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Archive for June 2013

Weekend Wild Card — 6.29.13

And just like that June is almost gone. I'm bracing for the heat wave that's headed our way this weekend and into next week. Might be time to head to the lake for the first swim of the year. I definitely plan to enjoy the first free concert of the summer at City Park, from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, sponsored by buddy Chris Guggemos' Handshake Productions. 50s-60s rock is on tap for the opened. See you there? Now for your weekend Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.28.13

Andy Quillan, of Kannapolis N.C., and a member of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew, watches Kyle Busch enter the stall next to Earnhardt's in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup auto race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., Friday. (AP Photo/Bud Kraft)

Question: Any NASCAR fans out there?

TGIF Wild Card — 6.28.13

Mrs. O is in full puppy mode as she antipates our Next Dog. She's been on a buying spree this week, picking up a puppy “play pen” and absorbent pads, for training purposes. We have some leads on Beagle pups that we're following up on. One would involved hoping that two local Beagles produce pups that won't be available until Thanksgiving. Another would push the arrival of a pup up to as soon as next week. I'll pass out cigars when the pup arrives (if they still have bubblegum cigars). Now for the TGIF Wild Card …

Baldwin: ‘I’m Not A Homophobe’

Hot-headed Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin broke his self-imposed silence Friday to say he’s a Twitter quitter — but definitely not a homophobe. The famously blustery Baldwin blew past reporters outside his East Village apartment with barely a word, but by late afternoon he popped up on Gothamist to say he wasn’t using a gay slur when he called a British reporter a toxic “queen” on Twitter. “The idea of … that being something that people thought is homophobic … a queen to me has a different meaning. It’s somebody who’s just above,” Baldwin told Gothamist, adding that he would have moved out of New York years ago if homosexuality offended him/Nicolle Buckey & Ginger Adams Otis, New York Daily News. More here.

Question: Am I the only one who thinks Alec Baldwin is an incredible comedic talent — and a horrible individual?

Cutline Contest — 6.28.13

Time2Vote …

Matthew Dayton, 6 months, is dropped into the pool by his mother Stephanie Dayton into the arms of lifeguard/swim instructor Nicolette Conrad during a “Mommy and Me” swim class in Brea, Calif., Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Bruce Chambers)

Thursday Winner — CindyH/with 4 likes: “Nice balancing act. Of course women could do that while cooking dinner, nursing a baby, talking on the phone and reading a blog.” You can see the photo & read all 10 cutline entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.28.13

  • 5:45 p.m. Several youth are spraying graffiti on rocks in swimming spot below Falls Park.
  • 5:39 p.m. Someone suffering chest pain in 4900 block of Delaware Street/Spirit Lake.
  • 5:21 p.m. Male w/sign that says “Spokane” trying to hitchhike along w/b I-90/NW Blvd, CdA.
  • 5:14 p.m. Undisclosed psychological problem occurring at Coeur d'Alene Homes, 624 Harrison.
  • 5:09 p.m. Detached utility trailer sitting on fog line @ e/b I-90/MP 15 (14th Street/CdA).
  • 5:04 p.m. Possible illegal burn reported in 900 block of Honeysuckle Glen/CdA.
  • 4:55 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Po9lice Department activities report for June 27-28 here.
  • 4:53 p.m. Officer needed at Third Street docks to transport prisoner to county jail.
  • 16 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Court: CA Gay Marriage Can Resume

A federal appeals court on Friday cleared the way for the state of California to immediately resume issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples after a 4 1/2-year freeze. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a brief order saying it has dissolved a stay it imposed on gay marriages while a lawsuit challenging the state's voter-approved ban on such unions worked its way through the courts. Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, said city officials were preparing to let couples marry right away/Associated Press. More here. (AP File photo: Skye Smith celebrates on Wednesday at a rally in Redding, Calif., after the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on gay marriage issues)


City Park Concerts Start Sunday

Handshake Productions has released its 2013 summer concert schedule, which beings from 1-4 p.m. Sunday at City Park, with 1950s-60s rock by Stagecoach West. Here's the schedule, courtesy of Get Out! North Idaho Facebook page:


Question: Are you a regular attendee of concerts in the City Park?

Letter: Censure Right Thing To D

The Republican Party called for a censure. Maybe it was the wrong word, but the idea behind it was right. When politicians take it upon themselves to make decisions contrary to what the people or their party members want, it is not a representative government anymore. America is not a democracy, but instead, a representative form of government, a Republic. These four legislators did not represent us as a people or a party, whatever their rationale. Nor did they represent republicanism as set out in our platform. The Republican Central Committee’s policy, as established by our own formal resolution, was to reject the State Health Care Exchange. We made it clear that our local legislators as well as the entire state that the Republican position was to reject the Democrat proposal for socialist health care in Idaho. It should be noted that the State Central Committee also voted rejecting the exchange/Melanie Vander Feer, letter to Coeur d'Alene Press editor. More here.

DFO: Vander Feer, I believe, is the power behind the United Conservatives of North Idaho.

Question: Vander Feer closes by saying that the four legislators targeted for censure by local GOP hardliners didn't represent Idaho in their votes for the state health exchange. I'm still trying to figure out why the hardliners don't include the fact that Gov. Butch Otter pushed the exchange with both hands. Anyone?

$240/Month: Idaho Obamacare Cost

Health coverage policies sold via Idaho's insurance exchange will cost an average of $240 per month, a figure based on the price tag of proposed policies submitted to the state Department of Insurance by insurers aiming to participate. The figure, announced Thursday in Boise by the exchange board, is merely an average. It doesn't reflect rates policy holders will actually pay, depending on their financial circumstances, eligibility for federal subsidies or their benefits package. But it offers a first glimpse of how President Barack Obama's plan to provide health insurance coverage to more Americans may impact thousands of Idaho residents' pocketbooks/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: I wonder what kind of coverage you get for $240/month?

HBO Blogosphere — 6.28.13

Chris Meyer snapped this panorama view of ongoing work at the emerging new McEuen Field from the roof of the Bank of America building. Chris used the panorama feature on his iPhone to provide this photo. Click on photo for slightly bigger picture.

Cooling Off In Coeur d’Alene

Liliana Cornett, right, and Ellie Pingel, both 3, play in a water feature together Thursday at Landing Park in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Temperatures are expected to soar into the upper 90's over the weekend and reach the century mark early next week. (AP Photo/Coeur d'Alene Press, Shawn Gust)

Question: Am I the only one who thinks the splash pad will be the most popular summer feature of the new McEuen Field?

On The Waterfront — 6.28.13

A lot of cheesecake and beefcake along the waterfront today. Only a few parking spots left in the North Idaho Museum lot. The two volleyball courts at North Idaho College Beach were full and the adjacent food stand open. The volleyball court was also in play, with a pack of bare-chested young men holding court. My Walking Partner guessed that they might be Mormon missionaries b/c they had farmer's tans, the type you might get while riding bikes to homes of prospective converts. My Walking Partner & I also noticed that there were only five angst-filled youths hanging out along the seawall at the eastern entrance to City Park — 4 bored-looking females and a male with a ball cap on sideways and a cigarette in his hand. I heard through the grapevine that the hangout place is called either “Losers' Ledge” or “Kiddies' Korner.” I don't like to call anyone a loser. So Walking Partner & I opted for Loiterers Ledge (although neither of us was sold on that name either).

ULUC Project To Revise Plan

Over the last several months, the Board of County Commissioners and Planning Commission members have carefully listened and heard community concerns regarding moving forward with the current draft of the Kootenai County Unified Land Use Code (ULUC).  In order to proceed with the best possible draft code proposal, the Board and Planning Commission have jointly decided to postpone setting new dates for the continuation of the Planning Commission hearing and deliberation process.  With the assistance of Bret Keast of Kendig Keast Collaborative, the Planning Commission will be reviewing and revising the April 11, 2013 Public Hearing Draft ULUC.  Once complete, another public hearing notice will be published along with a second 60-day comment period.  As previously decided by the Planning Commission, the current comment period during this interim review period will remain open/ULUC Project news release.

Question: Is this decision to postpone new hearing dates and revise ULUC an admission by the planners that they've heard the outcry of the Kootenai County rural residents?

Having A Heat Wave

Ten-year-old Easton Martin, of Mesa, Ariz., stops to cool off in a misting fan while walking along The Strip with his family today in Las Vegas. A blazing heat wave expected to send the mercury soaring to nearly 120 degrees in Phoenix and Las Vegas settled over the West on Friday, threatening to ground airliners and raising fears that people and pets will get burned on the scalding pavement. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Today is expected to reach 87 and temperatures will climb to 97 by Wednesday - a dramatic turnaround from the highs in the 60s earlier this week. “No showers in sight,” (meterologist Cliff) Harris of Hayden said. The forecast for the Fourth of July is a high in the low 90s. “And a boatload of sunshine,” Harris said. … Harris said the hottest day so far this year in Coeur d'Alene was 87 on May 11. He believes summer is here for good and expects 25 days to be above 90 between now and mid-September/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: We haven't had A/C since moving to the Northwest in 1977. That includes the two years in Lewiston, which is hothothot in August. So we bought two more fans to help with the heat wave that's headed our way this weekend. What have you done to prepare for the heat wave that's. Almost. Here?

Quotable Quote — Kelly Olynyk

“The coaches are phenomenal, with their emphasis on skill work. I can’t thank the coaches and the community of Spokane enough because they’ve been there all the way”Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga's 7-foot center, who was chosen with the 13th pick in the NBA draft Thursday by the Dallas Mavericks before being traded to the Boston Celtics.

Question: Who helped you most on the way up?

Stocks Wrap Up Bumpy June-uary

Stocks wrapped up the second quarter with all three indexes recording gains of between 2% and 5%, despite a challenging June. The Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq are all up between 12% and 14% as the first half of the year ends. June was not as sunny. All indexes ended the month down roughly 1%, making June the first losing month this year. It wasn't the June swoon, but perhaps the June jitterbug? The Dow has swung more than 100 points on 15 out of the 20 trading days this month/CNN Money. More here.

Question: How often do you look at your stock earnings/losings?

3 New Trustees Join Board Monday

The reign of the mostly appointed Coeur d'Alene School Board will come to an end Monday when three new trustees will be sworn in. Official swearing in ceremony of the three new board members for zones 1 Christa Hazel) ,4  (Dave Eubanks), and 5 (Tom Hearn) will be held at 5 p.m. Monday at Midtown Meeting Center, 4th & Linden. The three new trustees won easy victories over their challengers, including two appointed Trustees Brent Regan and Ann Seddon. The newcomers will join holdover Trustees Tom Hamilton, who is the current board chairman, and Terri Seymour. The new board will reorganize after taking office, with a possible new chairman and vice chairman. Monday agenda here.

Question: Do you think the holdover trustees will play nice with the three new ones?

Post Falls Announces Biggest Losers

The Post Falls city Facebook page announces the winners of a Biggest Loser competition among city staff: “The City held a Biggest Loser competition as part of their employee wellness program and today during lunch hour the winners were announced. Congratulations to Sue Hunt, Finance and Rob Palus, Engineering.

Question: Have you ever participated in a work contest focused on losing weight? Did it work?

Marmitetoasty Going Thru Hard Time

Marmitetoasty's address: Melody Willers or Sam Willers, Pump Cottage, 46 Anmore Road, Denmead P07 6NP. Marmie appreciates cards for son Sam, too. She reads them to him.

Many of you regulars remember Marmitetoasty, a Brit who lives along the coast below London. She has a quick wit and used to delight us here with her British colloquialisms. Huckleberries has learned that she is going through the worst of times, as 23YO Sam, one of her four sons, is on life support after an accident. A Berry Picker writes: “She is hopeful that he will recover, but it sounds like it's very serious. I'm sure she'd appreciate all the support, good thoughts, and prayers she can get if you want to pass on the news. Also, I have an address if anyone wants to send a card.” Here's a Facebook message from Marmitetoasty earlier today: “Before we head off back to Southampton General ICU this morning, I just wanted to take the time to thank each and everyone of you for your continued support at this tragic time in my little families lives….. you know how much I appreciate, I dont want anyone to think cos I do not answer all your texts that Im not grateful, its just Im so drained and emotionally empty its hard to focus on anything but my Sam…. I love you all, you truelly are our family…..”

DFO: Feel free to post a message of encouragement. I'll make sure the thread finds its way to Marmitetoasty.

Obama Visits ‘Door of No Return’

U.S. President Barack Obama stands facing out to see, at the 'Door of No Return,' at the slave house on Goree Island, in Dakar, Senegal, Thursday. Obama is calling his visit to a Senegalese island from which Africans were said to have been shipped across the Atlantic Ocean into slavery, a 'very powerful moment.' President Obama was in Dakar Thursday as part of a weeklong trip to Africa, a three-country visit aimed at overcoming disappointment on the continent over the first black U.S. president's lack of personal engagement during his first term. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Question: Have you ever visited Africa? When?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.28.13

  • 12:02 p.m. Undisclosed type of theft reported in the 31000 block of Nautical Loop/Spirit Lake.
  • 11:51 p.m. ISP officer helping motorist w/flat tie @ w/b I-90/MP 22.5 (Wolf Lodge).
  • 11:50 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency in 3600 block of Stevens Place/CdA.
  • 11:26 a.m. CPD Blue notices open door and no response at house @ 21st/Front, CdA.
  • 11:22 a.m. CPD Blue investigating possible stolen vehicle @ Motel 6.
  • 11:21 a.m. Hayden business reports female in black Jeep Wrangler appeared very drunk before driving off from H95/Prairie.
  • 11:06 a.m. City of Coeur d'Alene announcement: CPD will close I-90/Northwest Blvd off-ramp July 4, from 8 p.m. until midnight to alleviate traffic congestion after the fireworks display. H95 & 15th Street off-ramps will remain open
  • 14 more items below

Becoming An Ironman The Hard Way

One of the amazing stories of Ironman Coeur d'Alene occurred in the final hours as Marsha Ward of Atlanta (below right), Ga., struggled to finish the last 5 miles of the marathon part of the triathlon. On the Ironman Coeur d'Alene Facebook wall, Marsha decribes how volunteer Kathy Chalich of Spokane (below left) made the difference:

I was one of the final finishers of this year's IMCDA. What an amazing day and experience—one of transformation and inspriration. When my back seized up on the run course and I could not walk or run upright, I had to transform my goal to just crossing the finish line in time. When I thought I couldn't go any further at mile 21, Kathy Chalich, one of the amazing volunteers, took over and told me I was going to be an Ironman. We walked through 2 aid stations before she passed me to the Staszewska mother and daughter who walked another mile with me—and I met the entire family—before Kathy came back to see me to the finish line personally. The Staszewskas promised to see me at the finish line and Kathy willed me on as time was winding down. At the last aid station Kathy conscripted Rob Randall, another volunteer extraordinaire, who went the last 1.5 miles with us. Rob held me on one side, while Kathy had the other as we picked up the pace to cover the distance in less than 20 minutes. My back hurt, but the 3 of us ran together—me doubled over with an increasingly seized up back. More here.

DFO: Kathy Chalich was named IronmanCDA volunteer of the year for coming to Ward's aid.

Question: Are you inspired enough to participate next year — as an athlete or a volunteer?

Poll: Man-Woman Marriage Still Ideal

  • Thursday Poll: An exact supermajority of Hucks Nation sez the traditional union of a man and a woman reamains the ideal for marriage. 96 of 144 respondents (66.67%) voted for that position. 43 of 144 respondents (29.86%) voted no. 5 (3.47%) were undecided.
  • Weekend Poll: Are the Diamond Cup hydroplane races definitely a “go,” now that the Hagadone Corp. is financially backing them?

Black Sheep Relocates Near Costco

After 20 years just off U.S. 95, Black Sheep Sporting Goods has moved to a larger building that was most recently occupied by Wholesale Sports. The new location, at 3534 N. Government Way next to the Costco Wholesale outlet, will provide Black Sheep with 50,000 square feet of leased floor space. Wholesale Sports closed at that location this spring, and Black Sheep started moving product into the building this month. Black Sheep Sporting Goods had been located at 308 W. Seale Ave., on the east side of U.S. 95, since 1993, said Brian Knoll. It had 20,000 square feet of floor space at that location/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (CdA Press photo: Gabe Green)

Question: What do you Black Sheep fans/customers think of this move?

AM Headlines — 6.28.13

On Wednesday, a Boy Scout works to avoid another Scout who barely crashed ahead of him at the Rise Up Scout Encampment near Shelley. The BMX tracks are some of the many activities at the camp attended by more than 10,000 Scouts sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (AP Photo/Rexburg Standard Journal, Mike Henneke)

Dairy Industry Rips Risch, Crapo

Idaho's dairy industry is applauding the Senate passage of bipartisan immigration reform legislation - and scolding Idaho's two senators for voting against it. “This legislation, should it become law, will greatly assist the largest industry in Idaho with the ability to grow and increase productivity,” said Brent Olmstead, director of Milk Producers of Idaho. “We are disappointed that Idaho’s two senators chose to not join in the bipartisan effort to fix the current immigration system. We have been and will continue to work with the Idaho delegation in the House to keep the current momentum on immigration reform going”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: P'haps Crapo & Risch should pay more attention to an Idaho industry affected by immigration reform than the ideologues within the Republican Party?

