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Archive for September 2012

Lake City Police Kill Man In Shootout

  • Update: The suspect in the shooting has been identified as Christian Nicholas Buquet also known as Christian Nicholas Mallon, 19 of Hayden. Story/photo here.
  • Update: The man shot in the chest by the suspect was identified as Frank James, 30, of Coeur d'Alene. Coeur d'Alene police have identified the suspect killed in a shootout with police but are awaiting notification of relatives before releasing his name.

Coeur d’Alene police shot and killed a man Saturday after police say he shot someone, then fired a gun at officers and civilians as he drove through Coeur d’Alene. “He was shooting at us,” witness Rick Knoke said. “It was duck and cover time.” The mayhem that left police to process at least five crime scenes around town began just before 11 a.m. near 12th Street and Lakeside Avenue. One unidentified victim was shot in the chest and taken to Kootenai Medical Center, where he underwent surgery, according to Kootenai County sheriff’s Maj. Ben Wolfinger. The shooter then started firing randomly at bystanders in the area as he drove, according to police and witnesses. Knoke, who lives in an apartment complex at the intersection where the shooting occurred, said he was sitting outside when he saw the violent confrontation take place/Chelsea Bannach, SR. More here.

Question: Can you believe this happened on a nice morning in Coeur d'Alene?

Weekend Wild Card — 9.29-30.12

Our great late summer/fall has continued for so long that I've decided to forgive KXLY's Kris Crocker and other Spokane TV weathercasters for the lousy weather they brought us through June. Now if they'll only give us another easy winter to go with this fine fall, I'll be the happiest of campers. Here's your Weekend Wild Card …

Smoky Sunset

At As the Lake Churns blog, here's another of Pecky Cox's sunset photos of the smoky skies at Priest Lake.

Walters: Ending A Hunting Tradition

I killed a deer last weekend. I peered down the sights of my Ancient Nord Bow and released a few Orcish arrows at the animal in the plains near Whiterun. And with that, the little Skyrim computer game popup told me my archery skill level had risen to 26. My grandpa, Tracy Walters (pictured in family photo), has killed deer, too. But he does it the analog way — crouched down in a hiding spot, with his compound bow ready, waiting for hours in actual woods. He can tell you about bow hunting alone on his property on Green Bluff, about passing up a five-point buck because his instinct told him an even larger white-tail was coming. But mostly, his stories center on hunting with his sons/Daniel Walters, Inlander. More here.

Question: I'm with Daniel. I have zero interest in hunting. But that doesn't mean that I criticize those who do. To each his own. How about you? Do you hunt? Did your father? Grandfather?

Mary Lou Reed: Stop The Luna-cy

Idaho voters: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Or a bridge for sale. As a goal, “school reform” has a sweet, honeyed sound that makes you want to believe someone’s come up with a better way to give kids a good start toward a successful life. Don’t be fooled. Idaho ballot Propositions One, Two and Three are masquerading as steps to school improvement. A closer look reveals the measures to be voted on November 6 are bad news for teachers and bad news for students. That’s bad for the rest of us. But they are good news to the rapidly expanding for-profit education industry, which is after your Idaho tax dollars — and the tax dollars of every other state that drinks their Kool-Aid/Mary Lou Reed, Inlander. More here.


PM Headlines — 9.28.12

Ryan Lamb takes a break from eating his banana Thursday as he glances up to inspect the branches of a 55-year-old oak tree in the front yard of Tom Jacobson's Coeur d'Alene home. Lamb and his first grade class from Sorensen Magnet Elementary School visited the site to learn about the tree and enjoy a lunch under it's branches. Also photographed from left, Daniel Dolan, Gavin Bohm, Amelia Hadley and Adelaide Bowman. Story here. (AP Photo/Coeur d'Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

Black Lagoon Tat Leads To Capture

Coeur d'Alene Police Department news release on capture of armed robbery suspect:

At 11:20 am today Coeur d’Alene Police Detectives acting on a tip responded to 724 N. 7th St and contacted a female known to be the girlfriend of robbery suspect Christopher Michael Hastings. His girlfriend, Brandy Thompson denied knowing Hastings real identity. While detectives were speaking to her they observed a male matching the description of Hastings step out of a bedroom in the residence. She told them that male’s name was Tim. Detectives spoke to the male and he denied being Christopher Hastings. Detectives had photos of a tattoo that Hastings has on his arm. They were able to pull that photo from past booking photos of Hastings. It is a large tattoo that is similar to the Creature of the Black Lagoon that covers his entire arm from the top of his bicep down to his elbow. They matched the photo with his arm and he finally confessed to being Hastings. More below.

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.28.12

  • 5:51 p.m. Caller reports 2 people fighting @ 4th & Wallace; one has a knife.
  • 5:41 p.m. Girl has black eye, bandaged face in brown Cutlass @ Post Falls WalMart East.
  • 5:35 p.m. Muffler lying on I-90, east of M/P 7 (H41/PF).
  • 5:14 p.m. Couple involved in physical domestic in 1500 block of Front Avenue/CdA.
  • 5:08 p.m. A chair is lying on w/b I-90/MP 5 (Spokane/PF), causing road hazard.
  • 5:06 p.m. Female reports door kicked in, items taken from home @ Atlas & Fantasy/Rathdrum.
  • 4:53 p.m. 35YO male who recently had surgery suffering stomach pain @ Coeur d'Alene Casino.
  • 4:51 p.m. Caller reports possible fraud in 6200 block of 4th/Dalton Garden.
  • 12 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

Study: Sharing Housework Hazardous

Divorce rates are far higher among “modern” couples who share the housework than in those where the woman does the lion's share of the chores, a Norwegian study has found. In what appears to be a slap in the face for gender equality, the report found the divorce rate among couples who shared housework equally was around 50 per cent higher than among those where the woman did most of the work. “What we've seen is that sharing equal responsibility for work in the home doesn't necessarily contribute to contentment,” said Dr Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled “Equality in the Home”. The lack of correlation between equality at home and quality of life was surprising, the researcher said/Todayonline. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Who does the majority of the house work in your home?

Size Matters In These Trucks

Kerri Thoreson, Coeur d'Alene Press columnist/Post Falls city councilwoman (shown in photo), Facebooks: “So how big were some of those trucks at the 2012 Mine Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center? This 260-ton piece of equipment is in the $5 million price range. And also displayed was the world's largest fuel and lube truck, manufactured right here in Post Falls, Idaho, USA by Ground Force Manufacturing!”

Question: Did you play with Tonka toys when you were small?

Washington Case Upsets Malek

Republican Luke Malek, who is running for the Coeur d'Alene House seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Marge Chadderdon, is upset by the way a Washington state inspetor is treating a Hayden painter who advertised on CraigsList. In part, he wrote the following to Washington AG Rob McKenna:

Apparently, things in Washington State are worse than you thought. The citizen I am writing on behalf of has fallen victim to a predatory revenue enhancement scheme under your own office. Mr. Keiser instructed his son to put an advertisement on Craigslist from his home in Hayden. He was soliciting painting jobs for his business. His son posted in the relevant area, which, by Craigslist’s nomenclature is “Spokane/Coeur d’Alene.” Armed with RCW 18.27.200(1)(a), an inspector from your state replied asking Mr. Keiser to do work. She never identified herself as from Washington. She subsequently cited Mr. Keiser and fined him for advertising in Washington. His intent was never to advertise in Washington, and when he brought this up the inspector, Mary-Jo Boies, she explained that she had an imperative to keep people like Mr. Keiser from taking work from Washington contractors, and that Craigslist’s demarcations were not her responsibility to clarify. Full letter here.


Poll: Hucks Nation Beer Neutral

  • Thursday Poll: There aren't many beer drinkers among Hucks Nation. That, are this is a very politically neutral place. In a poll re: beer and politics, 51 of 131 respondents (38.93%) said they don't prefer beer. 31 of 131 respondents (23.66%) said they prefer wine. Among those who chose along political lines, 18 (13.74%) said they prefer Republican beers Coors & Sam Adams; 16 (12.21%) preferred bipartisan Dos Equis; and 15 (11.45%) preferred Democrat Heineken.
  • Weekend Poll: Which minimum wage is more out of line — Washington's $9.19 or Idaho's $7.25?

Because You Asked …

A HucksOnline blurker wonders about the tax questions involving North Idaho College that we've been discussing here. He’s wondering how people know what their tax bill will be already since only the assessments have been completed so far.  He called the countyl tax office and was told the tax bills won’t be mailed until sometime in November.  He’s curious where they’re getting the information they’ve been sharing.  He’s hoping you’ll address this in your blog.

DFO: Using the numbers provided by Jeff Ward (51 cents per thousand and $1.11 per thousand), I surmise that we're talking about the NIC tax rates for five years encompassing 2007 (0.0005099320) to 2011 (0.0011084070),  with second half of payment for 2011 spilling over to June 2012. The blurker is right. We don't know what those numbers are this year.

Stapilus: Sims’ House Seat In Play

In mid-June, as the clock wound down on the failed recall attempt against Mayor Sandi Bloem & three council members, state Rep.Kathy Sims was still trying to get signatures for recall petitions. Now she'd like to have another term in the Idaho House to fight the urban renewal law that has been used by city leaders to upgrade a considerable amount of public waterfront and property within the LCDC district.

Randy Stapilus, the long-time Idaho political observer, believes Kathy Sims' state House seat is in play this November. So do Idaho Democrats who view it as a possible pickup:

Most of Kootenai County is solidly Republican, but one of the hottest legislative races in Idaho this fall is taking place in the central Coeur d’Alene district. The district 4 House B contest, between Republican Kathy Sims (who has been a legislator) and Democrat Anne Nesse, is reputed to be close, and this is based on more than speculation. In the last decade in a similar predecessor district, Democrats held the two House seats here exactly half the time. This seat is on the short list of realistic Democratic legislative pickup opportunities. More here.

Question: Maybe Sims isn't untouchable after all?

GOP Congresswomen More Feminine?

A pair of UCLA researchers says partisanship is all in the face. Dubbing it the “Michele Bachmann effect,” their study of the women of Congress finds that Republicans are more likely than Democrats to have stereotypically feminine facial features. The study’s author, Colleen Carpinella, said in a Thursday news release that the correlation “increases the more conservative the lawmaker’s voting record [is].” Researchers came to their conclusion by scanning portraits of members of Congress in a computer modeling program. The program determined how many typically feminine or masculine characteristics each face possessed/Judy Kurtz, In the Know blog from The Hill. More here.


$9.19: Washington Minimum Wage

Washington state's minimum wage is increasing 15 cents to $9.19 per hour. The Department of Labor & Industries said Friday the new rules will go into effect in January. Washington is already the state with the highest minimum wage in the country. Washington voters approved a process to calculate the minimum wage in 1998, and the new increase reflects a rise in the Consumer Price Index. That has been driven upward recently due to gasoline prices/KXLY. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes of minimum wage earner)

Question: Would you like to see right-to-work Idaho adopt a minimum wage of $9.19 (ain't going to happen) or do you think that's too much and would hurt business? And/or: What's a good minimum wage for Idaho?

348 & Counting Sign FB PYPetition

Adam Graves online petition to support Primary Years Programme in Hayden Meadows Elementary now has 348 signatures. The names will be presented to the Coeur d'Alene School Board, which will discuss and maybe vote on a proposal to eliminate the popular program when it meets Monday afternoon:

We, the parents, voters and tax payers in the Coeur d'Alene School District do not want the PYP program removed from Hayden Meadows School.

Question: Have you signed yet?

Extend Child Sex Crime Limitations?

It happens every time a victim of child sexual abuse wins a lawsuit: the cries that these people are only in it for the money. Only in it for the money. Only in it for the money. It’s a club wielded by those whose moral compasses are just spinning wildly. But the lawsuit-only system of addressing these past crimes does beg a question: What about other avenues of justice? What if the clock never stopped ticking on the criminal prosecution of child rapists? Virginia Graham would like to see that happen. Specifically, she would like to see Washington lengthen its statute of limitations for sex crimes against children, and along with John Ahern – who’s done as a legislator but not finished with this issue – she’s turning that into a full-time mission. “Right now, we only hold the rich or the insured accountable,” Graham said. “What kind of justice is that?”/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Question: Should the clock ever stop clicking on a sex crime against a child?

Going Strong At 100

A man plays the accordion as French centenarian Robert Marchand, born on Nov. 26, 1911, attempts to establish a record for the fastest 100-year-old to cover 100km, at the outdoor Velodrome track of Lyon, central France earlier today. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Question: Do you think you'll live to be 100?

Ex-Dem Exec Pushes Luna Laws

The latest campaign commercial in the fight over whether to repeal Idaho's controversial school reform laws is running statewide, including in the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene market. John Foster, a lobbyist and political consultant who's behind the new “Parents for Education Reform” PAC that's running the ad, declined to identify its financial backers. “We'll file our disclosure reports at the appropriate time, but we're happy to receive enough support to get this ad off the ground, and hopefully do more,” Foster said. “This PAC is just one piece of a larger effort to spread the message of education reform in Idaho, and we'll be announcing more about that in the coming days. It's an effort that is not wholly about this campaign or this election season, it's bigger than that and will go beyond and past November”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


AM Scanner Traffic — 9.28.12

  • 11:45 a.m. Cable or power lines down across H97 @ Corskie House Bed & Breakfast/Harrison.
  • 11:13 a.m. Officer asks dispatch to see if fire department can decide if hanging wires are “hot.”
  • 11:07 a.m. Truck has hit low-hanging cable or power line near Post Falls Library.
  • 10:36 a.m. Driver of gold Mercedes possibly DUI @ e/b I-90/Sherman Avenue, CdA.
  • 10:27 a.m. ISP officer tells dispatch that older male that he stopped on H95 laughed b/c he was driving w/suspended license. ISP: “He won't be laughing in a few minutes when I take him in.”
  • 10:15 a.m. An abandoned, disabled vehicle has been removed from H95/MP 425 (Dower Road).
  • 10:08 a.m. 40ish female w/black hair walking into traffic, waving arms @ Ramsey & Hayden.
  • 9:52 a.m. Caller reports smoke coming from H95/MP 84 (Gotham Road).
  • 8:59 a.m. Patrol officer tells dispatcher to call emergency road service to bring belt that goes from “cam to crank” after stopping to assist motorist. Dispatcher responds that she doesn't understand mechanical request because “I'm a girl.”
  • 8:49 a.m. EMTs responding to unknown medical emergency @ Cave Bay Road/Cliff, CdA.
  • 8:39 a.m. Yellow Lab runs into field near Worley after ISP officer tries to catch it @ I-90 & Rock Creek.

DFO: NIC Trustees Work Magic

In a candidate profile in the Coeur d'Alene Press Thursday, North Idaho College challenger Paul Matthews was quoted as saying: “In her last term alone, she led the Board in more than doubling the tax levy rate!  By contrast, I know that every tax rise is a pay cut for some struggling family.” The comment is consistent with Matthews' campaign literature that correctly states that his opponent, Judy Meyer (candidate profile here), and the NIC Board of Trustees have raised the tax rate 107% in five years from 2007-12. But, intentionally or not, Matthews is telling only half or a quarter of the truth. What he isn't saying is that property valuations have tumbled in those same five years. Toss in the homeowners exemption, and most property owners are paying slightly more today for NIC property taxes than they did five years ago. I'm paying $15 more today than in 2007. For that $15, or an average increase of $3 per year (25 cents per month), I'm getting elected college leaders who have had the foresight to buy the old DeArmond Mill (a move opposed adamantly to the point of lawsuit by some local Republicans) while balancing the needs of a burgeoning student enrollment with hard economic times. In the same five years, student enrollment has jumped from 4448 to 6483. Many of the students are desperate for retraining in order to find work in the ongoing Great Recesson. What else does my extra $15 per month help buy? It supports an institution that has a $164M impact on the local economy and growing, according to a recent survey. If local Republicans weren't blinded by their Hard Right ideology, they would applaud the nonpartisan trustees who have worked financial magic in face of a growing enrollment and challenging times, rather than circulate quarter-truths — DFO.

Fondo Coming To Downtown CdA

What is a Fondo? It may sound like a car or something you eat but for Coeur d'Alene, its a giant bike race that's gaining national attention. On Saturday, September 29, cyclists will fill the streets of downtown Coeur d'Alene for the 1st annual Coeur d' Fondo. It's a race where riders can choose from four different courses that range in mileages from 108 miles to a family friendly 15 miles. And at the end riders will be rewarded for the efforts at the the Coeur d'Alene Oktoberfest.  And due to a large spike of interest nationwide, it's sure to be crowded downtown. “When we first started out, we thought let's keep it small. Let's keep it to 200 to 500 riders,” said race director Issac Mann. “But we got so many entires, we had to stop at 800”/Megan Gallegos, KXLY4. More here. (Image from KXLY Web site)

Question: Had you heard of the 1st Coeur d'Alene Fondo before now?

AM: Rather: ‘Rapid Is All The Rage’

Dan Rather talks with members of the local media as part of the Edward R. Murrow Symposium on Thursday in Pullman. Rather received the 2012 Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award. Story here. (Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo: Dean Hare)

Scouts Focus On Easton Upgrade

Camp Easton Boy Scouts of America has circulated an email to supporters, Scouts and contributors in lieu of the decision to end negotiations with Discovery Land Co. for the Lake Coeur d'Alene site. It reads in part:

We are now focused on upgrading the current Camp Easton site to make it the best and safest camp possible now and in the future. Over the past year, many members of our Scouting family have expressed strong support for Camp Easton and for that we are grateful. Camping is an essential element to the Scouting experience. This is why we will soon be launching a capital campaign for Camp Easton. Funds raised will be used to construct a tunnel under Highway 97 to connect both parts of our camp to create a safer and more functional environment for Scouts. We are also excited to make additional improvements to enhance the camping experience. Plans will likely include improved infrastructure, better staff housing, improved camp headquarters and new program features. More here.


Ann Romney Raises $500K In Idaho

Ann Romney’s first fundraising trip to Idaho drew over 200 people and raised about $500,000 Thursday night, said Romney’s Idaho finance chief, Travis Hawkes. The Romney campaign has now raised $3.7 million in Idaho, with Mitt Romney having held five closed-door fundraisers and two rallies in the Gem State. The fee for the event at The Club at SpurWing in Meridian ranged from $1,000 to $25,000 per couple. Sen. Jim Risch, Romney’s Idaho co-chairman, said Mrs. Romney spoke for about 15 minutes. “The themes were the themes of the campaign, and that is that Mitt Romney is the person to turn this country around. She was talking about how competent her husband is, how she’s watched him turn other things around and how he can turn this country around”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo: Ann Romney with husband, Mitt, at campaign stop earlier this month)

Question: Wonder if she mentioned the infamous 47% “moocher” factor?

Tondee Addresses Rose Lake Grange

Commissioner Todd Tondee, far left, speaks to a gathering at the Rose Lake Grange Hall Thursday night. (Duane Rasmussen photo special for Huckleberries)

Question: Have you ever attended a candidates' event at one of the local granges?

Jackson’s Pro-Obama Ad Uses F-Word

Boise area blogger Dennis Mansfield posts: Four years ago, Ron Howard produced a clever ad in favor of Candidate Obama. In it he portrayed some of his TV characters - all of who were in support of then-Senator Obama. It attracted millions of views. (Apparently for 2012, the video's been pulled from you Tube. Hmm..) So what do we have this election, instead? Well, Samuel L. Jackson stars in a 4+ minute video on the Internet that has (to this hour) attracted only about 11,000 views. I viewed it on Facebook and deliberated putting it on this blog for you to view. I decided not to. Here's why: Throughout the video the script is inflammatory, base and uses foul language in a way that is unnecessary - even to the point of using a little 8 year-old girl saying “Wake the F- Up” What a comparison of two political ads. More here.

Question: Have you seen any political campaign ads that have riled you up?

Trib Jeers Crapo, Risch Vote

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, opinionator Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune gives — JEERS …. to U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, both R-Idaho. They were among 40 Republicans who last week blocked Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., in her attempt to launch a $1 billion Veterans Jobs Corp Act. Five Republicans joined her effort, but it fell short of the number needed to break a filibuster. Republicans contend Murray and the Democrats were playing politics by blocking a GOP alternative they claim would have been more fiscally responsible. In a $3.6 trillion federal budget, however, $1 billion is a rounding error. Only a sliver of the American public has paid the burdens of a dozen years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The rest of the country has moved on. Now these veterans return, only to find themselves caught up in a hostile economy. The jobless rate for veterans who have served since Sept. 11, 2001, is 12.7 percent. That's 50 percent higher than the national average. More here (final item). (AP file photo of Sen. Jim Risch at U.S. Capitol)

Question: Do you agree/disagree that Crapo & Risch deserve jeers for voting against a $1B jobs program for war veterans, for political reasons?

Carlson: Trust Teachers, Not Pols

Forget about reading the pro and con statements in the Voter's Guide regarding the three referenda on the November ballot to repeal the Otter/Luna educational reforms. Ignore the million-dollar campaigns both sides will mount with slickly designed emotional appeals that will tug at your heart strings. Answer one fundamental question: Who do you most trust your children's and grandchildren's future to, the teachers who are with them in the classroom 180 days a year, or a governor and a school superintendent hell-bent on rationalizing investing fewer dollars in education and who are dictating reforms from the top down? This really does boil down to “who do you trust?”What Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter and Superintendent Tom Luna don't get is that trust is at the heart of the people sanctioning government to provide services and to divine the greatest good for the greatest number. Trust, like virtue, once lost can never be regained. From the get-go the governor and the SPI forfeited that trust by the dishonest and deceptive way they went about ramming their idea of reform down the public's throat/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicle. More here.

Question: Who do you trust more re: your child's education — Idaho teachers or Idaho politicians?

Reader: Ward Claims Grossly Wrong

RE: Armon: Challengers' property tax claims bogus/HucksOnline

A Faithful Reader emails: “In discussions yesterday you questioned the accuracy and conflicting representations made by Paul Matthews and Todd Banducci (countered by Mic Armon) concerning NIC property taxes.  RR leader Jeff Ward responded that the levy rate had more than doubled, so the 107% increase assertion was correct.  Either he doesn't understand property taxes and the caps that limit them or he is being intentionally deceptive.  When property values fall (as they have in recent years) levy rates increase just to maintain tax charges at an even keel.  It is essentially a zero-sum process, plus the 3% increase per year, plus any foregone tax amount (as Mic Armon identified for the Ed Corridor) plus new growth at the prior year's levy rate (otherwise all new construction would get an unfair free ride and rapid growth would erode local services at a precipitous rate).  If taxable value of a property goes down from $60K with a .04 levy rate to a $40K value, the levy rate goes up .06 - but the taxes paid stay the same - plus a small annual increment.  Simply stated, 4 times 6 equals 6 times 4.  Jeff's assertions are grossly incorrect. The increase of taxes for NIC has not come close to approximating the increase in demand met by NIC during the recent recession.  It is as close to a modern-day fishes and loaves story as one could find.

DFO: I checked my tax bills from for North Idaho College from 2007 through 2011 — and I'll guarantee you that the taxes didn't double in those five years, even though thetax  rate did. I'm paying $15 more in NIC taxes today than I was in 2007. I'll discuss this more in a mini-editorial later this morning.


Republicans Spotlight Sims

State Rep. Kathy Sims (right), R-Coeur d'Alene, who is seeking re-election to the Idaho House of Representatives, is shown with Linda Cook at the Blackwell House Thursday. Cook, who was a central figure in the defamation lawsuit filed by then local GOP chairwoman Tina Jacobson, is helping manage Sims' bid against Democrat Anne Nesse. The reception was given by attorney Peter Erbland to promote Sims candidacy. Sims, as you may recall, was actively involved this spring in the failed recall effort against Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy. (Phantom Photographer photo special for Huckleberries)

Question: Do you plan to vote for Republican Kathy Sims or Democrat Anne Nesse for a Coeur d'Alene House seat?

