Advertise Here

Huckleberries Online

Archive for May 2012

Wild Card/Thursday — 5.31.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 56: We're approaching show time in the legal drama launched by former KCGOPCChairwoman Tina Jacobson's lawsuit against John/Jane Doe (aka HucksOnline commenter almostinnocentbystander). SR attorneys Duane Swinton & Joel Hazel will be in Judge John Luster's court (Courtroom #1) at 9 a.m. Friday to argue in favor of the SR motion to quash Jacobson's subpoena that asks for the true identities of almostinnocentbyster, Phaedrus & OutofStaterTater. Meanwhile, I'm trying to decide what to wear in case the HucksOnline fashionista is on hand to provide her pointed wardrobe review. All of which means that HucksOnline will be unmanned for a coupla hours tomorrow morning. Now for your daily Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 5.31.12

Emma Ciereszynski, 14, of Dover, N.H., shrugs after misspelling a word in the finals of the National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., earlier today. (AP photo)

Stop The Recall Group Files Complaint

Email from Stop the Recall organizer Jennifer Drake: “A formal complaint was filed with City Clerk Susan Weathers this afternoon on behalf of Stop the Recall.  The complaint against RecallCDA addresses the overwhelming and persistent misinformation being spread by organizers and volunteers in the effort to gather signatures for the petitions to recall Mayor Bloem, Councilwoman Goodlander, Councilman Kennedy, and Councilman McEvers.  We believe there have been violations of Idaho Code 34-1714(d).  RecallCDA has had many opportunities to correct the mistruths and fallacies being spread by their organization, but they have failed to do so.  Stop the Recall, as an organization representing a large portion of this community, hopes that with a formal investigation,  RecallCDA will be held accountable for any unlawful actions they have perpetrated.”


PM Scanner Traffic — 5.31.12

  • 5:39 p.m. Driver of camo pickup almost caused 2 crashes by failing to signal on e/b I-90 @ H41.
  • 5:27 p.m. Possible road rage incident reported b/n drivers stopped @ Govt Way & Hazel/CdA.
  • 5:16 p.m. Caller reports suspicious person @ 610 W. Appleway/CdA.
  • 4:53 p.m. Unknown traffic hazard reported @ Harrison & Royal/CdA.
  • 4:48 p.m. Possible DUI driver in red pickup speeding & swerving from Hauser Smoke Shop.
  • 4:42 p.m. Patrol officers are closing Prairie @ Huetter & Prairie @ Meyer to help firefighters who are fighting fire (4:29 p.m. item).
  • 4:33 p.m. CPD officer has taken a juvenile into protective custody en route to hospital.
  • 4:29 p.m. R/P reports possible boat-barn fire  in 6200 fire of W. Prairie Avenue/Hayden.
  • 9 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM: Orcas Return To Puget Sound

A new baby orca, designated L-119, front, swims with its uncle Mega and aunt Calypso, in the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound in Washington. The Kitsap Sun reports it's the second known offspring for Matia. Her first baby two years ago only survived a few months. Story here. (AP Photo/Jeanne Hyde)

Huckleberries Hears …

At the School Board meeting moments ago. Berry Picker sez that board is discussing what to do if anti-Luna-reform referendums pass.

… That there are about 300 people in the audience — about half of them teachers wearing black in solidarity move — at Woodland Middle School for that Coeur d'Alene School Board meeting with Coeur d'Alene Education Association representatives. The two sides will discuss class size maximums, types of classes a teacher will teach, benefits such as health care coverage and also salaries. The School Board now includes James Purtee, who was appointed by the Kootenai County commissioners to fill a vacancy created by the judicial removal of Wanda Quinn but not appointee Ann Seddon, who was appointed by the board to fill vacancy created by resignation of Diane Zipperer. Wednesday story here.

  • 5:36 p.m. Include furlough days in there as well.
  • 5:35 p.m. Now discussing 3.2 million shortfall next year and how to account for it. Includes larger class sizes. Attrition of teachers.

Judge Declares Edwards Case Mistrial

Ex-presidential candidate John Edwards speaks outside a federal courthouse as his daughter Cate Edwards, left, and parents Wallace Edwards, second from right, and Bobbie Edwards, right, look on after the jury's verdict in his trial on charges of campaign corruption in Greensboro, N.C., today. Edwards thanked jurors and his family after a mistrial was declared in his campaign corruption trial and says he is responsible for his sins. More here. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)


Dismissal Of Claim Vs. NIC Upheld

The Idaho Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a discrimination claim filed against North Idaho College by a former student who alleges she was sexually harassed by an instructor while taking classes several years ago. In a decision Thursday, the court affirmed a previous ruling against Victoria Johnson in the claim she filed under Idaho's Human Rights Act. Johnson alleges she was harassed by her then-instructor Donald Friis shortly after she started classes in 2001 and again in 2004, when she re-enrolled after withdrawing. Johnson filed a formal complaint in 2005 and the college determined Friis had violated its sexual harassment policy. Court documents show Friis resigned rather than face termination/AP. More here. And: August 2008 summary judgment in favor of NIC/Friis by U.S. District Court here.


Senators Question EPA Sackett Action

Two months after the Supreme Court sided unanimously with a North Idaho couple, 16 GOP senators say the Environmental Protection Agency hasn't heeded lessons from its loss in court. Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch co-signed the letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, which was released Thursday. The letter centers on the case of Mike and Chantell Sackett, a Priest Lake couple who took the EPA to court, arguing that the agency's rulings under the Clean Water Act are subject to court review. The Supreme Court agreed. The letter cites a May 7 article in Inside EPA, which quoted Mark Pollins, head of EPA's water enforcement division. “What's available after Sackett? Pretty much everything that was available before Sackett, said Pollins. “Internally, it's same old, same old”/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.


Read more here:

North Idaho Blogs Rdp — 5.31.12

In this Phantom Photographer photo, State Controller Donna Jones is shown at a Spirit Lake park during the 2010 Republican bus tour of North Idaho. Jones is recovering from serious injuries suffered in a vehicle crash this month.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, May 30): 12,189/6371

Carlson: Teachers Must Man Ramparts

As the school year draws to a close Idaho’s teachers face a challenge:  do they spend their summer recreating and holding down a summer job somewhere as many have to do; or, do they get actively involved in the campaign to repeal the Otter/Luna reform that further eviscerates Idaho’s already weakened commitment to public education? Their future as well as the economic growth of the state depends on their response.  Bottom line is people, especially those with children in public schools, trust teachers to know what’s best when it comes to learning. Voters know teachers are more credible on educational matters than are administrators or politicians like Governor C.L. “Butch Otter” or State Superintendent Tom Luna when it comes to knowing and convincingly talking about “students come first”/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicle. More here.

Question: How active should teachers be in supporting referendums to rescind Superintendent Tom Luna's “education reforms”?

Sims Continues City Hall Attack

In the current issue of the Nickels Worth, state Rep. Kathy Sims,, has paid for a classified ad attacking urban renewal and City Hall (above).

Catnap Costs Car Prowler Suspect

An alleged car prowler was arrested when Post Falls police found him asleep early this morning in one of the cars he’s suspected of burglarizing. Jason D. Hill, 33, was found inside the car around 4:20 a.m. on the 3800 block of East Second Avenue. Hill was wearing gloves and appeared to have been removing the stereo from the car he fell asleep in, a news release from the police department said. Police also found another stolen stereo, along with burglary tools, wallets and a cell phone. Police determined that several vehicles in the same parking lot had been burglarized and the items found on Hill, along with items found inside the car, belong to the other victims, the release said/SR. More here.

Question: Should we file this one under “Stupid Criminal Tricks”?

Dog Hammer Killing Brings 6 Months

A Post Falls man who beat his dog with a hammer as his neighbor watched in horror has been sentenced to six months in jail. Calvin Franklin Palmer, 53, who served 33 years in prison in Arizona for murder, apologized at his sentencing Friday and said the death of his Akita-pit bull even “traumatized him,” according to court records. “I was the only one who treated her nicely,” Palmer said. He told police he killed the dog after she attacked a cat and he feared she would attack him. “I'm sorry that someone saw me do that,” he said in court Friday, according to a transcript. Palmer was booked into the Kootenai County Jail that day to begin his sentence/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.


George W. Unveils Portrait

Former President George W. Bush unveils his portrait in the East Room of the White House in Washington Thursday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

What Constitutes Office Hours?

“Ideas about what constitutes Office Hours can vary greatly” Supersub Cindy via Twitter.

Question: What do you think constitutes Office Hours?

News Quiz Offers Movie Tickets

Hey movie buffs: Did you know that simply by taking our weekly news quiz, you're eligible to win two free tickets to area cinemas? And for those of you who finish atop the leaderboard, a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel could be yours. Last week's winners: Tim Lafser of Post Falls ($50 Davenport gift card) and Helen Donier of Spokane (AMC movie tickets). You can enter this week's news quiz contest/drawing here.
  • CDAgardner is only HucksOnline reader currently on leaderboard

Nudist Camp Offers Saturday Hike

A Washington nudist park north of Spokane is celebrating National Trails Day June 2 with a clothing optional hike. Kaniksu Ranch Family Nudist Park near Loon Lake will host the hike Saturday from 1-5 p.m. in its 260-acre forest. … A Kaniksu news release says, “The Inland Northwest has lots of wonderful scenery, but the one unique feature Kaniksu Ranch offers that no one else does is that we can hike safely and legally naked in a beautiful, family-friendly environment.”  Guided hikes will be on trails from 1-3 miles in length. “The hike is scheduled for later in the day to allow the forest a chance to warm up. The guides will be nude, weather permitting, and participants are invited to also enjoy the forest au natural on this nude hike. An orientation will take place before the hike and refreshments will be served afterward. (SR file photo from Kaniksu Bare Buns fun run)

Question: No way in the world would I participate in a clothing optional hike or Bare Buns Fun Run at Kaniksu. How about you?

Spokane Chipotle To Open Next Week

Food with integrity? That is what national chain Chipotle Mexican Grill says will be on the menu at the new Spokane location when it opens Wednesday, June 6. So, what does that mean? Chipotle is one of the few fast-food chain restaurants committed to buying naturally raised meat, along with local, sustainable produce. That means burritos, tacos, burrito bowls and salads customers can feel better about eating (if they care how animals are raised for food and where their produce is grown)/Too Many Cooks. More here.

DFO: I first sampled — and enjoyed — Chipotle's when Junior lived in Denver. He also took my wife & me to Chipotle's near his current Florida digs. I don't think the Coeur d'Alene area has a Chipotle's. But Qdoba seems to offer similar fare. What do you think?

Question: Would you like to see Chipotle's come to Coeur d'Alene area?

Fairchild Breast-Feeders Create Stir

Mom2Mom, a breastfeeding support group at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Wash., has created an Internet sensation with a recent photo shoot that included two moms breastfeeding while wearing their airman battle uniforms. The photos, by 'Brynja Sigurdardottir Photography' in Washington, were featured on the website and blog The author of the blog, Robyn Roche-Paull, says on her website that the Air Force doesn't endorse the photos but permission was given to the breastfeeding moms to appear in them. One features a mom breastfeeding twins; her ABU top is unbuttoned and her shirt is pushed up. A second mom sits next to her, breastfeeding a baby girl. She too has her ABU undone, although her shirt covers her skin/ More here.


Question (from KHQ): Should military women be allowed to breastfeed in uniform in public?

Noon Headlines — 5.31.12

Protecting old-growth habitat for endangered woodland caribou will cost about $1.5 million over the next 20 years, according to a draft economic analysis prepared for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Becky Kramer SR story here. (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Snake Handling Pastor Dies From Bite

A “serpent-handling” West Virginia pastor died after his rattlesnake bit him during a church ritual, just as the man had apparently watched a snake kill his father years before. Pentecostal pastor Mark Wolford, 44, hosted an outdoor service at the Panther Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia Sunday, which he touted on his Facebook page prior to the event. “I am looking for a great time this Sunday,” Wolford wrote May 22, according to the Washington Post. “It is going to be a homecoming like the old days. Good 'ole raised in the holler or mountain ridge running, Holy Ghost-filled speaking-in-tongues sign believers.” Robin Vanover, Wolford's sister, told the Washington Post that 30 minutes into the outdoor service, Wolford passed around a poisonous timber rattlesnake, which eventually bit him/ABC News. More here. (AP/Washington Post photo: In this Sept. 2, 2011 photo, Pastor Mack Wolford handles a rattlesnake in Jolo, W. Va.)

  • H/T: Dinosaur Man

Question: Do you have Pentecostal roots in your religious background?

Red, White & Blue Down To Toes

Former President George H.W. Bush crosses his red white and blue socked feet during the unveiling ceremony of former President George W. Bush, his son, and former first lady Laura Bush's portraits earlier today in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Story here. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Question: Without looking, do you know what color of socks you're wearing today? Why did you choose them?

AM Scanner Traffic — 5.31.12

  • 11:58 a.m. Motorist reports man trying to break into parked, silver VW at top of 4th of July Pass.
  • 11:46 a.m. R/P in 2000 block of N12th/CdA reports undisclosed fraud.
  • 11:28 a.m. Resident of Harmony House @ 454 W. Lacey/Hayden reports theft of her belongings.
  • 11:19 a.m. Driver has pulled onto Presley Road after hitting deer on n/b H95 @ M/P 424.
  • 11:09 a.m. CPD officer asked to serve warrant @ Adult Parole & Probation, 501 Govt Way.
  • 10:59 a.m. Violent child threatening suicide @ Atlas Elementary, 3000 W. Honeysuckle/Hayden.
  • 10 more items below

Sex-Selective Abortion Vote Ahead

The Republican author of a bill to punish sex-selective abortion blasted President Obama on Thursday for his stance in favor of abortion rights. The White House voiced its opposition to the bill — known as PRENDA — in a statement Wednesday night, calling it intrusive and hazardous for doctors. The measure's author, Rep. Trent Franks (Ariz.), responded by calling Obama “the abortion president.” “There has never been a more pro-abortion leader in the White House in history of the United States,” Franks said a press conference Thursday.  “I am astonished that the leader of the free world would be against a bill that would protect unborn children from being aborted based on their sex,” he said/Elise Viebeck, The Hill. More here.


Guinness Record Targets Recycling

Two girls sit among an origami (folded paper) assemblage of water lilies in the central Aristotelous Square in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki earlier today. A total of 40,000 paper lilies will be placed, each made by a different person, in an event designed to foster recycling.The assemblage will make its way to the Guinness Book of Records. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

Question: On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate yourself in terms of recycling?

Quotable Quote — Shawn Vestal

“Idaho banned Five Wives vodka because it's offensive to Mormons. Know what else is offensive to Mormons? Vodka” — SR columnist Shawn Vestal via Twitter.

Question: What else does the state of Idaho do that's offensive to Mormons?

Parker To Join Semanko On Sidelines

One of the first jobs for the Idaho Republican Party's next chairman will be to name a second-in-command. Jonathan Parker, the Idaho Republican Party's executive director, is stepping down in June. Parker will join the Boise law firm Holland and Hart. Parker is not an attorney, and will not provide legal counsel; he will instead work in “government affairs services” for the firm. State chairman Norm Semanko also is stepping down after the GOP convention in June/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.


Read more here:

Poll: Allow Five Wives Vodka In Idaho

  • Wednesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation disagrees with Idaho Liquor Division's decision to ban Five Wives Vodka in the state as offensive. 184 of 205 respondents (89.76%) disagree with the decision. Only 12 of 205 respondents (5.85%) agree with the decision. 9 (4.39%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Should the media be allowed to see all aspects of public executions in Idaho?

Solar Energy Works In Lake City

When Anne Nesse decided to utilize the sun’s power and switch out traditional heat sources for her Coeur d’ Alene home, she was shocked to find that the failing furnace could lead to a substantial savings. “We researched different kinds of renewable energy sources and were pleased with solar tubes’ results,” says Anne, an energetic retiree who is currently running for state representative for Idaho District 4B, where she says that she likes to lead by example. She and her husband, Rolf, were also surprised to find that theirs would be Coeur d’Alene’s first home to be fitted with solar tubes. It all started last year when the Nesses sought a renewable heat source for their 2,400-square-foot home, which they built in 1994. Anne found a type of solar tube that worked well in a colder northwest climate/Jean Arthur, SR Down to Earth. More here.

DFO: For those keeping score at home, Anne Nesse is the Democrat running against state Rep. Kathy Sims,, in Coeur d'Alene's House District 4.

Question: Do you live in an energy efficient house?

Oliver Replaces Jacobson On GOP CC

Some of the current county GOP CC leaders are shown in this 2010 Fourth of July Parade float, including Doug Balija, far left, and Tony Wisniewski, third from left. Balija is the GOP treasurer and Wisniewski the vice president. (Phantom Photographer photo)

The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee chose Neil Oliver as its new chairman at the Garden Plaza on Thursday night. Oliver edged Brent Regan 34-31 in voting by the precinct committee members. “I look forward to the challenge,” Oliver told nearly 200 attendees. “I hope to fill your needs and earn your trust. I'm a big follower of by-laws. Those by-laws were put in by the people before us.” Oliver said those in the political party will disagree, but it's important to respect each other and unify to change the direction of the country. “One of the most important things is the way the public views the Republican Party,” he said. “If we seem scattered, that reflects poorly on us”/Brian Walker, CdA Press.

Question: Yeah, I know Cindy published this last week while I was on vacation. But I wanted to break this down further by inviting insiders to tell us what happened in the Oliver win over Regan. Anyone?

Roundup: SR Subpoena Date Nears

Reminder: Judge John Luster (Courtroom #1) will hear arguments on the SR motion to quash Tina Jacobson's subpoena beginning at 9 a.m. Friday at the Kootenai County courthouse.

First District Judge John Luster will hear The Spokesman-Review's motion to quash a subpoena filed by former Kootenai County GOP CC chairman Tina Jacobson, seeking the names of three anonymous HucksOnline commenters. The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. We don't know how long the hearing will last, or whether Judge Luster will hand down a decision Friday. He may take the matter under advisement. In preparation for Friday morning's event, I'm posting links to the key stories about Jacobson's lawsuit against John/Jane Doe, her subpoena and other important stories along the way:

Recall Rally At McEuen Field

A Berry Picker snapped this photo of the RecallCDA rally at McEuen Field on Saturday during the Memorial Day weekend. Mebbe the Souza-Orzell-Sims overthrowers had better luck attracting people at their unauthorized Lake City High site?

You can use this thread for daily Recall discussion.

Fake Cancer Claim Scams Local

A 14-year-old girl said she has cancer and later dies. The problem? She didn't die. She never had cancer. She also never existed. Phaedra Hansen, pictured in KXLY photo, goes back and forth between being angry and sad. She volunteers for the Ronan Thompson Foundation, dedicated to finding a cure for neuroblastoma. So when a young girl said she was fighting for her life Hansen, who has a soft spot for kids, immediately wanted to help. “So many are dying now it just breaks my heart,” she said. But Hansen never thought someone would take advantage of that. “A lot of me was really sad. A lot of me was really mad,” Hansen said/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here.

Question: How do you avoid getting plucked by scam artists?

Sex Offenders Fight Facebook Ban

A federal judge said Thursday she plans to rule within a month on the constitutionality of an Indiana law that bans registered sex offenders from using social networking websites where they could prey on children. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is heading the class-action suit on behalf of a man who served three years for child exploitation, along with other sex offenders who are restricted by the ban even though they are no longer on probation. Federal judges have barred similar bans in Nebraska and Louisiana. Similar restrictions remain in effect in New York, Illinois and North Carolina/Charles Wilson, AP. More here.

Question: Should sex offenders be banned from using social networking websites?

Love Story: Love Trumps Baseball

Gary Brown has more than 1,000 baseball caps displayed in his garage. Numbered and cataloged by date, place, and his acquisition of it, each one has a story. But the tale of his 60-year marriage to his wife, Noreen, outshines the story of even 1,000 baseball caps. Noreen likes to joke that he picked her up off the street. It was the summer of 1951, she recalled, “I was walking up Division Street with two friends, and he picked us up.” Gary was with a couple buddies who knew the girls and they gave them a ride to Noreen’s home. “I knew the minute I met him, I wasn’t going to let him go,” she said. When asked about that first meeting, Gary said, “I didn’t say anything. I was the shyest guy at Rogers High School”/Cindy Hval, SR Love Story. More here. (SR photo: Gary & Noreen Brown)

Question: What do you collect?

Trib: Washington Booze To Cost More

So you expected to pay less when Washington privatized its liquor sales. What were you thinking? That big chains such as Costco, Walmart, Safeway and Albertsons could cut costs and pass the savings on to the consumer? If a supermarket can sell bread and potato chips cheaply, why not Jim Beam? Why else would you have voted last fall for the Costco-backed initiative that ended a system dating back to the post-Prohibition days? Surprise. Not only are prices not falling, they might rise. For instance, the Seattle Times quotes wholesalers predicting a 15 percent to 35 percent price hike. Says the Associated Press: That 750-ml bottle of Absolute Citron vodka you picked up at a state store for $22.95 could cost you $33.74 at a supermarket/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.


Spelling Y-O-U-N-G

Six-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Woodbridge, Va., the youngest contestant in the history of the National Spelling Bee, speaks during a news conference earlier today in Oxon Hill, Md. Lori failed to make the semi-final round when she tripped up on the word “ingluvies.” (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Question: Is there a word(s) that you have a hard time spelling?

JohnA: How About Them … M’s?!

JohnA: I went to walk the dog and I guess the Cowboys, I mean the Rangers must have gone for two against Seattle. Wow, 21-8 the M’s win. I had to watch the replay to see how they did it. A young team with alot of promise. I hope they can build on this and get their season turned around.

Question: Are you starting to see the promise that the young Seattle Mariners have?

Clark: 5 Wives? Meh … Grandpa’d 6

I was appalled to read that Idaho has banned an alcoholic beverage not for tasting bad, but for supposedly being in bad taste. Five Wives Vodka. Liquor regulators have determined that those three words on a label (plus photographs of five fully-dressed females) are too offensive to peddle to Gem State booze hounds. Well, I am offended. And not because I’m a vodka lover, either. I’m offended because this ban is an insult to my own polygamist roots/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Are there any polygamists in your family tree?

JBelle: What You Get At Bent’s BBQ

JBelle: The buns are baked daily in the ovens if Capones; the meat is all local; the chili is made by hand, not in huge vats with cans full of preservatives thrown in. Nor does any of the food have the preservatives in it you will consume at other BBQ restaurants. This food is not loaded with transfat nor will give you stomach ache. I guess, if you were wanting to market it, you could call it artisanal. (snickering now) I’m starting to take people over there and the reaction is 5*. To be honest, I’ve had many business lunches and dinners at the resort and at HH products that were very disappointing. For less than those prices you get superb food in a very charming locale. The only thing Bents BBQ lacks is a front row view of Lac Coeur d’Alene. well that and ice cold beer.

Question: My only complaint about Bent's BBQ is that my future son-in-law ate his half chicken & half my pulled-pork sandwich, too. How about you?

Benson: Good Housekeeping

Lisa Benson/Washington Post Writers' Group

Hump Day Wild Card — 5.30.12

I failed to mention Tuesday that future son-in-law Okie Doke and I dined at Bent's BBQ Saturday and at the Brazilian Steak House on Front Avenue Monday. Both places were home runs. I ordered Bent's pulled pork sandwich “run through the garden” and Okie Doke picked a half BBQ'd chicken with cole slaw. Still thinking about that wonderful sandwich. We also scored big at the steak house, where a special through May offered lunch at $9.99. Okie Doke sampled all 12 meat offerings. I trailed behind. Both left full and didn't eat another meal that day. With visions of BBQ'd & Brazilian prepared meat dancing in my head, I offer you today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 5.30.12

Larry O'Brian, of Worcester, Mass., takes a picture of sections of the statue “Unconditional Surrender,” as the artwork is dismantled from its spot alongside the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum, right, earllier today in San Diego. Though the current version of the statue is being removed, the famous statue of two Navy sweethearts kissing on the San Diego waterfront will be replaced by a version in bronze, with a price tag of about $1 million. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Rep. Hart Files For Bankruptcy

Tax-protesting Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart, who lost his bid for a fifth term in the GOP primary two weeks ago, has filed for bankruptcy. In Hart’s petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, he lists just three creditors: The IRS, the Idaho State Tax Commission, and Anderson & Krieger, a construction defect law firm in Sacramento, Calif. Hart also is facing a foreclosure lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department seeking to foreclose on his Athol home for more than $500,000 in back federal income taxes, penalties and interest, and a state order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest. Michael McFarland, Hart’s Coeur d’Alene attorney in the bankruptcy proceeding, said, “I’m really not in a position to discuss details”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. And: bankruptcy document here.