Read more here:

Jihawg Bullets Aren’t Hell Sent

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune offers jeers … to South Fork Industries of Dalton Gardens. That company is marketing a bullet coated in pork-infused paint. South Fork Industries calls its product “Jihawg Ammo” and says any Muslim shot with this bullet won't get into heaven. “With Jihawg Ammo, you don't just kill an Islamist terrorist, you also send him to hell,” the company says in a press release. OK, assume that's correct. What about the innocent 5-year-old Muslim child who is struck by one of these ricocheting bullets? Is she denied salvation? Thankfully, no. But neither, it turns out, is the intended target. “There is no penalty for coming into contact with pork given by the Quran,” Gonzaga University assistant professor of religious studies Shannon Dunn told Religious News Service. “To my knowledge, Muslims, especially unknowingly, would not be banned from heaven from eating or getting hit by pork”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Photo from Jihawg Ammo Facebook page)

DFO: I'm beginning to think that Coeur d'Alene is as cuh-razy to the right as Portland, Ore., is to the left. Do we need a conservative phrase like Portland's “Keep Portland weird” to help us deal with the zany antics of some?

Hayden Chamber Discusses Anti-Bias

Item: Hayden chamber talks anti-discrimination: It is unknown if City Council will address possible ordinance/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Panelists representing both sides of an anti-discrimination ordinance geared at protecting homosexuals discussed why they support or oppose the ordinance Thursday at the Kroc Center during the Hayden Chamber of Commerce's membership breakfast. Whether the Hayden City Council ever takes up the ordinance remains to be seen — nobody is proposing to pitch it that way yet — but supporters said an ordinance wouldn't harm local businesses if it did. They also said cities are doing the right thing by taking on the measure because protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination is an issue Congress should address, but hasn't.

Question: Do you think the 2014 Legislature will address this issue, now that six Idaho cities have?

Edit: ULUC Faces Uphill Battle

In its Friday editorial, the Coeur d'Alene Press focuses on three groups that are players in the uproar over the Unified Land Use Code including this one:

The second group includes ideologues whose conspiracy theories have wrapped their tentacles around this issue. They are taxpaying citizens of the county, so they have every right to be heard and their suggestions to be taken seriously, but that's the key. To these folks and their followers, the code is yet another manifestation of insidious governmental intrusion and control. Reasons for distrust vary, but a very loud few are trying to link the Kootenai County land use code to the United Nations' Agenda 21 - a sustainable development plan that many conscientious and scientifically grounded entities around the world have embraced. To these few critics, the county will never generate an acceptable set of rules, so officials would be wise to focus on the third group. Full editorial here.

DFO: Whenever I see the acronym ULUC, I think of the mystical kingdom in the Shrek tale: Duloc. Just sayin'.

Question: Why are some people in this county so paranoid?

Hagadone Donates $100K To Hydros

Call it turbo-support. Hydroplane racing, ready to return to Lake Coeur d'Alene on Labor Day weekend, received a big boost Thursday when organizers announced Hagadone Corp. is the latest business to financially support the races. “The bottom line is the Hagadone Corp. is pleased to announce we're going to throw in another $100,000,” Brad Hagadone, the company's president, said during a sponsor barbecue at Riverstone. “It's good to be a part of it.” The financial pledge is the latest piece of good news in what's been a month of glad tidings for race organizers, who announced several weeks ago that the races would return to Silver Beach off East Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive over the holiday weekend. So there's no question: The races are definitely on/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Gabe Green CdA Press photo: Brad Hagadone laughs after speaking at the Coeur d'Alene Diamond Cup Regatta sponsor barbecue Thursday evening)

Question: For the first time, I believe the hydroplane races are a  go this year. How about you?

County Targets BUI, Drugged Boaters

Josh Sterns, a Kootenai County Sheriff Recreation Safety deputy with answers a boater's question about beaching near Tubbs Hill Thursday while patrolling Lake Coeur d'Alene. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Kootenai County Marine deputies will be out in force this weekend looking for boaters under the influence, and if you're caught, you're going to pay. “There is nothing wrong with having alcohol on the boat while you're out here on the lake,” said Marine Deputy Josh Sterns. “But if you beach your boat on Tubbs Hill, you need to know that the city's laws apply and it's illegal to have alcohol on that beach.” Sterns and his partner, Marine Deputy Bob Bjelland, will join another dozen marine patrol deputies in patrolling all of Kootenai County's navigable lakes this weekend as part of a national emphasis patrol, called Operation Dry Water. The program is an intensified effort of detection and deterrence aimed at boaters who are operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Question: Do you see boaters operating under influence when you're out on the waters?

Ex-Zag Olynyk Winds Up In Boston

All things considered, Kelly Olynyk landed in the right spot in the NBA draft. Home. The Gonzaga star spent Thursday night with family and friends in Kamloops, British Columbia, while teams dealt players and picks in far-off New York. Olynyk was among them, being chosen with the 13th pick of the first round by the Dallas Mavericks before being traded to the Boston Celtics for other draft picks. He will fly to Boston this weekend to meet team officials as well as the media. “It’s a great feeling to see all your hard work and patience and work ethic pay off,” said Olynyk, a 7-foot center whose draft stock rose during a standout season at Gonzaga and a strong performance at the draft combine. He is expected to be a perimeter scorer and versatile big man, perhaps replacing the aging Kevin Garnett/Jim Allen, SR. More here.

Question: Are you glad to see Olynyk become a Boston Celtic?

Trib: Cheers … To Kootenai Co GOP

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune offers cheer … to the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee. Until this week, it was poised to censure four northern Idaho lawmakers who voted to create a state-based health insurance exchange as part of Obamacare. Many of Idaho's GOP rank-and-file saw that as a vote in favor of the president's health care reform act. Lawmakers, such as Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, and state Reps. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene, and Ed Morse, R-Hayden, agreed with Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter that the state was better off with its own exchange than answering to a federal agency. Local party activists rebuking their elected officials is nothing new. Two years ago, the Bonneville County GOP Central Committee reprimanded Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, Sen. Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden for standing against the unconstitutional strategy of nullification. … But Tuesday, Kootenai County Republicans came to their collective senses/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: How do you suppose the vote for censure would have turned out had the push not been sidetracked by a technicality?

High Wire Act

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Wild Card/Thursday — 6.27.13

I woke up in a cold sweat last night. What would I do in these dog days of summer — all days of summer are dog days in blogland b/c you guys head to the beaches — if the local and state Republican Party had its act together? Where would I find the fodder to feed the insatiable maw of the Blog Beast if not for the zany antics of the Paulers, Constitutionalists and Rally Right running things in the GOPsphere? From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Neil Oliver & Co. Now, get back to work tilting your ideological windmills. For the rest of you, here's your daily Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.27.13

Children wearing angel outfits prepare to perform during an open air theater show at a park in Bucharest, Romania, recently. The little angels gathered in symbolic costumes to present their theatrical performances to the assembled audience. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

NBA Draft: Dallas Picks Olynyk, But …

Update: Dallas Mavericks pick former Zag Olynyk, but may trade him/AP

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected UNLV freshman Anthony Bennett (pictured in Cavaliers cap) with the No. 1 pick Thursday night, a surprising start to the NBA draft. The Cavaliers passed on big men Nerlens Noel and Alex Len in favor of the forward who has starred for Canada's junior national teams and was the Mountain West Conference player of the year. There was suspense right until the end, either because the Cavs were unsure who they wanted or were trying to trade the pick. Most predictions had them taking one of the big men.  More here. You can follow the draft as we wait for the Kelly Olynyk pick here.

  • 2. Victor Oladipo/Indiana — to Orlando Magic.
  • 3. Otto Porter Jr/Georgetown — Washington Wizards
  • 4. Cody Zeller, Indiana — Charlotte Bobcats
  • 5. Alex Lin, Maryland — Phoenix Suns
  • 6. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky — New Orleans Pelicans
  • 7. Ben McLemore, Kansas — Sacramento Kings
  • 8. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia — Detroit Pistons
  • 9. Trey Burke, Michigan — Minnesota Timberwolves
  • 10. C.J. McCollom, Lehigh — Portland Trailblazers
  • 11. Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse — Philadelphia 76ers
  • 12. Steven Adams, Pittsburgh — Oklahoma City
  • 13. Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga — Dallas Mavericks (to be traded to Boston Celtics)

DFO: One rumor has Olynyk going to the Portland Trailblazers, who have the No. 10 pick …

Webster: In Praise Of Starbucks

Everywhere I go, and that is particularly true in Portland, I find coffee drinkers who criticize Starbucks. Never mind that you (almost) always know what you'll get when you go there. Never mind the principled stands that Howard Schultz has taken. No matter how friendly Starbucks employees are, particularly in Spokane. Case in point? Yesterday at the Starbucks outlet on the near South Hill, I ordered a venti mocha frappuccino light (my go-to summer afternoon drink). And as invariably happens, the nice woman behind the counter asked me if I wanted anything to eat. This time, though, when I said no, she smiled. “Would you like to try a sample of one of our new pastries?” she asked. “They're delicious”/Dan Webster, Dually Noted. More here.

Question: Why do so many people hate on Starbucks. In descending order, I grab coffee from Starbucks, Kootenai Coffee, Calypso's and Java on Fourth. How about you? Are you anti-Starbucks?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.27.13

From Post Falls Police Department Facebook: “On Friday, the unknown suspect pictured attempted to steal over $800 worth of video games from Wal-Mart at 6405 W POINTE PKWY in Post Falls. While fleeing the scene, the suspect dropped the merchandise and got into an awaiting white 1980's model Toyota Camry, with an unknown Washington plate. If you have any information please contact the Police Department. You can e-mail or text information to”

  • 4:39 p.m. Driver of Ford Explorer running red lights, stop signs @ 4th/Kathleen, CdA.
  • 4:31 p.m. PFPD looking for 37YO male in blue Suzuki who made suicidal comments.
  • 4:28 p.m. A male and a female are refusing to leave premises of local day care.
  • 4:19 p.m. Undisclosed weapons offense reported in 4400 block of Seltice Way.
  • 4:17 p.m. Idaho Trust Bank alarm accidentally sounds while bank testing alarm system.
  • 4:01 p.m. ISP report: 56YO Post Falls woman seriously injured in head-on crash also involving 22YO woman from Coeur d'Alene, near St. Maries airport Wednesday afternoon. Click here.
  • 10 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Cutline Contest — 6.27.13

Time2Vote …

Models wear creations by fashion designer Rick Owens as part of his men's fashion Spring-Summer 2014 collection, presented Thursday in Paris, as Estonian metal/punk band Winny Puhh perform live, suspended from the roof by their feet. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Wednesday winner — JDanMike/with 5 likes: “this is not the most pleasant of prostate exams rafael has ever had!” You can see Wednesday photo + all 16 cutline entries here.

Slice: Are You Ready For Heat Wave?

On his Slice blog, Paul Turner posts: You may love hot weather if … A) You are under the impression that the Spokane area has hard winters. B) You actually do jump in a lake. C) You have air-conditioning. D) You enjoy opportunities to walk around with not much on. E) You are solar powered. F) Lizards on rocks are your role models. G) You hear people say “Ya gotta love it” and assume that liking hot weather is obligatory here. H) You have never lived somewhere with truly punishing summers (that forever sapped your tolerance for hot weather). I) Other.

Question: Do you like temperatures in the 90s to beyond 100? What are you doing to prepare for heat wave this weekend and next week?

PM: Carrying Special Olympics Torch

Former Idaho Special Olympics Team member Loretta Lyon of Rathdrum carries the Olympic torch along with ISP trooper Allan Ashby at Riverstone Park in Coeur d'Alene earlier today. She was part of the Special Olympics golf team that went to Greece in 2011. North Idaho law enforcement officers initiated the ceremonial “Torch Run” to coincide with Special Olympics festivities that traditionally take place in Southern Idaho. Officers from throughout North Idaho including City, State, County, Federal and Tribal also participate in the Torch Run to show support to over 2,700 athletes statewide. KHQ story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Carlson: Abolish Power Council

Sent a letter off to Governor C/L. “Butch” Otter this week asking him to take the lead among northwest governors and abolish the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. The request is a formal follow up to the case I made about the irrelevancy of the Council in today’s energy environment in my recent book, Medimont Reflections. … Fact is, the Council has been a colossal failure, especially in its stated mission to enhance and protect dwindling wild salmon and steelhead runs in the Columbia and Snake River basins. Fact is the Council has overseen the wastage of billions of ratepayer dollars in a futile effort to come up, along with other Federal agencies, a biologically protective dam operations plan (called “Bi-ops”) that will meet the test of Federal District Court approval/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: Do you know enough about the Northwest Power and Conservation Council to comment on Chris's column?

HBO Blogosphere — 6.27.13

“I'm proud to have my own tennis shoe full of posies,” posts Marianne Love/Slight Detour. “A few weeks ago, my sisters had so much fun selecting summer decor and flowers at Moose Valley Farms in Naples that they decided that's where I'd pick out my birthday gift.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, June 26): 7755 page-views; 4378 unique views


Wanna know what my idea of serendipity is? Finding that 5-album Bruce Springsteen anthology that I thought I'd accidentally donated to St. Vinny's.

Question: What's your idea of a serendipity?

Boston Marathon Murder Counts Filed

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz pauses during a news conference, announcing a 30-count indictment against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Boston today. Charges against Tsarnaev include using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use, resulting in death near the marathon finish line on April 15. Alongside are Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, left, and Bruce Foucart, Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security in Boston, right. Story here. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

Question: Do you think of the Boston Marathon bombings when you attend events that attract a lot of people?

Interior Sec Reaches Out To Tribes

Sally Jewell made an emotional pledge in her first address to Indian Country as the 51st U.S. Interior secretary, saying she'll help right past wrongs against Native Americans and work with tribes “nation-to-nation” to protect their sovereignty. Jewell fought back tears and paused to compose herself during remarks Thursday in Reno, Nev., to about 300 delegates of the National Congress of American Indians. The casino-ballroom audience gave her a standing ovation. The ex-outdoor retail executive from Seattle became secretary in April/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Have you ever attended an event staged by an American Indian tribe in the Inland Northwest?

On The Waterfront — 6.27.13

Greg Lee & I ran into Walkabout along the waterfront during our daily noon walks. We exchanged pleasantries on the Dike Road walking path along North Idaho College Beach. Yesterday, I spotted my new neighbor Kathy & a friend walking in the same area. Quite a few regulars walk the waterfront during the noon hour. I've become nodding acquaintances with some. In the old “Hobo Jungle” portion of the Centennial Trail, east of the H95 bridge, I noticed the Trail Tagger is back, leaving graffiti scat on the back side of a stop sign. Someone has sprayed over the rest of his work. The beaches and waterways had moderate use today, as the day was warm and humid but not hot. At the eastern entrance to City Park, I noticed only a handful of angst-filled youth hanging out. That's where F-bomb Girl usually holds court. She wasn't there today. I wished I could come up with a name for that hang-out spot. Something like Drop-Out Corner. So I could short hand the spot. For the record, I wore shorts today.

Study: Throwing Key To Evolution

In this 2012 file photo made with a multiple exposure, Boston Red Sox's Jon Lester pitches in the third inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Boston. A new study suggests the ability to throw hard and accurately first appeared in a human ancestor 2 million years ago. Story here. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

Question: Do you throw like a girl?

Senate OKs Immigration Reform

The U.S. Senate has voted 68-32 in favor of the bipartisan immigration reform bill, sending the measure to the House. Both Idaho Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo were among the 32 Republicans who voted no; Risch tweeted, “Our country needs immigration reform. But, this bill overreaches and I did not support it.” Fourteen Senate Republicans voted in favor of the bill, along with every Senate Democrat. The Hill reported, “Senators took the rare step of voting from their desks to mark the occasion while Vice President Biden (D-Del.) presided from the dais. The Senate used the same formal procedure to pass ObamaCare three years ago/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you want Congressmen Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador to support the Senate version of immigration reform?

Sisyphus: It’s Cumulative

Sisyphus (re: ): It's cumulative (re: image problems in Coeur d'Alene area). People say: “Isn't that the place where 1) the old man lives who hit the black kid on the plane, 2) they had a KKK snowman with a noose, 3) the school trustee made an racist Obama joke, 4) they're building a right wing armed fortress 5) they protested Mexican restaurants for being Mexican restaurants?” But it's not like the press is staking the place out looking for this stuff. It just keeps happening.

Question: Sisyphus brings up a good point re: cumulative effect of all the strange events that happen in the Coeur d'Alene, topped by the former presence of the Aryan Nations compound. But doesn't recent passage of the antidiscrimination ordinance and the 1987 Wallenberg Award levels things out a little?

