hunt

In an April 23, 2011, photo, children dash to collect as many eggs as possible at the Old Colorado City Easter Egg Hunt on in Colorado Springs, Colo. Organizers have canceled this year's event, complaining of parental behavior. They say that last year aggressive parents swarmed into a tiny Colorado Springs park last year, determined that their kids get an egg. Story here. (AP Photo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, Jerilee Bennett)

Question: Do you have an anecdotal story re: an aggressive parent ruining an event?

DeePee: Why Not 1 Idaho Time Zone

DeePee: Since the WC is wide open this a.m., might we open/reopen a discussion on northern Idaho’s time zone? Being on Mountain Time, as is southern Idaho, Montana, Utah, Arizona Colorado, etc., etc., would give us longer afternoons and evenings. Why, with our own Wal-Marts and Costcos, and with the closure of their stock exchange, do we need to sync up with Spokane anymore?

Question: I like DeePee's idea. A lot. How about you?

Poll: Congress, Legislature Terrible

  • Weekend Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation sez both Congress and the Idaho Legislature are terrible examples of governing bodies. 103 of 232 respondents (44.4%) said that Congress and the Idaho Legislature are equally bad in the performance of their duties. 72 of 232 respondents (31.03%) picked Congress as worst than the Idaho Legislature. 56 of 232 (24.14%) said the Legislature was worse than Congress.
  • Today's Poll: Do you think President Obama's health care overhaul is constitutional?

AM Headlines — 3.26.12

In this AP file photo, David “Cricket” Powell holds an Occupy Boise protest sign at a rally of about 50 demonstrators celebrating what they deemed a victory Feb. 27 after a federal judge ruled the State temporarily cannot remove their encampment in Boise. Today, the House State Affairs Committee voted on a party-line vote for a bill that restricts behavior of individuals like Occupy Boise. Story here. (AP photo, Idaho Statesman/Darin Oswald)

A Special Watch

Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Swiss watchmaker Hublot, presents the exclusive watch 'King Power UEFA Euro 2012' for the upcoming European Soccer Championships Euro 2012 during a press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Question: Do you wear a wrist watch?

Bell: Team ‘McRuin’ Throws Curve Ball

The headline read “here's the pitch” as Ron Ouren, fundraising director, sought $3 million in private donations to build a new field on distant Cherry Hill to replace historic Legion Field at McEuen Field. Perhaps Ron, comfortable in retirement from his successful banking career, does not appreciate what is happening in Coeur d'alene. The wrecking crew from Team McRuin will be destroying scenic McEuen baseball field that attracts thousands of baseball players to downtown businesses. Ron calls the new field, the field of dreams. Sorry, but the scenic fields at McEuen overlooking the lake were the “field of dreams”/Steve Bell, My Turn, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree with Steve Bell's sentiments?

8 Reasons To Move To Coeur d’Alene

It's easy to feel cynical right now. The snow, sleet, gloom, and rain can get a person down, especially in the spring, when it feels like winter will never go away. Why do we live here again? What's so good about this place to keep us here 12 months of the year? So we asked around. We Facebooked the question, cold called on the telephone and went out and asked folks: Why should anyone move to Coeur d'Alene? Some answers were jokes, plenty were serious, some seemed obvious and others surprising. “Don't move here,” said Alison Lawhead, buying movie tickets at Riverstone on Friday, who thinks Coeur d'Alene is the perfect mesh of small-town vibe and big-city atmosphere. “So the people who were born and raised here can have it to themselves”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Why would you tell someone to move to the Coeur d'Alene area?

MT: Come To Idaho’s Prisons & Die

Take your time reading correctional health expert Dr. Marc Stern's report to U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill about how contractor Brentwood, Tenn.-based Corizon is managing health care in the Idaho prison system. But you'll eventually realize the state isn't spending enough to safeguard the health of the men and women in its custody. Maybe you'll get there by page 8, where Stern reports finding inmates who waited five weeks before health care providers responded to their requests for help. Or how about page 12, where staff failed to resusitate an unconscious, barely breathing man who later died of cardiac arrest?/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Is health care for Idaho prisoners a matter that concerns you?

Mack Speech Goes Off Without Hitch

Richard Mack felt apprehensive about coming to Coeur d'Alene. Speaking moments before he was to take the stage as the controversial keynote speaker during the Republican party's primary fundraiser, Mack said he never felt as unwelcome as he did before coming to Coeur d'Alene. “This has never happened to me before,” the Republican candidate in Texas for the U.S. House of Representatives told The Press about the decision by the local party to bar him from speaking. But the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee re-invited Mack to speak at its Lincoln Day Dinner and Mack said he was glad to accept it - again. “After I saw the crowd and talked to the people I felt good,” he said. “I guess I didn't hurt attendance any”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: What will be the fallout of this event?

Fiery Protest

A Tibetan exile man, identified as Jampa Yeshi, runs engulfed in flames after self-immolating during a demonstration in New Delhi, India, Monday. Yeshi lit himself on fire and ran shouting through a protest in the Indian capital Monday, just ahead of a visit by China's president Hu Jintao and following self-immolations in the Himalayan region against Beijing's rule. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

MJ: Remembering Clancy Standridge

More than 20 years ago I was on the way home from a trip to Washington, D.C. with Clancy Standridge, who was for many years the legislative liaison and a top political confidante of my old boss Idaho Gov. Cecil D. Andrus. It was late, the flight had been a long one, we were a little grumpy and tired from a series of those non-stop and not very productive meetings you often have in the nation’s capitol. As we stumbled up the long concourse in the Salt Lake City airport headed for the connecting flight to Idaho, handsome, debonair Clancy offered up an observation I have found myself repeating ever since. “This time of day,” he said, “your shoes feel like they are on the wrong feet.” Everyone laughed and the ordeal of getting home suddenly didn’t seem so onerous. That was Clancy Standridge. Anyone who was around the Idaho Statehouse during the late 1980′s and early 1990′s will remember white haired, well-tailored Clancy Standridge who died recently in Portland, Oregon at age 84/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.


Court Hears ‘Obamacare’ Arguments

With demonstrators chanting outside, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments today on the fate of President Barack Obama’s historic health care overhaul, no less controversial two years after Democrats pushed it to passage in Congress. Twenty-six states are leading the legal challenge, while Republican presidential candidates are vowing to repeal it after throwing Obama out of office. The law, much of which has still to take effect, would require almost all Americans to obtain health insurance and would extend coverage to more than 30 million people who now lack it. The law would be the largest expansion in the nation’s social safety net in more than four decades. The nine justices began hearing arguments a little after 10 a.m. EDT/AP. More here. (AP photo: A bible is held in the air on the eve of the Supreme Court arguments on President Obama's health care legislation)


Hucks: Hydroplane Race Idea Returns

Huckleberries hears that the Hagadone Corp. and allies are working behind the scenes to bring a small hydroplane regatta to the north shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene late this summer. Sources say that Hagadone property along Silver Beach, including the Beachouse area east of Coeur d’Alene, would be used for viewing. Organizers have asked the city of Coeur d’Alene to help with the logistics of staging the event just outside city limits. Huckleberries also hears that future plans call for the event to transform into a full-blown, unlimited hydroplane race capable of attracting as many as 120,000 viewers on Labor Day weekend 2013. Coeur d’Alene multimillionaire Duane Hagadone has sought to bring hydroplane racing back to Lake Coeur d’Alene since 1985, when he was thwarted by a reluctant Coeur d’Alene City Council and a city advisory vote/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries column. More here.

Question: Coeur d'Alene law bans unlimited hydroplane races off city waters. This proposal is just outside city limits to the east of town. Should the city of Coeur d'Alene help with the logistics in planning this?

Hikers Find Teen’s Body In Spirit Lake

Update: The male dead in Spirit Lake has been identified as Luke Anana-Kuewa, 18, of Spirit Lake, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. An autopsy will take place soon.

Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies and detectives this afternoon recovered a body of a male teenager found along a remote portion of the shore in a cove of Spirit Lake. Sheriff’s Major Ben Wolfinger said the victim was found by a walker or walkers in an area known as the Mill Pond, a shaded section of the lake, at about 11:45 a.m. today. Deputies were unable to access the site by boat because of ice on the lake. There is no nearby road either, Wolfinger said. Divers went to the scene to make the recovery, Wolfinger said. Detectives were working to make a positive identification/SR. More here.

Kentucky 79, Gonzaga 62

Kentucky point guard Amber Smith (24) and guard Kastine Evans, right, pressure Gonzaga guard Haiden Palmer (3) during the first half of an NCAA women's tournament regional semifinal college basketball game in Kingston, R.I., Sunday. Kentucky built up a 15-point halftime lead and never trailed in a 79-62 victory over the Lady Zags to advance to the Elite Eight. Boxscore here. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

Weekend Wild Card — 3.24-25.12

The Lady Zags and Washington State men's basketball team are still playing basketball as the calendar approaches April. No. 11 Gonzaga will play No. 2 Kentucky at 4 p.m. Sunday in Kingston, R.I., competing in the Sweet Sixteen round for the third year in a row. On Monday, the Cougars will host Pittsburgh in Pullman in the first of a best of three College Basketball Invitational series that will switch back East for the final two games, if both are necessary. Enjoy the weekend. I'll see you back here Monday …

Oopsy: The game between Kentucky & the Lady Zags is Sunday afternoon not Saturday. Sorry.

DP: 1990 Battle Eclipses Ultrasound Flap

Think this spring’s ultrasound battle is epic? Join me at 1990 Memory Lane, when Idaho was the epicenter of a national struggle over abortion rights. On March 30, 1990, Gov. Cecil Andrus vetoed House Bill 625, which would have been the toughest anti-abortion law in the country. The story was prominent on network news shows that night, in the days before the atomization of cable TV. For weeks, Boise was a regular dateline in The New York Times, USA Today and The Washington Post. The Senate debate was broadcast live on C-SPAN. “It began early, engaged national interest groups on both sides and consumed the whole session,” said former GOP Rep. Pam Ahrens, who co-chaired a two-day joint State Affairs Committee hearing that drew 1,500 people to Boise State’s Jordan Ballroom. “Compared to 1990, this year seems like a flash mob”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Anyone else recall the 1990 battle?