Spokane Pays $215K For Ankle Sprain

A golfer who sprained his ankle at Esmeralda Golf Course is getting $215,000 from the city of Spokane plus free golf for the rest of his life, but neither side is talking about the unusual case. The settlement with 72-year-old Stan L. Peterson was approved earlier this week by the Spokane City Council, ending a five-year legal battle that featured gag orders and lost evidence. Peterson, according to court documents, said he stepped onto a broken sprinkler cover and fell through it, injuring his ankle and back and leaving him unable to work. He declined comment Thursday on the settlement/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here.

Question: $215,000 for a sprained ankle? Seriously?

Hayden Ends Snow-Berm Removal

The Hayden City Council this week unanimously decided to discontinue a popular and rapidly expanding snow-berm removal service that cleared snow from the front of residents' driveways. The program started with approximately 20 residents being served, but last year about 230 residents had been approved for the service. The service was initiated several years ago to assist citizens with physical limitations. To receive the service a city resident must have a note from a doctor saying they can't remove the berm themselves/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Who removes the snow berm in your driveway after the plows have gone by?

Anderson: Fee Speech

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Thursday — 9.27.12

I'm still not accusted to the view of Memorial Field from my second story office window in The Spokesman-Review building on NW Boulevard. The removal of that old green warehouse has opened up the view onto the viewtiful softball diamond. Might be worth the city's effort to replace the covered grandstand of Memorial Field with a new version that keeps the vintage look — and further create a softball field of dreams there. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 9.27.12

At As the Lake Churns, Pecky Cox posts this cartoon by “Sam” re: the viral news story re: a Priest Lake trout swallowing a finger of a wakeboarder who lost four digits in a Fourth of July accident this year.

Armon: Challengers’ Tax Claim Bogus

From Trustee Mic Armon re: claims by challengers Paul Matthews and Todd Banducci that North Idaho College taxes increased by 107% between 2007 and now:

Regarding the statement that both Paul & Todd use in their campaign flyers that “The current NIC Board has doubled our tax rate since 2007; a 107% increase in the middle of a recession”. Here are the actual facts: Property Taxes paid by residents of Kootenai County in FY2007 $7,994,105. Taxes paid in FY2012 $13,364,250 ($2,380,000 was foregone taxes taken to fund the purchase of the Ed. Corridor) Total increase since 2007 with the purchase of the Ed. Corridor is equal to a 67% increase, but total to educational funding ( minus the cost of the Ed. Corridor) is 37%. The idea of doubling or 107% increase is totally false. Also in that same time frame, the enrollment increased by 2237 students or 46%, and tuition increased by 53%


PM Scanner Traffic — 9.27.12

  • 5:47 p.m. Wanted man wearing black & a beanie cap who escaped police this morning spotted walking on east side of H95/Prairie near Burger King. He bolts into woods when police approach.
  • 5:31 p.m. Resident of Rose Terrace Costages on 21st Street/CdA being combative.
  • 5:16 p.m. Unknown injuries in crash b/n vehicle & bicyclist @ Government Way & Ironwood/CdA.
  • 5:07 p.m. Possible DUI driver in red Dodge pickup may be drinking alcohol @ w/b Hayden & H41.
  • 5:06 p.m. Resident in red Toyota reports someone trying to get into his home on Katie/CdA.
  • 4:59 p.m. Driver suffering seizure in truck parked at Flying J/PF.
  • 4:46 p.m. Caller report gunshots near Spokane River in 2800 block of Seltice Way.
  • 4:05 p.m. Steve has questions for a deputy re: River Watch.
  • 14 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

PM: Trail Murder Suspect Enters Pleas

Judge Jerome Leveque informs Avondre Graham of his rights during Grahams arraingnment in Superior Court on Thursday in Spokane in Spokane. Graham pleaded not guilty to charges of second degree murder, third degree assault, fist degree assault and first degree robbery. He is accused of killing Sharlotte McGill on the Centennial Trail. Story below. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

CdA Motels House Former Inmates

The Idaho State Department of Corrections (DOC) said 98 percent of inmates in the state prisons are released back into the community. Those inmates all have to live somewhere. One option in north Idaho is for convicts to live in motels. The DOC supervises around 1,500 convicted felons in north Idaho. A majority of those people are in Kootenai County. Some of the inmates need help to get back on their feet when released from prison. “Part of their success is their stability of residence and that's a big factor,” said Eric Kiehl with the Probation and Parole department. Kiehl said the DOC has an understanding with three motels in Coeur d'Alene that are willing to take in offenders/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here w/video.

Question: Would you stay at a hotel that you knew housed former prison inmates?

Can You Spare A Square?

From right, KXLY personalities Kris Crocker, Mike Gonzalez and Nadine Woodward promote the station's 3rd Annual Spare a Square toilet paper drive Friday and Saturday. KXLY is teaming up with Project Beauty Share and Northwest Harvest for the drive. More information here. The annual event, of course, takes its name from the famous “Seinfeld” skit involving one of Jerry's girlfriends refusing to spare a square of toilet paper with Elaine, who was paperless in the next stall.

Question: Do we have any event like this in North Idaho?

Ex-Vik QB Prospers At Rival LCHS

Bruce Shipley knew there’d be ribbing following his Hatfield-to-McCoy move last year. When the Lake City quarterback transferred from Coeur d’Alene High, he was good-naturedly dubbed a traitor and turncoat by his friends east of Highway 95. That was the least of the dual threat’s worries, though. Adjusting to LC coach Van Troxel’s vaunted option from Coeur d’Alene’s single-back offense was arduous enough.  “Going from (Coeur d’Alene coach Shawn) Amos’ offense to Troxel’s was a big change,” said Shipley, whose family moved into LC’s boundaries two summers ago. “It’s taken a lot of time and yelling for me to get use to it.” A look at Shipley’e ever-improving numbers would suggest he’s fully absorbed the Timberwolves’ run-pass philosophy/Ryan Collingwood, More here. (Jason Duchow photo: QB Bruce Shipley with LCHS coach Van Troxel)

Question: I have a child who graduated from Coeur d'Alene High (Junior) and one who graduated from Lake City High (Amy Dearest). Anyone else with split loyalties between the two Lake City highs?

Virginia Ranked As No. 1 Party School

Playboy magazine has ranked the University of Virginia, America’s oldest public university, as the top party school in the country. The university founded by former President Thomas Jefferson in 1819 beat 100 other colleges nationwide for the top honors, NBC reported. Runner-up was the University of Southern California, followed by the University of Florida. Rankings were based on scores in three categories: sporting life, nightlife and sex life, Playboy magazine said in a statement. University of Virginia ranked 16th, third and second in those categories, respectively, WTVR reported. While students at UVA are likely impressed by the ranking, university administrators are not happy and they are demanding a recount/Alison Jackson, Global Post, via Boise Weekly. More here.

Question: Would you like your alma mater to be known as a party school?

Hoping For Rain

Stepped out the door,

Gazed up at the skies,

Hummed the old town,

“Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.”

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

OTV: Sam Adams A Bust At Mik’s

From OrangeTV: The beer we (Mik's, 406 N4th, downtown Coeur d'Alene) pour the most of at our bar is Pabst Blue Ribbon, followed closeley by Rolling Rock (my preference). We put Sam Adams Summer Ale on tap a few months ago and it has moved so slow that we are now trying to just get rid of it at half price. So yes, maybe there is something to this Sam Adams/Republican theory. You certainly don’t see many of them around our place.

Question: Have you ever imbibed at Mik's?

Ed Reform Group Ranks Idaho No. 15

The Center for Education Reform (CER), a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to assisting states with education concerns geared toward choice in education and accountability, has released what it calls the “Parent Power Index,” ranking states on parents’ ability to choose a quality education for their children. CER uses several factors in rating each state, including charter schools, online learning, teacher quality, school choice, as well as whether or not the state’s governor is pro-reform, which Idaho Gov. Butch Otter is. The ratings are from 0-100 percent and Idaho ranks No. 15 with an index rating of 71 percent/Mitch Coffman, Idaho Reporter. More here. (Idaho Reporter photo)

Question: Do you think Idaho offers enough school choice?

They’re Ba-a-a-ack!

In this Nov. 13, 2011, file photo, referee Scott Green makes a call in the second half of an NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens in Seattle. The NFL and referees' union reached a tentative agreement on Wednesday to end a three-month lockout that triggered a wave of frustration and anger over replacement officials and threatened to disrupt the rest of the season. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

“Protocol question: When does the honeymoon period with the real NFL refs end? When will it be OK to yell at them to pull their heads out?” — opinionator Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman, via Twitter.

Question: Have you ever literally booed a referee or umpire? I have  ;-)

News Quiz Has Lake City Winner

How much do you know about former Gonzaga basketball stars, presidential politics and other current events? Take our weekly news quiz and find out. You could win free movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. You can find the latest News Quiz here.

  • Leaderboard: Sid Fredrickson, winner last week of 2 free movie tickets, is on the leaderboard again this week, along with two other Berry Pickers, Brian_D & Dennis.

Understanding Idaho’s Doc Shortage

Since at least 2007, Idaho has ranked near the bottom when it comes to the number of doctors working in the state. The latest available data from the Association of American Medical Colleges ranks Idaho 49th among states.  The Gem State had 184 doctors for every 100,000 people in 2010. Here’s how our surrounding states stack up:
There are many factors that contribute to Idaho’s physician shortage; there is limited access to medical education in Idaho, salaries tend to be lower, and it’s tougher to recruit in rural areas/StateImpact. More here.

Question: Are you affected by Idaho's doctor shortage?

D’s Like Heineken, R’s Coors, Adams

Beer has entered national politics, according to the National Journal blog, Hotline on Call. Seems Jonathan Goldsmith, “the most interesting man in the world” in those ads for the Mexican beer Dos Equis, held a fundraiser for President Barack Obama. Dos Equis has a bipartisan following. But Hotline reporters Mike Shannon and Will Feltus reports other beers aren't so bipartisan:

Dos Equis is a bipartisan brew — Republicans and Democrats both like to drink it. So Mr. Goldsmith's public foray into the 2012 race could alienate a large share of Dos Equis fans. Ironically, this is in contrast to its corporate sister Heineken, which as it turns out is the most Democratic beer of all. On the other hand, Republicans love their Coors Light and favor Sam Adams, which is brewed just a few miles away from Romney campaign headquarters and whose namesake was an original tea partier. More here.

Question: Do you drink beer preferred by Republicans or Democrats?

Herb Finds Full-Service Gas Station

Heading back from Colville, Wash., on yet another trek to discover our family heritage, I stopped for gas in Chewelah. Right smack in the middle of town was a Chevron Station at the traffic light.The only light in town. I pulled up to the pump prepared to get out and gas up the car. But no. This was a full service station. The owner actually pumped my gas and cleaned the windshield. I was stunned at the sight, since the last full service station I have seen was too far back in memory to recall. I asked the proprietor whether he was full service out of choice or was he just too cheap to buy a computerized system? He chuckled and said, “well, kind of both but everyone seems to like it this way so I keep on doing it”/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here. (Chevron logo from Wikipedia)

Question: Would you frequent a full-service gas station if there was one in town?

Rowling Releases Adult Book

British writer J.K. Rowling poses for the photographers with her new book, entitled: 'The Casual Vacancy', at the Southbank Centre in London today. The book, published by Little, Brown Book Group, is Rowling's first novel for adults. Story here. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Question: How many “Harry Potter” books did you read? Would you be interested in reading an adult book by J.K. Rowling?

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.27.12

  • 11:59 a.m. Caller reports catching loose dog in 11800 block of Kelly Rae Drive/Hayden.
  • 11:57 a.m. Caller reports unconscious person in 2300 block of Honeysuckle/CdA.
  • 11:28 a.m. Crash b/n red Dodge pickup & chip truck reported @ n/b H95 & Sagle.
  • 11:18 a.m. Wanted male possibly hiding in 1200 block of Garwood.
  • 11:03 a.m. Officers believe wanted man is in 4200 block of Buckingham/CdA (10:34 item).
  • 10 more items below

NIC Challengers To Speak To RRs

Reagan Republican/Strategery Group candidates Todd Banducci and Paul Matthews will address the noon luncheon of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans at Fedora restaurant today. Banducci is running against incumbent North Idaho College Trustee Mic Armon, while Matthews opposes incumbent Trustee Judy Meyer, a former member of the Idaho Board of Education whose family donated $1M to the Health & Science building. In his campaign literature, Matthews says: “The NIC Board of Trustees has raised our taxes each year since 2007 and the tax rate has increased a total of 107% in just five years. We've tightened our belts, it is time the NIC Board of Trustees did the same thing.”

Question: Just curious. In real dollars, how much has the NIC budget affected the tax bill of the average property tax owner in Kootenai County? Also, for kicks, I'd like to know how much the Ron Nilson-backed KTEC school (which I voted for) has affected the tax bill of the average property tax owner.

Poll: No Obamacare ‘Death Panels’

  • Wednesday Poll: 106 of 168 respondents (63.1%) say that Obamacare won't lead to so “death panels” to decide patients' fitness for care. However, more than a third of the resondents (58 of 168, 34.52%) believes the new healthcare program will lead to “death panels.” 4 (2.38%) were undecided.
  • Which beer do you prefer — Democrats' Heineken, Republicans' Coors & Sam Adams, or bipartisan Dos Equis?

AM: Traffic Rolls On Sandpoint Byway

Traffic moves along the onramp of the $106 million Sand Creek Byway on Wednesday. New traffic volume counts obtained from the Idaho Transportation Department show that about 8,500 daily vehicles mid-week and 9,600 on Friday are using the two-mile shortcut around downtown Sandpoint. That includes all commercial trucks, which number around 1,500 a day. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

NFL Reaches Settlement With Refs

The NFL’s regular officiating crews are back. Their return couldn’t have come soon enough for many players, coaches and fans. After two days of marathon negotiations — and mounting frustration across the league and among its fans — the NFL and the officials’ union announced at midnight Thursday that a tentative eight-year agreement had been reached to end a lockout that began in June. The deal follows Seattle’s chaotic last-second win over Green Bay on Monday night in which the replacement officials struggled. Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was at the bargaining table Tuesday and Wednesday, said the regular officials would work the Browns-Ravens game at Baltimore on Thursday night. The seven-man crew working the game is led by referee Gene Steratore, a 10-year NFL veteran/Washington Post. More here. (AP file photo of replacement refs botching last-second call in Seattle-Green Bay game Monday)

Question: Can you think of anything — anything! — more important than the NFL reaching a settlement with its regular officiating crews?

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa

A painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci representing Mona Lisa, is displayed during a presentation in Geneva, Switzerland, today. The Mona Lisa Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Zurich, presents a painting and historical, comparative and scientific evidence, which demonstrates that there have always been two portraits of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, the 'Earlier Version,' made ten years earlier than the 'Joconde' that is displayed in Le Louvre in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Keystone, Yannick Bailly)

Question: Which painting by the old masters is your favorite? Why?

Graves Circulates Pro PYP Petition

Adam Graves has started an online petition to be delivered to the Coeur d'Alene School Board, requesting that Primary Years Programme be kept at Haydens Meadows. Graves has 127 signatures. He's seeking 1000 signatures by Monday, when the School Board will meet to decide the fate of PYP:

We, the parents, voters and tax payers in the Coeur d'Alene School District do not want the PYP program removed from Hayden Meadows School. This petition is to keep an IB school program for a local grade school, Hayden Meadows. The program called PYP is under attack by a minority in the community who feel the education program is linked with the U.N. and a conspiracy to teach children to think globally and undermine their Christian American values. They are claiming the results of the program are not justified by the cost which has been proven not so by test scores alone. You can sign the petition here.

Question: Do you plan to sign the petition?

Idaho’s Overlooked Ed Overhaul Law

Of the three Students Come First laws, Proposition 1 doesn’t have much sizzle. It’s not as juicy as Prop 2, the teacher merit pay law, or Prop 3, the law to equip high school students with portable devices. Prop 1 deals with such matters as “evergreen clauses,” longstanding language in teachers union contracts. “Proposition 1 is the one that most directly affects school board members and we feel like it’s the one getting the least attention,” Karen Echeverria, executive director of the Idaho School Boards Association, told the Idaho Press-Tribune this week. “It’s important for board members to educate the public on Proposition 1.” So this week, Echeverria’s group came out in support of keeping Prop 1 on the books, while taking no position on the other two referenda that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Have you studied the education overhaul propositions on the November ballot enough to distinguish one from the others?

Feedback Good For Writer’s Soul

Columnists don’t write in a vacuum – though perhaps we’d meet deadlines more promptly if we did. Then again there’s no air in a vacuum, so that might complicate things, but I digress (something columnists do – a lot). In my six-plus years of columnizing in this space, I’ve amassed hundreds of emails, letters, cards and voicemails from readers. That reader feedback is invaluable. It lets me know the thoughts that flow out of my head, through my fingertips, and into newsprint have resonated somewhere. My words made someone laugh, ticked someone off, or prompted memories of similar life experiences. Recently, I was invited to speak to a local civic group and was asked “How do you choose the topics for your Front Porch column?”/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Also by Cindy: Library exhibit puts science, technolgy at patrons' fingertips

Question: Are you more likely to send and email about a story that made you smile— or one that made you mad?

Gloria Steinem To Visit UI Oct. 4-5

From University of Idaho News: “Gloria Steinem (pictured), writer, lecturer, editor and feminist activist, will visit the University of Idaho on Oct. 4 and 5, 2012 in honor of the Women’s Center’s 40th anniversary. Over the past 40 years, Steinem has played a pivotal role in the women’s equality movement, both in the United States and internationally. Steinem travels as an organizer and lecturer and is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice.” More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Are you a Gloria Steinem fan?

Idaho X-Country Star Rebounds

After her health took a sharp turn for the worse last year, Idaho cross country star Emily Paradis has had to live by two simple words - patience and perseverance. “I really struggled with it a lot. It wasn't just a physical barrier, it was mental, too,” Paradis said.Entering her sophomore year, the former Moscow Bear was one of the promising young runners who had helped Idaho win the 2010 Western Athletic Conference cross country championship. She didn't disappoint in her follow-up campaign, as her strong performance helped the team win the WAC championship once again. But before she could run indoor or outdoor track, she started feeling ill. “I started feeling light-headed when I was running. I would just feel really fatigued,” Paradis said. “I wasn't myself”/Ben Handel, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. (Daily News photo: Geoff Crimmins)

Question: Did you run track or cross country in high school or college?

Suit Filed In Area Footballer’s Death

A Valley Christian School football player’s 2009 death from brain trauma began with a concussion suffered in a game the previous week that had not fully healed, according to a lawsuit filed by his family this week. The wrongful death claim brought by the family of Drew Swank (of Hauser Lake) against the school, an administrator, football coaches and a family doctor alleges negligence and discloses for the first time details surrounding the player’s medical condition leading up to his death. New Valley Christian administrator Nathan Williams declined to speak about the case at the request of the private religious school’s board of directors and attorney. Swank’s family also declined comment on the lawsuit/John Stucke, SR. More here.

Question: Would you let your child play high school football in view of no information re: danger of concussions?

Mission Opens CdA Women’s Center

Two women, both mothers in need of healing, have bonded at the start of a long journey toward recovery. They’re doing it from the refuge of the new Union Gospel Mission Center for Women and Children in Coeur d’Alene. Jan Bates, 48, is recovering from a traumatic marriage. Anjelique Mader, 40, has battled prescription drug addiction and is four months sober. They arrived at the faith-based residential center soon after it opened three weeks ago, and they’ll spend up to two years there putting their lives back together. “Living with these women and sharing our hearts and our lives the way we have, we’ve developed very strong connections,” Bates said/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka's SR photo: Jan Bates, right, points to a cross made of nailes and tells Union Gospel Mission director JoAnn Zajicek: “This is why we're here.”)

Question: What are your thoughts of the Union Gospel Mission opening a center for women and children in Coeur d'Alene?

NIC Has $146M Impact On Region

What if North Idaho College didn't exist? A recent economic impact study shows there would be a $164.6 million hole in the region's economy. Conducted by EMSI (Economic Modeling Specialists, Intl.), the results of the study were presented to trustees Wednesday during their regular monthly meeting. “This is a really important study to undertake because, especially in our current economy, education is perceived as a budget item, a cost item, and not an investment,” said Gabriel Rench, a representative of the Moscow-based EMSI. EMSI analyzed NIC's investment value to students and taxpayers and also reviewed the college's effect on the economic growth of Idaho's five northern regions/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: And you wonder why the election for the Board of Trustees for North Idaho College is important?

Boy Scouts Will Keep Camp Easton

The proposed land swap of a historic Boy Scout camp, a plan that had garnered litigation and a scout protest march, won't be happening. The Boy Scouts of America Inland Northwest Council announced on Wednesday that the council and a luxury developer have ended discussions over the proposal to exchange Camp Easton on Lake Coeur d'Alene for a new camp at a different site. “We were committed at every step to do our very best to make the right decision for our organization,” states a letter posted on the INC website on Wednesday from Tim McCandless, INC scout executive and CEO, and Barry Baker, council president/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Are you glad that the Boy Scouts will hold onto Camp Easton?

Signe: Global Constituency

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Hump Day Wild Card — 9.26.12

The county's switch to ongoing switch to digital frequencies may affecting my access this morning. I know that more frequencies were switched over this week. My two scanners, one of which is a digital scanner that goes through the frequencies slowly, have been almost silent. I wrote down one minor call at 9:37. Nothing before. Nothing after. I'll continue to monitor situation. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 9.26.12

Nicholas Murray, Jarrod Swanson and Joey Penchoen perform tricks on the block sculpture in Riverfront Park Monday. The three love the sport called “parkour”, running and performing tricks on obstacles and architectural features, which started in France. Story here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley) More photos here.

Man Recovers From Losing Everything

On Sept. 14, a fire took most everything of what Jim Houk owned. Mobile home, destroyed. Furniture, gone. Clothing, ruined. The 1979 Coeur d'Alene High School graduate and former mill worker found himself in a place he never thought possible: Homeless and broke. “It's been rough,” he said. Houk recalls walking out of the bathroom, seeing the flames later determined to be started on a mattress by a discarded cigarette, and fleeing. “I ran out of the house with no clothes on, I just grabbed a blanket,” he said. Other than singed hair when he tried to battle the blaze with a hose, Houk was physically OK. Mentally, emotionally, financially, not so much. The home was not insured/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Jerome A. Pollos)

Question: Have you ever been homeless or close to homeless?

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.26.12

  • 5:37 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Casino reports male trespassed earlier today is back.
  • 5:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Sept. 25-26 here.
  • 5:16 p.m. Driver of blue Ford Focus possibly DUI @ H95 & Fighting Creek.
  • 4:57 p.m. 2 abandoned vehicles reported along road @ H41 & Poleline/PF.
  • 4:44 p.m. 25-by-40-foot grass fire reported at end of Rose Mont Drive/Athol.
  • 4:43 p.m. 17YO girl has bump on head from 2-vehicle crash @ H41 & Pine/Rathdrum.
  • 4:19 p.m. Possible DUI driver in black KIA @ H41 & Rice Road/Rathdrum.
  • 4:03 p.m. LCDC spokesman Keith Erickson: McEuen Field work crews working on parking lot south of City Hall will install new water infrastructure on Thursday. This will require water service to be shut off from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for about a half-dozen residences on Young Avenue west of 8th.
  • 11 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 9.26.12

Emergency crews attend to a female who jumped from the 4th floor of the Culmstock Arms in Spokane. Assistant Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said it appears the woman barricaded her door and built a fire, then sat on it. Once she was on fire she jumped out the window, he said. Story here. (SR photo)

5 More Idaho WWAMI Seats Sought

In an effort to alleviate Idaho’s doctor shortage, the Idaho Board of Education is asking state lawmakers to approve money to pay for five additional students to attend the University of Washington’s medical school in Seattle. Idaho, like Alaska, Montana and Wyoming, does not have its own medical school. Instead, the four states rely on a program known as WWAMI. The program (which sounds like “whammy”) is based at the University of Washington School of Medicine. A certain number of students from each of the four states attend, paying in-state tuition instead of the more expensive out-of-state price. Each participating state helps pay the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition.  One state-sponsored medical student in the WWAMI program costs about $50,000 per year.  Today, Idaho has a total of 80 seats, 20 per year/Emilie Ritter Saunders, StateImpact. More here.