Bay Views: Hydro Volunteers Needed

Here's your chance to get involved with the race this fall. We need volunteers for various duties, including answering the phone at our new office in Riverstone. Meet and mingle with the race organizers and participants and just an important part of getting the race done. The money is arranged, now we need people to help out. We have just 60 days to get everything done and not enough help with all of the details that have to be addressed. Don't just watch the race, be a part of it. Just get on your computer, go to: Huseland, Bay Views. More here.

Question: Which major Coeur d'Alene summer event have you volunteered for in the past?

An Ankle’s View Of City Skylines

Sam Talkington (pictured) first noticed them on the basketball court. The 2006 Lewis and Clark High School graduate is now a student at the University of Washington, and a part-time referee. “To earn a bit of extra money, I reffed basketball and I saw more and more kids wearing Strideline socks,” Talkington said. “The Seattle skyline caught my eye.” He looked the company up on the Internet and discovered its founders were two fellow UW business students, Riley Goodman and Jake Director. The pair, friends since childhood, had come up with the idea to create colorful, stylized crew socks featuring the Seattle skyline, while seniors in high school. Four years later, Strideline has taken off. Dubbed the “new crew,” the socks gained national attention in January when Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch wore a pair during a game against the Atlanta Falcons/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question: Would you buy a pair of Strideline socks that featured the Coeur d'Alene skyline?

Olynyk Faces NBA Draft Today

Now that the Miami LeBrons have successfully bought another NBA championship, it's finally time for this year's crop of exceptional college basketball players to find out where they'll be making money next season. Spokane hoops fans will have their eyes on the draft board this evening as Gonzaga's own Kelly Olynyk, who announced this spring that he'd forego a redshirt senior season to play pro ball, waits to hear where he'll start his NBA career. currently has him as the #17 pick and headed to Atlanta in their latest mock draft. The draft begins tonight at 4:30 pm on ESPN/Mike Bookey, Inlander. More here. (AP file photo of Kelly Olynyk)

Question: Any predictions re: where former Zags Olynyk & Elias Harris will go in the NBA draft?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.27.13

  • 11:48 a.m. Post Falls mother reports her son who's running away has a flat tire on his scooter.
  • 11:45 a.m. Injured porcupine laying on H95/MP 399 w/legs up, wiggling, @ Sunny Slopes/Worley.
  • 11:41 a.m. Old, possibly vacant, mobile home is on fire behind old HiCo, off Spirit Lake Cut-Across.
  • 11:30 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 26-27 here.
  • 11:03 a.m. Younger female in Ford Taurus possibly texting & swerving @ e/b I-90/Spokane Street.
  • 12 more items below

Plebe Summer Begins

A midshipman adjusts a prospective plebe's salute as he stands in formation during Induction Day at the U.S. Naval Academy Thursday in Annapolis, Md. More than 1,200 men and women reported for “I-Day,” the first day of Plebe Summer, where they received haircuts, new uniforms and instructions on how to salute before taking an oath of office to become members of the Class of 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Question: How old were you — and in which branch of the service — when you learned to give a proper salute?

Quotable Quote — Mike Kennedy

So, um, if the defenders of “traditional marriage” include Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich then I confess to being slightly confused about the question” — Councilman Mike Kennedy via Facebook.

Durst: Crapo, Risch Demagoguing

On his Facebook wall, state Sen. Branden Durst, D-Boise, posts (re: Crapo, Risch oppose closing debate on immigration reform):  “US Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have demagogued the immigration issue to death. All this despite the clear evidence that in a state like Idaho, immigration reform isn't just a nice to have, its a need. Tell them that they need to stop posturing and finally demonstrate some leadership by supporting immigration reform today.”

Question: Do Sens. Risch and Crapo represent your stand on immigration reform?

Front Porch: Little Things Shine Bright

Discouraged. Disheartened. Disappointed. Those three D’s dogged me like an annoying kid brother tagging along, uninvited. It was one of those days. The kind that starts with an empty coffee pot because you overslept and everyone else didn’t. The kind that continues with the first email you read being a resounding “no” to a request you thought reasonable. The kind of day where every train crossing you encounter actually features a train crossing and every light you approach turns red/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question: How do you combat discouragement?

Poll: Hip, Hip Hooray For Court Ruling

  • Wednesday Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation greeted the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that opens way for gay marriage in California with a “hip, hip hooray.” 74 of 164 respondents (45.12%) took that position. 54 of 164 respondents (32.93%) voted for “woe is us.” 30 (18.29%) greeted the ruling with: “Meh.” 6 (3.66%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Should traditional marriage between a man and woman be the ideal?

AM Headlines — 6.27.13

Kim Beswick addresses the crowd at a rally of supporters of the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on same-sex marriage, Wednesday afternoon on the steps of Idaho's state Capitol. Story here. (SR photo: Betsy Russell)

Quotable Quote — Patrick Jacobs

“I think that the fact that the SCOTUS ruled to end DOMA was inevitable and that they are on the right side of history with this decision Over time, the fears and misconceptions that many people still carry regarding gay marriage will fade away, once they realize that gay couples lead boring, normal lives just like everyone else and that heterosexual marriage wasn't affected in the slightest. I'm elated that the many happily married gay couples I have the pleasure to know will finally be able to have their unions recognized nationwide” — Patrick Jacobs in Coeur d'Alene Press. Full story here.

Jihawg Ammo Makes ABC News

New, pork-laced ammunition should serve as a warning shot to would-be Islamic terrorists with plans to attack Americans, the product's makers said today. Jihawg Ammo, the company started by Brendon and Julie Hill of Coer D'Alene, Idaho, sells boxes of gun cartridges that are made with pork products and advertised as being a deterrent to potential terrorists who may not eat pork because of their religious beliefs. “With Jihawg Ammo, you don't just kill an Islamist terrorist, you also send him to hell,” the company said in a press release earlier this month. “That should give would-be martyrs something to think about before they launch an attack. If it ever becomes necessary to defend yourself and those around you our ammo works on two levels”/Colleen Curry, ABC News. More here. (Photo: Jihawg Ammo Facebook page)

Tom Hearn, via Facebook: This kind of despicable behavior in my opinion needs to be challenged. I'm tired of Idaho getting in the news once again for the wrong reason.

Question: Is Jihawg Ammo giving the Coeur d'Alene area — aren't these guys from Dalton Gardens? — a black eye?

IHOP To Reopen After May 19 Crash

News release announcing re-opening of Coeur d'Alene IHOP:

Coeur D’Alene residents, rejoice! Your local IHOP, closed since May 19 due to damage it sustained from a car accident, will once again be open for business at 6 a.m. Monday. On the morning of May 19, a vehicle slammed into the IHOP located at 2301 Fourth St. in Coeur d' Alene.  While there were no injuries, the building itself sustained substantial damage.  Rather than simply repair the damage, franchisee owner and local area resident Jay Jordan decided instead to completely remodel the restaurant to reflect IHOP’s latest design, making it one of the most modern IHOP restaurants in the country. “When the accident happened, in addition to being extremely grateful that no one was hurt, we realized we could take a negative and turn it into a positive by using the opportunity to bringing our loyal guests the very latest IHOP design,” said Jordan. “While our guests may not recognize the new interior and exterior, what they will recognize is the same great IHOP food and service they’ve been enjoying for the past 10 years we’ve owned this restaurant.” More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: Are you a regular IHOP customer?

Ruthie: Traditional Marriage Ideal

The demise of the Defense of Marriage Act doesn't change Ruthie Johnson's view of same-sex marriage. “I don't care what anyone does in the privacy of their own bedroom. I just don't know why they have to brag about it,” said Johnson, when asked for her reaction to Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling. “I still believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. That's the only way that we can procreate.” The 1996 law overturned by the Supreme Court denied federal benefits to same-sex couples married under state laws. Johnson, a Hayden Lake resident and a commissioner on the Idaho Human Rights Commission, told The Press she doesn't think the justices' decision will make much of a difference in Idaho. Same-sex marriages are banned under the state's constitution/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo of Ruthie Johnson in August 2011)

Question: Do you agree/disagree with Ruthie Johnson?

Gookin Backs Same-Sex Benefits

While the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act does not directly impact a local city councilman's efforts to provide benefits to domestic partners, it could in the future. Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Dan Gookin (pictured) has been working with the city's Human Resource Department for the past couple of months to determine if the city could begin offering benefits to domestic partners who have lived together for several years, but never married. “We don't have any same sex couples that I am aware of yet,” Gookin said Wednesday. “What I am doing deals with domestic partners, who for whatever reason may have so many entanglements in their lives they cannot get married. “The only difference between them and a married couple is a piece of paper”/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Should the city of Coeur d'Alene make it a high priority to provide benefits to same-sex partners?

Downtown Lewiston Floods

Pedestrians on Idaho Street survey the damage Wednesday in downtown Lewiston and work to ensure the sewer drains are open. Heavy rains swept through the region Wednesday, closing several streets and flooding areas of the community. (Lewiston Tribune photo: Steve Hanks)

Steady Work Best Policy Nearing 90

Joyce Stefanoff is retiring at the end of summer, although she’ll concede to anyone who asks that she’s not sure if she’s quite ready to hang it up. The problem is that Stefanoff loves her job and all it entails. She loves driving her candy-apple red Lexus downtown each day from her home on the South Hill. She loves riding one of the Lincoln Building elevators up to her office on the fourth floor. She even loves getting the coffee brewing for Berge Borrevik, her employer. And if that doesn’t sound all that newsworthy, consider this. Stefanoff turns 90 on Aug. 10. This trim woman has worked for New York Life Insurance Co. agents in Spokane since 1955, back when Eisenhower was president and some guy named Willard Taft was mayor/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: How do/did you know when it was time to retire?

Trib: Welcome To Idaho’s Inquisition

It's hard to know who looks more foolish: The Idaho Republican Party's apparatchiks threatening to rebuke any legislative, statewide or congressional candidate who supports daylight-saving time. Or an elected official who takes these kinds of threats seriously. True, GOP leaders, meeting in McCall earlier this month, rejected the radical suggestion that county, legislative and state central committees bounce ideological heretics from the primary election ballot. But they latched on to something else: Authorizing party officials to essentially endorse - or withhold favor - to candidates on the eve of the primary. That applies to candidates who don't follow the state party platform - which includes such oddities as repealing the 17th Amendment's direct election of U.S. senators. But at least the party platform is a publicly vetted document and what emerges from the convention is available to see/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Has the pendulum begun to swing against the Hard Right's party purity purge in the Idaho Republican Party?

End Of The World?


Hump Day Wild Card — 6.26.13

I'll let you in on a secret. As part of my 38th anniversary gifting to Mrs. O, I gave the go-ahead to get another dog. Which is the good news. The bad news is that she wants a Beagle puppy, which apparently aren't available in the area until about Thanksgiving. Snoopy was a 6MO pound puppy when we got him. He had issues. Mrs. O wants the pleasure of training up a dog from puppyhood. Doesn't have to be a pure-breed. Anyone know where I can get one? Now for your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.26.13

Recent rains have made for lush roadside attractions, like these wild perennial lupine, on Cow Creek Road outside of Genesee. (Lewiston Tribune photo: Steve Hanks)

Poll: USA Prefers Dogs To Cats

Public Policy Poll: When asked whether they prefer cats or dogs, dogs win big with 52% while just 21% choose cats. 44% of voters say they own dogs, and 21% of dog owners say their dogs bark and jump on people every time they enter the house (79% say their dogs don’t do that.). 31% of voters own cats, and fully 77% of those cat owners say their cats are friendly to visitors compared to 23% who aren’t friendly. More here.

DFO: The poll goes on to say that almost one-third of owners say their pets sleep in bed with them. I definitely draw the line there. Our two past dogs weren't even allowed upstairs in the bedrooms. How about you?

Question: Do you allow your pets to sleep in bed with you?

Palouse Cities Among USA Smartest

Ithaca, N.Y. is a relatively small college town, but one thing that might make up for its size is its brain power. That’s because Ithaca tops a new list from Lumosity that ranks U.S. cities by their raw cognitive performance. … Many of the cities and towns on the list, not surprisingly, are prominent “college towns.” Ithaca, N.Y., the top of the list, is home to both Cornell University and Ithaca College. State College, Penn. number two, is home to Penn State. Lafeyette, Ind., number three, is home to Purdue University/Sean Ludwig, VB Offbeat. More here.

DFO: Interestingly, Pullman, Wash., ranks No. 10 and Moscow, Idaho, ranks No. 29 on the Lumosity list.

Question: How would you rate your North Idaho city for smarts (on a scale of 1 to 10)?

Cutline Contest — 6.26.13

Time2Vote …

Spanish bullfighter Rafael Cerro is tossed by a Lozano's ranch fighting bull during a bullfight at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid Sunday. Amazingly, Cerro escaped the incident with just some bruising. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

Tuesday Winner — Randy Myers/with 6 votes: “Shane Battier is challenged to a game of 'HORSE' by a fan.” You can see the photo and read the 5 cutline entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.26.13

  • 5:13 p.m. ISP officer reports dead deer under guardrail @ e/b I-90/MP 7.1 (H41/PF).
  • 5:02 p.m. PFPD Blue checking on abandoned vehicle along Horsehaven/Post Falls.
  • 4:54 p.m. Group of males are harassing females at the entrance to CdA's City Park.
  • 4:51 p.m. Driver of gold vehicle reckless, possibly DUI @ H95/Lancaster, Hayden.
  • 4:24 p.m. Caller from 200 block of N2nd (cross of Lakeside) reports male harassing him.
  • 12 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 6.26.13

The statue of Jesus Christ at Whitefish Mountain Resort overlooks Whitefish Lake and the Flathead Valley in Whitefish, Mont. A Montana judge says a 6-foot-tall statue of Jesus that was placed on federal land on Big Mountain near Whitefish nearly 60 years ago can remain. The Missoulian reports that atheists are shocked by the ruling here. Daily Inter Lake report on ruling here. (AP Photo/Missoulian, Linda Thompson, File)

Cindy: Don’t Call Me Sandy

CindyH tweets: “Just finished a phone interview. Guy called me Sandy the whole time. Do you correct people when they say your name wrong?”


North Idaho Mixed Re: Court Ruling

KHQ's Cristi Aranguiz spoke to people on opposite sides of the gay marriage divide today:

One man who is a Chemistry professor at North Idaho College is openly gay and spoke about the conundrum living in a state that does not recognize gay marriage, and being so close to a state that does. “I understand the perspective of the state, and the federal government wanting to give it to the state, but I'm hopeful for a time here in Idaho, where I can marry a partner, where the state of Idaho and the citizens around me will be able to recognize my relationship as equal to theirs,” Jon Downing told KHQ. On the other side of the argument, many religious groups in North Idaho are upset. Candlelight Christian Fellowship of Coeur d'Alene has been very publicly vocal regarding its views on gay rights, especially during the anti-discrimination ordinance discussion at City Hall in early June. They declined to interview on camera, but they told KHQ that “they are extremely disappointed with the court's decision.” More here.


HBO Blogosphere — 6.26.13

On Tuesday, Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns, posted this photo of a dragonfly that she watched being born at Priest Lake. Writes Pecky: “At the end of the nymph stage, the dragonfly emerges from the water to molt. Molting can take a few hours as the newly formed dragonfly sheds its outer shell. The lifespan of the dragonfly after it has molted is around four months.”

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, June 26): 7964 page-views/4625 unique views

Sis Of Suicide Victim Wants Apology

Andrew Cain's sister said she doesn't hold the Latah County Sheriff's Office responsible for her brother's suicide on Sunday. Still, she wants an apology from a deputy she claims harassed the 19-year-old Pullman man across the state line using the department's Facebook page. Cain had been wanted by the sheriff's office since a bench warrant was issued for his arrest when he didn't appear in court for a probation violation in April, said Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson. He said Cain likely was facing some local jail time before being placed back on probation. But the sheriff's Facebook page made a bigger deal out of Cain's eluding justice, said his sister, Alise Smith of Pullman. “We have decided that Andrew Cain is no longer the Wanted Person of the Week,” stated a Thursday comment to a Tuesday wanted post on the sheriff's page, “… he is the Wanted Person for the Month of June. Congratulations!”/Brandon Macz, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Should the Latah County Sheriff's Office apologize?

DFO: GOP Soap Opera Fun To Watch

I admit that the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee is an endless source of amusement for me, dating way back to my beginnings at the Spokesman-Review. Did you know, for example, that former GOPCChairman Chuck Lempesis called for a shortlived boycott of the SR re: I story I wrote in early 1985 about a GOP bigwig who was having money troubles? In the last year to 18 months, the brain trust of the GOPCC has treated us to the invite/disinvite fiasco involving Sheriff Richard Mack and subsequent proxygate. Now we have the silly attempt to censure four Republican legislators simply because they disagreed with the Ron Paulers and Constitutionalists in charge of the local GOPCC re: the state health exchange. The good government part of me wants to see the Reagan Republicans and Reasonable Republicans combine forces to fight the foot soldiers of Bob Pedersen and United Conservatives of North Idaho for precinct committee seats and control of the Central Committee. The fallen blog part of me is content to watch the Central Committee continue to self destruct and be a political laughingstock. Then, it's not my job to try to fix this thing. It's my job to let you know what the GOP equivalent of Pinky and The Brain are conjuring next in their attempt to rule the world/DFO.