Read more here:

Crashing The Pope’s Party

A dog runs through the path lined by faithful as they wait for the the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI in Guanajuato, Mexico Saturday. At the entrance to Guanajuato, Benedict received the keys to the city. The pope reserved his only public remarks Saturday for a gathering of about 4,000 children and their parents massed in the Plaza de la Paz or Peace Plaza. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

Camden: Fighting Over War On Women

Whether there’s a War on Women being waged by politicians around the country is open to debate. There is definitely a War over the War On Women, and Washington has a top commander on both sides of the battle lines. Field marshal for the Democrats is Sen. Patty Murray, who has been using the phrase “War on Women” for months, often in fundraising appeals for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In simple military terms, the committee’s strategy is to elect as many Democrats to the Senate as possible; its tactic, raise as much money as quickly as possible. … Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers became the new brigadier general in the field last week, assigned to turn the tide for the Republicans. Trying to switch to offense from defense, she wrote a guest column for a conservative news website, took to the microphone at the House GOP leadership press conference and went on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” to declare there is no Republican WOW/Jim Camden, SR. More here.

Question: Is the “War on Women” a reality or a propaganda ploy to raise funds and congressional seats?

Afternoon Birds Catch Worms, Too

A robin pulls a worm from the ground on a rainy Friday afternoon in a grassy area just north of Zoo Beach in Racine, Wis. (AP Photo/Journal Times, Scott Anderson)

North Idaho GOP Rift Surprises Mack

A former Arizona sheriff whose speaking appearance today in North Idaho has created a rift among local Republicans called on Spokane County politicians Friday to make protecting the Constitution their No. 1 priority. Richard Mack disputed claims that he’s a darling of the militia movement in his speech at the Spokane County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner. Mack, who frequently speaks at national tea party events and is an outspoken critic of gun control, said he’s never advocated violence against federal officials. “My message across this country has been one of hope – that we can take our country back in a peaceful manner,” Mack told the packed crowd, which included many Spokane County GOP officials. “Where we take America back is county by county and sheriff by sheriff”/Meghann M. Cuniff, SR. More here.

Question: Put on your prognosticating hat and predict what will happen at the Kootenai County Lincoln Day Dinner tonight, featuring speaker Richard Mack.

Idaho’s Ultrasound Mandate Has Limits

As did Virginia's Legislature last month, Idaho's Legislature is wading into controversial territory with a new law that, if enacted, would require that abortion providers administer an ultrasound test and share the results with women seeking abortions before the baby is destroyed. The unproven theory behind such laws is that once a woman sees her baby or hears its heartbeat, her maternal instincts will be activated and she'll change her mind, sparing the child's life. Naturally, the left is portraying this as the highest order of extremism. If there is any evidence that such information ever changes a woman's mind, I have not seen it. Pro-life activists believe it would, but they are already predisposed to loving their children, born or unborn/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Anything left to be said on this controversial issue?

Lawyer: Trayvon’s Killer Denies Racism

Declaring that “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” President Barack Obama chose a highly personal way to join the heated national debate over the death of Trayvon Martin, the black teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida. Obama took care to voice no opinion on the conduct of the shooter, George Zimmerman, or any legal aspect of the case beyond a call for a thorough investigation. “The attorney general reports to me, so I’ve got to be careful about my statements to make sure that we’re not impairing any investigation,” he said. Yet his remarks Friday could have a powerful influence on how the public views the case. It was a rare White House moment – a president identifying himself with a victim in a racially charged shooting. More broadly, it drew attention to the way young black men are seen by a predominantly white society/Christi Parsons, Tribune Washington bureau. More here. (AP photos: George Zimmerman, left, confronted Trayvon Martin late last month that lead to a shooting that sparked a heated race debate)

Question: How will this tragedy play out?

Idaho Hikes Bag Limit On Wolves

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission raised the bag limit on wolves and set spring chinook fishing seasons at its meeting in Boise Thursday. Commissioners approved a department proposal to raise the wolf hunting bag limit to five per calendar year, and the trapping limit to five per season in the Panhandle and Clearwater regions. But the commission also decided to extend the higher bag limits to hunters and trappers in the Middle Fork Zone. Jeff Gould, chief of the Idaho Fish and Game Department's wildlife bureau said earlier this week, the goal of the higher bag limits is to allow skilled hunters and trappers to help the state achieve its goal of shrinking wolf numbers, reducing predation on elk herds and lessen conflicts with livestock. He said allowing more wolves to be killed will reduce the population but not put it in jeopardy. … There were more than 1,000 wolves in Idaho prior to the start of the 2011 hunting season. A population survey compiled by the Nez Perce Tribe and IDFG estimated there were at least 746 wolves in the state at the end of the year/Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are you comfortable that Idaho is managing its wolf population well?

940 Apply For 280 KTEC Openings

A new technical education campus is not even done being built yet, but hundreds of people are already vying for a spot inside the classroom. The Kootenai Technical Education Campus in Rathdrum offers a two-year program for local high school students. There are eight programs ranging from automotive technology to a resort academy. Students who are admitted can work toward high school and college credits. The building is set to open in September and workers are still putting on the roof and doing wiring. The original plan was to admit 280 students, but then 940 people applied. “I think it's reflecting the local job market demand. The skill of technical trades are still in demand. There's still a need for welders, a need for nurses,” said Mark Cotner, the director of KTEC/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo)

Question:Do you wished that there was a school focused on technical programs when you were growing up?

Benson: Etch A Sketch In Chief

Lisa Benson/Washington Post Writers Group

TGIF Wild Card — 3.23.12

Huckleberries hears … that Duane Rasmussen & other local Republicans who oppose Richard Mack's speaking engagement at the Lincoln Day Dinner Saturday aren't going down without a fight. Rasmussen, who was the emcee for this morning's program featuring legislative candidate Mark Fisher, told the Pachyderms to Google Mack's name before deciding to attend the Lincoln Day Dinner — the inference being that they'd find Mack's association with other political groups. Also, Rasmussen noted that many of the top elected Republican officials in the state have claimed “scheduling conflicts” to skip out on the dinner. It'll be interesting to see if Mack lives up to the fanfare Saturday. Now for the final Wild Card of the work week …

Parting Shot — 3.23.12

Mac Jarman, 5, of La Mesa, Calif., reacts as a Giant Owl butterfly perches on him at San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Butterfly Jungle on Friday. The three-week festival of flutter opens on Saturday and runs through April 15. Guests can use identification cards in the exhibit that will help them determine the many of the 30 species.  Butterfly Jungle is included with admission to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. (AP Photo/San Diego Zoo, Ken Bohn)

Huckleberries Hears …

… That the plans for the hydroplane races are more advanced than expected. Retired Coeur d'Alene Mines CEO Dennis Wheeler is heading up a committee to bring the hydros back that includes Jim Addis, Brad Hagadone and others heavy hitters. The goal is to get a smaller regatta this year on Hagadone Hospitality property, just beyond city limits, so Coeur d'Alene's ordinance banning hydro races won't apply. The smaller regatta will take place on Labor Day weekend. On Labor Day weekend 2013, organizers are discussing a hydroplane race they figure could attract 120,000 people. Consider that approximately 30,000 people attend Fourth of July activities in the Lake City now. People would be bussed from the Kootenai County Fairgrounds to the Silver Beach races along Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive and the Centennial Trail. Stay tuned.


PM Scanner Traffic — 3.23.12

  • 5:23 p.m. Possible drunk woman w/grocery bag almost stumbled into traffic on H41 & I-90/PF.
  • 5:19 p.m. Mother reports daughter has run away from East Grand Tour Drive/Hayden.
  • 5:09 p.m. 3 drunks are hanging out @ Government Way & Hayden, w/female unable to stand up.
  • 5:07 p.m. ISP officer reports: “It's 38 degrees & snowing on 4th of July Pass.”
  • 5:06 p.m. Dog creating traffic hazard by running into traffic @ Caribou & Rimrock/Athol.
  • 4:57 p.m. 2 large mastiffs, 120-pound each, running into traffic @ Prairie & N. Loch Haven/Hayden.
  • 4:24 p.m. Auto sales company @ 406 W. Miles/Hayden reports money stolen from photo machine.
  • 4:11 p.m. Metal of some sort lying in lanes of traffic @ w/b I-90 @ M/P 8 (Huetter rest stop).
  • 4:06 p.m. Deputies are looking for 2 males who tried to entice male juvenile into their tan van on Emerald/Hayden. Driver is bald African-American w/hoodie. Passenger is white w/long hair.
  • 4:01 p.m. Possible drug activity reported in area of Appleway & 4th/CdA.
  • 16 more items below

Hart Defends Taking Public Timber

Apparently, state Rep. Phil Hart has been busy writing opinion pieces this past week, defending his stands with the Internal Revenue Service and the Idaho Tax Commission. Below, in this thread, you will find his comments re: my use of the description “tax-dodging” to describe him in a recent Sunday Huckleberries column. Now, in a commentary on his re-election Web site, Hart conjures the images of Lewis & Clark to defend his taking of timber from public land to build his Athol home. You can read “Media controversy about logs & Phil Hart” here.


NI Blogs: Where Art Thou, O Spring?

“I am ready, these plants are ready, and the robins are ready … So Spring where art thou?” posts Cis/From A Simple Mind. “Actually I guess I should be thankful we do have bare ground once in a while. After all we have had a light winter this year. And in the past we have had snow until the end of April, more often than not.” See rest of post below.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday): 8294/5016, and: (Thursday) 7468/4739

From The Ashes

Ironworkers connect steel beams above the 93rd floor of One World Trade Center, Friday in New York, The tower, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, will reach 104 floors and is scheduled for completion in 2013. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Eyewitness Questions Police Shooting

Wrestling with the mere idea of a person being shot repeatedly by multiple individuals in close proximity of homes and families is not ordinarily a topic society discusses at the breakfast table, and for obvious reasons. It’s morbid, barbaric and discerningly incomprehensible taken in sane context. Yet, our movie cinemas, video games and televisions endlessly characterize this exact behavior and much worse, all for the sake of amusement. At 2:38 a.m. on Monday, March 12, our quiet cul de sac became a virtual movie set, complete with blaring sirens, flashing lights and a cacophony of gunfire. Having been awakened by approaching sirens, my wife was immediately out of bed and pulled our window blinds up as I scrambled from the other side of the bedroom to see what all the commotion was about. Suddenly the roar of gunfire sent us both to the floor below our window. After the shooting had stopped, we witnessed the aftermath of one of the most dramatic and intensely real death scenes we’ve ever seen. Needless to say, our lives have been forever affected by this unfortunate event/Troy Evans, Coeur d'Alene Press My Turn article. More here including home video of shootout.


All Quiet On Ultrasound Front …

Things have been quiet on the ultrasound front yesterday and today after Wednesday's tumult, with no House hearing scheduled on the controversial Senate-passed bill to require Idaho women who want an abortion to first undergo an ultrasound, but talk in the halls of the Statehouse has continued. Anti-abortion activists who pushed for the bill, SB 1387, are still promoting it, but skittish House Republicans haven't been enthusiastic.
The House State Affairs Committee, which on Wednesday abruptly canceled its hearing on SB 1387 that had been scheduled for Thursday morning, didn't meet today, and has posted an agenda for a Monday morning meeting that doesn't include the bill/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: So do you think the ultrasound bill is dead?

