Archive for November 2012
December 21, 2012 is the day the world ends according to anthropologists who study Aztec and Mayan calendars. Now we don't really know whether the world will end on that day or if the Ancients just got tired to extrapolating any further into the future. To take the gamble out of the situation, the Captain's Wheel Resort is holding an end of the world party, Friday, December 21. Just think. You can order an expensive cocktail, or several, a nice dinner, pay for your friend's as well and put it all on your credit card. According to the experts, you will not receive a statement. We at Bayviews are not sure whether that is because of the world ending or the U.S. Postal Service going out of business/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here.
Question: Are you planning to interrupt Christmas plans to celebrate the end of the world Dec. 21?
Law enforcement officers from various agencies prepare to sweep the Wold Physical Science Center after a reported homicide at Casper College on Friday morning in Casper, Wyo. Three people were killed in an apparent murder-suicide Friday in an attack at Casper College, a community college in central Wyoming. It happened around 9 a.m., said school spokesman Rich Fujita. Story below. (AP Photo/Casper Star-Tribune, Alan Rogers)
North Idaho College Trustee Mic Armon commented moments ago:
Dan Gookin and his fellow anti tax group need to quit complaining about how bad their tax bill is and look at real numbers. I addressed this issue at my going away statement this past Wednesday evening at the NIC Board of Trustee meeting. There were a number of statements about how it was the NIC Board that had increased everyone’s property taxes over the past 5 years by 116% or in another statement that “every family of four in Kootenai County saw their property taxes increase by $600.00”. Those statements are just plain false. I requested copies of my own personal property tax statements for the past 5 years. My taxes paid to NIC in 2008 was $468.82 and my taxes paid to NIC in 2012 is $467.22 for a whopping $1.60 less in 5 years. Full comment here.
In the wake of the Idaho's bitter debate over state school Superintendent Tom Luna's now-repealed school reform plan, the 2013 Legislature could discuss another education policy change that wasn't in Luna's package but could prove just as divisive: Tax credits to fund scholarships to private and religious schools, the AP reports. AP reporter John Miller writes that the proposal is similar to one introduced near the close of last year's session by Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, (seen in new Idaho Senate photo) and is being pushed by Wayne Hoffman's Idaho Freedom Foundation/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Do you support/oppose this proposal?
My brother and I had just finished filling my car up at the North Division Costco when I suggested we have lunch. Because we grew up in a house where the best meal of the day was breakfast, I was intrigued by the place sitting right across the street - the Old European Breakfast House. So there we went. OK, it was 12:20. But the place was open until 2, so we went in. The menu offered far more than just breakfast, of course. It even boasted goulash. So my brother ordered an avocado-bacon burger, which you can see in the photo above. I, though, wanted breakfast. So I opted for oatmeal - yes, oatmeal - with nuts and raisins, blueberries and brown sugar. That, along with some drinkable coffee, made my day/Dan Webster, Dually Noted SR blog. More here.
Question: Do you ever eat “breakfast food” for lunch or dinner?
The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association is opening portions of its 120-mile groomed nordic trail system to bicycles this year. Rich Landers/SR Outdoors blog provides more information on the fat-tired snow bikes above and the Methow Valley trail system here. (SR photo)
Featured SR Blog: That's how GU basketball coach Mark Few described one of his banged-up players in a story by Jim Meehan this morning. I hadn't realized that 50 was the point at which a person's gait begins to resemble that of Grandpa on “The Real McCoys.” Guess I'm overdue to begin showing signs of having a hitch in my git-along. Or whatever. So anyway, if you are 50 or older and thought you walked normally, you might want to check again/Paul Turner, The Slice. More here.
Question: Do you walk your 50 years old or older?
Tinker, a miniature horse, rings a red bell for the Salvation Army outside a craft fair in West Bend, Wis. with his owners Carol and Joe Takacs. Salvation Army officials say Tinker raises 10 times more than a regular bell ringer. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)
Question: What percentage of the time do you put money in a red kettle as you pass by (guesstimate percentage-wise)?
In her kindergarten class this week, A Butterfly Moment reports her letter of the day was F. Facebooks ABM: “We listed a bunch of words on the board that begin with 'F.' At the conclusion of the activity, one of my sweet kindergartners said, 'Wow! That's a lot of F-words!'” Better F-words, I suspect than you'll find on most newspaper blog threads.
Question: Which non-vulgar F-word is your favorite?
Not ones to let an unanimous decision by the Idaho Supreme Court get them down, OpenCDA.com is back with its unabashed support of Jim Brannon's quixotic quest to overturn his 3-vote loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy in the 2009 City Council elections. Today, Bill McCrory chastizes the Coeur d'Alene Press “skewspaper” for getting the jist of the latest Brannon court manuevering wrong. Which goes to show that you can fool some of the people all of the time but it's hard to fool the Idaho Supreme Court even once. You can read McCrory's post here.
You might crinkle your nose when you think of Lewiston, but center Nate Leonard of the University of Texas San Antonio considers it a slice of heaven. In his Diary of a Football Player blog for the Huffington Post, Leonard describes how amazed he was when he saw Lewiston during a successful trip for a game against the Idaho Vandals at the Kibbie Dome (which he also described in positive terms):
I really didn't know what to expect when we traveled to Idaho this past weekend. Having grown up in Texas, I naturally was brought up to believe that the Lone Star State took up most of the United States. Any other state outside of it was just filler and all Idaho does is grow potatoes. I never have felt more blessed to be wrong. Lewiston, Idaho, was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Mesmerizing mountains rolled into emerald-green hills set amongst purple skies. That landscape continued for miles as candy-apple red barns sprouted from the folds of green like something from a priceless piece of art. Full post here. (AP/Tribune file photo: Steelheading on the Clearwater near Lewiston)
Question: What do you think of Lewiston?
Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Dan Gookin did little to quell rumors that he will run for mayor in 2012 with two comments he made on an OpenCDA.com Thanksgiving thread:
Question: Is Coeur d'Alene ready for Mayor Gookin?
Kim Knerl comments: “On Tuesday, Dec. 4, between 4-7 p.m., a public hearing will take place in Spokane to address concerns of the proposed increase in train traffic that would carry coal from Montana, through northern Idaho, on its way to the pacific coast to be loaded on ships bound for China.
Question (from Kim): What are everyone’s thoughts on the potential coal trains, maybe as many as 60 per day, traveling through our region?
Shaun Patrick Winkler waves to Mark Eliseuson while entering his compound on the evening of a cross burning ceremony near Priest River. You can see more of Matt's photos of Winkler and the compound he's attempting to build here. (Photo credit 2012: Matt McKnight)
There’s a new effort to build a white supremacist compound in the Northwest. The Southern Poverty Law Center has reported that a man in remote north Idaho has been developing property to revive the Neo-Nazi presence there. Shaun Winkler’s beliefs are no secret in north Idaho. The 34-year-old was a protégé of Richard Butler, the former leader of the Aryan Nations, once headquartered here. More recently, Winkler has picketed Mexican restaurants and a Martin Luther King Day event in Coeur d’Alene. So when Winkler announced he was running for county sheriff, photojournalist Matt McKnight asked to meet with him. “It was pretty obvious to me that what he’s after is building a compound, having that compound for people to live on,” says McKnight. McKnight met with Winkler four times at his property in the Hoodoo Mountains of north Idaho last spring/Jessica Robinson, Northwest News Network (NPR). More here.
DFO: I'm running this because it's the story behind the story that was triggered by Bill Morlin's story for the Southern Poverty Law Center re: the possibility of a new Aryan Nations compound in Bonner County's Hoodoo Mountains.
“The best part of waking up is finding more trolls on your website” — Rob Kauder, KXLY
Question: Do you appreciate the fact that there are few trolls in Huckleberries threads?
Next week’s GOP legislative leadership races may hinge on, well, leadership. That’s fitting, since there aren’t deep philosophical distinctions between the candidates. And the absence of ideological differences makes the races even tougher to handicap. The House speaker’s race is a referendum on Lawerence Denney’s six error-filled years at the helm. His kid-gloves treatment of ethics-optional Phil Hart. His heavy-handed dumping of two committee chairs who were too independent (read: moderate) for his liking. His bungled attempt to fire former state Rep. Dolores Crow from a state redistricting commission/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Does it really matter whether Scott Bedke becomes House Speaker or Lawerence Denney continues in the role?
Gonzaga's Kyle Dranginis (3) attempts a layup against Lewis-Clark State's Kale Schmidt (2) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Spokane Thursday. Dranginis, a two-time Idaho player of the year from Skyview High, poured in 30 points to lead Gonzaga to a 104-57 victory over LCSC of Lewiston. Story here. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Cindy and Mark Hill hold a check for having one of two winning Powerball tickets during an announcement in Dearborn, Mo., earlier today. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
A 52-year-old Missouri mechanic and his wife claimed their share Friday of the record $588 million Powerball jackpot. Lottery officials sent a statement Friday announcing that Mark and Cindy Hill, of Dearborn, held one of two winning tickets for the nation's biggest Powerball jackpot. The Hills will split the $588 million prize with whoever holds a winning ticket sold at a convenience store in suburban Phoenix. No one has come forward yet with the Arizona ticket, lottery officials said. The $587.5 million payout, which represents the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history, set off a nationwide buying frenzy, with tickets at one point selling at nearly 130,000 per minute/Chicago Tribune. More here.
Question: Are you glad to see a working stiff win half of the Powerball prize?
On his Facebook wall, SR colleague Jesse Tinsley posts this photo and the caption: “If you're a Zag superfan, you have to wear the appropriate attire.”
Question: Have you ever worn anything more outrageous to a public event than the diamond-patterned pants that a Zag superfan wore to the Gonzaga-LCSC game last night?
A kindergarten teacher in Caldwell has been investigated for isolating a 5-year-old boy in a dark room at school for at least an hour. And that's just the beginning of the investigation. The kindergarten teacher forgot she had placed the boy in the room. She left school for the day and left the boy behind. James Cagle says he and his wife began to panic Wednesday when their 5-year-old son Tanner did not come home from school. After about 45 minutes, Cagle says he and his wife went to Washington Elementary School to look for Tanner who attends morning kindergarten/Kim Fields, KTVB. More here.
Question: What is it with these southern Idaho teachers — and their unusual punishments?
Huckleberries hates to beat a dead horse (really, really we do, Sho-Con) but Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune takes a whack at the Sheryl Nuxoll ball sitting on the editorial T, in his weekly Cheers & Jeers column. The issue, of course, was her support of the loopy idea promoted by Tea Party founder Judson Phillips that President Barack Obama could be denied a second term by some Electoral College hocus-pocus:
Wednesday, Nuxoll walked away from her statement. But not because she was wrong about the Constitution. Not because she had demonstrated an appalling degree of contempt for popular elections and majority rule. No, she was merely tired of the national ridicule she had attracted. “Some have rejected the idea, so let's drop it and continue on. To vilify me because you don't like the idea is unnecessary,” she wrote. (Facebook photo of Sheryl Nuxoll)
Question: Shouldn't there be some sounding board for goofy ideas, rather right-wing or left, to shoot down cuh-razy ideas before they're circulated to the general public?
Wyoming lawmakers will decide in coming months whether to follow a growing national trend and allow the use of silencers on hunting guns. Proponents say there’s no reason to ban the devices that screw onto the muzzle of a firearm to catch the blast and muffle the sound of a shot. Not only do they prevent hearing damage, supporters say, they also reduce noise pollution. Some opponents, however, say they believe allowing silencers for hunting would be unsporting and unnecessary. They say hunters increasingly laden with high-tech gadgets don’t need yet another advantage when they go up against game species whose defenses always have been only their alertness and ability to run away/Rich Landers, SR. More here. (AP photo: Zak Smith, foreground, and Shane Coppinger, co-owners of Thunder Beast Arms Corp., prepare to shoot high-powered rifles fitted with sound suppressors at a rifle range west of Cheyenne, Wyo.)
Question: Should hunters be allowed to hunt game with silencers on their guns?
It was the punch seen round the world: 2011 Mead High School grad Nick Runyan is making noise across the Internet with his now famous brass knuckle spider killing YouTube video. Runyan posted the video Monday night and it already has nearly half a million views. We've all encountered a spider before, but instead of killing the eight-legged creature peacefully, Runyan, 20, got creative. “I just saw the spider and pressed play on my camera and started filming,” he explained. The result was a video of Nick vs. the spider. The two-minute clip certainly has turned into Runyan's 15 minutes of fame/Kylee Cruz, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo)
Question: Describe your 15 minutes of fame.
Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador has his STEM jobs act up for a vote again in the House today, after it failed in a September House vote; he was interviewed by NPR's Renee Montagne about it this morning. The bill would replace the current diversity visa program, which grants 55,000 immigration visas a year through a lottery, with one targeting those completing post-graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering or math fields. “The diversity visa doesn't make any sense for the United States for the problems that we have today,” Labrador told Montagne. “We need high-skilled workers”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Do you agree/disagree that Congressman Labrador's approach — piece by piece — approach to immigration reform is better than the president's comprehensive approach?
We've almost made it through November with little in the way of true wintry weather. Yeah, yeah, I know there was the one spell of snow. But it was here and gone rather quickly. All in all, I'd call November a win for fall-weather fans. Now we're headed into the true winter months. I hope the Spokane weathercasters who foresee an easy winter are right. Now for today's Wild Card …
Something as simple as braiding her daughter’s hair can be painful for Ashley Smith, 30. At 18 she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. “All I could think was, ‘Arthritis? That’s an old-people’s disease,’ ” recalled Smith. But it’s not. In fact, 300,000 children in the U.S. are affected by arthritis. Smith’s physician impressed her with the seriousness of the disease. “He said, ‘You need to take your medication or you could end up in a wheelchair.’ ” Harsh words for a teenager to hear. She heeded his advice and diligently took her medicine – even though many of the drugs have unpleasantly debilitating side effects/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (SR file photo)
Question: Do you — or anyone you know — suffer from arthritis?
Holiday lights are reflected off Indian Creek in Caldwell on Wednesday. More than 500,000 lights are part of the annual display. The city of Caldwell will host it's annual Treasure Valley Night Light Parade this coming Saturday. (AP/Statesman photo: Chris Butler )
The Idaho Judicial Council has sent the following 4 names to Gov. Butch Otter to consider for appointment to replace retiring 1st District Court Judge Steve Verby (in alphabetical order): Barbara A. Buchanan, Richard A. Christensen, Brent C. Featherston and Scott J. Waymon.
Question: See anyone on the finalist list that you like for the job?
A mother who allegedly left her two young children on busy interstate 90 has been extradited to Kootenai County to face charges. 27-year-old Shannon Germanton (Duval) was transported to the Kootenai County jail to face two felony counts of injury to child. Germanton was arrested in Spokane and transferred from the Spokane County Jail earlier this month. Germanton is awaiting a preliminary hearing on the charges. Investigators say 27-year-old Germanton left her two young sons alone on the side of Interstate 90 between 6:30 and 7:30 Tuesday morning October 30th at the Washington-Idaho state line/Dylan Wohlenhaus, KHQ. More here.
A 28YO Coeur d'Alene man faces three charges, including burglary of Cisco's Antique Store at 1137 Sherman Ave., after leading police on a traffic and foot chase in the southeastern part of Coeur d'Alene Wednesday night. Shane Patrick Amaral was caught by police officers and sheriff's deputies in the 1300 block of Wallace Avenue., according to a police news release. Amaral reportedly drove off from a traffic stop in 1100 block of Indiana Avenue after a patrol officer asked him to exit his vehicle. The officer then followed him as he allegedly ran stop signs and then jumped from the vehicle before it rolled into a fence in a cul-de-sac in the 800 block of 22nd Place. According to the news release, an officer saw silver dishware and candlesticks in Amaral's car. Amaral reportedly told the officer that he planned to return to the antique store to retrieve other stolen items he'd left behind it. Amaral was also charged with eluding and officer and possession of a controlled substance/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. Full news release here.
I have gotten so I hate to shop anymore…If I go to Wal-mart or Yokes, I have started going at 8am.. or even earlier. It isn’t the crowd.. the crying babies, although that does get to me, if it is the high pitch seal squeal type. It isn’t even the baskets parked in the middle of the aisle.. although if I am in a hurry that irritates me as well. You know the type, who park the basket towards the middle and then stand in the left over space. What it is, is the constant talking.. not two people, but the ones on the phones.. what is it about those on cell phones who feel like they have to share their side with everyone in the store, using their outside voices?/From A Simple Mind. More here. (AP file illustration)
Question: What kind of noise bothers you?
This image of birch trees on a winter night was created by a second-grader, Benicio Avila of Lewiston, who goes to Orchards Elementary School. It's been selected as the grand prize winner in the State Department of Education's 2012 Holiday Card Contest, and will be featured on cards sent to schools, districts and others. Betsy Russell/Eye on Boise has rest of the story here.
In the comments section, Stebbijo gives us an update on her broken ankle: “I am going to see an orthopedic doctor — here shortly to take a look at my ankle that is broke in two places. Note to all: Be careful to look for pillow cases on the floor, they might come back to bite you! Making a bed can be risky.” I posted a follow-up comment, stating that I've broken my left ankle twice — fielding a ground ball and sliding into second — and blown my left knee fielding a wiffleball. How about you?
Question: How many broken bones have you suffered? How do you break them?
Question: What would you do if the Spokesman-Review installed a paywall?
On his Slice blog, Paul Turner contends that residents of Spokane have a different definition of “mom jeans” than residents of North Idaho. Paul posts: “Maybe I'm wrong. That's happened.But years of hearing people on both sides of the state line use the expression has left me with the opinion that Spokane residents have a different definition of “mom jeans” than people in North Idaho.I'll be happy to pinpoint the difference. But first I want to see if anyone else has noticed this.”
Question: What's your definition of “mom jeans”?
A North Idaho man rescued from a capsized boat Wednesday on one of the Coeur d’Alene River chain lakes has died. Dwayne Knapton, 52, of Osburn, Idaho, died from hypothermia at Kootenai Medical Center, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said today. Knapton and Michael Jensen, 51, of Pinehurst, Idaho, were duck hunting on Medicine Lake near Medimont when their 10-foot boat was swamped and capsized. The men, who were not wearing life jackets, clung to the boat until they were rescued. They had been in the 40-degree water from 30 to 45 minutes/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
The University of Idaho football team could return to the Sun Belt Conference. According to CBSSports.com, Idaho, New Mexico State and Georgia Southern are on the Sun Belt’s list of schools to replace Middle Tennessee State and Florida Atlantic. Conference realignment trickled down to the Sun Belt after Conference USA took the Blue Raiders and Owls on Wednesday to go to 14 teams. The Sun Belt is positioned to fill in, and Idaho and New Mexico State are immediately available as both are exploring playing as independents after the demise of the WAC following this season. Georgia Southern is an emerging FCS program moving up to FBS. Idaho was a member of the Sun Belt in 2001 until 2005/KOZE.