Question: Would you rather see the local GOP conduct itself well — or continue as is?

Castro Street Celebrates Gay Ruling

People watch as Jerry Deal walks up Castro Street in a wedding dress after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage earlier today in San Francisco. The justices issued two 5-4 rulings in their final session of the term. One decision wiped away part of a federal anti-gay marriage law that has kept legally married same-sex couples from receiving tax, health and pension benefits. The other was a technical legal ruling that said nothing at all about same-sex marriage, but left in place a trial court's declaration that California's Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

New Grandchild

The door of life
revolves about;
she’s coming in ,
I’m headed out.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Weekly News Quiz — 6.24-28

How much do you know about rabies cases in North Idaho, local grads making it big, Color Me Rad or other recent news of note? Take our weekly interactive quiz and find out. You could win two movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel simply by entering. You can take the weekly News Quiz here.

  • Answer to 2nd Question: Iran
  • HBO readers on Leaderboard: Cathyanne, Duffer & Sibulsky

Trib: Are Private Prisons Good Deal?

If the Board of Correction - and by extension, Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter's administration — refuses to examine whether farming out prison management to profit-oriented firms is a good deal for Idahoans, then somebody else should. Why not the Legislature? Next year, the contract binding Idaho to Corrections Corporation of America expires and the state is free to find someone else to manage the Idaho Correctional Center outside Boise. CCA's business model - maximizing profits by scrimping on staffing levels - contributed to aggravated inmate on inmate violence. It led to a successful class-action lawsuit in which CCA agreed to change policy in order to address high levels of violence at the prison. Then another group of inmates filed suit alleging the understaffed prison maintained order by turning it over to gangs. Finally, CCA admitted it overbilled the state for staff hours never worked, an issue the Idaho State Police is probing/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Why do you think Gov. Butch Otter is ignoring this important question?

Eyewitnesses Counter Zimmerman

The first eyewitnesses in the murder trial of George Zimmerman testified Wednesday that they believe Trayvon Martin was yelling for help and being beaten by Zimmerman before he died. The witnesses, former neighbors of Zimmerman's in the Retreat at Twin Lakes gated community, described trying to make out what was going on outside their windows on the rainy night of Feb. 26, 2012. In both cases, Zimmerman's lawyers pointed to the possible influence of media on the witnesses' recollections. Zimmerman, 29, says he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin. The prosecution says he profiled and murdered the black teen. If convicted of second-degree murder, Zimmerman could be sentenced to life in prison/Yamiche Alcindor, USA Today. More here. (AP photo: Witness Jane Surdyka gives her testimony during George Zimmerman's trial)

Question: How closely are you following this trial?

Local Menus Feature Rhubarb

The tart taste of rhubarb transports me to my childhood home on Spokane’s South Hill. A huge, leafy plant sprawled against the fence in our backyard. My dad would hand me a sun-warmed stalk and I’d dip it into a smattering of sugar and munch away. Perhaps if I’d known I was eating a vegetable the thrill might have worn off. But in my ignorance I happily spooned my mom’s rhubarb preserves over pancakes and slurped rhubarb sauce straight from the pot as soon as it cooled. Do you like rhubarb? What's your favorite way to enjoy it?/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (SR photo: Latah Bistro highlights the sweet-tart tendencies of rhubarb in an agrodolce that is served alongside the restaurant’s pantry plate, which features house-made country pate, coppa salumi and grilled rustic bread)

Question: How often do you use rhubarb?

Like A Mighty Wind

A gust of wind blows Pope Francis' mantle as he reads his speech in St. Peter's square at the Vatican after his weekly general audience today. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

DFO: I lost another umbrella to a gust of wind during my daily walkabout Tuesday. How about you?

Question: Do you enjoy windy weather?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.26.13

  • 11:41 a.m. Caller reports noise problem in 8200 block of Ridgewood Drive/Hayden.
  • 11:30 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 25-26 here.
  • 11:14 a.m. Noninjury, non-blocking 2-vehicle crash reported @ Govt Way/Kathleen, CdA.
  • 10:52 a.m. Caller in 1600 block of Meadowbrook Acres, CdA, wants to report traffic offense.
  • 10:04 a.m. Unknown medical emergency @ Wickiup/Treaty Rock, Post Falls.
  • 10:01 a.m. Caller reports yellow Hummer speeding on s/b H95/Mica Bay, CdA.
  • 9:52 a.m. Fire alarm sounding @ Northwest Specialty Hospital/Post Falls.
  • 9:20 a.m. Silent panic alarm sounding in area of 2nd/Birch, CdA.
  • 9:18 a.m. Spirit Lake Fire sez fire sighting may be lightning strike in Sagle district from Tuesday.
  • 9:09 a.m. ISP officer stops on I-90 to help motorist who's nauseous & unable to walk.
  • 8:59 a.m. Deputy trespasses troublesome male from Inland Northwest Bank.
  • 8:31 a.m. Burglar alarm sounding at Idaho Parks & Recreation Department building.

Journalists Grabbing PR Jobs

There are far fewer journalism jobs than there were 13 years ago; meanwhile, the number of PR jobs has skyrocketed. The Web has changed the game, and content marketing has emerged as the dominant trend. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of journalists has dropped 25 percent since 2000, and is expected to decline another 8 percent between 2010 and 2020. That would be bad news for those of us with journalism skills—if it weren’t for content marketing. Brands now hire us to do for them what we once did for news organizations: tell stories. That may have something to do with the 63 percent spike in PR specialists and managers from 2000 to 2010—and the expected 21 percent increase by 2020/Kevin Allen, Ragan's PR Daily. More here.

Question: Do you know someone who has traded in his/her notebook for a PR job? Are they happier, as a result?

Poll: Local GOP Suffers Black Eye

  • Tuesday Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation sez Kootenai County GOP Central Committee came out on short end of stick as a result of the failed attempt to censure 4 Republican legislators for backing the state health exchange. 95 of 125 respondents (76%) said the local GOP got the blackest of eyes from the failed censure try. Only 13 (10.4%) said both sides looked bad. 11 (8.8%) said targetted legislators John Goedde, Frank Henderson, Luke Malek and Ed Morse looked worse. 4 (3.2%) said neither side looked bad. 2 (1.6%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: How did you greet the news that the U.S. Supreme Court had cleared way for gay marriage in California?

Huckleberries Hears …

… That Kootenai County GOPoobah Neil Oliver wasn't happyhappyhappy with Huckleberries Online. In discussing the attempt by uber-cons to censure 4 GOP legislators last night, Oliver admonished the Central Committee and other local Republicans not to air their laundry in public. He said this is a problem that keeps recurring. The information re: the goofy — my word, not Oliver's — censure attempt appeared on Huckleberries shortly after it went out. Oliver said that this sort of exposure creates negative publicity and causes damage to the local Republican Party, before the Central Committee discusses the matter. Seems to me that the radicals in the local GOP have been causing damage to the party's image for years now. Oliver seems to have forgotten the flap over Sheriff Mack's invitation to the Lincoln Day Dinner last year. And the way the uber-cons were maneuvering behind the scenes to install one of their own before Republican Treasurer Tom Malzahn decided not to retire. Huckleberries simply shines a light on this kind of nonsense. P'haps it's time that the local Republican Party gets its house in order, rather than blame the messenger.


Idaho Ban On Gay Marriage Stands

Idaho’s constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage and civil unions of any kind stood after Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings. The court’s striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act on constitutional grounds applies only to federal benefits in the 12 states and District of Columbia that recognize same-sex unions. A companion decision applies only in California, where a lower court ruling overturning the voter-passed ban on gay marriage was let stand. Idaho’s constitutional amendment passed the Legislature in just three weeks in February 2006. The measure moved after a coalition of opponents collapsed having blocked for three years the two-thirds Senate vote necessary to put an amendment on the ballot. Voters approved the amendment with 63.4 percent of the vote in November 2006/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.


Read more here:

Chesrown Files $72M Bankruptcy

Marshall Chesrown, who became the face of posh housing and gated golf course developments in the region but struggled as the economy soured, has filed a $72 million personal bankruptcy to complete the stunning collapse of his fortunes. Chesrown listed his net worth at $514,173 – a tiny sum compared to his billion-dollar aspirations that once included the Black Rock luxury golf club along Lake Coeur d’Alene, Kendall Yards near downtown Spokane, and Legacy Ridge in Liberty Lake. He now lives in Delray Beach, Fla., where he shares a modest condo with a woman and works as an automotive consultant. His assets include $500,000 of equity in a $1 million Legacy Ridge mansion still in his name, along with $9,500 in a retirement fund; $450 cash in pocket; $580 in two bank accounts; and several thousand dollars in furnishings and personal items. The bankruptcy will unfold in a South Florida federal court/John Stucke, SR. More here.

Question: Does the money Chesrown owes add perspective to the amount of money you owe?

Local R’s Oppose CdA Anti-Bias Law

(Local Republican) Party image was also a concern when Bjorn Handeen (pictured) proposed a resolution to assert the Natural Rights of Contracts and to call on the city of Coeur d'Alene to repeal its anti-discrimination ordinance. He said the resolution was not about gay rights, but rather the freedom for any two parties to willingly enter into a contract or do business with one another. The anti-discrimination ordinance as passed by the city, he said, uses the law to force citizens to do business with someone they might not otherwise choose to do business with. “We don't want to reject gays,” Handeen said. “We want to protect their right to do business with whoever they want.” Committeeman Duane Rasmussen said he was in favor of the intent of the resolution, but he felt the way it was written would make the committee look “goofy.” “This natural rights stuff is going to make us a laughing stock. If not in the public's eyes, it will in the eyes of the legal community,” he said. After a lengthy debate and few parliamentary maneuvers to amend the language the resolution passed on nearly a split vote/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Izzit just me — or did the local GOP back into this one by asserting some Natural Right of Contracts rather than direct opposition to the city's new antidiscrimination law?

Press: Don’t Play Online Name Games

No harm, no foul. Of course, that's easy for us to say. We aren't Todd Tondee, the Kootenai County commissioner who was impersonated online last week and incurred the unwarranted wrath of some people who weren't terribly happy with the commissioner anyway.  But like Tondee already has suggested, he's never insisted on imprisonment for his name's assailant. He just wants wrongs to be righted, like:

  • Taking responsibility for the misdeed. Check; local resident Zac Eifler did that first thing Monday morning by calling The Press and confessing, humbly and apologetically. He followed up with a letter to the editor on today's Opinions page.
  • Clearing Tondee's name. Quite literally, check. After all this, anybody who still thinks Tondee wrote the inflammatory comment on the story about the county's controversial land code refuses to face reality - which unfortunately is an all-too-common affliction around here.

We prefer to look at this little mess as an instructional opportunity in the hazily defined world of online communication/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: What is your take-away from the unmasking of the Todd Tondee impersonator?

Attempted Censure Suffers Pratfall

It turns out the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee doesn't have the authority to censure four North Idaho legislators for voting against their wishes. “Sorry I don't have room for discussion on this,” said Chairman Neil Oliver. “I find the motion is out of order.” The central committee spent about an hour Tuesday night wrangling over whether or not to censure four North Idaho legislators for creating a state health-care exchange, only to be stopped dead in its tracks when Committeeman Luke Sommer, an expert in parliamentary procedure, pointed out that the committee could not censure anyone outside the committee itself. “If we can censure someone outside this body we could censure the president of the United States,” he said, adding there is nothing in the committee's bylaws or Robert's Rules of Order that would allow the move. Committeewoman Tina Jacobson (pictured) passionately put forward the resolution to censure Rep. Frank Henderson, Rep. Luke Malek, Sen. John Goedde and Rep. Ed Morse/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Are you surprised by the outcome?

WWII Airplane Visit Rained Out

Coeur d'Alene Elks Club member Bill Sawyer stands in the back of his trailer as rain pours down at the Coeur d'Alene airport Tuesday. Vendors and spectators gathered at the airport to watch World War II airplanes land. The aircraft were unable to take off from Seattle on both Monday and Tuesday due to poor weather conditions. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Gabe Green)

Trying to prevent food in his barbecue stand from becoming soaked during Tuesday's downpour, Ron Dayton looked on the bright side of the mostly cloudy day that canceled World War II planes from flying into Coeur d'Alene from Seattle. “Sales would have been great if they would have flown in, but we're still happy to be here for the (Coeur d'Alene Airport Association),” Dayton said. While some of the afternoon turned sunny, the damage had been done by the rain and clouds earlier in the day to prevent the planes from flying in for the Wings of Freedom Tour at the Coeur d'Alene Airport for the second straight day. The B-24 Liberator, B-17 Flying Fortress and P-51 Mustang were slated to be on display at the airport Monday through today, but clouds, particularly over the mountains near Seattle, prevented the planes from takeoff/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Are you a fan of old airplanes?

Calif. Gay Marriage Gets Court OK

The Supreme Court has cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by holding that defenders of California’s gay marriage ban did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings striking down the ban. The court’s 5-4 vote Wednesday leaves in place the initial trial court declaration that the ban is unconstitutional. California officials probably will rely on that ruling to allow the resumption of same-sex unions in about a month’s time. The high court itself said nothing about the validity of gay marriage bans in California and roughly three dozen other states/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Michael Knaapen, left, and his husband John Becker, right, embrace outside the Supreme Court in Washington today)


Keith: Keep Yer Steekin’ Sr Discount

On his Facebook wall, Keith Erickson posts: “The good news is, I saved $2 on my haircut. The bad news, the young lady who did the cut gave me a senior discount available to older folks 60 and above. I'm not even 50 … yet! Perhaps she was just cutting me a break, but I would have rather forked out the extra $2 and maintained a sense of middle-aged youthfulness.”

Question: Have you been given a senior discount without asking?

Impersonator Apologizes To Tondee

In a letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press, Zac Eifler apologizes to Commissioner Todd Tondee for posting an online comment under Tondee's name: “I am writing this to inform everyone, clarify any confusion and accept responsibility for comments that were left in Todd Tondee’s name in an article’s comment section June 18. I didn’t give a lot of thought about what I was doing at the time, or the negative consequences that come along with doing such. My post was meant as a joke and not as a malicious act to harm Todd or any other person that it may have affected. I sincerely apologize to Todd and all those that I have affected by my actions and want those who may be in doubt as to who wrote it, that it was definitively not Todd. While reading The Press on Saturday evening, I realized that it had become an issue that I needed to correct and immediately come forward and let the public know that I was the person who left the comment.” More here.

Question: What advice would you give Zac Eifler?

Under The Dome

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Tuesday — 6.25.13

I realize that the “Latest Update” feature still isn't working as it should be (although it seems to be a little better). Disqus is working on a major fix for the feature. So we may have to endure a few more days of “recent comments” unrealiability before we're out of the woods. Sorry for the inconvenience. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.25.13

A deer eyes the photographer from a field on South Baltimore Road on Monday in Spokane. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)

Fam Sez Sheriff Bullied On Facebook

Family members of a Moscow man are accusing law enforcement of bullying after the man killed himself over the weekend. Andrew Cain, 19, committed suicide on Sunday. His death came one day after the Latah County Sheriff’s Office posted a Facebook comment about Cain. See the post below. The comment read: “We have decided that Andrew Cain is no longer the Wanted Person of the Week… he is the Wanted Person of the Month of June. Congratulations!” Loved ones told KREM 2 News in Spokane that Cain was bullied by law enforcement/KREM2 & KTVB. More here.

Question: Do you consider what the sheriff's department did to be bullying?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.25.13

  • 4:59 p.m. Someone has suffered trauma injury @ Ivy Court, 2200 Ironwood Place assisted living.
  • 4:06 p.m. 93YO male unconscious, unresponsive at Life Care Center, 500 W. Aqua/CdA.
  • 3:19 p.m. Caller reports male drinking beer in pickup parked north of Mill Avenue/CdA.
  • 3:07 p.m. 94YO male bleeding from arm after fall in sr housing @ Quiet Place/Howard, CdA.
  • 2:36 p.m. Motorists are using H41 onramp to turn around after viewing signs that read “wreck ahead.”
  • 2:03 p.m. Driver of blue Subaru station wagon possibly DUI @ e/b I-90/Pleasantview, PF.
  • 1:59 p.m. Individual using restroom accidentally fell into tub @ Meyer/Prairie, Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 1:53 p.m. Unknown medical emergency reported at  Carrington/Wirth, CdA.
  • 1:42 p.m. Deadhead reported in Spokane River, 200 feet upstream from H95 bridge.
  • 1:39 p.m. ISP officer requests medical evaluation on crash victim @ I-90/H41, PF.
  • 1:37 p.m. Driver of white car on s/b H41 from Spirit Lake Cut-Across speeding, weaving.
  • 1:31 p.m. Dog running loose b/n fence & H95/MP 446 (Bunco Road/Athol).
  • 1:22 p.m. Caller reports male w/o license in car talking to transients in Hayden WalMart lot.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

PM Headlines — 6.25.13

Dunno about you, but I'd hate to be in the middle of all those churning swimmers. Then, you'll never find me there, unless I was on a boat. SR photog Tyler Tjomsland snapped this photo and many others, which you can find on his photo essay at Or here.