Question: Do you know someone who used WWAMI funding to become a physician?

CPD Names Suspect In Robberies

Coeur d'Alene Police Department news release: Coeur d’Alene Police Detectives obtained a warrant of arrest for Christopher Michael Hastings, 26, from Hesperia, California, for two counts of robbery, with a seventy-five thousand dollar bond. Detectives developed information that led them to identify Hastings as the male suspect responsible for the robbery at Walgreens and Tesoro that occurred on Sept. 17. Hasting is currently wanted on a Felony Drug Warrant out of California. Hastings appears to lead a very transient lifestyle, and has recently spent time in Coeur d’Alene. Hastings has a criminal history of violence that includes armed robberies and weapons offense. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at 769-2320.

Taggart Opposes Govt Change, Too

Tom Taggart, the former county clerk who did a swell job as the first and only county administrator, comments that he's going to oppose the Kootenai County government change on the November ballot:

Just so you know, I will be voting no on this also. I have a number of reasons. I think the main issue I have with this is it is clearly going to fail and that will mean it will be a long time before any group of commissioners will try again. There are some smaller changes that could help without making these huge changes. The commissioners did not invite any input and instead relied on past studies. There is no question county government is cumbersome and inefficient and I doubt anyone would come up with the current structure if starting from scratch. However, we are not starting with a blank slate, but rather attempting to change a well established institution. It is also important to keep in mind that a little inefficiency in government in not all that bad.

Question: Anyone out there who is going to support this?

North Idaho Blog Roundup — 9.26.12

“Yesterday was a fun day,” posts Marianne Love/Slight Detour. “I made it to Northside School to see all the developments with their gardens and their garden club.  By the way, I saw reminders that Northside is another of the Idaho state-designated 5-star schools.” More here.

HucksOnline Numbers (for Tuesday): 9211/5508, and (for Monday): 8601/5065

Johnson: ‘7 Rules Of Politics’

On his Johnson Report today, Marc Johnson offers “7 Rules of Politics” including the famous Tip O'Neill point that “all politics is local” and “beware the candidate who is first to say 'the only poll that counts is the one on Election Day.' That candidate is surely running behind.” He begins:

Forty days out in what has seemed like a presidential election campaign that might never end, things are about to get really interesting. The TV ads are flying – at least in Ohio – the debates loom, the charges fly and the pundits spout. But what does it all mean? Today no analysis – historic or otherwise – just seven rules collected over 35 years of reporting on politics, working on two statewide campaigns and trying to understand the great ebb and flow of American politics. Rules to live by, if you will, in assessing the home stretch of the 2012 campaign. Complete column here.

Question: Can you offer a rule of thumb for assessing this year's presidential race?

NFL Refs Ready If Lock-Out Ends

Officials signal after Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate pulled in a last-second pass for a touchdown from quarterback Russell Wilson to defeat the Green Bay Packers 14-12 in an NFL football game, Monday in Seattle. The touchdown call stood after review. (AP Photo/, Joshua Trujillo)

Ed Hochuli is perhaps the most famous of the National Football League's 121 regular officials, and if a new contract with the locked-out officials gets done within the next 24 hours, American football fans will owe him a debt of thanks — because the prep work of Hochuli will be a key for the real refs to hit the ground running, starting with Sunday's 13 NFL games. A deal, however, is not imminent, according to one official who got an email from NFL Referees Association negotiator Scott Green early this afternoon. “He said we're making progress but not close to a deal right now,'' the official said/Peter King, SI. More here.

Question: Do you think the NFL will settle with the striking refs in time for Sunday's games?

Bulletin: CdA Resort May Be NW Best

No destination resort in the Pacific Northwest combines comfort and sophistication — including a luxurious spa, fine dining options and recreational amenities — so well as The Coeur d'Alene. Nestled on the north shore of its 25-mile-long namesake lake, the resort was built in 1986 and immediately became the catalyst for the gentrification of the town of Coeur d'Alene (pronounced core-duh-LANE). “Downtown took off with a character of its own,” recalled Bill Reagan, the resort's general manager since it welcomed its first guests. “It's as if the hotel created a center from which Coeur d'Alene could grow.” After a 413-mile, 7½-hour drive northeast from Bend, via the Tri-Cities and Spokane, my traveling companion and I turned off Interstate 90 in the late afternoon and approached the hotel via a circular drive off Sherman Avenue. A team of valets and bellmen was there to greet us, unloading our luggage, parking our car and guiding us through the elegant, contemporary lobby to the long front desk, where we were quickly checked in for a three-night stay/John Gottberg Anderson, Bend Bulletin. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo: Coeur d'Alene Resort floating green)

Question: Can you think of a better Northwest resort than the Coeur d'Alene Resort?

PYP On CdA School Board Agenda

Don't look now, but the Coeur d'Alene School Board appears ready to forge ahead and make a decision on the Primary Years Programme at Hayden Meadows Elementary. A discussion on the controversial PYProgamme is scheduled as a possible vote item at 6 the regularly scheduled CSB meeting at 6 p.m. Monday. Superintendent Hazel Bauman is scheduled to introduce the subject. Then, the school board will go through the motions of providing a fair hearing by accepting public comment. Board Chairman Tom Hamilton has already said he opposes the continuance of the program. The ground rules listed on the agenda for this item are interesting:

  • No applause
  • 3-minute time limit
  • No outbursts
  • Be polite, no personal attacks
  • Speakers address board (not audience)

Question: Will the School Board vote 5-0 Monday to torpedo PYP?

Man Admits Centennial Trail Murder

Avondre Graham, the 17-year-old suspected of stabbing a woman to death while she was walking her dog in May, has admitted to the murder. Graham claims he was sitting on a rock outside his South Riverton apartment when McGill walked by, made a negative comment about the music Graham was listening to then insulted him by using a racial slur. He told investigators he followed McGill down Tuffy's Trail and threw a baseball-sized rock at McGill, hitting her in the head. The rock knocked McGill to her knees and Graham says he them jumped on top of her and used his folding knife to stab her multiple times/KXLY. More here.


Boise On Alert For Skinhead Festival

The Hammerskin Nation's planned series of concerts has raised concern with police and the city of Boise, even though the festival's exact venue isn't known. An online poster for the event simply names Boise as the event's location. Also unclear is why the Hammerskins chose the Treasure Valley. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups across the country, calls the Hammerskin Nation “one of the oldest, most violent and most dominant skinhead groups in the United States.” The center identifies Wade Michael Page, who in August opened fire at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, killing six, as a member of the organization/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Had you ever heard of Hammerskin Nation before now?

Read more here:

Bacon Shortage Predicted In 2013

Strips of cooked bacon are shown at a home in North Vancouver, British Columbia. A British farming organization is predicting a worldwide shortage of bacon and pork in 2013. The National Pig Association says global drought conditions are driving up the price of grain, a major staple in hog feed. It says pig farmers around the world are selling their herds because retail prices are not rising fast enough to cover the cost of record-high pig-feed costs. (The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you really love bacon?

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.26.12

  • 12:07 p.m. A couple who appeared to be unconscious in a side yard @ Miles & Maple/Hayden have moved on. Both are wearing sweat pants. Female also has leopard spotted top.
  • 12:02 p.m. CPD officer is stopping to check suspicious male w/blue hair @ Exxon @ 15th & Sherman.
  • 11:53 a.m. 2 males stole a shopping cart worth of items from Hayden WalMart & then left s/b on H95 from Honeysuckle in a 1985 light-blue Honda Civic. The vehicle is registered to a man from Lewiston who may be living in a motel in the 23rd & Lake Coeur d'Alene Drive area.
  • 11:48 a.m. A possible illegal burn is reported @ Miles & Crimson/Hayden.
  • 10 more items below

DFO: Say No To County Govt Change

I like efficiency in government. Therefore, I supported the county's move to hire an administrator (Tom Taggart) many years back. Taggart, a former Kootenai County clerk who is now the finance director for the Lakeland School District, handled many day-to-day decisions for the county, while commissioners set policy. A good administrator is worth his salary and more in cost savings in other departments. An argument can be made for further streamlining county government by making the offices of clerk, assessor, treasurer and coroner appointive rather than elective — like city government. County government can be cumbersome as the result of having 8 elected officials and their egos potentially fighting one another for scarce tax revenue. I might trust the current county commission to appoint the clerk/assessor/treasurer/coroner. But I certainly wouldn't want commissioners handling those critical appointments if two-thirds of the board came from the noisy Far Right in this community. The checks-and-balance system of county government may be cumbersome and cause duplication in services. But it ensures that a well-organized, radical group can't take offer the courthouse by successfully promoting two of its members to the commissioners' office in any given election — DFO.

Coffeehouse Hosts Latte Throwdown

Mike Garrison first noticed the art deco building with the corner door on a drive to Spokane Art Supply. He didn’t have plans for a business, but the space somehow convinced him that he needed to open Coeur Coffeehouse. Garrison, who grew up in Coeur d’Alene, settled on plans to sell coffee from Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters while remodeling and repairs were finished at 701 N. Monroe St. Garrison wanted the most ethically sourced coffee he could find and liked Stumptown’s commitment to forging relationships with coffee growers and paying higher than fair-trade prices. Coeur Coffeehouse uses local milk from Spokane’s Family Farm and baristas make syrups from scratch. In addition to espresso, Coeur Coffeehouse offers popular slow-brewing methods, including Chemex and Aeropress. Stumptown Coffee is sold by the pound. Garrison and the Coeur Coffeehouse crew will host the latest round of the latte art and brewing competition for local baristas Thursday/Too Many Cooks. More here.

Question: Do you have a favorite barista in the Coeur d'Alene area? Do you even know the name of a local barista?

AM Headlines — 9.26.12

Sierra Harr, who helped the Castleford High School boy's golf team win Idaho's 2A championship in May, is shown putting at the Clear Lakes Country Club near Buhl earlier this month. The board that oversees Idaho high school sports won't bar Harr from playing with the boys team if not enough girls turn out and form their own team. See story below. (AP Photo/John Miller, file)

Idaho No. 7 For California Invasion

The Gem State is one of the top destinations for Californians leaving their state, according to a new report. The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research ranks Idaho at No. 7 for net migration from California and says the influx is because Idaho is better managed and presents more economic opportunity than California. Idaho gained about 54,000 people from California between 2000 and 2010, according to the report, which is based on federal tax data. The largest number came from Los Angeles and Orange counties, and the largest number moved to Idaho between 2004 and 2007, during the real estate boom. From those newcomers, Idaho gained a net aggregate income of $1.3 million, the report said. The main reasons for the Californian exodus are jobs, lower taxes and costs to employers such as utilities, the report said/Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo of ex-California governor Arnold Schwarzenneger, who has visited Idaho but hasn't moved here)

DFO: I wonder how many ex-Californians have moved here and gotten involved in Republican politics?

Question: Are you an ex-Californian?

Read more here:

Poll: 2/3s Have Had Colonoscopies

  • Tuesday's Poll: About two-thirds of Hucks Nation has had colonoscopies. 67 of 103 respondents (65.05%) said they have undergone the procedure, while 36 of 103 respondents (34.95%) said they hadn't.
  • Today's Question: Do you believe that President Obama's healthcare reform law will create “death panels” to decide patients' fitness for care?

Poll: 40% Believe In ‘Death Panels’

About four in 10 U.S. adults believe that President Obama's healthcare reform law will create “death panels” to decide patients' fitness for care, according to a new Associated Press-GfK survey. Support for the widely challenged claim has remained steady since 2010, when 39 percent believed “death panels” would result from the healthcare law. Today, 41 percent say the same is true. Overall, most people believe the law will go into effect in spite of Republican pledges to repeal it. About seven in 10 adults said the law will be implemented with some changes, while 11 percent believe it will be implemented as passed/Elise Viebeck, The Hill. More here.

Question: Do you believe that President Obama's healthcare reform law will create “death panels”?

Koler Slams Press PYP Editorial

Duncan Koler, a Coeur d'Alene Press letter writer who has spearheaded the attack on the International Baccalaureate and Primary Years Programme in the Coeur d'Alene School District, is taking Press editor Mike Patrick to task today for a recent editorial:

Patrick, long on record as unable to “see” IB/PYP as a socio-political values-driven program, falls back on the standard liberal attack approach of labeling those who disagree as “conspiracy theorists.” This despite IB/PYP’s agenda being stated clearly on their website, in their speeches, lesson plans, workshops and everywhere else in their own materials. Mike, it was disingenuous to suggest hidden motives by the school board. (Who is the conspiracy theorist now?) Trustees Hamilton and Seymour ran against IB/PYP. The other trustees have said they would look carefully at IB/PYP, and that is being done. Why would consideration of IB/PYP’s stated agenda be off-limits? Full letter here.

Question: Which side represents your values on this issue more — Duncan Koler's or the Press?

Lahr Keeps Tabs On Reagan Repubs

We've been discussing the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans and The Strategery Group this week. Ron Lahr (above) is president of both entities. Reagan Republicans actively promote political candidates in partisan and nonpartisan races. Strategery is Lahr's public relations wing, which has provided material and strategy for candidates ranging from school board to the Idaho Legislature. 8 candidates, 5 of whom were successful, paid Strategery a combined $86,000 for its work in the local GOPrimary in May. The photo above by the Phantom Photographer shows Lahr at a Reagan Republican meeting at the Fedora several months ago.

Question: Why do you think Ron is frowning?

Quotable: Wakeboarder OK w/o Digit

The story of a Priest Lake fish swallowing a wakeboarder's severed finger has gone national, as you can imagine. Colleague Scott Maben did a terrific job tracking down the wakeboarder for his story in the SR today. In my 42 years in the news business, I've never written anything like the 4 paragraphs that close Scott's story:

The sheriff’s office offered to return the finger to Galassi, but he declined.

“I’m like, uhhh, I’m good,” he said.

Johnston said the agency will keep the digit for a few weeks just in case Galassi changes his mind.

“There’s still three more, too,” he noted. “It’s hard to say where those are going to end up.”


Statesman Won’t Endorse For Prez

The Statesman editorial board is in the midst of interviewing more than 70 candidates for federal, state and local office. Our paper plans to endorse in more than 40 elections. One exception will be the presidential race. This isn’t an unprecedented decision — our paper didn’t endorse in the 2012 GOP presidential caucus, nor the 2008 Democratic caucus and GOP primary, despite Idaho appearances from candidates of both party. And really, it comes down to a simple difference between the president’s race and the other races. When it comes to candidates for everything from Congress to Ada County Highway District, our editorial board has the chance to interview the candidates in depth. Just as important, we have had a chance to watch the candidates up close, in elected service or in the community/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Should newspapers endorse in the presidential race?


Read more here:

CdA Winery Offers Washington Wines

One of Washington’s great family wineries isn’t in Washington at all. For a decade, the Gates family has been hauling Washington grapes across the state line to make award-winning wines in Coeur d’Alene. Kimber Gates, who owns the winery with her parents, Sarah and Charlie Gates, said they’ve been humbled by the local support. At 10, Gates said they feel like the winery is starting to thrive thanks to that enthusiasm. They work together to put wines into the bottles. Kimber Gates has slowly added more winemaking duties and oversees the wines with a team of help. Sarah Gates, a Coeur d’Alene artist, concentrates on wine and food pairings, creating all of the recipes that are on the winery’s website. Her artwork appears on the winery’s labels and she maintains the gardens at the winery. Charlie Gates serves as emotional support and wine advocate, said Kimber Gates/Lori Hutson, SR. More here. (Coeur d’Alene Cellars has moved its wine tasting bar, Barrel Room No. 6, to the winery)

Question: Which regional wines do you drink?

Yearbook Photo Policy Upsets Senior

Katie Richardson (pictured) had plenty of ideas for her senior yearbook photo. Like posing with her guitar, the Lake City High School senior said, to leave her mark as an artist. “I love singing and I love music,” said Richardson, 16. “I just wanted to have fun photos.” But her yearbook photo will feature the same aspect of herself as every other senior: Her head and torso. That's not enough, Richardson argues. And some other students feel the same. According to the school's policy for senior yearbook photos, seniors must only provide vertical shots of the waist up, face to the front, with professional quality resolution, no soft focus, and no props, animals or other people/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Question: Do you agree with LCHS senior Katie Richardson that her school should allow leeway with senior photos?

Spectacular Fire

Facing a geyser of flames, a Spokane Fire Department firefighter leaves the roof of an apartment fire at 725 S. Lincoln/Spokane Tuesday afternoon. The raging fire displaced 24 residents. Story here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Question: Have you ever been victimized by a fire?

‘Moon River’ Crooner Dies At 84

With a string of gold albums, a hit TV series and the signature “Moon River,” Andy Williams was a voice of the 1960s, although not the ‘60s we usually hear about. “The old cliche says that if you can remember the 1960s, you weren’t there,” the singer once recalled. “Well, I was there all right, but my memory of them is blurred — not by any drugs I took but by the relentless pace of the schedule I set myself.” Williams’ plaintive tenor, boyish features and easy demeanor helped him outlast many of the rock stars who had displaced him and such fellow crooners as Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. He remained on the charts into the 1970s, and continued to perform in his 80s at the Moon River Theatre he built in Branson, Mo. In November 2011, when Williams announced that he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer, he vowed to return to performing the following year: His 75th in show business. Williams died Tuesday night at his home in Branson following a yearlong battle with the disease. He was 84/AP. More here.

Question: Were you an Andy Williams fan?

Concert Guitarist Pauses To Mentor

When Brad Richter balked at doing a report in high school, a teacher met him halfway and allowed him to write about the rock band Led Zeppelin. It's those kind of moments that helped the classical guitarist stave off disaster as a teen. “I was enough of a pain in the neck that I probably wouldn't have gotten anything done,” Richter said. “I was a bit of a lost soul who needed some input.” Richter is spending this week offering workshops and concerts with local students before performing with cellist Viktor Uzur at the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center for a public concert on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Adult influences — even if they weren't musicians which was Richter's main interest growing up - helped turn Richter's life around/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust CdA Press photo: Brad Richter coaches New Vision High 9th-grader Taylor Arveson through a scale Tuesday)

Question: Did an adult influence you during your teen years?

Anderson: Replacement Refs

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Tuesday — 9.25.12

This morning, a newspaper colleague circulated a German word that describes all of us who are enjoying the misery of Green Bay Packers fans after sub refs robbed them in the Monday Night Football game yesterday: “schadenfreude”: “Satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune.” I've been on the receiving end of schadenfreude (pronounced shahd-n-froi-duh), when my S.F. Giants or S.F. 49ers fell short. I prefer being on the giving end. 'Tis better to give than to receive, after all. Besides, the football gods owe Seattle more than one for those botched calls in the 2006 Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh. With Schadenfreude dancing merrily in my head, I'll post today's Wild Card …

P.S. She Said Yes

Near the finish line of the Priest Lake Marathon Saturday, Matt Siegel of Spokane faked a leg injury to draw his girlfriend to him. When Ashley Earls of Spokane arrived to help him, Siegel got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. She said, yes. Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns recorded the event. You can see more photos of the proposal here.

McEuen Field Work Ahead Of Schedule

Lake City Development Corporation spokesman Keith Erickson provides this update on McEuen Field work:

Beautiful early autumn weather and good soil conditions have combined to put crews ahead of schedule on the first stage of the McEuen Park upgrade. Crews are currently excavating soil from the Third Street parking lot and hauling it to a site south of City Hall, where a new lot will provide parking for 179 vehicles and 23 boat/vehicle slots. “We’re slightly ahead of schedule,” Welch-Comer Engineers President Phillip Boyd said Tuesday afternoon. Soil taken from the “borrow site” at the Third Street lot is “sufficiently compactable,” expediting construction of the City Hall parking lot, Boyd said. Meantime, the City Hall parking lot off 8th Street is closed, but the utility drop box in that area is still accessible on the east side of 8th Street. While the good weather holds out, crews are working 10-hour shifts six days a week. Look for regular updates on the city’s blog site.

Question: Have you taken time to view work on McEuen Field?

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.25.12

  • 4:52 p.m. Juveniles reportedly riding in back of pickup from Post Falls Library lot.
  • 4:47 p.m. Non-injury crash takes out hydrant @ Huetter & Prairie/Hayden.
  • 4:37 p.m. Non-injury crash involving city vehicle @ Marlborough behind Woodland Middle School.
  • 4:19 p.m. Piece of furniture is lying along e/b I-90 @ Sunnyside exit, east of Coeur d'Alene.
  • 4:18 p.m. Resident of Log Cabin Road/Worley reports men w/equipment taking trees from land.
  • 4:01 p.m. KCSD outstanding felony/misdemeanor warrants for week of Sept. 24 here.
  • 10 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 9.25.12

North Idaho College challenger Todd Banducci is at the microphone while Reagan Republican/Strategery official Jeff Ward watches from the sidelines at the RR Victory Dinner at Templin's Sept. 15 (in this Phantom Photographer photo). Banducci is running against incumbent Trustee Mic Armon. The Reagan Republicans have endorsed Banducci, Ron Nilson and Paul Mathews for the five-person NIC board. Nilson is running for an open seat now held by Ron Vieselmeyer, while Mathews is matched against incumbent Judy Meyer.

Boise SB Urges No On Props 1-3

The elected Boise School Board has announced it's endorsing a “no” vote on all three school reform referenda on the November ballot, Propositions 1, 2 and 3. Board President AJ Balukoff said, “We have an obligation as the governing body of the Boise School District to use research, best practice and data to provide the best education possible for our students. This includes communicating the implications of new laws for our students, parents, teachers, and our community”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Whose recommendation do you trust more re: Propositions 1, 2, 3 — Gov. Butch Otter of the Boise School Board?

H&W Office: Bouma? Obama? Scram!

Gresham Bouma, a Moscow GOP legislative candidate, was incorrectly told he needed to move a campaign rally this week because state regulations banned it, the Lewiston Tribune reports; Bouma was asked to move his rally, which his campaign was filming, from in front of a building housing the state unemployment office and a Health & Welfare office in Moscow. Bouma moved to the parking lot of a local business instead; state Health & Welfare officials expressed concern about their clients' privacy. Click below for an AP report on the incident. But here's a sign Bouma wasn't targeted for his views: The Lewiston Tribune's full article today also included this tidbit: “The office manager initially reported that supporters of President Barack Obama were assembling, apparently misreading Bouma's name on a sign”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise, has AP report. More here. (Photo from Gresham Bouma's Facebook page)


CdA Woman Faces Cancer, Pregnancy

Reporter David Cole/Coeur d'Alene Press tweets that “Today Show” may be in Coeur d'Alene Thursday to follow up on this story:

It was a beautiful sunny day at Coeur d'Alene Cellars on her wedding day, Sept. 3, 2011, and Linsey Mattison felt oddly uncomfortably in her gown. “My dress was so tight, I felt like I couldn't breathe,” the then 32-year-old lawyer and Coeur d'Alene High School graduate said this week. Other than that, it was one of the best days of her life. She said that incredible discomfort and difficulty breathing that day was likely the first hint something was seriously wrong with her health. She didn't know it at the time, but a cancerous mass was rapidly growing inside her chest and pressing up against her lungs. Days after the wedding, she began having chest pains, which hardly made sense for a fit young woman who exercised regularly and ate healthy/David Cole, CdA Press. More here. (Jerome A. Pollos Coeur d'Alene Press photo: In this Sept. 12 photo, Linsey and Scott Sowinski, pose with with their daughter Lena in Coeur d'Alene)


Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Sickens 30

A Spokane teen was among 30 people who were sickened with salmonella connected to a peanut butter sold by grocer Trader Joe’s. Spokane health officials say the teen, along with another Washington boy from Thurston County, became ill about 6 weeks ago. The peanut butter recall has now been expanded to dozens of peanut, cashew and almond butters produced by Sunland Inc. The New Mexico-based company processed and packaged the Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter that has since been linked to salmonella cases in 18 states/John Stucke, SR. More here. (Trader Joe's photo)

Question: My name is DFO. And I'm a chunky peanut butter addict. How about you?