Question: I'm sorry. I simply not excited about Idaho returning to the Sun Belt. How about you?
This photo provided by Jennifer Foster shows New York City Police Officer Larry DePrimo presenting a barefoot homeless man in New York's Time Square with boots Nov. 14 . Foster was visiting New York with her boyfriend when she came across the shoeless man asking for change in Times Square. As she was about to approach him, she said the officer came up to the man with a pair of all-weather boots and thermal socks on the frigid night. She took the picture on her cellphone. It was posted Tuesday night to the NYPD's official Facebook page and became an instant hit. More than 350,000 users “liked” it as of Thursday afternoon, and over 100,000 shared it. (AP Photo/Jennifer Foster)
Question: Have you seen a random act of kindness this fall?
Former Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Jim Brannon, acting through his attorney Starr Kelso, has filed for a rehearing of his appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court. In a 7-page petition, Brannon challenged the portion of the adverse Supreme Court decision that dealt with absentee ballots. On Nov. 16, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against Brannon's appeal of his 3-vote loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy in the 2009 municipal election. You can read the SR story re: that decision here. Contacted by phone, Kennedy said he hadn't read the rehearing request yet, adding: “I'm embarrassed for them.”
Coeur d'Alene City Clerk Susan Weathers was one of a handful of City Hall workers applying the official stamp to petitions in the failed recall attempt against Mayor Sandi Bloem and three Coeur d'Alene council members earlier this year. Weathers, who has been city clerk since the mid-1980s, will retire at the end of the year. You can find information re: an open house for her below. (Duane Rasmussen file photo)
HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, Nov. 28): 8822 page-views/5033 unique views
Retro seems to be the latest trend — at least for baby names. Those lists of popular and oh-so-trendy names that prospective parents pore over used to be a guide for selecting just the right name. Now, though, they may be more about what not to choose. “They don't want their child to be a cookie cutter. They want their kid to have a unique identity,” says Linda Murray of BabyCenter, a San Francisco-based pregnancy and parenting website, which Thursday released its list of top names for 450,000 babies born in 2012 to moms who registered with the site. Aiden topped the boys' list for the eighth consecutive year. Sophia was No. 1 for girls for the third straight year. But the top 10 lists also include classic names from the past, such as Ava and Lily, as well as Jack, new to the top 10 this year/USA Today. More here.
Question: How did you choose your baby names?
Shortly before a 2012 cross-burning, Shaun Winkler and several followers paid homage to national socialism. Winkler, who made an unsuccessful bid for Bonner County sheriff in spring 2012, is trying to build a new Aryan Nations compound in the Hoodoo Mountains. Bill Morlin, a former SR reporter who works with the Souther Poverty Law Center, tells about the effort here. Matt McKnight, who was invited by Winkler to photograph Winkler's activity earlier this year, provides a slideshow of his photographs here.
White Supremacist Shaun Winkler said he is not going to let foreclosure stop him from building a new Aryan Nation compound in Bonner County. Winkler said he owes nearly $10,000 in back mortgage payments on his land in the Hoodoo Mountains. He purchased the 17 acres near Priest River in 2011, and the seller told KREM 2 News Winkler stopped paying his mortgage nearly a year ago. The property is going into foreclosure and will be put up for auction January 14/Ashley Korslien, KREM. More here (plus video)
Declo parents expressed concern for their children’s safety after a face-marking incident drew national attention earlier this month at the elementary school. The Cassia County School District filed a professional ethics complaint against Summer Larsen after she allowed students in her fourth-grade class to scribble with markers on classmates’ faces after they failed to achieve a reading goal. On Tuesday, Geri Lilenquist, president of the Declo Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization, spoke to the Cassia County School Board on behalf of a group of concerned parents. Lilenquist said comments posted online by people from across the country have parents worried about the safety of students/Laurie Welch, Twin Falls Times News. More here.
Question: What would you do if your child attended Declo Elementary?
A lawsuit calling for the removal of a statue of Jesus from a patch of federal land at Whitefish Mountain Resort will move forward to trial after a national organization of atheists and agnostics identified a local member and avid skier who regularly encounters the statue on Big Mountain and finds it offensive. The group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, filed the legal action to get rid of the statue in U.S. District Court in Missoula in February, charging that the religious symbol – a historic icon on Big Mountain – violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution/Tristan Scott, Missoulian. More here. (AP/Missoulian file photo)
Question: Which side of this suit would you be on?
Spokane firefighters Jared Contabile, left, and Jon Stevens emerge covered in insulation after tearing out a ceiling of a burning house at the corner of 46th Avenue and Stone Street on Wednesday. Firefighters rescued a pet python before the home almost burned to the ground. Story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)
Young visitors to the Christmas Tree Elegance event at the Davenport Hotel peer into a child's playhouse shaped like a giant mantle clock Wednesday. The clock, designed by architect Don Henrichs and built by Dave Gertje of Homecraft, was part of a tree display sponsored by Spokane Tile and Design at Christmas Tree Elegance, a fundraiser for the Spokane Symphony Associates. The figures in the playhouse are mannequins added by designer Carol Worthington-Borodin. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)
Question: When did you last dine at The Davenport? Good experience?
The shot rang out at 8:45 in the morning on Oct. 25 as Collette Bise (pictured) fed her animals. The Bise family owns a small farm in Newman Lake, and though the land along McCoy Road is privately owned and liberally posted with No Hunting and No Trespassing signs, gunshots are a familiar sound. “There’s shots continually out here,” Bise said. But this shot worried her. Tibby, the family dog, was off her chain and nowhere in sight. Bise paused in her work and heard her dog yelp. “I heard a second shot and she yelped even louder. Then a third shot. After that – silence. I thought, ‘Oh my god, someone just killed my dog’ ”/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.
Question: Have you ever lost a pet in a violent way?
From an impenetrable gate to under-mattress safes, John Adrain’s cliff-side Spokane County manor (don’t ask where it is or I’ll have to kill you) is a survivalist showcase worthy of national TV. No kidding. Adrain (pictured) and his amazing air-filtered abode will be featured on “Doomsday Preppers” next Tuesday night on the National Geographic channel. But as cool as all the fancy gadgetry and security-minded gizmos are, my focus shifted to a more primitive concern when the inventor/entrepreneur practically dared me to shoot his “bear gun” off the back end of his patio. “It’s brutal,” added Adrain, a gun enthusiast, in a shiver-inducing tone. Oh, well. I’ve always said I’ll do anything once for a story/Doug Clark, SR. More here.
Question: Do you know anyone who is heavy-duty into survivalism?
While officials are looking at what they can do in response to the falls that have injured several Palouse college students this semester, some said preventing such accidents is ultimately a matter of altering dangerous behavior. “Obviously, we need to do more with them to help them think through what are the possibilities for accidents,” said Washington State University Dean of Students Melynda Huskey. “This is a challenging age. Young men in their late teens and early 20s are not always the best assessors of personal risk.”Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson said he agrees that student behavior needs to change, but he will still start a discussion with the city's department heads next week to brainstorm ideas/Joel Mills, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: What can the universities on the Palouse do to stop students from falling off buildings?
Item: 5 Coeur d'Alene city departments heads to retire with medical benefits/Tom Hasslinger, Press
More Info: The five Coeur d'Alene department heads who accepted separation incentive agreements with the city of Coeur d'Alene will receive three years of medical coverage after they leave, according to terms of the deal obtained this week by The Press. In addition, they'll receive between $22,000 and $26,000 contributed into each of their Health Reimbursement Accounts - a retirement medical expense account for public sector employees regulated by the Internal Revenue Service.The department heads combine for 138 years of experience and are all in the top 16 wage earners for the city.
Question: Is this a good deal for the city of Coeur d'Alene?
The moon is shrouded in the early morning fog above Hauser Lake, Idaho on Wednesday, during a penumbral lunar eclipse. This occurs when the Earth moves between the sun and moon but the three celestial bodies do not form a perfectly straight line. The moon then travels through the outer part of the Earth's shadow (penumbra). This means that all of the moon's visible surface still receives some direct sunlight - but the Earth obscures parts of the Sun, as seen from the moon. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Kathy Plonka)
Matthew Wappett teaches teachers how to laugh. Three years ago, at Harvard Medical School, Wappett went to a session on laughter yoga, where he joined 80 doctors in exercises that induce laughter. “The doctors were all in suits and ties and uptight and starchy. She started doing the exercises and all of a sudden they became social and friendly and they relaxed. It changed the whole environment of this cohort,” Wappett said. When he came back to the University of Idaho, students requested he study laughter and become the adviser for the new UI Laughter Club, he said/Estelle Gwinn, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.
Question: Do you laugh often?
Spokane Symphony management and musicians are returning to the bargaining table this week in an effort to reach a contract agreement before “The Nutcracker” ballet begins. If the dispute isn’t resolved in the next week, “The Nutcracker,” a holiday tradition for many local families, will be performed with recorded music instead of a live orchestra. “We are very hopeful we can find a solution and will be able to have our musicians play in the pit,” said symphony spokeswoman Annie Matlow. “Of course we would rather have our musicians play”/Chelsea Bannach, SR. More here.
Question: How much would you pay to see “The Nutcracker” performed without live music?
Two lucky ticket holders — one in Arizona and another in Missouri — are waking up Thursday to new lives as multimillionaires after the largest Powerball jackpot drawing ever. Powerball officials said two tickets matched all six numbers to win the record $587.5 million jackpot. The numbers drawn for Wednesday night for the second-highest jackpot in U.S. lottery history are 5, 16, 22, 23, 29. The Powerball is 6. It was not clear whether the winning tickets belonged to individuals or were purchased by groups/Chicago Tribune. More here.
Question: Worth playing?
I don't think I'm going to win the $500 million Powerball lottery because I haven't purchased a ticket. Once or twice, I've tossed a buck or two into Powerball tickets when someone else collected for the office. But I've never purchased a lottery ticket myself. Or plan to do so. I figure my chances are the same either way. With that said, here's the daily Wild Card …
On her Facebook page, Kerri Thoreson posts: “A cat peers out from the window of an abandoned trailer in Post Falls. It's too heartbreaking to think that he's waiting for his owners to return so I'm going to say he's just exploring the neighborhood before going back to his happy home nearby.”
A 52-year-old Osburn duck hunter is in critical condition after his boat capsized on Medicine Lake, near Medimont, earlier today, dumping a hunting partner and him in the water. Dwayne Knapton was airlifted by Medstar Air Ambulance to Kootenai Medical Center after he and Michael Jensen, 51, of Pinehurst, spent 30 to 45 minutes in the water, which had a temperature of about 40 degrees. According to Kootenai County sheriff's news release, the two men were hunting in their 10-foot jon boat when a sudden weight shift, after one of them picked up a dead duck, caused the boat to list and fill with water, capsizing it. Both men had lifejackets but weren't wearing them. They survived by clinging to the side of the capsized boat until a passerby traveling on Highway 3 noticed them and called 911. More here.
Many people have an irrational fear of spiders — so irrational that they go to great lengths to get rid of them. Like a Spokane man, who decided to kill a spider in his bathroom by punching it with a set of brass knuckles. YouTube user bignickbrother4, also known as Nick Runyan, a 2011 Mead High School graduate, posted the video Monday in which he discusses seeing “the most messed up thing” he's ever seen. “I'm moving out of Spokane, not because of a job or anything, but because of spiders,” Runyan said. “I found a spider in my bathroom and hands down it's the biggest spider I've ever seen”/Rob Kauder, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo)
Question: Is there something you fear irrationally?
Christian Reynolds, 17, waters his table of poinsettia plants Wednesday in the greenhouse at New Visions High School in Post Falls. Students in the elective class learn concepts such as market research, book keeping, greenhouse management, strategizing, and advertising as they prepare the plants for a holiday sale. (AP Photo/Coeur d'Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)
“This tough late-season dragonfly won't have long to live as the cold dampness of winter arrives in southwestern Oregon,” post wildlife photographer Robin Loznak of Kellogg, Ore. You can see more of Robin's outdoor photography here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, Nov. 27): 9691 page-views, 5494 unique views
Tweeple Jennifer of ZipnGoBlanket asks: “Are there any good hibachi places in CdA? Or do you have to go to Spokane?”
How about a national gathering of people who, as infants, played the role of the baby Jesus in long-ago Christmas pageants? There could be seminars, speakers and much social time. “When did you portray the Christ child?” “It was way back in 1955. I went for restrained and understated. From what I understand, my performance was well received”/Paul Turner, The Slice. More here.
DFO: I once played a donkey in a Christmas play, with gray paper ears. My son, then 5, rode me to the manger at a Post Falls church that went out of business a short time later. How about you?
Question: Did you ever perform in a Christmas play? Which character?
The title is simple — Idaho, the Movie. And the idea behind the film is equally as simple, yet yields a gorgeous look at the Gem State. The film, which airs on various PBS outlets in December, is written and narrated by Tim Woodward, who was a reporter and columnist for the Idaho Statesman for 40 years. During that time, he estimates he wrote about 3,800 columns about the state, its people and the natural beauty to be found within its borders. He also traveled to every corner of the awkwardly shaped state. “I had the chance to discover a state of great diversity and great beauty. I love this state and I love writing about it,” says Woodward in a preview of the movie/Mike Bookey, Inlander. More here. (Inlander photo)
Question: Are you interested in seeing “Idaho, the Movie”?
The bald eagles didn't disappoint the two boat cruises full of dedicated veterans and active military and their families out on Lake Coeur d'Alene on Saturday. U.S. Bureau of Land Management provides report via Rich Landers Outdoors blog here.
Have you been to the movies lately? This week's news quiz is sending one lucky winner and a guest to the theater. A second prize that might interest Idaho Vandals fans are four free tickets to the Dec. 6 basketball game between UI and Eastern Washington in Cheney, Wash., Dec. 6. Simply answer 10 interactive questions, and you're in the running! And should you finish atop the leaderboard, a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel could be yours. Good luck!
Young voters helped pass laws legalizing marijuana in Washington and Colorado, but many still won’t be able to light up. Most universities have codes of conduct banning marijuana use, and they get millions of dollars in funding from the federal government, which still considers pot illegal. With the money comes a requirement for a drug-free campus, and the threat of expulsion for students using pot in the dorms. “Everything we’ve seen is that nothing changes for us,” said Darin Watkins, a spokesman for Washington State University in Pullman/Nicholas Geranios, AP. More here.
Question: Did you smoke pot in college?
The goofy scheme proposed by Tea Party founder Judson Phillips and seconded by Idaho Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll has gone viral. Here's the latest jab from Chris Cillizza's The Fix blog in the Washington Post:
Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips argued in a column last week at World Net Daily that states that voted for Romney could simply boycott the Electoral College, thereby depriving it of the two-thirds quorum it needs to elect a president. At that point, the House of Representatives would pick the president. And guess who controls the House? The GOP. The cause was then taken up by Idaho state Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll (R), pictured, this week, with Nuxoll tweeting that the scheme is the GOP’s “last chance” to install Romney as president. The problem? Even if Phillips’s theory were practical — and getting one-third of states to flout the will of the country would be a neat trick — it’s based on a totally false premise. More here.
Question: Isn't it swell when one of Idaho's legislators make national news, especially the viral kind?
OrangeTV provides this recycled report re: a second visit to Top of China from several years ago:
Right away, I noticed that the atmosphere had become less intensely surreal since my last visit, which was quite a few years ago. I seem to recall dozens of black and white clad hosts and hostesses standing silently at attention amid the gigantic backlit murals of the Great Wall, waiting anxiously for the next person to swallow their final bite of food, so they could swoop in immediately and snatch the dirty plates away. Their faces blank and expressionless, they would emerge from the kitchen like Twilight Zone zombies to replenish the buffet and scan the room for empty soda cups to refill. They’d respond to my repeated attempts at mirth and conversation with nods and chilly stares. These host-bots seem to have dwindled away, replaced by what appears to be a large family unit, who while not exactly warm and fuzzy in demeanor, seem quite a bit more relaxed and unafraid to let the occasional smile cross their faces. More here.
Question: I haven't been to Top of China in years. I've had 4 meals there. One good. Two so-so. One blah. Anyone care to provide a recent review of Top of China?
I have no idea how you cure a hangover because — wait for it — I haven't had one in decades. I'm not a teetotaler. I enjoy a beer on a hot summer day. Or an occasional glass of wine with family. But it has been a long, long time since I've been hammered. Not that I'm judging anyone. Different strokes for different folks. However, I know some of you occasionally knock back one too many. I can tell by your comments. Badabump. In recognition of those who occasionally wake up with a hangover, Adrian Rogers of the Spokesman-Review is looking for a “tried-and-true” hangover cure. You can email your cures to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. (AP file illustration)
Question: Before you send Adrian your hangover cures, would you mind sharing them with Huckleberries?
In response to Betsy Russell's column re: her far-fetched scheme to block a second term by President Barack Obama, state Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, comments:
“I floated an idea out there on November 19 about the electoral college. Our country is a country of opportunity to discuss ideas and effect progress and change. I believe in less government, more opportunity and I will fight for that motto because of my love for this state and country and our exceptionalism. But there is no upside to division in our country now since we are all in this together. Some have rejected the idea, so lets drop it and continue on. To villify me because you don't like the idea is unnecessary.”
Question: Any last thoughts before we “drop it”?
Anne Nesse, former Democratic candidate for Senate District 4 (Coeur d'Alene), has sent Huckleberries a copy of a letter she plans to deliver to U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo's office, 610 Hubbard St., today. Her action is part of a nationwide move pushed by MoveOn organization to oppose GOP efforts to extend “Bush tax cuts for the rich and big cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid before the end of the year.” (MoveOn's words, not Huckleberries.) After knocking on 7000 doors and talking to 2000 residents during her campaign, Nesse writes:
By a ratio of roughly 9 to 1: voters of all income levels here do not believe in “trickle down economics”. Voters here understand that unless the wealthy are actually creating jobs at which citizens can make a livable wage, that giving a tax cut to this group does NOT help our economy, or help to pay off our federal deficit that we owe primarily to ourselves in entitlements like medicare and social security. Complete letter here.