Hux Redux: Centennial Trail Launches

From my files of 25 years ago (June 22, 1988):

A key supporter of the Kootenai County Centennial Trail has proposed a race to construct the 60-mile trail from the heart of Spokane County to Higgens Point, five miles west of Coeur d'Alene. The two counties could race to the state line, much like the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, which raced cross country in the late 1860s to complete the first transcontinental railroad, said Coeur d'Alene Parks Director Doug Eastwood. And, Eastwood told the 85 people who attended the Kootenai County Centennial Kickoff here Tuesday, he bet his side would win. Kootenai County has less miles to develop — about 25 — but more obstacles. Much of its proposed trail runs across private land, unlike Spokane County's.

Question: Do you have any idea how hard the Kootenai County Centennial Trail supporters had to fight human obstacles — like the three industrial companies along Seltice Way — to build the trail?

HBO Blogosphere — 6.25.13

On his Facebook wall, outdoor photographer Robin Loznak posts: “The view from our dining room this evening. The maple tree is apparently like candy for cows.” You can see more of Robin's outdoor photos here.

Photo Essay: 2013 Ironman CdA

Tyler Tjomsland was on hand to photograph the 2013 Ironman Coeur d'Alene, which again launched from City Beach. You can see Tyler's photo essay of Sunday's great race by clicking here. Above, a competitor gives the announcer a thumbs up at the beginning of the grueling triathlon.

Christa: Ready To Hit Ground Running

On her Facebook wall, Coeur d'Alene School Trustee-elect Christa Hazel posts: “July 1 is fast approaching. As an update, I wanted to let you know that I have been studying our district's business, budgets, funding mechanisms, contracts, issues, etc., in order to hit the ground running when I'm sworn into office this next Monday. The official oath of office will take place at noon at Midtown Center. The July regularly scheduled school board meeting will convene later that day at 5pm, also at Midtown Center. I am even more optimistic today than I was during the election that we CAN successfully tackle the tough challenges ahead while working for the best interest of our students in our classrooms.”

Question: Do you think the hold-over trustees — Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour — will work with or against the three new trustees who will form a board majority as of July 1?

Morse Responds To Censure Attempt

Rep. Ed Morse (pictured), R-Hayden, gave Huckleberries the following letter, which he has asked to be read to the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee prior to a vote on the motion to censure three other legislators and him for supporting a state health exchange. Morse told Huckleberries that the Central Committee chairman and secretary advised him that they wouldn't read the letter tonight. Here's the letter:

Prior to the scheduled censure vote Tuesday, please read this letter into your minutes and provide a copy of this letter to each Central Committee member.  The resolution passed Jan. 2, 2013 by the Central Committee asked for legislators to defy the Obamacare law upheld by the Supreme Court in NFIB v. Sebelius.  I took an oath as a legislator to uphold the law, even ones I disagree with.  The resolution passed by the Central committee preceded the final state bill, so it could not consider the actual House bill provisions.  We agree on our opposition to Obamacare, but we disagree on how best to achieve that. More here.

Question: I can't figure why local Republicans would refuse to read a letter presented by a Republican legislator who's facing a censure resolution. Can you?

Favorite Fleetwood Mac Tune?

Members of Fleetwood Mac, from left, bassist John McVie, singer Stevie Nicks, drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham perform in April during a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. (Photo by Jason DeCrow/Invision/AP)

Question (from Are you going to Fleetwood Mac at the Spokane Arena on Saturday night? We're compiling a suggested playlist. What song do you most want to hear? Some reader responses will be used online and in print on Friday.

Norquist: Accept Immigration Reform

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist (pictured in AP file photo) told the Boise City Club there is a simple reason for conservatives to support immigration reform. Economics. Norquist, arguably the single most important voice in branding the modern Republican Party around tax cuts, said low taxes and open immigration are at the heart of the American success story. Fixing the immigration system now will make the 11 million immigrants living in the shadows more productive and grow the economy by $2.5 trillion, he said. “We’re not doing it to win votes, we’re doing it because it’s good economics,” Norquist said. Japan, China and Germany will falter because they have limited immigration and aging populations. The United States is the only nation in the world that has, from its beginning, largely welcomed immigrants, which has contributed to its prosperity, Norquist said/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you agree with Grover Norquist that immigration reform makes economic sense?

Read more here:

It’d Like To Be Under The Sea

A giant Pacific octopus sticks to the tank glass in the Cold Water Quest exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. The exhibit, one of six different aquarium galleries, also houses beluga whales and endangered African penguins. (AP Photo/Jaime Henry-White)

Question: Have you ever encountered or eaten an octopus? What does octopus taste like? Chicken?

On The Waterfront …

My usual walk along the waterfront at noon took a few minutes longer because I hid out under the Highway 95 bridge after being caught in the lunch time down pour. The wind turned my umbrella inside out twice, ripping it in the process. Despite the rain, I was passed by 4 bicyclists who were far wetter than I was. I didn't see anyone else until I reached West Lakeshore Drive and the rain began to let up. I did see a new advertisement in a West Lakeshore Lane advertising condos that'll be coming to the ritzy lakeshore frontage soon. Seems one condo is still available. Dunno if the sign was pointing to that charcoal block house where a new concrete front wall was installed earlier this month to block prying eyes. Workers were removing last remnants of Ironman Coeur d'Alene, leaving behind a large, yellow-green patch of grass where the big tent had stood. A coupla boats on the water but only 2 people I saw on the water.

Question: On Facebook, Cindy's complaining that the rain prevented her from taking her daily walk. Cat lovers are finicky that way. Do you ever walk in the rain? Or even dance in the rain?

Johnson: Frank Church Warned Us

Idaho Sen. Frank Church went to his grave nearly 30 years ago still being criticized by some, including Idaho politicians like the late Sen. Jim McClure, who should have known better (and probably did), for all the alleged damage Church’s various investigations in the 1970′s had done to the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. As the media fixates on security leaker Edward Snowden and his every movement, it may be worth remembering the role Church played in uncovering the spying excesses of the super secret agencies that have done nothing but grow since the Idaho Democrat pulled back the curtain on their highly questionable – and illegal – action more than a generation ago/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: I don't trust either party when it gains a strong upper hand in governance, whether it be county, state or federal government. How about you?

Obama Targets Climate Change

President Barack Obama declared the debate over climate change and its causes obsolete Tuesday as he announced a wide-ranging plan to tackle pollution and prepare communities for global warming. In a major speech at Georgetown University, Obama warned Americans of the deep and disastrous effects of climate change, urging them to take action before it’s too late. “As a president, as a father and as an American, I’m here to say we need to act,” Obama said. Obama announced he was directing his administration to launch the first-ever federal regulations on heat-trapping gases emitted by new and existing power plants — “to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution”/AP. More here.

Question: Do you support President Obama in his desire to combat pollution and climate change?

OTV: Still Miss Appleway Rosauers

On his Facebook wall, OrangeTV posts:Am I the only one that still occasionally gets flashbacks related to the long gone Rosauers on Appleway? Sometimes, I just want a time machine so I could grocery shop there again and enjoy the horrible senior citizen food in their restaurant. Maybe I'm crazy, but I miss the place like a dead friend.”

  • Redux: One of my favorite Huckleberries Past involved a racist who told his followers that they should meet at “Raw Sewers” after the annual Aryan Nations parade. It took awhile to realize that the guy meant Rosauers on Appleway.

Question: Which defunct Coeur d'Alene area business do you miss most?

Measuring Up For High Heels Race

A women has the heels of her shoes measured before competing in a high heels race organized by a fashion magazine in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Question: How often do you wear high heels? How many inches high? Do you enjoy wearing them?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.25.13

  • 11:46 a.m. ISP officer looking for classic pickup w/unrestrained child, from H95 business.
  • 11:42 a.m. 10YO boy suffering neck & back pain after falling from trampoline on Cecil/Post Falls.
  • 11:35 a.m. Someone injured in fall in 3500 block of Cederblom Street/CdA.
  • 11:22 a.m. A Saturn w/dead altenator is disabled on Capstone Court, off H95, Hayden.
  • 11:15 a.m. Transient has stolen shopping cart from Big Lots on Appleway/CdA.
  • 10:34 a.m. Driver of gray Yukon driving into median, over fog line @ s/bH95, Wyoming, Hayden.
  • 10:31 a.m. 40ish male w/long hair & bird sitting near flower bed after haranguing employees of Coeur d'Alene business, location unknown.
  • 10:27 a.m. Rathdrum officer helping on search of probation subject in 8700 block of Park Loop.
  • 10:27 a.m. Rathdrum toddler stuck in crib.
  • 10:11 a.m. KCSDeputy en route to jail w/adult male, unknown location, crime.
  • 9:17 a.m. 30YO asthmatic male having trouble breathing in 100 block of W15th/Post Falls.
  • 8:34 a.m. Timberlake Fire responding to report of trailer 3/4s engulfed with fire, which is spreading to grass and garage. Unknown location of fire.
  • 7:51 a.m. Slight injuries reported from vehicle-pedestrian accident @ 7th/Foster, CdA.

Part Of Voting Rights Act Struck Down

A deeply divided Supreme Court on Tuesday halted enforcement of the federal government’s most potent tool to stop voting discrimination over the past half century, saying it does not reflect racial progress. In a 5-4 ruling, the court declared unconstitutional a provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act that determines which states and localities must get Washington’s approval for proposed election changes. President Barack Obama, the nation’s first black chief executive, issued a statement saying he was ‘‘deeply disappointed’’ with the ruling. The decision effectively puts an end to the advance approval requirement that has been used, mainly in the South, to open up polling places to minority voters in the nearly half century since it was first enacted in 1965, unless Congress can come up with a new formula that Chief Justice John Roberts said meets ‘‘current conditions’’ in the United States/AP. More here.

Question: Agree/disagree with this decision?

Poll: 70% Of USA Hates Jobs

If you're feeling depressed, angry or sad at work, you're not alone. The new Gallup State of the American Workplace poll shows that seven out of 10 employees hate their jobs. More than half of workers — 52 percent — are disengaged in their jobs. Yet it's the additional 18 percent that are actively disengaged at work, and they cost U.S. companies up to $550 billion per year in lost productivity. Louisiana has the most actively engaged employees, while Minnesota has the most disengaged. Washington ranked low as well, coming in at 45th on the list of states with the least happy workers/KREM. More here.

Question: Do you hate your job? Why/why not?

CPD: No Dogs Allowed In City Parks

Coeur d’Alene is the host to numerous outdoor events during the summer months. Many of the planned activities take place in the city parks. Every year animal control officers deal with complaints of citizens bringing their dogs to the parks. Citizens are reminded that dogs are not allowed in any City Parks with the exception of Tubbs Hill. Allowances have been made for users of the Centennial Trail in which dogs are allowed on the concrete portion of the Coeur d’Alene City Park. Softball, Baseball, and Soccer fields are not an exception. Owners are not allowed to bring their dogs to the playing fields. Residents who live in the area of City parks are not allowed to let their dogs use the park as an area for excrement. The 4th of July celebration in the park brings about the largest number of complaints/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. More here.

Question: I would like to see dogs outlawed from major community events, like the Art on the Green, Car d'Lene and the 4th of July Parade. How about you?

AM Headlines — 6.25.13

Tom Sparks is organizing the Cavallinos in Coeur d'Alene Ferrari car show that will take place on Saturday, July 6. The public is welcome to view the cars at the city park beginning at 9 a.m. Story here. (CdA Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Poll: Expose, Prosecute Impersonator

  • Monday Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation sez online commenter who impersonated Commissioner Todd Tondee should be exposed and prosecuted. 92 of 131 respondents (70.23%) voted for this position. Only 36 of 131 respondents (27.48%) disagreed. 3 were undecided. Since the poll was published, Zac Eifler has admitted that he's the culprit behind the impersonation.
  • Today's Poll: Which side will look worse if the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee censures 4 legislator (Goedde, Henderson, Malek and Morse) for supporting Gov. Butch Otter's state health exchange?

Cutline Contest — 6.25.13

Miami Heat forward Shane Battier, foreground puts on a horse head mask as an unidentified person in a mask dances behind him Monday, during a celebration for season ticket holders at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. The Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 in Game 7 to win their second straight NBA basketball championship. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Monday winner — Pair of Claws/with 4 likes: ” Another success story.” You can see Monday photo & read the 5 cutline entries here.

Big Mountain Jesus Survives Lawsuit

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen of Missoula has dismissed a lawsuit that attempted to force the Forest Service to remove a statue of Jesus from the Whitefish Mountain ski area. The suit was filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, an atheist group. “Unquestionably, Big Mountain Jesus is a religious symbol commonly associated with one form of religion,” Christensen wrote in his decision. “But not every religious symbol runs afoul of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. … Big Mountain Jesus is one of the only vestiges that remains of the early days of skiing at Big Mountain, and to many serves as a historical reminder of those bygone days of sack lunches, ungroomed runs, rope tows, t-bars, leather ski boots, and 210 cm. skis”/Missoulian. More here. (AP/Missoulian file photo: In this 2011 photo, Lyle Burke of Alberta, Canada poses with a statue of Jesus Christ near the top of Chair 2 at Big Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Mont.)

Question: Do you agree/disagree with this lawsuit?

Trustee: Levy OK Was A Band-Aid

St. Maries recently passed a supplemental levy allowing for extra funding — money our schools desperately need.  While this is great news for our educators and students, the levy is merely a Band-Aid over a bigger problem.  Education in our state is in need of improvement. But instead, the blame game is hindering progress and dividing all of us who are invested in education. Some blame legislators for not listening, unions for spreading misinformation, nit picking data points or organizations for not stepping in. Pointing fingers is not going to do us any good. My perspective comes from three different views — not only am I a school board member looking out for the good of my district, I’m also a mother and a grandmother who wants the very best for my family.  While my experience comes from northern Idaho, this is a state-wide issue where the whole system needs improvement/St. Maries Trustee Margaret Gannon, IdahoED News. More here. (Photo: IdahoEd News)

Question: How has Idaho gone so far off the rails when it comes to the quality of our public education?

Tondee Impersonator Apologizes

“I would like to just come clean,” said Zac Eifler, who called The Press Monday morning to confess that he was the one who impersonated Kootenai County Commissioner Todd Tondee in an online post last week. Eifler read a story about Tondee filing a police report about the impersonation in Saturday's Press, and decided to confess - knowing full well that he could be prosecuted for the alleged crime. “I want to let people know that I wrote that post, and it wasn't Commissioner Todd Tondee. I am sorry for any damage I may have caused him,” Eifler said. “It was a stupid, stupid thing to do, and I can't even tell you why I did it”/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Should this case be prosecuted, now that Eifler has admitted he was the impersonator?

Local GOP To Mull Censure Action

Tonight's the night that the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee will discuss a resolution to censure four local legislators for supporting Gov. Butch Otter's state health exchange — Sen. John Goedde and Reps. Frank Henderson, Luke Malek and Ed Morse. The Central Committee will meet at 7 o'clock at the courthouse administration building. Here's the resolution:

Whereas, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC) voted overwhelmingly against the establishment of a State Insurance Exchange; and Whereas, several of our elected officials ignored the will of the majority of the KCRCC, and those who attended the KCRCC hosted legislative hall meetings, and voted in favor of the Exchange; therefore Resolved, the KCRCC formally censures Representative Frank Henderson, Representative Luke Malke, Representative Ed Morse, and Senator John Goedde.

Question: Who will be hurt more by the censure — the four legislators or the Republican Central Committee?

SR: Bergdahl Swap Worth Mulling

The Taliban is once again playing a cynical game with the fate of Idaho U.S. Army soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (pictured). As a carrot for broad negotiations to end the Afghanistan war, at least for U.S. forces, the terrorist group has proposed an exchange of Bergdahl for five of its most dangerous leaders from the Guantanamo Bay prison. The Taliban floated the same idea a year ago and, according to some accounts, the U.S. and the group have talked off and on about a deal going back at least two years. But he remains in the hands of his captors, who are apparently taking relatively good care of their prize; Bergdahl is their only known captive. Bergdahl’s family and community have been heartened by the latest proposal/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here. (AP/US Army photo)

Question: Has a member of your family been a prisoner of war?