PM Scanner Traffic — 5.30.12

  • 5:25 p.m. Male driver w/flashers on is flipping off others on w/b I-90 from H41/PF.
  • 5:21 p.m. Baby reportedly standing on console of s/b black Infiniti on H95 from Honeysuckle/CdA.
  • 5:06 p.m. Undisclosed parking problem reported @ 15th & Davis/CdA.
  • 4:46 p.m. Josh @ Super 1 reports man trying to defraud store by returning items for credit.
  • 4:41 p.m. Possible DUI driver of silver Volvo n/b on H95 from Kidd Island Bay.
  • 4:33 p.m. Female driver of white GMC possibly DUI e/b on H54/Athol from Timberlake High.
  • 4:06 p.m. Male in all black looking in mailboxes & throwing stuff @ homes @ 15th & Davis/CdA.
  • 16 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM: Shooting Suspect Kills Himself

A Seattle Police officer stands outside a cafe where a shooting took place Wednesday. A gunman opened fire at the cafe in Seattle's University district Wednesday, killing two people and critically wounding three others. Police are searching for the gunman, described as a man in his 30s wearing dark clothes. Seattle Times story here. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Five Wives Vodka: No Offense Meant

They're “five wives who just like to get together and have a cocktail.” They're not meant to be a direct reference to polygamy and those kittens they're holding in their laps are … just part of a photograph that's reflective of the 1890s to early 1900s. For all anyone knows, they might be lesbians. Those are some of the things that Five Wives Vodka director of marketing Steve Conlin had to say this afternoon to All Things Considered co-host Robert Siegel about the news that the company's product has been banned in Idaho because its label and its name might offend Mormons and women. Ironically, Five Wives Vodka is made — and sold — in Utah, home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints /Mark Memmot, NPR. More here. (Brian Skoloff AP photo)

Question: Will the “banned in Idaho” tag prompt more sales of Five Wives Vodka?


Alex Howe, 9, of Victorville, Calif,, right, yawns next to Sam T.E. Nitz, 13, of Costa Mesa, Calif., as they compete in the National Spelling Bee today in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Question: What causes you to yawn?

Arsaken: Temp Help Hikes Recall Cost

Arsaken (RE: Rumorama): all I know is that the costs start at $20,000. I believe that number was assuming it would be on the November ballot so no special election would be called. A special election would definitely be more expensive, and that could very easily happen. Also, I find it interesting that Cliff Hayes is giving the recall petitioners extra time to collect signatures and then hiring temporary employees to verify the petitions because of the time crunch. Another extra cost to taxpayers handed to us by RecallCDA and their backers.


Blast From Past: Mary & Butch

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and Coeur d'Alene recall leader Mary Souza chat during the Unity Dinner, sponsored by the Post Falls Pachyderm Club, Monday night, April 30. (Phantom Photographer file photo)

Arsaken: The whole Mayor Gookin/Councilwoman Souza thing is a truly terrifying possibility. I hope it doesn’t even come close to getting to that point, but if Governor Otter does end up making an appointment, I expect him to have far better judgement than that.

Hmm …

Norther: Overhaul Local Street Names

Norther (re: Poll: Don't want MLK Way In CdA): Just to make it all fair and easy, let’s just remove all street names and number them, instead. All North/South streets can be called 1st Street, etc, and all East/West streets can be called avenues or roads. Sherman should be changed because it could offend some folks of southern origin who see W.T. Sherman as more of a monster than a victor. Or because it was the name of the Fort in Coeur D’ Alene that ravaged native. populations in the early years of the area. Get rid of Government Way, too, just for kicks.

Question: Are there any streets/roads/avenue names in Kootenai County that bug you?

Teachers To Attend Meeting In Black

Huckleberries hears … that Coeur d'Alene School District teachers are encouraging one another to attend Thursday's district negotiation meeting at Woodland Middle School at 4:30. The meeting is open to the public.  Teachers will be wearing black in order to show their support for the CEA representatives involved in this negotiation process.  The teachers are worried that this new conservative board (two members of which were recently appointed) is adhering strictly to Superintendent Tom Luna's Students Come First legislation despite previous board's commitment to honor decades old principles found in the now defunct master agreement.  The negotiations are covering class size maximums, types of classes a teacher will teach, benefits such as health care coverage and also salaries. (CSD photo of trustee appointee Ann Seddon, who will take office June 11)


Exhibit To Feat Lincoln Idaho Legacy

Newly elected President Abraham Lincoln sat for more than an hour with plaster drying on his face, to create a life mask that then was used to fashion statues of the imposing man. Five years later, in 1865, he sat for another life mask - and the difference in his features is remarkable, showing him horribly aged by the Civil War. A look that intimate at the 16th president — who during those years also established Idaho Territory — isn't easy to come by, but thanks to a major donation to the state of Idaho by former Idaho Attorney General and Lt. Gov. David Leroy and his wife, Nancy, it's part of a unique collection documenting Lincoln and his ties to Idaho that will go on display to the public in a specially designed gallery next year/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Who do you consider the greater president — Abraham Lincoln or George Washington? Is there any president you consider better than either of these men?

Reed: Misuse Of Recall Process

The total misuse of the recall process is the real villain here. The mayor and council members have not broken any law, or misused their office, nor has any one of them been involved in scandalous behavior. These four people have not neglected their duties, lied, cheated or stolen public property. To the contrary, each has been an exemplary official, diligent and responsible. Together they have made decisions they believe to be wise for the present and future residents of Coeur d’Alene. What more can you ask for? Yet the recall petitioners are working very hard to fire the council members from their low-paying, essentially volunteer jobs because the petitioners disagree with their votes. That’s no way to run a stable democracy. That’s what regular elections are all about/former Idaho state senator Mary Lou Reed/Inlander. More here.


Noon Headlines — 5.30.12

Kevin Chestnut gives words of encouragement to Cruise, a Bedlington terrier in the show ring during the judging of the terrier class Tuesday at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur d'Alene. Cruise took fourth place. Following on the heels of the Spokane Kennel Club show on Memorial Day Weekend, the Coeur d’Alene Dog Fanciers hold their own show on Monday and Tuesday, keeping many out-of-town dog lovers in the area for a long weekend. More Jesse Tinsley SR photos here.

Hostess To Lay Off Idaho Workers

Hostess Brands, the Texas-based maker of bread and snack cakes, filed a notice to the state this month warning of layoffs across Idaho. The notice, required by law, warned of layoffs or plant closures by July 7. The company said the cuts would affect 34 jobs at three Boise locations, 19 at two Nampa locations, three jobs each in Caldwell and Mountain Home and 19 at two Twin Falls locations. Hostess mailed notices May 4 to all of its 18,500 employees in the U.S., said Hostess spokesman Erik Halvorson/Audrey Dutton, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Which Hostess product is your favorite?

Read more here:

At Parade Rest

Sheriff's Major Ben Wolfinger, the Republican nominee for Kootenai County sheriff, stands at parade rest during the Hayden Memorial Day event outside Hayden City Hall. (Phantom Photographer photo)

AM Scanner Traffic — 5.30.12

  • 12:29 p.m. On I-90 b/n NW Blvd & Huetter, e/b & w/b traffic is reduced to one lane by fire in median.
  • 12:25 p.m. R/P reports brush fire @ 24563 N. Old Highway 95/Athol.
  • 12:22 p.m. Hayden woman reports grandmother hit her son on Friday.
  • 12:07 p.m. R/P reports wood & other debris lying on w/b I-90 near H45/PF.
  • 11:55 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for May 29-30 here.
  • 11:43 a.m. Client dropped off at St. Vinny's center, 201 Harrison/CdA, last night is threatening others.
  • 11:24 a.m. R/P reports vandalism to property in 1400 block of Government Way/CdA.
  • 11:09 a.m. Sheriff's deputies are handling dispute b/n man & woman over 10MO baby.
  • 11:03 a.m. Wife of couple living at an assisted living center wants to file battery charge vs husband.
  • 7 more items below

Poll: Don’t Want MLK Way In CdA

  • Tuesday Poll: Hucks Nation doesn't want Coeur d'Alene to follow Spokane's lead and designate a city street to honor Martin Luther King Jr. 109 of 152 respondents (71.71%) said they would oppose such a move. Only 35 of 152 respondents (23.03%) support such action. 8 (5.26%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you support the Idaho Liquor Division's ban of Five Wives Vodka at state liquor stores?

Texas Incumbent Bops ‘Sheriff Mack’

In preliminary voting results, U.S. House of Representatives incumbent Lamar Smith, who has served in Congress since 1987, clinched the Republican nomination for the District 21 race with 76.5 percent of the vote. He will face Candace Duval, who beat Daniel Boone for the Democratic nomination with 61 percent of the vote. “I am very happy with the results and very appreciative of the support I received from voters of the 21st district,” Smith said. “It is very reassuring to have voters' approval.” Richard Mack, known as Sheriff Mack, received 15 percent of the Republican vote, and Richard Morgan got 8.5 percent of the vote/Sara Behunick, Community Impact. More here. (Wikipedia photo)

  • H/T: ReaganRepub

Question: So, Richard Mack loses by 62% in his Texas congressional district; yet, he wins a disputed vote of the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee to speak at the local Lincoln Day? Thoughts?


Huckleberries has heard the rumors that Councilman Dan Gookin has checked his qualifications to become mayor and dropped Mary Souza's name as Gov. Butch Otter's appointee to the City Council should the RecallCDA effort succeed. Also, Huckleberries has heard that Recallers will help County Clerk Cliff Hayes verify signatures. The second part is entirely false. I asked City Clerk Susan Weathers to clarify the conversation she had with Gookin this week. Here's her emailed response:

  • “To the first statement regarding Dan Gookin, that statement is not entirely true. During one of our daily discussions, Dan commented that he did not think he could be mayor.  I explained that it was possible for him to be appointed Mayor and I explained the process to him. He did mention Mary Souza's name but not as the Governor's pick.
  • “In response to the second rumor, it is just that - a rumor.  Councilman Edinger commented that he heard that County Clerk Cliff Hayes might use Recall people to volunteer to certify the signatures.  I have confirmed with County Clerk Cliff Hayes that that is not true.  He is anticipating having 3 full time employees and 7 temporary employees work to certify the petitions.”


Richert: Five Wives Meet Nanny State

The state of Idaho has poured Five Wives Vodka a shot of free publicity. Not that Ogden's Own Distillery is in an ideal position to cash in. The Utah-produced vodka is essentially a controlled substance in Idaho, where the rules of private enterprise govern nearly every sector of commerce, save for booze. Five Wives has been banned from the shelves of Idaho's state-run liquor stores — because the brand name, and its too-tepid-to-be-edgy reference to polygamy, may be offensive to Idaho Mormons. Never mind that practicing Mormons aren't supposed to frequent a liquor store. (Not to put to sharp a point on it, but that's the truth)/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Will you toast Kevin's column with a Five Wives Vodka Black Russian?

Read more here:

Anti-Recall Biz Gets Nasty Postcard

A downtown Coeur d'Alene business that opposes the attempted recall of Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members received another nasty postcard from an anonymous sender.

Recallers Claim Enough Signatures

Organizers for the group, Recall CDA, say they're close to getting a petition on the ballot. On the chopping block are Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandy Bloem, Councilmen Mike Kennedy and Woody McEvers, and Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander. The magic number for Recall CDA is just above 4,300 signatures.  So far, organizers say they have around 5,000, but those signatures have yet to be certified. If the recall movement has enough signatures, the process will begin for selecting a date for an election.  Both sides disagree on just about every issue and have different views on the significance of this development/Shawn Chitnis, KREM2. More here.


Statesman: Searching To Place Blame

When Amanda Andaverde of Caldwell fell 25 feet from a third-floor fraternity room window, suffering serious injuries, who was at fault? Through their lawyers, Raul Andaverde and Esmerelda Banda seek to place the blame all over the map:

  • They say the University of Idaho and the State Board of Education failed to adequately supervise the U of I’s fraternity houses.
  • They say the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house is unsafe, since it allowed Amanda Andaverde to roll out of a bed to the concrete surface below.
  • They say sisters from her Delta Delta Delta sorority should have prevented Andaverde, then 19, from drinking at frat parties on Sept. 9 and Sept. 10, 2009. Andaverde had reportedly been drinking at two parties before the accident.

The family says it will settle with the various parties for $1 million. The deadline: June 15. We often argue that a public entity is best off settling a lawsuit, rather than spending taxpayer dollars on a protracted legal process. This is not such an instance/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Should the UIdaho try to settle this suit?

Read more here:

Carlson: We Need More Like Simpson

Second District Congressman Mike Simpson continues to make a case to be Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives some day. He believes in solving problems and making government work. We need more like him. He recently spoke candidly to the Idaho Conservation Leagues’ annual retreat at Redfish Lake. What he said was a breath of fresh air to those who are beginning to wonder if either political party will figure out that real solutions to the nation’s challenges will require compromise and bipartisanship. Simpson not only figured it out a long-time ago, he has taken steps to form a working coalition of like-minded Republicans and Democrats. His frustration is that outside of the “Gang of Six” in the Senate he sees little else that gives any hope that the Senate, which has failed to pass a budget for three straight years, will be of similar mind/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicle. More here. (AP file photo of Mike Simpson & Butch Otter)

Question: Are you surprised that a congressional statesman hails from Idaho?

Edit: Sanitizing Idaho Executions

Let's set the record straight: The Associated Press and 16 Idaho news organizations, including the Lewiston Tribune and Moscow-Pullman Daily News, are not trying to change how executions are conducted in this country. No, it's the state of Idaho that wants to change the rules. And those rules worked like this: After American executions retreated completely behind prison walls in the 1930s, reporters became witnesses, serving as proxies for the public. As executions evolved from hangings and firing squads to electric chairs and gas chambers, the process was the same. Witnesses watched the condemned inmate enter the execution chamber. They saw him led to the gallows or strapped down to a chair. His demeanor was clearly observed throughout. So was the behavior of the execution squad. The execution - whether instantaneous or botched - occurred in the open. You could turn your eyes away, but what happened was a matter of public record/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (AP file photo: Execution chamber where Paul Ezra Rhoades died last fall)

Question: Should reporters be allowed to witness the entire execution process in Idaho?

Guitarist Doc Watson, 89, RIP

In this March 15, 2000, file photo, master flatpicker Doc Watson talks about his long and successful musical career at his home in Deep Gap, N.C. Watson, the Grammy-award winning folk musician whose lightning-fast style of flatpicking influenced guitarists around the world for more than a half-century, died Tuesday at a hospital in Winston-Salem, according to a hospital spokeswoman and his management company. He was 89. Story here. (AP Photo/Karen Tam, File)

Question: Who is your favorite guitar player?

Texas Pushes Romney To Nomination

Mitt Romney clinched the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday with a win in the Texas primary, a triumph of endurance for a candidate who came up short four years ago and had to fight hard this year as voters flirted with a carousel of GOP rivals. According to the Associated Press count, Romney surpassed the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination by winning at least 97 delegates in the Texas primary. The former Massachusetts governor has reached the nomination milestone with a steady message of concern about the U.S. economy, a campaign organization that dwarfed those of his GOP foes and a fundraising operation second only to that of his Democratic opponent in the general election, President Barack Obama/AP. More here. (AP photo)

Question (for Republicans): Are you ready to enthusiastically endorse GOP nominee Mitt Romney?

Edit: When Down Is Up, Vandals

This is not an argument for the University of Idaho to drop its football program from the highest level in intercollegiate sports to the next highest level. It is simply an argument that if a step down becomes necessary, as it well might, there are plenty of consolation prizes. Idaho is dealing with loss on a scale that is nothing short of overwhelming. Last year, UI lost a blood-feud rival when Boise State ended their annual match. Earlier this month, popular walk-on receiver Ken McRoyal was shot and killed in Los Angeles. And now, Idaho is trying to chart a future after its conference has fallen apart and none of the big boys from other conferences is inviting the Vandals to come play with them. That has a lot more to do with the relative scarcity of TV sets in the region than it does with Idaho's stature as a football program worthy of superconference consideration. The name of the game in Division I college football is money, and if you can't bring it, you're not welcome. So be it/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Recallers Ignored School Official

Coeur d'Alene School District 271 said RecallCdA did not have permission to solicit signatures on school property over the weekend. RecallCdA gathered signatures from the parking lot at Lake City High School Saturday through Monday without the district's permission, counter to policy dictating how non-school related events can use the district's property. Laura Rumpler, school district spokeswoman, said administrators received several complaints over the holiday weekend after the group seeking the ouster of four Coeur d'Alene incumbents set up a table and signs at the high school parking lot near Hanley Avenue. On Sunday, Rumpler showed up at the school and told petitioners they couldn't use the property. On Monday afternoon, however, different RecallCdA supporters set up a booth on the school's parking lot again/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Mike Kennedy photo of Recaller set up at Lake City High over Memorial Day weekend)


Ramirez: Remembering 24/7/365

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Wild Card/Tuesday — 5.29.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 54: I spent a glorious week with Amy Dearest & Okie Doke rushing around town to pick up a wedding dress (monster H/T to Storybook @ Gibbs Event Center on Northwest Boulevard) and then preparing and taking down decorations and left over goodies from wedding showers at Roosevelt Inn (another H/T for terrific, above-and-beyond job by owners John & Tina Hough) and my church. I return to you after a week's vacay with a full heart that remained brimming despite sight of smiling Mary Souza waving enthusiastically at vehicles, including mine, at Anton & 4th, after church Sunday. The battle for the heart of this community goes on. Now for your first post-vacay Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 5.29.12

A Great Dane's head is held erect by its handler in the show ring earlier today at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur d'Alene. It was the second and final day of the Coeur d'Alene Dog Fanciers show, which brought dogs and their owners from around the Northwest and Canada to vie for ribbons and the American Kennel Club points that advance a dog toward championship status. The Coeur d'Alene show followed on the heels of the Spokane Kennel Club show last Friday and Saturday. (Jesse Tinsley SR photo)

Dogwalk: Too Many Died Too Young

My morning routine begins with a couple of cups of strong black coffee and the morning papers.  They evoke a variety of emotions but rarely do they bring tears.  Yesterday's did. It, of course, was Memorial Day.  The front page of the Spokesman Review was devoted to the locals who have perished in wars lasting for far too long for far too little gain.  Forty five of them.  Young men and one woman.  The oldest was 43.  The youngest 19.  All in the prime of life. What an incredible waste.  Multiply this by every town in the country and you have thousands.  I cannot help but wonder if it has been worth it.  Multiply again the numbers of spouses suddenly single and children left without a parent.  Mothers and fathers who have lost a child. I was so angry with George W. Bush for  beginning the war in Iraq.  It seemed to me so un-American.  Americans don't start wars, we finish them/Dogwalk Musings. More here. (AP/Klamath Falls Mail Tribune photo)

Question: Have you changed your mind over the years re: the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan?

PM Scanner Traffic — 5.29.12

  • 5:47 p.m. Goodwill @ 4th & Harrison/CdA reports catching cooperative shoplifter.
  • 5:33 p.m. Resident in 1900 block of N12th/CdA reports ongoing problem w/neighbor's loud music.
  • 5:21 p.m. Callers from Fairwind Apts, 1905 Appleway/CdA, report 25YO man on bike yelling at people.
  • 5:07 p.m. CPD officer transporting female to St. Vincent's center @ 2nd & Harrison/CdA.
  • 4:51 p.m. Hit-and-run crash w/possible injuries reported @ 3rd & Locust/CdA. Guy reportedly hurrying to Kootenai Medical Center hit mint-condition 1972 GMC pickup.
  • 4:47 p.m. Older female suffering possible fit believes grandson has pushed son over cliff.
  • 4:36 p.m. Possible psychological problem reported in 2700 block of N4th/Midtown CdA.
  • 3:50 p.m. Washington driver of e/b Honda on Appleway reckless & making obscene gestures.
  • 14 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

PM Headlines — 5.29.12

WWII veteran Tom DePew solemnly rings a bell as other veterans read the names of submarines and the number of sailors lost in action Monday, May 28, 2012, during a Memorial Day event on the shores of Hayden Lake. Other veterans of the submarine service dropped a wreath onto the lake's surface nearby. DePew served on submarines from 1943-1946 after getting basic training at Farragut Naval Training Station in Idaho. Nina Culver SR story here. (Jesse Tinsley SR photo)

North Idaho Blogs Rdp — 5.29.12

“No spots on my camera lens, just the evening hatch at Bloom Lake northeast of Sandpoint,” posts Marianne Love/Slight Detour. “(Husband) Bill decided to take his pontoon boat and try out the beautiful little lake yesterday.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for May 20-26): 41,270/25,334

CSD Responds To Recaller Activity

Coeur d'Alene School District spokeswoman Laura Rumpler sent the following to HucksOnline after this blog emailed her re: possible complaints about Recallers using school property for signature gathering: “Multiple members of the school district Administrative team received citizen complaints that Recall CDA petitioners had set up signature gathering tents and tables at LCHS.  No one from the Recall CDA organization had reached out to school district administration regarding using district property (we have a school board policy 910 regarding the rental and use of school district property).  I did the rounds of our schools late Saturday afternoon and found no petitioners on school district property.  I did the same on Sunday morning — again no one on school district property.  Mid-day on Sunday I began receiving complaints again that folks were at LCHS.  I also received a phone call from the CDA Police department that they had received complaints as well.” More here. (CSD photo of administrator Rosie Astorquia, who, together with Laura Rumpler, checked out reports of Recallers using school district property)


Plum Blossoms, CDA

Rough winds of May did
rip and pound;
now pink confetti
on the ground.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Inside RecallCDA HQ

Here's further proof that the reach of HucksOnline is everywhere in the community, even inside RecallCDA HQ & even while I'm on vacation. Phantom Photographer snapped this photo last week of two Recallers womaning Recall HQ in the Sunset Mall while a resident signs petitions in the attempt to recall Mayor Sandi Bloem & three Coeur d'Alene City Council members.

Johnson: Put Kramer In Hall Of Fame

Forty-three years ago this past Tuesday, the Green Bay Packers issued a terse statement that began with these words: “Guard and author Jerry Kramer announces his retirement after an 11-year career that stretches back to 1958.” Kramer, just 33 years old, had compiled an outstanding career in his slightly more than a decade on some of the most storied professional football teams in the history of the National Football League. Of course, he’s in the Green Bay Hall of Fame. Kramer was also a perennial All-Pro and Pro-Bowl selection, won the 1962 NFL title game by kicking a field goal, and greased the skids on the famous Packer sweep with the kind of speed and agility – Kramer played at 245 pounds – that is rarely matched by any offensive lineman, then or now/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here. (Green Bay Packers photo of Jerry Kramer)

Question: Do you think former Sandpoint Bulldog/Idaho Vandal Jerry Kramer should be in the NFL Hall of Fame?

Miss Idaho Seeks Journalism Career

Genevieve Nutting, Miss Idaho 2011-2012, shared her passion for journalism, arduous 18,000 mile journey across the world and her fellowship with the Girl Scouts of America (GSA) to the Journalistic-English (JE) 11 class Wednesday, April 25, in room 103. Born in Spokane, Nutting discovered a love for journalism while writing for Capitol High School’s yearbook and newspaper programs in Boise. When asked what form of writing she enjoys most, Nutting told reporters that she finds basic news important, but she prefers to write editorial and feature stories. “I like seeing people’s different lifestyles and discovering what their passions are,” said Nutting. “I love writing about interesting things”/Lewiston High Bengal's Purr. More here.

Question: If you worked for the media, what position would you like to hold? Why?

Gookin, Culbreth Dis CdA Public Art

A compilation of public art bike racks in Coeur d'Alene, from Coeur d'Alene Art Commission page.

Art is subjective, of course. So for every person who protested Genesha's presence, there was someone who praised the statue's craftsmanship. For every person who marvels at the creativity of educational display at the wastewater treatment plant, there's someone who thinks its a waste to spend public money to beautify something so unglamorous. “At the poop plant,” city critic Sharon Culbreth mocked at a seminar two weeks ago on where the city was dedicating money. “Some of the art in town is just childish and ugly,” Gookin said, pointing to the bicycle racks that double as art pieces on Fourth Street in midtown as examples of his personal dislike. “I think they're a joke. I think they're an embarrassment. Anyone who has culture and class and comes to Coeur d'Alene would say, 'what the hell is that?'”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Gookin & Culbreth re: public art in Coeur d'Alene?

SR Replies To Jacobson Brief

Earlier, I posted the response by Tina Jacobson's lawyers to the Spokesman-Review's motion to quash Jacobson's subpoena seeking identities for three anonymous HucksOnline commenters: almostinnocentbystander, Phaedrus & OutOfStateTater. The memorandum was issued last week while I was on vacation. The SR has responded to the memorandum today, stating that “there is no doubt that the First Amendment protects the right to speak anonymously” and providing case law. In their reply for the SR, Duane Swinton and Joel Hazel of Witherspoon Kelley state in part: “Fortunately the bluster” of the plaintiff in her motion to quash the supoena “does not override nor defeat the significant constitutional issues raised by the Spokesman-Review's Motion to Quash the subpoena served on it.” Read reply for SR attorneys here.

Question: I wonder if the commenters on the other local blogs, despite their possible contempt for HucksOnline, understand how important our defense against Tina Jacobson is for them?