Question: Do you support the GOP's efforts to avoid the “fiscal cliff”?
A Snake River sockeye is captured in Stanley, Idaho, for its genes after swimming more than 900 miles to reach its spawning grounds. A program to replenish the dwindling population of salmon in the river is working, but at a high cost. Lynda V. Mapes' Seattle Times story here. (Steve Ringman/Seattle Times/MCT)
Elvis Presley shown with semi-acoustic guitar in concert in December 1968. (AP file photo)
Ten members of the House have introduced a resolution encouraging the recognition of Elvis Presley Day on Jan. 8, Elvis's birthday. Rep. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) and nine of his House colleagues proposed H.Res. 818, which summarizes Elvis's life story and says the singer “remains one of the most famous American entertainers of all time whose influence on music and whose cultural impact continues today.” Among other things, it notes that Elvis recorded more than 750 songs, sold more than a billion records around the world, served in the U.S. Army and “is hailed as the 'King of Rock 'n' Roll.' ” The resolution also finds that the most requested item from the National Archives is a picture of Elvis shaking hands with President Nixon/Pete Kasperowicz, The Hill. More here.
Question: Can you think of an entertainer more worthy of national recognition than Elvis Presley?
As of now, the best community college women's basketball team in the nation plays at North Idaho College. Standings here.
Question: Have you seen a Lady Cardinals basketball game?
It's not so much the Idaho Transportation Department — and every transportation outfit in the other 49 states — is selling off information it gleans from driver's licenses and vehicle registrations. It's not even that ITD makes about $5.4 million - most of which is net profit - although there is something unseemly about the government using public data as a business model. What ought to have you steamed is this notion that erstwhile public documents - a driver's license and automobile registration - are off-limits to ordinary citizens and even most businesses/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Some anti-Obama die-hards don't want to concede the election. Some Tea Party members have talked about efforts to block President Obama's re-election at the Electoral College — but their idea won't work. Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, wrote a column for WorldNetDaily suggesting that states that voted for Romney in the Nov. 6 election boycott next month's meeting of the Electoral College — theoretically denying a quorum, theoretically pushing the election into the Republican-run House of Representatives, theoretically electing Republican candidate Mitt Romney after all. But no more than theoretically/David Jackson, USA Today. More here.
Question: Can we put a fork in this one?
Society is divided into three camps when it comes to holiday greetings. There are those who send Christmas cards, those who send cards with a Christmas letter and those who do neither. For several years I've been a card and Christmas letter sender. The letter doesn't go to everyone on my Christmas card list, just those who actually know the family members whose names are mentioned. I've noticed in recent years that electronic greeting are overtaking the old-fashioned “hand addressed envelope bearing a Christmas design postage stamp, delivered by the post office and arriving in the real mailbox in front of the house” variety. The times they are a changing, as the old saying goes. With millions of people of all ages using social media to stay in touch in real time throughout the year, perhaps the Christmas card and annual letter have become passe. Sigh/Kerri Thoreson, Main Street column, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Do you send Christmas cards or letters?
What a wonderful way to begin the holiday season. I went downtown with friends and family, watched the parade and enjoyed the fireworks. It was a great way to spend the evening and take part in a community tradition — until my car was towed! We parked in the lot across from Coeur d’Alene Athletic Club. It was full of cars and the gym was closed. We were parked for about an hour and when we came back the car was gone. There were several other families standing in the rain wondering where their car was. I wish I had snapped a picture of the people in pouring rain under the Coeur d’Alene Athletic Club sign — what great P.R. — what a wonderful way for a local business to participate in a community event. Did I mention the gym was CLOSED? I finally found the sign that said the lot was permit parking only as it was blocked by a huge Suburban/Jill Buckland, Coeur d'Alene, Coeur d'Alene Press letters to the editor. More here.
Question: Have you had a bad parking experience in downtown Coeur d'Alene?
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju, waves to the crowd as they inspect the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground in Pyongyang, North Korea. The online version of China's Communist Party newspaper has hailed a report by The Onion naming Kim as the “Sexiest Man Alive” - not realizing it is satire. The People's Daily on Tuesday ran a 55-page photo spread on its website in a tribute to the round-faced leader, under the headline “North Korea's top leader named The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012.” Story here. (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service, File)
Question: Do you think Kim Yong Un is sexy?
It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas. Pine, cinnamon, gingerbread, mulled wine, roasting chestnuts – all the sensory cues that strap us to the mast of seasonal nostalgia. Retailers, hoping to nudge us toward purchase, will mist us with the stuff, through HVAC systems and scent diffusers, but stores often deploy scent and other “peripheral cues” rather clumsily: If it smells “good,” the thinking goes, it will prompt people to buy. In truth, it’s not quite so simple. Or, rather, it may not be simple enough. Researchers at Washington State University who studied the connection between scents and sales are finding that the makeup of the scent – its simplicity, not its pleasantness or its nostalgic power – seems to be the crucial factor in getting people to buy more/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.
Question: Which smell is your favorite Christmas one?
It's almost an unthinkable number. A half billion dollars. There are a lot of trips to Cancun via private plane, in all those zeroes. A lot of life-changing charity donations. A nice collection of diamond-studded jet skis. Plenty of Kootenai County residents on Tuesday were letting their imaginations fly as they procured $2 tickets for this evening's Powerball drawing. That's because after Monday's surge of ticket sales, the Powerball prize had swelled from $425 million to $500 million on Tuesday, marking the second highest prize in world lottery history. “It's ridiculously high,” said Dorothy Blevens, standing in the Fairway Grocery and Gas after purchasing 13 tickets. “My husband called me at work and said, 'Stop on the way home'”/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Vera Gilpatrick, cashier at Fairway Gas and Grocery, rings a Powerball ticket sale into her register)
Question: if you won the $500 million lottery, how much of the winnings would you give away? And to whom?
Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer
I'm sad to report that Jim Walker (aka “The Orb”) of Orbusmax died in his sleep earlier this month. Jim published the Orbusmax Web site that featured a compilation of news links from the Northwest, often linking to Huckleberries Online. I used an “Orbusmax Special” link to his blog at the bottom of my AM Headlines roundup that published weekdays. I learned of his death only after making inquiries re: the lack of new material on the site for several weeks. Friends are planning to re-launch the site in mid-December. Jim was a conservative who provided valuable news links. He'll be missed. Now for your Wild Card …
May Larsen, 8, sits by the rail and watches the lights as a Coeur d'Alene Cruises tour boat leaves the Coeur d'Alene Resort Marina for the recent preview cruise for media and local dignitaries. The annual Holiday Light Show, along with regular cruise boat trips around the marina, kicks off the day after Thanksgiving after the Christmas parade in downtown Coeur d'Alene Resort. More photos here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)
Charlie Sheen has finally lent his expert opinion to the latest Two and a Half Men scandal, this one wrought by Sheen's former half-pint costar, Angus T. Jones. “With Angus's Hale-Bopp-like meltdown, it is radically clear to me that the show is cursed,” Sheen, who knows from meltdowns after being fired in a blaze of glory from the hit sitcom in early 2011, tells E! News. Jones, 19, shocked Men fans and non-fans alike when he showed up in a religious testimonial video calling his show “filth” and urging folks not to watch it/E! More here. (AP file photo of Angus T. Jones)
Question: Is 'filth' an accurate description of “Two and a Half Men”? Or does it better characterize other television shows?
Fans cheer above the scoreboard at Safeco Field after Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez threw a perfect game in a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in a baseball game Aug. 15 in Seattle. Overall, more Seattle fans are showing up as empty seats as the Mariners lead all professional sports franchises in the loss of fans over the last decade. See story below. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Question: Do you still follow the Seattle Mariners as enthusiastically as you did 10 years ago?
“According to popular myth, Twinkies are so stuffed with chemicals and preservatives that they will last for decades. Hostess insists that the shelf life is more like 25 days.” So writes Bich Minh Nguyen, the author of the novel “Short Girls” and the memoir “Stealing Buddha’s Dinner” in a recent (and clever) New York Times Op Ed, shortly after the sugar-plum fairies unplugged the international Twinkies light. We all believed that Hostess Twinkies would be available during the apocalypse. And then a funny thought hit me. Even with all the popular mythologies of Twinkies being with us forever, they didn't quite make it to the end of the world, as we know it - or at least as the Mayans knew it/Dennis Mansfield. More here.
Question: Anyone getting nervous out there that everything's going to come to an end in less than a month when the Mayan calendar runs out?
Idaho's congressional delegation is praising the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for its final designation of critical habitat for endangered woodland caribou in the Selkirk Mountains, which, instead of the original 375,552 acres, designates just 30,010 acres, only 6,029 of it in Idaho. That Idaho habitat is all on national forest land in Boundary County; no land in Bonner County was included. “I am pleased that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service listened to the public outcry regarding the impacts this expanded critical habitat designation would have had upon people's livelihoods,” said 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador. “This is an example of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recognizing the need for improved species management and we applaud the efforts of the men and women on the ground in Idaho who made this decision”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Do you agree with decision to designate only 30,010 acres (including 6,029 in Idaho) as critical caribou habitat?
On his Facebook wall, outdoor photographer Robin Loznak of Kellogg, Ore., writes: “After a grueling chase I hunted down and shot this large and fearsome Pacific sideband snail this evening. According to wikipedia, the sideband is the largest air-breathing snail in the state of Washington.”
HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, Nov. 26): 8837 pageviews/4969 uinque views
Nearly three decades ago, I took my daughter to audition for that annual holiday extravaganza, “The Nutcracker.” Her hair was pulled back into a bun, she was wearing a minimal amount of makeup, and she looked cuter than a ladybug in her tutu and dance shoes. Ah, but she didn't get chosen. I'm pretty sure her disappointment was less than mine, considering that I still remember how, when I picked her up, she so calmly told me the news - and I had to sit next to her as we drove home, wondering how anyone could ever NOT choose someone so cute. Such is the love of a father/Dan Webster, Dually Noted blog. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: How many times have you seen “The Nutcracker”?
On his Slice blog, Paul Turner wonders whether kids of today would know what this is. (Photo: www.etsy.com)
Question: How many words can you type a minute?
“90 percent of our newsroom has the sniffles, coughs, and sneezes. Crap” — Emilie R. Saunders, StateImpact.
Question: Is anyone near or dear to you (including you) suffering cold symptoms?
From LCDC minutes of Wednesday, Nov. 21, meeting:
Matt McKnight snapped this photo of neo-Nazi Shaun Winkler and his daughter, Hannah, at a small cabin that Winkler is building in hopes of resurrecting an Aryan Nations compound in the Hoodoo Mountains of Bonner County. Story by Bill Morlin for Southern Poverty Law Center here.
“Post-Thanksgiving gluttony guilt led me to microwave a Lean Cuisine meal for lunch. Now, I know what happened to the boys' rubber chicken” — Cindy via Twitter.
Question: Are you doing anything special to work off pounds gained during Thanksgiving weekend?
Americans are disappointed with the White House's handling of the September terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, but do not believe that the Obama administration intentionally attempted to mislead the public over the violence, as some Republicans have suggested. A new poll released Tuesday by CNN shows that 54 percent of the country says they are dissatisfied with the White House's response to the terrorist attack, which left four Americans dead. By contrast, only 40 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the administration's handling of the violence/Justin Sink, The Hill. More here.
Question: Do you think the Obama administration intentionally attempted to mislead the public over the Benghazi violence?
On his Slice blog, Paul Turner posts: “Occasionally I hear people talk about relatives who insist on getting to the airport insanely early. Don't make me laugh, I think. Your relatives are fine people, I'm sure. But in this regard, they are mere pikers. My late father was the champion. He once went out to the airport before the family members who were flying that day had even finished packing. Let me repeat. He was not one of those who would be boarding a plane that day. He just wanted to get an early start on being in position to say goodbye out at the airport.”
Question: Does anyone in your family insist on getting to the airport extremely early?
Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is topping one end-of-the-year list — but we’re guessing he won’t be too pleased by this dubious honor. GQ magazine awarded the failed White House contender its number one spot on its “Least Influential People of 2012” list. And the gloves are off in the magazine’s description of the ex-Massachusetts governor: the men’s glossy mag writes, “Voting for Romney is like hooking up with the last single person at the bar at 4 a.m.” And that’s not the worst of it: “The only successful thing he did this year was embody every black stand-up comedian’s impression of a white person”/Judy Kurtz, In The Know blog, The Hill. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Who is the least influential political figure in North Idaho?
I have lived here about two hundred feet from and 100 feet above Scenic Bay for Seventeen years. During that time I have suffered tweakers, thieves, loud noise, oh and the occasional murderer. This pine tree in my front yard has seen it all. It just stood there, tall as can be, quietly, except when a storm came through when it would filter the wind, causing strange sounds to occur. … That old tree shaded my deck just fine, except it took the afternoon sun away from my tomatoes. Every winter, when the chilly winds came through it would shed tons of dead needles, coating my deck up to six inches deep with it's litter. As the needles piled up, they held moisture from the rain and snow that was held there and my deck rotted. I hated that damn tree. Now it is gone/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here.
DFO: My wife and I have a love-hate relationship with the magnificent clump birch I planted in my front yard 27 years ago. I love it. She hates it (sez it's too big).
Question: Do you have a love or hate or love-hate relationship with a tree in your life?
U-Stop convenience store cashier Janice Mitzner handles a lottery ticket in Lincoln, Neb., today. The U-Stop store was where the biggest Powerball pot on record — $365 million — was bought by Dung Tran in 2006 on behalf of eight Lincoln, Neb., co-workers. Earlier Tuesday Mitzner sold 22 powerball tickets to Tran. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
The record Powerball jackpot is now even bigger. Powerball officials say they've boosted the jackpot for Wednesday's drawing to $500 million from the previously posted $425 million. Huge ticket sales nationally are pushing the payout higher. A single winner choosing the cash payout will take home $327 million before taxes. Record jackpots encourage players who usually sit on the sidelines to play and group purchases from work pools increase/KHQ. More here.
Question: Do you play the lottery regularly — or only when jackpot becomes ha-huge?
Photographer Matt McKnight shot this photo of a cross-burning on Shaun Winkler's property in Bonner County's Hoodoo Mountains earlier this year, during Winkler's unsuccessful campaign for county sheriff. McKnight was invited by Winkler to photograph the activities of his group and him. You can see 18 more photos of Winkler & Co. by Matt McKnight here.
A neo-Nazi protégé of Aryan Nations founder Richard G. Butler is building a new compound in North Idaho where he hosts Ku Klux Klan cross burnings and anti-Semitic Christian Identity church services. Shaun Patrick Winkler — who studied the Christian Identity message of hate under Butler until the iconic racist leader’s death in 2004 — purchased 17.3 acres of timbered property last year in the Hoodoo Mountains of Bonner County, Idaho, not far from the former site of the Aryan Nations “world headquarters” in adjoining Kootenai County. He reportedly plans to open it up for families affiliated with the Klan or Aryan Nations to move in and build residences. Construction of the new Aryan-style compound is sending shivers down the spines of area human rights activists who applauded when Butler’s 20-acre hate compound was turned into a cow pasture more than a decade ago/Bill Morlin, Southern Poverty Law Center. More here.
Question: Do you expect to see a revival of the Aryan Nations in North Idaho?
Washington State University students cross Stadium Way at Nevada Street after the pedestrian bridge was closed for safety reasons in Pullman on Monday. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo: Dean Hare)
Shoshone Conservative (re: Trib: Idaho senator may need help): Remember, all she did was share a link on Facebook. People are making it out like she’s presenting a formal proposal to the Senate calling for something like this. And misinterpreting Constitutional amendments isn’t a capital sin - judges do it all the time. That’s why we have appellate courts. … Generally, when the media focuses on trivial garbage like this, there’s something important going on they don’t want us to pay attention to. But Sheryl needs to realize that an elected official should be careful about what she posts on Facebook.
DFO: I don't think it's “trivial garbage” that an Idaho state senator would buy into this nonsense. Even posting a link to a strange theory like this shows a world-view that's not mainstream, even in uberconservative Idaho.
Question: Do the links that you re-post on your Facebook page/Twitter account reflect your thinking?
Crystal Shaeffel 27, of Little Falls, cries after walking up the driveway of the home of Byron David Smith in Little Falls, Minn., Sunday. Her brother Nick Brady, 17, and cousin Haile Kifer, 18, were shot and killed during an alleged break-in on Thanksgiving day at the home. But authorities said his actions exceeded reasonable self-defense and planned to charge him Monday with second-degree murder. You can read the story of these strange killings here. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Renee Jones Schneider)
Question: Smith's actions seem cold-blooded to me. But I want to know what you think. Should he be charged with second-degree murder?
Four days of leftovers, and I can say most of it is gone. Thank goodness. Just pile it all up and pour gravy on it all. The husband used up the dough for the brie to make a nice baked breakfast turkey, cheese, potatoes and egg pastry. The leftover rolls made a nice base for a hot turkey sandwich. I have the dressing in the freezer that I am eventually going to coat again in a cornmeal batter and deep fat fry and cover with portobello mushroom gravy to go with a chicken Parmesan crusted chicken breast. But, right now, I think we have had more than enough turkey day leftovers. Talk about carbohydrate overload. I really should walk around the block. The daughter back in Missouri always has homemade noodles to go on top of their mashed potatoes with gravy. It really is the the season of gluttony and now the baking begins. Have to get those Christmas goodie bags and boxes in order for the kids/Stebbijo, Stebbijo's Place. More here. (Photo: Stebbijo's Place)
Question: How did you deal with Thanksgiving leftovers?
The GOP's failure to regain control of the Senate and White House - a surprisingly huge shock for the out-of-touch members of the party who predicted landslide victories in November - appears to have sent a message to at least a handful of Republicans. In the days since the re-election of Barack Obama, key members of the party have distanced themselves from an anti-tax pledge pushed by Grover Norquist (shown in AP file photo), a lobbyist and founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform. The pledge - which has been signed by 219 representatives and 39 senators in the upcoming Congress - commits signers to oppose any tax increases, for all time. It has made compromise in D.C. impossible, at least if you view a compromise as both Republicans and Democrats making concessions/Devin Rokyta, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.
Question: Is it time for Republican congressmen to embrace some tax increases?