GOP Chair Rips Anti-Luna Reform Ad

State Republican Party Chairman Barry Peterson (pictured) again criticized an ad campaign urging voters to overturn state schools superintendent Tom Luna's Teachers Come First education overhaul. The talking points from Peterson aren't new. He has criticized opponents' radio ads that said the student laptop purchase program is an unfunded mandate. But as opponents have taken their campaign to TV, Peterson has ratcheted up the rhetoric. “Do not give into these underhanded tactics of the leaders of the teachers’ union. They are opposed to education reform in Idaho, and it is a shame to see they are willing to go to any lengths to stop reform from taking place — including lying to Idaho’s families and taxpayers.” Heading closer to the final month, this campaign is getting uglier/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: I'm already fed up with attack ads — and we still have 6 weeks to go. How do you handle all the TV mud slinging during political campaigns?

Read more here:

Webcam: McEuen Field

Seems to be a whole lotta scrapin' going on at McEuen Field, where heavy equipment continues to scrape the parking lot south City Hall down to dirt as part of overhaul of the green space. You can follow the city of Coeur d'Alene webcam, which refreshes photos every 5 minutes, here.

Missing Boy Launches Alert System

When a 12-year-old boy went missing Friday in Coeur d’Alene, school officials turned to a new emergency notification system to alert parents by email and phone. About 12,000 households received messages before the student was found unharmed Saturday morning. “We were still in testing mode, and we just decided to go live with this,” said Laura Rumpler, spokeswoman for the Coeur d’Alene School District. Schools are relying more on digital dialing systems like this to spread the word about weather-related school closures, bomb threats and school lockdowns, as well as to communicate about routine matters like unexcused absences, overdue library books and PTA meetings. Spokane Public Schools has just picked a new vendor capable of notifying families of all 29,000 students in the district using phone calls, emails and text messages/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Did you receive notification when Joshua Belnap went missing?

Bears Hanging Out Near Hayden Lake

A black bear sow and her cub have been frequenting the English Point recreation trail near Hayden Lake, Forest Services officials say. No reports of aggressive behavior from the bears have been received at the Panhandle National Forests headquarters in Coeur d'Alene, “but it remains important for the public to exercise caution and give the bears plenty of space to ensure future bear encounters are uneventful,” said Jason Kirchner, forest public affairs officer. “Bear sightings are not unusual but due to the unpredictable nature of bears the public needs to understand that some caution should be taken whenever they are in bear country,” said Coeur d’Alene River District Ranger Chad Hudson/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors blog. More here.

Question: Would you know what to do if you encountered a bear sow and cubs in the wild?

Priest Lake Fish Yields Human Finger

A fisherman cleaning a large lake trout he caught at Priest Lake found a human finger inside. Detectives were able to get a fingerprint off the severed digit and track it back to the owner: a 31-year-old wakeboarder who lost four fingers from his left hand during an accident on the lake more than two months earlier. On Sept. 11, Nolan Calvin reported that while fishing on the west side of Priest Lake, he caught a large lake trout, the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office said. Calvin began to clean the fish and discovered what he believed to be a human finger inside the fish. He put the finger on ice and reported the incident to the sheriff’s office. Detectives confirmed the finger was human and discovered there was sufficient ridge detail to obtain a latent fingerprint. Detectives began to search for a possible victim/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Wikipedia photo of a mackinaw/lake trout)


Streamline Group To Circulate Flyer

For those keeping score at home, a Berry Picker sent an email containing a flyer (that appears to have the Ron Lahr/Jeff Ward Strategery Group's look) from Streamline Kootenai County. The flyer offers Streamline's reasons for voting for Kootenai County government consolidation. The only name that I could find for the group is at the bottom of the flyer: “Maggie Lyons, treasurer.” Inquiring minds like mine want to know who are the people behind Streamline Kootenai County. I know 4 elected county officials who don't support consolidation: Assessor Mike McDowell, Clerk Cliff Hayes, Coroner Deb Wilkey and Treasurer Tom Malzahn. You can see the entire Streamline Kootenai County flyer here.

Question: Will you vote to Streamline Kootenai County?

Shedding A Light On Ostomy

It’s something most people don’t want to talk about or even think about. The squeamish blanch at the details; for others the subject is just too intimate to discuss. But the 700,000 people in the U.S. living with a permanent ostomy don’t have the luxury of ignoring the subject of bodily waste elimination. Simply put, an ostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an artificial opening for the elimination of bodily wastes. The waste is collected in bags or pouches. There are three types of ostomies – colostomy (descending colon), ileostomy (ascending colon), and a urostomy (bladder). Some people need to wear two bags – one for urine and another for solid waste. Oct. 6 is International Ostomy Awareness Day. This year’s theme is “Let’s be heard,” and Cheney resident John (Gus) Hall isn’t shy about discussing his surgery/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (AP file photo: An endoscopy system for colonoscopies)

Question: Have you had a colonoscopy? How bad was it?

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.25.12

From Tamrak Store/Priest River (27914 H57) Facebook wall via Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns: “House Fire at 4 am, on Shelly Lane, right behind the Tamrak. Great job Priest Lake Fire Dept onresponding quickly and keeping the area safe with things so dry.”

  • 11:59 a.m. Bates Motel on East Sherman/CdA reports guest suffering chest pain.
  • 11:53 a.m. Some is having hard time breathing @ Hess & Honeysuckle/Hayden.
  • 11:42 a.m. Resident of Compton Street/PF apartments reports juveniles smoking nearby.
  • 11:39 a.m. Stalled red car blocking acceleration lane @ n/b H41 & Prairie/Rathdrum.
  • 11:34 a.m. Ford Explorer won't let other drivers merge onto I-90 (now @ MP 2/Pleasantview)
  • 10 more items below

Quotable Quote — Kevin Richert

“Now I'm pretty sure a replacement barista just poured me some decaf. Roger Goodell, what else can you ruin today?” — opinionator Kevin Richert/Idaho Statesman via Twitter.

Hucks Poll: Many To Vote Absentee

  • Monday Poll: By a narrow margin, Hucks Nation said it wasn't going to vote absentee in the November general election — 50% to 47.46%. Exactly half (59 of 118) respondents said they will go to the polls on Nov. 6. 56 of 118 (47.46%) said they will vote absentee. 3 (2.54%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Have you undergone a colonoscopy?

County Suffers Cat Epidemic

Dori Peck says there are two words to describe the cat and kitten epidemic in Kootenai County. One is crazy. The other is overwhelming. And it's getting worse, said the executive director of the Kootenai Humane Society. Whether ferals or strays, they're everywhere. “We have to do something,” Peck said Monday. “We have literally litters of kittens coming in.” She said the KHS shelter at the end of Ramsey Road is at capacity, with around 100 cats and kittens. There's a 45-day waiting list to drop off a feline. Around 15 calls a day come in from folks desperate to get rid of one, two or an entire litter. Told there's no room, some are just leaving cats outside the shelter gates. Or, they're dumping them in neighborhoods, in the wild, in parks. Wherever. It is the worst Peck has seen this situation/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Jerome A. Pollos' Press photo: Kittens held in the quarantine area of the Kootenai Human Society)

Question: Any ideas re: what can be done about this situation?

AM Headlines — 9.25.12

Sandy Schilling, family nurse practitioner, left, give a pertussis vacination to Jessica Martinez at NATIVE Health of Spokane on Monday. Martinez, a health informantion manager at NATIVE Health clinic, was getting her required shot. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

No Zombie Bee Here

Yesterday, I posted a Parting Shot photo of dead zombie bees from Washington state. So today I'll publish a photo of a health North Idaho bee going about it's business of collecting honey, while colleague Kathy Plonka snapped photos.

Strategery Handles Govt Change PR

In response to a comment by Ron Burgundy this morning, Ron Lahr confirmed that his Strategery company is handling public relations to pass the proposed Kootenai County government change measure on the November ballot. Ron, who is president of The Strategery Group as well as the county Reagan Republicans, commented: “The Strategery Group has been hired by Streamline Kootenai County. The Reagan Republicans board has not discussed the ballot measure although there are board members who both support it and oppose it.” Huckleberries has asked for more information about Streamline Kootenai County, which Ron describes as “The group organized to pass the ballot measure proposed by the county commissioners.” Huckleberries wants to know whether Streamline Kootenai County is privately or publicly funded — and who are the principals behind the group. (ESPN-AM 1080 photo of Strategery/Reagan Republican prez Ron Lahr after a recent show)

Question: Do you think the Reagan Republicans will be on-board with this attempt to change Kootenai County government?

Otter Empathizes w/Chicago Mayor

In the struggle to fix the nation’s public schools, the old red-state, blue-state idea is looking as dated as Dick and Jane. You can hear the change in the voice of Gov. C. L. Otter, a Republican here in one of the most deeply conservative corners of the country, when he expresses a brotherhood bond with Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic mayor of Chicago and former Obama administration chief of staff. Students at New Plymouth Elementary play outside during recess. “I could empathize with Rahm and what he was going through,” Mr. Otter, better known as “Butch,” said about the recently settled teachers’ strike in Chicago during an interview here in the State Capitol. “It’s not the teachers,” Mr. Otter said, paraphrasing Mr. Emanuel’s tough-guy script from a news conference at the height of the standoff. “It’s the union bosses”/Kirk Johnson, New York Times. More here. (AP file photo: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel)

Question: Would you call Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel kindred spirits?

Texas Paddling Triggers Furor

A Texas school district voted to change its corporal punishment policy after the story of a teen girl who was paddled by a male vice principal made headlines around the country. Now, parents of students in the Springtown Independent School District will have to authorize any physical discipline of their kids, WFAA-TV reported. They can also specify whether a male or female staffer can dole it out. Previously, district schools were allowed to hit kids unless parents opted out in writing. Anna Jorgensen said she “came unglued” when her daughter Taylor Santos, a sophomore at Springtown High School, came home last week with her bottom looking “burned and blistered” from a paddling. She was even more outraged when she learned that a man had done it/New York Daily News. More here. (Wikipedia photo of 1860s political cartoon featuring a spanking)

Question: Were you ever paddled in school?

Albertson’s Recalls Ground Beef

Alberstons said Monday that it is voluntarily recalling a number of ground beef products sold at its stores in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, due to risk of E. coli contamination. No illnesses have been reported. The grocery chain, which is owned by Supervalu Inc., said the move follows an expanded recall by XL Foods Inc. for ground beef products imported to the U.S. from Canada. Albertsons is recalling multiple ground beef items sold in all of its stores in Washington and Oregon, as well as three stores in Northern Idaho: Coeur d’Alene, Hayden and Lewiston. No other Albertsons stores are affected by the recall. The raw ground beef products were sold at its full service counters at the customer’s request or sold in packaged form with an Albertsons store label between Sept. 3 and Sept. 21. The products are no longer for sale at any stores/AP. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Where do you buy your ground beef?

Hiking Accident Claims CdA’s Darcy

For years, Mike Darcy was the face that often greeted guests at the city of Coeur d'Alene Recreation Department. He was the man who helped organize everything from soccer to basketball to softball and flag football. He was the one who accepted the application forms and officially put the teams together for thousands of children, teens and adults. “Mike would do what was needed to make sure the job got done,” said Steve Anthony, recreation director. He will be missed. Darcy died Saturday in a hiking accident near Salmon. He was 55. Anthony said Darcy, a recreational specialist, was a respected and trusted member of the family at City Hall. He worked part time about five years before starting full time at the city rec department in 1990/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Courtesy photo from Coeur d'Alene Press)

Palin Book Authors Coming To CdA

Chuck Heath Sr. is shown with his daughter, Sarah Palin, and his son, Chuck Jr., in this photo by Vincent Remini. The two Heaths have co-authored a book about Sarah Palin, entitled “Our Sarah.” They will be autographing copies of her book beginning at 6:30 p.m. next Monday at Hastings on Coeur d'Alene's Appleway. You can read more about the book here.

Rose: What’s Wrong w/Partisanship?

Miracle Rose (re: Reagan Republican endorsees spend big with Strategery): Move On dot org has been attempting to run their candidates in non partisan races as a matter of fact they sent out emails stating people should run even if it is for dog catcher so please explain the difference between Move on running candidates or the RR’s.

Question: Do you think it's right/wrong for the Reagan Republicans to have turned nonpartisan races in Kootenai County (city council, school district, NIC trustees, highway commission) into partisan ones? Explain your reasoning.

Herzog: RRs Back Govt Changers

Tim Herzog: Here’s a fact, the RR’s are endorsing 2 incumbent candidates for county commissioner who are pushing to change the form of county government. Not one of Idaho’s 44 counties have done that although there have been attempts…all failed! I was opposed to that change in 2008 as in 2012. A recent “My Turn ” article which I submitted to the rival paper was published a few weeks ago, outlined my position and some on-line surveys have also shown that change to our form of government is not popularly accepted. The RR’s claim that their endorsed commissioner candidates are ‘conservative’ yet adding a commissioner-manager position that will likely cost an additional 150K and eliminating 4 elected positions in favor of appointees, doesn’t sound conservative to me. Our current form of government is effective because it maintains the necessary checks & balances. As i said in my article, the wheel is not broken, just some of the spokes need to be replaced! Herzog Web site here.

Question: Are the Reagan Republicans, indirectly, backing the ballot measure to change county government since they're backing the two incumbents who put the issue on the November ballot?

‘Hawks Beat Pack On Blown Call

In a bizarre ending that capped a brutal weekend for replacement officials, the Seattle Seahawks somehow beat the Green Bay Packers 14-12 on Monday night at CenturyLink Field in a game that’s certain to re-ignite frustrations over the locked-out refs. Russell Wilson threw a disputed 24-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on the final play of the game, a game that finally ended 10 minutes later when the teams were brought back on the field for the extra point. Wilson scrambled from the pocket and threw to the corner of the end zone as the clock expired. Tate shoved Green Bay’s Sam Shields out of the way, then wrestled with M.D. Jennings for possession. It was ruled on the field as a touchdown, and after a lengthy review, referee Wayne Elliott came out from under the hood and announced “the ruling on the field stands” and the fans erupted in celebration/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate, far right, battles for position to catch the game-winning TD)

Question: Should the NFL step in and overturn the replacement refs' blown call, giving the victory to the Green Bay Packers instead of the Seattle Seahawks?

Heller: I Need A Drink

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Monday — 9.24.12

I've been watching the scrapings on McEuen Field over the last week. The parking lot north of old City Hall has been scraped for future boat-trailer parking. Half of the Third Street lot is scraped. Ditto for part of the old McEuen Softball Field No. 1 (in the southeast corner). Almost every time I ride past McEuen Field, curious bystanders are studying the two posters showing what the future McEuen will look like. Exciting times for many in the community. Not so exciting for others who tried to stop the makeover. Now for your first Wild Card of the work week …

P.S. Zombie Bees Invade Washington

Mark Hohn, a novice beekeeper in Kent, holds up a plastic bag with a dead zombie bee and pupae — two at each end of the bag Saturday. Hohn found that his bees are infected with a parasite that causes them to fly at night and lurch around erratically until they die. Story here. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Ellen M. Banner)

Quotable Quote — Cindy

“Just had an interesting coversation about kissing. Sam is of the opinion that you should only kiss girls you truly love. His brother replied, 'I love all the girls that want to kiss me'” — Cindy, via Facebook.

Question: Which position do you support — Sam's or Sam's brother's?

‘Armpit’ Comment Riles Highlanders

On his VarsityCDA blog, Ryan Collingwood reports that Highland High fans weren't too happy with a comment by SR colleague Greg Lee comparing Pocatello to an armpit in a Pigskin Picks item for his Web site:

Highland fans weren’t too happy with Greg Lee’s “armpit of Idaho” comment he made in the most recent installment of Prep Picks (see comments). Funny thing is, though, was some Highland fans and coaches thinking I might have been Lee and gave me a piece of their mind on Friday night. Highland’s good, I get that. And Pocatello isn’t as bad as people think (I lived there two years and miss some things about it) — but don’t try to convince me it’s great.  And no, it’s not better than Spokane, as one sure-of-himself Highland coach told me.  Anyone who’s ever left Bannock County can tell you that. Full blog post here.

  • BTW, the link above will provide info re: the status of CHS Vik Jacques Mort, who was hurt in the loss to Highland at Coeur d'Alene Friday.

Question: Have you ever lived in a town that you would desribe as an “armpit”?

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.24.12

  • 6:02 p.m. Recurring trespassing reported in 1000 block of Driftwood Heights/Harrison.
  • 5:59 p.m. Possible sex offense reported at undisclosed Ramsey Road location.
  • 5:47 p.m. Caller reports theft of iPad from 8400 block of Sunny Slopes/Worley.
  • 5:30 p.m. Female driver almost hit a pedestrian @ 980 E. Ironwood/CdA.
  • 5:19 p.m. Undisclosed theft reported in 4900 block of Spiers/CdA.
  • 4:42 p.m. Driver in primered 1993 Honda going 60 in 45mph @ I-90 & Neider/CdA.
  • 4:55 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Sept. 23-24 here.
  • 4:41 p.m. Dolores, in the Best Buy parking lot, wants to see an officer re: stolen purse.
  • 4:26 p.m. Possible DUI driver in 2012 Mercedes is e/b on I-90 @ MP 5 (Spokane Street/PF).
  • 4:12 p.m. Male driver in pickup speeding & ran red light before turning into Blackwell Island.
  • 4:11 p.m. 2 large dogs are running along west side of 15th Street @ Hazel/CdA.
  • 13 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Dead Ambassador ‘Bump In Road’?

Obama has used “bump in the road” before, in reference to unemployment, which was the inspiration for one of Romney’s best ads. Obama’s “bumps” seems to be what other people would call “failure.” The “bumps” include four dead Americans and a disastrous loss of intelligence. (The New York Times reports: “The attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens (pictured) and three other Americans has dealt the Central Intelligence Agency a major setback in its intelligence-gathering efforts at a time of increasing instability in the North African nation.” One official is quoted as saying, “It’s a catastrophic intelligence loss. We got our eyes poked out.”) Had Romney said such a preposterous and grossly insensitive thing as Obama did, there would be calls for him to quit the race; alas, when Obama does it’s not even front-page news for most of the mainstream media/Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post Right Turn blog. More here.

Question: A dead ambassador & intelligence loss in Libya are bumps in the road? Really?

North Idaho Blog Roundup — 9.24.12

Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns blog snapped this smoky sunset Sunday at Priest Lake.

HucksOnline numbers (for week of Sept. 16-22): 49,172 page-views/30,398 unique views

ULUC Webinars Set Next Week

Don't look now but the anti-planning types in the local Republican Party will be out in force on Monday and Tuesday of next week to people the latest Unified Land Use Code Technical Advisory Committee workshop — and keep us safe from United Nations intervention and control. Workshops are scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. Monday in county administration building Room 2 and from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday in Meeting Room 1B. Interested parties can also observe the workshop remotely by contacting Scott Clark at to receive webinar login information.

Cindy Clamors For Eye Candy

I have no idea why Cindy is insisting that I post this photo that Digger snapped over the weekend at the annual Moscow Firefighters Car Wash in Moscow. On her Facebook wall, Cindy writes:

“So, Henry D. Johnston texted me this picture of the Moscow Firefighters Car Wash. My car is SUPER dirty, but Derek wouldn't let me take it to Moscow for a wash. Can you believe that?”

Question: Are we muscular male sorts no more than eye candy for the Ladies of Huckleberries Online?

Idaho Facing Alzheimers Challenge

Meet the support system for Idaho’s 26,000 Alzheimer’s patients. They are, by and large, your neighbors. Some 80 percent are women. The caregivers are themselves an aging cohort, with an average age of 59.
For family caregivers, this labor of love is physically and mentally exhausting labor. Fifty-five percent of caregivers devoted at least 40 hours a week to home care. This portrait comes from a study completed in August by the Idaho Alzheimer’s Planning Group. It’s a window to what the future could hold — for tens of thousands of Idaho patients and their loved ones. Because, even if Idaho does nothing to change the way it addresses Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, one thing will inevitably change. The caseload/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Has your family been affected by Alzheimers?

Read more here:

Downtown To Get Office Building

With hopes to extend the business core of downtown to Seventh Street, a retail building called Plaza on Sherman is planned for the vacant southeast corner of Seventh and Sherman. The corner had Senor Froggy's eatery a few years back and plans for a six-story structure there were changed to the new plan. With hopes for construction to begin this fall and complete next spring, the 5,500-square-foot, single-story building would house three or four tenants and have parking to the rear. The only committed tenant is Subway, and about 4,000 square feet remain available. Erik Nelson of Kiemle & Hagood Realty (509-220-4042, is handling the project/Nils Rosdahl, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you think things are looking up/down for downtown Coeur d'Alene?

RR Endorsees Spend Big w/Strategery

This slick flyer will be circulating soon with Reagan Republican endorsements in the general election in November. I totally disagree with their support of Tom Luna's wrecking-ball “reforms” for Idaho education. Ditto re: North Idaho College endorsements. It'll be interesting to see how much the NIC trustee wannabes spend with Ron Lahr's Strategery this fall.

Candidates endorsed by the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans in contested Republican primaries in Kootenai County last spring spent almost $86,000 for campaign support with Strategery, a public relations firm that lists Reagan Republican principals Ron Lahr as president and Jeff Ward as general consultant (click here). This, according to 7-day pre-election and 30-day post-election campaign finance reports. Candidates in the four contested GOP races for Kootenai County elected office spent $42,509 with Strategery, with incumbent Commissioner Dan Green at the head of the list with expenditures with Lahr's company totaling $18,995. About half of the expenditures were made after the required 7-day pre-election financial report. In the 5 contested legislative races in Districts 2-3, Reagan Republican endorsees spent $43,375 with Lahr's Strategery, including $19,871 reported after the 7-day pre-election period. The only endorsee who didn't spend anything with Strategery in the primary was state Sen. Steve Vick. 3 of the 8 Reagan Republican endorsees failed to win their primaries: Keith Hutcheson (sheriff), Jeff Tyler (House District 3) and Mark Fisher (House District 2). You can see Reagan Republican endorsements for the general election here. You can see how much each Reagan Republican endorsee spent with Strategery in the 2012 GOP primary below:

GOP county primaries:

  • Sheriff — Keith Hutcheson ($10,443)
  • Prosecutor — Barry McHugh ($9650)
  • Commissioner — Dan Green ($18995)
  • Commissioner — Todd Tonde ($3421)

GOP legislative primaries

  • House District 2 — Ed Morse ($12,164) and Mark Fisher ($12625)
  • House District 3 — Jeff Tyler ($10273) and Frank Henderson ($8313)


Civil War Event Set At Boise State

Leading Civil War scholars from around the nation will gather at Boise State University on Oct. 25 for a day-long conference entitled, “Why The Civil War Still Matters.” The conference is sponsored y the Andrus Center for Public Policy, the Idaho Humanities Council and the Idaho Council for History Education. Advance registration is required; the $25 registration fee, which includes lunch, will be waived for any current high school or college student. Marc Johnson, president of the Andrus Center, said the conference marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Are you interested in the Civil War?

Remembering Jonathan Franco

Today is the first anniversary of the death of Rathdrum police officer Jonathan Franco, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in eastern Washington. In memory of her son, Elizabeth Yalian writes the following:

It’s been one year since my son’s Heavenly homecoming.  I have received many letters expressing how Jonathan Mathew Franco has impacted people’s lives. These have given me a deeper admiration towards the young man whose short life benefited many. Jonathan wanted to be in law enforcement since he was a small child when he became enamored with a pair of toy guns, holsters and a shiny, metal sheriff’s badge. “When I grow up I want to be a policeman!”  I can still hear the excitement in his small voice.  The desire persisted into his early teens until he began driving. “Why do the cops have it out for me, Mom?”  He questioned disgustedly.  “I have been pulled over seventeen times!  Seventeen times, Mom, seventeen!  I am not even doing anything wrong!”  He was pulled over several more times after that. Complete essay here.