Stapilus: Shrill Falls Short In Idaho

Most years, the job of precinct committee person (each major party has them) flies quietly under the radar. In Idaho (and some other places), not this year. Across Idaho,battles for precinct committee positions have erupted, reflecting an ideological struggle inside the Republican Party. One of the problems Idaho Democrats long have had is the lack,in many places, of precinct leaders. These are important,basic, building-block positions for party organization,important for local organizing and choosing local party leaders, and sometime filling vacancies for offices like state legislator. In Idaho, the Republican Party long has outshone the Democrats in getting many more of those spots filled.(Neither party fills them all.) Ordinarily, only one person runs for nearly all precinct committee spots, but this year Republicans had an unusually large number of contests, in places around the state. They became intense enough that I spotted something I’ve not seen before, in any year – a campaign website devoted to one precinct, aimed at one political party. It is Kootenai County precinct 61; the Web writers describe it as “A resource for the Republican Party mem-
bers of Precinct 61”/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Is the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee more balanced today than it was before the Idaho GOP primary election?

Noon Headlines — 5.29.12

Amanda Parrish, a Watershed Program Director with The Lands Council, carries water she drew from Coulee Creek to plants her program has planted near the Creek recently at Coulee Creek, just off of Coulee Hite Road in western Spokane County. Parrish and her colleague Joe Cannon, (not pictured) a Restoration Ecologist hand-carry the water from the river to the plants. The Lands Council is planting willows and other native vegetation along the Creek, aiming to improve the health of the entire watershed. Story here. (Tyle Tjomsland SR photo)

Idaho Bans Five Wives Vodka

Do you find the name Five Wives Vodka offensive? The Idaho State Liquor Division did, and has banned the vodka from the state. “We feel Five Wives Vodka concept is offensive to a prominent segment of our population and will not be carried,” Howard Wasserstein, deputy director of the Liquor Division, explained in a letter to distributor Elite Spirits of Boise. Steve Conlin, partner and vice president of marketing at Ogden's Own Distillery, the producer of Five Wives Vodka, found the Liquor Division decision to be “extremely misguided” if based on religious concern. “We can only presume he means Mormons,” Conlin says in a press release emailed to The Huffington Post, “Though that makes little sense as they allow Polygamy Porter from Wasatch Beers of Utah to be sold. We’re a little dumbfounded by it all”/Emilie Ritter Saunders, StateImpact. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the decision by the Idaho Liquor Division to ban Five Wives Vodka?

Spokane To Dedicate Street To MLK

Martin Luther King, JR. Way opens on this week in downtown Spokane. (Dan Pelle SR photo)

It may have taken more than four decades, but Spokane drivers will be able to motor down their own Martin Luther King Jr. Way for the first time this week. The city is hosting an opening ceremony for King Way on Thursday at 11 a.m. near the Riverpoint Campus east of downtown. The public is invited. The event at Pine Street on the newly built roadway is planned as a fitting reminder of the legacy of the slain civil rights leader, who died in 1968. King’s favorite dessert was said to be pecan pie, so the city is springing for 200 servings of pecan tartlets to sweeten the ceremony and commemorate King’s legacy, said Ann Deasy, city spokeswoman. The $3.8 million project has taken more than a year to build. It provides an extension to Riverside Avenue east of Division Street/Mike Prager, SR. More here. (AP file photo: In this Aug. 28, 1963, black-and-white file photo Dr.  Martin Luther King Jr. addresses marchers during his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington)

Question: Should a road in Kootenai County be named in honor of Martin Luther King Jr?

AM Scanner Traffic — 5.29.12

  • 11:56 a.m. Owen asks for animal control re: incident w/vicious dog @ Coeur d'Alene Place Sunday.
  • 11:44 a.m. CPDer responding from 19th & Sherman to HQ to handle report of misbehaving juveniles.
  • 11:30 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for May 28-29 here.
  • 11:01 a.m. Caller reports suspicious subjects @ 721 W. 18th Ave./PF.
  • 8 more items below

Poll: Bring Back Open GOPrimary

  • Vacation Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation wants the Idaho GOP to end its new, closed primary (which resulted in a record low voter turnout earlier this month) and return to its historic open primary. 322 of 380 respondents (84.74%) want to return to the open primary. Only 45 of 380 respondents (11.84%) want the new closed-primary system. 13 were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Should Coeur d'Alene follow the lead of Spokane and name a street after Martin Luther King Jr.?

Jacobson Responds To Quash Motion

Attorneys for former Kootenai County GOP CC Chairwoman Tina Jacobson, has filed the following memorandum to the motion to quash subpoena filed against the Spokesman-Review in her attempt to gain the identity of three anonymous HucksOnline posters. The memorandum contends that the newspaper has no legal basis to file motion to quash and asks that Judge John Luster deny the motion, reading in part: “The service provider claims federal statutory immunity for liable appearing on its blog but is not a party to the action. However, the provider purports to stand in the shoes of the defamer and is applying legal doctrines inapplicable to an internet provider to shield the wrongdoer. The subject matter of the subpoen does not deal with the information in the hands of the newspaper or involved a newspaper's attendant rights under the law.” You can read the memorandum by Winston & Cashatt attorney C. Matthew Andersen here.

  • The Spokesman-Review has filed a response to the above motion. HucksOnline will publish that response when it becomes available (probably today).
  • Judge Luster will hear arguments beginning at 9 a.m. Friday.


New Trustee Active In Recall Effort

James Purtee, the newly appointed member of the Coeur d'Alene School Board, sets up an inflatable at McEuen Field over the Memorial Day weekend, supporting the attempted recall of Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and three City Council members: Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy. A Berry Picker reports: “Later, I saw this was little colorful air balloon with giant letters that said Recall CdA.  From Front Ave, it was not very visible behind the trees and below the parking lot line of sight.”

Question: Some Coeur d'Alene residents are concerned that two Coeur d'Alene School Board members actively support the recall effort — Terri Seymour, one of the original signers of the petition to launch the recall, and now Purtee. What do you think?

Christa: Recallers Didn’t Get OK

Christa Hazel: The school district did not authorize Recall CdA to use school grounds this weekend. There is a board policy #910 that outlines how groups/individuals can get permission to be on school grounds. According to the Public Information Officer, Lara Rumpler, these individuals had not sought permission through official channels. I get the sense the school district would like not to be brought into non-school related political debates such as Recall CdA.


Honoring Vets At Hayden Lake

Sarah Kladar, who will be a freshman at Coeur d'Alene High this fall, was part of the rifle squad honoring Navy veterans at Honeysuckle Beach on Memorial Day. In 2011, Sarah was honored by Kohl's nationally for her volunteer efforts in selling about 5,000 dishtowels. The approximate $50,000 she raised helped financially burdened families pay for surgery-related expenses that were not covered by insurance.  (Phantom Photographer photo)

Question: Do you tell your kids about the importance of Memorial Day — and the sacrifices made by veterans in your family to protect their freedoms?

‘Vast & Desolate”?

On her Twitter account, Nicole Hensley of Blush Response tweets: “I love it when writers describe Eastern Washington as 'vast and desolate.'”

Question: How would you describe eastern Washington?

Harris Leaving KEA Job

Lake Coeur d'Alene may not have reached the standards of Walden Pond yet, but North Idaho's fight for environmental protection will have to carry on without Terry Harris. The executive director of conservation group Kootenai Environmental Alliance will be leaving the organization, as well as Idaho, by the end of the month, the group announced this week. “It's probably the best job I'll ever have. The community is just great to work with,” said Harris, an attorney and conservationist, adding: “There's plenty to work on.” After three and a half years with the Coeur d'Alene-based group, Harris said he is leaving to follow his girlfriend, or his “spouse-like person,” who has landed a new job in Orange County, Calif./Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you think North Idahoans have a healthy respect for the environment?

Jeers To Labrador & Closed Primaries

Jeers … to Congressman Raul Labrador, R-Idaho (pictured). Labrador supported the GOP's closed primary election. When Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa pointed out the obvious - that more voters stayed home this year because they didn't want to register with a party - he accused the secretary of state of committing “malpractice.” In this context, malpractice is a loaded word. As Idaho's chief elections officer, Ysursa is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the franchise. To fling the word malpractice at him implies wrongdoing. Besides, if anybody has the expertise to interpret voting turnout, it's Ysursa. Before taking office, he worked as a deputy to former Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa. In nearly 40 years, Ysursa has been straight down the line: Anything that promotes turnout, he's for. Anything that retards it, he's against/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.


MikeK Encounters Recaller At LCHS

Mike Kennedy, one of the Coeur d'Alene City Council members targeted for recall by the Souza-Orzell-Sims crowd, Facebooked an encounter with an individual over the weekend who was set up on Lake City High grounds. Here's Mike's description from 1:23 p.m. Sunday: “Recall petitioners on school property at Lake City High School again today. Recaller Scott Mote told me they have permission from “high up in the school district”. When I asked him who, his first response was “I'm not going to tell you.” Then when I called Board Chairman Sid Fredrickson in Mote's presence he changed his answer to “I don't remember”. Then a third time trying to answer the same question he said “Call HQ they told me to be here, I don't know the name of who gave permission.”


Saluting Fallen Heroes

Earl Hunter was a pastor in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho before he went to serve as a chaplain in World War II. Upon his return from the war Earl became and missionary and also continued his career as a pastor.   His son Ron Hunter is currently a pastor in Coeur d'Alene. (Phantom Photographer photo)

Question: How did you observe Memorial Day?

Local Woman Has Ties To Old Feud

As the “Hatfields & McCoys” three-part, six-hour History Channel miniseries starts to roll tonight, Hayden Lake resident Carolyn Brooks Wood will be watching closely. Wood, 62, considers herself a member of the McCoy family. She said she's a descendant of Sarah “Sally” McCoy, wife of Randolph “Randall” McCoy, the family's patriarch during the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud in the West Virginia-Kentucky backcountry in the 1880s after the Civil War. Wood says Sally McCoy is a great aunt. Sally McCoy's brother, Uriah McCoy, is her great-great-great grandfather, Wood said. The miniseries stars Kevin Costner as Devil Anse Hatfield, the patriarch of the Hatfield family, and Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy. Costner is also a producer. The History Channel has been heavily promoting it/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you have any infamous characters in your family tree?

Ganesha Artwork Leaving Downtown

At 8 a.m. Friday, Ganesha will come down. The five-foot statue of the Hindu God, who earned some criticism for its apparently un-American and un-Christian ways, will leave its spot on the corner of Sixth Street and Sherman Avenue and head to an art studio in Spokane. It its place will be a 7-foot statue called “Art and Soul.” It's a creation by local artist Jason Sanchez, and one could describe the futuristic machine as something that stepped out of a Terminator movie. “We got some unusual ones,” said Joseph Sharnetsky, Arts Commission member, on this incoming crop of artistic creations - which he described as “more abstract, more colorful and more unusual” than the current fleet. “It's a little different than last year”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR file photo)

Question: Do you enjoy the public arts display in downtown Coeur d'Alene this past year?

Signe: Graduating Cadets

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Memorial Day Weekend Wild Card

Yep. That's my guys, minus the cats. This photo was taken 2 years ago at Fairmount Memorial Park where my dad is buried. Every year we visit his grave and then go find the flag with his name on it. The flag is flown every year in honor of my dad's 23-year Air Force career.

This year we'll have another grave to visit in another veteran's cemetary. My father-in-law proudly served in the Army and later the Army National Guard.

Whatever else you do this weekend, I hope you'll take the time to reflect on the men and women who served our country in the armed forces. They deserve to be honored and remembered.

Dave will be back Tuesday.

In the meantime, here's your Wild Card.

Last cute cat photo

The Phantom Photographer says cats don't work. LIttle does he know that Thor has been writing my columns since he was 12 weeks old.

Procrastinate no more

Saw a lot of great epitaphs at the Washington State Veteran's Cemetary in Medical Lake, yesterday. My 17-year-old said my tombstone will read “Shh! I'm writing!”

What do you want on your tombstone?

A DFO sighting?

Nah. The Phantom Photographer snapped this photo and sent it to HBO headquarters with this note:

“You have way too many cat pictures.  Cats do not eat weeds unless you consider what they do to catnip.  But I have never had a problem with catnip in the yard.  The goats you see her reside on the Rathdrum Prairie.”

Sigh. However, this may be a meeting of the Recall CdA folks. Or perhaps the remnants of Larry Spencer's campaign staff?

What do you think?

Update: State Controller in critical condition


BOISE — State Controller Donna Jones was injured in a one-vehicle rollover on Interstate 84 Friday afternoon in Minidoka County.

Just before 1 p.m., Idaho State Police say Jones was westbound at mile post 216 near Heyburn, when for unknown reasons her Cadillac Escalade went off the highway.  She over-corrected and the SUV rolled. She was wearing a seatbelt.

Jones was taken by ambulance to to Minidoka Memorial Hospital in Rupert, and later transported by air ambulance to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.

Brandon Woolf, her chief of staff, says the 73-year-old was conscious, aware and communicating with emergency responders.  Her injuries are not life-threatening. More here

H/T Sisyphus

Popkey: The battle’s on

The fight over who will chair the party is a proxy for the ongoing battle between Gov. Butch Otter’s establishment wing and ultraconservatives and libertarians who think the GOP’s gone soft.

It’s also about positioning for 2014, when Otter may seek a third term and could face a challenge from a popular upstart, freshman Congressman Raul Labrador.

At least 15 names have been floated, including three bigfoots — Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, House Speaker Lawerence Denney and first lady Lori Otter.

Otter, Luna and Lori Otter all declined comment. Read more.



Read more here:

Parting Shot: Kootenai Co. Memorial

Kerri Thoreson provided this photo and writes:

 I remember standing next to my father in 1998 as the 8-ton black granite monument was lowered into place in the Kootenai County Veterans Memorial Plaza. He'd worked for three years researching the names of all of those county residents from the Spanish American War through Vietnam who had given their last full measure of devotion. It was that day and now so much more than a monument. These are the names of our neighbors, classmates, friends. It's so important that they are not forgotten.

After my father's passing in 2004 the plaza was named in his honor. If you've not visited the Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza at the Kootenai County County Courthouse, make it a point to do just that this weekend. It's hallowed ground for all of those who've fought and died to ensure our freedom. Semper Fi.

TGIF Wild Card 5.25.12

Okay. I admit it. After one week at the helm of the blog I am pooped. And I don't even sit at the controls full time. DFO deserves every one of his 213 vacation days.

Light blogging ahead. I'll be out covering the Developmental Olympics of a local school district. You can have your Recall/Anti Recall stuff. I truly love writing about special kids doing well. Way. More. Fun. And SR readers eat up good news, for which I am grateful.

That said, I'll still leave you with plenty to talk about. And I'll be checking in from wherever I am.

Here's your Wild Card.

Tut back in Seattle

SEATTLE – It’s been more than 30 years since crowds of people from around the Pacific Northwest stood in long lines at Seattle Center to see King Tut, the boy king. The Pacific Science Center is hoping the pharaoh will generate the same kind of enthusiasm this year with a new exhibit that opened on Thursday.

But here’s some news for people who are hoping to meet the mummy who inspired one of the most famous “Saturday Night Live” skits of all time: You’ll have to fly to Egypt to see him. King Tut has never left his homeland. Read more.

I saw this exhibit in Seattle when I was in 5th or 6th grade. Pretty cool. Anyone else see it all those years ago?

Girls on the Range

Hattie Ponti, 15, was crowned as Washington state champion in a number of woman's categories in small-bore (.22 caliber) shooting events in 1997

SHOOTING — Girls will rule Saturday, June 9, at a Take Your Daughter to the Range Day sponsored by the Bonner County Sportsmen’s Association.

The event is set of 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Sandpoint Outdoor Range off of Baldy Mountain Road with a heavy punch of female talent to work with participants:

Kathy Konek, a Sandpoint junior rifle team coach.

Hattie (Ponti) Johnson, a former Spokanite, member of the Army Marksmanship Unit and a participant in Air rifle in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Organizers say all family members are welcome, but emphasis will be on girls age 6-18. Rich Landers, Outdoors

Do you enjoy guns?

Streaker lost bet

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A streaker who ran naked onto the field during a Cardinals game says he did so because he lost a bet.

Twenty-two-year-old Collin Grundstrom of Jefferson City was captured at Busch Stadium after shedding his clothes before the start of the seventh inning Thursday night. Officers retrieved his shorts from the stands and made him put them back on before leading him away.

What have you had to do because you lost a bet?

Head lice shuts down Idaho school

Maggie Sarner admits she is “grossed out” by head lice, those nasty little creatures that lay their eggs in the scalp and get passed from child to child at school.

The Hollywood, Fla., mother of three and hair salon owner said she gets at least two letters a year from her daughters' elementary school warning her of an outbreak.

After her 8- and 10-year-olds returned from camp last summer, they picked up a case of head lice.

“I panicked,” she said.

“We took them to the clinic where they sold [treatment] products and removed everything,” Sarner said. “But in terms of prevention, it didn't help them from getting it again.”

This week, a Kuna, Idaho, elementary school closed for two days after 60 students and nine staff members were diagnosed with head lice. More here.

Have you or your kids ever battled head lice?

GOP Otter has a Dem-led agency

BOISE - For the past three months, one of Republican Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s departments has been headed by a Democrat and overseen by a majority-Democrat commission.

It’s the state Tax Commission, which is constitutionally required to have four commissioners, with not more than two of them from the same party. But since GOP commission Chairman Bob Geddes resigned in February, Democratic Commissioner David Langhorst has been the interim chairman, and the fourth commission seat remains vacant. Betsy Russell, SR Full story.


Unprotected Sects

As with herpes, one of the peripheral embarrassments of contracting a computer virus is that everyone has a pretty good idea of what you were up to when you got it. Oh sure, it’s possible you just chastely pecked a misleading email link. But odds are you picked it up because you were dallying on one of those shady, fly-by-night websites that people visit when they’re seeking fulfillment. You know—religious sites.

What’s that? Church blogs and Christian youth forums aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of scareware, malware, worms, and Trojan horses? They should be. In its latest annual Internet security threat report, Symantec, the maker of Norton AntiVirus software, found that “religious and ideological sites” have far surpassed pornographic websites as targets for criminal hackers. Full story. Will Oremus, Slate

H/T Sam Crawford

Has your computer ever been infected by a virus?

Etan Patz mystery solved

NEW YORK – A former convenience store worker confessed to luring 6-year-old Etan Patz from his school bus stop in 1979 and choking him to death in a basement, police said Thursday, ending a three-decades long investigation into one of the nation’s most baffling missing-children cases.

Pedro Hernandez, 51, of Maple Shade, N.J., was arrested on a murder charge after he told police he promised the boy a soda, took him to his store – just blocks from Etan’s lower Manhattan home – and killed him there, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Hernandez told police he put Etan’s body in some trash about a block from the store, Kelly said, where it’s possible it was picked up by sanitation crews.

No body has been recovered, and Kelly said it’s possible the remains would never be found. Full story.

Heartbreaking. That is all.

High Noon: Chili Cook Off

COEUR d'ALENE - Chili, personified, would probably be a bully.

Spicy, beefy with an anything-goes recipe, if the meaty meal had a personality, that personality would be aggressive.

What other food, if foods could, would rear back and punch you in the face? Noodles? No way. Try again.

Chili? Chew-betcha.

“Isn't that what it's supposed to do?” asked Michael Montoya, sampling samples Thursday at the inaugural Chili Cook Off at the Best Western Plus Coeur d'Alene Inn. “If you're going to do the chili you've got to have spice and flavor.”  Read More. Tom Hasslinger, CdA Press

Do you like chili? What makes a bowl-of-red delicious?

You can bet on it

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – New Jersey will defy a federal ban and let people bet on the outcomes of football, basketball and other games this fall, Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday.

Speaking at a news conference highlighting efforts to reinvigorate Atlantic City, Christie said the regulations his administration will issue next week make no attempt to overturn a 1992 federal law that limits sports betting to four states.

“We intend to go forward,” the Republican governor said. “If someone wants to stop us, then let them try to stop us. We want to work with the casinos and horse racing industry to get it implemented. More

Would you bet on sporting events?

Ex-football prospect wins exoneration

Brian Banks, in court with attorneys Justin Brooks, right, and Alissa Bjerkhoel, weeps as his rape conviction is dismissed Thursday in Long Beach, Calif.

LONG BEACH, Calif. – A former high school football star whose dreams of a pro career were shattered by a rape conviction burst into tears Thursday as a judge threw out the charge that sent him to prison for more than five years.

Brian Banks, now 26, pleaded no contest 10 years ago on the advice of his lawyer after a childhood friend falsely accused him of attacking her on their high school campus.

In a strange turn of events, the woman, Wanetta Gibson, friended him on Facebook when he got out of prison.

During an initial meeting with him, she said she had lied; there had been no kidnap and no rape and she offered to help him clear his record, court records state. Full story.

What do you think should happen to the girl who falsely accused him?

Friday Funnies

Okay, I admit it. DFO dragged me kicking and screaming to Twitter. However, I am not at all sure we enjoy the same things about Twitter.

Dave says it's a great source of breaking news. I'm mostly there for the conversations. A couple months ago I was asked to contribute to a e-paper, which are all the rage on Twitter, and the Friday Funnies were born.

Here's this week's column in which Matthew Modine and I discuss waffles and math, the question what are you wearing comes up, and my kid wants to open a questionable business. Oh, and I get cold feet.

Friday Funnies.

Link between body weight and home value

SEATTLE (AP) — The value of your home may be a stronger predictor of your weight than the genes inherited from your ancestors, a new public health study from the University of Washington has found.

Health researchers and government officials usually group people by income or education level or even by zip code, but this study illustrates a more targeted approach, according to Adam Drewnowski, professor of epidemiology at the UW School of Public Health and lead author of the study.

A random telephone survey in 2008-09 combined with King County tax records showed women living in the homes in the lowest 25 percent of the assessed property values in Seattle and the surrounding suburbs were more than three times more likely to be obese than women living in the most expensive homes.

Not surprising, really. I've long been annoyed at how much more expensive healthy low-fat foods are compared to junk food. What can be done about this?

Huckleberries Hears: Phil Hart wins!

Long time Idaho State Representative Phil Hart, of tax protester fame, who lost his bid for re- election in the Republican Primary, won election to the Republican Party office of Legislative District Two Chairman, last night. The vote was 16 to 3.  He ran against Kelly Palm.

Like a bad penny, eh?

Idaho Dad: Gimme Bob Hough’s number

IdahoDad on Thursday Wild Card 5.24.12 on May 24 at 6:54 p.m.

I’m scared. Some old guy named Bob Hough (“the voice of North Idaho”) just called me on the phone to warn me that so much is at stake.

“Tubbs Hill! The boat launch! The ball fields! And millions of taxpayer’s dollars spent without a public vote!”

Apparently I need to sign that recall form to keep us all safe.

Can someone give me Bob Hough’s unlisted home phone number so I can bother him with nonsense too?

Oh dear. DFO is a big Bob fan. Has anyone else got a Bob Hough robo-call?

KCRCC elects leaders


POST FALLS - The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee chose Neil Oliver as its new chairman at the Garden Plaza on Thursday night.

Oliver edged Brent Regan 34-31 in voting by the precinct committee members.

“I look forward to the challenge,” Oliver told nearly 200 attendees. “I hope to fill your needs and earn your trust. I'm a big follower of by-laws. Those by-laws were put in by the people before us.”

Oliver said those in the political party will disagree, but it's important to respect each other and unify to change the direction of the country.

“One of the most important things is the way the public views the Republican Party,” he said. “If we seem scattered, that reflects poorly on us.” Read more. Brian Walker, CdA press

 Embattled Kooteai County Central Committee Chair Tina Jacobson has been replaced, but in a cursory glance at the people elected last night it would appear that the Rally Right/United Conservative Bob Pedersen faction of the local GOP has managed to stay in power.


Miners return to Lucky Friday

Mike Dexter, left, Hecla Mining manager of community affairs, attends the shareholders meeting in Wallace on Thursday.

WALLACE – The closed Lucky Friday Mine will begin rehiring workers in July and should return to a full workforce by the end of the year, said Phil Baker, Hecla Mining Co.’s chief executive officer.

More than 110 of the Lucky Friday’s 250 workers lost their jobs when federal inspectors closed the mine’s main shaft in January following a series of accidents at the underground silver mine.

Mine officials expect to hire a couple dozen workers back initially, with hiring picking up speed as Hecla regains access to parts of the Lucky Friday, Baker said. About 40 percent of the 6,100-foot-deep Silver Shaft has been cleaned and repaired. More.  Becky Kramer, SR

Good news or bad news?

Amazon breaks ties with ALEC

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Internet retailer Inc. is dropping its affiliation with a conservative political group, in part because of some of the positions the American Legislative Exchange Council has taken, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

Amazon’s decision follows that of several major companies around the country who have announced in recent months that they are leaving ALEC. Liberal activists have led a coordinated campaign to highlight how ALEC operates and some of the controversial pieces of legislation the organization endorsed. Full story.


Parting Shot: Tennis Anyone?

Roger Mackay, one of Madame Tussauds maintenance team puts finishing touches to a model of Rafael Nadal in London, Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The ten time Grand Slam winner and Olympic Gold medalist has been reproduced as a wax model where he will be on display to the public.

Do you enjoy tennis?