CdA School Trustee Interviews Set

The Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners will conduct interviews for the vacant School District 271 trustee position.  The interviews will take place at the county administration building Room 1 at 5 p.m. The commission is accepting questions from the public for the candidates until 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 4. The board and incumbent trustees will decide which questions from the public will be asked. Send questions to Board of County Commissioners, P.O. Box 9000, Coeur d'Alene. Or deliver to them to the commissioners office at 451 Government Way, Coeur d'Alene. The public is welcome to attend the interviews.

Spencer Sign Sighting …

… At corner of Lincoln Way & Walnut (three-way stop that curves on H95), your Huckleberry Hound spotted the first yard sign of the 2012 local GOPrimary, a red-white-and-blue one belonging to Larry Spencer. It reads: “Elect Spencer … because big government won't fix itself.”

Question: Have you see anyone else's yard signs out there yet?

CdA Sex Crime Fugitive Caught In LA

A child molestation suspect who has been missing since escaping a manhunt in North Idaho in December was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles. Nathaniel Robert Howell, 32, was booked into jail in Los Angeles County about 3:52 p.m. Thursday, according to online records. Howell had been wanted on a felony warrant in Kootenai County charging him with four counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and five counts of sexual exploitation. Coeur d'Alene police notified the public about his fugitive status after he ran from police through the woods in the 1500 block of South Sagle Road last December/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Phil Hart: Answering Mr. Sound Bite

State Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, sent this response to HucksOnline moments ago re: a Parting Shot item that appeared in my Sunday column March 4: “When a friend handed me a recent copy of  David Oliveria's Sunday Spokesman-Review column, it became clear what Thomas Jefferson meant over 200 years ago, when he said, “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” In that column Oliveria referred to me as an “artful tax dodger.” One must assume he gets this term from the Charles Dickens story “Oliver Twist.” I had a difficult time making any connection between that story and my circumstances. But there is one similarity, in that, the Dickens' novel is a fictional story and what Oliveria wrote about me was also fiction. The following are a few non-fictional facts, none of which Oliveria cares to report.” More here. (SR file photo of Phil Hart at Ron Paul rally in Spokane Feb. 21)


Boycott Targets Starbucks Stand

A new international Starbucks boycott campaign is under way over the company’s support of legalizing same sex marriage. The National Organization for Marriage has launched the website, where people can sign a petition against the company or learn how to contact Starbucks directly. “Starbucks has taken a corporate position in support of redefining marriage for all of society. We will not tolerate an international company attempting to force its misguided values on citizens,” said NOM president Brian Brown in a press release. As of Friday morning, at least 6,000 people had pledged to support the boycott, according to the website/King5 via KREM. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Is it wise for an international company like Starbucks to take a stand on a controversial issue like same sex marriage?

Hi-Noon: Bill Targets Daylight-Saving

Forget springing forward. Earlier this week, the Legislature printed a bill to exempt Idaho from observing daylight saving time. Will it pass? Not a chance. But bill sponsor Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, hopes the legislation will help propel a national discussion on getting rid of the time change. The idea is gaining popularity, especially in the weeks following the spring time change. Jaquet receives correspondence from constituents and voters across the state asking her to bring the time shift’s demise. Jaquet has seven Republican cosponsors for the bill, including House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star. While the idea might be attractive to sleep-deprived Idahoans still struggling with losing an hour of sleep last week, what are the realistic implications of opting out?/Melissa Davlin, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.  (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Would you like to see daylight-saving time go away?

On Golden Puddle

Opal Cosby lifts her legs as she rides through puddles on Ironwood Drive in Hartselle, Ala., following a rainy Thursday afternoon. The setting sun lit the puddles with a red light at the end of the day. (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.)

Question: I've ridden my bike 4-5 times already this year, including a couple of times in January. How about you?

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.23.12

  • Noonish: Male outside disabled vehicle w/flashers flashing on e/b I-90 @ NW Blvd/CdA.
  • 11:51 a.m. Caller reports trespassing @ Coeur d'Alene Community Storage on Fruitland/CdA.
  • 11:47 a.m. 2 callers report reckless driver in red 1993 Nissan Ultima left I-90 @ H41 onto e/b Seltice Way/PF. Registration returns to Millwood, Wash., driver. Both callers willing to sign complaint.
  • 11:23 a.m. Male on Cimmaron/PF reports he can't make sister, her friend & his mother leave.
  • 11:10 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activties report for March 22-23 here.
  • 11 more items below

AM: Queen For A Day Sans Latifah

After getting her hair styled, Mary Borden, left, gets her makeup done by Kara McCollum, right, at the “Let Your Crown Shine” event at Northern Quest Casino Hotel Thursday. The YWCA and several sponsors put on the event for 100 women who got hair and makeup makeovers while snacking and listening to speakers. The event was meant to be a prequel to the Queen Latifah visit, but she cancelled at the last minute. SR story here.
(SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: What would you do if you were named queen for a day?

Official Roll Call To Disinvite Mack

Huckleberries has received the minutes of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee meeting of Feb. 28, which includes of the official roll call on a motion by Jeff Ward to disinvite Richard Mack from speaking at the county Lincoln Day Dinner. The motion passed 31-30 but was later overturned unilaterally by the executive committee on a technicality.

  • In favor (31): Rodney Twete, Paul Matthews, Fred Meckel, Donna Montgomery, Jan Olsen, Duane Rasmussen, Ronald Honner, Barry McHugh, Luke Sommer, Jacquie Mayor, Peggy Miller, Mike McDowell, Marv Lekstrum, Jim Pierce, Gary Ingram, Julie Chadderdon, Ruth Smith, Kelly Chadderdon, Sharon Culbreth, Linda Nelson, Anita Banta, Joy Seward, Rachel Riggs, Larry Berreth, Jeff Ward, Ron Lahr, Betty Ann Henderson, Ron Nilson, Bob Hollingsworth, Jeff Tyler and Brad Corkill.
  • Opposed (30): Roger Benoit, Tom Robinson, Melanie Vanderfeer, Neil Oliver, Brad Salie, Bruce Maddux, Jeannine Frisque, Frank Reid, Ruthie Johnson, Doug Weir, Steve Adams, Allen Richardson, Jim Brannon, Mike Oliver, Bjorn Handeen, Jimmy Masters, Wendy Medlock, Fred Ostermeyer, Bob Whitehead, Bryan Crabtee, Larry Gilman, Joe Malloy, John Cross, Tony Wisniewski, Ronald Mendive, Alice Rankin, Kenneth Chausse, George Mitchell, Duane Thompson, Chairwoman Tina Jacobson.
  • GOP Central Committee minutes of Feb. 28 meeting here

Question: Does this vote define which side of the GOP divide county precinct committee members are on, whether Reagan/Reasonable Republican or the Constitutionalist-Libertarian?

Semanko: Can’t Afford ‘ObamaCare’

Chairman Norm Semanko Statement on Two Year Anniversary of President Obama signing his massive government takeover of health care into law: “Despite the president’s promises, ObamaCare has left Idaho undeniably worse off.  Health care costs will continue to skyrocket into the foreseeable future, and Americans have less freedom to make their own health care decisions. Under ObamaCare, Idaho families will pay more for health care, and taxpayers will foot the bill for increased government spending.  Unaccountable government bureaucrats will make decisions once left to patients and their doctors.  Millions could lose the insurance they receive from their employers, even though President Obama promised that would never happen. We cannot afford ObamaCare.” More below.

Question: Do you support or oppose the federal health-care law pushed by President Obama?

Poll: No To Vick’s 2/3s Tax Bill

  • Thursday Poll: Hucks Nation doesn't support state Sen. Steve Vick's legislation that would require a two-thirds vote of the Idaho Legislature to raise taxes or fees. 68 of 128 respondents (53.13%) oppose the bill. 59 of 128 (46.09%) support it. One respondent was undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Which group of politicians is worse: Idaho Legislature or U.S. Congress?

CMR: No Republican ‘War On Women’

For weeks, President Obama, Democratic activists and their friends in the media have relentlessly pushed the idea Republicans have launched a “War on Women.” After weeks of this carefully orchestrated campaign, the consensus among administration officials and Beltway insiders is clear: Women are outraged by Republican policies, the GOP has done enormous damage to its brand among women and the Democrats are going to reap the benefits at election time.If you're David Axelrod or Debbie Wasserman Schultz, it's a great story. But is it true? The Washington Post has no doubt. A few days ago, they ran a story titled “Recent debate over contraception comes as GOP loses gains among women.” And the story is filled with quotes and anecdotes about how knuckle-dragging Republicans have badly damaged themselves by daring to stand up to the latest Obamacare mandate. But what are the facts? What does the polling actually say?/Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington. More here.

Question: Do you believe Republicans have launched a “War on Women”?

‘Hunger Games’ Opens

In this image released by Lionsgate, Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from “The Hunger Games,” opening today. (AP Photo/Lionsgate, Murray Close)

Question: Which position fits you better re: the much-anticipated “Hunger Games” movie: 1. Can't wait to see it. 2. My teen read the book but I don't know much about it. or 3. Hunh?

Is Congress Worse Than Legislature?

You might think it would be difficult to find a new way to insult Congress. Back in 1873, Mark Twain said, “I never can think of Judas Iscariot without losing my temper. To my mind, Judas Iscariot was nothing but a low, mean, premature, Congressman.” And in the 1930s, humorist Will Rogers said, “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.” But it seems that Moscow's congressman, first-term Republican Raul Labrador (pictured), has found a way.Early last week, he said Congress is worse than the Idaho Legislature. Quite a putdown, that. The Spokesman's Betsy Z. Russell wrote that Labrador told the Idaho House and Senate since he's been in Washington, D.C., “My appreciation for the Idaho Legislature has only grown more”/Lee Rozen, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Which group of politicians do you consider worse: U.S. Congress? Idaho Legislature?

Facebook: Say No To Snoopy Bosses

Has an employer or potential employer ever requested access to your Facebook account? If so, Facebook itself advises you to just say no. Responding to growing complaints from employees over the practice, Facebook made its own position quite clear in a post published today. Noting an increase in the number of such requests from employers, the social network said they undermine both the security and the privacy of the user and the user's friends. And the practice can put employers themselves at risk. Companies making such requests may not have the right policies or training in place to deal with private information, according to Facebook/CNET News. More here.

Question: Have you ever been asked by your boss or an authority figure to provide your password?