On the eve of the N.F.L. season, inside a modest, newly purchased home in East Boulder, Colo., the former Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer (shown in AP file photo with Denver in 2006) mounted a photograph of himself breaking free for a touchdown for Arizona State in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 1997. This was a big step. His previous home did not have any signs of his achievements as an athlete. Five years ago, Plummer could not pack up the mementos from his successful college career and his 10 seasons in the N.F.L. quickly enough. Plummer went 39-15 as a starter for the Broncos, but he was benched and then traded the season after taking them to within a game of the Super Bowl. Instead of honoring the trade and taking $5.3 million to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Plummer retired at 32 and essentially disappeared from public view. A quarterback known for his daring decisions and scrambling abilities, Plummer moved away with his wife, Kollette, a former Broncos cheerleader, to a remote pocket of northern Idaho/Hunter Adkins, New York Times. More here.
DFO: Sounds as though Plummer has moved from Sandpoint back to Colorado.
Question: Did you ever get burned out on something you previously loved?
On the Lewiston Tribune editorial page today, Marty Trillhaase addresses state Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll's borrowed scheme to deny a second term to President Barack Obama:
OK, Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood. Take a breath. Take another. And one more. Get out a large, brown paper grocery bag. Inhale and exhale into it. Keep at it until the excessive carbon dioxide molecules escape your bloodstream and the panic convulsions cease. Feeling better? Good. Now let's talk. Let's talk about the grand American experiment in self-government. It works like this: Every four years, the people of this country holler, debate, insult each other and then file into the polling booths to elect a president. Usually the candidate with the most votes wins. If not, the candidate who carried the most electoral votes prevails. Let's face it: This year, you're - well - pissed about the outcome. President Barack Obama got almost 4 million more votes than Mitt Romney. He carried 332 electoral votes — 62 more than needed. More here. (Idaho Legislature photo: Sheryl Nuxoll)
Question: Do you know anyone else who buys into this goofy idea?
For the first time, many downtown Coeur d'Alene businesses saw people come out specifically to shop local during Small Business Saturday. It gave them a boost in sales they hope will carry them through the rest of the holiday season. Each piece of chocolate is a labor of love handcrafted by Tim Yeager's family at Coeur d'Alene Chocolates. “Every time somebody tries one just to see that look of delight and amazement on their face,” Yeager said. This is the sweet part of business, but chocolate isn't the only thing Yeager is trying to fill. “The biggest challenge of course is trying to keep the current customer base trying to increase that,” he said/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here.
Question: What did you buy the last time you shopped in downtown Coeur d'Alene?
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from convicted Idaho multiple murderer John Delling, challenging the lack of an insanity defense in Idaho. Idaho is one of four states that doesn't permit defendants to claim they're not guilty by reason of insanity. Three justices dissented; Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor wanted to hear the case/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Should Idaho allow an insanity defense in cases like this?
It took just one collective inhale from the group of middle-aged men for Katie Scanlon to realize she wasn’t going to be able to stick to her original plan. The yoga veteran was out of her element – and so were the men on the mats in front of her. They moaned and groaned with every movement. They lost their balance just moving one foot forward or backward. “They asked me to teach them yoga because they were feeling like they were getting stiff,” Scanlon said. “That might be an understatement.” Three years ago, the group of about eight men in their 50s and 60s approached Scanlon at her Yoga Shala studio on the South Hill and asked her to teach them yoga to help them work on their strength and flexibility. She agreed, on the condition that they would come once a week for a whole year/Jennifer Pignolet, SR. More here. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)
Question: Do you practice yoga?
We're officially through the election season (except for the 30-day, post-election campaign finance report that'll show us who coughed up all the late contributions and where that money went). Now we're in that transition holiday season that will take us to the 2013 Idaho Legislature on the state level and the opening forays of the Coeur d'Alene city elections. Local politics will be wild next year. But let's don't rush things. I'll play this Wild Card and search for more fodder to feed the insatiable maw of Huckleberries Online …
With the Capitol in the background, workers deliver the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree, a 73 foot Engelmann Spruce from the White River National Forest, near Meeker, Colo., earlier today on Capitol Hill in Washington. The 74 year-old tree will be decorated with more than 5,000 handmade ornaments and will be illuminated on Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Question: Will you trim a real tree or an artificial one?
I really hate what the holidays have become - so materialistic. Everybody's on a shopping frenzy for Christmas presents today (Black Friday) for items that are almost guaranteed to be put in a yard sale next summer, or high up in a closet, or deep in the basement - totally forgotten. These items never emit the same energy use when they were purchased. In my lifetime I have seen quiet days with family give way to a frenetic race to nowhere. I remember when stores - all stores - were closed on Sundays. My parents both played the Rule of the House card on Sundays - no other people. No friends. I remember when Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving were times set aside for quality family time. There was no Black Friday. It was family time - even though at major holidays, my Mom would be busy in the kitchen and Dad would hunker down to a football game/JeanieSpokane, Community Comment. More here. (AP photo: Shoppers line up at Times Square Toys-R-Us store for Thanksgiving evening sales)
Question: Many complain about the materialism of the Christmas holidays? Have you taken any steps to rein in the materialism?
This is what Kerri Thoreson saw on the way into work at KVNI1080 AM this morning — the Coeur d'Alene Resort lit up in all its glory.
You can see how JeanC transforms these books into a tree for the Christmas holidays here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Thanksgiving week, Nov. 18-24): 30,713 pageviews, 18,165 unique views
On his Slice blog, Paul Turner posts a reminder of “Seinfeld” episodes of years gone by, including the one in which the Costanzas introduce us to the “Festivus” holiday. (Photo: www.t-shirtguru.com)
Featured Post: A few years back, there was an S-R editor who passed out commemorative mugs on the day after Thanksgiving. He did this several years in a row. Printed on the outside of these mugs were brief references to big stories the paper had covered in the previous year. Fine, right? Well, there was one problem. Because a lot of what the paper covers could be characterized as bad news, many of these big-story labels were not what many would consider festive. So when you studied the outside of your holidays mug and saw references to child abuse or whatever, it didn't exactly put you in the mood for hot chocolate and marshmallows/Paul Turner, The Slice blog.
Question: Which Festivus event do you find most appealing: airing of grievances, feats of strength, etc.? Why?
First the obvious: Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln is a modern masterpiece and just maybe the best film about politics ever made. Daniel Day-Lewis once again establishes himself as film’s finest living actor. Before Day-Lewis’ Lincoln, every film version of the life and accomplishments of our greatest president was a caricature, a cartoon. Now we have a living, breathing, dirty-story telling Lincoln who is both an extraordinary democrat – small “d” – and a tough-as-nails political leader. The Academy should phone it in – this is the best acting you can hope to see this year and an inspiring, even great, movie. One reason Lincoln will have such impact – it’s already cleaning up at the box office – is because our current politics seem so small, petty and mean spirited, often for the sake of just being mean. We yearn for leaders with guts and eloquence, men and women willing to put country before career/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here. (AP/Dreamworks/20th Century Fox photo: Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln)
Question: Do you plan to see Spielberg's “Lincoln”?
Mick Jagger, center, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, left, and Charlie Watts, right, of The Rolling Stones perform at the O2 arena in east London, Sunday. (AP photo)
The Supreme Court used to be called Nine Old Men. That's nothing compared to the ageless Rolling Stones. The justices on average are the kid brothers and sisters of the forever young rock n' rollers. The average age for the four living members of The Rolling Stones is about two years older than the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood have an average age of 68 years and 297 days, while the Supreme Court justices' average is 66 years and 364 days. That makes the rock band one year and 10 months older than the members of the highest court of the United States. The Rolling Stones are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year with a five-date tour in New York, New Jersey and London, where the first show kicked off Sunday night/Associated Press. More here.
Question: Is there a better Rolling Stones' song that “Satisfaction”?
On a blue SUV with Shoshone County plates parked along the waterfront near North Idaho College during the noon hour: “Sorry I missed church; I've been busy practicing witchcraft and becoming a lesbian.”
A Washington State University student is in critical condition in a Spokane hospital after falling from a fraternity house balcony. The incident occurred around 1 a.m. Sunday when 19-year-old Griffin Healey fell from a second story balcony at the Lambda Chi Alpha house in Pullman. Witnesses told Pullman police that Healey was trying to sit on a railing when he lost his balance and fell backwards, landing on his head. Police say alcohol was involved. This is the fourth case of a student falling from a building on the Washington State campus this year/Associated Press.
Starting Monday, Idahoans will have free access to a new statewide suicide prevention hotline. The hotline — 1-800-273-TALK — will operate free of charge for callers. Since 2006, Idaho has been the only state in the country to not have a statewide suicide hotline. Idaho callers have most recently been directed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that outsourced the calls to hotlines in other states. With the state hotline, Idahoans will talk to trained volunteers who are familiar with resources available on a regional and state level, according to a news release/Associated Press. More here.
Question: Anyone else wondering why this took so long?
On her Facebook wall, Cindy wonders if she's “the last person in the universe who neither knows nor cares what 'Gangnam Style' is. She isn't. I heard the term for the first time recently. And wasn't interested enough to pay attention to an explanation. Now I wonder if I should have.
Question: Do you know/care what “Gangnam Style” is?
Gonzaga players including David Stockton (11) and Kevin Pangos (4) hoist the trophy after defeating Davidson 81-67 to win the championship NCAA college basketball game in the Old Spice Classic in Kissimmee, Fla., Sunday. (AP Photo/Roberto Gonzalez)
Question: How good do you think the Zags are this year?
Like many Idahoans, I participated in post-Thanksgiving sales. Though weighted down by turkey and other fixings, I managed to wobble out of the house Thursday night and get our family to fight through the thicket of people doing their level best to take advantage of bigger-than-you-can-possibly-imagine discounts. Now, I’m not here to mess up your Thanksgiving tradition of bargain hunting. But I am here to tell you that I, my friends and family, political compatriots and political rivals, all participated in an illegal activity. And I’m OK with that. In 1939, the Idaho Legislature passed a law that remains on the books to this day. It’s called the Unfair Sales Act. The law, which has changed little since Depression-era legislators passed it, says, “The practice of selling certain items of merchandise below cost in order to attract patronage is a deceptive form of advertising and an unfair method of competition …”/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
Question: Did you take advantage of Black Friday sales?
Washington legalizes same-sex marriage next month at a time when the geography of the Northwest’s gay and lesbian population is changing. Their numbers are still largest in metropolitan areas. But if you look for the biggest increases – that trend is happening in small towns and rural areas. In Idaho more gay and lesbian couples are making a choice that was once unthinkable in rural areas — they’re living openly. Joe Palisano and Tom Bry have a farm just south of Sandpoint, Idaho. Joe Palisano is used to a certain kind of reaction when he tells people where he lives. “'You live where?! Idaho?! Way up there? How do you do that!?'” Joe and his partner Tom Bry live just south of Sandpoint, Idaho to be precise -– population 7,000. He says people expect them to live in a city. They are equally surprised to hear that he is a farmer/Jessica Robinson, Northwest Public Radio. More here.
The Idaho Transportation Department makes more than $5.4 million a year selling motor vehicle records and other personal information to companies that use it to research car buying patterns, send out recall notices and even track down scofflaws who don't pay parking tickets given out by private companies. Department spokesman Jeff Stratten says none of the information is used to send junk mail, and the department takes steps to make sure the information is being used correctly. Idaho law says the information can be used for purposes including vehicle emissions monitoring, car recalls, and for the enforcement of civil and criminal court actions. But Idaho residents who get drivers' license or register their vehicles are never notified that the information is being sold, and at least one of the steps the department relies on to ensure proper use of the records appears to have spotty results/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Should the state tell Idaho drivers about this practice & allow them to opt-out of the system?
Rail cars on elevated tracks make their way through downtown Spokane last week. Freight trains filled with coal could soon be passing through town if the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point in Whatcom County is built. Jim Camden's SR story here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
Volunteers Dayna Marchesseault, left, and Bambi Marshall string ribbon around 32 displays, which include 29 themed and decorated trees, prior to the evening viewing in the Coeur d'Alene Resort convention center Friday. The annual Festival of Trees, put on by the Kootenai Health Foundation, has raised more than $4.4 million for projects at Kootenai Medical Center, including the heart center, cancer center and birthing center. The weekend event runs through Monday evening, and the ticketed events, such as the gala, senior social and the fashion shows, are sold out. Organizers said the best opportunity for non-ticket holders to view the elaborate tree displays is Family Day on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. when admission is $2 per person. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)
Question: My family and I attended the downtown parade and fireworks show at the Coeur d'Alene Resort Friday night. We enjoyed a nice 4 days together for the Thanksgiving break. Tell us about your Thanksgiving holiday.
Current Idaho Speaker of the House of Representatives Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, has served in the House since 1996 and has been speaker for the past three terms. House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, has been a representative since 2000. A look at their voting records over the past decade would reveal few significant differences between the two, and yet Bedke is challenging Denney for the speaker position saying, “it’s time for a change.” We agree. We think Bedke would be a welcome change from the strong-armed tactics and dubious party loyalty exhibited by Denney over the past two years/Twin Falls Times News Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Do you agree that it's time for strong-arming Lawerence Denney to be dumped as House Speaker?
Mike Patrick’s Nov. 16 editorial presents an interesting call for appointment of a trustee to replace outgoing trustee Jim Purtee — one with “views distinctly different from those now on the board.” Please consider: This is not the same old (and sometimes illegal) resign/appoint situation the old liberal board was famous for, where one long-serving trustee would resign before serving out his/her last term, appointing a successor who “thinks like I do” (paraphrasing former trustee and board chair Edie Brooks). Rather, Mr. Purtee is resigning due to serious health issues which will prevent him from fulfilling his duties as a trustee. Trustee Purtee — and his unique perspective — will be missed/Duncan Koler, Hayden Lake. More here.
The city of Coeur d'Alene will meet with Front Avenue property owners beginning next week to see if they would be willing to help pay for street improvements tied to the McEuen Field project. How much a potential Local Improvement District would cost property owners and for how long are yet to be hashed out, but the city said Monday it's expecting to meet with affected owners individually to discuss the possibility of putting one on the books. “We could still do a project,” City Administrator Wendy Gabriel said about the city being able to move forward with the park and street project should an LID partnership not work out. “It's just a funding source that's always been planned for that part.” Front Avenue runs along the north side of McEuen Field, and will undergo a major renovation when the park project is constructed next year, including a below-street surface parking garage/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
A state senator from north-central Idaho is touting a scheme that’s been circulating on tea party blogs, calling for states that supported Mitt Romney to refuse to participate in the Electoral College in a move backers believe would change the election result. Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, sent an article out on Twitter headed, “A ‘last chance’ to have Mitt Romney as President in January (it’s still not too late).” Constitutional scholar David Adler, director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University, said the plan is not “totally constitutional,” as touted in the article, but is instead “a radical, revolutionary proposal that has no basis in federal law or the architecture of the Constitution.” Adler dubbed it “really a strange and bizarre fantasy.” Nuxoll said, “Well, I guess that’s one lawyer”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.
Question: What do you think of Sen. Nuxoll's radical idea?
Joe Peak, long-time Enaville Resort (Snake Pit) owner, is shown at his famous bar-restaurant in January of this year. At the time, he was discussing health issues that would close the bar every day except Thursdays. Peak died Saturday after a seven-year battle with cancer. On Thanksgiving day, Peak was honored as part of the 35th running of the five-mile Turkey Trot along the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. Coeur d'Alene Press story here. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)
J.R. Ewing was a business cheat, faithless husband and bottomless well of corruption. Yet with his sparkling grin, Larry Hagman masterfully created the charmingly loathsome oil baron — and coaxed forth a Texas-size gusher of ratings — on television’s long-running and hugely successful nighttime soap, “Dallas.” Although he first gained fame as nice guy Capt. Tony Nelson on the fluffy 1965-70 NBC comedy “I Dream of Jeannie,” Hagman earned his greatest stardom with J.R. The CBS serial drama about the Ewing family and those in their orbit aired from April 1978 to May 1991, and broke viewing records with its “Who shot J.R.?” 1980 cliffhanger that left unclear if Hagman’s character was dead. The actor, who returned as J.R. in a new edition of “Dallas” this year, had a long history of health problems and died Friday due to complications from his battle with cancer, his family said/Associated Press. More here. (Photo: Tony Guitierrez)
Question: Did you like J.R. or Bobby better?
More than 5,000 deer, elk and moose were killed by cars on Idaho’s roads last year, a number so high that Fish and Game officials are worried about impacts on hunting and are ramping up monitoring and wildlife crossing programs. “Right now, we think we’re losing the same number of deer that we harvest in our biggest deer unit every year, so that is significant,” said Gregg Servheen, wildlife program coordinator for Idaho’s Fish and Game Department. “As we try to maintain deer harvest and sportsman interest and opportunity, that becomes key.” And it’s why a new section of U.S. Highway 95 being built north of Coeur d’Alene features a $1 million wildlife underpass, designed to allow deer, elk, moose, bears and other critters to cross freely – without endangering either themselves or the motorists whizzing by on the state’s main north-south route. Extensive fencing will route the animals to the safe crossing/Betsy Russell, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo: A truck passes over a wildlife underpass at Highway 95 north of Hayden on Wednesday)
Question: Have you been in a vehicle that hit a deer, elk or moose?
I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving Day today and a terrific weekend ahead. I'm taking Friday off. And there won't be anyone to run the blog that day because, face it, we should all be busy with Black Friday and enjoying our own long weekends. I may see you at the parade and downtown lightings Friday. If not, I'll see you back here Monday. You can use this Wild Card in the meantime, if you have something to say to HucksOnline commenters and readers …
Hard as it is to believe, this column wasn’t the first thing some of you looked for in today’s paper.
Instead, many of you lugged your super-sized Spokesman-Review into your home and began poring over the copious advertisements. While the heady aroma of roasting turkey filled the air, you began making your lists and checking them twice. With the diligence of military generals you mapped out your Black Friday shopping strategies.
I don’t get it.
But then again, much to the bewilderment of my mother, I was born without the shopping gene. I shop only when I need something. For example, if I need a pair of black slacks I only shop for black slacks. I don’t look at belts or bangles. I just gather up an armload of pants in my size and try them on till I find a pair I like. Then I go home. Simple. Read more. Cindy Hval, SR
Do you enjoy shopping?