Farris Counters Labrador Comments

Democrat Jimmy Farris, a 1st Congressional District congressman candidate expressed concern in a news release re: Congressman Raul Labrador’s opinion that Congress should take the rest of the year off. In an interview with The Hill earlier this month, Labrador said that he did not think Congress should reconvene for the lame-duck session, saying, “I think the decisions we make in the lame-duck session are not wise decisions for America.” Due to the dire consequences of not convening for the lame-duck session, Labrador and the few who agree with him are in the minority, even amongst other conservatives. “Congressman Labrador doesn’t seem to care that there would be major consequences for not showing up for the lame-duck session,” said Farris. “If Congress doesn’t deal with the fiscal crisis before the end of the year, we will be pushed off the fiscal cliff. Sequestration will go into effect, resulting in cuts to military spending. The nation would be plunged back into a recession. But apparently Congressman Labrador doesn’t think it’s important to show up and prevent these things from happening.”

Question: Any thoughts re: lame-duck sessions?

Priest River Draws Mushroomers

The Spokane Mushroom Club’s annual fall foray is set for Oct. 5-7 at the Priest River Experimental Forest based in Priest River. Experts lead daily group hikes to identify mushrooms collect specimens for educating the groups when they convene. Participants who can’t spend the entire weekend can join the Saturday foray, which leaves promptly at 9 a.m., and attend Saturday’s Pot Luck set for 6 p.m./Rich Landers, SR Outdoors blog. More here.

Question: Have you ever eaten mushrooms that you picked yourself? Do you feel lucky?

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.24.12

The last remaining logs were removed from the front lawn at Hope Realty in Coeur d'Alene this morning after a logging truck dumped a load of logs at the three-way stop @ H95 & Lincoln Way while trying to make the turn to go north. See item in jump box below. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

  • 11:49 a.m. Someone has been injured in a fall @ Silver Meadows & Clagstone/Athol.
  • 11:30 a.m. KCSD release: Coeur d'Alene driver's license office to be shut Tuesday here.
  • 11:16 a.m. ISP officer en route to KMC w/suspect for a blood draw.
  • 11:13 a.m. Resident in 1800 block of W. Orchard/Hayden reports a trespasser.
  • 11:07 a.m. Someone has been injured in a fall @ Quail Run Court/Athol.
  • 11:05 a.m. PFPD reports possible wanted/missing person in 300 block of Seltice Way.
  • 12 more items below

Hart Foreclosure Case Back On Track

Federal authorities are gearing back up for their foreclosure lawsuit against tax-protesting Idaho Rep. Phil Hart, now that Hart’s voluntarily dismissed his bankruptcy filing — which had placed an automatic stay on the foreclosure case. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge has lifted the stay in the case that goes after Hart’s log home in Athol, but at Hart’s request, agreed to a delay until mid-November for the first discovery deadlines in the case, due to the unexpected illness of Hart’s Kentucky attorney. U.S. Justice Department lawyers had asked for a deadline a month earlier/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.


Nampa Pulls Book With ‘Pornography’

A novel one Nampa parent said had “an immense amount of pornography” has been removed from a sophomore English class at the school. Nampa School Board Chairman Scott Kido said he received 15 emails Sunday night complaining about the book “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel. “I agreed it seemed inappropriate. It's soon to be pulled,” Kido said Monday. The book contains passages with descriptions of sexual encounters between characters. Kido said he spoke with Nampa High School principal Pete Koehler and they agreed concerns about the book are “valid”/Mike Butts, Idaho Press Tribune. More here. (Idaho Press Tribune photo of Scott Kido)

Question: Should books that some parents consider pornographic be required reading in high school?

Poll: We Don’t Trust The Media

  • Weekend Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation doesn't trust the media. 130 of 168 respondents (77.38%) said they don't trust the media. Only 21 of 168 respondents (12.5%) said they do trust the media. 17 (10.12%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you plan to vote absentee in the November election?

Local Budgets for Sub Teachers Drop

As a new substitute school teacher in Post Falls this year, Aspen Elbin figured it would be at least October before she would be called to a classroom. But she went to work much sooner. Just a few weeks into the school year, Elbin has already put in a few days at Frederick Post Kindercenter and has some days lined up at Mullan Trail Elementary. “I'm happy to have the opportunities so early,” said Elbin, a substitute in the Kamiah and Kooskia districts before her family moved here. School districts still rely heavily on subs, but their budgets for teacher sub costs have declined in recent years like most other budgeted items. … Tom Taggart, Lakeland's finance director, attributed that district's budget decrease to a lower number of regular teachers in recent years resulting from attendance declines/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Jerome A. Pollos' Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Patsy Hargrave, a substitute teacher, helps students during a first-grade reading class Thursday at Sorensen Magnet School in Coeur d'Alene)

Question: Do you think that the job of a substitute teacher is a tough one?

AM Headlines — 9.24.12

On her Facebook wall, Kerri Thoreson posts a baker's dozen worth of photos including the one above from the water sports exhibition that was part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce Friday.

Absentee Balloting Under Way

Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes announced that absentee voting by mail for the Nov. 6 general election is under way.   “We began mailing out absentee ballots last Friday,” said Hayes, “and we’ll mail out ballots daily for the next several weeks”.   The county is paying return postage on absentee ballots received. Tuesday, Oct. 9 is the start of in-person absentee voting.  The Elections office, 1808 N. Third St. in Coeur d’Alene, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.  “We’re also going to be open on two Saturdays, Oct. 20 & Oct. 27, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.,” said Hayes.  “We want to make absentee voting as convenient as possible for the voters”/Kootenai County clerk's news release.

You can see the sample ballots for the three county legislative districts below:

Question: Do you plan to vote absentee this year?

Smart Bombs: ‘Lucky Duckies’ Lazy?

In his Smart Bombs column, Gary Crooks of the SR Editorial Board, tells of the dilemma that many hard-working Americans fund themselves in as the collateral damage from the Great Recession continues:

So, you’ve cobbled together unemployment benefits, help from family, food stamps and other assistance to keep your household afloat in the dim hope that a thoughtful employer might throw you a lifeline. Then last week, you learned that presidential candidate Mitt Romney grouped you with all Americans who pay no income tax, and he assigned your motives to malingering and mooching. This, by his definition, made you an automatic vote for President Barack Obama. He wasn’t feeling sorry for you; he was feeling sorry for himself. How can he win you over with an income tax break when you’re not paying that tax at this time? To put it in the terms of an obnoxious Wall Street Journal editorial, this makes you one of the “lucky duckies.”

Question: Which presidential candidate — if either from the major parties — is more likely to feel your pain?

So Happy Together

United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is kissed by her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, as he welcomes her to the podium at the Clinton Global Initiative on Monday in New York. Story here. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Question: Would you like to see Hillary Clinton run for president in 2016?

EOB: 1st Referendum Ad Is Suspect

The hottest election issue of the season in Idaho - possible repeal of the state's controversial new school reform laws - has yielded the first statewide TV campaign commercial, and it makes some questionable claims. “Proposition 3 replaces teachers with computers by requiring that taxpayers fund laptops for high school students,” the ad says. “The Legislature failed to fully fund the laptops required by Proposition 3, so our property taxes could increase.” Actually, one of the main things the reform laws did was write formulas into state law guaranteeing funding for the laptops into future years. The laws made the laptop program a new “statutory requirement” within Idaho's public schools budget, just like busing, border contracts or salaries and benefits/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


Hedberg: Dogs Aren’t That Smart

Columnist Kathy Hedberg of the Lewiston Tribune takes issue with recent studies that show that dogs may be smarter than we think:

Anyway, I have some doubts about how smart dogs really are. As I was telling my dog, Christmas Belle, the other day as we were doing the crossword puzzle (she does the horizontal words and I fill in with the vertical words) if dogs are so smart how come you never see a dog running for public office? How come you don't see dogs starting their own businesses or writing novels or flying airplanes? Huh? Can you answer that, Christmas Belle? She filled in two of my words and said “Checkmate” and then hopped down from the table and went to sit behind the couch. I think the question made her mad. More here.

Question: Do you think your dog is smart?

Bill Hall: Necklaces Of Baseball

As I sit watching major league baseball players wearing their necklaces, I almost long for the day when they used to spit tobacco juice all over the dugout in full view of the television cameras. Yes, that's right, necklaces. They aren't delicate gold necklaces crusted with diamonds. It isn't the intent of the players to become pretty. And a good thing, too. No small number of the baseball players in this era tend toward rough-hewn beards and stringy hair. If they were simply trying to look great, where are their hairdressers? We know these young millionaires can afford the best hair stylists in the large cities where they work. But they obviously don't choose that path. A pleasing appearance isn't their aim. And no wonder. They earn their living by constantly throwing themselves into the dirt, the grass and against the outfield walls. It's dirty work, not pretty work. So you know when you see a baseball player wearing a necklace while playing the game that appearance isn't the goal. That's especially true of the necklaces in question. They are some kind of fat, braided, rope-looking thing they have started wearing around their necks in recent years/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question (for men): Do you wear a necklace?

Press To Trustees: Go Slow On PYP

In its Sunday editorial, the Coeur d'Alene Press cautions the Coeur d'Alene School Board not to let personal agendas get in the way of overall good during discussions and vote on the Primary Years Programme at Hayden Meadows:

Alas, unlike IB's final days, the executioner's mask has come off with PYP and the real motives have been exposed. School board Chairman Tom Hamilton (pictured) is on the record as saying that one of the chief reasons he disapproves of PYP is because he believes it does not reflect the values he and his family hold dear. While we certainly respect that viewpoint and would understand if Tom sent his children elsewhere, we believe such a pronouncement from the head of the school board ensures that he will not give the matter fair consideration. We also wonder if his judgment has colored the objectivity of other board members, only one of whom has been on the board for more than a few months. Before another lynch mob assembles, further study of PYP at Hayden Meadows is essential. It should start with the hundreds of parents who are happy with the product. Perhaps it should even end there.

Question: How can Chairman Tom Hamilton and the largely appointed Coeur d'Alene School Board ease constituent fears that they are dealing with PYP issue fairly?

Cooking North Idaho Italian

“It keeps the family tight,” said Ray Schultz about cooking with his mother Tina-Marie Schultz, right at Rosa's Italian Restaurant and Deli in Post Falls on Friday. The family was cooking Italian dishes for the 8th Annual North Idaho Italian Festival in Post Falls that ran through the wekend. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Are you any part Italian?

Hucks: MikeK Tackles Challenge

Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Mike Kennedy didn’t shrink from appearing at the Idaho Supreme Court hearing for Jim Brannon’s challenge of his three-vote 2009 loss to Kennedy last week. But Kennedy is shrinking. Sixty-four pounds and counting since this time last year – from 245 pounds to 181 pounds. In September 2011, Kennedy decided to get serious about his health. On his Facebook wall, he explained to well-wishers that his motivation “was avoiding a massive stroke or heart attack, and the fact that someone has to walk my three beautiful daughters down the aisle.” When I kidded that he was getting in fighting trim for a rematch with Brannon in 2013, Kennedy replied that I must be a “sadist”/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries. More here.

Question: Would you like to see Mike Kennedy run for re-election in 2013?

Trashing Lake Coeur d’Alene

The pile of trash mounted at the Third Street boat launch near the base of Tubbs Hill had passersby marveling in disgust. Some would stop and frown, some whistled to show they were impressed, yet others just shook their heads as they hoofed by to the hiking trails. All of them, though, noticed. Soda cans, beer cans - lots of beer cans - a grill, a shoe sole, glass bottles and, well, more beer cans - the collection came from the bottom of Lake Coeur d'Alene. “People just don't understand what they do when they throw things in the lake,” Brian Meehan said as he stopped to take in the heaping sight. “I'm sure that's just a tiny, tiny portion of it, unfortunately.” Meehan's right, it's just a sample, pulled out by 10 good-willed scuba divers Sunday on an underwater trash collection trip organized by the diving business, Tom's Diving Adventures/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: 2 young brothers admire scuba divers Matt Hebener, bottom left, and Paul Schwartz, bottom right, as they prepare to go underwater)

Question: How do you react when you see someone litter?

Drone Strike

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Weekend Wild Card — 9.22-23.12

Today (Saturday) is the first official day of fall. Gotta admit that summer was Grade A, once the rain stopped near the end of June. Fall has been swell so far, too. It's almost time to think about getting my wood in for the winter. Almost. Before then, I'm going to enjoy another nice weekend. And maybe get some bike riding in. I'll see you back here Monday. Now for your weekend Wild Card …

12YO Woodland Middle Schooler Missing

Update: Missing Coeur d'Alene boy found/SR

Coeur d’Alene police are looking for a 12-year-old boy who was last seen walking to school Friday morning. Chance Joshua Belknap was reported missing by his mother, Kristi Belknap, who had last seen him leave on foot for Woodland Middle School from their home on the 3600 block of Pineridge Drive at 7 a.m. She found he had never arrived at school and his friends had not heard from him. Chance was wearing a red hoodie, blue jeans, and black and blue shoes, a police news release said. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to call the police at 208-769-2320/SR. Photo of Joshua Belknap here.

Parting Shot — 9.21.12

Space Shuttle Endeavour, mounted on NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), flies near parasailers in Santa Monica, Calif., earlier today. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Biden: Cheerleaders Best Athletes

Vice President Joe Biden gave a big rah-rah for cheerleaders Friday when he told a group of high school and middle school athletes that cheerleaders are the best college athletes around. “Have you ever watched the cheerleading championships? I’m serious. Guess what?” Biden asked about 200 kids assembled at Newport High School in Newport, N.H., gathered on the practice fields. “The cheerleaders in college are the best athletes in college,” he said. “They are amazing. You think I’m joking. You think I’m joking. They’re almost all gymnasts. The stuff they do on hardwood, it absolutely blows my mind, thinking, you know, they’re up there without a net. You know?”/Arlette Saenz, ABC News. More here. (AP photo of Joe Biden gretting Dartmouth students)

Question: Do you consider cheerleaders to be athletes?

Clinton Gives Props To Bruce Reed

On his Facebook wall, opinionator Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman mentions the props that former President Bill Clinton game former Coeur d'Alene High grad Bruce Reed for his input into the speech that wowed the Demcractic National Convention:

He didn't mention Idaho by state, but former President Bill Clinton said a former Idahoan had a hand in crafting his speech before the Democratic National Convention. The Idahoan in question: Bruce Reed, chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden and the son of former state Sen. Mary Lou Reed of Coeur d'Alene. Clinton discussed the speech Thursday on Comedy Central's “The Daily Show.” The mention of Reed starts about one minute in, and goes to about the 1:30 mark. Video here.

Question: Do you know much about Bruce Reed?

Read more here:

PM Headlines — 9.21.12

A worker walks past one of the derailed BNSF train cars earlier today in Havre, Mont. Around 14 cars were derailed this morning in Montana's Blaine County. See story below. (AP Photo/Havre Daily News, Lindsay Brown)

Quotable Quote — Cindy

“Just called a convent to interview a nun and had to navigate a torturous automated voice mail system that would make a saint swear” — Cindy Hval via Twitter.

Question: Are you good at navigating phone trees?

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.21.12

  • 5:25 p.m. Female @ Joe's Body Shop, 1575 E. Mullan/PF, reports male stole her laptop.
  • 5:08 p.m. Silver Mustang w/front-end damage left head-on crash on w/b Birch @ 14th/CdA.
  • 4:56 p.m. 4-vehicle accident reported on H95 & Aqua/CdA.
  • 4:49 p.m. 31YO female has collapsed at the Greyhound Park on Riverstone/PF.
  • 4:46 p.m. Burglary reported in 100 block of E. Sherman/downtown CdA.
  • 4:33 p.m. Driver of silver Dodge Stratus appears DUI @ H95 & Canfield/CdA.
  • 4:21 p.m. An elderly male is hitting a female w/a cane in Kootenai Medical Center lot.
  • 12 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

North Idaho Blog Roundup — 9.21.12

“Yup, we've all heard, seen and maybe even known a few horses' (bottoms),” posts Marianne Love/Slight Detour, “but they sure are a pretty sight when ya go to a draft horse show. As are the asses, better known as mules.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday): 9042/5360, and (for Thursday): 8701/5468

Mathews Gets Seal Of Approval, Too

Here's the flyer for Paul Mathews' run for the North Idaho College Board of Trustees, complete with the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans seal of approval.

Recognized In Vegas

At a cycling trade show in Las Vegas this week, Christa Hazel tells of being recognized by a Silver Valley resident:

“Ran into Richard Shaffer, Prime Minister of the Wallace Inn (per his business card) at Interbike in Las Vegas.  Interbike is North America's largest cycling trade show for retailers.  Mr. Shaffer is manning a booth through Friday showcasing our fabulous local bike trails, like Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes and the Hiawatha.” On her Facebook wall, Christa reported how Shaffer recognized her. He'd seen her byline and photos for the Spokesman's Huckleberries website.”

Question: Have you ever met a familiar face in an unfamiliar place?

Reagan Repubs Launch NIC Effort

You don't think the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans are out to take over the North Idaho College Board of Trustees as they have the Coeur d'Alene School Board. Check out the slick flyer above for Ground Force boss Ron Nilson, who's running again for the NIC board. See the KCRR sticker on the slick advertisement? I also have a slick flyer for another Kootenai County Reagan Republican endorsee Paul Mathews.

Question: Does anyone know whether community college trustee candidates have to file financial disclosure statements?

4 County Officials Oppose Measure

Four elected officials from Kootenai County — Assessor Mike McDowell (pictured), Clerk Cliff Hayes, Treasurer Tom Malzahn and Coroner Debbie Wilkie — have sent Huckleberries a news release raising concerns about the proposal to change county government. All four hold offices that would be appointive if voters pass the November ballot measure. They write:

“This press release is intended to offer another perspective (and more specific details) about the “Optional Forms of County Government” question the County Commissioners have placed on the November 6 ballot.  We hope you find the question & answer format used in this release to be informative. Optional forms of county government is a simple-sounding concept that actually has many potentially negative consequences.  Therefore, several of us at Kootenai County are willing to meet with groups holding educational forums or debates leading up to the general election.” You can read their concerns here.

Question: My greatest concern is that 2 radicals could win commissioner seats and then appoint allies to important positions? What concerns you?

Hoffman Decries Anti-Luna Reform Ad

The education labor union has reached a new milestone in lowness, attempting to turn Idaho voters into Luddites and depict kids as klutzes in order to satisfy a selfish agenda. Witness its first ad against Propositions 1, 2 and 3. Says the ad: “Prop 3 replaces teachers with computers by requiring that taxpayers fund laptops for high school students.” Not true. The law requires schools start using technology, and that mobile computing devices — which covers more than laptops, by the way, be part of the regular curriculum. It does not replace teacher with computers, robots, androids or holograms. The ad also claims that “the Legislature failed to fully fund the laptops required by Prop 3.” Also not true, which makes the further allegation, that the law will cause property taxes to go up, also erroneous/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Have you seen the ad? What do you think of it?

Study Links Sugary Pop To Obesity

A display of various size soft drink cups is shown next to stacks of sugar cubes at a news conference at New York's City Hall today. New research greatly strengthens the case against soda and other sugary drinks as culprits in the obesity epidemic. Two major experiments found that children and teens gained less weight when they regularly drank calorie-free beverages instead of sugary ones. A third study gives the first clear evidence that consuming sugary drinks interacts with genes that affect weight. Scientists say the results add weight to the push for taxes, size limits and other policies to curb consumption. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Question: How much pop do you drink in a given week?

Romneys Paid $1.94M In 2011

Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, paid $1.94 million in federal taxes on last year's income of $13.7 million, for an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent, his campaign said Friday. That's slightly above the 13.9 percent rate the couple paid in 2010. Most of the 2011 income was from investments. Campaign officials said the couple filed the return Friday with the Internal Revenue Service, after receiving an extension. They were to publicly release their full 2011 returns late Friday. Romney's taxes have emerged as a key issue during the 2012 presidential race with President Barack Obama. Romney released his 2010 tax returns and a 2011 estimate in January, but he has declined to disclose his returns from earlier years/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Satisfied?

Party Trolley Rolls Out The Fun

It’s green, 19 feet long, runs on 20 legs and produces a bit of a buzz. No, we’re not talking mutant insect. This is the Spokane Party Trolley – an environmentally friendly, pedal-powered pub on wheels, complete with keg tap, that relies on its riders for fuel as it travels between stops. “You’ve got to work for your beer on this,” said Nina Kindem, who just launched the business out of the Saranac Building, 17 W. Main Ave. Groups can rent the trolley for two hours or more. Up to five people on each side pump the pedals. There’s room for five others to sit, plus space for a standing host/bartender in the middle. A company-provided pilot perched up front keeps things under control and on schedule/Rick Bonino, SR. More here. (Colin Mulvany's SR photo: With owner Nina Kindem at the wheel, the Spokane Party Trolley makes a run in downtown Spokane)

Question: Would you like to see a Party Trolley in Coeur d'Alene?

Washington To Wipe Out Wedge Pack

One thing's for sure: Beef is not healthy for wolves. At a public meeting in Colville Thursday night, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department announced intentions to eliminate the entire Wedge Pack of wolves that have killed or injured at least 15 cattle in northern Stevens County since mid-July. This is a milestone in the controversial process of wolf recovery, the first time a wolf pack has been targeted in Washington since gray wolves were extirpated from the West with guns, traps and poison in the early 1900s. Eliminating wolf packs focused on livestock already has been employed in Montana and Idaho where the issues arose/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors blog. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you agree with the death sentence handed down to the Stevens County, Wash., wolf pack?

Noon: ‘Hobbit Day’ Upon Us

Did you realize that Hobbit Day is tomorrow, Sept. 22. Hobbit Day, according to Wikipedia, is the birthday of the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's popular set of books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In the books both Bilbo and Frodo were said to be born on September 22, but of different years. Bilbo was born in the year of 2890 and Frodo in the year of 2968 in the Third Age (1290 and 1368 respectively in Shire-Reckoning.) Also, J.R.R. Tolkien released his celebrated work, “The Hobbit” 75 years ago today here.

Question: How old were you when you first read “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings”?

Bond 50 Coming Monday

Actresses, from left, Tania Mallet, Eunice Gayson and Britt Ekland pose at a photocall for Bond 50 today in London. A Blu-Ray collection of 22 James Bond films will be released on Monday, celebrating 50 years of Bond movies. More here. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP)

Question: Who's your favorite Bond girl? Movie? Bond actor?

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.21.12

  • 12:08 p.m. Brent has legal questions for KCSD deputy re: an animal bite.
  • 11:59 p.m. Dead cat reported on Seltice Way, b/n Old Atlas & Grand Mill/Huetter.
  • 11:56 a.m. Possible illegal burn reported @ 15th & Lookout/Hayden.
  • 11:45 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Sept. 20-21 here.
  • 11:38 a.m. Driver of red Dodge Caravan, calling from Denny's on 4th, reports hitting a deer @ w/b I-90 & 15th/CdA. Vehicle still driveable.
  • 11:26 a.m. Suspicious male, possibly wanted one, reported @ 2700 block of Howard/CdA.
  • 11 more items below

Crowds Greet New Apple iPhone 5

A shopper takes a photo of the new Apple iPhone 5 sitting on display in the window of the Apple store in Toronto's Eaton Centre, as the new device goes on sale today. More here. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

Question: Are you going to buy a new Apple iPhone 5? Or are you satisfied with your own smart phone?

Break Out The Hand Sanitizer

In the middle of what might have been the worst two weeks in modern presidential campaign history, one of the nameless, faceless GOP smart guys who never want to be quoted by name – the Democrats have them too – said of Mitt Romney: “We’re running against Jimmy Carter, but we nominated Tom Dewey.” Thomas E. Dewey, of course, lost to the supremely unpopular Harry Truman in 1948 and is now remembered as perhaps the worst major party presidential candidate in modern times. With the full acknowledgement that six long weeks remain before election day and any number of things could still turn the election in Romney’s direction, it does seem clear that the businessman-turned-presidential candidate is an updated version of a bad candidate, a Tom Dewey. If Dewey was famously described as “the little man on the wedding cake” then Romney is, as a friend said, “the guy who shakes your hand and immediately reaches for the sanitizer”/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: Do you consider the 2012 presidential election to be a contest between the modern-day equivalent of Jimmy Carter and Thomas Dewey?