Regan Blasts Teachers Union

The appointed trustees who lost their election bids to hold on to their positions on the Coeur d'Alene school board aren't leaving quietly. When the trustees met Monday to vote on the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, Brent Regan said he could not “in good conscience” give his blessing to the budget. Regan, whose term ends June 30, blasted the Coeur d'Alene Education Association during the meeting, stating that the teachers union members engaged in bad faith negotiations last spring before the election. “They came to the table wanting to, I guess, demonize us,” Regan said. Because of the teachers union's lack of good faith, the current board members are faced with the prospect of approving a budget that “hurts kids,” because it includes cuts, Regan said/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Would teachers say that the Coeur d'Alene School Board negotiated in good faith?

Grand Canyon Walk

Nik Wallenda walks across a 2-inch wire 1500 feet above the ground to cross the Grand Canyon for Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda on the Discovery Channel Sunday at the Grand Canyon, Calif. Story here. (Tiffany Brown/AP Images for Discovery Communications)

CdA Weapons Policy Under Review

Coeur d’Alene school leaders hope to change a rigid discipline policy they say is too harsh on students who accidentally bring to school a pocketknife or something similar. Kids as young as 5 who have a small knife, perhaps left in their coat or backpack after fishing or camping with their families, are automatically suspended for five to 10 days and must go before the school board to face possible expulsion. That happens even if the student turns the knife in to a teacher or staff member. “We have to follow the policies of the district, and right now our hands are tied,” said Bill Rutherford, principal at Fernan Elementary School. “The only policy option we have is to request an expulsion hearing.” The Coeur d’Alene School Board met for 50 student disciplinary hearings this past school year, and about 20 were for incidents like these/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo: A Fernan Elementary School employee displays some confiscated items, including pocketknives and slingshots, at the school in Coeur d’Alene on June 6)

Question: Should Coeur d'Alene schools make their weapons policy more flexible?

Facing The Music

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Monday — 6.24.13

Gardening isn't for sissies. I bought & planted 6 flats of annuals over the weekend. And I'm sore this morning. This, despite walking 3 miles most days, lifting weights a coupla times per week and occasionally biking to work. All the stretching and bending that goes along with gardening must work some muscle group that the other two exercises don't. Gardening isn't aerobic. But it is a great way to enjoy sunshine and work some muscles. Now for your first Wild Card of the week …

Parting Shot — 6.24.13

A group of swimmers emerge from their 2.4-mile swim and head to the transition area in the 2013 Ironman Coeur d'Alene triathlon that began at City Beach Sunday morning — and officially ended at midnight. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)

Question: Would you be able to finish any leg of the Ironman event?

When They Don’t Wash Their Hands

We've all seen it. We've all probably done it. Today, the Lewiston Tribune addresses the regular occurrence in its online Sound Off feature today. The question: “What do you say to people who don't wash their hands after using the bathroom?” One Tribune commenter replied: “Nothing. The faucet handle and doorknob are dirtier than anything else in the bathroom. ….other than the interior of the toilet.” How about you?

Question: Do you ever say anything to someone who fails to was his/her hands in a public restroom?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.24.13

  • 5:22 p.m. White Ford Explorer may have blown transmission @ I-90/MP 22 (H97, Wolf Lodge).
  • 5:21 p.m. One of 2 male hitchhikers is face down on ground @ I-90/MP 1 (Beck Road/PF).
  • 5:09 p.m. Possible animal abuse in 500 block of W. Neider Ave/CdA.
  • 4:55 p.m. Grandson arguing with ill grandmother after throwing water on another grandchild @ Ash/Hayden Avenue.
  • 4:46 a.m. Female involved in bike crash Sunday having breathing problem @ Orchard/Reed, Hayden.
  • 4:37 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency reported on Lawson Lane/Rathdrum.
  • 4:08 p.m. 62YO female choking on orange jucie in 9300 block of Govt Way/Hayden.
  • 4:02 p.m. Male half of shoplifting couple headed toward Burger King from Post Falls WalMart.
  • 10 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 6.24.13

In a 2009 photo Velma Morrison, left, is seen during a party at her house in Boise. Morrison, a philanthropist known as a patron of Idaho's arts following her marriage to American industrialist Harry W. Morrison, died of a heart attack at the age of 92 Thursday in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP/Statesman photo: Katherine Jones)

Cutline Contest — 6.24.13

Time 2 vote …

Held by owner Jon Adler, Icky, a 3-year-old Chinese Crested, competes in the 25th annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair on Friday in Petaluma, Calif. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Friday winner — JohnA/with 8 votes: “After people told her she had lost her marbles by running for Mayor, Mary tries to retrieve them.” You can see TGIF Cutline Contest photo & 7 entries here.

Sex Abuse Suit Targets Scouts, LDS

Four former Idaho Boy Scouts, including a Spokane man, filed a federal lawsuit in Boise today charging that they were sexually abused by scout leaders during camping trips and other scouting events in the 1970s and 1980s. The lawsuit, which asks for at least $75,000 in damages for each of the four men, charges that the Boy Scouts of America and the LDS Church, which sponsored three of the four scouts’ troops, failed to prevent the abuse and allowed pedophiles to continue in scouting roles. Secret files kept by the Boy Scouts, but made public as part of an earlier lawsuit in Oregon, documented cases of abuse, and directed, in some cases, that the offenders be excluded from scouting/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.


Johnson: Newspapers To Dodos

The current owners of the Oregonian have adopted similar strategies for papers in New Orleans and Cleveland, so for anyone reading the ink blotches the further reductions in journalistic talent and the continual shrinking of news content shouldn’t have really been a huge surprise. I have no doubt that the economics of journalism have turned brutal and that new approaches are required. Newspaper circulation continues to decline – the Oregonian’s off about one-third in the last ten years – and ad revenue continues to hemorrhage. A newspaper lover is left to conclude that, like Detroit automakers of the past or health insurance company executives of the present, most of the folks running newspapers are decidedly ill-equipped to re-invent their products. Getting better almost never means getting smaller and harder to find/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: Would you subscribe to a newspaper that was only available for home delivery on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays?

Dogwalk: The Perils Of Paula Deen

So the Food Network has decided not to renew Paula Deen's contract.  I don't blame them.  After all, what does she expect for having hidden the fact that she's diabetic while continuing to promote foods that while tasty are grossly unhealthy.  What?  That isn't the reason?  It's because this denizen of the Deep South at one time used the 'n' word?  For which she apologized having explained it happened a long time ago? Haven't we all made comments in our past that we wouldn't think of making today?  Like calling the Washington football team the Redskins.  We know how offensive that is. So we're told.  In the context of racial reference is the 'n' word any worse?  Both are derogatory racial references. It's bad enough one could be fired for being politically incorrect for something that happened recently though many are reprimanded, sent to sensitivity school and that's the end of it.  Don Imus seems to be alive, well and flourishing.  So who at the Food Network has it in for Ms. Deen?/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: Should Paula Deen be held accountable for something that happened some time ago and for which she has apologized.

HBO Blogosphere — 6.24.13

Photographer Duane Rasmussen caught this home-made cheering section along the course route of Ironman Coeur d'Alene Sunday.

Huckleberries numbers (for June 16-22): 41,712 pageviews/24,227 unique views

Rights Ruling Favors Transgender Girl

Six-year-old transgender girl Coy Mathis, second from right, holds her mother Kathryn Mathis's hand as the family arrives for a news conference at the Capitol in Denver today. The Colorado Civil Rights Division has ruled in favor of Coy Mathis, whose school had barred her from using the girls’ bathroom at her elementary school because she is transgender. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

A Colorado civil rights panel has ruled that a suburban Colorado Springs school district likely discriminated against a 6-year-old transgender girl when it prevented her from using the girls' bathroom at her elementary school. Coy Mathis's family raised the issue after school officials said the first-grader could use restrooms in either the teachers' lounge or in the nurse's office, but not the girl's bathroom at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain. Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis have said the district's decision would end up stigmatizing their daughter, who they said had come out of her shell when they began to allow her to live as a girl, instead of a boy/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo)


KHQ/Fox News F-Bomb Goes Viral

On Saturday, Spokane's KHQ reporter/producer Lindsay Nadrich suffered every newscaster's nightmare when a story she was producing for Fox News inadvertently aired a clip that should have been ash-canned, containing two F-bombs. The goof-up appears to be the result of error. (Warning: strong Language content).

Question: What would you do if you were management?

DanG: GOP Leaders Asleep At Switch

In the comments section, Councilman Dan Gookin posts (re: Local GOP may censure four solons): “The central committee should be concerned with 1) Finding good candidates to run for office, 2) Fund raising, 3) Getting out the party message. Leadership should have squelched this item.”

Question: What will be the net effect of a successful move to censure the 4 legislators (Goedde, Henderson, Malek and Morse)?

Qualifying In The Nick Of Time

Oh her Facebook wall, FBF Michelle Raffety provides the back story for the last Ironman contestant to qualify before midnight: “While volunteering at Ironman, Kathy Chalich (of Spokane, right) helped this wonderful woman Marsha Ward (from Atlanta) run the last 5 miles. She was having a hard time running because she tweaked her back and Kathy held her up and cheered her on. She ended up running the last 5 miles of the race and I am so proud to call her my best friend! Kathy's not a runner, but she made it her mission to make sure she finished on time. Marsha crossed the finish line at 11:59 (the deadline is midnight to be an actual “Ironman”). The crowd cheered as they crossed the line! It was inspiring!”

Question: Anyone else have an inspirational story from Ironman Coeur d'Alene?

OpenCDA Questions Tondee Motives

At, Bill McCrory argues that the Coeur d'Alene Press shouldn't become involved in helping to identify a troll who posted a snarky remark in the Online Press comments section, while impersonating Commissioner Todd Tondee. Quoth McCrory: “OpenCdA hopes that the Coeur d’Alene Police Department Investigations Division Captain Ron Clark and Police Chief Wayne Longo look long and hard at the merits of and motives behind Tondee’s complaint.  Is Commissioner Tondee using the investigative resources and statutory authority of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department to identify an alleged offender whom he (Tondee) may then refuse to participate as the complainant in prosecuting if the alleged offender coughs up $500 to a local charity?” More here. Dunno what the SR would do with this one. Last year, the SR spent thousands of dollars trying to protect the identities of three Huckleberries Online commenters who were part of a suit filed by former Kootenai County GOP chairwoman Tina Jacobson.


A Fireman Honoring 9/11 Firefighters

Ironman competitor Jeff Price, of Highland, CA, offers to shake hands with fellow competitor, fireman Robert Verhelst, along the marathon length run portion of the Ironman Coeur d'Alene course.  Fireman Rob participated in full fireman gear, weighing 50 pounds. Verhelst did this to honor those firefighters who died on 9/11.  Rob raises money for charity through awareness and donations.  He finished late in the evening with an official time of 16:31:55. More about Rob Verhelst here and here. (Photo: Christa Hazel)

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.24.13

  • 11:49 a.m. Undisclosed suspicious circumstance reported in 11500 block of Coyote Lane/PF.
  • 11:29 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 23-24 here.
  • 11:19 a.m. Kathy Loop/CdA resident reports electrical smell in house, wood-burn smell in attic.
  • 10:58 a.m. Residen in 9900 block of Lakeview Drive/Hayden reports smoke in shop.
  • 10:56 a.m. Vandalism to property reported @ 6th & Bay/Bayview.
  • 10:04 a.m. Subaru station wagon left w/flat tires after spinout on I-90, near Mullan Trail/CdA.
  • 10:01 a.m. Smoke in back part of business reported @ 3297 Industrial Loop/CdA.
  • 9:29 a.m. White 1995 Chevy van w/cross bars on back window reportedly stolen from Church Road/Rathdrum @ 10:45 PM Monday.
  • 9:11 a.m. Undisclosed type of theft reported in 500 block of Government Way/CdA.
  • 9:09 a.m. Northwest Specialty Hospital/Post Falls concerned re: patient who left building after being sedated for surgery. Patient walked around in parking lot before leaving in red Dodge pickup.
  • 8:55 a.m. KCSD checking on possible transient camp @ Reed/Honeysuckle, Hayden.
  • 8:54 a.m. Caller reports dog caught in trap in Rimrock area/Hayden Lake.
  • 8:51 a.m. Deputy standing by in civil dispute b/n Spirit Lake homeowner & Avista rep.

Another View Of Ironman Sunday

Photographer Duane Rasmussen provides another view of Ironman Coeur d'Alene Sunday in downtown Coeur d'Alene.

  • DFO: See Comments section under this thread for another beefcake photo for CindyH's collection.

Question: Do you watch any part of Ironman yesterday? Thoughts?

Letter: IRS Closure Doesn’t Add Up

On page A6 of Thursday’s paper, an article stated that due to the IRS rent reduction program the Cd’A taxpayer assistance office will close this Friday at 4:30 and will remain closed so if assistance is needed you can now visit the IRS office in Spokane. Seems rather ironic that at this same time, the IRS is giving bonuses of $70 million to its employees for jobs well done. Is this another example of the inmates running the asylum?/Larry Carstensen, Post Falls, Coeur d'Alene Press letter to the editor.

Question: Is the letter right correct, that the inmates are taking over the asylum at the IRS? Or is he comparing apples & oranges?

Spencer: Commish Shortsighted

I see the county commissioners are again looking at having a private company build a new jail that they would then lease. The problem is that they still haven’t requested an analysis on what their actual needs are. The Federal Department of Justice provides a free “needs analysis” to counties facing capacity problems at their jail facilities, so the counties have an expert unbiased opinion about what their actual needs are and what options they have to mitigate the problem without new construction. The last DOJ needs analysis that county has on record is the one that was requested prior to building the last jail expansion. It would seem like a great first step, but perhaps the county administration doesn’t want to be embarrassed by the revelation that when the last jail expansion was designed, the plans showed a “future inmate housing pod” off the northeast corner of the jail annex that was not built because it was not yet needed/Larry Spencer, letter to Coeur d'Alene Press editor. More here.

Question: Is Spencer right re: need for Kootenai County to conduct an analysis of jail needs before moving ahead with possible lease for jail space with private contractor?

Tondee Seeks ID Of Cyber Pretender

It's one thing to hide online behind a veil of anonymity. It's quite another to pretend to be someone else. Somebody impersonated Kootenai County Commissioner Todd Tondee in the comments section of on Tuesday - a crime that could land the perpetrator in jail for up to two years, with a fine of $5,000. And that doesn't include possible civil penalties. Tondee told The Press Friday that he isn't sure he wants his impersonator to end up in jail, but he does want the person to step forward. He said he would probably be satisfied if the person takes full responsibility and makes a $500 donation to a local charity. Tondee also wants the public to know definitively that he did not write the acerbic comments that appeared in his name below an online story Tuesday/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: The Coeur d'Alene Press has announced that it will cooperate fully with the police in this investigation, providing IP address and other information. Is the individual who impersonated Tondee worth protecting in any way?

AM Headlines — 6.24.13

Photographer Duane Rasmussen didn't get the name of the Ironman father about to kiss his son. But Duane said that the man kissed his two sons and his wife. “It was cool,” said Duane.

Poll: GOP CC = Right-Wing RINOs

  • Weekend Poll: 105 of 144 respondents (72.92%) considers the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee to be peopled and controlled by right-wing RINOs (Republican In Name Only). Only 22 of 144 respondents (15.28%) consider the Central Committee to be mainstream Republican. 4 (2.78%) considered the Central Committee to be moderate overall. 13 (9.03%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you want to see the individual who impersonated Commissioner Todd Tondee online exposed and prosecuted?

Survey: Idaho Stalls In Ed Areas

Idaho ranks No. 20 in a new national report on child well-being — but spotty grades on education issues pull down the state’s overall grade. According to the 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book, released Monday, Idaho ranks No. 29 in educational topics. … The full report grades the states on criteria ranging from children living in single-parent households (where Idaho ranked second-best in the nation) to children who are not covered by health insurance (Idaho ranked No. 38 nationally)/Kevin Richert, IdahoED News. More here.


Hostess Twinkies To Return July 15

Hostess is betting on a sweet comeback for Twinkies when they return to shelves next month. The company that went bankrupt after an acrimonious fight with its unionized workers last year is back up and running under new owners and a leaner structure. It says it plans to have Twinkies and other snack cakes back on shelves starting July 15. Based on the outpouring of nostalgia sparked by its demise, Hostess is expecting a blockbuster return next month for Twinkies and other sugary treats, such as CupCakes and Donettes. The company says the cakes will taste the same but that the boxes will now bare the tag line “The Sweetest Comeback In The History Of Ever”/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: When did you last eat a Hostess Twinkie?