Daryl and Ginnie Williams sit in their Spokane living room Nov. 8. They both graduated from West Valley High in 1969, but never knew each other. Jesse Tinsley photo
They walked down the same halls at West Valley High School – had some of the same teachers, knew the same people, and graduated together in the class of 1969. Yet Daryl Williams and Ginnie Schmidt never met.
Fast forward to West Valley’s 20th reunion. They both attended. The reunion photo shows him in the back row and she a couple of rows in front of him. They didn’t meet then either.
It took social media to accomplish what attending the same school couldn’t. In August 2011, Daryl posted on Facebook that he’d like to get in touch with his classmates. Ginnie saw that post, thanks to a mutual friend. She sent him a private message and asked if he’d like meet for coffee or a drink. Read More. Cindy Hval, SR
Have you connected with former classmate via Facebook or other social media sites?
President Barack Obama, with daughter Sasha, carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving a turkey from the dinner table with a “presidential pardon,” Wednesday in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. After the ceremony, “Cobbler” will head to George Washington's historic home in Virginia to be part of the “Christmas at Mount Vernon” exhibition. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Question: What is one unusual food that will be on your table Thanksgiving day?
I'm thankful for …
I forgot to mention that Huckleberries has a social media circulation of an estimated 10,800. Which is up more than 300 from last year. That's counting blog (8935), Twitter (1160) and Facebook (715). This blog is also on pace to possibly break page-view record, which now stands at 2.59 million. I'm sitting on 2.36 million going into the Thanksgiving holidays. It'll be close because. I'm. Sitting. On some. Vacation. Time. Of course. But more about that later. Here's your pre-turkey day Wild Card …
As people line up for a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway, Kathrine Gilmore kisses and snuggles with her daughter Kaytlynn Thompson, 7, outside the Spokane Arena, Tuesday in Spokane. The Salvation Army along with 2nd Harvest and Tom’s Turkey Tuesday gave away thousands of turkeys and meal preparations to families in need. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
“No, this is not a gyro but it's a close second,” posts Stebbijo/Stebbijo's Place. “I used a good pound of ground turkey, three slices of bread - cubed, 2 hearty tablespoons of curry powder and a healthy amount of dried onions, and the cinnamon and ground ginger for the meatballs.” More here.
Featured Blog: Plan on reviewing in your mind what you have to be thankful for. There is always something. If you can walk past a grave yard instead of residing there, you can be thankful. If you have food on your table Thursday, you have something to be thankful for. If you have a roof over your head and it doesn't leak, you have something to be thankful for. If you are of an age where you work and will be going to that place Monday, you have something to be thankful for/Bay Views. More here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, Nov. 20): 8122 page-views/4432 unique views
When city editor Jon Kamman asked if I had any Thanksgiving plans, I tried to act like I didn't see what was coming. But I knew. He realized I had no family in Arizona. And he was about to invite me to his house for the holiday, which was just a couple of days away. What a guy. Wasn't that thoughtful? No, I said. No plans. Good, he said. “We need someone to work Thanksgiving.” Oh. This was about 30 years ago. But the memory still makes me shake my head/Paul Turner, The Slice blog. More here.
Question: Do you mind working holidays?
“This might seem like the way to go,” headlines Paul Turner, The Slice blog, “It would allow you to quickly make your way around the grocery store, dancing past people blocking aisles with their rolling carts. But after you have selected 57 items weighing an aggregate 147 pounds, does it still seem like a good idea?” (Photo: www.raimac.com)
Featured Blog: The father of a 22-year-old man accused of killing a monkey after breaking into an Idaho zoo said he believes the tragedy was a drunken prank that got out of hand and “turned into a horrible situation,” the Idaho Statesman newspaper reports. Michael J. Watkins was arrested Monday and faces at least two felonies: burglary, for allegedly breaking into Zoo Boise; and grand theft, for allegedly taking the monkey and beating it so severely that it later died/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Other SR blogs:
Question (also from The Slice blog): How do you feel about being in a grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving? (Paul Turner provides possible answers here)
A 39-year-old Post Falls man was injured this morning when 2002 Subaru Legacy was hit by a Union Pacific Train at the railroad crossing at Grange Avenue and pushed to the next crossing at Chase Avenue in the Post Falls area. John Cheatham was northbound on Grange at 8:19 a.m. when he reportedly failed to yield to the westbound train, according to an Idaho State Police report. Cheatham was taken by ambulance to Kootenai Medical Center. The extend of his injuries were not reported.
The Board of Trustees of North Idaho College is considering a proposal to rename the green space to the west of the Student Union Building from Fort Sherman Park to Cheamkwet Park. (I presume this is the green space where soccer takes place.) Cheamkwet is the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe word Hnch'mqi'nkwe' that means “Headwaters.” The renaming proposal is part of a commitment by the college to “better represent the Coeur d'Alene tribe through naming of buildings, streets and gathering places.” Historically, the tribe met on the property where the college now sits. The matter will be discussed by the board at the 6 p.m. meeting in the NIC Lake Coeur d'Alene Room next Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Question: Does it defeat the purpose to use a word that's historically accurate and symbolically noteworthy that few can pronounce or remember?
Schweitzer Mountain Resort has received 44 inches of natural snow so far this season. (Photo: Schweitzer Mountain Resort)
Schweitzer Mountain Resort will open for the season at 9 a.m. Saturday and operate Saturday and Sunday during the holiday weekend. Terrain will be available for all ability levels with the Basin Express and Musical Chairs lifts open. These two chairs are scheduled to operate from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. during opening weekend. The resort will close down mid-week and then re-open on Friday, Nov. 30 for the weekend, weather permitting. … Schweitzer has received 44 inches of natural snow so far this season, with 19 of those inches coming in the past three days. Forecasts before opening day are looking good for additional snowfall/Schweitzer news release. More here including ticket prices.
Question: When do you usually ski for the first time during a season? At Schweitzer?
Who wants to go the movies? This week’s news quiz will send one lucky entrant and a guest to a local cinema. And if you finish atop the leaderboard, a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel could be yours. You can take the News Quiz here. Good luck to all!
Hostess Brands Inc. won interim approval from a bankruptcy judge to shut down and take steps to sell the Twinkie maker’s assets after mediation with its bakers’ union failed to resolve a contract dispute, leaving more than 18,000 jobs at risk. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain today approved Hostess’s request to close at a hearing in White Plains, New York. Chief Executive Officer Gregory Rayburn said 15,000 workers will be fired today so they can start receiving unemployment benefits. Hostess said Nov. 16 that it needed to liquidate because a weeklong strike by its bakers’ union crippled operations/Bloomberg. More here.
Question: Did the bakers' union lead members astray?
As I was walking along the waterfront during the noon hour, I heard one of the ESPN1080 announcers wonder about relationships. While discussing the New York Jets, he paused and said something to the effect: “What if we paid as much attention to the relationships in our lives as we do to our favorite sports team?” He was discussing the situation at quarterback for the Jets b/n Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. People wonder week to week which one is going to start. The announcer then used the example of a man asking his wife at night if she still loved him and then waking up in the morning with the same question. And then telling her that he'd call her at noon to ask the same question. In other words, sports fans obsess too much on their teams (and maybe not enough on their relationships).
Question: Which do you follow more closely — your sports team or relationships with those close to you?
Renata McLeod, soon-to-be new Coeur d'Alene city clerk, provided this draft of the minutes from the City Council meeting Tuesday night re: new education organization:
Amy Evans, 717 B Street, introduced the Coeur d’Alene Education Partnership group. The group includes Lisa Overby and Chris Meyer. The Partnership is a nonprofit group funded by community parents and community members. The goal of the nonprofit is to promote and ensure excellence in School District 271. Ms. Evans stated that a strong local economy and excellent school go hand-in-hand. The group has begun the Volunteers in Play (V.I.P.), in conjunction with the Core group and the Young Professional group, which gathers volunteers to play with children at noon recess at Borah Elementary. They would like to be looked at as a nonpartisan source to provide information regarding the School District. Councilman Goodlander stated it was nice to see group of young professionals getting involved in the community.
SR photographer Kathy Plonka snapped this photo of a vehicle that was hit by a train this morning at the railroad crossing north of Chase & Poleline on Rathdrum Prairie. No further information was available.
I listened to Joe & Kerri interviewing ex-convict Bobby Wilhelm about the debut of his book, “Bobby Convict,” on KVNI1080 this morning. Here's what Kerri wrote on KVNI Facebook page: “It's an incredible true tale of crime, drugs and the culture and history of Kootenai County in the 1970s-'80s. Bobby spent 16 years in state and federal penitentiaries before being paroled several years ago. His story of redemption is a page-turner. On Saturday starting at noon at Bob's 21 Club in Post Falls, the author will hold a book signing.”
Question: Sound like something you'd like to read?
This thread about five Coeur d'Alene department heads taking early retirement has gone sideways. You can gripe all you want about high salaries for department heads — and I do consider them too high — but that shouldn't take away from the quality represented by the individuals about to take early outs. Take Doug Eastwood, for example. When I came on the local scene in 1984, Coeur d'Alene's parks acreage consisted largely of Tubbs Hill, McEuen Field and Memorial Field. We had few parks north of the downtown. Eastwood & the Parks Department compiled a master plan to build parks in the late 1980s/early 1990s. And you see the result today. Parks everywhere. Bike trails. Centennial/Prairie trails. What has happened under Doug's guidance has been extraordinary. He was largely responsible for developing Ramsey Park with little in the public coffers. Oldtimers cried crocodile tears when the late Red Halpern was forced to the sidelines and his department, which largedly focused on softball fields and softball play, was split between Eastwood and Steve Anthony. That's the best thing that could have happened to Halpern's department. The recreation side developed big time under Anthony. Eastwood became the Johnny Appleseed of Coeur d'Alene parks. He's also responsible for the fantastic condition of the Forest Cemetery & annex, which was almost privatized in the mid-1980s. The salary issue that the usual suspects complain about is a distraction here. The city is losing some of the finest public servants that I've seen in my 42 years in the news biz/DFO.
A tea party group based in Billings has launched digital petitions asking the White House to allow Montana to secede from the United States and create its own new government. Similar efforts began in all 50 states after the President Barack Obama’s victory earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported. There are two separate digital petitions requesting that Montana be allowed to secede are on the White House website for petitions. Spearheading the secession effort here are the Montana Shrugged Tea Party Patriots. “It’s more of an attention getter,” said Eric Olsen, the group’s co-founder. “We’re trying to raise our voice again, hoping people will listen. We hope somebody listens to us someday”/Charles S. Johnson, Missoulian State Bureau. More here.
Question: How influential is the Tea Party in Idaho?
In the Coeur d'Alene Press, reporter Maureen Dolan columnizes about slow drivers, after following an elderly driver going 10 miles under the posted speed limit:
I wonder how many times someone has gone through this sort of mental exercise while driving behind me on Fourth Street through Dalton Gardens. I'm a stickler for driving the speed limit there. I travel that road at least once every day and I see the sheriff's deputies writing tickets with the lights flashing as a miserable-looking driver waits in the car. Even more than not wanting to mar my driving record, I don't want to be that woman, the one everyone drives by and feels disappointed in or sorry for, because she got caught.
Question: Are you patient with slow drivers?
Eighth-grader Alex Henderson participated in a “chilling” lab at Woodland Middle School in Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday that stressed the importance of keeping meat out of the danger zone that is 40 degrees to 140 degrees. The middle-schoolers are learning about food-borne illness and basic precautions. Scott Maben's SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
The photos on the left show Carol Williams the night of her beating. The photo at the right was taken this week. Zane Tewalt will be sentenced Friday for the attack on the St. Maries woman. (Courtesy: St. Maries Gazette Record)
Story from last week's St. Maries Gazette Record
A picture may be worth a thousand words. It cannot, however, guarantee a long jail sentence.Carol Williams says she’s furious that the man who savagely beat her may walk away with what she describes as a “slap on the wrist.”Ms. Williams feared for her life when she was attacked by her live-in boyfriend of two years, Zane G. Tewalt, 45, Sept. 1. A seemingly harmless request to retrieve a cell phone prompted the attack, which lasted more than three hours/Summer Crosby, St. Maries Gazette Record. More here.
If the state government’s goal for owning liquor stores is the promotion of temperance, Idaho’s liquor agency is kind of awful at it. Really awful. Sales are up. Income is up. Drinking is up. And now, the state liquor agency wants to spend some money revamping its website. Why? So that the government can offer “drink recipes.” And “party planning tips.” So much for temperance. The amount of money the agency is requesting isn’t much–$15,000 from liquor sale receipts. But still, the state constitution’s directive that the government ensure the “sobriety of the people, and the purity of the home” seems a bit at odds with the liquor division’s budget request/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
Question: Should Idaho's liquor agency be offering liquor recipes and party planning ideas on its Web site?
The City Council on Tuesday approved a set of separation packages for five retiring department heads, a move that will save the city at least $145,000 over the next two fiscal years. Recreation Director Steve Anthony, Parks Director Doug Eastwood (pictured), Police Chief Wayne Longo, Human Resources Director Pam MacDonald and Planning Director Dave Yadon each have accepted packages. Their retirements will be staggered over two years, beginning the second half of 2013. “These are members of our executive team and we will be sad to see them go,” said Wendy Gabriel, city administrator. “But by accepting these incentive packages, they are allowing us to plan ahead for their succession.” The city's Separation Incentive Proposal has been used effectively through several previous rounds of early retirements/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: I simply can't imagine Coeur d'Alene without Doug Eastwood & Steve Anthony running the parks & recreations departments. Can you?
In this AP file photo, Frankie Lee, the first in a line of several hundred shoppers at a Wal-Mart in Oakland, Calif., rubs his eyes shortly before the store opens at 5 a.m. If the economic downturn has taught retailers anything, it’s that a 50 percent off sale isn’t enough to lure finicky American shoppers into stores these days, so this holiday season, shoppers will find that retailers are doing all kinds of things to make it easier for them to part with their money. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Question: What kind of sales will you be looking for this Christmas season?
All is ready for your Thanksgiving feast. The turkey’s thawing in the refrigerator, the sweet potatoes are washed, and the pies are cooling on the racks. But what about the wine? Red or white? Dry or sweet? Sparkling or not? These questions can vex even the most experienced host or hostess. Thankfully, local experts are on hand to help us sort out the chardonnay from the cabernet, and choose the wines that best complement the flavors of our holiday meal/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.
Question: What beverage/s do you usually serve with your holiday meal?
Sleep in. Stay home. Take the dog for a walk. Read a book. Watch TV. Pick hunks of turkey off the carcass, standing in the kitchen in your sock feet, fridge door open. Sleep in. Stay home. Take in a football game. There might be one on. Go crazy with lazy. Or, if you’re inflicted with that particular itch, go crazy with activity – run or ride. Break a sweat. Rake leaves if you can’t help yourself. Stick a finger into that leftover whipped cream, and then try to cover it up. Read a book to a kid. Try “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.” It’s a wonderful fable about the corrosive, futile path of obsessively protecting your stuff. Try “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Remember how and why the Grinch didn’t steal Christmas/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.
Question: What do you plan to do tomorrow?
Item: County OKs facility expansion plan/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: The plan offers four different options for new structures and remodeling: The first would cost $28.3 million, the second $34.9 million, the third $36.4 million and the final $42.6 million. Some proposals include a new, several-level parking garage on Northwest Boulevard, a new justice building on Garden Avenue, and an expansion of the administration building on Government Way. The fourth and most costly plan, which was not recommended by NAC Architecture, proposes relocating all justice facilities next to the jail, at the county fairgrounds.
Question: Which option do you support?
I had to deal with a computer problem upon arrival for work today. It seems to be fixed now. Regularly programming to resume …
I received a text from my brother early this morning. I didn't have to open it to know exactly what he wrote: “Happy birthday, you old fart.” Same thing every year for as long as I can remember. You get to do that, I suppose, if you're a younger brother. However, I've aged to a point that he's gotten uncannily accurate. Mayor Sandi Bloem, who shares this birthday with me, however, hasn't aged a bit in the 20-some years that I've known her. Dunno how she does that. Happy birthday, Sandi. Now for today's Wild Card …
Meadow Poplawsky plays her flute in Friendship Square on Thursday in Moscow. Poplawsky is playing in the Macy’s Great American Marching Band during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Estelle Gwinn story for Moscow-Pullman Daily News here. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo: Dean Hare)
Question: Have you ever marched in a big parade? Tell us about it.
When my sons were 8 and 9, they were in Boy Scouts and we had the annual bake sale/raffle, Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I remember this day very well. I had $6.00 to my name and knew I couldn't possibly afford a turkey and all the trimmings. It was going to be a pretty grim Thanksgiving. I was eyeballing chickens and wondering how fooled the boys would be. There was a family at the bake sale that evening that I had kind of put on a shelf in the back of my mind – affluent, intelligent, married (I was the only divorcee in the room of 20 families), and beautiful with equally beautiful twin boys, age 9. I wasn't in their realm. The scouts were supposed to make their own cake. Home made by the boys. There would be a prize for the best cake – a 20 pound fresh turkey, and all the trimmings including a Pumpkin Pie/JeanieSpokane, Community Comment. More here.
Question: After you read the ending to Jeanie's Thanksgiving story, can you tell us of a time when someone did something unexpectedly wonderful for you and/or your family?
Brad Case, executive chef for Fedora Pub and Grille, moves a tray of roast turkey from the oven to a prep area of the kitchen Monday during his shift. The restaurant is hosting a free Thanksgiving dinner for the community on Thursday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. See what other restaurants and churches will be offering free Thanksgiving dinners here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Jerome A. Pollos)
When my son was learning to ride his bike, he was afraid of falling down and getting hurt. So I always made sure to run along with him while he was figuring out how to do all those complicated bike things at the same time, like pedaling, steering, braking, and balancing. I never let him fall. A dad I know scolded me. He said, “You have to fall down and get hurt to learn to ride a bike.” This is the same dad who also once told me, “Bullying is good for your kids. It toughens them up for the real world”/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here.
Questions: Do children need fear and suffering, at times, to learn lessons?
On the Priest Lake Facebook wall, photographer J. Rice writes of this photo of two children sitting on the dock of a bay: “Fall, my absolute favorite season at Priest Lake.”
HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, Nov. 19): 7555 page-views/4285 unique views
City Editor Addy Hatch/SR tweets: “Baffled by phone reps who ask “anything else I can do for you today?” when they weren't able to take care of the thing you called about.”
Question: Anyone else have that problems — or something similar?