7-6 Squeaker Shocks Bronco Nation

The Boise State Broncos were a one-phase football team Thursday night at Bronco Stadium. That phase — a dominant, big-play defense — was good enough to beat BYU. It wasn’t enough to please coach Chris Petersen — or a grumbling fan base. No. 24 Boise State defeated BYU 7-6 with a defense that scored the Broncos’ only touchdown, forced five turnovers, stopped a two-point conversion with the game on the line and allowed just 200 yards. The offense failed to score a touchdown for the second time in three games. The special teams didn’t help, either, with a failed fake punt, a missed field goal and kicking woes so bad that Petersen four times left his offense on the field rather than try for three points/Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Darin Oswald's Idaho Statesman/AP photo: Boise State QB Joe Southwick gets his pass off just before a hit by BYU's Preston Hadley)

Question: Any words of comfort for Bronco Nation?

Read more here:

CdA Families Drop Suit In CSI Deaths

Two years to the day of the death of two College of Southern Idaho students in a car crash, a civil lawsuit by their families was dismissed against the driver who was accused of chasing them. On Sept. 12, 2010, Kade Laughlin was arrested hours after the single-vehicle crash near Filer that injured 19-year-old Jessica Duran and killed Devon Austin, 19, and Ryan Reinhardt, 18. Both men (who played sports at Coeur d'Alene High) died at the scene of the crash on Clover Road, near where it intersects with U.S. Highway 30. According to court documents, Duran, who was the only survivor of the crash, told deputies Laughlin chased Reinhardt’s vehicle after leaving Laughlin’s home/Alison Gene Smith, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.

AM: Skies Are Smoky All Day

Carlos Venzor, of Coeur d'Alene, rides on the Centennial Trail Thursday as hazy skies diffuse the landscape around him. Coeur d'Alene Press story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Question: On his Facebook wall, Bent comments that the smoke in the air has triggered a bad sinus infection. How has the smoky air affected you?

Hucks Poll: Kennedy Over Brannon

  • Thursday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation would prefer incumbent Mike Kennedy to 2009 challenger Jim Brannon if the two met in a rematch of their City Council race next year. 119 of 177 respondents (67.23%) said they would prefer Kennedy. Only 41 of 177 (23.16%) said Brannon, who has been in court for the last three years trying to overcome his 3-vote loss. 14 (7.91%) said they would prefer neither man. 3 (1.69%) were undecided.
  • Weekend Poll: Do you trust the media?

IB Teacher Defends PYProgramme

On the Citizens for a Positive Coeur d'Alene Facebook wall, someone has posted a comment made by Hayden Meadows teacher Courtney Greene:

I want to make clear, as an IB teacher, a patron of this district, and a citizen of the community that there are things I will not tolerate. There is an absolute truth in my eyes. I teach my kids, both in my classroom and at my dinner table, that if they see injustice in the world they should act. They do every day. They do not tolerate bullying of their classmates. They do not tolerate mediocrity. They diligently work for causes; from helping the hungry with food drives to volunteering to read to younger children, because they will not tolerate hunger or illiteracy.It is time for me to follow suit. My action is small. I speak to let my community know that PYP does not tolerate extreme radicalism. It embraces a group of people in turmoil in our world right now, understanding their plight to feel safe in their own homes. It tolerates the human endeavor. Full comment here.


A Note Of Thanks

Pete Rivera (better known as Pete Hoorelbeke to Coeur d'Alene residents who followed his talented three kids during their baseball/softball days at CHS) sent Cindy this note of thanks for words she wrote about him in a recent column. Pete, of course, was also the drummer for the 1970s band, “Rare Earth.” He and other musicians held a local fundraiser for school programs some years back at North Idaho College. But back to the subject:

Question: Do you write and send “thank you” notes?

Tribune: Mitt’s Idaho Moochers

JEERS … to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. He just called the Gem State a collection of moochers, victims and tax dodgers. At a fundraiser held at businessman Marc Leder's home at Boca Raton, Fla., Romney said: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That's an entitlement. And the governments should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. … My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” That's you, Idaho — overflowing with low-wage jobs and oozing with needs for “health care, food, housing, you-name-it”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.


In Idaho, We Don’t Call It Socialism

Presidential elections years are always great times to enter into name calling and finger pointing. It's one of the things we do best in our political system. Why solve problems when you can pass the blame? One of the accusations made by some opponents of President Barack Obama is that he is a socialist who espouses socialistic causes. The Pew Research Center has found that 60 percent of Americans respond negatively to “socialism.” So this could be a pretty effective piece of mud to throw at the president if it could be made to stick. But this also made me curious about socialism in Idaho. The website defines socialism as a political term applied to an economic system in which property is held in common and not individually, and relationships are governed by a political hierarchy. Common ownership doesn't mean decisions are made collectively, however. Instead, individuals in positions of authority make decisions in the name of the collective group. Using this definition, Idaho has been steadily creeping toward socialism since its earliest territorial days in the 1860s/Marty Peterson, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Did you know that one of Coeur d'Alene's first mayors ran on a socialist ticket?

Tribune Jeers Luna On Merit Pay

JEERS … to Idaho schools Superintendent Tom Luna. For weeks, he has refused to release $38.7 million in merit pay Idaho owes its teachers. As a result, he's forcing them to vote against their own bonuses if they help reject his school overhaul program by referendum. He contends repeal of his 2011 school overhaul package - curbs on collective bargaining, merit pay and spending more for online instruction and less on teachers - would doom this year's bonuses. Plus he says he cannot release the payments until the state issues the third of its five scheduled allocations to public schools on Nov. 15 - nine days after Idaho voters will decide the fate of his package.Thanks to the Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell, we now know better. Because the merit pay law is in effect now - due to a provision Luna sought to thwart the referendum — the payments will go forward regardless of the election outcome/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you trust Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna?

Poll: 60% Of USA Don’t Trust Media

Sixty percent of Americans said they trust the mass media “Not very much” or “Not at all,” a Gallup survey published Friday says. That’s the highest percentage since Gallup started asking the question regularly in the ’90s, it reports. Republicans and independents are pushing that number up. Nearly 60 percent of Democrats trust the media a “Great deal” or a “Fair amount.”

Interestingly, Republicans are among the top consumers of the news they distrust/Andrew Beaujon, Poynter. More here.

Question: Do you trust the media?

Monkeying Around

“Out monkeying around?” says a group of students from the Community School as they pass Ira Amstadter at the corner of Washington and Main in downtown Spokane, Wash. Amstadter was returning to his work at Express Employment Professionals from a fundraiser at the Spokane Club for Spokane Rotary Club #21. He participated in the dunk tank and was spilled into the water three times. The students were on a scavenger hunt. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: Have you ever worn an animal suit?

Poll: Obama Holds 7-Point Lead

President Obama holds a 7-point lead over his Republican challenger and has hit the crucial 50 percent threshold in a new national poll released Friday. The president is leading Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney 50-43 percent in a new poll from Allstate and the National Journal, buoyed by support from minority groups and increasing optimism about the future of the country. The poll found the president had the support of 78 percent of non-white voters, versus just 18 percent for Romney. Obama carries more than 90 percent of black voters, and more than two-thirds of Hispanics/Justin Sink, The Hill. More here.

Question: Can Romney rally in 6 weeks?

Volunteers Embrace Day Of Caring

Cindy Wood put it simply. Without the volunteers from Magnuson, McHugh and Company, Thursday's reorganization of Family Promise headquarters would not have happened. “Since we knew the Day of Caring was coming, we have been counting down the days,” Wood said as she joined staff of the Coeur d'Alene accounting firm in moving supplies from one storage room to another, to make room for an office. Kacie Tollefson, employee of Magnuson, McHugh, was one of those volunteers busy Thursday morning and afternoon cleaning and clearing shelves as part of United Way of Kootenai County's fifth annual Day of Caring. She audits nonprofits and knows they're often short of staff, money and resources to meet demands for services, so she was glad to pitch in. “Dollars don't make this happen,” Tollefson said. “It's volunteer hours”/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Jerome A. Pollos' Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Rory Stowell, with Coeur d'Alene Mines, participates in the United Way of Kootenai County's 5th annual Day of Caring)

Question: Do you support the United Way?

Kootenai, Spokane Counties Similar

For all the perceived differences between the two, Spokane County and Kootenai County are close relatives, statistically speaking. Many similarities between the cross-border neighbors emerge in the 2011 American Community Survey, released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. Spokane County is a bit younger and better paid, is less settled down and more diverse racially. Kootenai County has a little less higher education, but the difference isn’t pronounced. Still, a few things stand out when comparing the two counties:

  • More than half of Spokane County residents were born in Washington, but fewer than a third of Kootenai County residents were born in Idaho.
  • Children in Kootenai County are twice as likely to have no health insurance coverage.
  • Rental housing is more expensive in Kootenai County.
  • More here.

Question: What do you think is the biggest difference between Spokane and Kootenai counties — other than they exist ae located in different states?

Ramirez: Obama’s Agenda

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Wild Card/Thursday — 9.20.12

Now that we have the ongoing distraction of Jim Brannon's seemingly never-ending lawsuit in the rear-view mirror, for the time being, we need to move onto the main event — the 2012 elections. I haven't seen any yards sprouting political signs yet. Is there an appropriate day to begin putting them out? We're about 6 weeks out now. The Reagan Republicans are stirring a bit. Raul Labrador is MIA. The local GOP has moved into the old Recall Coeur d'Alene HQ in the Sunset Mall. Otherwise, all is quiet on the north shore. Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 9.20.12

On his Facebook wall, wildlife photographer Robin Loznak posts this photo, which he titles, “Pollen Magnet.” Robin writes: “A honey bee forages on a sunflower at a park near Roseburg, Ore., this afternoon.”

Quotable Quote — Kevin Richert

“A letter writer rips me for venting a “liberal spleen.” I try to offset that with a moderate gall bladder and a center-right kidney” — opinionator Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman via Twitter.

63 Pounds Later

On his Facebook wall, Councilman Mike Kennedy posts: “This week is the one year anniversary from my getting a little serious about my health. 63 plus pounds later, I'm feeling a lot better. Thanks to all those who have encouraged me on this little journey — and there have been many of you!” The post attracted many comments including one by me: “Are you getting in fighting trim for a rematch with Jim Brannon next year?”

Question: Does Mike's story encourage you to pursue healthier lifestyle?

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.20.12

  • 5:27 p.m. Possible suicide attempt involving pills reported in 2400 block of A Street/CdA.
  • 5:02 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Super 1 reports 14YO caught shoplifting Wednesday night is back.
  • 4:59 p.m. 3-vehicle crash on w/b I-90 @ H41 is blocking traffic. Female having breathing problems.
  • 4:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Sept. 19-20 here.
  • 4:32 p.m. EMTs en route to unknown medical emergency in 600 block of W. Hayden.
  • 4:26 p.m. Blue Grand Am @ H53/MP 1 (Hauser) matches car sought in Rockford, Wash., hit & run.
  • 4:14 p.m. Driver of silver sedan may be falling asleep on e/b I-90 @ H95/CdA.
  • 4:09 p.m. Male reports girlfriend fell & hurt her knee & they're lost @ Qemiln Park/PF.
  • 18 more items & AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 9.20.12

“There's nothing like a grandchild,” said Claudya Shane of Clark Fork as she hugged her grandson, Ben Crespo, during Grandparents Day at Holy Family Catholic School in Coeur d'Alene earlier today. Ben is in first grade. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: How many grandchildren do you have?

Idaho Women’s Pay Equivalence 42nd

Idaho women earned 75.2 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earned in 2011, according to new U.S. Census data released today. That was an improvement from a year earlier, when Idaho women earned 73.9 cents per dollar of their male counterparts' earnings, the data showed, but Idaho still ranked 42nd among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for its earnings parity; this is for full-time, year-round workers. The national average for 2011 was 77 cents/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


Cheerleaders Told To Dump Verses

Kountze High School cheerleader Brooke Coates paints scripture verses on a car Wednesday in Kountze, Texas. The small Hardin County community is rallying behind the high school's cheerleaders after the squad members were told they could not use scripture verses on their signs at the football games. Story here. (AP Photo/The Beaumont Enterprise, Dave Ryan)

Question: Should the cheerleaders be allowed to use scripture verses on signs at football games, if they were the source of the idea rather than an adult?

Statesman: Raul Labrador’s Day Off

Like so many of us, Raul Labrador will start his diet tomorrow. The 1st Congressional District incumbent conceded a point to his Democratic opponent earlier this week. When Jimmy Farris dinged Labrador for missing too many House votes, Labrador said all the right things. “The people of Idaho hired me to do a job, and I should be there.” But as any struggling dieter knows, habits are hard to break. And before Labrador recommitted to the steamed broccoli of the day job, he allowed himself a day off. On Wednesday, while Congress wrapped up its poor excuse for pre-election work, Labrador was in Miami, helping Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney woo Hispanic voters. While Labrador was out of the office, the House considered 25 bills, although 23 sailed through on voice votes, and only two required a recorded vote/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.


Read more here:

IFF Analysis: Obamacare Costly

The federally proposed Medicaid expansion would be a costly mistake, both for Idaho taxpayers and for the state’s indigent population, according to an analysis released Thursday by Parrish Miller, a policy analyst for the Idaho Freedom Foundation. Rather than establishing an enormous new subsidy funded by federal tax dollars and deficit spending, Miller argues, those who truly wish to help fund medical services for the less fortunate should reject top-down centralized health care planning and instead devote their money to efficient private-sector organizations that provide cost-effective care solutions with much greater transparency and accountability/Eric D. Dixon, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Any surprises here?

Teachers Will Get Merit Bonuses

Here's a new wrinkle in the ongoing dispute about timing of the first merit-pay bonuses to teachers under the new “Students Come First” school reform laws, in which the Idaho Education Association has been accusing state schools Supt. Tom Luna of holding the bonuses hostage, to be paid out only if the reform laws are upheld; and Luna has been insisting he's constrained by timelines and can't send the bonuses out before the election. Turns out, it actually doesn't matter. Teachers who earned the bonuses last year will get them this fall regardless of the outcome of the referenda vote on Nov. 6/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


Scouts Spanked For Greeting Romney

Boy Scouts from Troop 315 stand in front Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's jet after he arrives in Salt Lake City. Local Boy Scout troop leaders have been reprimanded after allowing a group of scouts to greet GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney at a Utah airport this week. Kay Godfrey of the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America says scouts are not supposed to take sides in elections, but noted many troop leaders aren't aware of the policy. Others, however, called the move an overreaction. “This is political correctness at it's pettiest,” says Utah Democratic Party Chair Jim Dabakis. “The Utah Democratic Party is thrilled that a troop of Boy Scouts got an upfront visit with a Presidential nominee, right here in Utah.” (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Question: Do you see any problem with Boy Scouts from a flyover state for President Barack Obama to greet the Republican presidential candidate at an airport?

Warning: Stay Away From McEuen

Work as shown in this city of Coeur d'Alene webcam from 5 minutes ago continues full tilt on the controversial upgrade of McEuen Field on the Lake Coeur d'Alene waterfront. You can follow the webcam here.

City of Coeur d'Alene news release re: McEuen Field:

McEuen Park is under construction and access to the park is prohibited. The park is a construction zone and for everyone’s safety citizens will need to walk around the orange construction fence in the park using Front Avenue and 8th Street for the perimeter route. Access to Tubbs Hill is still open at the Third Street entrance.  Please stay on the walkway along the seawall to reach the Third Street access point to the hill.  Tenth Street, at E. Lakeshore Drive, is the other access point on the east side of the hill.  If you have any questions, contact the Parks Department at 769-2252.

Question: Any reactions to work on McEuen Field?

Idaho Among Obama Flyovers

It's easy to figure which five states would be most visited by Barack Obama since he took office as president in January 2009: New York, California, Florida, Virginia and Ohio. This, according to Fair Vote. Can you guess which 7 states besides Idaho haven't been visited by the president? I'll provide this hint. The president has visited 5 states once during his 3 1/2 years in office: Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Oklahoma and Wyoming. Please guess before checking out this link.

  • H/T: SR buddy Gary Crooks

Question: Which 6 states, other than Idaho, have been flyover ones for President Barack Obama?

News Quiz Offers Movie Tickets

You don't have to be a know-it-all to win a nice prize in our weekly current events News Quiz, but it can't hurt! All entrants are eligible to win two free movie tickets, and our overall champ takes home a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. Good luck!

  • HucksOnline commenters on leaderboard this week:  EddieTorreal, Dennis and KCres

Ysursa: Spain Won’t Count US Votes

Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa is debunking the false claim that the federal government has transferred authority to count 2012's ballots in Spain. Ysursa said he was questioned about the rumor last week after at an Ada County Republican breakfast and responded with a joke. “I just chuckled and said, 'Well, the Basques have been counting 'em for years — ever since Pete came in,'” Ysursa said, referring to fellow Basque and predecessor, Pete Cenarrusa who was Idaho's chief election official from 1967-2002. But Ysursa, a Republican, told me today that assuring public confidence in the integrity of voting is a serious matter. He dug into the issue after I inquired on behalf of a reader/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Why do people believe stuff like this?

Read more here:

Heaths Write About ‘Our Sarah’

Sarah Palin fans will have a chance to meet her father, Chuck Heath, and her brother, Chuck Jr., at Hastings on Appleway for a book signing at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8. The Heaths are signing their new book, “Our Sarah: Made in Alaska.” According to a news release: “The glimpse you will see in this book is that of the real Sarah Palin—the Sarah we know and love, not the one created by the national media.” The release goes on to say: Our Sarah: Made in Alaska (Center Street/Hachette Book Group, September 2012) is more than a memoir, it is a survival story of a family who braved the harsh terrain and climate of Alaska, rolled up their sleeves and built a better life. That struggle, and this family helped create the first female governor of Alaska and the political superstar we know today.” (Barnes & Nobel photo of “Our Sarah” book cover)

Question: Did you read “Going Rogue”? Did you attend the book-signings featuring Sarah Palin in Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint in December 2009? Are you interested in this book by her father and her brother?

Noon: PET Project Spreads Mobility

Thanks to a small Spokane nonprofit, 1,220 people in 95 countries have received the gift of mobility. Since 2005, Inland Northwest PET Project has been creating and distributing Personal Energy Transporters from a hillside shop in Colbert. A PET is a hand-pedaled vehicle made of lumber and steel. The sturdy parts and solid-core rubber wheels provide transportation in terrain that would prove difficult for traditional wheelchairs to navigate. Dick Carpenter, 72, founded Inland Northwest PET Project after reading a blurb about the international organization in the newspaper/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (Colin Mulvany's SR photo: In Colbert, volunteers Dick Carpenter, left, and Maurice Feryn assemble a PET, a three-wheel, hand-cranked vehicle that will be shipped to Third World countries)

Also by Cindy: Riverpoint Academy has technology at core

Question: Are you involved with a non-profit that helps needy people? Tell us about it.

A Kiss For Luck

Alexis Pangle gives her lamb Rex a kiss as she waits for the veterinarian check before entering in the Nez Perce County Fair Wednesday in Lewiston. Cody Bloomsburg's Lewiston Tribune story here. (AP Photo/ Lewiston Tribune, Kyle Mills)

Question: As a kid, did you raise animals to show at a county fair? Which kind?

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.20.12

  • 11:52 a.m. Residential burglary reported in 8300 block of Quarter Mile Road/Athol.
  • 11:48 a.m. Black labrador in road causing hazard in front of CdA Super 1, H95 & Kathleen.
  • 11:42 a.m. April reports her vehicle was hit by a motorhome this AM @ Hayden & Meyer/Rathdrum.
  • 11:41 a.m. Rider on red/white/black road bike speeding @ 80mph on H41 from Boekel/Rathdrum.
  • 11:37 a.m. 77YO Alzheimers patient in red sweat shirt walked away from 7700 block of Heartland/CdA an hour ago.
  • 11:36 a.m. Residential burglary reported in 3800 block of Ramsey/CdA.
  • 11:24 a.m. Utility wire hanging too low on I-90, both sides, @ 15th Street/CdA.
  • 15 more items below

Newspaper Jobs Fall 41% In 10 years

While plenty of industries have shrunk over the last couple of years, few have been hit as badly as newspaper publishing, which was already contracting before the economic downturn began. Since then, economic woes have simply reinforced the long-term trend.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, total employment in the newspaper publishing industry has plunged from 414,000 in 2001 to 246,020 in 2011, equaling a 40.6% drop in 10 years. The 2011 figure is down 5% from 258,950 in 2010 and 20.4% from 309,000 in 2009/Erik Sass, Media Daily News. More here.

Question: What would you say to your kid if s/he told you of an interest in journalism?

Priest Lake Primed For Paddle Season

The drawdown of Priest Lake to its winter level will begin Oct. 8. The drawdown generally is complete by early November and brings the lake down three feet from a summer elevation of 3,427.64 feet to the winter level of 3,424.64, said Karl Duncan, the dam operator. The lake’s drawdown also launches the unofficial beginning of the paddling season on Priest River. Generally too low for canoes during the summer season, Priest River takes on new life as flows are increased/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors blog.

Question: Have you ever paddled a canoe or kayak on North Idaho waters?

Idahoans Getting Poorer

As a group, Idahoans are getting poorer. The median household income fell in 2011 for the third year in a row, the Idaho Department of Labor said Thursday. More Idahoans received public assistance, too. The department cited new U.S. Census Bureau data showing that the slow recovery from the Great Recession still hurt Idaho households last year. The recession officially began in December 2007 and ended a year and a half later when the contraction of the nation's economy ended. But the growth in Idaho since then has been so weak that joblessness remains high and family incomes have suffered. Census Bureau estimates released Thursday put median household income in Idaho at $43,341, down 0.3 percent from 2010. Since the recession took a firm grip on Idaho’s economy in 2008, median household income has dropped 8.9 percent/Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Has your household income fallen in last 3 years?

AM: Settlement To Help Homeowners

Jaclyn Milroy worked until two years ago when she developed congestive heart failure and lost a leg. Her husband, Tom, was diagnosed with cancer last February and had an ear removed. They say they can rarely afford to leave their north Spokane home. Chelsea Bannach SR story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Poll: Don’t Trust CdA School Board

  • Wednesday Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation says it doesn't trust the Coeur d'Alene School Board to give a fair hearing to the Primary Years Programme at Hayden Meadows Elementary. 65 of 92 (70.65%) said the School Board already has its mind made up against the program, which is an grade school version of the International Baccalaureate program that the board dumped earlier this year. Only 21 of 92 (22.83%) said the School Board was fair-minded and would give the program a fair hearing. 6 (6.52%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: If Jim Brannon challenged incumbent Mike Kennedy again in 2013, who would you vote for?

Keough: Cheers For ‘Capital’ Program

On my Facebook wall, state Sen. Shawn Keough commented re: Gov. Butch Otter's “Capital for a Day” program, which visited Nordman in the Priest Lake area Wednesday:

The over 200 Idahoans present at Nordman today appreciated that the Governor and several directors of state agencies as well as 2 other Land Board members took the time to spend with them. There was either and agency director or regional director from almost every state agency there. The attendees had questions throughout the entire day - from roughly 8:15 a.m until 2:00 p.m. Boise is @ 500 miles away from Nordman, and from my seat it looked like people there were glad they had a chance to talk to their elected officials and to heads of or regional directors of state agencies face to face. A rare opportunity for us and many that live here. Too rare in my view. Kudos to the Governor for his effort!

Question: Are you a fan of the “Capital for a Day” program?

Do Portlanders Really Retire Young?

Fred Armisen, left, and Carrie Brownstein appear in a scene from the IFC series “Portlandia.” Armisen's famous quip on the show that Portland is “a city where young people go to retire,” led Portland State University researchers to investigate the reality behind the comment. (AP Photo/IFC, Scott Green, File)

Portland may not be “a city where young people go to retire,” but it's the place they go to be underemployed, a new study found. A famous quip by Fred Armisen on the television show “Portlandia” led Portland State University researchers to investigate the reality behind the comment. The quirky IFC network series pokes fun at the Oregon city's many eccentricities. The researchers' review found that Portland is a magnet for the young and college educated from across the country, even though a disproportionate share of them are working part-time or holding jobs that don't require a degree. In short, young college grads are moving here, and staying, because they like the city's amenities and culture, not because they're chasing jobs/Jonathan J. Cooper, AP. More here.

Question: What do you think is the best age to retire?