Local GOP May Censure 4 Solons

Several Republican state legislators representing Kootenai County districts could receive a public reprimand next week from members of their own political party. When the county's Republican central committee meets on Tuesday, its elected precinct committeemen will consider a resolution that would formally censure Rep. Frank Henderson, Rep. Luke Malek (pictured), Rep. Ed Morse and Sen. John Goedde, because they voted, during the last legislative session, in favor of the creation of a state insurance exchange. “I'm confused as to why they would censure those of us who advocated for and voted for state control,” Malek, of Coeur d'Alene, said Friday to The Press. “If you didn't, you were advocating for a federal exchange, which would be far more harmful to Idaho.” … The Idaho House of Representatives passed the bill to create the exchange in March, by a vote of 41 to 29/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: Izzit just me or does this censure attempt, coming months after the end of the 2013 Legislature, seem silly to you, too? What is the end game of those behind this attempt?

Hoffman, Wurtele Set Course Records

Ben Hoffman's girlfriend Kelsey, rushes to embrace him after he won the 2013 Coeur d'Alene Ironman triathlon with a course record time of 8:17:31 on Sunday in Coeur d'Alene. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)

Ben Hoffman and Heather Wurtele have special connections to Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Hoffman attended the University of Montana and the first Ironman he watched was when Polson’s Matt Seeley took second in the Lake City. Wurtele’s first Ironman race and first Ironman victory came in Coeur d’Alene. That made Sunday even more special for the two as they captured professional titles in record times at the 11th annual Ironman Coeur d’Alene. The Boulder, Colo.-based Hoffman took the lead early on the bike and covered the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run in 8 hours, 17 minutes and 31 seconds, eclipsing Craig Alexander’s 2011 record by more than 2 minutes. Three-time champion Viktor Zyemtsev was second in 8:26.01/Jim Meehan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Has Ironman Coeur d'Alene inspired you to be more active?

Safer Start Launches 2013 Ironman

Heather Wurtele of canada wins the 2013 Coeur d'Alene Ironman triathlon with a course record time of 9:16:02 on Sunday in Coeur d'Alene. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)

The mad dash into the lake that heralds the start of Ironman was replaced Sunday by an orderly march into the water. In the Coeur d’Alene debut of a rolling start to the long-distance triathlon, athletes self-seeded on City Beach based on their expected swim times and strolled toward the start line, where their timing chips were activated. It’s the same procedure used for Bloomsday and most road races. It doesn’t make for as dramatic a start, but it’s a safer and less stressful way to get 2,238 men and women into the water for the 2.2-mile Ironman swim, race officials say. In years past, the anxious throng would take the plunge at once, hands and feet pounding the surface and often smacking fellow competitors. Scot Bates, of Southlake, Texas, said he appreciates the new Ironman SwimSmart Initiative, which also debuts at the Ironman in Lake Placid, N.Y., on July 28/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Are you a good swimmer?

Costello: In Them We Do Not Trust

If you're one of those who believe only evil people have anything to fear from Barack Obama collecting electronic data from our phone calls and internet usage, then you haven't been following current events closely enough. Aside from the privacy invasion issues, a problem arises from the character of the people who are asking us to trust them with that data. Most politicians gained their positions of power primarily through the use of what is known euphemistically as “opposition research.” Another term for it is digging dirt or dirty tricks. Every couple of years we are subjected to a Congressional election, as well as many gubernatorial and local legislative elections. And most of the political advertising we endure is negative. These people stake their careers on saying awful things about each other that are not necessarily true. Political campaigns and political parties invest phenomenal sums of money tracking down every shred of gossip, innuendo and rumor that might contain any hint of malfeasance, either personal or professional/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you trust this administration — or any administration — with your confidential information?

Sunday Hucks: Who Wears Tutus?

Henry Johnston, a Sandpoint High grad, wonders where former Bonner County commissioner Cornel Rasor got the idea that gay men wear tutus to work. Rasor, as you may recall, is part of the Idaho GOP push to ask the 2014 Legislature to void nondiscrimination laws that add gays to human rights protections. Six Idaho cities, including Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene, have approved the ordinances. Out and living with his partner, Alex, in Moscow, Johnston had this to say about Rasor’s remark that he should have the right to fire a gay man who appeared for work in a tutu: “Where does Rasor get the idea that gays wear tutus? Media? The Internet? Watching a gay pride parade? I’m out and proud and won’t deny who I am to anyone. But you won’t find me in pink briefs walking down Main Street Moscow waving a rainbow flag. I think that’s kind of counterproductive to our cause of proving we’re ‘normal’ just like everyone else”/DFO, SR. Sunday Huckleberries. More here.

Other SR weekend columns:

More Butter

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Weekend Wild Card — 6.22-23.13

The Coeur d'Alene Family Oliveria will celebrate the 88th birthday of its matriarch Sunday by taking her out to lunch and treating her special. Per usual. Mom still is relatively on her own via a nice assisted living place here in Coeur d'Alene. She uses a walker to get around. But she still rides and exercise bike and walks about a half mile or more per day. I hope I'm doing as well when I'm her age. 'Tis nice to have Mom & 2 of my 5 sibs living in Coeur d'Alene. Now for your Weekend Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.21.13

Oregon State's Matt Boyd, left, and Nate Esposito sit in the dugout after losing 4-1 to Mississippi State in an NCAA College World Series baseball game in Omaha, Neb., Friday. Mississippi State advances to the championship series and Oregon State is eliminated. (AP Photo/Francis Gardler)

Question: What's the most crushing defeat that you've experienced in your life, sports-wise?

News Outlets Want CCA, Prison Docs

A coalition of news organizations across Idaho is asking a federal judge to deny a proposed order that would give private prison company Corrections Corporations of America the power to seal whatever it wants in a lawsuit brought by inmates. The Associated Press, Idaho Statesman, The Spokesman-Review, The Times-News, KBOI-TV, Idaho Press-Tribune, Post Register, Lewiston Tribune, Coeur d'Alene Press, Bonner County Daily Bee and others filed the motion Friday in Boise's U.S. District Court. The news organizations contend CCA's proposed protective order is too broad and would severely hamper the ability of journalists to report on the lawsuit. CCA says it needs to be able to hide certain information from the public for security reasons. In the lawsuit, the inmates contend CCA understaffs the Idaho prison. CCA denies the allegations/AP via Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Aren't you glad the media are there when it comes to heavy lifting & court costs involved in seeking documents that individuals like the CCA bosses want to keep private?

Feds File Charges Against Snowden

A sealed criminal complaint has been filed against Edward Snowden (shown in AP/Guardian photo) in the National Security Agency surveillance case, a Justice Department official said Friday. The official declined to specify the criminal charges against the former NSA contractor who has admitted providing information to the news media about two highly classified NSA surveillance programs. The official, who spoke anonymously, was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation by name. The Washington Post quoted unnamed officials as saying that Snowden was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Do you consider Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor?

Cutline Contest — 6.21.13

Time 2 Vote …

Emily Cavacini, 11, of Allegheny Pa,. shoots during the finals of the 90th annual National Marbles Tournament held on the beach at Ringer Stadium in Wildwood, N.J. on Thursday. Cavacini won the girls’ championship. You right the cutline. (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Dale Gerhard)

Thursday winner — Pair of Claws/with 5 likes: “It's official: Dogs and cats are now getting along better than our political parties.” You can see Thursday photo & read 7 cutline contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.21.13

  • 5:53 p.m. Kalispell, Mont., officers are seeking 32YO male whose credit card was used in Coeur d'Alene today after he didn't show up for work this morning.
  • 5:44 p.m. Blue vehicle has hit deer on w/b H54/MP 11 (Lewellen Creek Road/Athol).
  • 5:41 p.m. Male walking on trail in front of Pizza Hut @ H95/Hanley, CdA, suffering chest pain.
  • 5:05 p.m. Male in unsupervised group home obsessing about revenge.
  • 4:45 p.m. Employees @ Les Scwab, 2198 Govt Way/CdA have caught loose dog.
  • 4:43 p.m. Driver of orange Eclipse s/b @ H95/MP 446 (Bunco Road/Athol) going 90 mph.
  • 4:37 p.m. Injured deer dragged itself across H97 @ Beauty Bay & is hiding on hillside.
  • 4:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 20-21 here.
  • 15 more items + AM Scanner Traffic line below

To Be Censured?

State Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, right, and state Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, respond to audience during the North Idaho Pachyderm Club meeting at Templin's Resort today. Henderson is one of four legislators who face censure at the hands of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee for supporting the state-run health exchange. You can read more about that here. Nonini opposed the state health exchange, which is an Idaho component of Obamacare. The controversial health exchange was approved by the legislature, with the strong support of Gov. Butch Otter. Other Kootenai County legislators supporting the exchange — and targetted for local GOP censure — are Sen. John Goedde, R-CdA, Rep. Luke Malek, R-CdA, and Rep. Ed Morse. The local GOP will meet Tuesday. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

DFO: I suspect Frank Henderson was running Post Falls as mayor or the Kootenai County Courthouse as commissioner long before some — most? — of the uber-cons calling for his censure were residents of Idaho. What do you think?

Poll: Idaho Opposes Immigration Bill

A statewide poll of likely Idaho voters finds strong opposition to a bill before the U.S. Senate that would grant amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens and dramatically increase overall immigration to the United States. According to the poll, 54 percent of Idaho voters oppose S.744, the Gang of Eight immigration bill — including 36 percent who said they are “strongly opposed.” Only 36 percent of voters indicated that they support the bill and only 7 percent said they “strongly support” it. The poll also indicated that Idahoans disagree strongly with the Gang of Eight's priorities. Under S.744, amnesty for illegal aliens would begin within six months of enactment, while the provisions of the bill promising enhanced immigration enforcement would not have to be implemented for a decade or more. Only 17 percent of Idaho voters favor this approach, while 78 percent stated that border security, employment verification, or deportation of illegal aliens should be the “highest priorities” of an immigration overhaul/Kristen Williamson & Ira Mehlman, news release. More here.

Question: Do you oppose/support the Gang of Eight immigration bill?

Mag Spotlights Kootenai ULUC Fight

William F. Jasper of The New American (a biweekly magazine of the John Birch Society) sums up discontent with Kootenai County's Unified Land Use Code, a link to which is posted on Jennifer Locke's Facebook page:

Much of the concern and outrage expressed at the commission meeting by property owners stems from the fact that the new “comprehensive plan,” the ULUC, is more than double the page count of the existing code, and, as might be expected from that expansion, contains many more regulations, prohibitions, restrictions, mitigations, impact fees, permit requirements, and much more. Another common complaint, both from property owners and professionals who regularly deal with these matters, such as realtors, appraisers, consultants, and attorneys, is that the ULUC is vague and confusing, with many terms undefined or ill-defined, opening the door for county administrators, inspectors, and regulators to cite and fine property owners for many normal activities and uses now permitted under the current code. More here. (Caution: the article does swerve off into United Nations commentary)


Out With A Bang

Workers at the ABCD Day Care at 1124 C Street, near Forest Cemetery, call 911 moments ago to report three gun shots nearby. The workers had ushered the children into the Day Care and locked the doors moments earlier. An officer investigating the call reported back to dispatch that there was a military funeral going on at the cemetery — and the shots were part of the military salute in honor of the departed veteran, whom, I believe, was former two-term Coeur d'Alene mayor Ray Stone, a World War II veteran who helped liberate a German concentration camp. Ray always could shake things up even when he didn't intend to do so. Going to miss that guy.

Life Of A Mosquito Magnet

“After a family outing at Liberty Lake County Park,” posts Nic (Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts), “I have counted the following mosquito bites.”

One on the back of my left hand at the base of my thumb.
One on the back of my left calf.
Two on my left shin.
One on both knees.
One on my left forearm, just below the elbow.
One in the bicep of my right arm.
One on my collar bone, right side.
One on the outside edge of the pinna of my left ear.
One at the base of my skull behind the pinna on the right.
One along the hairline above my right temple.

(Note to self: buy bug spray.)

DFO: I wonder how Nic's litany would sound in Dr. Seuss-speak?

Question: Are you a mosquito magnet?

HBO Blogosphere — 6.21.13

In this Duane Rasmussen photo, state Sen. Steve Vick (left), R-Dalton Gardens, waits to speak to the North Idaho Pachyderm Club today. Others in photo are: Jerry Teft, center, and Don Carll, right. Vick will be part of a four-man panel that will speak to the Hayden Chamber of Commerce at the Kroc Center re: Coeur d'Alene's proposed antidiscrimination ordinance. He will be the only one of the four who will take the con position.

Top Post: The Taliban knows how to play us like a fine violin.  They want to trade young Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier, for five of their own being held at Guantanamo.  They know young Bergdahl will tug at our heart strings.  I'm not sure the government is doing his family any favors by raising their hopes that we may actually accommodate them.  But you never know these days. There was a time it would never have been an issue.  We don't negotiate with terrorists.  Period.  But with this administration anything is possible.  Especially since the President is intent on convincing us the war on terror is over/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, June 20): 7966 page-views/4560 unique views

Still Dancing Through Life

Mrs. O & I dancing at the wedding reception for Amy Dearest & Okie Doke at the World Forestry Center in Portland, Ore. The photo offers proof, after 38 years, that I clean up OK.

Redux: The O’s At 1st Anniversary

The beautiful Mrs. O and I cutting the top of our wedding cake at our first anniversary 37 years ago in my parents-in-laws dining room. You can see why I married her. But I'm still trying to figure out why she married me — and has put up with me for so long. Before you ask, the answer is yes. Early on, I occasionally wore overalls to dress-up occasions. Also wore cowboy boots at one time. Mrs. O wasn't fond of either. So, as they say in “Duck Dynasty” — they gone.

Quotable Quote — DOTC

“Sometimes I think the extreme partisan people (on either side) forget that when you raise your right hand and take an oath of office you represent all the people, not just the ones who expect you to agree with them on EVERYTHING (or else)” — Dan of the County, in Huckleberries Online comments section.

Scanner Traffic From Moscow

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News provides this chuckle from Scanner Traffic Thursday night: “Officers responded to a report of people doing drugs in a vehicle in front of Staples. Turned out to be a lollipop.”

Question: What flavor of lollipop do you prefer? Moi? Cherry red, of course. (I always take one or two from the baskets at the teller stations when I visit Wells Fargo Bank on Appleway. Never been suspected of drugs, though.

Wayne: Liberal Chris Likable, Wrong

I find Idaho columnist Chris Carlson to be a likable guy, and it’s easy to see why some of his more liberal allied-interests have been politically successful. But by golly, I have to disagree with him on some of the statements he wrote in his last column, which perpetuates some myths. Chris implies that Herbert Hoover embraced the free market at the onset of the Great Depression, leading the country deeper into economic despair and the eventual election of Franklin Roosevelt, whose Big Government plans saved the country and its economy. That’s just not so/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Redux: Carlson: Wayne's free market is mythical

Question: Who's correct?

Study: Wolves Don’t Cause Elk Drop

Any hunter who's spent time in wolf country can attest to the predators’ influence. We see wolf tracks, find old kills, and often times we spot fewer game animals. But exactly how wolves affect big-game populations is still greatly unknown. Yeah, wolves eat elk. But, do they kill mostly adults or calves? Do they eat enough elk to wipe out a whole herd? Do they pressure elk into hiding in the timber or force them off their feeding patterns? Are wolves even one of the main factors in elk population dynamics? New research from the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Wyoming is starting to shed light on some of these questions. After three years of studying the Clark's Fork elk herd (about 5,000 animals) in northwest Wyoming, lead researcher Arthur Middleton found that wolves might not be as detrimental to elk populations as many outdoorsmen think/Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life. H/T: Rich Landers, SR Outdoors.

Question: Interesting, hunh?

On The Waterfront — 6.21.13

Iron Men & Women are out in force today along the waterfront, biking Centennial Trail north of UI/LCSC building, swimming off the north shore, snapping photos of one another, and browsing Ironman ware in the Tent City at City Beach. I overheard one woman ask her female jogging companion if she was ready to run 15 miles Saturday in preparation for Sunday's race. Her partner said, “unh-uh.” Overheard another woman tell her companion in disgust that the Ironman pros “are in their own little world.” Whatever that means. Viewtiful day for a walk. Not too hot. Only a handful of locals were hanging out on the north shore beaches, including a woman and her dog. Threatening skies that didn't produce rain during the lunch hour chased almost all but Ironpeople away. For some reason, no one along the route asked whether I'm in training for Ironman.

Question: Anyone out there in Hucks Nation participating as a volunteer in 2013 Ironman Coeur d'Alene?