On his Slice blog, Paul Turner offers this scenario:
I know someone scheduled to have an operation tomorrow afternoon. She has been told it will start at about 3:30. Great, she said. The medical team will be tired and thinking about everything they need to do to get ready for Thanksgiving. So…is she paranoid or would you think exactly the same thing?
Question: Would you want to have surgery the afternoon before a holiday?
In his Slice blog, Paul Turner wonders whether his readers have a favorite old-time Idaho license plate. If so, he also wonder if it's represented above. (Photo: www.worldlicenseplates.com)
Here is the Idaho Statesman editorial that will run Wednesday re: monkey killing at Boise Zoo:
It isn’t the early morning break-in at Zoo Boise that outraged a community and drew national attention. It’s what happened after the break-in. When authorities searched the zoo for the intruders, they heard groaning — but could not tell if they were hearing the sound of a human or an animal. Outside a primate cage, they found a 35-pound Patas monkey that had suffered blows to the head and neck. The monkey died from the beating. But on Monday, when 22-year-old Michael Watkins of Weiser was arrested in connection with the killing, animal cruelty was not among the charges. Watkins instead faces two felony charges of burglary and grand theft. … Why no animal cruelty charge? Because Idaho’s recently rewritten animal cruelty law is so embarrassingly weak that it borders on useless. More here. (Boise Police Department booking photo of Michael J. Watkins, 22, a suspect in bludgeoning death of monkey)
Question: Does this case underscore the ridiculousness of Idaho's weak animal cruelty laws?
The rise in U.S. suicides from 2000 to 2010 is largely attributable to an increase in hangings and suffocations – particularly among men and women ages 45 to 59, research published Tuesday morning finds. Reporting in the December issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy have pinned down the trends behind suicide’s sobering rise in recent years. Noting that suicide has surpassed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury death in the United States, the authors used data from the CDC’s Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) to get a better handle on who tried to kill themselves, and how/Jennifer LaRue Huget, Washington Post. More here.
Question: Why do you think more middle-age people are committing suicide?
An eagle soars above Wolf Lodge Bay in this Spokesman-Review file photo.
Wildlife biologist Carrie Hugo counted 64 soggy bald eagles today in the Wolf Lodge Bay area of Lake Coeur d'Alene. Bald eagles from around the region congregate in the bay in November through December to feast on the spawned out kokanee salmon. For years, U.S. Bureau of Land Management biologists have conducted weekly surveys to monitor the eagle congregation. The BLM joins with Idaho Fish and Game and local birding expers to stages an Eagle Watch information fair at Wolf Lodge Bay each year during the Christmas holiday break, which tends to coincide with the peak numbers of eagles visiting the area/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors blog. More here.
Question: Where is the best place by car to see eagles along Lake Coeur d'Alene?
Just got back from a 45-minute walk through the Education Corridor & around the North Shore. Only 1 jogger, 1 other pedestrian and a whole flock of ducks & geese to share the waterfront with. I didn't get very wet, as a result of an umbrella, until I was approaching the SR building along Northwest Boulevard, when a coupla vehicles revved through some street puddles. The third guy slowed down. I'd consider the first two clueless, but they mighta been individuals who saw an opportunity to make a political statement against your blogmeister.
Question: How do you get exercise during the 4 inclement months of the year?
The Independent Record made a small but damaging alteration to Sunday’s Associated Press story about the president’s trip to Asia, and the change needs to be noted. Otherwise, your readers might make the embarrassing assumption that the AP has joined the birthers. As a retired AP staffer of 38 years, the last 28 in the Helena bureau, I regret the unjustified ridicule that your readers may mistakenly aim at the AP. The violence was done by adding a single word to Jim Kuhnhenn’s article from Washington about the President’s trip to Asia. It appeared in this paragraph: “The Asia trip underscores Obama’s efforts to establish the United states as an Asia-Pacific power, a worldview defined by 21st century geopolitics but also by Obama’s personal identity as America’s first Pacific president. Obama was allegedly born in Hawaii.” The word “allegedly” was edited into the story by the IR. The AP has assured me it did not appear in the story as written and transmitted/Tom Laceky, Helena Independent-Record. More here. (AP file photo of announcement in Honolulu Star Bulletin of President Barack Obama's birth in August 1961)
Question: I almost hate to ask, but … are there any birthers remaining out there?
Sandi is celebrating her 70th birthday and not hesitant to share that fact. I think 70 is the new 50. Considering I celebrated my 60th this year I’m hoping 60 is the new 40 — Kerri Thoreson.
Question: Is 70 really the new 50 — and 60 the new 40?
In this 2005 file photo, City Finance Director Troy Tymesen, left, Mayor Sandi Bloem and Project coordinator Renata McLeod, rejoice over the city's good fortune as they write a press release announcing the awarding of a Kroc foundation grant of $25 million to build a civic center in Coeur d'Alene.
DFO: No public official has affected the landscape of Coeur d'Alene more in my 28 years here than three-term Mayor Sandi Bloem. New library. Kroc Center. Centennial/Prairie trails. Education Corridor. Downtown renewal. Etc. Yet here future as mayor seems uncertain as time approaches for her to consider a fourth term. Her political enemies are hell-bent to bounce her from a fourth term after failing to get enough signatures to force her into a recall election. The hardline Reagan Republicans are sure to focus their scorched earth approach against anyone who doesn't embrace their type of conservatism against her. No mayor has served three terms, let alone four. What do you think?
Question: Will Sandi Bloem be elected to a fourth term if she decides to run again next year?
A formal complaint regarding a Declo teacher’s treatment of students who failed reading goals has been filed with an Idaho commission on educators’ professional standards and ethics. The Idaho State Department of Education’s Professional Standards Commission examines complaints against certified teachers and has the power to suspend or revoke teaching licenses. Cassia County School District Superintendent Galen Smyer said Monday his district filed the complaint after fourth-grade teacher Summer Larsen allowed students to scribble with permanent marker on the faces of classmates who failed to meet reading goals. “I’m really limited on what I can say because it’s a personnel issue,” Smyer said. “The investigation on this is also ongoing in the district.” Smyer declined to name the teacher involved last week, citing personnel reasons, but parents of the students named Larsen/Laurie Welch, Twin Falls Times News. More here.
Question: What should be done with teacher who allowed students to scribble with permanent marker on the faces of classmates swho failed to meet reading goals?
A firefighter keeps his distance as flames engulf an excavator Fifth Street in downtown Lewiston Monday after a gas line was struck. More via Eye on Boise. (Lewiston Tribune photo)
Woody Miller attends a rally in opposition to a city-wide nudity ban outside of City Hall in San Francisco, Wednesday. San Francisco appears poised to shed part of its image as a city where anything goes, including clothing. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote next week on a law that would ban public nudity. The proposal comes in response to a devoted group of nudists who proudly strut their stuff through the city’s Castro District. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Question: Ah, would you want to see this guy walking around your vacation town naked?
Monday’s melancholy weather matched the mood at a private air hangar at Spokane International Airport as family and local military welcomed home the body of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Matthew H. Stiltz. The 26-year-old infantryman died last week from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with artillery fire in Zerok, a town in eastern Afghanistan. The Shadle Park High School graduate, who joined the Army in 2005, was on a tour in Afghanistan after serving two tours in Iraq. “He’s come home and will be buried here in hallowed ground,” said Brian Newberry, Fairchild Air Force Base wing commander. Members of the U.S. Air Force base were there to make sure the family’s needs were met, said Staff Sgt. Michael J. Means/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
Question: I hate these stories of fallen men and women of our military coming back to grieving families, in an effort to protect crazies from killing other crazies in the Middle East. It's past time to quit feeding our young people into the meat grinder in hostile countries that have no use for us. What do you think?
When the old Pacific-10 Conference held its annual football media briefing and cocktail-a-thon in the summer of 1992, Mike Price (shown in AP file photo) wandered into the hospitality room, poured two glasses of wine, handed one to a Washington State beat reporter of that era and delivered the greatest conversation icebreaker in coach-and-writer history: “So,” he asked, “are they going to fire my ass?” Price’s Cougars teams had lost 19 of their last 26 games at that point. That he hadn’t been fired already says a lot about how the school has traditionally finessed its ante into the no-limit game of college football, and probably a little about how Price had already become part of the Wazzu furniture, too/John Blanchette, SR. More here.
Question: Do you follow Washington State sports?
In their advice column today, SR End Notes blog writers Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Nappi had this exchange for an interesing situation:
Question: Have you kept in contact with former in-laws?
School trustees in Coeur d'Alene have set the timeline for appointing a new trustee to fill the Zone 1 seat from which Jim Purtee (pictured) recently resigned. During a special meeting on Monday, trustees officially declared a vacancy on the school board and said they will accept applications from interested parties until Dec. 12. They will likely interview eligible applicants during a special meeting planned for Dec. 17, and could possibly select someone for appointment during that meeting. “I think the goal would be to have someone in place by the January meeting,” said Tom Hamilton, board chair. Purtee announced his resignation last month, to be effective Nov. 15. He cited personal health concerns as the reason for his departure. Purtee was appointed to the Zone 1 seat in April/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Any members of the Reagan Republican Board of Directors live in Purtee's zone?
A patient uses an oral test for HIV, inside the HIV Testing Room at the Penn Branch of the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles, in southeast Washington. All Americans ages 15 to 64 should get an HIV test at least once _ not just people considered at high risk for the virus, a panel of government advisers proposed Monday. The draft guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are the latest recommendations that aim to make HIV screening simply a routine part of a check-up, something a doctor can order with as little fuss as a cholesterol test or a mammogram. Since 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has pushed for widespread, routine HIV testing. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Question: Would you consider a once in a lifetime HIV test, just to be sure?
Ron Paul has returned to the hot-button issue of secession, arguing that leaving the Union is a legitimate way for states to “stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on our liberties.” Paul, a Republican congressman from Texas known for his libertarian views, said on his House website:
“Secession is a deeply American principle. This country was born through secession. Some felt it was treasonous to secede from England, but those 'traitors' became our country's greatest patriots. There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents”/U.S. News. More here.
Question: This country may have been born through secession — and kept together by preventing secession — but is Ron Paul forgetting that both instances involved bloody conflicts?
Time now, adventure lovers, for another episode of Misner Madness. But first, let’s pause a moment to absorb the following shocker. Bill Misner, the Spokane ultrarunner who has logged more mileage than Madonna’s bedsprings, has decided to hang it up. “I’m retiring,” announced Misner during a morning phone call. “That’s it. “Oh, I’ll still run for fitness,” he added after a moment. “But to get into that national level of competition … “It’s a full-time job.” Flashback to Moab, Utah, earlier this month. The 72-year-old captured the gold medal for his age group in what is dubbed the “mother of all marathons.” Which means that Misner’s going out on top, something few champs have the common sense to do/Doug Clark, SR. More here. (SR file photo)
Question: What's your strategy for going out on top?
We're hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, with Amy Dearest and Okie Doke coming in from Portland. Some of the extended Coeur d'Alene Family Oliveria will be sharing turkey with us. Always a nice time to kick back and enjoy family. How about you? Are you hosting? Or visiting someone else's house? You can answer that question or start your own topic with this Wild Card …
There are many reasons why people decide to start homeschooling their kids. But what prompts a family to stop homeschooling? Last summer some friends of ours decided to pull their two boys out of public school because they were frustrated with the quality of teaching and worried about the negative influences of certain bullies on the playground. The parents were enthusiastic about homeschooling and the possibilities for learning. I warned the mom, who would be the primary teacher, that the first year was a tough time of adjustment to a new and very busy schedule. She had it under control, she told me. She was organized and ready. Within the first month she voiced her first minor complaint to us/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here.
Question: Do you know people who have tried and then quit home-schooling their children?
Traffic in Interstate 90 travels westbound Friday past the section of Greensferry Road that ends on the north side of the freeway in Post Falls. Brian Walker story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Jerome A. Pollos)
The latest lunacy from the far right is a top-of-the-voice demand to be allowed to secede from the good ol’ U.S. of A. or, in the alternative, renounce citizenship. Anyone that wants out that badly not only has my blessing but a foot firmly planted on their ass to get ‘em started. It’s just a wild guess, but few of them likely have checked laws of the country they want out of to see how it’s done. Or if the rest of the state can go with ‘em. Or if either can be done. Being a helpful soul, I’ve done their research for them. And they ain’t gonna like it. First, no individual or state can “secede” from this country. They can’t just pick up their marbles – or oil wells – and go anywhere else/Barrett Rainey, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.
Question: Do you know anyone personally who has talked about secession since election?
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office needs your help in identifying a man who was found about 9 this morning lying in a field near Chase Road and Highway 53, west of Rathdrum. The unconscious man is reportedly in critical condition at Kootenai Medical Center. It is unknown how long he was lying in the field. He does not have any obvious signs of trauma. He is approximately 50 years of age, 5-foot-8, to 5-foot-10 with a slender build. He has brown hair and green eyes. He was only wearing dark colored sweat pants. He does not have any tattoos, but is missing the tip of his middle finger on his right hand. Anyone with information as to the identity of the man or information as to how he may have ended up on the field is asked to call the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office at: (208) 446-1300. (KCSO photo)
“You can use any nut, I don't mind,” posts Stebbijo/Stebbijo's Place, “whatever is handy or on sale is good with me. Our daughter who gets her pecans for next to nothing back in Missouri - but she has to crack them, spurred me into action and my dear hubby just loves those store bought Pecan Sandies.” More here.
HucksOnline numbers (for week of Nov. 11-17): 53,463 page-views/31,796 unique views
On his Slice blog, Paul Turner writes: Do you have a favorite scene? Mine might be when Ralphie is composing his “What I want for Christmas” theme for school and is mightily impressed with the quality of his own prose. “This is great.”
Featured Blog: So the retail season has a little drama developing this week. It's the increasing concern by some parts of the business world that stores that open on Thanksgiving are turning into Scrooge, forcing employees to give up one of the entitled holidays most Americans enjoy. To continue the literary analogy, the players taking the role of Bob Cratchit are employees from Target and Walmart/Tom Sowa, Office Hours. More here.
Question: Which scene from “A Christmas Story” do you like best? And/or: Am I the only one who has read the original version of the Christmas story — the one with the role of the neighbor Bumpuses much expanded?
Winston Brooks, the former Gonzaga Bulldog basketballer, promotes the Boys & Girls Club of Post Falls in this video posted on the Coeur d'Alene Police Department Facebook page:
On his Facebook wall, Randy Stapilus/Ridenbaugh Press reports: “The last week, we’ve asked readers whether incumbent Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney or challenger Scott Bedke (the assistant majority leader) would emerge as winner when the session holds its organizational meeting next month. Results: 87.5% say Bedke, and the rest said someone else. No one predicted Denney.”
Question: I wonder if someone has told House Speaker Lawerence Denney that he's going, going …?
An article this morning on the Salon website, 10 Reasons Republicans Think Their Party's Dysfunctional, includes Idaho GOP Congressman Raul Labrador's Sunday appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. The article features what Salon calls “some of the Republican Party's leading lights” giving their reasons why the “party failed so miserably” in the Nov. 6 election. Author Adele Stain wrote that Labrador displayed “his neo-libertarian streak” at the Nov. 18 Meet the Press roundtable, suggesting “that the party's problem is that it just talks the small-government, no-handout game, but when it comes to corporations, government and subsidies rule”/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here.
Question: Is it possible that Raul Labrador could become a national voice of conservatism a la Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann or Marco Rubio?
You'd think after a lifetime of trying to be something different, I'd accept that I am who I am. This morning I was confronted, again, with my natural tendency to simply fall into a daydream or memory and stay there. For as long as I can remember, I've found myself standing or sitting, staring into space while a chain of thoughts connect like train cars and take me with them when they pull away. My children laugh at me. My husband asks the question a second or third time, until I blink and come back to the present. This morning I spent half an hour watching the washing machine spin/Cheryl-Ann Milsap, CAMera. More here.
Question: Do you daydream much?
U.S. stocks had their best day since the election. Market-watchers are citing optimism about a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and government spending cuts. The Dow Jones industrial average surged 207 points to close at 12,795. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 27 to 1,386. And the Nasdaq composite index rose 62 points to 2,916. Lowe's and Tyson Foods also helped the market by turning in strong earnings reports. Advancing stocks outnumbered decliners by about 8-to-1. Early figures show volume was about average, 3.3 billion shares traded/Associated Press.
Question: Do you think Congress can work together to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff”?
MacServiceNW.com has moved its headquarters from Portland, Oregon to downtown Coeur d’Alene (411 E. Coeur d'Alene Ave.), according to a news release. Mac Service Northwest offers Mac users in the Inland Northwest a local Apple Retail Store alternative for specialized service and support for Apple products. With a full-service repair shop on-premises, MSNW offers affordable solutions for problems such as screen replacements, logic board failures and liquid damage. MSNW also performs unlocking and jailbreaking of iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs, further enhancing the capabilities of these Apple devices. MSNW offers personalized consultation and tutoring services on or off-site as well as corporate and household IT, networking, and maintenance services. Since 2007, Mac Service Northwest has been offering a local, affordable alternative to the Apple Store.
Question: Is this the type of shop that would interest you?
It was Idaho Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna himself who made the motion at the state Board of Education this morning to repeal the rule requiring that every Idaho high school student take at least two online classes to graduate from high school. “Proposition 3 was overturned by the voters,” Luna said. “Overturning Proposition 3 in and of itself did not remove the two.” But, he said, “Because of the actions of the voters on Nov. 6th … the perception in the public definitely was that the language on the ballot itself made a reference to the online graduation requirement, and so I think it's proper that we remove that as part of the pending rule.” His motion to repeal the rule passed on a 7-1 vote, with just board member Emma Atchley objecting/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Also by Eye on Boise today?
Jim Getty, portraying President Abraham Lincoln, delivers his rendition of the Gettysburg Address during a ceremony to mark the 149th anniversary of Lincoln's speech at Soldier's National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pa., Monday. Director Steven Spielberg and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin were also on hand to deliver remarks and participate in a wreath-laying ceremony. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Question: Did you at any time memorize the Gettysburg address?