Thursday Wild Card 5.24.12

A berry picker reported this DFO sighting: “Just ran into DFO. Met his mother. The. Cutest. Little. Older. Lady. Ever. She says she prays for DFO after she questioned him about whether or not he steps on people's toes in his job.”

The blogfather stepping on toes? Never. But it's good to know he's spending time with his Mom and even better to know his mama is praying for him!

In other news, apparently citizens of the Lake City are going on about their lives without daily reminders that they're being held hostage and despite Mary Souza's warnings of DANGER ahead for Tubbs Hill.

Here's your Wild Card.

Alleged Lego scammer sold 2,100 boxes

The California software exec arrested for allegedly switching bar codes on high priced Lego sets resold them online through “TomsBrickyard,” a site so popular with Lego buyers that they rated his service “excellent.”

Thomas Langenbach, who was the vice president of SAP Labs Integration and Certification Center in Palo Alto, was arrested May 8 outside a Mountain View Target store.

In a plot more complex than a Lego Death Star set, police say Langenbach used a home computer and printer — and lots of Legos – to amass a small fortune reselling the toys.

“Believe it or not this will be our first tech exec in a Lego case,” Police Chief Scott Vermeer told ABC News. Full story.

Two of my four boys are Lego fiends. I am not.  Do you/did you enjoy playing with Legos?

No beer while building bridge

SEATTLE — Gov. Chris Gregoire and Washington Transportation Department Secretary Paul Hammond issued statements Wednesday reminding the contractor on a new Lake Washington floating bridge not to let office workers drink beer on the job.

Gregoire says state policy has been reiterated to Kiewit-General-Manson, and Hammond says the department is taking action to prevent it from happening again.

KOMO-TV broke the story Tuesday with hidden cameras showing contractor employees drinking at an office in Bellevue. A crew also recorded workers carrying in boxes of beer and beer in an office refrigerator. Full story.


Kootenai Co. seatbelt crackdown

The Kootenai County Sheriff's department is stepping up efforts to make sure drivers are buckling up. The department announced it will be participating in a seat belt emphasis patrol beginning Sunday through June 5.

Deputies will be at locations throughout the county focusing on moving violations and strictly enforcing seat belt requirements to help reduce the number of crashes in Kootenai County.

The beefed up seat belt patrols are being sponsored by the Idaho Department of Transportation. CdA Press, More.

Have you ever been in a car accident? Were you wearing your seatbelt?

Luna named to Romney’s Ed Policy group

Idaho state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna has been named to a 19-member “Education Policy Advisory Group” by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. “I am proud to announce the support of this impressive group of policy leaders who are devoted to expanding educational opportunities for students,” Romney said in a statement. “Our education system is failing too many of our kids, and I look forward to working closely with these leaders to chart a new course that emphasizes school choice and accountability, the importance of great teachers, and access to quality, affordable higher education.”

Luna is the only state school superintendent named to the group; the other members all either work for private education companies, think tanks, universities or the federal government. Among them are K-12 education co-chairs Nina Rees, senior vice president for strategic initiatives at Knowledge Universe; and Martin West, a professor with the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Rod Paige, former U.S. secretary of education, was named a “special advisor” with the group; Luna worked for Paige under the Bush Administration. Betsy Russell, EOB Read More.


Sandwich of Evil

Kathy Sims, Dan Gookin, Mary Souza

A rose between two thorns? A thorn between two roses?

Anyhoo, Dan Gookin posted this lovely pic on his Facebook page and gave me permission to post it here. He titled it Sandwich of Evil :-)

 Dan says it was taken at  Kathy Sims and Sharon Culbreth's birthday party earlier this month. Emails I've received about the picture have the subject heading: Not a part of the Recall. Nope.

Conspiracy theories abound in the Lake City, don't they?

Cell phone users prefer Obama, landline users like Romney

File this under inane polls.

Political pollsters have been under pressure to make sure their samples include Americans who rely solely on cell phones—and the latest NBC News/Marist polls of Florida, Ohio and Virginia exhibit why.

As NBC's First Read flags, Romney narrowly pulls ahead in Florida among voters who were polled over landlines—48 percent to 45 percent. But among cell phone respondents only, Obama has a major lead: 57 percent to 34 percent.

In Virginia, the results are similar: Romney leads by 1 point among voters polled over landlines: 47 percent to 46 percent. Meanwhile, Obama has the advantage with cell phone respondents: 54 percent to 36 percent.

In Ohio, Obama does better among both landline respondents—44 percent to Romney's 41 percent—and cell phone users—47 percent to Romney's 37 percent.

According to the poll, 28 percent of its respondents in Ohio and Florida were cell phone users, compared to 27 percent in Virginia.

So. Which do you use most often: cell phone or landline?

Thursday Night Throwdown

Latte lovers: Drop what you're doing tonight and head to Indaba Coffee, 1425 W. Broadway Ave., for the second Thursday Night Throwdown Inland Northwest.
Thursday Night Throwdown is a friendly competition to see who can make the best latte art - whether you're a home barista or a coffee professional. The events started as an informal way for coffee pros to show what they were doing in their own shops and cafes, but has grown into a phenomenon in cities across the country. SR Too May Cooks Read more.
What's your coffee drink of choice?

4 arrested for trafficking amidst woman’s sex slave claims

A Spokane woman claims she was held captive and sold for sex at meth houses and motels for the past year.

Suspect Lawrence Dean Johnson, 43, has been arrested on human trafficking charges related to claims made by the woman to sheriff’s detectives. Detectives corroborated the woman’s claims through property records and past police reports, including an arrest of a sex offender in March on accusations that he assaulted the woman.

The suspect in that case, level 3 sex offender Trevor L. Franklin, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault earlier and was sentenced to a year in prison. Franklin, 21, was convicted of third-degree assault for threatening to kill a developmentally delayed woman if she did not let him sexually assault her. Police say he also had sexual contact with five others between the ages of 9 and 15 years old but was not charged.

Police arrested Franklin after responding to a motel at 12803 E. Sprague March 31 to find the woman hysterical and shaking while with her two-year-old son. Meghann Cuniff , SR More here.

Horiffic. That is all.

Bob and Thor: Separated at birth?

Commenter Staci sends this picture of her cat, Bob. She writes, “Not only does he look like your cat Thor, but as you can see, he also has the same demeanor. One difference though. Apparently Bob can read. And he's looking for a new place to live. I'm always the last to know.”

Bob reads the Good Paper and they look like twins to me. What do you think?

High Noon: How to Succeed

Jett Bingman plays the role of J. Pierrepont Finch in the Lake City Playhouse production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” which opens Friday in Coeur d’Alene. Details.

Have you ever attended a play at the Lake City Playhouse?

Spokane City Council president bags camera

Photo courtesy Nicole Hensley, KXLY. Council president Ben Stuckart shows off the plastic bag that blocks their office security camera's view.

Most everywhere you go in Spokane, security installations on buildings and businesses can document where you go, including Spokane City Hall. Some city officials find the added security a little unnerving.

They were installed last January from a 2009 grant awarded by Homeland Security. The grant awarded $44,843.78 to install 24 additional security cameras in City Hall including city council’s 7th floor offices. After learning the cameras were recently activated council president Ben Stuckart wasn’t sure who was watching the footage, so he took extra precautions. He put a plastic bag over it.

“I didn’t know until I put a bag over it to know who was watching it. [Security] came up in ten minutes,” Stuckart said.

Security assured Stuckart that the cameras were pointed toward the office entrance and only showed the back of their heads. The only people watching are the 1st floor security officers who arrived to the 7th floor within ten minutes after noticing something blocking the camera’s view.

City spokesperson Marlene Feist says the council has every right to stick a bag over a camera if they want to, but the only challenge is security may not be alerted as quickly of a problem in their offices. Nicole Hensley, KXLY  More here.

Cameras are gone! Update here.

Big Brother's watching. Do you have security cameras in your office?

Sullivan says Prostitution incident isolated

WASHINGTON – The prostitution scandal that has embroiled the Secret Service is not evidence of a wider culture of boozing and paying for sex among those who are trained to take a bullet for the president, the director of the agency told skeptical senators.

The senators challenged Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan to explain how it was possible, without an atmosphere of permissiveness among the agency’s supervisors, that 12 agents could go out in separate groups on April 11 in Cartagena, Colombia, independently decide to bring women back to their hotel rooms, and then sign the women in at the front desk next to the agents’ real names.

“I’m confident this is not a cultural issue. This is not a systemic issue with us,” said Sullivan, speaking for the first time in public about the incident. More here.

Isolated incidents or part of a partying while on the road culture?

Not my kitty but…

May not be Milo or Thor, but still awfully cute.

WASHINGTON – Two cheetah cubs have a new home at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and are being raised by human hands after a risky birth last month at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia.

The zoo offered a first look at the now healthy cubs Wednesday and hopes to place them on view to the public in the cheetah yard by the end of the summer.

Cheetahs are the fastest animals on land, but scientists said every surviving cub is critical to sustaining the species, which is threatened with extinction in the wild. These cubs are genetically valuable because their mother and father were first-time parents.

Do you have a favorite zoo?

Hucksters doing well in SR News Quiz

Huckster @KimKnerl scored a 9 out of 10, while Eddie Toreal and KCres both got 8 out of 10.
You've still got time to take the quiz and be entered in a drawiing for 2 free movie tickets. If you top the leaderbaord a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel could be yours.

What are you waiting for? Take the quiz here.

Refugee embraces opportunities

She may be small in stature, but Ange Nemerimana’s high-wattage smile and colorful African garb make her difficult to miss in the halls of Lewis and Clark High School.

Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nemerimana spent her formative years in a refugee camp in Tanzania. LC adviser Marty Frazier said, “She was placed with her grandmother at birth because her mother didn’t feel like she could care for her.”

Nemerimana’s father had died, and when her mother remarried, Nemerimana stayed with her grandmother. When she was 2, war forced them to flee to a refugee camp. “When we first got there we lived in tents,” Nemerimana said.

Life in the camp was difficult. “If you needed clean water, you had to work for it,” she said. “We walked 45 minutes to get water and 45 minutes to bring it back. We had no oven. We cooked outside, so we needed to get wood. That was two to three hours away.”Full story. Cindy Hval, SR

Nemerimana's attitude of gratitude was refreshing. Are you a grateful person?

Stickman: Whatcha reading?

In yesterday's Willd Card Stickman wrote:

We used to have a book thread for people who love to read and know what everyone else is reading. I loved it. I want to know what you are reading, especially if it is something you can’t put down. Let me know what you are reading these days, as I love to read and it makes me smile sometimes when I read a very good book. DFO turned me on to one awhile back that I loved. Sometimes, I will not even go outside for the day doing sticks if I have a good book to read. I will read it all day. I have that luxury to do that. I wish you all had that same luxury. Now I am reading ‘Born To Run’, by Christopher McDougall.

So, what are you reading?

Sandpoint students paying for prank

Twenty-nine Sandpoint High School students are paying the price – in labor and sawbucks – for a senior class prank that vandalized school property.

If the students complete 15 hours of volunteer work before graduation, they will still be allowed to walk at commencement ceremonies, according to the school district. The students also have been asked to pay for nearly $1,000 in damage.

The vandalism occurred about a week ago, officials said. The students took a school counselor’s keys and used them to enter the high school after hours, police said.

The seniors urinated inside the school, put Vaseline on door knobs, left full glasses of water in the front lobby and wrote messages like “Class of 2012” on windows and doors using washable ink, said Sandpoint Police Chief Mark Lockwood.Jody Lawrence Turner, SR  More.

The whole prank was caught on tape. Perhaps these aren't the brightest bulbs at Sandpoint High? What do you think?

That’ll teach him, or squish him.

The principal of the tiny Washtucna School in Adams County is facing a criminal investigation after a 14-year-old boy said the man sat on him as punishment for wearing his hat inside.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office announced today that a deputy is investigating the report from the boy’s grandparents that the principal, Martin Glenn, sat on the boy on May 7 at Washtucna School.

The grandparents reported the incident May 16.

Glenn has taken leave, school superintendent Bob Allen said. Allen said the district did not force Glenn to take the leave, and said the principal is using his sick days to take the time off.

What is the most unusual punishment you ever received, either at home or at school?

Bike racing returns to Boise

After what Exergy Tour communications director Heather Hill called “a little bit of an unexpected glitch here on the first day” - the theft and then recovery, apparently unscathed, of $120,000 worth of racing bikes and equipment from one of the teams - the event is on.

“We are humbled to be hosting over 100 athletes representing 18 of their home countries, many of whom will represent their home nations in the Olympic games this summer,” Hill declared. She said the women's bike race is aimed at “raising the bar” for women's sports. “Our $100,000 prize purse, the largest for a ladies' five-stage race in the history of the sport, is one example of raising the bar.”  Betsy Russell, EOB More here.

Do you ride a bike? How often?


LA says no to plastic

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation Wednesday to approve a ban on plastic bags at supermarket checkout lines, handing a hard-fought victory to environmentalists.

The City Council voted 13-1 to phase out plastic bags over the next 16 months at an estimated 7,500 stores, meaning shoppers will need to bring reusable bags or purchase paper bags for 10 cents each.

The ban came after years of campaigning by clean-water advocates who said it would reduce the amount of trash in landfills, the region’s waterways and the ocean. They estimate Californians use 12 billion plastic bags a year and that less than 5 percent of the state’s plastic bags are recycled.

 Do you use paper, plastic or reusable grocery bags?

Occupy Spokane folks get clubhouse

Posted this yesteday, but moving it up for those who may have missed it. CH

The Occupy Spokane group has started its own “Occupy Spokane Clubhouse” on East Sprague. It's open for business and is looking for volunteers and donated second-hand items.

It's renting a storefront at 1808 E. Sprague. The goal is to raise some money for Occupy events through sales of second-hand items as well as new T-shirts.

It's also selling coffee and some baked goods, said John Dain, one of the club's organizers. More here at Office Hours.

What? Tents and umbrellas weren't good enough for them? What next, air conditioning?
Do you think the Occupy movement is waning or rising?

Parting Shot: Flags for remembrance

Ethan Breithaupt sets flag No. 596 into position at Fairmount Memorial Park on Tuesday in Spokane. Crews are placing nearly 2,300 American flags this week throughout the cemetery as part of their annual observance of Memorial Day.

Says Breithaupt of himself and his crew mates: “We might fly more flags in one day than the average American does in a lifetime.” Every year, some 100 flags are replaced because they are tattered and worn. Donations for replacements are accepted at the Fairmount office.

Do you display a flag at your home or office?

Hump Day Wild Card 5.23.12

I would say that we're half way through DFO's vacation week, but since he's taking Memorial Day off, too— we're not.

Hang in there and be brave. If things get too quiet I can always post another Thong Man photo courtesy of Kerri Thoreson. Or I can dig into my collection of shirtless firefighter photos.

Speaking of shirtless, I was watching America's Got Talent with my boys last night and a comedian came on who said he'd opened for strippers. My teenager said, “Strippers need opening acts? How can I get a job like that!?”

Sigh. Here's your Wild Card.

Kids suffer long-term from parent’s smoking

Children exposed to their parents' cigarette smoke are at greater risk of suffering serious cardiovascular health problems later in life, a study showed Wednesday.

The Menzies Research Institute in Tasmania collected data from a Finnish and Australian study following children first examined 20 years ago who are now aged in their mid-30s.

It found that those exposed to passive smoke as youngsters have less elasticity in their arteries, an indicator of poor cardiovascular health.

Study author and Menzies Research fellow Seana Gall said while it has been previously known that passive smoke was harmful, this was the world's first examination on the long-term effects on blood vessel health. Read more.

Sobering news, yet I often see moms with a baby in their arms, puffing away on a cigarette. With all the evidence of the damage passive smoking does to children, why do parents still smoke around their kids?

Watchcat and Catnap

While I blog Milo keeps watch and Thor does what Thor's best at. (Admit it. You were worried that I forgot to post a cat picture, weren't you?)

Do you take naps?

Queen Sandi

Those crazy kids at OpenCda are at it again. Click here to see the caricature of Mayor Sandi wearing her crown.

Personally, I like it! And I don't see ANYTHING wrong with wearing a crown. Ya'll realize I wear my tiara when I'm blog duty, right. It goes well with my pink bunny slippers.

What do you think of the mayor's caricature?

Crafty move at No-Li Brewhouse

From left, Mark Moeller, Mark Irvin, John Bryant and Sean McGuffin bottle Silent Treatment Pale Ale at No-Li Brewhouse, located at Trent and Hamilton.

Spokane’s newest brewery is also its oldest.

Those bottles of No-Li Brewhouse beers that are starting to show up in stores are a blend of homegrown pride and imported expertise.

It all began early one morning last November. Mark Irvin was alone in his Northern Lights brewpub, running reports from the previous day, when the phone rang.

Ordinarily, he wouldn’t bother picking up, but this time he did. “The guy on the other line said, ‘Hi, my name is John Bryant, if you’ve got a minute I would like to speak to you. I’d like to join forces with you, grow your brewery,’ ” Irvin recalled.  Rick Bonino, SR

What's your favorite beer?

Pawned CEO Todd Hills displays his Louis Vuitton traveling bag of pawned jewelry. Hills says the poor economy pushed more upper-income individuals and small-business owners into getting short-term loans by putting up their valuables.

More Americans are turning to pawn shops to get by, hawking jewelry, electronics, tools, and other personal items for quick cash, according to a new report by Marketdata Enterprises.

Twenty-five million Americans used pawn shops last year, according to data from the National Pawnbrokers Association cited by WSAV, the NBC affiliate in Savannah, Georgia. There now are 11,000 pawn shops in the U.S.: 59 percent more than in 1988. Full story.

My kids buy most of their video games at a local pawn shop. Have you ever pawned anything? Did you redeem it?

Black pastors bash NAACP

The Coalition of African American Pastors announced Tuesday that it does not agree with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s decision to endorse the legalization of same-sex marriage.

CAAP launched a petition last week to oppose broadening the legal definition of marriage.

The coalition includes leaders of black churches and veteran civil rights leaders who marched with Martin Luther King Jr.

The NAACP voted to endorse same-sex marriage Saturday, and NAACP President Benjamin Jealous publicly endorsed gay marriage Monday.

“The NAACP has abandoned its historic responsibility to speak for and safeguard the civil rights movement,” CAAP founder and President William Owens said Tuesday. “We who marched with Rev. King did not march one inch or one mile to promote same-sex marriage.” More here.


Notorious mountain man arrested

This undated photo provided by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office shows Dan Nichols, one of the infamous Mountain Men who gained notoriety in the early 1980s for kidnapping an Olympic athlete and holding her hostage.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Police arrested notorious “mountain man” Dan Nichols Tuesday on drug charges following a months-long search that came nearly three decades after he and his father kidnapped a world-class athlete.

Nichols was taken into custody after phoning the U.S. Marshals Service and saying he would be in the Walmart parking lot in Butte between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff John Walsh said.

Nichols showed up as promised in a 1982 red Honda Prelude with Bozeman license plates and was arrested without incident, Walsh said.

“He basically turned himself in,” Walsh said. More here.

High Noon: Cupcakes

Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop in downtown Spokane offers 12 to 15 different flavors of cupcakes each day. These are chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.\

Cupcake lovers who want to learn how to make those delectable, frosting-stacked treats for themselves are in luck.

North Idaho College has an upcoming event that will have you wielding a pastry bag full of frosting like a pro. The college is hosting America’s Biggest Cupcake Decorating Event on Saturday at the Coeur d’Alene Inn. It is a fundraiser for the school’s athletics department.

Charm City Cupcakes, of Baltimore, will bring its gourmet pastry chefs to Coeur d’Alene for the first time for the workshops, said Al Williams, NIC athletics director. Lorie Hutson, SR

I'm not a cupcake fan. Sugary frosty and messy foods aren't my thing. Cupcake lovers, what's your favorite kind and where do you get them?


Help for Cda city officials?

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco supervisor says he consulted a Ouija board before city leaders voted on whether to recommend naming a Navy ship after slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

Supervisor John Avalos tells the San Francisco Chronicle ( ) that he believes he made contact with Milk's spirit and that Milk spelled out letters indicating: “Good riddance to don't ask, don't tell.”

The Board of Supervisors approved the non-binding resolution Tuesday on a 9-2 vote.

Have you ever used a Ouija board?

When “Shhh” doesn’t work

SEATTLE – A Washington state man fed up with a group of noisy moviegoers behind him stepped over the seat and punched a 10-year-old boy in the face.

The man, who told police he thought the person he hit was a grown man, was watching “Titanic” in 3-D with his girlfriend and had asked the people sitting behind to quiet down and stop throwing popcorn, but they laughed at him, he said.

“I got so mad that it just happened,” Yong Hyun Kim, 21, told police who arrested him the night of April 11 at the AMC Kent Station 14, in Kent, a south Seattle suburb.

The 10-year-old lost a tooth and had a bloody nose from the confrontation. More here.

There are so many other choices Kim could have made here. What would you have done?

Shooting in Kellogg

One man is dead and another was injured following a shooting in a vehicle in Kellogg early this morning.

Shoshone County sheriff’s deputies and Kellogg police officers responded to the Bunker overpass off Interstate 90 in Kellogg around 3:30 a.m.

The passenger in a vehicle had killed himself with a .40 caliber handgun, a news release from the Kellogg Police Department said.

The driver, Brian Septer, was injured by the same bullet and was taken to Shoshone Medical Center, then airlifted for additional care, the release said.

The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Some errors on election night

Some polling station errors were discovered during Kootenai County's primary election canvassing, including one case that resulted in apparent voter fraud.

But most poll workers performed professionally on election day, said Clerk Cliff Hayes, with no mistakes egregious enough to affect the winners of each race.

“We always seem to have a few that make errors at the polls,” Hayes said on Tuesday. “We'll continue to work on those.”

The county commissioners voted unanimously at their weekly business meeting on Tuesday to adopt the canvass results for last week's primary elections, which include state, county, precinct committeeman and U.S. representative races. More here. Alecia Warren, Cda Press

KREM story here.

How confident are you in Clerk Hayes and his staff?

Cda Casino chef heading to NYC

Chef Adam Hegsted of the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort picks leaves off of stinging nettle plants along the trestle that carries golf carts around Circling Raven golf course.

Adam Hegsted, executive chef at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort in Worley, is not in the kitchen. He’s out on the golf course.

Drivers of the passing golf carts eye the chef, dressed in his black jacket, with a mix of confusion and amusement. He’s not carrying clubs. Instead, he’s got a plastic bag in one gloved hand. A reporter and photographer trail behind.

He points out the various edibles as we walk – wild mustard, Oregon grape, cattails – but he has something else in mind.Lorie Hutson, SR  Full story.

Have you ever eaten at the Cda Casino?

Mention: Rumor has it

It seems Mary Souza isn't the only one “hearing things” about proposed changes to the Lake City. Commenter Mention reports what he's “heard” below. Insert winky face here.

Mention on Mary sees DANGER ahead on May 23 at 1:02 a.m.

I hear that the LCDC, who secretly owns the Kroc Center, is going to secretly mortgage the Kroc Center to the hilt. They are going to take this money, along with 636 million tax payer dollars, and build a playground for the “Elite” on what is now Tubbs Hill. It will be named the Tubbs and Krockett Country Club.

It will feature an 18 hole golf course, complete with 6 floating greens, and two underwater holes. There will be two Polo fields, and adjacent stables. A private vote is currently being held to decide on the number of Badminton, Jai Alai, Cricket, and Bocci Ball (Of Course!) courts.

There will be an indoor ski slope (who has time to drive to Kellogg?), a six acre infinity pool, topiary gardens, and a heliport.

No word on if any railings will be installed.

Underwater golf sounds cool.

Reward offered for grizzly shooter

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the person who shot a grizzly bear and her nursing cub in North Idaho.

The dead adult grizzly was discovered last Friday morning by a hiker on Hall Mountain in Boundary County, northwest of U.S. Highway 95. A search of the remote area turned up the dead cub.

Both bears appeared to have been dead for several days, wildlife officials said.

The case is troubling because it does not appear to be accidental, said Jason Holm, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The shooting of the cub is especially “a callous act that any sportsman would find appalling,” Holm said. Read more.

Why would anyone do such a thing?

CBO issues recession warning

WASHINGTON – A new government study released Tuesday says that allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire and a scheduled round of automatic spending cuts to take effect would probably throw the economy into a recession.

The Congressional Budget Office report says that the economy would shrink by 1.3 percent in the first half of next year if the government is allowed to fall off this so-called “fiscal cliff” on Jan. 1 – and that the higher tax rates and more than $100 billion in automatic cuts to the Pentagon and domestic agencies are kept in place.

How worried are you about the economy?

Press sues Idaho

The Associated Press and 16 other organizations sued the state of Idaho today, challenging its execution protocols that bar media witnesses from viewing the entire process of execution, allowing them to see only the final portion.

A 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision from 2002 declared it a violation of the 1st Amendment for media witnesses to be excluded from the earlier portions of the procedure, including the insertion of IVs for lethal injection executions. Betsy Russell, EOB

Do you think members of the media should be allowed to witness the entire process of execution? Why or why not?

The disappearance of Dale “The Whale” Ford

If you don't read anything else today, read this story by former SR staffer Bill Morlin.