MIA: Have You Seen Raul Lately?

Democratic congressional hopeful Jimmy Farris has all but put Congressman Raul Labrador's face on a milk carton with the frantic headline: “Have you seen his man?” After all, the freshman Republican hasn't just blown off his under-funded opponent or even the independent Project Vote Smart; he's also AWOL much of the time from his day job. According to GovTrack, which follows Congress, the freshman Idaho Republican has missed 72 of 1,531 recorded votes — 4.7 percent. During the first quarter of this year, Labrador missed more than one in 10 recorded votes. “He owes it to the people of Idaho to tell them why he's missed those votes,” Farris said. Labrador's overall absentee rate is nearly double that of his Idaho Republican colleagues. Second District Congressman Rep. Mike Simpson has missed 2.9 percent of the votes during the nearly 14 years in office. Sen. Mike Crapo has missed 2.2 percent in the last 19 years. Since January of 2009, Sen. Jim Risch has missed just 1.5 percent/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Wikipedia photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Has freshman Congressman Raul Labrador already put his personal interests ahead of Idaho's?

Spokane Valley Solon Fills Clark Void

Matt Shea – the Road Rage Republican running for re-election in Spokane Valley – has his knickers in a knot over his opponent’s supposedly dirty campaign tactics. Or in other words … “Hello, Kettle. Pot calling.” You know, I was really bummed a few months ago. Spokane’s perennial loser candidate Barb Lampert said she wouldn’t be running for office. It was unimaginable. We were about to have the first Lampert-free ballot since the forming of the League of Nations. Prayer seemed like the only option. Is anyone out there, I beseeched the heavens, who could fill the insanity void left by a Barbless election? The heavens answered, and along came Rep. Matt Dillon, I mean Rep. Matt Shea. Sorry for the confusion. I sometimes have to remind myself. Matt Dillon was the pistol-packing marshal on the old “Gunsmoke” TV show. Shea’s that pistol-packing pickup driver who pulled his gat during a road rage incident with another motorist last November in downtown Spokane/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Which legislators or legislative candidates in North Idaho amuse you more than the others?

Is Avista Asking For Too Much?

Avista Corp. is asking too much of its customers in its latest push to raise rates 6.3 percent for electricity and 6.9 percent for natural gas, the Washington Attorney General’s Office and the state Utilities and Transportation Commission’s staff said Wednesday. The Spokane-based utility proposes the higher rates to raise an additional $40.9 million from electric customers and another $10.1 million from natural gas customers in Eastern Washington. Avista’s request is “an unjustified burden on customers” so soon after the utility raised rates at the start of this year and after a decade of nearly annual rate increases, said Senior Assistant Attorney General Simon ffitch. “Unfortunately it’s a revolving door from the consumer perspective,” ffitch said Wednesday. “I think customers are worn out, they’re frustrated, they’ve given and they’ve given and they’ve given again, and they’re tapped out in terms of ability to pay these rate increases, which just keep on coming”/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Wikipedia photo of Avista symbol)

Question: Do you think of “greedy” when you think of Avista?

Just Another Happy Day In Mideast

Pakistani protesters stand on a representation of a U.S. flag bearing the picture of American pastor Terry Jones, during a protest in Pakistani border town of Chaman along the Afghanistan border earlier today. Hundreds of Pakistanis angry at an anti-Islam film that denigrates the religion's prophet clashed with police in the Pakistani capital Thursday, the most violent show of anger in a day that saw smaller demonstrations in Indonesia, Iran and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Matiullah Achakzai)

Question: So do you think these guys would vote Democrat or Republican if they were U.S. citizens?

Joker: Hamilton’s Logic Fails

Joker (re: “Hamilton: Pro-PYPers “militant”) Tom’s logic is an epic failure. Tom says the school board can’t use a measured approach because some anti-PYP people have been allegedly intimidated by supporters of PYP. Huh? So instead the school board is going to make a rash decision on an important issue? What the heck? Why? What is the hurry? If he’s trying to protect the anti-PYP folks from the “militant” supporters, contact law enforcement if threats are being made. The truth sounds like Tom doesn’t want to hear criticism from people he doesn’t agree with. Tom needs to stop pouting like a little kid. Announcing to the world that that you’re taking your ball and going home because people object to your decisions is sure way to find yourself being called, “former school board chair Tom Hamilton.” Maybe Tom can come on here explain why the board wouldn’t take its time and make a decision that’s in the best interest of the kids?

Question: Is there any legitimate reason for the Coeur d'Alene School Board to hurry the decision on the Hayden Meadows Primary Years Programme?

Court Hears Farragut Range Case

Arguments before the Idaho Supreme Court on Wednesday differed on whether lives would be at stake if the injunction on the Farragut Shooting Range is lifted. Idaho Fish and Game, which manages the range, has met the safety provisions set by a district judge to reopen to 500 shooters a year, said Kathleen Trever, representing the agency. “Fish and Game's standard to open to 500 was unambiguous,” Trever said. “Fish and Game has met that standard.” But Harvey Richman, representing a group of nearby residents who sued over fear of escaping bullets, disagreed. The agency didn't follow expert advice in designing its new safety features, Richman argued. Ricochets could still escape the range, he said/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you shoot at one of the local shooting ranges?

Supreme Court Hears Brannon Case

The 2009 Coeur d'Alene city election lawsuit went before the Idaho Supreme Court Wednesday, with the high court saying it will consider whether to uphold or reverse a previous ruling that solidified a City Council incumbent's narrow victory over his challenger. The five-member bench, four of which were present at First District Court, didn't give a timetable on when a decision would be reached, meaning it could be weeks or months before a written ruling is issued on the three-year old case. “The issue here isn't vote totals, and who won and who lost,” said Starr Kelso, attorney for then-Seat 2 City Council challenger Jim Brannon, who filed the lawsuit. “It's the sanctity of the” election process/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you consider Brannon to be a crusader fighting for justice? Or a sore loser?

Signe: What’s Wrong With 47%?

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Hump Day Wild Card — 9.19.12

At 11:10 this morning, Jim Brannon and his attorney, Starr Kelso, will have their day in the Idaho Supreme Court when they try to persuade justices to overturn the results of the 2009 City Council elections. Brannon lost to Mike Kennedy by 5 votes and has been pursuing a legal remedy ever since. A District Court hearing reduced his margin of defeat to 4 votes. Kelso will present his arguments today. Don't expect a Supreme Court ruling for months — or about the time that candidates begin filing for the 2013 municipal races. I wonder how much this legal battle has cost the public and election winner Mike Kennedy to defend? Now for your Wild Card …

P.S. Chasing A Paycheck?

LSU running back Kenny Hilliard (27) carries on a 71-yard touchdown run in the second half of their NCAA college football game against Idaho in Baton Rouge last Saturday. Now, Jeff Choate, a Washington State linebackers coach who once coaches Post Falls High football, has made headlines around the country as a result of a comment he made to Ryan Collingwood of Choate told that the Idaho is doing its players a disfavor by playing games against teams like LSU that they can't win. Yahoo! Coug Fan, and Huckleberries, of course, are among the media outlets that picked up the comment. Collingwood discusses the feeding frenzy here. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Question: Do you agree with Coach Choate that the Idaho Vandals should quit chasing paychecks and schedule more winnable games?

10 Most Damaging Chick Flicks

Cassy Fiano lists the 10 most damaging “chick flicks” in history in a slide-show report for PJ Media Lifestyle. Cassy writes: “Too bad they also send some of the worst messages to women in the history of mankind. Horrible stereotypes, insulting characters, idiotic relationship advice… it’s all there. Some chick flicks are better at hiding it than others, but generally, you can count on the same thing each time. The worst part is, women are actually starting to believe the lunacy they see in these movies!” I'm happy to report that I've only seen three of the damaging “chick flicks” on Cassy's list: “Twilight,” “Titanic” and “Dirty Dancing.” No “Pretty Woman.” No “Jerry Maguire.” However, I'm shocked — shocked I tell you — that “Mama Mia” wasn't on the list. Pierce Brosnan singing? C'mon. Full Cassy Fiano report here.

  • H/T: Adam Graham

Question: Which “chick flick” do you consider the most damaging? Or simply the worst?

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.19.12

  • 5:47 p.m. 2 small children are sliding down concrete underpass barrier toward freeway.
  • 5:41 p.m. ISP officer reports male w/dog illegally hitchhiking along I-90.
  • 5:29 p.m. Suspicious person reported at Jonesy's on Sherman/downtown CdA.
  • 5:12 p.m. Caller reports male driver trying to hit someone in car @ Boekel & H95/Hayden.
  • 4:54 p.m. Patrol officer giving female who ran out of gas a ride to Ross Point Chevron.
  • 4:36 p.m. Driver of red Buick Rendevouz possible DUI @ s/b H95/MP 405 (H58 junction).
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Sept. 18-19 here.
  • 4:15 p.m. Fire alarm sounds for Mountain West Bank, Govt Way & Ironwood/CdA.
  • 4:03 p.m. PFPD officer contacts 4 boys involved in fight (3:53 item).
  • 10 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 9.19.12

This Coeur d’Alene Police Department vehicle was damaged this morning when an officer swerved on Interstate 90 to avoid four deer. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Police Department photo)

Idaho Dad: About That Name Change

One of my kids has requested that I change my name. They’ve always called me “Daddy.” There may have been some period of “Da-Da” back in the early days, but I actually don’t remember it. I’ve just always been “Daddy” since they were born. But apparently it’s not cool for a teenager, or a pre-teen, to call their father “Daddy,” so now I’m “Dad.” That’s going to take some getting used to/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It.

DFO: My daughter still calls me “Daddy” — my son “Dad.”

Question: What do your kids call you?

Panhandle Sun Closes Doors

As I suspected from near the start, the Sun is no more. It goes without saying that everyone connected with the paper, especially including the investors gave it all they had. Unfortunately, there just wasn't enough journalistic knowledge in the organization, nor was there enough effort given to quality content. It looked to me, especially after I was limited to 300 words for Bayview Daze, and the issue two days later had a half page farewell letter from the departing editor, plus a two full page history of Hauser Lake, all in one issue. Obviously, that left little room or editorial judgement for success. It was a nice try, but the wrong people were listened to and the rest is a short history. I will say this about the paper. I thought the layout and art work were superb/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here. (Photo from Panhandle Sun Facebook page)

Question: Surprised?

Inlander Breaks Down Luna Reforms

At the Inlander, Daniel Walters does a good job breaking down the three referendums targetting education reforms successfully pushed by Superintendent Tom Luna during the 2011 Legislature:

The most visible change of Luna’s reforms is represented by Proposition 3: each district will be given one laptop for every student. At least one school is used to it. Christian Housel, principal of Meridian Technical Charter near Boise, says students have had laptops since 1999. But even after 13 years, problems remain. While students aren’t allowed to take their laptops home, occasionally they still access inappropriate sites during class. Network surveillance lets teachers view what their kids are browsing, but no administrator can monitor all 200 students. “We’re talking about laptop, laptop, laptops,” Housel says. “It’s the No. 1 problem I deal with.” Complete story here. (Inlander photo)

Question: Have you decided how you're going to vote on the 3 referendums?

NI Blogs: Guv Visits ‘Capital’ Nordman

Someone must have said something funny at Nordman's Capital for a Day event because Gov. Butch Otter is smiling and Lt. Gov. Brent Little is cracking up. Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna is on the far right. Dunno who the official is between Otter and Luna. Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns snapped the photo.

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday): 8955/5393, and (for Tuesday): 9229/5576

Guv Makes Nordman Capital For Day

Gov. Butch Otter speaks to a crowd of Nordman residents while a cast of appointed and elected officials listen at the Capital for a Day program at Priest Lake Lodge today. Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns snapped this photo. Among the dignitaries at the head table were Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Idaho F& G Director Virgil Moore, Superintendent Tom Luna, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Lands Department Director Tom Schulz, Environmental Equality Director Dan Redline, Species Conservation administrator Dustin Miller, and Bill Booth of the Northwest Power & Conservation Council.

Hamilton: Pro-PYPers ‘Militant’

“While we would have liked to have taken a measured approach, a group of parents who have been militant in their support of PYP, have really taken away that opportunity” — Chairman Tom Hamilton of the Coeur d'Alene School Board re: move to hurry up hearing on Primary Year Programme at Hayden Meadows.

Question: Is “militant” too strong of a word for Hamilton to use to describe parents who support the PYP program? Could the same word be used to describe those who have successfully overthrown the International Baccalaureate program and now are targetting PYP?

Brannon Has (Another) Day In Court

Here's part of SReporter Scott Maben's report  on today's Idaho Supreme Court hearing on Jim Brannon's challenge of his 2009 Coeur d'Alene City Council loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy:

Coeur d’Alene lawyer Starr Kelso, arguing Brannon’s appeal, raised nearly two dozen issues in the case in filings with the Supreme Court. In oral arguments today in Coeur d’Alene, Kelso focused on the legitimacy of several absentee ballots cast by voters living out of state, as well as a disparity in the total number of absentee ballots cast and counted in the Nov. 3, 2009, election. Either point, he argued, is reason to void the election results. Kelso also argued the city did not have the legal authority to contract with Kootenai County to conduct the election, and he alleged misconduct on the part of the county’s elections department.

Question: If the shoe was on the other foot, and Brannon had beaten Kennedy by 3 to 5 votes, and Kennedy had pursued this long, legal attempt to overturn the election, how loudly would local Republicans be crying and denouncing Kennedy?

Heavyweight Fight: Barack Vs. Mitt

It’s liberals versus conservatives, Democrats versus Republicans, BLUE versus RED in this year’s high stakes Rock Em’ Sock Em’ robots-style election. Who will get knocked off his block? Will it be the incumbent, Barack Obama, or the former Massachusetts’ governor, Mitt Romney? Only time will tell, but until then, “Political Power: Romney Obama 2012” offers an extensive look at the backgrounds of both candidates. New York Times’ best-selling author, Marc Shapiro’s eloquent story telling guides the reader through the lives of Obama and Romney in this commemorate edition comic book. …  “We wanted to have some fun with the figurative boxing match that has been going on between the two candidates and, at the same time, educate readers on the two men fighting for the presidency,” said Bluewater President Darren G. Davis.  More here.

Question: Don't you wish this presidential campaign could be settled in the ring? Winner & his party take all?

Unpopular EPA: Rhetoric & Reality

Rep. Mike Simpson once said the Environmental Protection Agency is the scariest federal bureaucracy of them all — surpassing even the IRS. Simpson now says, somewhat grudgingly, that the statement was “inappropriate.” But he doesn’t back away from his criticism of the EPA, nor his attempts to slash the agency’s budget. The EPA has become a red meat talking point for Republicans on the campaign trail. But the criticisms are a bit hazy — and the reality considerably more complex. When Simpson met with the Statesman editorial board last month, we interviewed him at length about the EPA. I gave his staff the heads up beforehand. Since Simpson is the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the EPA, he’s on the front line of the budget debate. So I wanted Simpson to explain his concerns with EPA. It’s a sketchy case, I must say/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you consider the EPA necessary? A necessary evil? Or simply evil?

Read more here:

GOP Senator Blasts ‘47%’ Comment

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said he has a “very different view of the world” than the one Mitt Romney expressed at a private fundraiser, a sign of how dangerous the now-famous “47 percent” comment is to a swing-state senator facing reelection. “I have five brothers and sisters. My father was an auto mechanic, my mother was a school cook,” Heller told reporters outside the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon. “I have a very different view of the world and as a United States senator I think I represent everybody. And every vote is important. Every vote is important in this race. I don't write off anything”/Cameron Joseph, The Hill. More here. (AP photo: Mitt Romney greets donors in Atlanta, Ga., today)

Question: Are you part of the 53% who pays income tax or the 47% who doesn't?

Huckleberries Hears …

… Jim Brannon's attempt to overturn his 2009 Coeur d'Alene City Council loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy attracted a standing room only crowd to the Idaho Supreme Court hearing in Courtroom 1 of the Kootenai County Courthouse. SReporter Scott Maben told me that all 67 seats in the courtroom were full — and he was able to get in only after identifying himself as a member of the media. About a dozen people watched the approximate one hour of arguments given by Brannon attorney Starr Kelso and attorneys for the city (Mike Haman and Mike Gridley) and Kennedy (Scott Reed). I'll post a report for Scott when he writes it. Meanwhile, we'll probably have to wait months to learn the outcome of Brannon-v-Kennedy.

Farris Blasts Labrador Vote Decision

Democratic challenger Jimmy Farris is criticizing Republican Congressman Raul Labrador for missing 27 votes today to campaign for Republican Mitt Romney in Florida:

“He’s choosing Florida over Idaho,” said Farris. “He’s choosing to ingratiate himself to Mitt Romney in the hopes of getting a new job, instead of doing the job he already has. He doesn’t think that ignoring his constituents will cost him the election. The citizens of the First District have no voice in Congress today – because Labrador is busy interviewing for his next government job.”

Question: Has Labrador given Democratic challenger Jimmy Farris an opening here to score political points?

UIdaho Students Lend Helping Hand

Chuck Thomas, 80, has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for four years, and although his wife Alverna, 72, said he is still aware of what’s going on, he is physically unable to complete tasks like repainting the house they’ve lived in for 40 years. The Thomas’ were chosen by the committee for Paint the Palouse, a project service sponsored by University of Idaho Housing, to have the outside of their home repainted by UI students Saturday. “My husband just couldn’t do it anymore, so this is really helping us out,” Alverna Thomas said. “This will be a big thing for him and it will really raise his spirits. Knowing that he’s getting help from the students of the university really raised his spirits, helped him to feel good and he’s so thankful for students to help him”/Kaitlyn Krasselt, UI Argonaut. (Steve Devine Argonaut Photo: Jon Bessler helps paint a home on Public Avenue Sept. 15 as part of Paint the Palouse)

Question: Have you ever helped an incapacitated neighbor? How?

Obama: Beyonce A Good Role Model

This Jan. 20, 2009, AP file photo shows Beyonce singing as President Barack Obma and first lady Michelle Obama finish their dance at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball in Washington.

At a fund-raiser staged by singer Beyonce and her husband, Jay-Z, for President Barack Obama, the president president joked that he has a few things in common with Jay-Z, such as their family life:

“We both have daughters and our wives are more popular than we are,” Obama said, giving a nod to Blue Ivy, naturally. “So, you know, we've got a little bond there. It's hard, but it's OK.” He then bestowed high praise on Jay's wife, telling the crowd gathered that “Beyonce could not be a better role model for my girls.” In fact, he added,”Michelle, Sasha and Malia are mad at me because they're not here.” More from Marqee Blog here.

Question: Are there any entertainment stars you'd consider a good role model for your children?

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.19.12

  • 12:02 p.m. Vehicle that crashed into field off Agency Road/Coeur d'Alene Reservation came to rest on beehive. Responders told to be prepared for angry bees.
  • 11:58 a.m. 15th Street/CdA resident reports finding gun in woods off Nettleton Gulch Road.
  • 11:56 a.m. Male causing hazard by standing in middle of Sherman Avenue @ 12th/CdA.
  • 11:29 a.m. ISP officer seeks backup in a stop on w/b I-90/MP 22 (H97 overpass).
  • 11:19 a.m. ISP officer asks dispatch to contact tire business after 1 of 4 new tires goes flat.
  • 11:12 a.m. Female w/gray hair & granddaughter in toe escapes in 1995 taupe vehicle after pushing Babies & Beyond clerk who confronted her while shoplifting @ 4025 Govt Way/CdA.
  • 11:04 a.m. Residential burglary reported in 9600 block of Ramsey Road/Hayden.
  • 11 more items below

NIC Defends Response To Threat

A North Idaho College student is no longer allowed on campus after, according to police, Patrick Budig (pictured) made a veiled threat to his counselor, referring to Columbine in his comments. Budig, 33, is being sought by both Coeur d'Alene Police as well as police in Spokane where he lives. The college has since been working closely with police the last few days to keep tabs of the situation and, so far, there hasn't been an imminent danger to the campus and no need to let students know what was going on right away. While classes are going on as usual, some students expressed concerned about the police officers around the NIC campus. “We had a right to know. This campus should have been shut down,” student Amanda Razzaia said/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here.

Question: Was the North Idaho College response in this situation appropriate?

Poll: Raul Should Vote, Not Campaign

  • Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation says Congressman Raul Labrador, who already has missed more than twice as many roll call votes as the congressional average, should be in Congress today rather than campaigning for Republican Mitt Romney in Florida. Labrador will miss 27 more votes. 86 of 114 respondents (75.44%) say Labrador should stay in D.C. and attend to business. 27 of 114 (23.68%) support Labrador's trip to Florida. 1 (.88%) was undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Will the Coeur d'Alene School Board give a fair hearing to the Hayden Meadows Primary Years Programme?

AM: $8M Award Can’t Erase Inaction

Steve O'Connor gathers his thoughts after talking about his life, during an interview Monday in Spokane. O'Connor recently received the largest jury award in Washington State history in a priest abuse case. He was abused as a boy in a Seattle Catholic school and won a $8 million judgement. Story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

CPD Officer Crashes Avoiding 4 Deer

A Coeur d’Alene police officer sustained no injuries in a one-vehicle accident that occurred at 1:35  this morning. Officer Jason Wilhelm was westbound on I-90 at the 9th Street overpass in Coeur d'Alene when he swerved to avoid striking four deer crossing the freeway. Wilhelm was driving an unmarked 2007 GMC Envoy. The Envoy struck the median, rolled on its side and slid on the freeway. The vehicle sustained major damage and is not repairable. Wilhelm was treated and released at Kootenai Medical Center. Idaho State Police are investigating the accident/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department, news release.

Most Recognizable Hucks Icon?

With much time on his hands, Spudbob wonders which Huckleberries icon is the most recognizable. His favorites for top four (in order of reconizabillity) would be:

  • 1.  CindyH's lips
  • 2.  Cabbage Boy's head lettuce
  • 3.  That awful picture used by Arch Druid.
  • 4.  Dennis

Question: Which HucksOnline icon do you find most recognizable?

Today’s Look At McEuen Work

Today's view of the McEuen Field work appears much like the one I posted yesterday. The city's webcab provides refreshed views of the reconstruction work every 5 minutes. Webcam here.

Quotable Quote — Tom Hamilton

“Is it wrong for me to teach my kids that there are factions of Islam that are dangerous? PYP doesn't teach that,” he said. “I raise my children in a Judeo-Christian religion that teaches love, not hate, but not necessarily tolerance” — Chairman Tom Hamilton of the Coeur d'Alene School Board, explaining why he's against the Primary Years Programme.


Boozing A Problem At Spokane Parks

With the beautiful weather we've had the past few days and continuing into the weekend, a trip to park might be on your agenda. Many come to Spokane Parks to relax or play. Unfortunately, some take that play too far. The Spokane Parks and Recreation Department said park drinking is something they continually battle. Park-goers told KREM 2 they're seeing more people boozing at the parks. Any sort of booze is forbidden in Spokane Parks, unless there is a specific event with a permit.  Even then, it's limited to a certain space. Parents we talked to said it's frustrating/Hayley Guenther, KREM. More here.

DFO: During the steel-drum, public concert at City Park last month, I saw several members of a family under the large gazebo discreetly drinking beers. So I know it happens in Coeur d'Alene parks, too.

Question: Have you seen anyone drinking alcohol in Coeur d'Alene area parks? Do you think it's a problem here?

Dennis: Kill All The Cartoonists?

Shakespeare's King Henry VI opens with this line: “The first thing we must do is kill all the lawyers.” In the current inflamed world of middle eastern anger, the object of the wrath would now appear to be low-class filmmakers and/or cartoonists. France has now erupted in flames and the object of the Muslim fanatics wrath? Cartoonists. Again. Here's a defiant response today by a French cartoonist, named Luz: “We treat the news like journalists. Some use cameras, some use computers. For us, it's a paper and pencil,” he said. “A pencil is not a weapon. It's just a means of expression.” And THAT may well be the crux of the problem: “a means of expression”.  There seems to be a systemic problem in certain areas of radical Islam. The probelm? Freedom of expression/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

DFO: I suspect there are some Republicans in this county who'd like to see Huckleberries Online go away because this site doesn't toe the Hard Right line.