Idaho Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter has six years in office under his belt and two more to go. But what does he have to show for it? To say he has the thinnest legacy since Gov. (Big) Don Samuelson would be taking an unfair poke at Samuelson. Idaho's 25th governor, Samuelson served from 1967 to 1971. He generally rates near the least successful governors. He was a terrible public speaker. He suffered comparisons to his predecessor, Robert Smylie, and his successor, Cecil Andrus. And the voters denied him a second term. By contrast, Otter is an exceptional retail politician who has won three terms in Congress, two as governor and could have a third for the asking. But in terms of governing, Samuelson's record is not insignificant/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (AP file photo of Butch Otter at the end of 2012 Legislature)
Question: What has Butch Otter accomplished in his 6 years as governor?
There are certain words that can be spoken to make all the difference between whether a person goes just for the basic health care procedures or opts for the Hollywood blow-out version of self-improvement. Those words are: “Your insurance won't cover it.”You have to give people credit who go ahead with the boob jobs, the facelifts and the collagen implants when they have to pay for it out of their own pockets. It means looking good and being popular really is important, which is what I have always believed. Sure, having a nice personality and a stimulating intellect might win you friends and admirers, but if you really want to make it in life, kid, you need to look hot. For me it involved a relatively minor dental procedure. I say “minor” ironically, because what's minor for many people is major anguish for me/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you fear going to the dentist?
Adrian Alvarado Baldeon is bathed in early morning light as he drives his sheep from the ridge where he beds them at night to river where he waters them in the morning earlier this fall in Sun Valley. Baldeon is involved in an experimental project to keep sheep safe from wolves — and keep wolves safe from sharing fate of northeast Washington's Wedge Pack. Becky Kramer story here. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)
Andrew Larsen, left, dumps uneaten organic materials into the compost bin outside Lincoln Middle School as Katie Vetter watches on Friday in Pullman. Larsen, 21, of Spokane, is a senior at Washington State University majoring on history education. Vetter, 21, of Port Orchard, Wash., is a junior at WSU majoring in agriculture education. Estelle Gwinn Daily News story here. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo: Dean Hare)
Question: Do you compost?
As predictable as Al Gore blaming a Hurricane Sandy on global warming, the Republican establishment is blaming the party's losses in the last election on conservatives. And that is nonsense. A quick examination of the last three general elections disproves the theory that Republican moderation is the path to the party's resurgence. In 2008 and 2012, the GOP establishment had their man at the top of the ticket. John McCain and Mitt Romney were precisely the sorts of candidates that the establishment told us that we needed to win. Both were moderate. Both had a reputation for “reaching across the aisle.” Ronald Reagan's Commerce secretary, Malcolm Baldridge, once characterized such men as the type who, if Democrats introduced legislation mandating that Washington, D.C., be burned to the ground, would offer a compromise that would phase it in over three years. Not only did they lose, but both pulled down the party in both houses of Congress/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you agree with Michael Costello that Republicans can gain nationally only if they embrace true conservatism?
Washington State University freshman Kenneth Hummel’s death last month brought the issue of alcohol abuse on college campuses back into the spotlight. The student had a blood alcohol level of 0.40 when he died. But the weekend before Hummel died, three WSU students ended up in the hospital because of overdrinking, said Cassandra Nichols, the university’s director of counseling services. Pullman Regional Hospital has seen four patients since August whose alcohol poisoning was so severe that they “needed life support because they drank too much, and that is rare,” said Alison Weigley, community relations coordinator. “Typically we might have one, maybe two in a year”/Jody Lawrence Turner, SR. More here. (Tyler Tjomsland SR photo: Officer Ruben Harris, second from right, handcuffs a highly intoxicated man who was arrested for trespassing on private property on Nov. 10 during a patrol of College Hill in Pullman)
Question: Looking back, can you remember times in your college days when you probably drank way too much?
Ten years ago this month, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was considering the approval of aggressive interrogation techniques for “high-value detainees” being held at Guantanamo Bay. The techniques had roots in the survival school training conducted at Fairchild Air Force Base and elsewhere, where service members are taught to resist the worst the enemy might do. The methods became the foundation for an interrogation program that proceeded, sometimes officially, sometimes not, through various incarnations of the “war on terror”: from secret CIA prisons to Guantanamo Bay to Abu Ghraib. Some of those Fairchild roots are well-known, particularly the roles of two former Air Force psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. Mitchell and Jessen helped create the CIA’s interrogation program in the months after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; they oversaw an extended case of waterboarding at a secret prison in Thailand, one of the most detailed cases in the debate over torture and interrogation. But others with connections to Fairchild played roles as well/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.
Question: Is there ever a time when this country should be involved in torturing prisoners?
It can be a difficult, heart-aching topic, but even addressing it - just bringing it up - can be an important breakthrough. Especially here, around Coeur d'Alene, where the suicide rate is the highest in Idaho, the state with the sixth highest rate nationally. While it can be much easier to ignore the problem than talk about it, the only way those alarming statistics will reverse course is if people tackle the issue head on. That means recognizing it, and discussing it. “It doesn't have to be direct, it doesn't have to be threatening,” said Raquel Kellicut, a therapist and grief counselor on reaching out to someone who may be having troubling thoughts. “It's expressing an interest in somebody”/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Tom Hasslinger's Press photo of state Sen. John Goedde telling of the loss of his daughter)
Question: Has your family been impacted by suicide?
The Little Free Library in Mary Maxfield's front yard at 2217 E. 46th Avenue in Spokane, Wash., awaits the neighbors checking out books. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)
One possibly surprising thing about Little Free Libraries: Other than to borrow and drop off books, lingering to peruse the titles or page through the pictures, people leave them alone. That’s contrary to what passers-by wondered aloud when Mary Maxfield put up Little Free Library No. 848 – a peak-roofed box atop a sturdy post in her front yard on the South Hill, with a sign inviting people to take a book or leave one. How would she protect it from vandals? How would she keep people from throwing books into the street? Not an issue, said Maxfield, a retired program director for the Girl Scouts who erected her little library last spring. Well, one time some kids drove past, their car vibrating with loud music/Adrian Rogers, SR. More here.
Question: Would you like to see something like this in your neighborhood?
The Spokesman-Review and the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University will provide a one-day training workshop in February for qualified rural journalists and citizen bloggers in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. The free workshop, which will be held at The Spokesman-Review, is open to 20 citizen journalists or bloggers interested in increasing their knowledge of writing, reporting and photojournalism, as well as to network with other writers and journalists/SR. More here.
Question: Would you be interested in a citizen journalism (blogging) class?
It’s a good day, Spokane. There’s no snow in the potholes, the river’s still running and Karl Thompson Jr. is already ensconced in a federal lockup on the other side of the state. Sorry, but you won’t find me joining the gripers and grousers who are sore about the ex-cop getting just 51 months for his unwarranted and vicious attack on Otto Zehm six-plus years ago. I’ve been beating this drum too long for that. I remember too well the lonely days when our do-nothing county prosecutor, Steve Tucker, refused to touch this case as if it were radioactive. I remember, too, that the city’s official and shameful position was that Thompson did nothing wrong and that Zehm was to blame. I was just some kook columnist ranting in the paper about a lost cause and giving away 5,000 Otto buttons to keep people from forgetting. Oh, boy, do I remember/Doug Clark, SR. More here.
A book of poetry about “Wallace, Idaho,” that recalls the bygone houses of prostitution begs reading: “Every 12-year-old charged/with selling something to benefit anything/knew like the Lord’s Prayer/the first steps you climbed led to brothel doors.” Whidbey Island, Wash., poet Linda (Hall) Beeman wrote those lines in “Hook Houses.” In a telephone interview, she told Huckleberries that she didn’t visit the Oasis, Lux and Sahara to sell school candy while growing up in Wallace, 1952-’65. But a classmate named Bruce did. Beeman was inspired to celebrate Wallace in rhyme after returning to her hometown for the centennial of the August 1910 fire. “That set off a series of memories and flashbacks. It flowed pretty naturally,” she said. Late mining magnate Harry Magnuson earned an entry: “His accounting and penny stock savvy/build inroads and a fortune.” And “Miners,” she wrote, “unhinge me/their raw edginess a glimpse into hot dark underground.” Linda penned poems about the 1972 mining disaster, the 1910 fire, I-90 and the Cataldo Mission, too/DFO, SR Huckleberries. More here.
More weekend SR columns:
Question: Do you read poetry?
The Coeur d'Alene Viks were denied their three-peat by Madison of Rexburg but they were game until the end of their 5A high school football title game, falling 37-30 in Pocatello. Nothing to be ashamed of there. Next week brings two things. Another birthday that I share with Mayor Sandi Bloem (Tuesday) — and Thanksgiving. We're hosting the Oliveria clan for Thanksgiving this year. Can't wait. Now for the weekend Wild Card …
Milton Finster, 94 works to harvest the 250-300 pounds of Ida Red apples from his backyard tree in the Lewiston Orchards recently with the help of his wife June. “This is the only Ida Red apple tree in the Valley that we know of, said Finster, who owned and operated Finsters Orchard in Lewiston before his retirement. The pair plan to make apple sauce, pies and juice with their backyard harvest. (AP photo/ Lewiston Tribune, Steve Hanks)
You can follow the 5A high school football championship game between Coeur d'Alene and Madison in Pocatello on ESPN/KVNI 1080 or via @1080ESPN Twitter.
“I’m happy to put it to bed once and for all,” Kennedy said Friday. He estimates he spent at least $10,000 of his own money in the case, and the city covered legal bills on his behalf to the tune of $126,000, not counting many hours of city staff time. “It was a pretty long and costly matter for taxpayers and for me and my family,” Kennedy said. “But it’s done, and that’s a good feeling.” Scott Maben SR story here.
Question: Would you run for City Council again, if you were in Mike Kennedy's shoes?
Amid an ongoing contract dispute, musicians with the Spokane Symphony picket outside the Fox Theater Saturday night. The striking musicians of the Spokane Symphony are planning a show of their own Saturday. Five symphony performances have been canceled since the musicians announced the strike Nov. 3. Story here. Chelsea Bannach story here. (SR photo: Chelsea Bannach)
Challenge Jim Brannon has issued a single-page announcement re: his reaction to the Idaho Supreme Court decision this afternoon denying his appeal in the 2009 Coeur d''Alene city election case. Brannon said he was disappointed with the ruling but insisted the case had “several beneficial effects,” including:
On his Slice blog, Paul Turner writes: “If you have given a friend tentative indication that you might actually join him for the potentially heart-stopping annual event in Coeur d'Alene on Jan. 1, when is it appropriate to start asking yourself “What was I thinking?”
On his Slice blog, Paul Turner posts this front-page drawing from Nov. 26, 1955, by artist was John Clymer, who was born in Ellensberg, Wash.
Question: Which is your favorite old-time magazine?
Nice video article by Dylan Wohlenhaus/KHQ re: long-time musician Larry (french horn) and Sharon (flute) Strobel, who helped mentor eighth-grade local musicians at North Idaho College this week.
As I listen to talk show hosts and guests saying that Gen. Petraeus should not have been “forced” to resign his prestigious post as CIA Director because “what a person does in private has no bearing on one's public life”, they fail to grasp the two key reasons why he left. First, he chose to leave. There is no conspiracy. No Obama-controlled manipulation. David Petraeus resigned on his own initiative. He admitted he was wrong in what he did. Second, he resigned because he DOES have character. His three-word motto of Duty-Honor-Country would not allow him to remain. He knew he HAD to leave. That's what men and women of character do when they fail/Dennis Mansfield. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Do you agree with Dennis Mansfield that the voluntary resignation of General David Petraeus was an act of character?
Residents of a Washington State University sorority have awakened to find a pulpy mess at their backdoor several times over the past month. About a month ago, someone started throwing oranges at the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, located at 600 NE Campus Road, says chapter president, Nikki Taplin. The half-dozen or so incidents have been reported to Pullman police. Taplin says they have never seen the perpetrators, but she believes about 10 to 15 oranges are thrown at close range each time. “At first I thought it was just a bunch of garbage - but it seems intentional,” Taplin said. “We wake up in the morning and they’re just outside our door and our door is covered in pulp”/Nicole Hensley, SR. More here.
Question: Did you pull any pranks in your college years that could have gotten you in trouble. Care to tell us about it?
Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Wonder Bread and Twinkies, announced today that it will liquidate because not enough striking employees returned to work by a Thursday evening deadline set by the company. Story here. (AP file photo)
Quotable Quote: Sorry. I have to decline any further comment on the #Hostess issue. What with the Ding Dongs and Ho Ho's it can only get more embarrassing! — Cindy's tweet.
Question: Has anyone out there eaten a Twinkie in the last month?
For all that nothing has changed in the numbers of Republicans and Democrats in the Idaho congressional and legislative delegations, the state's battleground picture may have shifted a little. Not a lot. But in some notable places. Of the 105 seats, 21 were unopposed (one of those a Democrat, Michelle Stennett of Ketchum), and 58 more were decided in true landslides of 60 percent or more of the vote, so 79 of the 105 seats were generally not competitive at all. If we scale back a little further and look at races won only by realistically close margins – under 55 percent – then just 14 races, out of the 105, remain. When you look at where in the state they were, the geography of the races makes sense/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.
Question: Do you see any changes in Idaho politics as a result of the 2012 general election?
Fourth-graders who failed to achieve reading goals had their faces scribbled on with permanent markers by other students last week at Declo Elementary School — under the supervision of their teacher. Some parents and Cassia County School District leadership are now decrying the consequences for the nine students, some of whom have learning problems. When Cindy Hurst’s 10-year-old son arrived home from school Nov. 5, his entire face, hairline to chin, was scribbled on in red marker — including his eyelids. He also had green, red and purple scribble marks over the red, and his face was scratched by a marker that had a rough edge. “He was humiliated, he hung his head and wanted to go wash his face,” said Hurst. “He knows he’s a slow reader. Now he thinks he should be punished for it”/Laurie Welch, Twin Falls Times News. More here.
Question: Are. You. Kidding. Me?!
President Obama's favorability has jumped to a three-year high in the week following his reelection, with 58 percent of Americans now saying they have a positive opinion of the president. The number represents a three-point improvement for the president since a similar survey conducted by Gallup in the days immediately preceding last week's presidential election. And it is Obama's highest mark since July 2009, when two-thirds of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of the president. Obama's all-time high point was a 78 percent favorability rating shortly after his inauguration in January 2009/Justin Sink, The Hill. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Do you have a more/less favorable view of President Obama today than you did four years ago?
Originally posted at 11:02 a.m. today
A Coeur d’Alene man who contested his loss in a 2009 City Council election has lost his appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court. The court today issued its opinion in Jim Brannon’s legal fight over the narrow election loss to Councilor Mike Kennedy. The justices ruled that Kootenai County 1st District Judge Charles Hosack properly denied Brannon’s motion for a new trial. Hosack concluded in his October 2010 decision that there was no error in the counting of votes, as Brannon had argued, nor misconduct on the part of county elections workers that would change the result of the election/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Supreme Court conclusion: “We find that the district court did not err when it denied Brannon’s motion to disqualify. We also hold that the UOCAVA absentee voter requirements did not apply to municipal elections held prior to 2011, but that there is insufficient evidence in the record to conclude that the five disputed votes in this case were illegal. We hold that the district court did not err when it refused to order non-city residents to testify about their residency at trial.” Idaho Supeme Court ruling here.
Question: How will Brannon's followers spin this one?
On her Facebook wall, Cindy tells of something you don't want to hear from your seventh-grader: “Mom! Everybody's dating. Everybody!” I remember as a high school freshman taking a girl to a prom. But I don't think I started dating until I was 16. My son didn't date until he was a senior in high school. My daughter dated one guy at 16 and then not again until she got into college. She said during high school: “I can't think of a high school boy that's worth dating.” How about you?
Question: When did you start dating? When did you allow your kids to date?
On his Facebook wall, photographer Robin Loznak of Kellogg, Ore., writes “Leon (aka Fluffy) helps out his brother Eclipse with morning grooming.”
There has been a wide range of reasons for players leaving the football program since Mike Leach became head coach. Christian Caple SR story here. (Tyler Tjomsland SR file photo of Leach on sidelines)
Idaho's interim head coach Jason Gesser, right, talks with Mike Scott during a game against Brigham Young during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Provo, Utah, last Saturday. BYU beat Idaho 52-13. (AP Photo/George Frey)
Jason Gesser insists the Idaho football program can reach a level of consistency where bowl appearances become the norm, not a once-in-a-decade anomaly. He’s also sure he wants to be at UI to see that vision come to fruition – whether he’s the permanent head football coach or not. Gesser told The Spokesman-Review that if he’s bypassed for the full-time job he would gladly stay in Moscow as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach under the new coach/Josh Wright, SR. More here.
Question: Would you like to see AD Rob Spear give Gesser a chance at being permanent head coach?
On his Facebook wall, Erik Michaels provides a slice of North Idaho life that he spotted at the Real Life Ministries thrift store on Cecil b/n Poleline & 16th/Post Falls:
“Yesterday I shopped the (Real Life Ministries) thrift stores & discovered a 'Hmmm moment”'… they had a collection of crutches next to the collection of ski equipment! I neglected to ask if that was by accident or by design!!!”
Question: Have you hurt yourself skiing, snowboarding or in any other way recreating in snow?
Republican Clete Edmunson left the Legislature in 2007 to become Gov. Butch Otter's point man on education and transportation and spent 3 1/2 years in the Otter administration. In a guest opinion submitted Friday, Edmunson says he was present when Otter told Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna that Luna should vet his reform ideas with teachers, parents, administrators and school board members. “I distinctly remember the Governor telling Tom that he needed to get the stakeholders on board because it not only affected their livelihood; it was the right thing to do,” Edmunson wrote. Instead, Luna surprised lawmakers and education stakeholders in January 2011 with his “Students Come First” laws. Otter, however, forcefully backed the plan and signed three bills despite overwhelming public testimony in opposition/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you think Otter is finally throwing Luna under the bus?
Readers of the Coeur d'Alene Press online were overwhelmingly dismayed by the re-election of President Barack Obama:
In a state that voted for Mitt Romney en masse, perhaps it's no wonder that readers of cdapress.com aren't wildly enthusiastic about the state of the nation. Asked, “With the election over, how optimistic are you now?”, here's how Press voters responded:
Question: Are you more optimistic/pessimistic than you were two weeks ago?
In a Nov. 12 letter released Friday as an “Open Letter to the Governor,” Tea Party Boise President Chad Inman quotes Gov. Butch Otter's own words in arguing against a state-run exchange under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Inman's letter includes part of Otter's foreward in one edition of the late LDS President and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ezra Taft Benson's booklet, “The Proper Role of Government,” which Otter often gives to guests visiting his office. Wrote Otter: “Politicians, bureaucrats and judges in all branches and at all levels of government are using the law to accomplish incrementally the very ends that our form of government was created to prevent”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Shawn Raaecke Idaho Statesman file photo of 2010 Tea Party Boise rally)
Question: Has the Tea Party overstayed its welcome in Idaho?