KR: Dunno Much About Ethics Reform

On Wednesday, a bipartisan panel dropped a conflict-of-interest complaint against state Sen. Monty Pearce. And that’s an indictment of the Legislature’s ambiguous and weak ethical guidelines. After hearings that were marked by inter-party squabbling, the three Republicans and three Democrats eventually exonerated Pearce, R-New Plymouth. They agreed that there was no evidence that Pearce would profit from industry-backed oil and gas regulations, even though Pearce holds oil and gas leases on his ranch. [0x14]The committee also concluded that Pearce was not in a unique position to capitalize on oil and gas drilling and was instead one of a large number of leaseholders in Payette and Washington counties. More importantly, the committee and Pearce found common ground on an important point. Pearce should have disclosed his leases sooner — not on the Senate floor, just before a 24-10 vote sent the oil and gas regulations to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you think the public is fed up with all the ethics slips of the Idaho Legislature? Or is it simply too apathetic to care?

Vick Wants To Bring Back 2/3s Tax Bill

Here's a link to Betsy Russell's full story at on the failure today of freshman North Idaho Sen. Steve Vick's proposed constitutional amendment to require two-thirds votes not only for any tax increase, but also for any fee hike or the removal or reduction of any tax break. The measure, HJR 1, actually got a bare majority - 37-33 - but not the required two-thirds. If he's re-elected, Vick said, “I do plan on bringing it back in the future.” More Eye On Boise here.

Question: Do you consider Senate District 3 Sen. Vick to be as radical as district mates Rep. Phil Hart and Rep. Vito Barbieri?

Seizing On Etch-A-Sketch Misstep

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich displays an etch-a-sketch during a Tea Party Presidential forum and straw poll hosted by the LSU College Republicans Thursday at Dotson Auditorium on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Tim Mueller)

Question: Don't you think most presidential candidates take an etch-a-sketch approach to their candidacy, running to appeal to the extreme in the primary and then to the center for the general election?

County Joblessness Drops To 8.1%

Item: Jobless rate continues to decline across North Idaho/Scott Maben, SR

More Info: Kootenai County showed a sharp drop in the unemployment rate in February – 8.1 percent, down from 8.8 percent in January and 9.2 percent a year ago. Total employment in the county was about 68,000 last month, an increase of nearly 800 jobs from January, the Idaho Department of Labor said today. Statewide, seasonally adjusted unemployment dropped a tenth of a point to 8 percent in February. It was the seventh straight monthly decline and the lowest rate since September 2009.

Question: Are you more optimistic today than you were at this time a year ago that things are turning around?

Sen. Winder Lands In ‘Doonesbury’

Idaho Sen. Chuck Winder has landed in Garry Trudeaux's “Doonesbury” Web page “Say What?” feature. Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman writes: “Winder, the sponsor of the stalled ultrasound mandate measure, Senate Bill 1387, is quoted in the comic strip's online “Say What?” feature. Winder's statement in Monday's Senate debate on the bill has made him an international object of derision. “I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape.” I spoke with Winder, R-Boise, on Thursday, who is chagrined by all the attention and saddened that it may have contributed to the sidetracking of his bill in the House. More here.

Question: At this point, what would you do if you were Chuck Winder?

Read more here:

Foundation To Build Diamond, Parks

Item: Its purpose is parks: New foundation wants to bring more green space to Idaho Panhandle/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: New name, new logo and one expanded mission. Say hello to the Panhandle Parks Foundation, the nonprofit organization helping build an approximately $3 million state-of-the-art baseball stadium at Cherry Hill Park. … While the foundation contracted Jim Faucher recently at $2,500 per month for six months to facilitate fundraising with an end goal of building the ball yard, the foundation's goals stretch beyond baseball, beyond Coeur d'Alene even.

Question: Will a $3M baseball diamond on Cherry Hill satisfy the city requirement that it provide an equal or better facility before moving American Legion Baseball from McEuen Field?

Wild Card/Thursday — 3/22.12

The most interesting Kootenai County Lincoln Day Dinner in recent memory is only two days away — and top Idaho GOP elected officials seem to be staying away in droves. The only GOPoobah confirmed to attend the event that I know of is Congressman Raul Labrador. It'll be interesting to see if the Constitutionalist/Libertarian wing of the local party can fill the seats. And if all remain in the room when controversial former sheriff Richard Mack rises to speak. The fallout from this flap will be interesting to watch over the coming months. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 3.22.12

Carol, one of three Asian elephants performing with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, sniffs about during a powerwash bath from handler Brett Carden before showtime at Landers Center in Southaven, Miss., today. The circus will perform five shows from March 22-25. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Brandon Dill)

Are Baby Boomers ‘Welderly’?

In yesterday's Age Boom Academy, the speakers talked about how we talk about the future and its aging citizens might determine the reactions our society has to the coming “silver tsunami.” The narrative of who we are is important. So we need  to come up with better words to describe our aging folks. The term “welderly” was suggested. Many of aging baby boomers might be in better health than feared as they age. Hence, welderly.

Question: What names would you suggest to describe aging baby boomers?

PM Scanner Traffic — 3.22.12

  • 4:44 p.m. Parks & Waterway worker wants boys chased from dept equipment on Ramsey/Hayden.
  • 4:43 p.m. Red Honda & white Napa Auto Parts vehicle crash @ I-90 & H95/CdA. No injuries.
  • 4:38 p.m. Driver of GMC Sierra w/Alberta plates speeding & flipping others off @ I-90 & Huetter.
  • 3:58 p.m. Multiple-car crash totally blocking n/b lanes of H95 @ M/P 461 (Cocalalla Creek Bridge).
  • 3:54 p.m. Lois @ Hayden Pines Trailer Park reports 2 males around asking strange questions.
  • 11 more items below

PM Headlines — 3.22.12

Washington State's Devon Collier and Washington State's D.J. Shelton fight for a rebound in the second half of their semifinal CBI game in Corvallis, Ore., Wednesday. Amazingly, WSU is still playing basketball despite loss of Klay Thompson & DeAngelo Casto, who left school early to join pros, and best scorer Faisal Aiden this year. Story here. (Andy Cripe | Corvallis Gazette-Times)

Kris Crocker/KXLY weathercaster via Twitter: “Record snowfall in Spokane today! 2.5” officially at the airport. The previous record was 1.8” set in 1990.”

Linda: What’s Up With Pinterest?

On her Facebook wall, Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Image asks a question that I've wondered about: “Would someone explain Pinterest to me, from a photographer standpoint. I made an account a month ago, put up 1 photo and never went back. I get lots of notifications of people following me. An internet search today found a bunch of my images there, hijacked from all over the place. Most are watermarked and I dont care. Should I be using this site? I have no interest in making pinboards of food, clothes, decorating, etc. Why are people following me? I don't understand it.”

Question: Anyone care to explain Pinterest from a non-photographic point of view?

Lady Zags Earn Their Spot

Gonzaga fans hold up signs in the sold out arena as the team plays Miami in the second half of an NCAA tournament second-round women's college basketball game in Spokane Monday. Gonzaga beat Miami 65-54.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Ever so slightly overlooked in Gonzaga crashing yet another Sweet 16 in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament this week was the morsel of the Bulldogs holding the nation’s sixth-highest scoring team 22 points shy of its norm. So the Zags played pretty good defense. And coach Kelly Graves was still playing it Wednesday. Perhaps you can imagine the reason. As was the case a year ago – and as it will be again next year – the Bulldogs bid for and won the right to host the first and second rounds at the McCarthey Athletic Center, though they still had to, you know, earn their way into the tournament itself. Which they did/John Blanchette, SR. More here.

Question: Are you following the Lady Zags now that the men are done with March Madness? Have you followed the all along? Or are you still not following them?

DM: It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over

I may be in error, but the legislative response of halting the proposed House hearing on the bill, now being reported by the national press, may well be a tactical time-out rather than a strategic stop. The national press will go home. And the Idaho House of Representatives will also prepare to go home … But my call is that prior to the close of the session the House will quickly take up the matter, pass it and let the Dem's in the House and Senate bear the weight of this bill at the polls. It will indeed be a case of political theater, but more accurately: a poltical theater of war/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: Do you really think legislation requiring a pre-abortion ultrasound is dead for the year?

Senate H&W Kills Minors Tanning Bill

The Senate Health & Welfare Committee has voted 5-3 to kill HB 486a, the bill to ban kids under 16 from using tanning beds and require those age 16 or 17 to have parental consent. Sharee Skinner, owner of Southern Exposure Tanning Center in Nampa, told the committee her salon already requires parental consent for minors to tan and won't allow anyone under 13 to tan. She called the bill “great overreach of the government,” and said, “You can moderately tan and that's what we have people do in our salon”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you consider tanning-bill legislation for minors to be a government over-reach?

Dear Taxman

Here’s my money:
please treat it well
and spend it wisely,
or go to hell.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Romney Gaffe Boosts Etch A Sketch

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum holds an Etch A Sketch during a rally in Mandeville, La., Wednesday. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Ohio Art Co., maker of the classic baby boomer toy, is sending a big box of Etch A Sketches to the presidential campaigns to say thanks for the publicity and a boost in sales. It all started when Mitt Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom was asked Wednesday about the candidate's politics now versus next fall, and he likened the campaign to an Etch A Sketch: “You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again”/CBS Money Watch. More here.

Question: Did you ever play with an Etch A Sketch?

Move Along, Li’l Panhandler

The cat-and-mouse game between officers in Coeur d'Alene & Post Falls and panhandlers is in full swing today. In Post Falls within the hour (see PM Scanner Traffic), an officer asks a buddy over police scanner if anything had been done to chase away panhandlers from the Post Falls WalMart story on Mullan Avenue during the past two days. He was assured that fellow officers had been to the store several times. Seems panhandlers are gathering in force today, bringing with them a bigger sign than the one they used Wednesday. Officer on scene believes today's crop of panhandlers are different than the onces he chased away Wednesday. Coeur d'Alene & Post Falls have ordinances that prohibit panhandling. (SR file photo)

Question: Are you happy/unhappy that Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls police are prompt about rousting panhandlers from stores and public area?

Huckleberries Hears …

David Williams pilots the “Miss Wahoo” in front of the Coeur d'Alene resort Aug. 22, 2010, the first time any hydroiplane had been on the lake in 42 years. SR file photo: J. Bart Rayniak.