It’s probably the biggest sports-legend mystery ever to come out of Washington State University.

Whatever happened to Dale “The Whale” Ford?

Almost 50 years ago, Ford was a standout outfielder for the WSU baseball team, known for his killer home runs. He also was a quarterback for the Cougars and played basketball – a rare three-letter athlete who set records still standing at the school.

His name is still well-remembered by aging coaches; his photograph still shines in the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame on the Pullman campus.

His athletic accomplishments at WSU launched a two-year professional baseball career, but it was cut short by knee problems. Suddenly, Ford no longer was living under the heat lamp of sports notoriety that he’d known his whole life. Read more.

Do you enjoy a good mystery?

The Final Frontier

WASHINGTON – James Doohan, Scotty from “Star Trek,” spent his acting career whizzing through the cosmos. Gordon Cooper was one of America’s famous Mercury seven astronauts. And Bob Shrake spent his work life anonymously helping send NASA’s high-tech spacecraft to other planets.

Now the three men who made space their lives are also making space their final resting place. Their ashes – and those of about 300 others – were aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket that blasted into orbit Tuesday as part of an in-space for-profit burial business. More.

What do you want done with your remains after you die?

Parting Shot: A Walk in the Clouds

Believe it or not I did get away from my desk long enough to go for a windy walk in my neighborhood, today. I call this photo “I've looked at clouds from both sides now.”

And that my friends is called an earworm. You're welcome.

Tuesday Wild Card 5.2.12

I do apologize. I have lost count of what Cda held hostage day you all are enduring. But I do know it's blog set- free day 2.

I've asked berrypickers to report the latest recall antics, but my sources are strangely silent. It's my opinion that both sides are hunkering down with legal teams and discussing strategy for the inevitable lawsuits that will ensue. Ya'll do know this thing is headed to court one way or another, don't you?

Also, I think we should have a moment of silence for Dfo as he planned to garden and do yard work this week and so far all we've had is rain. Some of us who don't get 284 vacation days may be snickering softly.

Here's your Wild Card.

McGee case still pending

From the “whatever happened to” department of Eye on Boise, today we bring you: Whatever happened to the investigation into Sen. John McGee?

And the answer is: It's still pending. McGee, R-Caldwell, the former Senate majority caucus chairman, resigned from the Idaho Senate on Feb. 22 amid charges of sexual harassment of a female Senate aide; the Idaho State Police investigated, and turned the case over to Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower on April 13, who could decide to file criminal charges.  Betsy Russell, EOB More here.


He changed channels

CHICAGO (AP) — A spokesman for Zenith Electronics says Eugene Polley, the inventor of the first wireless TV remote control, has died.

John Taylor says the former Zenith engineer died of natural causes Sunday at a suburban Chicago hospital. He was 96.

Couch potatoes everywhere have Polley to thank for hours of feet-up, channel surfing. His invention began as a luxury, but has become a necessity in an era of hundreds of TV channels and home theaters. Just ask anyone who's lost a remote. Full story.

True story: It takes 3 remotes to operate our TV. I can't watch TV unless my husband or kids are home to work them. Would you be lost without your TV remote?

Taking teacher to prom

Melissa Bowerman, a 41-year-old volunteer track coach at Condon High School in Pendleton, Ore., has been dismissed from her position after she accompanied a male student from the team to the school's prom last month, the East Oregonian reports.

According to KTVZ-TV, Bowerman — who is the daughter-in-law of Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman — admits she made an error in judgement, but maintains she never had an inappropriate relationship with the teen. More here.

Oh dear. Talk about desperate for a prom date. Do you have good memories of your high school proms or wouldn't you rather not discuss it?

Thor’s very bad day

So one day instead of napping for 16 hours, Thor (an indoor cat) decided to slip out of the house when I left for work. Sadly, no one noticed he was AWOL until I returned that afternoon. Though it was April, it had rained, snowed and hailed that day.

When we discovered his absence I called to him for the front door and he came running. Apparently, he'd taken refuge under my husband's project car. Thor reeked of motor oil or gasoline. A bath was in order.

Have you ever bathed a cat?

Mary sees DANGER ahead

Here's Mary's take on the Cda Press story about Tubbs Hill, I posted earlier today.

“This is all in line with what I’ve been told is the Mayor’s “vision” for Tubb’s. She hasn’t said it publicly, to my knowledge, so it’s still a rumor of sorts, but I’m told she wants a level, smooth pathway with railings all the way around the hill. I’d guess that safety lights, benches and restrooms on the hill won’t be far behind.

Has the City asked YOU about your vision for Tubb’s?

The ONLY way to protect Tubb’s Hill and McEuen is to change the people in the seats on City Council. This business of making promises and then playing word games is ridiculous. It breaks trust and is disrespectful to everyone.

We can’t bide our time to vote these people out in 2013. By then, Tubb’s Hill could be radically changed, the boat launch, ball fields and parking irreversibly altered. And huge amounts of taxpayer money gone. All without your vote.” Read the screed here.

Apparently, Mary sees danger, a political conspiracy and is frighted by words. What do you see when  you look at Tubbs Hill?

Busted for being busty

May 21 (Reuters) - A New Jersey woman said on Monday that she was dismissed from a temporary job at a New York lingerie warehouse because her male employers felt she was too busty and dressed too provocatively for the workplace.

Wearing a form-fitting sequined black dress and black leather, sequin-studded boots, Lauren Odes, 29, said her Orthodox Jewish employers at Native Intimates told her that outfit and others like it were “too hot” for the warehouse.

“We should not be judged by the size of our breasts or the shape of our body,” Odes said.

Odes's attorney, celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, said she filed a gender and religious discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in New York.

Odes said she felt her wardrobe was appropriate for a business that sells “thongs with hearts placed in the female genital area and boy shorts for women that say 'hot' in the buttocks area.” Full Story.

Was Odes wrongfully fired?

Take the SR News Quiz

Think you can find a way to use two free movie tickets? Well, you're  eligible for a random drawing simply by taking this week's news quiz.

And should you find yourself atop the leaderboard, a $50 gift  card to the Davenport Hotel could be yours. Good luck!  News Quiz

Reagan’s blood for sale

LONDON — A Channel Islands auction house says it’s selling a vial that allegedly contains blood residue from Ronald Reagan — a move denounced today by the late U.S. president’s family and his foundation.

The vial being auctioned online was used by the laboratory that tested Reagan’s blood when he was hospitalized after a 1981 assassination attempt in Washington, the PFCAuctions house said.

Reagan’s son Michael condemned the auction but said he was confident it was not his father’s blood.

“Whatever’s in the vial — could be mouse blood — it’s certainly not Reagan blood,” Reagan said in a telephone call from Los Angeles. Read more.

Would you pay for a vial of ANYONE'S blood?

Keep your shoes on ladies

This just in from CdAPD:

Nathanael Schierman is being sought based a Kootenai County Warrant charging Schierman with Felony Probation Violations. Schierman is currently on Felony Probation for Injury to Child charges. This is a 50,000 bond, Western United States extradition warrant.

Schierman is a white male, 30 years old, 5’9 tall, 170 lbs with brown eyes and brown hair. Schierman was last seen in the Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho areas.
Schierman was the subject of this Spokesman Review story October 30, 2007:
A professional musician who just released a CD on a national label is charged with sexual abuse for allegedly fondling the feet of a Coeur d’Alene teen.

At least nine teen-age girls in Coeur d’Alene have reported 26-year-old Nate Schierman asked for their socks and if he could rub their feet. Some of the teens - mostly middle school students - said Schierman offered them money in exchange.


High school yearbooks recalled

A Texas high school has recalled copies of its yearbook after special needs students were described as “mentally retarded” within its pages, angering teachers, students and their parents.

Mesquite High School's yearbooks were initially distributed on Friday, but were recalled by school officials within hours.

“They told the entire class that they have a slight mistake that needs to be fixed,” a senior at the school told Fox's KDFW affiliate.

An introduction to the “Special Education” section read, “Some of the disabilities the students in the Special Education Program have are being blind, deaf or non-verbal” and described two students as “both blind and deaf, as well as mentally retarded.” Read more.

The berry picker who sent this along asks, “Are yearbooks even relevant?” What say you?

High Noon: Tubbs Hill in the news

COEUR d'ALENE - While the language is in there, the city's Natural Open Space Management Plan doesn't call for building a north side trail on Tubbs Hill.

It only mentions it as a possibility to one day consider.

Nevertheless, the Tubbs Hill Foundation is opposing the city's proposed management plan as long as it includes proposed changes to the hill - such as a north side trail - that had been considered with the McEuen Field conceptual plan last year before being dropped.

Those proposals - at least conceptually - are included in the city's inaugural open space management plan, and their mere mention is making the THF balk. Tom Hasslinger, Cda Press

Do you think changes to Tubbs Hill are inevitable?

Obama mandate challenged

NEW YORK – Roman Catholic dioceses, schools and other groups sued the Obama administration Monday in eight states and the District of Columbia over a federal mandate that most employers provide workers free birth control as part of their health insurance.

The federal lawsuits represent the largest push against the mandate since President Barack Obama announced the policy in January. Among those suing are the University of Notre Dame, the Archdioceses of Washington and New York, the Michigan Catholic Conference and the Catholic University of America.

“We have tried negotiation with the administration and legislation with the Congress, and we’ll keep at it, but there’s still no fix,” said New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now.”

How do you see this issue being resolved?

Bent’s broken, still BBQ-ing

In the Wild Card Bent gives us an update on his injury and on the status of all things yummy. I hope he didn't hurt himself just cuz he knew how left out I felt when all of you were devouring bbq goodness while I slaved away in Spokane.

Bent writes:  get it, I’m hurt. When I got home from cooking last night my right arm was 3 times larger than the left and it took me 45 minutes to shave this morning. But, I also realize that I have overhead now and I can’t just shut things down while I heal. So, my solution is that I won’t necessarily have a full menu for the next few days and I’m going to spend this time solidifying my menu, getting my order system set, securing my supply lines, and training staff. While I do this, I will have limited amounts of the basic menu items and specials sandwiches and dishes that we are perfecting. In addition, as long as I have some advance notice, I can easily cook anything you want by special order. Use my cell phone for now and in a couple days I will have a local number (509-220-2222).

Ex-Rutgers student sentenced

Dharun Ravi listens to the judge in court Monday.

NEW YORK – A judge Monday sentenced a former Rutgers University student, Dharun Ravi, to 30 days in jail for spying on his gay roommate who later committed suicide, rejecting defense arguments that he did not deserve time behind bars but disappointing prosecutors who portrayed him as insensitive and driven by anti-gay bias.

Ravi, who is now 20, had faced 10 years in prison after being convicted last March of invasion of privacy, witness tampering, tampering of evidence and the hate crime of bias intimidation. He was also sentenced to 300 hours of community service.

The jury had concluded that Ravi had targeted his roommate, Tyler Clementi, because Clementi was gay, and the bias-crime status virtually guaranteed he would get some prison time. Full story.

What is your opinion of Ravi's sentence?

Sword swinging in Spokane

SPOKANE — Police say a resident of a north Spokane home drove off four home invaders with a decorative sword, giving one a slash wound.

The home invasion was reported about 3 a.m. today in the Indian Trail area where four people were in the house — two men, a woman and a child. The incident occurred near near Woodridge Drive and Alpine Drive, across from Woodridge Elementary School, KHQ reported.

Police told KHQ one of the occupants recognized at least one of the four suspects and allowed them to enter. More here.

Now, I kind of want to get a decorative sword. Do any of you have a sword hanging around the house? Do you know how to use it?

Idaho Dem learns lesson

Apparently, in order for a democrat to win a primary in Idaho he/she must run against a mentally ill candidate who is facing felony charges. But perhaps you take away a different moral from Betsy Russell's story.

BOISE – A Democratic candidate for Congress in Idaho says he’s learned a lesson, after he didn’t actively campaign during his primary race and ended up with only a 5 percentage point lead over a mentally ill candidate who’s facing felony charges.

“You can’t take anything for granted,” said Jimmy Farris, a Lewiston native and former NFL football player. “We made a conscious decision not to campaign against her. … We chose not to debate or do anything that would really put her situation kind of in the public or highlight it more than it already was.”

Cynthia Clinkingbeard, a former physician who lost her medical license in 2005 due to issues related to her bipolar disorder, took 47 percent of the vote in Idaho’s Democratic primary last week for the 1st Congressional District, while Farris got 53 percent. She won four of the five northernmost counties: Kootenai, Bonner, Benewah and Boundary. Read more.

Christa: Longing for thong man and the Avon lady

Photo courtesy Kerri Thoreson

On Facebook berry picker Christa Hazel writes:

“I miss the good ol' days in Coeur d'Alene when the most pressing political issues were whether or not the Avon lady selling out of her garage on Best needed to be commercially zone and if Thong Man could wear his thong on the beach. Those were the days. /sigh.”

The recall animosity makes the furor over thong man and the avon lady seem rather quaint. Care to share what sides you took re: thong man and the Avon lady? Was your side victorious?

Mountain lion killed near Boise State

Sissyphus doesn't have to worry about his kitties any more:

Boise Police shot and killed a mountain lion that had been prowling near the Boise State campus. The cougar was shot at midnight, after it was spotted feeding at a dumpster near Bronco Stadium.

Early Monday, citizens called police saying they had spotted the mountain lion, once near the Friendship Bridge connecting Boise State to Julia Davis Park and again near the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Myrtle Street.

Last Friday evening, a mountain lion, presumably the same one, was spotted in the Warm Springs Mesa area of East Boise. At the time, law enforcement confirmed the sighting by finding fresh tracks in the area. Boise Weekly

Smart shares her story

Elizabeth Smart shares her story of being kidnapped and assaulted when she was 14 years old with the crowd gathered at the Spokane Convention Center for the Women Helping Women Fund luncheon.

More than 2,100 people greeted Elizabeth Smart with a standing ovation at the 20th annual Women Helping Women Fund luncheon on Monday.

Smart, who was abducted from her Utah home in 2002 and rescued nine months later, is now advocating for safety programs and legislation that protects children from abduction.

Guests at the luncheon sat riveted as Smart matter-of-factly shared the story of her kidnapping.

But an interview prior to the luncheon revealed that Smart is no longer the terrified teen whose ordeal captured the attention of the nation. She’s a vibrant, confident, newly married 24-year-old woman. Full story. Cindy Hval, SR

So this is what I did when I was away from the blog, yesterday. When you hear/read the name Elizabeth Smart what's the first thing that comes to mind?

Families may fly solo

NEW YORK – If you’re flying this summer, be prepared to kiss your family goodbye at the gate. Even if they’re on the same plane.

Airlines are reserving a growing number of window and aisle seats for passengers willing to pay extra. That’s helping to boost revenue but also making it harder for friends and family members who don’t pay this fee to sit next to each other. At the peak of the summer travel season, it might be nearly impossible.

Buying tickets two or more months in advance makes things a little easier. But passengers are increasingly finding that the only way to sit next to a spouse, child or friend is to shell out $25 or more, each way.

Flying is just no fun anymore. Would you pay extra to sit next to your spouse, kid or friend?

Retired teacher new CdA school trustee

COEUR d’ALENE — Anne Seddon, a former public school teacher, will be the Coeur d’Alene School District’s newest trustee.

The four sitting members of the five-member school board unanimously selected Seddon for appointment Monday during a special board meeting.

The reason I chose to seek appointment was because I’m able to bring the perspective of being a teacher and an advocate for children,” Seddon told The Press following the board’s decision.Maureen Dolan, Cda Press More here.


M’s make it 4 in a row

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez throws in the first inning against Texas Rangers' Ian Kinsler during a baseball game in Seattle on Monday, May 21, 2012.  

 SEATTLE – Ichiro Suzuki and the Seattle Mariners chased Texas’ Yu Darvish after just four innings in his shortest start of the season, and the Mariners rolled to their fourth straight win, a 6-1 victory over the Rangers on Monday night.

Felix Hernandez (4-3) rebounded from consecutive poor starts to hold the top offense in baseball to one run in eight innings.

So. Does anyone around here watch or listen to the Mariner's games?

Parting Shot: Ring of Fire

An annular eclipse is seen Sunday north of Odessa, Texas. The eclipse was visible to wide areas across China, Japan and elsewhere in the region before moving across the Pacific to be seen in parts of the western U.S.

Have you ever seen an eclipse?

Monday Wild Card 5.21.12

Had a glorious weekend. Spent Saturday with my sister-in-laws in Newport, WA. for the annual Who Let the Girls Out? event. Sunday, our youngest son finished a great soccer season, and we topped the weekend off by seeing The Avengers.

Monday seems like a painful reintroduction to reality. Expect light blogging today. Unlike the blogfather, I don't have the luxury of sitting at my desk all day.  I'll be interviewing Elizabeth Smart at 11:30. She's in Spokane for the Women Helping Women Luncheon. My copy is due by 5. So. Yeah.

What would you ask Elizabeth Smart if you were me?

With that I'll leave this Wild Card and there will be some other stuff up on the blog to keep you busy. 
Play nicely.

22 states join campaign finance fight

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Idaho is among 22 states and the District of Columbia that are backing Montana in its fight to prevent the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision from being used to strike down state laws restricting corporate campaign spending.

The states led by New York are asking the high court to preserve Montana's state-level regulations on corporate political expenditures, according to a copy of a brief written by New York's attorney general's office and obtained by The Associated Press. The brief will be publicly released Monday. AP

Thoughts? (See, I do ask that, too!)

Why do they hate burritos?

Berrypicker Christa Hazel snapped this photo Saturday and posted it on Facebook with this note: “So sad to see racism rear its ugly head in my town town today. They are protesting Atilano's on Appleway. One person was getting cuffed when we rolled by.”

Did anyone else notice the action Saturday? Will you be avoiding Atilano's or making a special taco run this week to support them?

Mountain Lion prowling in Boise

Boise Police and Fish & Game officials are on the lookout for a mountain lion that's been sighted repeatedly in town; people are being asked to call city police immediately if they spot the big cat, a 70-pound juvenile male.

The mountain lion is apparently making its way in leisurely fashion from the Warm Springs Mesa area, where it feasted on a deer carcass in a resident's front yard on Friday night, down toward the Boise River Greenbelt - it was seen crossing Warm Springs Avenue and hitting the Greenbelt on Saturday night about 11:30. Then, early this morning, two reports came in of a mountain lion on the Whole Foods construction site near Broadway and Myrtle, followed by a report of the cat running east on the Greenbelt near Bronco Stadium. More here.

Insert cougar joke here. Have you had a close encounter with a mountain lion?

Dozens fund woman’s college education

Boise State student Jozey Mitcham watches as her cousin Abby Sherbine, a stylist at Kiwi Blue Salon in Boise, designs a fresh look for her graduation from BSU.ISE


Never underestimate the power of a thank-you card.

That’s a lesson Jozey Mitcham, who recently received her diploma from Boise State University, learned early on.

Her attention to handwritten notes sparked a philanthropic community that formed around her and will continue to help other young women.

Mitcham, 24, grew up in Hailey. She graduated with multiple honors and two degrees, one in applied mathematics with a minor in physics, a second in mechanical engineering. Of 60 engineering students, she is among the top three.

She’s taken her Fundamentals of Engineering exam and is confident she’ll pass. That means she’ll be a licensed engineer in a few months, but not before she spends her summer interning at the Best Friends Animal Society, a Utah sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals.

She hopes to make a career using her engineering skills to help animals.

When she received her diploma May 12, celebrators included a group of more than 60 women who have supported her financially and in other ways through her academic career.

Who funded your college education?

SD#271 May Appoint As Early As Tonight

Coeur d'Alene #271 School Board of Trustees are convening a special meeting today at 5 pm to discuss the open vacancy for Zone 4 left by Dianne Zipperer when she resigned earlier this month.  There are five applicants to be considered:  Ann Seddon, Linda Davis, Rebecca Smith, Dan Sheckler, and Jeff Childs.  It is not clear whether or not the trustees will hold a formal panel interview or will question candidates based on their applications.  Also unclear is whether or not the board members will hold a vote to appoint at this evening's meeting.  What is clear is that the board meeting agenda alots 45 minutes tonight for this process.  You can view the agenda here.    You can view the Coeur d'Alene Press article that includes letters of interest and resumes of the five applicants here.

Climb every mountain

Tamae Watanabe (right) of Japan in 2002 at a base camp on the foot of Mount Everest in Nepal. She became the oldest woman to summit during that climb. She did it again Saturday morning at age 73.  

 MOUNTAINEERING — At 73, Tamae Watanabe is the oldest woman to summit Mount Everest — again. The last time she made the record, she was 63.

She reached the top with four other team members Saturday morning after an all-night climb, Asian Trekking says. The Japanese mountaineer was leading Asian Trekking's International Everest Expedition 2012.

In 2009, Kay LeClaire of Spokane briefly held the distinction of being the oldest woman on top of the world.

Ang Tshering of the China Tibet Mountaineering Association in Nepal tells The Associated Press that the team is in good condition and heading back to the base. Rich Landers, SR

Have you ever climbed a mountain? How old were you?

Bucks for Bono

Bono could become the richest musician on the planet after Facebook Inc.’s first day of trading, according to numerous reports.

The lead singer of the rock band U2 owns 2.3 percent of Facebook, worth an estimated $1.5 billion based on the company’s IPO, according to various reports on the Web.

The Irish artist, who is listed as the 12th-largest owner of Facebook shares by Forbes, invested $90 million in the startup three years ago through his investment group, Elevation Partners. More.

Did you buy any Facebook shares? Do you plan to?

Boarders want bigger, better skate park

COEUR d'ALENE - It wasn't a perfectly executed move as the skateboarder tumbled down on the concrete, but that's how you learn to get better - you pick up your board and keep going.

Chase Turner knows this, and he liked what he saw.

“Nice,” he shouted at the boarder, who returned a thumbs up.

Turner, a longtime skater, was among a group of young boarders performing kickflips, heelflips and boardslides at the Coeur d'Alene Skate Park on Sunday afternoon.

Many sat along the wall, taking a break, watching. Other soared up, down, around and sideways as they perfected more maneuvers.

For an older skate park, it's great, said Turner. The downtown location is easily accessible and not far from his house. There is plenty of space, too, and a friendly group that offers encouragement.

One problem: It's old.

“It's just outdated, basically,” Turner said. “We need a better one. New everything would be nice. We just need a brand new skate park.”   Read more.  Bill Buley, CDA Press

Would you like to see the skate park improved?

Cats and Guns

I mean really. This photo has got it all. My two kitties, Thor and Milo, naping together on my teenage son's bed with his Red Ryder BB gun in the background.

It positively screams North Idaho. Or North Spokane. Agree or disagree?

IPTV human rights documentary wins awards

A documentary film featuring the human rights movement in North Idaho and throughout the state is the recipient of seven major awards from national and regional organizations.

“The Color of Conscience: Human Rights in Idaho” was produced and written by Marcia Franklin, longtime producer and host at Idaho Public Television, and directed by Jay Krajic.

The American Bar Association announced Tuesday that the documentary has been chosen for the Silver Gavel Award for the television category to be awarded in July in Washington, D.C. Full story

Will North Idaho escape the stigmatism of being a haven for white supremacists?

High Noon: Breakfast

My friends know my idea of breakfast is coffee followed by more coffee. But when I do eat breakfast, I do it right. This here is Sunday's breakfast at Frank's Diner in Spokane: Fried green tomatoes with cajun sauce, a scrambled egg, hashbrowns and biscuits and gravy. Delish!

What's your favorite breakfast and where do you eat it?

Thousands march through Chicago

CHICAGO – Thousands of protesters marched through downtown Chicago on Sunday in one of the city’s largest demonstrations in years, airing grievances about war, climate change and a wide range of other complaints as world leaders assembled for a NATO summit.

The protest, which for months had stirred worries about violence in the streets, drew together a broad assortment of participants, including peace activists joining with war veterans and people more focused on economic inequality.

Some of the most enduring images of the event were likely to be from the end – when a small group of demonstrators clashed with a line of police who tried to keep them from the lakeside convention center where President Barack Obama was hosting the gathering. Full story.

Some participants called for the dissolution of NATO, the 63-year-old military alliance that is holding its 25th formal meeting in Chicago. It is the first time the summit has been held in a U.S. city other than Washington.

Do you think NATO should be dissolved?

A.M. Headlines

Huckleberries: Kootenai Republicans’ civil war not letting up

Doug Clark: City ordinance shows lack of sound thinking

S-R honored for series on mine, tribe

Idaho forest sites face cuts

Zuckerberg weds longtime girlfriend

NAACP backs same-sex marriage

Eye on Boise: Twin Falls GOP committee hopeful draws party’s ire

Coping with morning

My youngest son, Sam, and I are NOT morning people, but because of his soccer tourney yesterday my husband decreed we'd attend our 8:30 church service.

Sam found a way to appear awake and alert. And yes, I snapped this photo with my cell phone, which is probably some kind of sin. But hey, no one is perfect.

Are you a morning person or night owl?

Child support X 30

You have to say this much for Desmond Hatchett: He has a way with the ladies.