And you think the debate over the education reform measures was contentious. Read on. Referenda in 1936 and 2012 have been the only successful ones in Idaho history. In both years major legislation was repealed by the voters. Three other attempts failed. The 1936 referendum campaign targeted the 2-cent sales tax and the 2012 effort generally focused on education reform. Even though the subject matter of the two referenda efforts were quite different, there are a number of interesting similarities. Both were personalized. The 2-cent sales tax was mocked as a “penny for Benny” for Gov. C. Ben Ross, who championed the tax. In 2012, the education reform laws were often referred to as “Luna laws” for the primary sponsor of the legislation, state schools Superintendent Tom Luna/Jim Weatherby, special to Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you know much about Idaho history?
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune cheers … state Sen. Jim Hammond, R- Coeur d'Alene. Nearly two years ago, he voted for the Luna laws. But Hammond now agrees schools Superintendent Tom Luna's badly flawed plan for distributing nearly $39 million in merit teacher pay ought to be scrapped. “I would like to see it go to the base, and let the teachers negotiate with their local school boards for it,” Hammond told the Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell. “Because I think it's disingenuous giving merit pay to people that don't deserve it. I don't want to do that to teachers.” Luna's laws distribute bonuses largely on how well a school performed on the Idaho Standards Achievement Test. If a teacher works in a school that tests well, it doesn't matter if she's a superstar or a slacker. She gets the same bonus. Likewise, a truly exceptional teacher working in a school that doesn't perform gets zilch. Full column here.
Question: I have a hard time cheering anyone who originally supported the Luna Laws. How about you?
Diana McKinley from the Seattle local 9 pickets on Thursday at Hostess plant in Sacramento, Calif. She is a 33 year employee of Hostess in Seattle. Hostess, the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, says it will announce that it's going out of business if striking workers don't come back to their jobs by this afternoon. The local Hostess plant near Arden Fair employs about 300 people. Story here. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Paul Kitagaki Jr.)
Question: Isn't it foolish to go on a strike that puts a company out of business?
As the Twilight era was moving quickly toward closure Thursday evening, no one was brooding at the Hayden Cinema 6. A flock of fans gathered in the movie theater's lobby for a private VIP party, a last celebration of all things Twilight before the 10 p.m. screening of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2,” the fifth and final installment of the wildly popular series featuring otherworldly romance and rivalries. Party guests danced and played games as they prepared to bid adieu to Edward, Bella, Jacob and the rest of the Twilight gang. For some, it was a bittersweet send-off. “It's been kind of a big part of our lives,” said Lucy Miller/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Tami Hern, organizer of the sneak peek screening of “Twilight” balances a fake apple on her head in a photo booth)
Question: Are you going to miss Edward, Bella & Jacob?
Originally posted 5:08 p.m. Thursday
Updated: After being handed a sentence Thursday of more than four years in federal prison – the culmination of six years of investigations, legal action and community soul-searching – former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. walked away passively in handcuffs. U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle admonished the courtroom in advance that demonstrations of any kind would be inappropriate, and the sentence was greeted with silence by both Thompson and Zehm supporters. Defense attorney Carl Oreskovich lost a last-minute plea to keep the decorated officer out of jail pending appeal of his convictions for using excessive force and lying to investigators to cover up his actions/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here.
Question: Was justice served?
Writing of the vacancy created by Coeur d'Alene School Board appointee/trustee James Purtee, the Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board this morning urges appointment of a fresh voice:
It's our hope that highly qualified citizens step forward when called upon to apply for any school board vacancy. It's also our hope that those currently on the board will look favorably on an applicant who might not march to the beat of the same drummer as the rest. This is not to say the board members all think and act identically, but there is less diversity in the thinking on this board than we believe would best serve the 10,000-plus students of the district.
Question: Will you be surprised if the Coeur d'Alene School Board trustees pick a replacement that doesn't share the same conservative hardline ideology?
I think I might go for another walk during the noon hour today. A good, long walk clears your head. I also enjoy seeing the beauty of our waterfront in the middle of a work day. Mebbe this'll become a habit. Always looking for ways to keep in shape during the winter end of fall. Now for today's Wild Card …
In this computer rendering provided by the Seattle Mariners, a new high definition video display screen is seen where it will replace the current center field scoreboard at the team's ballpark in Seattle. The Mariners announced today that they will install the largest scoreboard video screen in all of Major League Baseball at their ballpark during the offseason. The new display will replace the old scoreboard that was part video screen and part advertising. The latest configuration will be entirely a video screen, and will stretch the entire width of the center field bleachers where the current scoreboard is mounted. The Mariners say that at 201.5 feet wide and 56.7 feet tall, the video board will be 10 times the size of the current video screen when it’s installed before the 2013 season. (AP Photo/Seattle Mariners, Ben VanHouten)
Question: Will you be more/less/same likely to visit Safeco Field, as a result of installation of ha-huge new scoreboard?
Langston Ward, a senior at Mead High School, won the statewide Poetry Out Loud competition last year. He was recruited to play football at Harvard University, where he plans to study government. Adrian Rogers SR story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)
Huckleberries contacted poet Linda (Hall) Beeman, formerly of Wallace, who has written a book of rhymes, entitled “Wallace, Idaho.” Here's the phone interview from moments ago:
Huckleberries: What inspired you to pen a book of poems about Wallace, Idaho?
Linda Beeman: I came back for the centennial celebration of the 1910 fire a few years ago. That set off a series of memories and flashbacks. It flowed pretty naturally. I also read several books about Wallace and the area, like Timothy Egan's “The Big Burn.” I was amazed how much I didn't know about my home town.”
First District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador was the first member of Congress to call for Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation in 2011 and says there's a new reason for him to go — his handling of the Petraeus inquiry. “Holder should have resigned a long time ago,” Labrador said in a Wednesday Capitol Hill news conference. “Once again, it shows the incompetence or the complete neglect and dereliction of duty in Eric Holder's administration.” I blogged yesterday about Labrador's call on his party to press for immigration reform and reach out to Hispanic voters. I left out his comments on Holder and his view of President Obama's handling of immigration/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you want President Obama to dump Attorney General Eric Holder?
On his Facebook wall, FBF Robin Loznak wonders if anyone wants to write a book in order to use this photo on its cover.
Old SR buddy David Bond offers his thoughts about today & the good old days:
We are living in a much meaner, rule-obsessed world now. When did the policeman cease to be your friend and become instead your lurking law-enforcer, hiding behind a rock to catch you committing a victimless crime? When did adults start needing to supervise a kids' game of pick-up or scrub? When did cops feel the need to break up a high-school homecoming bonfire? When did kids getting into a rock-or fist-throwing event with the kids up the street become a crime, requiring expulsion and counselling? Or for that matter, when did kids become encouraged to snitch on their parents at school for smoking a wild herb? Or to feel good about themselves even when their study habits were sloppy and by Grade 12 they still could not write a simple declarative sentence? More here.
Question: Do you agree/disagree with Bond that our society is meaner & more rule-obsessed than it used to be?
Paul Turner posts this photo on his Slice blog, with the headline: “He had a few before loading that sack.”
Question: Am I the only one in the Huckleberries blogosphere who once bagged groceries for a living?
Linda L. Beeman's booklet of poems re: “Wallace, Idaho” has just arrived. Top-notched rhymes of the Great Fire, prostitutes & Uncle Bunker, including “Hook House,” which begins:
“Every 12-year-olds charged/With selling something to benefit anything/Knew like the Lord’s Prayer/The first steps you climbed led to brothel doors”
And: “On the Rocks,” which begins:
“By 1955 only weathered screeds/painted on the odd boulder/denouncing Wobblies survived/hinting at savage battles—/union versus mine owner.”
And: “Harry,” which begins:
“Harry lived down the block at First and Bank/grandson of one of those Bull penned/miners caught up in early labor wars.”
If you love history and/or Wallace, “Wallace, Idaho” is a must read. It's available from Amazon.com for $10, plus shipping and handling, or signed copies can be ordered from the author, email@example.com, for $14, including shipping and handling. And you can tell Linda that Huckleberries sent you. More info here.
In this Oct. 15,2010. SR file photo, Dave Leptich, of Idaho Fish and Game discussed improvements of the shooting range at Farragut State Park. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)
In a victory for sport shooters, the Idaho Supreme Court today lifted an injunction that has kept the Farragut State Park shooting range closed for almost six years. The decision will permit the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to reopen the Farragut range to 500 shooters per year, and possibly more than that if a district court judge determines noise and safety concerns have been addressed. The Supreme Court also reversed a district judge’s finding that the Idaho Outdoor Sport Shooting Range is unconstitutional/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Whether you're a Husky or a Coug, this week's news quiz is playing into your hands. One lucky winner will score four tickets plus a parking pass to the Nov. 23 Apple Cup football game in Pullman. Enter, and you're in the running for the random drawing! Other drawings this week are for two tickets to Custer's Christmas arts and crafts fair, and a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel (for the overall champ). News Quiz here.
Later today my son and I will slip away to the local courthouse and witness the creating of new families as judges finalize adoptions for local families. My son always wants to attend the annual event. He claimed it was for the teddy bears years ago, now he says, “The food is good!” Our son came to us through the magic of adoption and I know in every fiber of my soul he was meant to be in our family. I do not believe in “one true romantic love” – a fairy tale for sure – but I believe that somehow our children are destined to be ours/Catherine Johnston, SR End Notes. More here.
DFO: My nephew & his wife adopted 2 beautiful sisters from Ethiopia several years ago. They have become a huge part of our family. Our lives have been significantly enriched by them.
Question: Can you tell of your experience in adopting a child?
Fans of the Grand Slam breakfast, fear not. The Denny’s franchise owner who told a reporter that he would be adding a 5 percent “Obamacare” surcharge to diners’ meals has walked back that statement. John Metz, who owns around 40 Denny’s and multiple Dairy Queen Locations in Florida, as well as a franchise called Hurricane Grill & Wings, made news and ruffled diner food fans’ feathers when he told the Huffington Post that he planned to add a 5 percent surcharge at the start of next year in addition to cutting back some full-time employees to part time. His reasoning, he said, was that the measures are necessary to offset the costs of the Affordable Care Act, which goes into full effect in 2014/Kyle Blaine, ABC News. More here. (Photo: AP Business Wire)
Question: Would you frequent a restaurant that cut staff hours and added a 5% Obamacare tax surcharge?
Last night, as I waited for the “L” in Chicago, I called my husband in Spokane on his cell. No answer, but I got back an immediate text that read: I”m in a meeting.” My husband, happily retired since 2005, is never really in meetings anymore. So I texted right back: “Meeting? What???” I got back a cryptic text that read: “985.” Later, when we finally talked, Tony said he had no idea what the texts were about. He didn't send them, though he found the record of them in his sent mail. HIs cellphone was never out of his range. The mystery might remain unsolved/Rebecca Nappi, SR. More here. (SR file photo)
Question: What types of mystery texts do you receive?
Women walk by a statue of Joseph and Emma Smith outside the church office building during the 182nd Semiannual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City this fall. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune: Scott Sommerdorf)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has entered a new era after Romney's run for president. His candidacy illuminated a changing landscape for the religion, where Americans are growing more curious than fearful about the faith, and allies can be found even among Christians with deep misgivings about Mormon beliefs. “After this, it's hard to say the Mormons are really outsiders,” said Jan Shipps, a scholar of American religion and expert on the LDS church. No one would argue that prejudice and misunderstanding have disappeared. And many wonder how long the new tolerance will last beyond the election. But over the years since Romney first indicated he would try for president, there have been signs of real progress/Rachel Zoll, AP via Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Do you have a different view of Mormons today than before the presidential election campaign of Republican Mitt Romney?
The nation’s diabetes problem is getting worse, and the biggest jump over 15 years was in Oklahoma, according to a new federal report issued today. The diabetes rate in Oklahoma more than tripled, and Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama also saw dramatic increases since 1995, the study showed. The South’s growing weight problem is the main explanation, said Linda Geiss, lead author of the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. … Several Northern states saw rates more than double, too, including Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Maine/Associated Press. More here. (2004 AP file photo of “American Bandstand's” Dick Clark speaking about diabetes in Tampa, Fla.)
Question: Does your family have a history of diabetes problems?
Who says you have to make nice at the end? Retiring Texan Congressman Ron Paul, libertarian bulwark and three-time presidential candidate, gave a lengthy, rambling farewell address to his colleagues on the House floor Wednesday, in which he slammed American government and politicians for failing to live up to the Founding Fathers' principles. “Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed,” the 77-year-old Paul said. “The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified”/UPI.com. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Do we still have some Ron Paulers out there?
Only Noodles knows how he survived five days and nights in the wilderness on Fourth of July Pass. Only the beagle/basset hound can explain how he steered clear of cars and trucks on Interstate 90. Only he could say if he had any close encounters with wolves. But he's not talking. Noodles is, however, eating and sleeping a lot, which made his owner one happy man. “It's amazing he stayed there, where we had the wreck,” Barry Poorman said as Noodles rested on the floor at his feet. It was Poorman who found the 4-year-old, 65-pound dog about 3 a.m. Wednesday. He hadn't seen Noodles since he fled following a crash Friday morning near Exit 28 on Interstate 90/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Have you ever lost a pet? Did you find the pet?
Louis Ray, owner of Ray’s Demolition, works at tearing down the old Cyrus O’Leary’s restaurant in downtown Spokane on Wednesday. This is the second building Ray has torn down in the same location. Story here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
An enamel-decorated opium pipe, recently donated to the University of Idaho, rests next to one made of bamboo as Priscilla Wegar (Inlander photo: Eric Francavilla)
Since September, dozens of brown packages from destinations like Laos, Thailand and California have found their way to the University of Idaho’s Asian American Comparative Collection. Their contents — flute-like tubes of wood, bone, glass, metal and stone — tell the history of a taboo subject in Asian culture: opium smoking. Steven Martin, a 50-year-old former guidebook writer and self-proclaimed leading expert on opium paraphernalia and smoking, donated his 1,000-piece collection to the university this fall. Martin, a former opium user, doesn’t advocate using the drug, but he wants to share knowledge about Asian culture through the artifacts/Eric Francavilla, Inlander. More here.
Question: Is this collection something you'd like to see?
When Army Sgt. Joe Wardell learned he was going to be deployed to Afghanistan for a year, he wondered how to explain his absence to his 3-year-old son, Clive. He started by drawing a map of the world on his dining room wall. Wardell told his son that Daddy would be flying over the big water to a place called Afghanistan. “I want to go with you,” Clive insisted. And that’s when Doodey came to the rescue. Doodey is a stuffed camel Wardell bought for Clive at Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. “I got the idea to take the camel with me and take pictures of Doodey and me”/Cindy Hval, SR Washington Voices. More here. (SR photo: Joe Wardell holds his son, Clive, who holds the book Wardell wrote for him to explain to his son what he did in Afghanistan during his deployment.)
Question: Have you ever had to be away from your family for an extended period?
The Coeur d’Alene football team will try to do something Friday that’s never been done in the 5A ranks – become the first school to capture three straight state championships. That was certainly the goal when the season started – even if more than half of the Vikings’ starters were going to be juniors and first-year varsity players. The Vikings suffered some serious growing pains midway through the season. Those came in a 71-20 beatdown by Washington’s No. 1-ranked 4A team, Skyline of Sammamish, snapping CdA’s 24-game winning streak, and it was followed by an even more embarrassing – at least based on effort and execution – loss to Highland the following week/Greg Lee, SR. More here. (SR file photo: Coach Shawn Amost of the Coeur d'Alene Vikings football team receives his Coach of the Year award at the Sportswriters and Broadcasters luncheon last Feb. 15.)
Question: Was your high school football team very good?
Controversial political consultant and lobbyist John Foster says Education Voters of Idaho won't appeal 4th District Judge Mike Wetherell's order that the group disclose its contributors to Secretary of State Ben Ysusra. “We want to focus on promoting and assisting with education reform, not fighting with the Secretary of State,” Foster told me Thursday. The group, which raised over $640,000 in less than three months to back Propositions 1, 2 and 3, plans to play a role in recasting reform in 2013 after voters widely rejected the laws/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: What do you expect from Education Voters of Idaho in the 2013 Legislature?
The sentencing of Karl Thompson Jr. will supposedly take place in a Spokane federal courtroom this morning, proving I had it all wrong. Apparently, there is a limit on how much justice-avoiding hocus-pocus a gang of defense shysters can get away with when the public is stuck signing the checks. Or is there? I keep getting this nervous twitch that won’t go away. Expect another defense loco-motion, says the twitch. Something – anything – to keep Thompson from having to account for the violence he unleashed as a Spokane police officer upon a luckless citizen named Otto Zehm. You know, like maybe the Yakima courtroom where Thompson was convicted last fall was too chilly for the rendering of a proper verdict/Doug Clark, SR. More here. (Photo: Greg Sweat)
Question: Do you expect former Kootenai County sheriff's captain Karl Thompson to be incarcerated today?
“Star Wars” action figures Darth Vader, right, and Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, left, are displayed in this 1999 file photo, with Princess Leia Organa in her ceremonial dress in front of other packaged characters from the new film. The National Toy Hall of Fame announces its class of 2012 today. Two toys will be inducted into the Rochester hall from among 12 nominees. (AP Photo/ Victoria Arocho, File)
Question: Which toy did you play with as a kid that should be in the Toy Hall of Fame?
On his Facebook wall, Idaho Senator-elect Branden Durst posts: “
Question: Can you still fit into the same suit/dress that you wore 2 years ago?
Rumor has it one girl cheats on her boyfriend with older boys and a boy texts naked pictures of himself to every girl he meets. These are the tamer examples of what was posted on a Facebook page called “Spokane Whores Exposed” last week, prompting an investigation by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. The page, which included revealing photos of teens, many of whom were minors, was promptly reported to Facebook and deleted thanks to a community effort. But the scars of cyberbullying remain for more than 30 victims in the Spokane region whose names and photos were uploaded for all to see. One victim from Shadle Park High School said she wanted to speak out about the damage such bullying causes/Nicole Hensley, SR. More here.
Question: Do you know a teen who has been bullied online?