… That Hagadone Hospitality is working behind the scenes to bring a hydroplane regatta to the shores of Silver Beach this summer. Berry Pickers tell me that Hagadone's property and grounds at Silver Beach (Beachouse & Marina area) would be used for viewing. HHospitality has asked the city to help with the logistics of staging the event along Lake Coeur d'Alene Drive. Also, future plans call for the regatta to transform into a hydroplane race in the summer of 2013. As you know, Coeur d'Alene millionaire Duane Hagadone has been trying to bring unlimited hydroplane racing back to Lake Coeur d'Alene since 1985 when he was thwarted by a reluctant Coeur d'Alene City Council, headed by then mayor Jim Fromm, which on a 4-3 split opted for an advisory vote. Hagadone pulled the project before the public voted 3-to-1 against the proposal. In recent years, hydroplane supporters have staged race demonstrations under the pretext of raising money for the North Idaho Museum. Stay tuned. 

Question: I wonder if Coeur d'Alene residents would be more in favor of unlimited hydroplane races on Lake Coeur d'Alene than they were in November 1985?

Johnson: Mitt’s Real Problem

Typically in politics the most painful wounds are self-inflicted. Candidates shoot themselves in the foot and hobble around for days trying to change the subject, while the political media, the opposition and YouTube repeat the gaffe over and over again. Rick Santorum had his shoot the foot moment with ill-considered remarks on college and contraception. Newt Gingrich went into the high weeds with his colony on the moon moment. Barack Obama had his “cling to God and guns” diversion in 2008. GOP front runner – and I say again, almost certain nominee – Mitt Romney’s gaffes have been so numerous it can be difficult to keep them straight. He likes to fire people, the wife has two (2) Cadillacs, he isn’t a NASCAR fan, but knows rich guys who own racing teams, etc. Romney has a strange – and I’m sure to him mind boggling – ability to step on his own good news/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here. (Photo: A Nov. 5, 2008, AP file photo shows an Etch A Sketch portrait of President Elect Barack Obama, that was unveiled as the results of the presidential election were announced. Etch A Sketch is suddenly drawing lots of attention, thanks to a gaffe that has shaken up Mitt Romney's campaign)

Question: Do you have a favorite presidential candidate gaffe?

Honor Flight Could Be Grounded

Tony Lamanna, Inland Northwest Honor Flight’s director, greeted the guests at the Pearl Harbor event at Spokane Falls Community College with grim news. The future of the program is in jeopardy due to lack of funds. Inland Northwest Honor Flight takes local war veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit memorials honoring their service and sacrifices. Since 2009, 403 area veterans have made the trip, courtesy of the program. “We have lost the free tickets from Southwest Airlines,” Lamanna said. “Southwest is still giving tickets to Honor Flight, but Honor Flight is only giving those to new hubs just starting out.” The decision was made at the national level/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (2011 SR file photo: Dan Foster, who flew in World War II, Korea, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam, is greeted with cheers Sunday at Spokane International Airport after enjoying Honor Flight trip to Washington)

Question: Do you know someone who has used the service of Honor Flight?

High Noon: Dunkin’ Digital Cords

On her Facebook wall, Cindy writes about things she has dunked in her coffee today: My finger, a thumbdrive, a digital camera cord, a business card, and my hair. I can't decide if the problem is too much or too little caffeine.” I can't remember the last time I dunked something in my coffee. But I do occasionally knock my coffee cup over. Fortunately, I've never knocked it over onto my keyboard. (Knock on wood)

Question: What have you dunked in your coffee of late?

Komen Continues To See Fallout

In this Feb. 7 file photo, a small group of women protest outside the Susan G. Komen for the Cure headquarters in Dallas. Several high-ranking executives with Susan G. Komen for the Cure have resigned in the aftermath of Komen's decision earlier this year to eliminate most of its funding for Planned Parenthood. Although some of the officials cited personal reasons, the resignations suggest the breast cancer charity is still in turmoil, even after restoring the money. Story here. (AP Photo/Rex C. Curry, File)

Question: Has the controversy involving Planned Parenthood changed your giving plans for Susan G. Komen for the Cure fund-raising activities?

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.22.12

  • Noonish: Kelly wants to see deputy re: suspicious vehicle in 6200 block of Colfax/Dalton Gardens.
  • 11:45 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for March 21-22 here.
  • 11:21 a.m. Female wants to see deputy re: daughter refusing to go to Texas.
  • 11:18 a.m. Caller reports 1995-96 pickup hit vehicle @ 16th & Greensferry/PF & kept going.
  • 11:12 a.m. Panhandler has dropped his sign but won't leave Post Falls WalMart/Mullan entrance.
  • 11:01 a.m. 32YO male unconscious, not breathing, cold to touch @ Molly & Dellar Beach/Twin Lakes.
  • 12 more items below

DFO: Unimpressed w/Councilman No

Coeur d'Alene Councilman Steve Adams is philosophically opposed to the city using federal funds for any reason. I'm philosophically opposed to an ideologue as rigid as Steve Adams sitting in a seat of responsibility like the City Council. Early in the municipal election fall campaign last year, I predicted that Adams would become one of the worst if not the worst councilman during my tenure of 28 years, if he was elected. At the time, I felt he was more committed to Ron Paul/uberconservative principles than the betterment of the community that a council member is sworn to serve. Nothing he's done since taking his oath of office has changed my opinion. He seems more committed to national politics than he does to serving the community, unless his definition of serving the community is a knee-jerk no vote on important financial matters. His uncompromising stand on federal government led to a no vote against extending a grant administration contract with Panhandle Area Council. The contract helps the city allocate federal dollars it receives each year to assist low- to moderate-income families. Federal money is used to expand sewer treatment plants, build roads, assist low-income people and much more. Does Adams want us to pick up the tab for this work? Doesn't he realize that the money not spent here will be spent somewhere else? I have personally told the leaders of the Reagan Republicans that they made a terrible mistake in endorsing and campaigning for this inflexible, partisan ideologue for a nonpartisan City Council office. Adams' stand on using federal money to help the city of Coeur d'Alene is further proof that I was right — DFO.

Not Again

Daffodils are weighted down by heavy, wet snow in Tigard, Ore., Thursday. The first days of Spring in the state have been ushered in with unusually wintery weather.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Question: How did you react to the snow when you woke up this morning, March 22?

Hucks Political Tile Ads Available

HucksOnline received its first inquiry this campaign season re: the political tile ads the SR offers on this blog — the ones that appear at the top of the lefthand rail above the poll. Here's the pertinent info (from ad exec Arin Martinez): “The tile ads are $100/week or $300/month. There can be up to 4 tile ads stacked on the upper right corner, once that max number is reached, advertisers will rotate evenly in the four. The tile is 160-by-100 static image that we design at no charge.” The ads are designed to provide Web page info when you click on them.

Poll: Leave Facebook Password Alone

  • Wednesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation responders said they wouldn't give their Facebook password to a prospective employer. 129 of 167 respondents (77.25%) said they wouldn't divulge that information. Only 27 of 127 (16.17%) said they would. 9 (5.39%) said they would only if they needed the job badly. 2 (1.2%) were undecided.
  • Today's Question: Do you support a two-thirds vote from each house of the Legislature to raise taxes and fees?

House Rejects 2/3s Vote Requirement

The House has voted 37-33 in favor of HJR 1, the proposed constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds vote of each house for any tax or fee increase, increase in any existing tax or fee, or removal or reduction in any existing tax break - which is not enough. The proposed constitutional amendment required a two-thirds vote in each house to go before voters at the next general election. In the House, that means it needed 47 votes/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Do you support a two-thirds vote from each house of the Legislature to raise taxes or fees?

News Quiz Offers Shock Tickets

Bob Springli of Hayden won the secondary raffle prize in the weekly News Quiz contest — two tickets to the Bighorn Outdoor Adventure Show. Carleen Wickstrom of Spokane won the $50 Davenport Hotel gift certificate for being the best guesser. This week, the Spokesman-Review will have two random drawings on Friday, each for two tickets to the next Spokane Shock home football game. You can take the quiz by clicking on the “That's News for You” button in the righthand rail or here.

  • 3 HBO commenters are on the leaderboard: Lolo, Eddie Torreal & Kcres

AM Headlines — 3.22.12

Protesters, rallying against the Senate bill that requiring an ultrasound before a woman considers an abortion, gather at the Capitol in Boise on Wednesday to encourage Gov. Butch Otter to veto the bill. The Idaho Capitol was part medical clinic, part reality TV show and all cultural battlefield as an anti-abortion advocate secured a basement meeting room to conduct live ultrasound procedures on six women before a mostly female audience of 150. Story here. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Katherine Jones)

I’ll Be w/You In Cherry Blossom Time

A couple enjoys the blossoms in an area of the tidal basin containing some of the oldest cherry blossom trees in Washington. The pink and white cherry blossoms that color the U.S. capital and draw a million visitors each spring began with trees that have survived for a century. It was 100 years ago this month when first lady Helen Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted two Yoshino cherry trees on the bank of Washington's Tidal Basin. They were the first of 3,000 planted as part of a gift from the city of Tokyo as a symbol of friendship. The original pair still stands, along with about 100 of the original trees transported from Japan. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Question: Which type of fruit tree is your favorite?

Edit: College Loans Will Cost You

There seem to be fewer reasons for graduating seniors to consider college a good investment. College students now graduate with an average of $25,000 in debt, find it difficult to secure a job that pays enough to manage that debt - or find a job at all - and increasingly find that a bachelor's degree is no longer enough to secure a future for themselves. A master's degree is now preferred, which further entrenches students in more debt - around and around we go. But since there wasn't enough discouragement to go around in this economy, unless Congress acts, the interest rates on federally guaranteed Stafford loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent July 1. That may not sound like much compared to 14-percent to 30-percent interest rates for credit cards, but the difference between 3.4 and 6.8 when it comes to a $23,000 student loan can work out to about $11,000 more over a 20-year life of the loan/Kelcie Moseley, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Is a college education still a good investment?

Man In Jail For Getting Dog Drunk

A Helena man has been charged with animal cruelty for getting his dog four times more drunk than the legal limit for humans driving motor vehicles. Todd Harold Schrier, 49, also faces a felony drug charge related to the March 1 incident. At about 11:30 p.m. that night, East Helena police responded to a report of an intoxicated dog being cared for at Smith’s Bar and found Arly II, a Pomeranian or Pomeranian cross, who could not walk a straight line and kept falling over when placed on the floor, according to an affidavit filed by police in District Court. The dog had drunk in a car outside the bar and was reported to police by customers, according to the bar's owner. An intoxicated person who claimed part ownership of the 20-pound dog told police that Schrier had given the dog about a “to-go cup of vodka,” police wrote/Sanjay Talwani, Helena Independent-Record. More here.

Question: Is this a situation worthy of an animal cruelty charge?