The 33-year-old Knoxville, Tenn., resident reportedly has set a Knox County record for his ability to reproduce. He has 30 children with 11 women. And nine of those children were born in the last three years, after Hatchett vowed “I’m done!” in a 2009 TV interview, saying he wouldn’t father more children.

Hatchett was back in the news last week because he’s struggling to make ends meet on his minimum-wage job. His inability to make child-support payments on such a meager salary also means he’s back in court again and again, most recently to ask for a break on those payments.

“Yes, we’ve got several cases with Mr. Hatchett,” Melissa Gibson, an assistant supervisor with the Knox County child support clerk’s office, said with a sigh.

Under the law, there’s nothing officials can do to force Hatchett to abstain from having sex. Read more.

What should be done about serial propagators?

A slap from Will

Hollywood star Will Smith slapped a male television reporter who he said tried to kiss him on the lips as he walked down the red carpet for the Moscow premiere of “Men in Black III.”

The reporter from the Ukrainian television channel 1+1, Vitalii Sediuk, made headlines at the Venice Film Festival in September when he presented a bouquet of clearly unappreciated purple hydrangeas to Madonna and called her “my princess.”

Smith was even less charmed by the reporter, who approached him on the carpet outside the movie theater on Friday night and tried to kiss him. More.

Journalists have it rough, I tell you. But at least I've never been slapped. How about you? Have you ever been slapped?

Bent’s Boo Boo

After what was reported to be a widely successful opening weekend, Mostly Sunny says that hubby Bent has suffered his first work-related injury. She said Bent spent time in the ER last night after lifting his barbecue…appears he may have torn a ligament in his arm. And it's his right arm— his cooking arm!

He's scheduled to see an orthopedic doc today. Please send good thoughts and prayers Bent's way.

PS: Bent says: BTW, i am now listed on trip adviser and Yelp, but I have no reviews…. if you have tried my bbq and have a spare moment would you mind writing a review for me? it will elevate my prominence on those sites… here are the links:


Obama Cites JP Morgan in defending regulation

WASHINGTON – Aiming squarely at Republican critics of Wall Street reform, President Barack Obama said Saturday that investment bank JPMorgan’s stunning $2 billion loss serves as a reminder of the importance of Washington’s role in preventing another financial crisis.

The 2010 financial overhaul law counts among Obama’s signature legislative achievements, but it continues to come under attack by Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail, including likely presidential nominee Mitt Romney, as an example of govenment overreach.

“It’s so important that members of Congress stand on the side of reform, not against it, because we can’t afford to go back to an era of weak regulation and little oversight, where excessive risk-taking on Wall Street and a lack of basic oversight in Washington nearly destroyed our economy,” Obama said in his weekly radio address. “We can’t afford to go back to that brand of ‘you’re-on-your-own’ economics.”

Is the 2010 Dodd-Frank law an example of the White House’s over-regulation of private markets?

RIP Robin Gibb

The day disco died?

With his carefully tended hair, tight trousers and perfect harmonies, Robin Gibb, along with his brothers Maurice and Barry, defined the disco era. As part of the Bee Gees — short for the Brothers Gibb — they created dance floor classics like “Stayin Alive,” “Jive Talkin’,” and “Night Fever” that can still get crowds onto a dance floor.

The catchy songs, with their falsetto vocals and relentless beat, are familiar pop culture mainstays. There are more than 6,000 cover versions of the Bee Gees hits, and they are still heard on dance floors and at wedding receptions, birthday parties, and other festive occasions.  More.

I'm an unabashed Bee Gees fan. My favorite Bee Gees song: How can you mend a broken heart. What's your fav Bee Gee song?

Weekend Wild Card — 5.19-20.12

I dropped by Bent's BBQ as he, Sunny and others were closing up shop around 8:30 Friday evening. They looked tired. But Bent seemed satisfied that his soft opening for the food cart @ 5th & Best (east of Davis Donuts) had gone well. He said he checked in several times at Hucks Online to see what the Merry Hucksters were saying about his fare. He appreciated the support from Hucks Nation. … As you know, I'm on vacation next week through Memorial Day weekend. I'll be back Tuesday, May 29. Cindy & her cats will be here Monday to sub. Treat her well, per usual. Emjoy the sunshine. Here's your weekend Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 5.18.12

Two birds perch on wrapped electrical wires at Agro Brasilia, an agricultural exhibition on the outskirts of  Brasilia, Brazil earlier today.. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

TGIF Wild Card — 5.18.12

Next week, it'll be time for a V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, which I need after juggling the triple crown of local controversies at HucksOnline for the last few months: Recall/GOPrimary/Jacobson subpoena. Solid gold stuff at the page-view turnstiles. Officially banked my first million page-views for the year — on election day, no less. And currently headed for a record year. I'd like to thank Mary/Frank/Kathy, the dysfunctional Republicans, and Tina for getting HBO off to a fast start this year. But I need a breather. Plan to finish my yard overhaul. Cindy's warming up in the bullpen. Brace yourself for too many cat photos next week. Now for your TGIF Wild Card …

10 Things That Make Her Happy

A Butterfly Moment lists “10 things that make me happier than they probably should”:

  • Free chai lattes. The free ones taste so much better than the ones I buy for myself or make at home.
  • A gift of flowers. I love flowers. Love them. But I, nor they, should be happy when I am in charge of them. I can kill a cactus. Can and have.
  • A brand new box of crayons. They are so perfect and lovely. I almost hate to let my students use them.
  • Clearance sales. I have to repeat to myself over and over, “Just because it's cheap doesn't mean you need it.”
  • Reality tv. It's one of my guilty pleasures. Survivor, American Idol, Pawn Stars, Deadliest Catch…
  • Full list here.

Question: What's something that makes you happier than it should?

PM Headlines — 5.18.12

“It was a little different,” said Atlas Elementary 5th grader Maddi Howe, center as she and her classmates Krista Hawkes, left and Blaike Nelson, right took in the scenes from the 4th annual Art Tour at the school in Hayden earlier this week (Kathy Plonka SR photo)

PM Scanner Traffic — 5.18.12

  • 5:48 p.m. Female on Red Tail Hawk/Worley reports 3 dogs attacked her dog in her yard.
  • 5:37 p.m. Van driver uncooperative after hitting bicyclist @ I-90 & Spokane/PF. No injuries.
  • 5:34 p.m. R/R reports possible DUI driver in black Chevelle n/b on H95 @ M/P 440 (Garwood Road).
  • 5:23 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Casino security reports finding backpack w/drugs, paraphernalia & scales.
  • 4:53 p.m. Possible injury accident reported in parking lot of Goodwill Industries, 4th & Harrison/CdA.
  • 4:36 p.m. Silver Jeep w/Washington plates running people off road  @ e/b I-90 & Spokane/PF.
  • 4:21 p.m. R/P reports mattress or box springs lying on I-90 onramp @ H95/CdA.
  • 4:18 p.m. Child hanging out window of red Dodge Durango on Govt Way from Canfield/CdA.
  • 13 more items below + AM Scanner Traffic below

North Idaho Blogs Roundup — 5.18.12

On Thursday night, Post Falls Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson was in the dunk tank busy raising money for River City Leadership Academy's scholarship fund for Post Falls High students. Sez Kerri: “And the water was warmer than the air after we were wet.”

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday): 11,445/6552, (for Wednesday): 13,663/7495, and (for Tuesday): 14,683/7502

Bar Brawl Leaves Man Unconscious

A fun time wasn't had by all at the Rendevouz on Coeur d'Alene Avenue early Thursday morning. CPD Blues found a 30YO man unconscious when they arrived at the downtown Coeur d'Alene bar. Seems he'd hit his head on a brick wall and sidewalk after he and other brawlers were bounced from the old bikini bar. Here's what the latest Downtown Coeur d'Alene Bar Report said: “… According to a bouncer at the bar, it had been chaos with a fight inside the club and while they were bringing some of the instigators outside, the fight erupted again and everyone was throwing punches and fighting. Apparently there were several groups of people involved in the altercation. Some reported the fight started with a dispute between a girlfriend bringing another male to the bar; however, once the fighting started, other began fighting with people kicking, punching and knocking each other down.” You can read the May 1-18 bar report here.


Berns Reacts To Claims Against LCDC

Executive Tony Berns responds to various claims made by opponents of the urban renewal district in the Coeur d'Alene Press Online today:

  • Claim: The city of Coeur d'Alene and Kootenai County are the only taxing entities affected.
  • LCDC response: Actually, several taxing districts (city, county, NIC, highway districts) receive the taxes associated with the base property valuations when a district is established. The LCDC receives the taxes paid on the increase in property value (the increment) until the district is terminated.
  • Claim: On the average, county property owners pay 7.5 percent more tax than they should and city property owners pay almost 20 percent more than they should due to the increased costs of infrastructure upkeep caused by LCDC improvements.
  • LCDC response: We are unaware of where these percentages come from or how they were derived. The Idaho State Tax Commission states that the impact of urban renewal on the taxpayer is neutral.
  • Much more here.


Recall Tribe Out On Sherman Again

Sharon Culbreth heads from Sherman Hardware to try to attract motorists on East Sherman Avenue to sign her Recall petitions against Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy. Fellow Recaller Rus McClain was on the other side of the street with his sign. (Phantom Photographer photo)

Duncan Wants To Appeal Sentence

Notorious multiple murderer Joseph Duncan was back in a Boise courtroom this morning, as lawyers and a federal judge wrangled over setting a date for a new hearing into whether Duncan was mentally competent when he waived appeals of his triple death sentence for torturing and murdering a 9-year-old North Idaho boy. Duncan, brought to Boise from federal Death Row in Terre Haute, Ind., his hair close-cropped and graying and wearing a baggy white T-shirt, left all the talking to his attorneys on Friday morning. But in December of 2010, he submitted a hand-written, two-page letter to the court saying he now wants to appeal after all/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


New Idaho Political Guide Released

Randy Stapilus of the Ridenbaugh Press has produced another of his invaluable Idaho political guides, the first one in a decade. A promo for “The Idaho Political Field Guide” reads: “Idaho politics isn’t just the story of politicians: It is also the story of the people whose votes puts them into office. The Idaho Political Field Guide, the first book-length independent and current review of Idaho politics in a generation, focuses hard on those voters: Who they are and how they vote, with analysis from the statewide to the precinct level. If you track Idaho politics as participant, a professional or an interested citizen, the Political Field Guide belongs on your book shelf.” You can read much more here.

Question: Have you read one of Randy's previous political field guides? I have. Terrific info.

Woody Buses Tables

If things don't work out re: attempted recall, Coeur d'Alene Councilman Woody McEvers has a fall-back job busing tables at Rustler's Roost. Woody, of course, owns Rustler's Roost in Hayden. Above, the Phantom Photographer spotted Woody busy in the kitchen during the lunch hour today.

Question: Did you ever work in a restaurant? What did you do? Did you enjoy the work?

GOP Official: Idaho D’s Bleed Support

The back-and-forth over Tuesday's closed GOP primary — and the ultimate voter turnout — just keeps on keeping on. Today, Idaho GOP rules committee chairman Ronald M. Nate weighed in with a statistical analysis on the 2008, 2010 and 2012 primaries, and suggested the turnout reveals a sharp decline in Democratic voters. It's a bit more detailed look at the numbers than the shallow quick hit sent out Wednesday by the Idaho GOP, comparing the vote counts from 2008 and 2012. As Nate rightly notes, it's not easy to compare results from one election to the next. But his takeaway focuses on the drop in the Democratic vote from 2008 to 2010 to 2012/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Is it possible that Idaho Democrats are in worst shape today than they were two years ago?

Read more here:

Meghann’s Sirens & Gavels Turning 3

Grab the party hats and get your game face on — Saturday is Sirens & Gavels' 3rd birthday. Some of you may already be planning epic celebrations, but for those of you I caught off guard, I apologize. The idea behind this blog was simple - a devil-worshipping sex offender called me upset that a commenter said he was not a true member of the Church of Satan. I'd already written an adequate article about the man, and his phone call certanly didn't warant a follow up. But it was too remarkable to ignore. Since then, this blog has become a hub for crime and court news in the Inland Northwest and anything else that might pique my interest/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: How long have you been blogging, tweeting and/or Facebooking?

Digital System Mutes Police Scanners

LoveToHateMe (re: Post Falls police going to digital system, which can't be picked up by regular police scanners): By my understanding, digital systems scramble the frequency every time a transmission is made, in order to prevent the public from being able to monitor police activities. This helps prevent situations such as the one a couple of months ago where the man shot by the Post Falls Police allegedly had a radio scanner in his car and was listening to their updates while they were pursuing him.

DFO: That’s the extreme side of the police scanner picture. On the upside, it allows average citizens to keep track of what their police are doing. Which is mostly good work. Also, Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug told me that his department has gotten a lot of tips from HBO Scanner Traffic readers. He appreciates the many mentions that his officers get each work day on Huckleberries.

Question: Would you rather have the police be able to communication to one another without the public tuned in? Or take the chance that an occasional bad guy is monitoring frequencies while the public listens in?

Noon: Bent’s BBQ Open For Business

Kerri Thoreson provides this photo of Bent BBQing chicken at his Bent's Pitchamps Bar-B-Que at 5th & East Best today. He'll be open until he runs out of food or until 8 p.m.

Stickman: I just went by Bent’s to say ‘hi’ on his opening day and it looks great. He will be off to a great start, especially if the HBO nation gets behind him and supports him. He is on Best Ave. if some don’t have a clue where he is, about a block from Fourth Street on the right. If you turn right from Fourth at Davis Donuts, you’ll find him easily. It’s a red trailer and business started at 11. He should be there till late unless he runs out of food. I don’t eat meat, but I understand his stuff is some of the best around. So drop by and visit him and maybe have something to eat.

Location: Bent's BBQ is east of Davis Doughnuts on Best Avenue, about the 500 or 600 block.

DFO: Bent has promised to provide an opening-day blow-by-blow once lunch hour rush dies down.

Noon: Shaved in Salzburg

A woman makes her way with a shaved poodle during the world dog show in Salzburg, Austria, earlier today. More than 30,000 dogs are expected to take part in the exhibition. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

Question: Would you do this to a dog?

AM Scanner Traffic — 5.29.12

Notice: HucksOnline Scanner Traffic is now operating without the 2 Post Falls police frequencies because Post Falls has switched to a digital system.

  • 12:03 p.m. 2 males are about to get into a fight @ Spirit Lake docks, 7036 W. Spirit Lake Road.
  • 11:56 a.m. R/P reports 8- to 10-foot plastic pipe lying on n/b H95 @ M/P 404 (north of Worley).
  • 11:36 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for May 17-18 here.
  • 11:16 a.m. 3 males in a red Jeep w/writing on windows were driving recklessly on w/b I-90 before exiting at M/P 2 (Pleasantview).
  • 11 more items below

Hoffman: Regs Keep Idahoans Down

Mattel makes a line of Barbie dolls under the moniker of “I can be …” in which Barbie shows she can be in any profession she wants: doctor, a teacher, a computer tech and a variety of other occupations. Ah, but Barbie has never had to confront an occupational licensing board. Sorry, Barbie. If Barbie were a car wash attendant or a waitress or newspaper delivery person or a grocery store clerk, she would have a tough time finding a new career that might pay more money and raise her standard of living. And that’s true even in Idaho, where we are assured that regulatory barriers are few and far between. The Institute for Justice recently examined the issue of occupational licensing in all 50 states, asking, “What are the government’s requirements to work in a particular field?” IJ found that Idaho ranks 36th when it comes occupational licensing burdens/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More there.

Question: How have government regulations hurt you in Idaho?

Like Father, Like Son

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Kerry Wood, ;eft, stands in the outfield with his son Justin during batting practice before a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox today in Chicago. Wood, who electrified baseball with a 20-strikeout game as a rookie in 1998 and then became a reliever after his career was slowed by numerous injuries, is expected to retire after pitching one more game for the Cubs. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)

Question: What personal traits have you taken from your father?

Trib Jeers Rod Beck, Semanko

Opinionator Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune hands out two monster Jeers for the two-headed monster that led the Idaho GOP over the closed-primary cliff — Rod Beck and GOP Chairman Norm Semanko. Of Beck, Marty said: “Closed or open, the GOP primary yielded the same result. Incumbents prevailed because they're in lockstep with the mainstream of their own party. Which is a lot more than Beck and his allies can say at the moment.” Trillhaase jeered Semanko for trying to, ahem, polish a turd — my words, not Marty's — in trying to spin the record low voter turnout in the GOPrimary into a positive. Quoth Marty: “Tuesday's numbers showed voter participation going off a cliff. But rather than admit a mistake, Semanko went into a defensive crouch - and started shopping around for different numbers.” More here.

Question: Is it time that the Idaho GOP dump Semanko?

IPT: Dress Code Working In Nampa

The Caldwell School Board did the right thing Monday when it voted to extend the school district’s dress code to Caldwell High School. That code is already in practice in the district’s elementary and middle schools. Teachers and administrators like it and have noticed an improvement in behavior. We’re not talking school uniforms here; rather the requirement that students wear collared, solid-colored shirts and dark-colored pants. They will no longer be allowed to wear dresses, clothing with large logos and jeans with holes or decorative stitching. Red and navy shirts will also be outlawed, as they are associated with gangs. Multiple studies have shown a distinctive improvement in student behavior and academic achievement after schools implement dress codes or uniforms. Simply put, they eliminate a major distraction from the classroom setting/Idaho Press Tribune (Nampa). More here.

Question: Should school districts in North Idaho consider stricter dress codes, too?

AM: Iraq Fires Suspect In Death

Danielle Nienajadlo's mother Lindsay Wiedman, left and sister Michelle Scheibner, hold the folded flag given to them signifying Nienajadlo's death in 2009 as they pose for a photo next to pictures of Nienajadlo and her children on Thursday in Spokane. Nienajadlo, a 1995 Lewis and Clark High School grad, died while serving in the U.S. Army from leukemia, which her family believes she became ill with after tending one of the massive “burn pits” in Iraq. Story here. (Tyler Tjomsland SR photo)

Poll: Hart Was Biggest Loser Tuesday

  • Thursday Poll: State Reps. Phil Hart and Bob Nonini ran one-two as biggest losers on the GOPrimary election Tuesday. Hart, of course, actually lost his legislative seat. Nonini poured money into three losing campaigns trying to dethrone incumbents. 84 of 236 respondents (35.59%) picked Hart as the biggest loser; 56 of 236 respondents (23.73%) picked Nonini. Others getting biggest-loser votes were: United Conservatives of North Idaho (38 of 236, 16.1%); Avista (32, 13.56%); and the Bonner County Tea Party (26, 11.02%).
  • Weekend Poll: Should the Idaho GOP dump the new closed primary and return to an open primary?

Mason, Sophia, Emma Popular In NW

Sophia Loren, is shown at age 19 in this photo taken by David Seymour in 1953. Sophia was the most popular girl's name in Washington in 2011  (AP Photo/David Seymour, Corcoran Gallery of Art)

Mason and Sophia were the most popular names for babies born in Washington in 2011. In Idaho, the top names for newborns were Mason and Emma, the Social Security Administration said today. Here are the top five names for boys and girls in each state: Washington boys: Mason, Liam, Alexander, Jacob, Ethan. Washington girls: Sophia, Olivia, Emma, Isabella, Emily. Idaho boys: Mason, Jacob, Liam, Benjamin, Alexander. Idaho girls: Emma, Sophia, Olivia, Ava, Emily. Nationwide, Sophia and Jacob were the most popular baby names last year/SR. More here.

Question: Do you have a popular name (like Mason or Sophia) or an old-fashione one?

Recall Has Destroyed CdA Civility

I had a very nice talk with the City Clerk yesterday because I was curious to know if Finance Reports would be issued by RecallCDA and Decline To Sign. I was a bit shocked and dismayed to learn that they are not required to by state law, and essentially its the wild west out there. These postcards are sleazy and the whole thing is beginning to bother me. Anonymous postcards, boycotts, lying, taping people, and accusations of intimidation. Where does this all end? More and more Coeur d’Alene is beginning to remind me of Spokane when (former councilman Steve) Eugster, and that whole bunch was on the council. The strife and battling over there effect the entire region negatively,a dn the strife in Coeur d’Alene will effect the entire region negatively as well.

Question: Will peace reign in Coeur d'Alene if the Souza-Orzell-Sims Recallers succeed in overthrowing Mayor Sandi Bloem & the 3 targetted City Council members?

Lose A Parking Lot, Put Up A Paradise

I (JohnA) heard Joni Mitchell’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ last night and woke up with it ringing in my head. With apologies to Ms. Mitchell maybe someone could cover this version:

They will lose a parking lot
And put up a paradise.
With a nice promenade,
and a swimming hot spot.
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s nice.
They will lose a parking lot
And put up a paradise.

They’ll add a bunch of trees
And put them near a cool museum.
And they’ll charge all the people
Nothin’ at all just to see ‘em.
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s nice.
They will lose a parking lot
And put up a paradise.

Rest of JohnA's poem here

Expert: GOP Didn’t Stop Crossover

Political scientist Gary Moncrief has analyzed results from Idaho's first-ever closed primary and says the early evidence suggests it failed to achieve the Republican Party's aim — to keep Democrats and independents from influencing nominees for the general election. Moncrief, a University Distinguished Professor at Boise State, compared Tuesday's turnout in the Republican and Democratic primaries to the same figures in the three past presidential elections. The plan to limit the primary to “real” Republicans appears to have failed, said Moncrief, who added that more data is necessary to draw a firm conclusion. Rather than depressing the proportion of ballots cast on the GOP side by requiring party affiliation to vote, the GOP boosted its share of the vote/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.


Read more here:

SR: Closed Primaries Wrong In Idaho

Less than 17 percent of Ada County registered voters cast a ballot in Tuesday’s Idaho primary election – less than 17 percent in the state’s most populous county, home to its capital, Boise. Statewide, the turnout was an estimated 23 percent of registered voters, the lowest going back at least as far as 1980, when the ballot casting began a three-decade descent from the 41.3 percent who voted in the primaries that year. But then, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan was on the ballot for the GOP presidential nomination. Reagan, whose 11th Commandment was “Republicans should not criticize other Republicans,” might have been startled by an election in which Reaganites criticized Reaganites in Kootenai County. And saddened by a dismal voter turnout caused in large part by a Republican Party so jealous of its purity that party officials would allow only those willing to declare their allegiance before the world to receive the sacred – but not secret – GOP ballot/Spokesman-Review. More here.

Question:The Spokesman-Review editorial goes on to recommend that Idaho possibly switch to a system in which the top two vote-getters move on to the general election. Washington has the top-two system. What do you think?

Facebook Shares Go Public

Facebook founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, center, rings the opening bell of the Nasdaq stock market today from Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. The social media company priced its IPO on Thursday at $38 per share, and beginning Friday regular investors will have a chance to buy shares. Story here. (AP Photo/Nasdaq via Facebook, Zef Nikolla)

Underwear-Masked Man Robs Shop

Police in southwest Idaho say a man chose briefs over boxers to wear on his head as he held up a coffee shop and stole a safe. Coffee shop owner Jason Wilson tells the Idaho Statesman says he believes the man was likely not prepared when he entered Big Star Coffee in Fruitland with an accomplice on Tuesday morning. Wilson asked: “Who robs something with underwear on their head?” Investigators say the two burglars made off with about $500 in cash that was inside the safe. Their actions were captured on surveillance cameras inside and outside the shop/AP.

Question: Briefs or boxers?

Recall Fever Hits CdA Businesses

Item: Businesses caught up in recall tidal wave: Opponents encouraged to offer opinions to Sherman Hardware/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Petitioners on sidewalks, when The Press has stopped by several times, have been cheered or jeered by passersby. Opponents and supporters accuse one another of using misleading information and defaming the other side. Public comment at City Council meetings is filled with passionate speakers on both sides. And this week, some downtown businesses with signs against the recall in their store windows received more postcards mocking them for their stances.


Is Tea Party Over In Idaho?

Idaho Republican primary voters this week spurned a drive by libertarian-leaning upstarts aiming to oust GOP House and Senate incumbents. This comes after Republican Mitt Romney's easy March victory in Idaho's “Super Tuesday” caucus over libertarian and GOP candidate Ron Paul. With the next test of the dominant Idaho political party's mood coming next month at the state GOP convention in Twin Falls, there's growing evidence it's exiting a period marked by tea-party advances and entering another where Republicans stick by candidates they know amid an improving economy and falling unemployment. Gov. Butch Otter said his Tuesday-night takeaway is this: Idaho will remain conservative, but won't tilt much further right. Otter has another goal for the June 21-23 confab, too: Convincing delegates to join his push for reopening the GOP primary to more than just Republican voters/AP. More here.

Question: For all the noise it made, Idaho's Tea Party faction didn't win much during the GOPrimary — and lost its guiding light: Rep. Phil Hart. Is the Tea Party over in Idaho?