Question: Why do political ideologues and religious zealots abhor free speech?

Labrador To Miss 27 Votes For Mitt

Raul Labrador will miss the 27 votes scheduled in the House for Wednesday to campaign for Mitt Romney in Miami, said Jake Ball, his district director. But Labrador will take a late flight back to Washington, D.C., late Wednesday and be back for votes on Thursday and Friday. Labrador leaves Idaho before dawn Wednesday to fly to Florida to help Romney appeal to Hispanic voters. “He'll be in Miami less than 24 hours,” Ball said/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: The HucksOnline poll shows widespread disapproval of Congressman Raul Labrador's decision to miss 27 roll call votes today to campaign for Mitt Romney in Florida. Does this indicate Labrador's priorities this election season?

Read more here:

Parents Rally For Another IB Program

Time may be running out for the controversial Primary Years Programme at Hayden Meadows Elementary School, despite support shown at recent school board meetings by parents and educators who laud the program. “My children have blossomed and thrived … We just came here in January and the difference that I have seen in each one of my children is remarkable,” said parent Ashlie Unruh, speaking to district trustees at the Sept. 10 school board meeting. Unruh was among several parents who testified at the meeting, expressing concern about the future of the district's “schools of choice,” especially PYP at Hayden Meadows. Dozens of other parents observed the meeting, many showing their support by wearing pro-PYP T-shirts/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Josh Helwich, a fifth grade student at Hayden Meadows Elementary School, listens to a high school mentor Tuesday during his core math class)

Question: Is School Board Chairman Tom  Hamilton saying that the board has decided to rush this through rather than take a measured approach to the Primary Years Programme because unnamed families feel intimidated by the popular support for the program? Really?

Let’s Play 2 Games in 1

Tired fans wait out the ending of an 18-inning baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Seattle Mariners in the early hours of this morning in Seattle. The Orioles beat the Mariners, 4-2. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Question: I picked the game up in the 12th inning and listened until the 16th before hitting the sack around 12:15 this morning. Did anyone listen to the whole game?

Pac-12 Debates Injury Reports

Years from now, perhaps Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez will be lauded as an innovator. As calls for an NFL-style standardized injury report in the Pac-12 become louder and more persistent, Rodriguez doesn’t seem to care much. Partially, he said, because he doesn’t really care about opponent injuries in the first place. Also: Arizona already releases an NFL-style injury report each week that lists injured players as probable, questionable, doubtful or out. “We kind of started doing that a few years ago when we were at Michigan,” Rodriguez said on Tuesday’s Pac-12 coaches call. “It just made it a lot easier. We didn’t have to have questions all week about it, so we kind of adopted that policy.” Some Pac-12 coaches aren’t quite as forthcoming with such information/Christian Caple, SR. More here. (AP file photo of WSU coach Mike Leach)

Question: Should Pac-12 coaches, like WSU's Mike Leach, be required status of injured players each week?

100 Frontier Call Center Jobs End

On the final day at the Frontier Communications Corp. call center, you might expect anger, sadness or despair from the more than 100 employees whose jobs ended Tuesday. Not so. There were tears, for sure, but there were even more hugs and handshakes, laughs and smiles, and yep, applause, too. “I'm really proud of everybody here I worked with,” said Jennifer Root, a 13-year offline associate. “I think we accomplished great things. I think our team will be missed by Frontier.” Those great things went beyond internal communications support for the company. They extended into the community and to Sandpoint, too, and the family of Todd and Julie Harkins/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Todd Harkins interacts with his son Elijah, 6, following a presentation of a special bicycle from staff members of Frontier Communications)

Question: Have you been laid off in the last 5 years? How did you survive the period that you were out of work?

Heller: Another Use For Duct Tape

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Tuesday — 9.18.12

The old green warehouse along NW Blvd adjacent to Memorial Field is nothing but a couple of piles of cinderblocks and concrete this morning. You wouldn't know something had been there on Friday. City Administrator Wendy Gabriel told me moments ago that the city has no concrete plans for the site at the moment — and that it'll probably be used for snow storage this winter. Next spring, however, the city is likely to revisit plans that the Lake City Development Corporation had for the Four Corners area that would include a piece of the property. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 9.18.12

Sgt. First Class Lisa Young of the 1048th Army National Guard Transportation Co. of Stratford, from Bristol, Conn., looks for family during a send-off at the William A. O’Neill Armory in Hartford, Conn., today. Nearly 230 Connecticut National Guard soldiers are headed to Afghanistan to help transport personnel and supplies by air and ground. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Quotable Quote — Jeff Choate

It’s really not right what (Idaho) is doing to its players in letting them get beat so they can get a paycheck” — WSU linebackers coach (and former Post Falls High football coach) Jeff Choate, in interview of Full interview.

Tattoo Removal Is Long, Slow Process

Certain types of tattoos - including those done with yellow or blue ink, or older and bigger tattoos - are harder to remove than others using traditional laser treatment, a new study suggests. But even smaller tattoos done with black ink can take multiple years to erase, researchers found. Of 352 people getting a tattoo removed with the so-called Q-switched laser, just under half had their ink successfully eliminated after 10 sessions, and three-quarters after 15 sessions, in research from Italy/Reuters. More here. (AP file photo: Artist Michael Godard points to his tattoo of Ozzy Osbourne)

Question: Do you have a tattoo that you regret getting?

PM Scanner Traffic — 9.18.12

  • 5:29 p.m. ISPer reports tag he put on disabled vehicle on I-90/MP 409 (Setters) has been removed.
  • 5:05 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Sept. 17-18 here.
  • 4:34 p.m. Man in teal Chevy pickup w/tool box reportedly displayed gun and later threatened caller with a baseball bat before leaving n/b on Atlas and turning w/b on Honeysuckle/Hayden.
  • 4:29 p.m. Caller reports unconscious person in 2100 block of E. Sherman/CdA.
  • 4:02 p.m. Pregnant female appears uninjured in 2-vehicle crash in front of Dairy Queen on H41.
  • 14 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Brown Signs Anti-Westboro Law

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed legislation Monday restricting protests at funerals, a year after vetoing a similar bill due to concerns over free speech. The law is designed to target the Westboro Baptist Church, a group that has provoked national outrage by picketing soldiers' funerals with deeply offensive signs. The original legislation, proposed by State Sen. Ted Lieu, (D-Torrance), would have created a 1,000-foot buffer zone around funerals. Brown vetoed it last September, writing that while he was “very tempted” to sign it, he believed it would run afoul of a U.S. Supreme Court decision saying the protests were constitutionally protected free speech. The revised legislation, Senate Bill 661, prohibits protests within 300 feet of a burial or memorial site, and resembles federal law limiting protests near military funerals signed by President Barack Obama in August/Huffington Post. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Is it time for Idaho to approve a similar law?

ACLU Airs ‘De-Occupy Boise’ Plan

The Idaho ACLU says its ongoing lawsuit over the state's attempts to outlaw the “Occupy Boise” protest vigil from state property across from the state Capitol has turned up a multi-agency law enforcement plan dubbed “Operation De-Occupy Boise.” The group says the plan called for “arrests and detention of protesters, despite that the new state anti-camping statute only authorizes ticketing violators, not arrest.” The state, in legal arguments filed with the federal court, argued against releasing the documents through the discovery process, saying they were subject to a law enforcement privilege, as they “reflect planned operations that the Idaho State Police developed to implement 2012 Idaho laws”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


12 Local Repubs File Bylaw Complaint

Kootenai County Republican Party Chairman Neil Oliver skips the “Reagan Jelly Beans” and goes straight for the coffee, Saturday night after the Annual Reagan Republican Victory Dinner. They were actually “Jelly Belly” jelly beans carefully selected the Reagan Republicans for their connection to Ronald Reagan. Now, Oliver is caught in latest squabble involving his warring factions of his local party. (Phantom Photographer photo)

A group of Kootenai County Republicans has asked state GOP Chairman Barry Peterson to step into a controversy involving the county party's bylaws. Twelve Republicans, including former chairmen Brad Corkill and Donna Montgomery, filed a complaint with Peterson Monday, asking that Peterson order Kootenai County GOP Chairman Neil Oliver “to cease all activity as chairman” until the state party can “assure the existence of lawfully executived By-laws” for the Kootenai County party. The 12 signees contend that the local party doesn't have official By-laws. In the complaint, the 12 say: “The failure of the leaders of the Kootenai Cuonty Republican Central Committee to maintain a valid and lawsful set of By-laws has resulted in much unneeded controversy and confusion within the local Republican Party. A climate of distrust has been fostered by those Republican leaders who have refused to provide documents to elected precinct committeemen.” You can read the complaint and see the list of signees here.


Safe In The Crosswalk

When Richard Peterson and Jeff Jenkins interact, anyone watching can tell that for a couple of 18-year-olds, they go way back. As Jeff watched Richard play a friendly game of chess Friday at a downtown coffeehouse, the pair engaged in the friendly kind of kidding that only grows from years of shared experiences. For these teens, much of that time together has been spent at Crosswalk North Idaho, the nonprofit youth outreach program previously known as Project Safe Place. “I think it's probably made one of the biggest impacts in my life,” Jeff said of the program. Although the name is new, and the familiar yellow Project Safe Place signs are gone, the services remain the same. Located in the basement of the St. Vincent de Paul H.E.L.P Center, 201 E. Harrison Ave., Crosswalk provides immediate help and supportive resources for Kootenai County youth in crisis/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene. More here. (Shawn Gust CdA Press photo: Jeff Jenkins, 18, talks about how the outreach program Crosswalk North Idaho has helped him as Richard Peterson listens)

Question: I didn't know this program existed in Coeur d'Alene. Did you?

Slice: Looking For Replacement Salsa

At The Slice blog HQ, Paul Turner has a pressing problem:

The company that makes the salsa we've been using at my house for years must be under bold new leadership. Because, in short order, they apparently tampered with the recipe in a disastrous way. There was a recall. And then the stuff simply stopped showing up on grocery shelves. My guess? Layoffs claimed the people who actually knew how to make it. So anyway, we are looking for a new salsa brand. We're holding tryouts as we speak. So far, there has been a lot of “Thank you…NEXT!” You know. Too watery. Too mushy. Too something. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: What brand of salsa would you recommend to a friend? Why?

Study: US Becoming ‘Majority Obese’

The number of obese adults is set to increase dramatically in the United States over the next two decades, triggering an avalanche of related and costly health conditions, according to a new study. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Trust for America's Health partnered on the report out Tuesday. It projects a massive rise in cases of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other weight-related disorders as Americans gain substantial weight. Report authors argue the crisis merits federal intervention to promote healthier school lunches and more physical education for children — controversial recommendations amid current political debates over the right role of government/Elise Viebeck, The Hill Healthwatch. More here.

Question: Do you weigh more today than you did four years ago?

Robbers Hit 2 Lake City Businesses

The suspect in the possible armed robbery is seen entering the Tesoro service station @ 23rd and Sherman Avenue shortly before midnight Monday. The suspect, wearing a white baseball cap under a black hoodie tied at the neck, also fits the description of the man who robbed Walgreen's on Appleway about 15 minutes later. (Photo: Coeur d'Alene Police Department)

Two Coeur d'Alene businesses were robbed late last night and early this morning by what appears to be the same gunman in a black hoodie. Tesoro service station. 2301 Sherman Ave., was robbed at 11:57 p.m. by a smallish man (described as 5-6, 150 pounds, with “very blue eyes”), according to Coeur d'Alene police reports. The man walked around the store until customers left before approaching the female clerk and displaying a gun in his waistband. He demanded and received money from the till before leaving on foot. About 15 minutes later, a man with two lip piercings who matched a similar description took cigarettes from Walgreens, 335 W. Appleway, after demanding money from the female clerk. Again, the man lifted his sweat shirt to show a handgun in his waistband. He took the cigarettes when the clerk said she was not able to give him money. The man appeared to leave in a dark-colored vehicle that was waiting for him outside. Full report here.

Question: Isolated incidents? Or is Coeur d'Alene becoming a more dangerous place?

Little Dancer Eyes ‘Little Dancer’

A young ballerina looks at the statue “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen” by Degas at the Museum of Fine Arts earlier today in Montreal. The museum will be exhibiting an impressionist art show featuring Degas, Gauguin and Monet among others on loan from the Clark Museum. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

Question: Have you or any member of your family participated in a ballet?

Otter Budget Chief Quits To Lobby

Wayne Hammon, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter's budget chief for the past five and a half years, is resigning Sept. 28 to become executive director of the Idaho Associated General Contractors. Hammon, who heads Otter's Division of Financial Management, wrote in his resignation letter, “After serving as DFM administrator longer than any of my predecessors, it is now time for me to move on.” The previous AGC executive director, Mark Dunham, resigned in June after suffering a stroke in January; he had held the position since 2007. The group has more than 600 members, and in 2011 Dunham described it as the state's “premier construction lobby” and “the premier voice for Idaho’s construction industry at every level of government”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (Idaho Reports photo)


Judge Denies New Trial For Thompson

A federal judge has denied the motion for a new trial for convicted former Spokane Police officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. (pictured). Thompson’s lawyer Carl Oreskovich argued on Aug. 31 that Thompson should receive a new trial because federal prosecutors hid information from the defense that could have won his acquittal. Thompson was convicted by a federal jury in Yakima in November of using excessive force and lying to investigators in the violent 2006 confrontation with Otto Zehm, a mentally ill janitor mistakenly identified as a possible thief. Zehm died two days after being beaten, tasered and hog-tied by police in a Spokane convenience store/SR. Developing. (SR file photo)

Question: Anyone remember when Thompson was a captain under former sheriff Pierce Clegg?

VarsityCDA Picks: Viks Over Highland

Lee: It’s a good thing this game is at CdA for the Vikings. If this game were being played in the armpit of Idaho – read Pocatello – then I’d take Ram tough Highland. But I’m picking the Viks to bounce back after that difficult defeat last week. CdA 30, Highland 21

Dapper: The Rams, coming off a convenient bye week, have added a ground attack to their game and a 3-4 defense. Look out for Thad Hansen, he can be dangerous, not to mention their QB Neil Jewell. It’s going to be another test Coeur d’Alene but I think it will be looking to shake that loss and rebound. It will be close. CdA 40, Highland 36

 Collingwood: What a great bounce-back opportunity for the Vikings. A win over third-ranked Highland, the most consistent 5A program in Idaho, would affirm that CdA is still the crème de la crèm of its classification. As far as big-school Idaho football goes, this is a showcase game. Vikings finish their non-league gauntlet with a 4-1 record. CdA 36, Highland 28

Also: Lake City will bounce Post Falls. More VarsityCDA picks

Question: Do you agree with prognosticators that CHS Vikings will bounce back against Highland after lopsided loss to Skyline ended their 24-game winning streak?

Choate: UI Should Quit Playing LSUs

In an Q-and-A interview with Ryan Collingwood/VarsityCDA, Jeff Choate, a former Post Falls High football coach who now coaches linebackers at Washington State, said:

I think Idaho prep football has really improved, and a lot of that has carried over from Boise State’s success. As for North Idaho, when I was growing up, it had a reputation of having tough, hard-working kids.  But I think that’s shifted over the years. I mean, how do you preach toughness to a bunch of kids from Dalton Gardens? Just the name itself sounds (fancy). …Last year Coeur d’Alene was as good as any team in the western Untied States. And (former CdA quarterback Chad) Chalich is a solid player. We had a lot of conversations on what we should do with him at Boise State, but we ended up getting another commit and Chalich ended up at Idaho. When Idaho does what it should and play at the FCS level (Big Sky Conference) I think Chalich will be an all-American player and Walter Payton Award candidate. …It’s really not right what (Idaho) is doing to its players in letting them get beat so they can get a paycheck. More here.

Question: Do you follow Washington State football?

Noon: Old Gray Mare Getting Grayer

On her Facebook wall, Cindy recounts a conversation with son Sam: “Last night Sam was sitting next to me. He looked at my hair. “Remember when I used to yank out your gray hairs?” he asked. “Yeah, why?” “Well. I can't do that anymore. You've got too many.” Sigh.

Question: Do you have gray hair yet? How old were you when it started to gray?

Idaho Among Biggest Non-Payers

Using a Tax Foundation map of the United States, David A. Graham of The Atlantic is reporting that 47 percent of Americans don't pay income tax. Idaho is among the 10 states with the highest amount of non-income-tax payers. In his now infamous comments re: non-payers, Mitt Romney said that states with the most non-payers are likely to vote for President Obama. But this map shows several GOP states among biggest non-payers. Graham's story here.

Question: Does that make Idaho a moocher?

AM Scanner Traffic — 9.18.12

  • 12:21 p.m. Undisclosed utility problem reported in 4100 block of N15th/CdA.
  • 11:56 a.m. Undisclosed threat reported from 1900 block of N9th/CdA.
  • 11:42 a.m. Man wants to see deputy re: suspicious items he found in camp in woods.
  • 11;34 a.m. 53YO man hit head hard when he fell from wheelchair in Post Falls biz lot.
  • 11;32 a.m. Undisclosed threat reported from Center Partners, 7830 Meadowlark, CdA.
  • 10 more items below

Oregon Duck Is Attractive Alternative

On Wednesday, September 5th, the Oregon Duck announced his  candidacy for the President of the United States of America. The Duck made his official announcement in a brief press conference at the  University of Oregon’s Casanova Center in Eugene, Oregon, through the  help of translator Jerry Allen. The Duck feels like all Americans should have something in their life  that makes them happy, and strongly believes that he is the fowl to bring America into a better tomorrow. “Greatness is not found on the  amount of pushups one can do,” The Duck said, “but in the people they  can push to be great”/ More here. (AP file photo)

DFO: I'm probably as serious as I've ever been re: not voting for a presidential candidate or voting for someone other than the two from the major parties. If the Oregon Duck is on the ballot, I'll support the Duck (even though I'm a WSU fan).

Question: Why not the Duck?

Poll: Hucks Nation Picks Haagenson

  • Monday Poll: Almost two-thirds of Hucks Nation prefers former Republican legislator Dean Haagenson to four other candidates in the North Idaho College horse race for Seat C to replace retiring Trustee Ron Vieselmeyer. Haagenson (76 of 120, 63.33%) received almost three times as many votes as Reagan Republican endorsee Ron Nilson (29 of 120, 24.17%), who ran unsuccessfully for the NIC board two years ago. Others getting votes were: Fritz Widenhoff, 9 (7.5%); Gary Coffman, 5 (4.17%); and James Ruch, 1 (.83%).
  • Today's Poll: Would you mind if Congressman Labrador missed 27 votes on Wednesday to campaign for Republican Mitt Romney in Florida?

Scraped: New View Of McEuen Field

Ah, McEuen Field doesn't look like it did 10 days ago. You can follow the work on McEuen Field by clicking onto the webcam provided by the city of Coeur d'Alene, which refreshes every 5 minutes. Click here.

Raul Would Miss 27 Votes To Campaign

Republican Rep. Raul Labrador told me Monday that he wants to help Mitt Romney as he appears on the most important Spanish-language media in the country Wednesday night, but won't do so if he can't get back to Capitol Hill in time for Thursday's votes. “I don't want to miss two vote series in a row,” Labrador said. The House convenes Thursday at 10 a.m. for morning business and noon for legislative business. Romney's hour-long interview on Univision is at 10 p.m. Wednesday. This morning, I took a look at the House floor schedule published by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. Cantor has scheduled 27 votes for Wednesday, including the Veterans Fiduciary Reform Act, the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act, and the Border Security Information Improvement Act. Another measure would ban using public funds for party conventions and use the money for deficit reduction. Labrador said he would be OK with missing Wednesday's votes, as long as he could be back early Thursday/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

  • Factoid: Congressman Labrador already missing almost twice as many roll-call votes as the congressional average.
  • Democratic challenger Farris: Labrador missing too many votes/Dan Popkey, Statesman

Question: Should Congressman Raul Labrador miss 27 votes on Wednesday to campaign for Mitt Romney in Florida?

Read more here:

AM Headlines — 9.18.12

Steve Soule of North Idaho College landscape services took advantage of current warm weather and used the riding lawnmower on campus in Coeur d'Alene. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Time For Flu Shots

Kimberly Delp gives a flu shot to Carleen Matthews, of Pittsburgh, at the Flu + You Pittsburgh Event, at the Homewood Senior Center this morning in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Flu + You initiative led by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Area Agency on Aging, and Northern Area Multi-Service Center aims to educate older adults about the dangers of flu, the importance of annual vaccination, and available vaccination options. (Andrew Rush /AP Images for NCOA)

Question: Do you get an annual flu shot? Does it work to help prevent flu?

Payette Dispute Too Person For Guv

This morning's state Land Board agenda included a recommendation to approve a stipulation to settle the title for some property on the shore of Payette Lake on which a 1942 deed had incorrectly identified the property lines, including part of the lakebed, which the state owns. The owner, who acquired the property in 1981, filed a “quiet title” action, resulting in the stipulation to make the correction. But when it came time to vote, Gov. Butch Otter, who chairs the Land Board, said, “For the record, the chairman will not vote.” Secretary of State Ben Ysursa responded, “I had a hunch.” The property owner? Otter's ex-wife, Gay Simplot.


Balance, Mobility Take Center Stage

John Freirich broke a number of bones when he played football, but at 79, he’s not eager to repeat the experience. “I realized I wasn’t as comfortable with a lot of physical activity as I used to be,” he said. “I wasn’t as stable.” So last year he took a FallProof balance and mobility class at Touchmark on South Hill. Freirich chuckled. “My wife, who does my thinking for me, thought it would be a good idea.” Freirich said she was right. “I learned how to avoid falls and how to recover and catch myself if I start to fall.” Sept. 24-28 is National Fall Prevention Awareness Week and Touchmark is hosting a health fair that week, offering free fitness testing for seniors/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Have you ever had a bad fall?

O’Reilly, Stewart To Rumble

Pick your pundit when Bill O'Reilly, left, and Jon Stewart, right (in 2010 AP photo) face off for a special 90-minute debate about the 2012 presidential race. The host of Fox News Channel's “The O'Reilly Factor” and the anchor of Comedy Central's fake newscast “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” have announced they will clash in the event, dubbed “The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium.” This live debate will be streamed online on Oct. 6 from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The price is $4.95, with one-half of the profits donated to a number of unspecified charities. In a statement, Stewart quipped that “The Rumble” will be entertaining for all, including “people who just enjoy yelling.” It's why Al Gore invented the Internet, the announcement added/AP. More here.

Question: Who do you want to see win 'The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium”? Why?

Deering: Mama Elk’s Eyes Haunt Me

Writing for the Lewiston Tribune, Vic Deering tells of an incident in 1968 in which he encountered a mama elk that had been fatally wounded by another hunter. But still trying to survive:

I yelled down the canyon to say the shooter's elk was up here. I yelled until I was hoarse and got no answer. I waited for about 20 minutes for the shooter to come but he never showed. I had a decision to make. The elk was dying and certainly would never walk again. It was starting to get dark and I had this awful decision to make.I moved in front of her, she was trying to get away every second. I looked into those two black eyes and wondered what was going through her head, if anything but pain. I levered a shell into my rifle, those two black eyes somehow pleading with me, and I shot her between the eyes and hurried down the canyon with darkness approaching every step. I looked back just once and saw the two yearlings coming over to see what was wrong with their mother. More here.

Question (for hunters): Are you ever haunted by the memory of the animals you kill?

Clark: Beware Of Falling Students

It’s been inspiring watching Wazzu revitalize itself. Images of rioting students and Dumpsters ablaze from years gone by have all but faded from public memory. Gone, too, are the days when Washington State University made the list of the nation’s top party schools. New coach. New attitude. Cougar days are here again. There’s just one blemish left for Cougdom to take care of. Just a thought: I’d like to see university officials take some of the money they’re pumping into those cheesy “Wave the Flag” commercials and put it into a gravity awareness program. Similar to getting a driver’s license, every fraternity and sorority member would be required to study hard and take an oath vowing to not break the law of gravity/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: How do you account for all the students who have fallen from fraternity windows and roofs at WSU and UIdaho?