Protesters Face Music After Megaloads

The last megaloads have reportedly passed through downtown here, leaving behind 11 misdemeanor court cases against people who protested shipment of infrastructure equipment to Canadian oil fields. Last to plead innocent to two allegations was Helen Yost (pictured), 54, of Moscow. Yost, spokeswoman for Wild Idaho Rising Tide and an organizer of the months-long protests, appeared in Latah County Court here Wednesday morning. She is charged with two misdemeanors for allegedly throwing a sign at a megaload and attempted battery of a Moscow police officer. She and two other demonstrators, Cass Davis, 47, and James Prall, 67, both of Moscow, have pretrial conferences set for April 3, according to court records/David Johnson, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Lewiston Tribune photo)

Question: Would you call the megaloads protest successful or not?

Cindy: 1st Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Giggling newlyweds, golden anniversaries, glamorous weddings – I’ve covered them all as part of my Love Story series for this newspaper. And while I’m supposed to be objective and unbiased, I confess I do have a favorite love story – my own. Twenty-six years ago today, I walked down the aisle toward Derek, absolutely confident I was making the best decision of my life. The years have proved me right. We met at church. I spotted him sitting down the row from me and whispered to my friend, “Who is that?” “That’s Darrol’s brother, Derek,” she whispered back. “He just got back from flight school.” I’m afraid I don’t remember a single word of the sermon because I couldn’t take my eyes off the tall, handsome blond at the end of the row/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question: Do you remember the first time you laid eyes on your true love?

Reuters Weighs In On Sheriff’s Race

The 33-year-old is running for sheriff in Bonner County, Idaho, despite his affiliation with the Aryan Nation and the Church of Jesus Christ-Christian. He calls himself a “concerned citizen,” and believes law enforcement isn’t doing enough to combat drugs and sex offenders. He also claims he won’t discriminate on the job. Whether or not voters will believe Shaun Winkler remains to be seen, but some question whether he should even be able to run for office. He’s an admitted white supremacist running for a law enforcement position. That’s got to be illegal, right? Wrong. There’s nothing illegal about a white supremacist sheriff candidate/Stephanie Rabiner, Reuters. More here. (SR file photo: Bonner County GOP sheriff's candidate Shaun Winkler, left, at a neo-Nazi march on Sherman Avenue)

Question: Isn't it nice to know that the Bonner County sheriff's race has gotten the attention of international media organization Reuters?

Celebrating World Water Day

Hundreds of people cheer as they try to form the shape of a water drop as part of the celebration of World Water Day today in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, Philippines. Story here. (AP Photo/Pat Roque)

Question: Without looking at the link, can you guess why the world observes a water day?

J-Mac: Volunteerism Vs. Family Life

Jimmy-MAC (re: “Jimmy-MAC heads Excel Foundation”): I really appreciate the wise comments because they are so true. I currently serve on a number of boards locally and have had to scale back my volunteerism and am in the process of scaling back more and more as a few of my terms are coming to an end. A wise person once told me that nothing you can do in life to be a success can ever make up for sacrificing being a success in your home. That said, I do strongly believe that setting an example of service for those less fortunate and service above self will be a positive lesson for my little girl. The family members and role models in my life doing so certainly resonated with me.

Question: How do you know when you're overcommitted to duties outside your home?

Pearce: Ethics System Broken

If he had it to do all over again, Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, said he would disclose earlier that he had leased the rights to drill for oil and gas on his land. After the Senate Ethics Committee voted 6-0 Wednesday to dismiss allegations that he failed to properly disclose a potential conflict of interest, Pearce said he wants to see clear ethics rules for all senators to follow. “Our system on the Senate side is a broken system,” Pearce said. “That is why I offer a hand of friendship to my colleagues, even those who made baseless charges against me, and ask that we continually work to improve our standards and guidelines.” Pearce said he has already talked to several senators about pushing disclosure rules for the Senate this year/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Pearce that the ethics system of the Idaho Legislature is broken?

Read more here:

Donald Gary Seeks Prosecutor Spot

Holding office was never on Donald Gary's radar before he filed candidacy for Kootenai County prosecuting attorney, he admitted. But the Post Falls attorney considers his campaign a civic duty, he said, on account of the issues he believes must be redressed at the prosecutor's office. “I have children, we all have children, and I believe somebody needs to do something,” said Gary, 56, a principal and board member at Winston and Cashatt, Lawyers. Gary, an attorney for 20 years, said topping his list after election would be reducing prosecutorial misconduct. He alluded to the initial sentencing of Jonathan Ellington, which was thrown out over misconduct involving improper questioning by a county prosecutor/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Who is this guy?

Benson: Spay & Neuter, Anyone?

Lisa Benson/Washington Post Writer's Group

Parting Shot — 3.21.12

Protesters against the Senate bill that requires an ultrasound before a woman considers an abortion rally at the Idaho Capitol today in Boise. House leaders have pulled the proposed abortion ultrasound mandate from a committee hearing. What's more, legislative leaders aren't sure if the measure to require women getting an abortion to first have an ultrasound will be voted on in the 2012 Legislature. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Katherine Jones)

Slight Detour: Corned Beef Epiphany

For some of us, it was the peas. For me, it was corned beef, rice and liver. I figured out early on how to eat my liver at the family dinner table. Grab a bite of liver, bury it in a forkful of mashed potatoes, stick it in my mouth and swallow. To this day, I still don't know why I never choked to death, swallowing that liver whole. The method got me through many a meal when everyone else at the table raved about the liver. As for rice, we were generally a potato-eating family.  Still, Lincoln School cooks served rice and raisins at least once a week.  I did not eat hot lunch very often, but it seemed like whenever I did, the menu for the day was that dreaded bowl of rice and raisins. Raisins, they were okay by themselves, but when mixed with what I perceived as white maggots, I wouldn't even pick out the raisins/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Is there a food that you simply wouldn't eat as a kid? Who won the showdowns with your parents?

Bounty Scandal Leads To Suspensions

The NFL imposed some of the most severe penalties in pro football history Wednesday when Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended three New Orleans Saints coaches and the team’s general manager for operating and tolerating a bounty system that paid players for hits that injured opponents. But the Washington Redskins escaped punishment, at least for now, when the league also announced that it had found no evidence to corroborate allegations that a similar bounty program existed between 2004 and 2007, when Gregg Williams, the man at the center of the Saints’ bounty program, coached for Joe Gibbs. A person familiar with the case said the NFL’s active investigation of the Redskins was closed, but left open the possibility of reopening the probe should new information surface/Washington Post. More here. (AP file photo of head coach Sean Payton, who was suspended for a year by the NFL)

Question: What do you make of the bounty system used by the New Orleans Saints to injure opposing players?

PM: Ultrasound Bill On Life Support

Ultrasound technologist Jeanine G. conducts an abdominal ultrasound at the Idaho Statehouse on Wednesday in Boise. The organizers back Senate Bill 1387, which mandates ultrasounds that determine heartbeat and gestational age before a woman can receive an abortion. At right is Brandi Swindell of Stanton Health Care. See Betsy's ultrasound bill story below. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski )

PM Scanner Traffic — 3.21.12

  • 5:59 p.m. Jewelry reportedly stolen from home in 9400 block of W. Diagonal/Rathdrum.
  • 5:52 p.m. Stella reports from Hayden Quick Stop that she found bag w/school items & ID in store's recycling bin.
  • 5:48 p.m. PFPD officer reports cream Ford Thunderbird abandoned on H41 & 12th Ave/PF.
  • 5:07 p.m. Undisclosed type of trauma reported in 5900 block of E. H54/Athol.
  • 5:02 p.m. Plummer woman w/history of suicide threats says she wants to jump off bridge.
  • 4:48 p.m. Female reports grandparents home has been burglarized & footprints found in snow.
  • 4:41 p.m. Holdup alarm is sounding in the cooler of Taco Bell, 268 W. Hanley/CdA.
  • 4:38 p.m. Driver in Post Falls Best Foods grocery lot reports daughter hit head in nearby crash.
  • 4:38 p.m. Female wants to know what to do w/kids when there's no custody papers in splitup.
  • 4:14 p.m. Male @ Stonehenge & Canterbury won't let female & 3 kids into house.
  • 4:07 p.m. Caller reports driver on Seltice Way is speeding at 60 mph from warming center area.
  • 4:03 p.m. Caller from Rose Mont/Athol reports neighbor's chases her on her own property.
  • 11 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

NIdaho Blogs — 3.21.12

On her Slight Detour blog, Marianne Love posts: “When this gal showed up for the second time in a week yesterday morning, I had a camera.  The photo isn't that great, but when a moose is on the loose in the country, caution is often a plus.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday): 9475/5739, and: (for Monday): 9229/5739

Pre-Abortion Ultrasound Bill Dead?

Donna Selle, left, and Courtney Bohl talk to Idaho State Police Cpl. Andrew Hitt after Selle and Bohl were removed from an abdominal ultrasound demonstration at the Idaho Statehouse on today in Boise. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski )

House Assistant Minority Leader Elfreda Higgins, D-Garden City, said 10 minutes ago, House State Affairs Chairman Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, came to her office and told her that tomorrow morning's hearing on the pre-abortion ultrasound bill, SB 1387, has been canceled and the committee won't hear the bill - meaning it's dead. House Republicans have been in a closed-door caucus. The committee secretary has confirmed that tomorrow morning's meeting has been canceled; House State Affairs won't meet at all tomorrow/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.


FBI Finds Possible Body Of Teacher

FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the Salt Lake City Division and Chief of Police Frank DiFonzo of the Sidney, Montana Police Department announce a development in the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Sherry Arnold. On March 20, 2012, special agents assigned to the FBI Evidence Response Team began efforts to recover human remains in the vicinity of Williston, North Dakota. During this operation, the FBI received support and assistance from several Montana and North Dakota law enforcement agencies to include the Sidney Police Department, Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Williams County Sheriff’s Office, Williston Police Department, and the North Dakota Highway Patrol. By the early morning hours of March 21, 2012, special agents had recovered the physical remains of a female. While a positive identification has not been made at this time, it is believed the remains are those of Sherry Arnold of Sidney, Montana/FBI, Salt Lake Division, news release. More here.

Divisive Mack Coming To INorthwest

A former Arizona sheriff revered by the militia movement for his outspoken criticism of gun control and government tyranny is returning to the Inland Northwest for meetings with local GOP groups, triggering a rift among some Republicans. Richard Mack, who now lives in Texas and is running for U.S. Congress, is a self-described conservative constitutionalist with ties to various political parties and movements. He served as sheriff of rural Graham County, Arizona as a Democrat, ran unsuccessfully for governor of Utah as a Libertarian and now is trying to unseat a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives in the GOP’s upcoming Texas primary. He will be a featured speaker at fundraisers for the Republican parties of Spokane and Kootenai counties, though his North Idaho appearance was canceled at one point, then re-established after fraud allegations arose from the intra-GOP process used to disinvite him/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.