Heller: Blowing Bubbles

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Thursday — 5.16.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 44: Today, I was suppose to be deposed by Tina Jacobson's attorneys today re: the subpoena seeking the identities of three anonymous Huckleberries Online commenters. So I'd plan to wear my best Hawaiian shirt to work today in honor of the occasion. But Tina's attorney canceled. So the next item on the lawsuit/subpoena agenda appears to be the hearing before Judge John Luster on Friday, June 1, on the SR's motion to quash the subpoena. BTW, I still wore that nice Hawaiian shirt to work and got more than 8 hours sleep last night. So I've recovered from Election night and rarin' to right wrongs in our viewtiful community by the lake. Here's today's Wild Card …

BTW, a third monster H/T goes to Supersub Cindy for another terrific job subbing at HucksOnline. (But you shouldn't be expecting any cat photos in the near future. Just sayin'.)

Parting Shot — 5.17.12

Robin Loznak, NW photojournalist extraordinaire, offers this photo on his Facebook wall: “A nest full of partially feathered Brewer's blackbird chicks sits hidden in a thicket at River Forks County Park near Roseburg.” He dubbed the photo, “The Awkward Phase.”

Adoption Reunion Offers Closure

Kathylu Szabo spent 10 days with her son. She held him, nursed him, loved him and let him go. Twenty-five years passed before she saw him again. On Friday, her son, Demetrius Brice, sat next to her, jumping up to fetch her a tissue when tears overflowed as she spoke of their reunion. The pair were guests at a Catholic Charities Adoption Reunion Celebration. The event honored the three parts of the adoption triad: birth moms, adoptive moms and adoptees. “It was hard,” Szabo said of the choice she made. “I was 35, single and barely able to support myself. I figured he’d do better in a two-parent household.” Brice had always wondered about his birth mom. He recalls searching strangers’ faces on the street and wondering is she my mother? “My biggest thing was I just wanted to know what she looked like,” he said/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (Colin Mulvany SR photo)

Question: Are you or anyone in your family adopted? Do you think adoption reunions are a good thing?

PM Scanner Traffic — 5.17.12

  • 5:36 p.m. Drivers report that a moose that was hit, pulled into the I-90 median in Shoshone County, and supposedly euthanized, is still alive, lifting its head occasionally.
  • 5:13 p.m. Fred Meyer officials wants to see CPD officer re: possible arson.
  • 4:50 p.m. Mary from animal shelter reports that a dog on site needs animal care.
  • 4:41 p.m. Nick of county waterways reports young skateboarders are tearing up department parking lot on Ramsey despite signs telling them to stay off. He wants them trespassed.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for May 16-17 here.
  • 4:19 p.m. Truck w/trailer & 2nd vehicle crash, blocking i/s of Govt Way & Lancaster/Hayden.
  • 4:12 p.m. 14YO boy running away from parents through KMC parking lot.
  • 17 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

PM Headlines — 5.17.12

Idaho 1st District Congressman Raul Labrador talks at the Republican Party primary Headquarters held at the Doubletree Riverside Hotel in Boise on Tuesday. Labrador addressed a crowd of about 150 after winning his primary. Labrador, a leader in the drive for Idaho's closed primary is at odds with Gov. Butch Otter and Secretary of State Ben Ysursa. Otter and Ysursa want Republicans to revisit their support for the closed primary and presidential caucus after a record low turned out for Tuesday's election. See story below. (AP/Statesman photo: /Chris Butler)

Chuckle Berries: Repubs For English?

Our friends at Chokecherries (the blog site of the very, very conservative R wing, posted anonymously) has broken down the primary election results, handing out plent of Razzberries to Real Reagan Republicans-backed candidates. Of particular interest here, is this comment about Ed Morse's win over United Conservatives of North Idaho-backed Rep. Phil Hart: “Morse…squeeker…and a dirty one at that…Mayo Man will crash and burn quickly…Republicans for English anyone? (We know…eeeewwwweee…but even Dan would be more palatable than Mayo Man) Hart’s loss was entirely the fault of his “friend” Ron V! (We predict that Phil will be back!)” Republicans For English? (BTW, I agree w/Chokecherries that Hart will be back, for those keeping score at home.) Full Chokecherries post here.

Question: In the old days, the late Ron Rankin often said to me that he'd prefer a Democrat in office to a moderate Republican. I don't consider Ed Morse to be a moderate Republican. But do you think UCNI disciples will climb aboard the U.S.S. Dan English this fall?

Postcards Target Anti-Recall Biz Again

More mocking, anonymous postcards have been received by some downtown businesses that openly oppose the ongoing effort to recall Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members Mike Kennedy, Deanna Goodlander and Woody McEvers. Several downtown businesses received similar cards earlier this month, and at the time, Recall CdA petitioners and organizers told The Press they had no idea who was sending them. The cards, mailed from Spokane, have been sent to some, but not all, the businesses that openly support the officials targeted for recall. Follow link for copies of postcards at CdA Press Online here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo)


Mary: It’s Not Personal

Mary Souza dances a little jig at the weekly Real Reagan Republicans luncheon earlier today shortly after announcing that she'd probably get her photo on Huckleberries Online shortly. Mary was greeted warmly by her peeps. And HucksOnline always appreciates the free publicity. (Photo Photographer photo)

For those keeping score at home, the anti-Recallers are attacking the Recallers. Not vice versa. Don't believe me? We have no less authority on the issue than Mary Souza and her weakly newsletter to point out the culprits. Sez Mary: “Anti Recall people have been slinging personal insults, calling childish names and organizing intimidation against local businesses.  They are trying to act big but, in truth, they are incredibly small.” Mary then sez that the recall isn't personal (in case you thought otherwise). She then claims that the mayor's son yelled at a Sherman Hardware employee for helping the Recallers, adding this: “The Anti Recallers have to paint this whole grassroots effort as a personal attack against Sandi, Mike, Deanna and Woody.  It’s not true but it’s the only way they can keep the spotlight off the decisions these officials have made.  Distraction.  That’s their plan.” Full post here.

Question: Which side do you think has been nastier in Recall effort?

Oregon Votes On Indian Mascots

In this Feb. 3 file photo, shows students work out in the Roseburg High School gym in Roseburg, Ore., where the school's mascot is the Indians, and their logo is a feather. The Oregon Board of Education is scheduled to vote on a resolution that would require Oregon schools to retire their Native American mascots within five years or risk losing state funding. The vote today could give Oregon some of the nation's toughest restrictions on American Indian nicknames, mascots and logos. If approved, eight high schools would need to change their nickname and mascot by July 2017 or lose state money. Seven schools identified as the Warriors would only have to alter their mascot. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Bruce Ely, File)

Question: How should the Oregon Board of Education vote on the resolution to ban American Indian mascots from the state's high schools?

Kerri Faces Dunk Tank Tonight

Kerri Thoreson emails: The celebration of my 60th year continues tonight with something I've never done before … be the dunkee in a dunk tank! Suzanna Thompson Spencer of INB assures me the water is warm and that there will be EMTs with defibrillators in close proximity. :) 5-6:30 tonight at INB in Post Falls (across from Seright's Ace Hardware on Seltice) for the Post Falls Chamber's Business After Hours. All proceed…s from the dunk tank will go to the River City Leadership Academy scholarship fund. Food, beverage and fun! Some fellow RCLA-ers going into the tank will be Pam Houser, Alan Wolfe, Jame' Lou Davis, Capt. Pat Knight and more. Alan is so sure he won't get dunked he's wearing a suit. Me? I'll be wearing sequins and rhinestones.

DFO: I once served as a dunkee in a dank tank at a county fair — 40 years ago in Red Bluff, Calif. My eardrums popped so much from going under water that I had a terrible headache afterward. Won't do it again.

Question: Have you ever served as a dunkee in a dunk tank?

Just A Hairy Gal

A model showcases hair sculptures created by hairstylists at the Audi Fashion Festival Show of Redken on earlier today in Singapore. The annual fashion festival showcases works of top and emerging designers as part of efforts to promote the city-state as a fashion hub.(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Question (for the Ladies of HBO): Would any of you dare ware a hairdo like this? Plus eyebrows?

Digger: Quit Using ‘Thoughts’

Digger: DFO, you’ve been getting lazy the last several weeks posting only “Thoughts?” as the question. Sometimes this is called for but its happening far too often. When CindyH is here she is very thoughtful and calculated in the questions she asks, not just “Thoughts?”

DFO: There’s several reasons why I’ve posted “thoughts” more & more recently. First, the question I pose is merely to drive discussion. I post “thoughts” sometimes b/c I’ve asked similar questions before & don’t want to be repetitious & drive the conversation down the same rut. Mebbe someone has an entirely different approach to a repetitive story. Sometimes, I’m close to a situation and don’t want to shanghai discussion with a question. Sometimes, I can’t figure out what to ask. If I go ahead and ask an inane question, you guys will jump on me for that.


Bent Launches Pitchamps BBQ

Bent opened his Bent's Pitchamps BBQ @ 510 E. Best Ave/CdA at 11. Bent told HucksOnline Thursday: “I will be serving pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, rib tips, brisket burnt ends, and chicken … I will do jo-jos for a side and we will be adding and refining the menu as we begin to develop our supply stream and staff the trailer accordingly… please be patient with us, as this is all new stuff for us and we have a lot of things to figure out on the fly… it should be an adventure though… I am swinging the doors opened at 11 a.m. and I will cook for a 8 p.m. closing, but that's a rough estimate on the closing… I could sell out early… at least I hope I do… so if you have a special order you want me to hold, send me a private message on Facebook (the page is (Bent's Pitchamps BBQ) so I don't miss it… I will have a much better ordering system soon.”

Question: Anyone test-drive Bent's BBQ today?

DOTC: Ban Ballot Precinct Races

Dan of the Community: And so here you have my breaking news. If I am elected, one of the first bills I will propose will be to remove precinct committee elections from the ballot and have the process given entirely to the parties where it belongs. It will also save significant dollars statewide. Who is with me on this one?

Question: Most of us thought Dan would have had a good chance beating Republican Rep. Phil Hart in November. Do you think he has a chance of beating Republican Ed Morse in the fall general election?

Hayes Explains Precinct Numbers

Kootenai County’s website showed the unofficial election results from the May 15 primary in a way that some people didn’t understand, so it’s been revised. Absentee votes cast for national, state & county offices are not included in the by-precinct counts listed on the website.  These votes are in the Absentee Precincts results, listed as Precincts #71, 72 & 73. However, results totals for Precinct Committeemen did include both absentee ballots and ballots cast in the precincts on election day. At first those two types of ballots cast were not separated; now they are. County Clerk Cliff Hayes continued, “We didn’t anticipate some people would compare apples (the national, state & county ballot numbers without absentee votes) and oranges (the precinct committeemen ballot numbers with absentee votes) and become confused.” Elections staff has now revised the Precinct Committeemen results posting on the County’s website/Kootenai County Clerk's Office news release. More here.

Question: So was it our fault that the numbers were confusing or the reporting method?

TFTN: GOP Suffers ‘Church Split’

In the religious world, they call it a “church split.” People who have so much in common — a belief system, a striving to do what is right — begin to fight about the details or, worse, the personalities. Before you know it, there are two churches on the block instead of one. Anyone who’s been through a church split knows that it does little to bolster the strength of the faith; it just generates a lot of hard feelings. Politics is not a religion, nor is it sacred, but there does seem to be something of a “church split” going on in the Republican Party right now. Spend time in Republican circles these days and you’ll hear the word “RINO” (Republicans In Name Only) dropped like some kind of McCarthy-era witch hunt of those who are not conservative enough/Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

Question: Have you ever been through a “church split” and lived to tell about it?

Noon: Glacier Wrestles w/Bus Issues

This Aug. 12, 2011, photo shows one of 25 touring buses, built in the late 1930s by the White Motor Company and designated as Model 706, known in these parts as “Reds,” on Logan Pass at Glacier National Park, Mont. With the days getting longer and tourist season approaching, a small team of mechanics are working to ensure the entire fleet of Glacier Park “Red Buses” are ready for another summer of touring up and down the legendary Going-to-the-Sun Road. Just like the fleet has done almost every year for the last seven decades. More here. (AP Photo/Flathead Beacon, Justin Franz)

Question: When were you last on Going to the Sun Highway in Glacier Park?

Like Mother, Like Daughter At Births

Thirty years ago Meghan Slick’s birth made the newspaper. Now, it’s her newborn son’s turn to shine. In this tangled tale of moms, babies and doctors, Payton Slick seemed a bit bored by all the fuss. Eight days old at the time of this interview, he yawned, hiccupped and declined further comment. So his grandmother, Cheri Erpenbach, started the story at the beginning, with the birth of Payton’s mom, Meghan. Erpenbach went into labor with her second child on a chilly November morning in 1981. They called her doctor, John McKenna, and she and her husband, Michael Erpenbach, headed to Sacred Heart Hospital. They didn’t get far/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (SR photo)

Question: Do you have any similar birth stories in your family?

And The Winner Is …

… State Sen. Joyce Broadsword in the pickup in the background, not the any of the three St. Maries parade queen contestants in the foreground). This photo was taken two years ago when Broadsword was campaigning for re-election in her old Senate District 2. Broadsword abandoned her seat in the state Senate after she was redistricted into the sprawling Senate District 7. Instead, she won a tough GOPrimary fight with uberconservative Bonner County Commissioner Cornel Rasor Tuesday night. (Phantom Photographer photo)

AM Scanner Traffic — 5.16.12

Note: I've had trouble getting the Post Falls PD signal on my police scanner for last two days. That's why there's few to no Post Falls items in recent Scanner Traffic. Stay tuned.

  • 12:29 p.m. Sonia, on Nettleton Gulch/CdA, reports strange people coming to her door.
  • 12:23 p.m. CdA worker is worried about water pouring from main @ Milwaukie & Virginia.
  • 12:17 p.m. R/P reports possible child abuse occuring at Farragut State Park.
  • 11:48 a.m. Driver may be unconscious after hitting power pole No. 132976 (mebbe on H41, 1/8th mile north of Mullan/PF).
  • 11:43 a.m. A peacock is loose on Prairie & Greensferry/PF.
  • 11:39 a.m. Female in 3300 block of Lookout Drive reports suspicious person in neighborhood.
  • 12 more items below

Notice: Court hearing concerning anonymous posters

The lawyer for Tina Jacobson has requested that the blog post notice of an upcoming court hearing:

Dear Mr. Swinton:

I request that your client post on its HuckleberriesOnline website the following notice related to the pending Spokesman-Review motion to quash the Subpoena Duces Tecum.  If this request occasions any difficulty please advise.  Thank you in advance for the professional courtesy in accommodating this notice to the effected bloggers. (Full notice here)

C. Matthew Andersen
Attorney for Tina Jacobson

Roberts Mum RE: Leadership Attack

House Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly, phoned this morning to follow up on a message I left for him yesterday afternoon. Roberts said he was removing campaign signs in Boise County Wednesday afternoon, and had iffy cell service. Roberts said he's not ready to comment on his victory in Tuesday's primary, which came under extraordinary circumstances. “I am not not going to weigh into the situation and I'm not gong to have any comment for awhile,” Roberts said. “I just need some time here. It's got a life of it's own and I don't think — I just better be quiet.” Roberts said he may prepare a written statement in coming weeks/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What would you do if you were Ken Roberts?

Read more here:

Poll: Hucks Nation ♥’s Election Results

  • Hump Day Poll: Nearly 2/3s of Hucks Nation approved of the North Idaho results from Tuesday's primary election. 97 of 150 respondents (64.67%) applauded the results. 40 of 150 respondents (26.67%) didn't like the results. 13 (8.67%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Who was the biggest local loser Tuesday — Avista, Bob Nonini, Bonner County Tea Party, Phil Hart or United Conservatives of North Idaho?

Coffee Gets Racy Kick In Lake City

Mochas and macchiatos come with some extra perk at one of Coeur d’Alene’s newer coffee stands. Roll up to the window of The Pink Spot, a white drive-through kiosk dotted with pink patches, and you’ll be greeted by a cheerful barista and a whole lot of skin. Lea Hoiland opened the stand at 3023 Government Way in December. While not a franchise, she said The Pink Spot is a “sister” to Cowgirls Espresso, a Seattle-based chain of kiosks where barely clad baristas have been serving coffee for several years. “It’s very classy, not trashy. We don’t take things very far,” Hoiland said. “You’re not going to see anything there you wouldn’t see at the beach”/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Question: Would you be more/less/same likely to frequent a coffee hut operated by a bikini barrista?

Disco Queen Donna Summer, 63, RIP

In this Dec. 11, 2009, file photo, Donna Summer performs at the conclusion of the Nobel Peace concert in Oslo, Norway. Summer, the Queen of Disco who ruled the dance floors with anthems like “Last Dance,” “Love to Love You Baby” and “Bad Girl,” has died. Her family announced her death in a statement today. She was 63. Story here. (AP Photo/John McConnico, File)

Question: Anyone out there willing to admit that you like disco?

Source: New County GOP Evenly Split

Huckleberries Online has received this breakdown from an insider re: the new formation of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee: “It is essentially tied (between the Real Reagan Republicans and the Rally Right/Ron Paulers). In contested races Reagan Republicans won 19 and UCNI/Rally Right won 15. In non-contested (UCNI/Rally Right) won 16 and (RRR) won 12. That leaves 31 to 31 with 6 others who have ties to both groups and 2 vacancies.

Question: How come the UCNI/Rally Right group does well at winning precinct seats but so poorly in backing winners in legislative/county races?

Did GOP Hardliners Help Moderates?

I wonder if the anal retentive hardliners of the Idaho GOP outsmarted themselves in closing the Republican primary election. Rob Beck and kindred spirits conjured the crossover Democrat boogeyman as the reason to close the Republican primary. They wanted to elect the most conservative Republicans possible. Yet, by closing the primary, Beck & Co. forced a lot of Democrats and moderate independents to hold their noses and vote Republican to make sure their vote counted in county and legislative races where their were no contested Democratic races. In Kootenai County, for example. Check out these numbers:

REGISTERED VOTERS - TOTAL .  .  .  .  .    69,803
           BALLOTS CAST - TOTAL.  .  .  .  .  .  .    14,811
           BALLOTS CAST - DEMOCRATIC .  .  .  .  .     1,305    8.81
           BALLOTS CAST - REPUBLICAN .  .  .  .  .    13,042   88.06
           BALLOTS CAST - NONPARTISAN.  .  .  .  .       464    3.13
           VOTER TURNOUT - TOTAL  .  .  .  .  .  .             21.22

Now, I know there aren't many Democrats in Kootenai County . But I also know that Democrats comprise a heckuva lot more of the political population than the 9 percent who voted in Kootenai County elections. I'd guess another 12-15% crossed over and voted Republican. Maybe that's why the more moderate of the Republican candidates won in many Kootenai County (and Bonner County) elections Tuesday. Just a theory.


Memories Of Frank Church Fading

The late former Idaho Senator, Frank Forrester Church III, is rapidly fading from public memory not only in Idaho, but nationally. Church served Idaho honorably for 24 years (1957-1981), the only Democrat senator ever re-elected (three times) in Idaho history. Except for those that love to recreate in “The Frank,” the vast 2.3 million acre wilderness in central Idaho named after the author of the 1964 Wilderness Act (The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness), few folks recall Idaho’s most famous Democratic senator and second only to William E. Borah as Idaho’s most famous in the first 125 years of statehood. Thousands of Idahoans and hundreds of thousands of Americans owe a special debt of gratitude to the Senator, who was unique in pursuing an issue we all come to care about but few senators ever take up as a cause/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: Do you remember the late U.S. Sen. Frank Church?

Is Phil Hart Really Finished?

An insider offers these thoughts about Rep. Phil Hart's loss in the GOPrimary Tuesday — and a possible resurrection as an Independent candidate: “In my opinion Hart and Vieselmeyer were getting their votes from the same group of people to a large extent.  The result was that Hart's vote was split and Morse won the Republican nomination.  Hart and Vieselmeyer's combined votes would have exceeded the Morse votes.  I see no way that Morse would have received many of the votes that were cast for Hart or Vieselmeyer had either Hart or Vieselmeyer not run. … Now, however, the question arises, 'Will Hart run as an independent?' If so Hart could still win, or  split the vote and assure a victory for Democrat Dan English. I fail to see how Hart is tied much to the Republican Party.  Maybe he will see this as an opportunity to turn his loss into a victory for Constitutionalists.  He might win as an independent and then, declare himself to be a Constitutionalist, which is what he has been all along.  Worse yet, he could get his Ron Paul supporters on the Republican Central Committee, to make him Chairman.  I hear Tina Jacobson is tired of the job.”

  • Wiseguy: “Hart can only run as a write-in not as a Independent. Not a chance.”


Edit: From Gun Hero To Gun Goat

Right, center-right, or centrist (and even left of center) Idaho politicians dare not get on the wrong side of the gun issue. But where's the line - and who draws it? GunPAC? On its website, the political action committee described itself as “… a group of individuals, citizens, businesses, and organizations gathered with the intent to protect and enhance our Second Amendment rights in our national, state and local elections. To this end, we seek to identify, support, and advocate for the conservative political candidates who share our common ideals.” So how do the people behind GunPAC — political activist Lou Esposito and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star - explain GunPAC weighing in on the 5th Legislative District Senate race between Republicans Gresham Bouma and Barrett Schroeder?Bouma got GunPAC's nod, yet both candidates rate an “AQ” from the National Rifle Association. That means both scored an A on the NRA questionaire. But because neither has held office and has no voting record, the NRA withheld making an endorsement/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Photo from Gresham Bouma Facebook wall)

Question: Are you an NRA member?

$109M Paid In Dog Bite Claims

Eleasha Gall, director of behavior and training at spcaLA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles), reveals the teeth of Roosevelt, a Rottweiler-Husky mix, as she demonstrates how to avoid dog bites at the spcaLA P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village and Education Center in Long Beach, Calif., on Wednesday. One of the nation's largest home insurers released its 2011 statistics on dog bite claims Wednesday. A State Farm Insurance spokesman says more than $109 million was paid on about 3,800 dog bite claims nationwide. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Question: Tell us of a time that you were bitten by a dog.

Nic: Just Say No To Concrete

Nic: This is just my personal feelings, but I believe Coeur d’Alene would be far more attractive if the 5 acres beside the lake was not made up of pavement and road paint. Although they provide parking spots for some, they rob the natural beauty for many.

Question: I'm simply amazed that many locals aren't picking up on the grand idea of expanding McEuen Field by five acres by moving the parking garage. Izzit just Nic and me?

JohnA’s Primer On Urban Renewal

JohnA: Here’s the facts. City taxpayers pay $18 million in taxes that flow directly to the city. Those in the URDs, less than 10% of the city’s property owners, pay about $3 million a year (I’m sorry I said it was $2.5 million; a check of the county auditor’s financials corrected me). The $3 million in city taxes and another $2.7 million in other taxes (the county, NIC, etc) go to LCDC and have helped to fund the library, Kroc Center, Ed Corridor and now will fund the majority of McEuen Field. What’s also missing from Mary’s comments to Nic is the fact that once the Lake District ends in 2021 (and the McEuen Field upgrade is paid for) a lot more water will be added to the ‘tub’. In fact the tub will be overflowing. The city’s share as of today would be $2.1 million each year, the county $1.1 million and NIC $383.000. That’s a big bucket to be added to the tub. It is at that point that the city (and the county, NIC, etc) can make budget decisions on whether to add that money to their budget or to lower taxes for everyone. So, the bottom line is the city (and the rest of us) get to enjoy the McEuen Field upgrade now and local governments will get a huge windfall in about eight years, and all of it coming from less than 10% of the city’s taxpayers. Not a bad deal at all, but that’s the beauty of urban renewal in a nutshell.

Question: Why do you suppose the Souza-Orzell-Sims Recallers don't mention that Coeur d'Alene is in for a huge revenue windfall when the urban renewal districts sunset in eight years?

Green, Tondee Look To Future

Still recovering from the wee hour watch of Tuesday's primary results, candidates in Kootenai County were reflecting on the races and planning their next moves on Wednesday. Encouraged by his strong Republican primary win, county Commissioner Dan Green said he hopes to take on the next four years helping the county government transition into possible structure and campus changes. “I feel very flattered,” Green said of his victory over two challengers with 5,517 votes, 45 percent of the votes, which will leave him unopposed for the District 3 seat in November. “I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Kootenai County.” A priority will be helping with the restructure of county government, he said, if voters approve the county's November ballot initiative to do so/Alecia Warren & Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Am I the only one impressed that uberconservative gadfly Larry Spencer received almost 4000 votes?

Anderson: Skechers

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Hump Day Wild Card — 5.16.12

Coeur d'Alene Held Hostage, Day 43: Can't stop smiling today. Kootenai County & North Idaho haven't consumed the Kool-aid that would veer this great region into political chaos. In fact, there are signs all around that local Republicans are turning away from Far Right excess (although maybe not the Central Committee). This provides hope that Coeur d'Alene will come to its senses and reject the outrageous Recall attempt against our fine Mayor Sandi Bloem and three fine City Council members. Our town is too great to allow the Souza-Orzell-Sims troika to trash with their absurd denunciations of the Bloem administration and urban renewal. Remember: Friends don't let friends vote for Sims (in November). Now for your Wild Card …

  • Forgot to mention that Huckleberries Online topped 1,000,000 page-views for the year on primary election day, which registered almost 15,000 page-views. As always, thanks for your support.