Question: What will be the long-term fallout from Libertarian-Constitutionalist wing of local GOP forcing Mack onto Reagan/Reasonable Republican wing?

A Stroll In March

A spot of gold;
he stops to focus;
there in the snow –
the spring’s first crocus.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Ultrasound Demonstration In Boise

An ultrasound is performed on a pregnant mother inside a committee room at the Idaho Statehouse on Wednesday in Boise. The demonstration was put on by Stanton Health Care, a pregnancy resource center in Boise, to provide legislators with a look at an abdominal ultrasound after the pre-abortion ultrasound bill recently passed the state Senate. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield)

Anti-abortion activist Brandi Swindell is conducting the live ultrasound demonstration in the Statehouse today with the enthusiastic air of a lively state fair product-demo host. “Isn't this fun? Who doesn't love seeing an ultrasound image of a baby?” she asked, adding, “Remember, this is first trimester, so the baby is tiny, tiny, tiny.” A bamboo screen hung with a banner saying, “Voices from the Womb” and “Knowledge is power,” is set up to screen the table where the three pregnant volunteers from Swindell's organization, Stanton Healthcare, are taking their turns lying down for ultrasounds that are being projected on screens. Only two lawmakers have been sitting through the demonstration, Rep. Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls, and Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


Cindy: Thor’s Unexcellent Adventure

On her Facebook wall, Cindy writes of a most unexcellent adventure of her kitten: “Thor had a most Non-Excellent Adventure. My cats are strictly indoor kitties. But evidently, he slipped outside when I took Sam to school this morning at 8:15. I hadn't seen him all day and finally mounted a search when I brought Sam home. We couldn't find him in the house. So, I stood at the front door and said, “Thor, treat!” and he came running from the side of the house. Wet, dirty and smelling of gasoline! Thor has never been a cuddler, but he wouldn't let me put him down. He's been in the rain, snow, wind and sun today. I'm just glad he stayed near home!”

Question: Have you ever lost a pet?

SiJohn Tabbed As New Tribe Top Cop

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe recently named Cody SiJohn as the new Chief of Police for the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police Department. Since 2007, SiJohn, an enrolled member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, has served as a Training Sergeant for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) United States Indian Police Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Artesia, New Mexico. While working for the BIA, SiJohn received training and instructor certifications in Law Enforcement Instruction, Use of Force Instructor, Driving Instructor, Firearms Instructor and Less Than Lethal Ammunition Instructor and Backcountry Tactics and Tracking Instructor.  From 2008 to 2009, SiJohn was detailed to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, instructing newly hired Federal Officers assigned to U.S. Border Patrol, Federal Air Marshals, U.S. Fish & Wildlife and U.S. Park Police/Coeur d'Alene Tribe news release. More here.

Commissioners Clarify Garage Plan

The Board of County Commissioners has received several calls regarding an article in the Cd’A Press on Tuesday regarding the development of our Facilities Master Plan.  There appears to be some confusion as to the development of the Plan and the eventual implementation of the Plan. The Plan is a work in progress.  The Board is working with NAC Architecture and the plan is only about 50% complete.  The plan’s emphasis is to streamline our operations and consolidate County facilities as much as possible.  Currently, county facilities are very fractured in nature.  For example, we have court rooms in four separate locations with two of those locations being off the main campus.  The manpower required to service these sites is a substantial drain on county resources/Kootenai County commissioners news release. More here.

Question: The county goes on to say that the master plan includes a $27 million plan to build a new Justice Building and garage. What do you think of that idea?

Richert: Winder Hits National Scene

Before Monday, I doubt anyone at the Huffington Post had heard of Chuck Winder. The Boise Republican senator took care of that when he argued in favor of his bill to require women to get an ultrasound before an abortion — even in the case of rape. Said Winder: “Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on.” Had he tried, I don’t think Winder could have found a more insensitive way to argue for his insensitive legislation. Winder is taking a well-earned pounding, not just on Huffington Post’s national Internet stage, but, closer to home, on his own Facebook page/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.


Tebow Traded To New York Jets

In this Nov. 17, 2011, file photo, New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) and Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) walk off the field together after an NFL football game, in Denver. Tebow has been traded from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez, File)

Question: Will Tebow lose his mystique now that he's been traded to the New York Jets?

Hump Day Wild Card — 3.21.12

Got my taxes done Tuesday. Not too painful. My deductions were almost spot on. I owe a little bit to the state and — note to Rep. Phil Hart — plan to pay it pronto. I don't have legislative immunity. I don't want the Idaho Tax Commission coming after me for ignoring the rules that apply to almost everyone. With that happy thought, I'll post today's Wild Card …

AM Scanner Traffic — 3.21.12

  • 11:59 a.m. Man doing ministry work reports living room of house in 2300 block of Lancaster/Hayden destroyed with dog running around it it. And nobody around.
  • 11:45 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for March 20-21 here.
  • 11:29 a.m. PFPD officers are looking for a shoplifter in a black hoodie who ran from the Trading Co., 1501 Seltice Way/PF. A Fed Ex driver later saw him by the senior center, 1215 E3rd.
  • 11:18 a.m. Worley man complains neighbor's back yard smells b/c he's not picking up dog's poop.
  • 10:47 a.m. A red Sunfire has hit a truck w/tank on back, spraying weeds in median of I-90 b/n NW Blvd & H95. No one was injured in crash, which is not blocking traffic.
  • 10 more items below

Poll: No To County Parking Garage

  • Tuesday Poll: An almost supermajority of Hucks Nation oppose a proposal from the Kootenai County commissioners office to build a 7-story, $7.8M parking garage at the county courthouse. 115 of 178 respondents (64.61%) oppose the plan. 42 of 178 (23.61%) support it. 21 (11.8%) are undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Would you provide your Facebook password to a prospective employer, if asked to do so?

Labrador Lauds Sackett Decision

Here's Congressman Raul Labrador's reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of Chantelle & Mike Sackett of Priest Lake: “I am overjoyed by the unanimous ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of my constituents, Chantelle and Mike Sackett of Priest Lake, in their case against the EPA. The federal government is an intimidating force against ordinary citizens, and standing up to its bureaucracy requires extraordinary bravery.  Thanks to the unwavering courage and selfless sacrifice of the Sacketts, Americans everywhere will be guaranteed the right to appeal a decision imposed by a government agency. Their victory also safeguards individual property rights against the encroachment of the federal government, a fundamental assurance of our Constitution. The EPA is one of the many federal government agencies whose overreach jeopardizes our civil liberties and obstructs our pursuit of prosperity.”

Question: Do you consider the EPA to be an overreaching, intimidating force against ordinary citizens?

No Restrictions For Ultrasound Demo

An anti-abortion group planning a live ultrasound exhibition in a Senate hearing room today can't restrict attendance to only those it wants in the room, the Associated Press reports. The event in room WW53 on the state Capitol's lower level is part of efforts by anti-abortion advocates to require women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound examination. Right to Life of Idaho, the exhibition's promoter, indicated in an e-mail it would limit attendees to lawmakers, their families, Capitol staff and accredited media. However, the AP reports that Capitol officials said Tuesday the building's meeting rooms are open to the public/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


AM Headlines — 3.21.12

Diane McManus swims laps at The Kroc Center in Coeur d'Alene. She missed making the Olympics at age 14 and years later had a major injury. She is back in the pool now and wants to make the 2016 Olympic team. Jim Allen SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Winter Hangs On

Snow collects on a bicycle parked outside a residence on Tuesday in Nampa. Winter weather gripped most of Southwest Idaho Tuesday; the first official day of spring. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Charlie Litchfield)

Question: Izzit me, or does winter seem to hang on longer in the Inland Northwest than it used to do?

Pearce Ethics Complain Dismissed

Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d'Alene, moved to dismiss the ethics charges against Senate Resources Chairman Monty Pearce. “In terms of public perception, he would've been well-served to disclose in committee,” Hammond said. “That would have helped the situation. But what I don't want to do is get us in a situation where when we pass a budget for education, I've got to disclose because my children or my grandchildren go to school in the state of Idaho. Or when we pass the higher education budget, I've got to disclose because my wife is an employee of Lewis-Clark State college. There is a huge disconnect, and that's a huge class of people who benefit from that budget. Do we need to disclose for every one of those? I don't think so”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


And Then There Were 5

A second candidate who filed for incumbent Todd Tondee's Kootenai County Commissioner District 1 seat will be removed from the ballot. Greg Wells has withdrawn his candidacy for the seat, according to the county clerk's office. Earlier this week, the clerk's office dropped Steven Peter Benner from the ballot after deciding that he lived in the wrong commissioner district. The five candidates remaining in the race are the incumbent, Greg Arno, Marc Eberlein, Tim Herzog and Bruce Noble. March 30 is the deadline to withdraw from any race in the 2012 primary election.

Jimmy-Mac Heads Excel Foundation

As a student, Jimmy McAndrew, a 1997 graduate of St. Maries, never gave much thought to school budgets. “When you’re a student, you have no idea what goes on behind the scenes,” he said. “Idaho, though, has had its share of budget cuts and funding restraints.” Mr. McAndrew is the president-elect of the Excel Foundation, which supports teachers in the Coeur d’Alene School District 271 with grants to pay for innovative classroom projects. He will serve the organization as president starting next year. “I’ve been with the organization for three years, but the Foundation itself has actually been around for 25 years,” Mr. McAndrew said. The organization awarded $70,000 to teachers last year. “We actually just gave away our millionth dollar this year,” Mr. McAndrew said/Summer Crosby, St. Maries Record-Gazette. More here. (St. Maries Gazette-Record photo: Jimmy, Julie & Grace McAndrew)

Question: Anyone want to join me in giving J-Mac a shout out?

Trib: Idaho Embraces D-Minus Grade

On the same day state Sen. Monty Pearce (pictured), R-New Plymouth, defended himself against charges of lining his pockets in office, the state got a near-failing score on a national measure of corruption. Think there's a connection? Pearce, a 14-year legislative veteran, is at the vortex of efforts to open Idaho to oil and natural gas development. As chairman of the Senate Resources and Conservation Committee, Pearce oversaw Senate passage of bills that updated the state's oil and gas regulatory framework - without which the fledgling industry in Pearce's backyard would be stalled. The panel also refused to impose more stringent controls on fracking and endorsed stripping counties and cities of their ability to stop or influence oil and gas development in their jurisdictions. All that time, Pearce was sitting on a secret: On Nov. 4, he signed a lease with Snake River Oil and Gas, making him a partner with one of the big players behind the legislation/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Does Idaho deserve a D-minus for government corruption risk?