Parting Shot — 5.16.12

Members of the Lone Pine High School baseball team chase down and catch a snake caught in the infield during their CIF playoff game against Excelsior Education Center Tuesday in Victorville Calif. A snake was seen in the outfield earlier in the game, but between the seventh innings the snake attempted to cross the infield. The snake was released outside the diamond immediately after being caught. (AP Photo/Victor Daily Press, James Quigg)

Study: Coffee Drinkers Live Longer

One of life’s simple pleasures just got a little sweeter. After years of waffling research on coffee and health, even some fear that java might raise the risk of heart disease, a big study finds the opposite: Coffee drinkers are a little more likely to live longer. Regular or decaf doesn’t matter. The study of 400,000 people is the largest ever done on the issue, and the results should reassure any coffee lovers who think it’s a guilty pleasure that may do harm. “Our study suggests that’s really not the case,” said lead researcher Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute. “There may actually be a modest benefit of coffee drinking”/AP. More here. (AP file photo: espresso flows into a cup at a coffee house in Overland Park, Kan.)

DFO: Suh-weet!

Question: How many cups of coffee do you drink in a given day? Week?

PM Scanner Traffic — 5.16.12

  • 5:41 p.m. R/P claims 25YO female in local electronics store squeezed child's hand & pulled her hair.
  • 5:29 p.m. R/P reports a thief still on the scene in 900 block of West Ironwood/CdA.
  • 5:24 p.m. R/P from 1121 Shorewood Court/CdA reports pitbull loose in street.
  • 5:22 p.m. John wants to speak to a deputy re: lease rights.
  • 5:19 p.m. Male wants to speak to deputy re: people who are threatening to kill other people.
  • 4:58 p.m. Dispatch reports unattended death in Coeur d'Alene but doesn't give location.
  • 4:31 p.m. Jessica is turning herself in on an outstanding warrant at Juvenile Detention Center.
  • 4:28 p.m. Suspicious couple is taking guns out of residence on Buckingham Road/CdA.
  • 4:01 p.m. A 5YO female student at Hayden Meadows Elementary has been located after being missing for about 20 minutes. She is blond-haired w/side pig tail & pink T-shirt that said: “Dance.”
  • 11 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

PM Headlines — 5.16.12

A Berry Picker received this postcard in the mail today from the Souza-Orzell-Sims Recallers. You can see what's on the other side by clicking here. And a color version of the postcard above by clicking here.

Odd Vote Count In Precinct 6

Kootenai County Elections Department results offer one silly misprint re: Kootenai County GOP Central Committee Chairwoman Tina Jacobson's run for Precinct No. 6 committeewoman. According to the results, she received 345 votes running unopposed. The problem? Only 326 votes were cast in Precinct 6 — 310 by Republicans, 10 by Democrats, and 6 by non-affiliated voters. Or 19 votes less than Jacobson got. No, I don't think there's any conspiracy or mischief afoot. Just an amusing error.


           REGISTERED VOTERS - TOTAL .  .  .  .  .  .   1594
           BALLOTS CAST - TOTAL.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .    326
           BALLOTS CAST - DEMOCRATIC .  .  .  .  .  .     10   
           BALLOTS CAST - REPUBLICAN .  .  .  .  .  .    310  
           BALLOTS CAST - NONPARTISAN.  .  .  .  .  .      6  
           VOTER TURNOUT - TOTAL  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 20.45%      

Avista’s Power Play Misfires

Avista Corp, an investor owned electric and gas utility for northern Idaho, made a financial push to unseat two incumbents that failed. Both Avista and Idaho Power gave $1,000 to Pam Stout, the Tea Party opponent to Rep. George Eskridge, former Bonneville Power Administration district manager. But Avista went a step further giving $15,000 to three political action committees that helped Stout and Danielle Ahrens who challenged Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported. Eskridge, who co-chaired an interim committee on energy, clashed with the investor-owned utilities on renewable energy issues. Keough’s only issue for Avista was a 10 year-old bill that would have set up a consumer advocate before the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. Idaho Power even gave her $1,000/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you suppose Avista is having second thoughts re: keeping its well-powdered nose out of North Idaho politics in the future?

Richert: GOP Cherry Picks Turnout

Voter turnout in Tuesday's Idaho primaries may have hit a record low — due largely to new rules that restricted the GOP primary to registered Republicans only. But that didn't stop the GOP from claiming success on the voter turnout front — although the party had to cherry-pick numbers to get there. On Tuesday, some 144,500 votes were cast in Idaho's GOP congressional races. And, as the GOP correctly notes in a news release, that is a marked increase from 2008, when 126,573 votes were cast in the congressional races. But the turnout for GOP congressional races was also about a 9 percent decrease from 2010, when 158,746 votes were case in GOP congressional primaries/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you get as tired as I do of politicians and political parties trying to spin some situations in which everyone knows they're wrong including themselves?

Read more here:

Arriving On A Pony

Actress Betty White arrives on a white pony as she is honored at a Friars Club Roast sponsored by Godiva, Wednesday at the Sheraton Hotel in New York. (AP Photo/Starpix, Marion Curtis)

DFO: This serves 3 purposes — eye candy for Cindy, a break from all the politics today and a question: Why are we so fascinated with Betty White?

Drake: Recall Attracts Worst, Best

Stop the Recall organizer Jennifer Drake's statement to the Coeur d'Alene City Council Tuesday read in part: “I have witnessed lies being told by RecallCDA in an attempt to get signatures. I have witnessed vicious attacks on people’s character and that of their families. I have witnessed baseless claims of personal interest, intimidation, and retaliation being lobbed about with nothing to back it up. I have heard the same inaccurate information repeated over and over again in regards to your actions, votes, and opinions. I have heard despicable things coming from the mouths of some members of this community, and it saddens me that they think such negativity is what’s best for this town. But I’ll tell you what else I’ve witnessed. I’ve seen people standing up to support you and your decisions, decisions that truly are going to benefit everyone in this town. I’ve seen people who have never been involved in community issues before ingrain themselves in the situation.” Complete statement here.


Recaller Orzell Claims Intimidation

At the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting Tuesday night, RecallCDA organizer Frank Orzell of Coeur d'Alene, pictured, said (according to the rough draft of City Clerk Susan Weathers' minutes) “… that he had received complaints of intimidation.  John Montandon, 6269 E. French Gulch Rd., commented that he allowed the recall group to use his parking lot and as a result he received calls from clients stating that they were going to stop doing business at his store and believes that this is a form of intimidation.  Mayor Bloem noted that this is a very personal time for her and the Council being recalled and their families.  She respects the right for citizens to shop where they want, but she does not condone any threatening or intimidation.” Stop the Recall organizer Jennifer Drake commented later that she and other members of her group have been intimidated, too. She reportedly turned to Montandon in the audience and apologized to him for feeling intimidated for anything that was happening.


Kerri: Groene Murders Plus 7 Years

Above, Steve Groene, former husband of one of the murder victims and father of two of the murder victims in Joseph Duncan's killing spree, speaks to media shortly after murders were discovered. (SR file photo)

Seven years ago today one of the most brutal crimes ever to take place in our community claimed the lives of Brenda Groene, her middle-school aged son Slade and her fiance Mark McKenzie. Brenda's two youngest children, Dylan, 9 and Shasta, 7 had been kidnapped by the murderer. Looking back in my column archives I re-read what I wrote just after Shasta was finally rescued. It still breaks my heart. Shasta is now a teenager living in another state and Joseph Duncan awaits his earthly punishment on Death Row/Kerri Thoreson, Coeur d'Alene Press Main Street. More here.


McMillan Wins 3-Way HD7 GOPrimary

State Rep. Shannon McMillan, R-Silverton, easily won GOPrimary nomination — and re-election since she'll be unopposed in the general election — in her first race in the new House District 7, which touches four counties. McMillan won 2564 votes, to outdistance controversial former gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell (1625) and Ed Galloway (1177). Meanwhile, state Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, who attracted criticism for using a state mailing to contact Republicans in the new part of her district, easily won re-election with 4094 votes to Mary Wade Heston's 1493. No Democrat is running in the Senate District 7 general election. In the primary elections for the other HD7 seat, Republican Paul Shepherd and Democrat James Paradiso ran unopposed and will meet in the general election in November.

Bonner Commish Incumbents Fall

Former state Sen. Joyce Broadsword claimed a narrow victory over incumbent District 1 Bonner County Commissioner Cornel Rasor while Cary Kelly defeated incumbent District 3 Commissioner Lewie Rich. The final precinct — Washington — was tallied at 1:58 a.m. When the dust settled, Broadsword emerged with 2,857 to Rasor's 2,744 in a contest that had gone back and forth all night. Kelly edged Rich 2,379 to 2,020. Sage Dixon, a third GOP candidate in the GOP District 3 race, tallied 938 votes. The District 3 race is expected to be decided in the primary because there are no other candidates running. Broadsword will compete with Steve Johnson, an independent, in the Nov. 6 general election/Bonner County Bee. More here.

Question: Should new commissioners next year disband Rasor's Property Rights Council?

News Quiz Offers 6 Shock Tickets

  • 5 Merry Hucksters are on the leaderboard so far this week: Big Mac, Tom Taggart, KimKnerl, KCres, TLPoestra.

Congrats to Spokane's Brian Donahue and Conrad Kovash, winners of last week's news quiz. Brian's name was drawn from among the top scores, earning a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. And Conrad won a random drawing for two movie tickets to Regal cinemas. This week we have four juicy prizes on the table: The Davenport gift card and three random drawings — each for two tickets to the next Spokane Shock home game. Good luck! You can take the quiz here.

Inmate Accused Of CdA Bank Job

An Oregon man already serving 22 years in prison for bank robbery is accused of robbing a Coeur d'Alene bank at gunpoint in August 2010. A grand jury on Tuesday indicted Bradley W. Monical, of Bend, for the Aug. 27, 2010, hold up of Wells Fargo, 114 E. Appleway. Monical, 41, was sentenced in July 2011 to 22 years in prison for robbing a bank in Coos Bay, Ore., in April 2011. Surveillance photos released by Coeur d'Alenepolice in August 2010 show a masked gunman wearing a bicycle helmet and denim shorts climbing on furniture at the bank. /Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Hoffman Defends ‘Big Spender Report’

I’m getting a lot of flak in recent days about a report we did in April adding up the amount of money each legislator spent as part of the appropriations process during the last legislative session. We called it the “Big Spender Report.” And I was content to ignore the whining until a few days ago when Betsy Russell, a reporter for the Spokesman-Review newspaper, scoffed at our review, noting that the Legislature has a House-Senate budget panel that sets budgets. Writes Russell, “Once (budget bills) leave that panel, they rarely change, and the few ‘no’ votes generally are mere protests that they’re too high or too low. Setting a budget for the state is the Legislature’s main job; if all lawmakers voted against budget bills when they’re up for final votes, the Legislature would fail in its main task.” Russell is saying that we’re asking lawmakers to vote against every budget presented to them — always and forever. Rubbish/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.


Noon: Idaho’s Record Low Turnout

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said Wednesday that record-low turnout in Tuesday’s primary could prompt his Republican Party to revisit its decision to limit the primary to registered GOP voters. “I do believe it had that negative effect of a couple of points,” Ysursa said. “I think there will be some constructive dialogue, including a discussion of whether unaffiliated voters should be able vote Republican.” Unofficial returns showed turnout at 23 percent, the figure Ysursa predicted. That’s 2 percentage points lower than the former record for low turnout, 25 percent in 1988. The final vote totals will be official at the May 30 state canvas. Ysursa said he discussed the issue with GOP Gov. Butch Otter on Wednesday, “We’re disappointed, obviously”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you think Idaho Republican leaders finally understand that their closed primary depressed the vote and disenfranchised voters? Or will they continue to be clueless?

Read more here:

The Lady Who Started Hart Ouster?

Some in Republican circles credit Lois Johnson (with sign) with beginning the effort to oust state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, two years ago. Here she's shown with a sign at the Coeur d'Alene Inn during the annual chamber-sponsored North Idaho legislative tour. To her left is Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest River, who was punished with loss of a chairmanship by House Speaker Lawerence Denney for criticizing Hart's failure to pay income taxes, and state Rep. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett. Hart was ousted in a four-way race by challenger Ed Morse. Anderson easily won re-election against a Tea Party candidate last night.

AM Scanner Traffic — 5.16.12

  • Noonish: R/P reports metal ladder lying on s/b H95 @ M/P 441.5 (Ohio Match Road).
  • 11:55 a.m. Rear-end, 2-vehicle crash on n/b 4th & Prairie/Hayden. Unknown injuries.
  • 11:53 a.m. Michael reports to KCSD HQ that someone has pawned his computer.
  • 11:47 a.m. Resident of 3946 Rimrock/Garwood reports 2 ponies loose in yard in closed range.
  • 11:38 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for May 15-16 here.
  • 9 more items below

AM Headlines — 5.16.12

Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter watches primary results with Ronna Lee Linseman at the Republican Party primary Headquarters held at the Doubletree Riverside Hotel in Boise on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Matt Cilley)

Dinosaurman Wants Out Of Cooler

A note delivered to Huckleberries from a jailer in charge of Dinosaurman's cell block in the cooler: “Now that the election is over, I heard rumors that Phaedrus and Darth Maul were released from their holding cells.  How much longer must I endure my captivity?  It's cold in here, the food stinks, and my head is woozy from the music selection.  Phaedrus insisted on only the Bee Gees and the B-52s while Darth Maul preferred the stormtrooper march.  I've heard rumors that spring is finally here!  Shall I remain here forever?  I know somewhere on your blog, there must be someone that misses me, even if it's just to make fun of me. …  I'm lonely, tired, and have run outta toilet paper.  What do I need to do to out?  Looking about my cell, there are some rusted lug nuts from a '74 Pinto and a broken dog collar I can offer up as bail.  Not much, but hey these lug nuts gotta be collectors items by now.”

DFO: Call me a softie, but I'm in a benevolent mood now that common sense has prevailed in most North Idaho GOPrimary elections. I let Phaedrus out a few minutes before midnight last night. Darth Maul escaped. So what they hey. It's time to welcome back Dinosaurman. Who may or may not have slit his wrists as word got back to him that sheriff's candidate John Green and prosecutor candidate Donald Gary and Rep. Phil Hart failed in their quest to claim the one ring that rules all from us Hobbits.

HBO Gets Copy Of Recaller Recording

Get Adobe Flash player
nic’s recording

On Tuesday, I told you that I'd heard a tape that regular commenter Nic made of a Recaller outside the Woodland Middle School precinct misstating information while gathering signatures. The Recaller states that the cost of the McEuen Field upgrade is $35 million to $40 million and that he'd read somewhere that the figure could be as high as $80 million. Mayor Sandi Bloem & the council members targetted for recall have said again and again that the actual cost of the McEuen Field upgrade is $14.2 million. At one point, the Recaller invites organizer Mary Souza to answer a question that Nic asks. And Souza explains her view of Lake City Development Corp. Nic provided a copy of the tape to City Clerk Susan Weathers for possible police investigation. Weathers has turned the tape over to City Attorney Mike Gridley, asking what she should do with it because Nic didn't file a formal complaint. Nic has also turned a copy of the tape over to Huckleberries Online. I didn't learn of the tape until Nic told me that he had recorded the Recaller. The audio of the tape is posted above for you.


Winners & Losers In 2012 GOPrimary

Above, Real Reagan Republicans chairman Ron Lahr, left, and former chairman Jeff Ward watch election results Tuesday night. (Phantom Photographer photo)

Let's play Winners & Losers again. I'll start out by giving you an idea what I mean. I consider some of the losers to be the Idaho Republican Party (who ticked off many fellow Republicans when its vote-depressing closed primary); United Conservatives of North Idaho (who booted home only three winners, including state Sen. Steve Vick, who was also endorsed by Real Reagan Republicans); Bob Nonini (who backed the wrong horses with his PAC money); and Avista (who tried w/big-time money & failed to unseat Sen. Shawn Keough and Rep. George Eskridge). The overall winner? Common sense.

Question: Who do you consider to be the Winners & Losers?

Semanko: All Sunshine & Lollipops

The following message was sent by Idaho Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko: “May 15th signaled the end of a competitive and hard fought primary for many positions in our Party. Some would argue that this competition damaged the Party; I argue the opposite. I believe that the enthusiasm and energy we witnessed speaks to the strength of the Idaho Republican Party and is a bellwether to the challenge that Idaho democrats face in November. Please join me in uniting behind the Idaho Republican Party and fighting for the Republican Party principles that we hold dear. With your help we will maintain Republican seats in the 1st and 2nd Congressional district, and expand our majorities in the Idaho House and Senate.

Question: Anyone want to join me in sending a loud BOO to Semanko and the Idaho Republican Party for disenfranchising and confusing voters with a closed primary, for depressing voter turnout, for embracing extreme party platform planks, and for replacing the presidential primary with a caucus?

Broadsword Dumps Radical Rasor

We don't pay a lot of attention to the Bonner County Courthouse. But state Sen. Joyce Broadsword scored a ha-huge win for reasonable government in North Idaho by beating radical Commission Cornel Rasor, 2857-2744 in their GOPrimary. Rasor was responsible for the controversial, Far Right-driven Property Rights Council. On top of that, three Far Right legislative candidates were trounced in their races — Tea Party queenpin Danielle Ahrens, Pam Stout (head of the Property Rights Council), and Donna Capurso by the incumbents Shawn Keough, George Eskridge and Eric Anderson. Also, KKKer Shaun Winkler received only 182 votes of 5543 cast for Bonner County sheriff, a race won easily by Daryl Wheeler. You can see all the Bonner County results here.

Question: Does this mean that elected office holders shouldn't be as quick to jump when the Far Right throws a tantrum?

More Moderate R’s Emerge w/Wins

Republican incumbents and business-backed moderates appeared to be beating back challenges from libertarian-leaning upstarts who sought to turn the state GOP establishment on its head in Tuesday's primary election. GOP Sen. Patti Anne Lodge of Huston prevailed, as did Rep. Christy Perry of Nampa. Sen. Dean Cameron of Rupert and Sen. Shawn Keough of Sandpoint also won. In a close race, Hayden, Idaho real-estate appraiser Ed Morse was narrowly ahead of tax-protesting state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol. Lodge, Perry, Cameron and Keough all were among incumbents targeted by conservative political action committees, including one that received $15,000 from House Speaker Lawerence Denney and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle/John Miller, AP. More here.

Question: Idaho Senate heavy hitters Dean Cameron & Shawn Keough won their races despite big money poured into their opponents by state Rep. Bob Nonini, who is likely to be elected to the Senate in November. What will happen to Nonini if/when he becomes a senator?

JohnA: I Don’t Recall

A verse appeared upon my table
It was from Mister Kane.
I looked to see if Kane was able
To recall judgment gain.

As we all know and some will state
When someone’s claims are made.
A monument they then create
Where grievances are laid.

A city torn, it daily seems
And always its McEuen.
Do we create a Field of Dreams
Or leave it to its ruin?

Upon this issue some will say
Voters will remember.
To that I note they’ll have their day:
It’s coming next November.

The rest of JohnA's poem here

CdA Press: Free To Criticize

(Kootenai County GOP Central Committee Chairwoman Tina) Jacobson is demanding the identity of one or more people she believes have accused her of a crime. Of particular displeasure to the county's Republican Party leader was this question, posed on Dave Oliveria's “Huckleberries” blog after Oliveria posted a photo that included Jacobson on a stage with other Republicans: “Is that the missing $10,000 in Kootenai County Central Committee funds actually stuffed inside Tina's blouse??? Let's not try to find out.” The Spokesman-Review's attorneys argue that the comment doesn't constitute a factual assertion that Jacobson stole any money - or even that any money had gone missing. But even if it did, our question is this: How damaging is an anonymous opinion stated on a blog that makes no claim to the information being accurate or even substantially true? If someone had spray-painted the same thing on a downtown wall, would Jacobson sue the building's owner? Because what's happened here is very much like graffiti; the comment may be eye-catching but it lacks credibility because nobody is owning up to it/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.


Lahr Wins, Ward Loses Precinct Races

Matt and Karen Roetter watch election results Tuesday night.  Karen is the local regional office manage for U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo.  Matt Roetter is the state committeeman for Kootenai County Republican Centeral Committee.  Matt also was elected to the Precinct 18 committeeman seat he lost two years ago. (Phantom Photographer photo)

In the Kootenai County GOP precinct committeeman races, the Real Reagan Republicans split on two key races. President Ron Lahr won his race in Precinct No. 25 but former president Jeff Ward lost to Courtenay Ellison. I don't know the players all that well in the precinct committee races, other than Bjorn “Landslide” Handeen, who ran unopposed in my Precinct 52 and didn't get all the votes that he might have because the elections judges forgot to hand out the precinct ballots to about 50 of us (including me). Landslide Handeen still received 49 votes. You can see the complete precinct committeeman election results here.

  • DFO: An insider tells Huckleberries that the Far Right still controls the GOP Central Committee 37 seats to 28, with two unknowns. So we'll continue to enjoy the shenigans of local Republicans Gone Wild.

Question: Who controls the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee — Real Reagan Republicans or United Conservatives of North Idaho?

John Green, Gary Fail To Nab Seats

 John Green .  .  .  .  .     3,450   27.09
 Keith Hutcheson  .  .  .     3,795   29.80
 Ben Wolfinger .  .  .  .     5,489   43.11

 Donald Gary.  .  .  .  .     4,517   37.31
 Barry McHugh  .  .  .  .     7,591   62.69

Question: What happened to the UCNI attempt to take control of law enforcement & the county prosecutor's office?

Whither Goeth Phil Hart Now


Phil Hart.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,746   31.20
Ed Morse .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,984   35.45
Ron Vieselmeyer    .  .     1,116   19.94
Fritz Wiedenhoff .   .  .       751   13.42

Question: What does this mean for Phil Hart?

Bennett: Commencement

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Reasonable R’s Boot Home Most Winners

Depending on how you're keeping score at home, more Reasonable Republican-backed candidates (8 1/2) won in North Idaho contested races than did those backed by the Reagan Republicans (7) or United Conservatives of North Idaho (3).

  • Reasonables backed Shawn Keough, George Eskridge & Eric Anderson in District 1, Ed Morse in District 2, Frank Henderson in D3, Luke Malek in D4, and Dan Green, Barry McHugh & either Ben Wolfinger or Keith Hutcheson in county races.
  • Reagan Republicans didn't endorse in District 1 races. They backed: Steve Vick & Ed Morse in D2, Henderson in D3, Malek in D4, and Tondee, Green and McHugh in courthouse races.
  • UCNI backed Vick and Vito Barbieri in D2, and Ron Mendive in D3.

Election Night Wild Card — 3.15.12

I'm back & ready to see which band of conservatives boot home the most winners tonight. The Very Very Conservative (United Conservatives of North Idaho). The Very Conservative (Reagan Republicans). Of the Conservative (Reasonable Republicans). We'll spend our time Wednesday cussing the Idaho Republican Party for inflicting on us the presidential caucus and closed primary. But tonight we see how extreme Kootenai County GOP voters were. I'll try to be here until the final results come in — or until I retire. Whichever comes first.

Question: Any guesses re: the time the first results will be posted? (Feel free to use this thread for your Election Night comments, observations, etc.)

3 County Incumbents, Wolfinger Win

Commissioner Dan Green & his wife watch election results.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER DIST 1 (73 of 73 precincts)                   

          Vote for  1
           Gerald Arno.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .       233    1.91
           Marc Eberlein .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     4,262   34.92
           Tim Herzog .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,773   14.53
           Bruce Noble.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,389   11.38
           Todd Tondee.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     4,548   37.26

          Vote for  1
           Dan Green  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     5,517   45.07
           Vic Holmes .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     2,777   22.68
           Larry Spencer .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     3,948   32.25

          Vote for  1
           John Green .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     3,450   27.09
           Keith Hutcheson  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     3,795   29.80
           Benton E. (Ben) Wolfinger .  .  .  .  .     5,489   43.11

          Vote for  1
           Donald Gary.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     4,517   37.31
           Barry McHugh  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     7,591   62.69

Morse Beats Hart, Mendive Bests Tyler

Left to right, Rick Currie, Ed Morse, & Paul Mathews. (Phantom Photographer photo) 

STATE SENATOR LEG DIST 2 (73 of 73 precincts)          
Vote for  1
           Mike Jorgenson.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     2,159   38.24
           Steve Vick .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     3,487   61.76

          Vote for  1
           Vito Barbieri .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     3,147   57.01
           Mark D. Fisher.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     2,373   42.99

          Vote for  1
           Phil Hart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,746   31.20
           Ed Morse.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,984   35.45
           Ronald Ross Vieselmeyer.  .  .  .  .  .     1,116   19.94
           Fritz Wiedenhoff .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .       751   13.42

          Vote for  1
           Bob Nonini .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     3,161  100.00

          Vote for  1
           Ron Mendive.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,667   50.14
           Jeff Tyler .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,658   49.86

          Vote for  1
           Frank N. Henderson  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,926   55.57
           Jack Schroeder.  .  .