Court Sides With Priest Lake Couple

A Priest Lake, Idaho, couple has prevailed in a property rights case involving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The U.S. supreme Court today ruled in favor of Mike and Chantell Sackett, ruling they can go to court to challenge an EPA order that blocked construction of their new home and threatened fines of more than $30,000 a day. The Sackett’s property has sat undisturbed since the EPA ordered a halt in work in 2007. The agency said part of the property was a wetland that could not disturbed without a permit. In an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court rejected EPA’s argument that allowing property owners quick access to courts to contest orders like the one issued to the Sacketts would compromise the agency’s ability to deal with water pollution/SR & AP Wire. More here.  (Kathy Plonka SR file photo: Chantell and MikeSackett talk about their battle with the Environmental Protection Agency over their right to build a home on a lot near Priest Lake)

Question: Do you support this decision?

Romney Looks To Seal The Deal

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reacts while greeting supporters at a rally in Schaumburg, Ill., after winning the Illinois Republican primary Tuesday. (AP photo)

Mitt Romney prepared for another Southern showdown in Saturday's Louisiana primary after a convincing victory in Illinois padded his delegate lead and he received the highly prized endorsement Wednesday of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. “Now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Gov. Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall,” Bush, the brother of one former GOP president and son of another, said in a statement/Tom Cohen, CNN. More here.

Question (for Republicans who supported Ron Paul or another candidate): Are you planning to vote for Mitt Romney if he wins the GOPresidential nomination as it now appears he will?

Palm: Other Parties Infiltrate Local R’s

This past decade, I have closely observed how the Republican Party works in Idaho, especially locally. Over the last couple of years, I’ve paid particular attention to the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee because I’ve seen a shift in attitudes. What was once an organization that championed Republican principles has grown adversarial. Why, because its membership has been infiltrated by those of the Constitution and Libertarian Party? I’ve often wondered, why not affiliate yourselves with your own party. To date I’ve assumed it’s because they can’t get elected under their own banner. But, I recently learned more -the real answer/Kellie Palm, Coeur d'Alene Press My Turn column. More here.

Question: I believe Constitutionalists and Libertarians are embedded — and may be in control — of the Kootenai County Republican Party. Do you?

Employers Want Your FB Passwords

Studies have shown that Facebook can be a useful hiring tool. Just a 5- to 10-minute perusal of a user’s profile can net more information than a basic personality test. It’s no wonder employers head to the site to check out prospective hires. But one problem remains: Many users are now going private, cutting off their profiles from outside viewers. As a result, a new trend has emerged. Employers are reportedly now asking job applicants for Facebook passwords. Is this a good idea? Can you legally ask a job applicant for a Facebook password? Even though law professor Orin Kerr considers the practice to be “an egregious privacy violation,” it appears to be legal/Stephanie Rabiner, Reuters. More here. (AP file photo: A Kennewick teen reads her Facebook wall in the local library earlier this month)

Question: Would you provide your Facebook password to a prospective employer, if asked to do so?

Aspirin A Day Keeps Cancer Away?

Many doctors recommend that patients take a daily dose of aspirin to reduce their risk for a future heart attack or stroke. Now three new studies suggest taking the cheap powdery pill every day can also reduce a person's risk for cancer, or prevent the disease from getting worse in patients who already have it. The studies, all led by Professor Peter M. Rothwell, a professor of clinical neurology at the University of Oxford in the U.K. are published in the March 20 issue of The Lancet and The Lancet Oncology/Ryan Jaslow, CBS News. More here.

Question: Do you take an aspirin daily?

Wild Card/Tuesday — 3.20.12

Snow? On the first day of spring? Seriously? I uncovered my mini-roses Sunday afternoon, happy that all but one of them had survived the winter. And feeling comfortable that they'd survive any cold ahead. Now this. I've lived in the Inland Northwest for 35 years. You'd think I'd learn about our unpredictable weather. With fingers crossed, I present today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 3.20.12

Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, a sponsor of a bill that would require women seeking an abortion get an ultrasound first, is pictured at a Senate State Affairs Committee hearing at the Idaho Capitol in Boise. Winder's suggestion on the Senate floor that a doctor should ask a woman who says she was raped if the pregnancy could have been “caused by normal relations in a marriage” brought a rebuke from another legislator who said it's insensitive and suggests women may lie to get an abortion. (AP File Photo/John Miller)

Odd Candidate Behavior Nothing New

Idaho Statesman reporter Patrick Orr has a full story today on Cynthia Clinkingbeard, the 1st District congressional candidate who was arrested over the weekend after threatening Staples employees with a 9mm handgun. The former physician, whose medical license was revoked in 2005, was charged with three felony counts of aggravated assault and one count of use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime, Orr reports; she also was suspended from her college teaching post for “erratic behavior.” Here's the thing: This is the second time in 16 years that a candidate who was also a physician has filed for Idaho's 1st District congressional seat and then had a public meltdown; the last one, back in 1996, was running against Helen Chenoweth in the GOP primary/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. (AP file illustration of Larry Craig)

Question: OK, let's all concede that former U.S. senator Larry Craig was the king of all odd behavior by a prospective candidate. Which candidate in your experience was your favorite for behaving oddly?

PM Scanner Traffic — 3.20.12

  • 5:19 p.m. Caller from 12960 Shore Drive/Cataldo reports a suspicious package.
  • 5:06 p.m. A loose dog is causing a hazard by running into traffic @ Govt Way & Canfield/CdA.
  • 5:01 p.m. Dispatcher tells ITD that CPD officer spotted a large pothole @ w/b I-90 & H95 offramp.
  • 4:51 p.m. Driver for Demko Trucking reports employees have left yard, locking him & truck in.
  • 4:18 p.m. Shannon reports containing a bulldog & a pug in 2900 block of Hargrave/PF.
  • 4:17 p.m. Caller reports fire burning unattached Hayden Avenue garage.
  • 4:14 p.m. Local dispatcher asks deputy to return to HQ where woman wants to serve him papers. He responds: “She wants to serve me?” And is told he heard message correctly.
  • 4:08 p.m. Resident @ 220 Lakewood reports a small rowboat w/o occupant is now floating @ his dock.
  • 11 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

PM Headlines — 3.20.12

On her Facebook wall, KXLY weathermeister Kris Crocker posts this photo sent to her by the Klynstra family of Sandpoint today re: the snow that surprised us this morning on the first day of spring.

Ultrasound Remarks Launch Firestorm

Betsy Russell/Eye On Boise reports that Chuck Winder's comments in his closing argument re: his pre-abortion ultrasound bill has launched a firestorm nationwide. He said: “In his closing debate in favor of SB 1387, Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, said, “This bill does not require a trans-vaginal exam. … It leaves that up to the patient and the physician to make that determination.” He said, “Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.” More here.


Higher Expectations For 2012 M’s

During his first season on the reclamation project of the Seattle Mariners, Eric Wedge (pictured last May arguing with umpire) knew he couldn’t snap with frustration or disappointment even when it probably was warranted. Biting his lip became part of what Wedge decided he needed to in his first year with a new organization, especially with a roster that included so much youth and inexperience as Seattle’s 67-95 season played out. Year 2, there won’t be any holding back in what Wedge expects out of his players. “No one’s going to take away what we’ve already established here. But ultimately, it is a different message this year. It’s about expectations,” the manager said. “It’s not just about breaking kids in, although we’re probably going to do some of that this year. Not as much as last year. It’s about expectations, performance and production. Performance and production lead to wins”/AP. More here.

Question: What do you expect out of the Mariners this year?

Loading Up On Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Bailey Zundel, 10, stacks boxes of Girl Scout cookies for Troop 2132 in the back of a moving truck as they pick up their order of 4900 boxes Tuesday. According to Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming, Girl Scouts have sold 157,000 boxes of cookies in Yellowstone County, Mont. They will be delivered over the next couple of weeks. Booth sales by troops start this weekend, and continue through the end of April. (AP Photo/Billings Gazette, Casey Page)

Question: Which kind of Girl Scout cookie is your favorite — Samoas/Caramel deLites, Savannah Smiles, Shout Outs, Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties, Thanks-A-Lot (Animal Treasures or All Abouts), Thank U Berry Much, Thin Mints, or Trefoils?

3 D2 Wannabes To Run As Coalition

Via Facebook, former state senator Mike Jorgenson announces today: “I'm happy to announce that Mark Fisher and Ed Morse are joining me in a coalition of independent, intelligent conservatives running in the Republican primary. Hit 'like' if you think we need better ideas coming out of Boise.”

Question: How will the decision by Jorgenson, Fisher and Morse help/hurt them in the three Legislative District 2 races?

Bumpersnicker …

On a turquoise Isuzu (also with a “Friends of Tubbs Hill” sticker) at 11:50 this morning on Northwest Boulevard & new secondary entrance to North Idaho College: “Destined to be an old woman who dies with no regrets.”

Question: What are you destined to be?

John Green To Speak At Kroc Center

John Green, Republican candidate for Kootenai County sheriff, will be speaking to the Christian Community Coalition re: ways for “more involvement in government & community leadership from faith-based organizations,” according to a flier. The event is schedule from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, at the Kroc Center, 1765 W Golf Course Road, Coeur d'Alene. You can read more about it here.

What Will Butch Do w/Ultrasound Bill?

In a column, Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman tells how Gov. Butch Otter has given in to his Libertarian side at times in the past on such things as the Patriot Act. Two years ago, however, Otter allowed the “health conscience” bill (which allows health care professionals to refuse to provide services they consider morally objectionable) to become law without his signature. Now, Popkey wonders, which Otter will be present when the pre-abortion ultrasound bill hits his desk: “Otter, a Catholic, is a longtime foe of abortion, though he’s not made it a high-profile issue. I can’t predict what he’ll do, only that he’ll struggle with his choice. Otter genuinely loves the U.S. and Idaho constitutions, which invest chief executives with the veto power to regulate the excesses of legislative majorities. We’ll soon know whether Otter’s faith trumps secular principle and warrants the state ordering doctors to engage in the rudest of intrusions on personal liberty.” More here. (AP photo: Gov. Otter in Wallace Jan. 23)

Question: What do you think Butch will do when this Bill hits his desk?

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Ultrasound Vote Could Haunt Keough

Senate Bill 1387, the Idaho ultrasound bill, passed 23-12. Likely result: Passage in the House by a larger margin a few days from now, and signature by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter some days after that. And this likely will be the piece of legislation for which this session is most remembered. Don’t be surprised if a number of legislative campaigns center around it. Of the debates, the strongest may have been that of Senator Shawn Keough (pictured), R-Sandpoint, who is apt to be in the political whirlwind surrounding this – “my primary opponent has made it her number one issue”/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Would you vote against an exceptional incumbent like Shawn Keough, if she voted contrary to your wishes on a pet issue of yours?