Yoga & Summer Solstice

People practice yoga in New York's Times Square Friday. Yoga enthusiast marked the longest day of the year with five free “Mind Over Madness” yoga classes during the11th annual Solstice in Times Square. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Question: Do you practice yoga? How has it helped?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.21.13

  • 11:59 a.m. Hayden mom threatens suicide 4 days after she reported teen son made same threat.
  • 11:30 a.m. WSP is lookng for truck w/b on I-90 toward Idaho that hit street pole & drove off.
  • 11:18 a.m. Animal control en route to sick-cat report in 1700 block of E. Orchard/Hayden.
  • 11:04 a.m. Undisclosed road hazard reported @ H95/Hayden Avenue.
  • 11:03 a.m. Caller reports driver of black GMC SUV reckless @ e/b I-90/H95, CdA.
  • 11:02 a.m. Tow truck en route to disabled, white 2003 Dodge @ I-90/H3, Rose Lake.
  • 15 more items below

Hux Redux: Mayor Finally Gets Wings

In this column space 25 years ago, I wrote a Huckleberry that’s more pertinent than ever today in lieu of the passing of former two-term Mayor Ray Stone early Monday morning. On July 4, 1988, this column wrote:

“Like every native in this town (Coeur d’Alene) under age 50, Carol Stacey of the Nickel’s Worth once was taught by our mayor. She thinks Ray Stone’s years as an inspirational high school teacher will win him a look-see at the Pearly Gates. Stone indicated in this space last week that Democrat Jeanne Givens has as much chance of beating Rep. Larry Craig as he has of going to heaven. Givens herself agrees that Stone’s time in the classroom has earned him a halo.” You can add your “amen” here.

Poll: Don’t Lease Jail Space

  • Thursday Poll: Hucks Nation is solidly against a proposal presented by an Colorado company, to build a jail and then lease space back to Kootenai County. 73 of 123 respondents (59.35%) oppose the proposal. Only 38 of 123 respoondents (30.89%) supported it. 12 (9.76%) were undecided.
  • Weekend Poll: How do you view the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee (right-wing RINOs, mainstream Republican, moderate)?

Sandpoint Native Markets SF Giants

Since graduating from Sandpoint High School in 1999, Jens Weiden has won two World Series rings, run some of the nicest golf courses in the Bay Area, and rubbed elbows with the likes of Willie Mays, Magic Johnson, Shaq and countless other celebrities. Now Weiden is about to become the chief financial officer of the Rose Bowl, overseeing everything from ‘The Granddaddy of Them All’ football bowl game to Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z concerts, not to mention UCLA football games, international soccer events and plenty more. To say hometown boy makes good would be stating the obvious for the 32-year-old Sandpoint native, who is currently the marketing manager for the San Francisco Giants, hoping his team can win a third World Series during Weiden’s sixth and final season with the Bay Area baseball team/Bill Plummer, Bonner County Bee. More here.

Question: If you could work for a professional sports team, what team would it be and what job would it be?

Local GOP May Censure 4 Legislators

At its meeting Tuesday night (agenda here), the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee will consider a resolution to censure four Kootenai County legislators who voted for the controversial state health exchange, favored by Gov. Butch Otter in response to Obamacare. Here's the resolution that will be considered:

Whereas, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC) voted overwhelmingly against the establishment of a State Insurance Exchange; and Whereas, several of our elected officials ignored the will of the majority of the KCRCC, and those who attended the KCRCC hosted legislative hall meetings, and voted in favor of the Exchange; therefore Resolved, the KCRCC formally censures Representative Frank Henderson, Representative Luke Malke, Representative Ed Morse, and Senator John Goedde.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Kootenai County Administrative Building, 451 Government Way, Coeur d'Alene.

Question: Am I the only one who considers this action extreme?

Local GOP May Oppose Anti-Bias Law

At its meeting Tuesday night (agenda here), the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee will consider a resolution asking the Coeur d'Alene City Council to repeal the recent passage of the controversial antidiscrimination ordinance that extends human rights protections to gays. Here's the resolution that will be considered:

Whereas, there exists no natural right to make a contract with an unwilling private person, no matter what that person's motivation for refusing that contract; and, whereas, the right to make contracts is therefore always a right to enter into binding agreements such as employment or rental contracts only with willing second parties; and, whereas, a municipal anti-discrimination ordinance confers the right to make contracts with unwilling parties and to “enforce” those contracts in court; therefore, resolved, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee considers the City of Coeur d'Alene's recently adopted anti-discrimination ordinance to be a violation of the people's natural right to make free contracts, and resolved, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee recommends that the Coeur d'Alene City Council secure the natural freedoms of its citizens by repealing said ordinance.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Kootenai County Administrative Building, 451 Government Way, Coeur d'Alene.


AM Headlines — 6.21.13

A tattered yellow ribbon honoring captive U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is tied to a utility pole along Idaho State Highway 75 near Hailey on Thursday. The Taliban on Thursday proposed a deal in which they would free Bergdahl, a Hailey resident who has been held prisoner for four years, in exchange for five of their most senior operatives at Guantanamo Bay. (AP Photo/John Miller)

Speaking Of Cats & Dogs …

“Cats are Republicans; dogs are Democrats. Cat: what can you do for me? Dog: what can I do for you?” — tweet by Jill Kuraitis, a Boise free-lancer, columnist.

Question: Do you agree/disagree with Jill's premise?

SR: Old Law Protects Idaho River

A federal administrative law judge has ruled that the recreational and cultural uses of the North Fork of the Clearwater River are a former dam site more valuable than the gold placer miners might have dredged from the bottom. What irony. And what a relief. The great dams that block flows on the Northwest’s largest rivers are lamented by many who regret the damage done to wild fish runs, and the loss of land and communities submerged beneath reservoirs. Other watersheds, such as the Coeur d’Alene River basin, were despoiled by mining. But thanks to an obscure law that surrendered the rights to future federal hydroelectric dam development, those basins where the water still flowed freely were granted special protections/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Are you thankful for federal laws that protect public lands?

Press: Raul Sticks To His Principles

Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador can be argumentative, even combative. He seems eager to stick his nose in front of yours to tell you when he thinks you've messed up. In terms of elegant diplomacy and public relations sparkle, the second-term congressman ranks somewhere between a subpoena server and an ex-spouse. We hope he doesn't change. Part of the reason Labrador can and will say whatever he's thinking is because he's not beholden to special interest groups, something that can't be said for many who breathe the privileged air around Capitol Hill. In an age when many members of Congress neglect their duties while mastering navigation of fundraising trails, Labrador steadfastly sticks to his own agenda - working for the people of Idaho's 1st Congressional District, not just those who might support his 2014 campaign/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.


Here Comes Zombie Apocalypse

Today the world seems totally overrun by zombies. They're the creature of the moment - like the Cold War-metaphor aliens from outer space in the 1950s. And whether they are metaphors for the impending devastation of viral plague, environmental meltdown or the insidiousness of terrorism from within, these undead, flesh-and-brain eaters rule. While “World War Z” seeks to be the ultimate zombie apocalypse film, here are some other contenders suggested by Statesman staff and readers/Dana Oland, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)

DFO: I saw my first two zombie movies — ever — last weekend while visiting Amy Dearest and Okie Doke in Portland — “Zombieland” and “Warm Bodies.” Remember the rules of dealing with zombies: cardio is important, tap twice, avoid public bathrooms, buckle up, no attachments, etc.

Question: Which zombie movie is your favorite?

Wallenda Readies For Grand Canyon

High wire performer Nik Wallenda walks across a wire as he practices this week in Sarasota, Fla. Wallenda, a seventh generation high-wire walker, will attempt to walk across the Grand Canyon on Sunday. Story here. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Question: Has anyone taken the trail to the bottom of the Grand Canyon? What's that like?

Letter: Why We Fear ULUC

John Boothe of Cataldo wrote this letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press:

I believe everyone who attended the prematurely adjourned ULUC hearing Monday, June 17 probably walked away with a somewhat sour taste in their mouths. What I witnessed as a rural property owner and current non-participant in the county political system was a strong desire of other rural property owners to express themselves at a “functional meeting” which wasn’t designed for that purpose. Of the opinions that managed to get expressed, the content was varied, but I believe the theme behind each message was common. We, Kootenai County residents, are scared. We fear the imposed regulation of a document that we can’t understand. I’m sure the authors of this code, and perhaps the planning commission, can understand the structure and verbiage just fine, and their intentions are honorable. However, we, the common folk, can’t grasp the content. I personally have tried and failed. More here.

Question: Should a planning document be as complicated as, say, the federal tax code?

Summer Rain Hits INorthwest

Drenching rain and record cold ushered out the last day of spring, but to some, this week’s weather represents a “million dollar rain,” arriving in time to nourish grain crops and dampen potential forest fires. John Abatzoglou, assistant professor of geography at the University of Idaho, said he believes the rain is worth well more than a million bucks. “This is very beneficial,” Abatzoglou said Thursday afternoon. “This is in just the nick of time.” Rain that started Monday continued through Thursday and brought an inch of precipitation to Spokane. Even more rain fell in other parts of the region. It arrived on the last day of an Inland Northwest spring that until this week was 2 inches below normal for the April-through-June period/Mike Prager, SR. More here. (Dan Pelle SR photo: Heather Chisholm and her dog, Lord, try to stay dry during Thursday’s downpour in downtown Spokane)

Question: Do you enjoy summer rain?


Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Thursday — 6.20.13

The SR has received possible fix from Disqus re: ongoing problems with “recent comments.” The popular feature seems to be working much better this PM. I'll continue to hold my breath while I test-drive it this PM and Friday morning. I enjoy the Disqus features — comment photos, like/dislike arrows, etc — when the “recent comments is working. Stay tuned. Now, to replay the Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.20.13

A man sunbathes at Ada Ciganlija lake in Belgrade,  Serbia, earlier today. The Balkan region is experiencing a heat wave, with temperatures rising as high as 37 degrees Celsius (99 Fahrenheit). (AP Photo/ Marko Drobnjakovic)

DFO: Cindy's always demanding beefcake photos; so, I try my best to comply to her wishes.

Question: Am I the only one who has had a bad sun burn this year already?

2 Years Of Job Search Pays Off

Two years, several temporary jobs, 15 interviews, and countless applications later Justy Thomas has landed a permanent job. “I feel blessed I have a stable job,” she says. Thomas is now working in the human resources department of a local utility company. We first introduced you to Justy Thomas in November 2011. She’s been part of our Jobless In Idaho series; a reporting project that tracked out-of-work Idahoans on their paths to finding careers. As we reported back in 2011, Thomas was a month away from graduating from Boise State University with a degree in human resources and business management. Thomas decided to go to school after she was laid off in 2007 from her job in the mortgage industry/Emilie Ritter Saunders, State Impact. More here.

Question: Do you know someone who landed a permanent job after a long search for one during the Great Recession? Can you describe his/her travails?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.20.13

  • 4:45 p.m. PFPD Blue is tailing suspect in unknown crime @ Seltice Way/Spokane Street, PF.
  • 4:28 p.m. CPD Blue is checking on individual's probation status in 1200 block of  Wallace/CdA.
  • 3:45 p.m. Officer en route to take male named Austin from juvenile probation to jail on warrant.
  • 3:38 p.m. Resident asks for extra patrol in 5000 block of N. Royal Street/CdA.
  • 2:51 p.m. CdA resident says 3 males came to door several times trying to get her to buy products.
  • 2:28 p.m. Marine deputies bringing 2 people w/possible injuries to 3rd Street docks, asks to be met by ambulance. Don't know anything more about situation.
  • 2:27 p.m. CPD Blue officer advises that man is sweeping nails spilled on road, unknown location.
  • 2:15 p.m. Q'emiln Beach and Boat Launch are CLOSED until further notice, due to heavy rain
  • 1:27 p.m. Post Falls Local Market is CANCELED today due to heavy rain.
  • 1:20 p.m. 4YO boy found safe at another residence (12:52 item).
  • 1:08 p.m. Driver of pickup w/extended cab flashing lights @ w/b I-90/MP 32 (west side 4th of July).
  • 12:52 p.m. 4YO boy w/red Frohawk, spider man shoes missing from 2600 block of N6th Place/CdA.
  • 12:42 p.m. CdA male sez female took vehicle & he's being threatened by others.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Cutline Contest — 6.20.13

Time 2 Vote …

This photo released by the Cleveland Animal Protective League shows a kitten and Noland, right, a puppy, snuggling up together Wednesday in Cleveland. A cat already caring for four newborn kittens now is nursing an orphaned week-old pit bull puppy. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Cleveland Animal Protective League)

Wednesday winner — Uncle Bob/with 10 likes: “Former Idaho legislator stands poised to defend his new home from foreclosure.” You can see Wednesday photo & 8 cutlines entries here.

PM Headlines — 6.20.13

Caleb Phillips, event support laborer with Lakeshore Athletic Service, provides support as a beam is put into place while setting up a large tent Tuesday at Ironman Village in the Coeur d'Alene City Park. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Home-School Mom Reinvents Outings

River Greenfield, 5, scaled the steep rock face like a seasoned pro. Wedging his feet into a tiny ledge he looked down and waved to his mother, Jessa Greenfield. River and his twin brother, Terran, were climbing the Minnehaha Rocks at Shields Park, thanks to a new organization called Exploring Families. For several years, home-school mom Kelly Clark had been compiling lists of field trips and organizing outings. While exploring opportunities for her own kids she found many businesses offered discounts and special tours to larger groups, so she started emailing friends she thought might like to join them/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (Dan Pelle SR photo: Calvin Van Wert, 14, reaches the top of his climb at Shields Park (Minnehaha Rocks) during an outing with Exploring Families in Spokane)

What did/do you do to keep your kids busy during the long months of summer?

Reagan Republicans Applaud Adams

Coeur d'Alene City Councilman Steve Adams received a loud ovation at the Reagan Republicans weekly luncheon today when someone mentioned his lone vote against the city's antidiscrimination ordinance earlier this month. Adams voted in the 5-1 minority that approved the controversial ordinance to extend human rights protections to gays in the area of unemployment, housing and public accommodations. Here, Adams addresses the lunch crowd. Mayoral candidate Mayor Souza is seated second from left. (Photo:Duane Rasmussen)

Do You Want Milk With That Coffee?

Also on Facebook, Java on Sherman is offering a prize for the winner of this contest: “Who can guess how many gallons of milk will JAVA on Sherman will use Thursday through Monday? The person closest without going over will win a $5 gift certificate.”

Question: Do you mix milk/cream with your caffeine? I don't. Drink it black.

Golf: Thru Wind, Rain, Dark Of Night

From the Coeur d'Alene Resort Facebook page: “It's been raining all day, yet there are still golfers golfing. Which is better — a rainy day on the course, or warm, dry seat in the office?”

Question: Anyone?

A Book In 2 Parts

I did something in the last month that I hadn't done before. I quit reading Stephen King's ha-huge “11/22/1963” tome about halfway through a month ago because it seemed to drag too much. Then, I checked it out of the Coeur d'Alene Library prior to a four-day jaunt last week to visit Amy Dearest and Okie Doke in Portland. I couldn't put it down the second time around. The story tells of a teacher who goes back in time from the 21st centruy in an attempt to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I have wondered, of course — as many of my g-g-g-eneration has — what might have happened if Lee Harvey Oswald had failed in his assassination attempt. Still I'm intrigued that I could rekindle a flame for a book that I'd put down. Which I rarely do. Once started, I tend to finish a book. How about you?

Question: Have you ever given a book a second chance? Do you read a book through, even if you don't like it that much?

HBO Blogosphere — 6.20.13

Marianne Love posts: “Rain, rain never quite went away yesterday, so last evening, rather than sitting in the house and “toweling” Foster off for a second time, I grabbed my camera and loaded the little guy up in the car.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, June 19): 8653 page-views/4726 unique views

Loose Moose Makes Trip To Bozeman

A bull moose wanders near the Law and Justice Center in Bozeman, Mont., Thursday. Game wardens hazed out the moose away from the city and back into the forest without tranquilizers. (AP Photo/Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez)

Question: Izzit just me — or have there been far fewer moose sightings in North Idaho this year than in years gone by? Where are they?

Quotable Quote

Spam ad: 'Fuller Breasts — Fuller, firmer breasts — Limited trial available.' I've always liked their brushes” — Facebook Friend Val Hughes of Spokane.

Welcoming Summer

On his Facebook page, Arpie tells FFs that he: “Is celebrating the first day of summer in traditional North Idaho style by starting a fire in the woodstove.”

Question: Yeah, yeah, this is a typical mid-June day in North Idaho. But don't you give Mother Nature props for the nice spring that we had? Anyone?

CdA Police Find Missing 4YO Boy

Update: Missing boy found at a residence at about 1:20 p.m.

Coeur d'Alene Police are currently searching for a missing 4-year-old boy. His name is Kayden Mason. He has been missing from his home in the 2600 block of N. 6th PL for about 30 minutes. He was last seen wearing navy blue pants, a spiderman hoodie, light up style spiderman shoes, and he has a Fohawk died red hair style. We are attempting to obtain a photo of Mason and will release it as soon as we get it. Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of this child is asked to call the Coeur d’Alene Police at 769-2320.

Idaho To Test Common Core Exams

The country’s top education official has given Idaho the flexibility to introduce new assessment tests to all of the state’s schools a year before they will be tied to accountability. The move will allow Idaho to continue to move away from the federal No Child Left Behind law and make the transition to the Idaho Core Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said Thursday morning. The plans haven’t been finalized, but Luna said all Idaho schools will participate in “field tests” of the new assessments during the spring of 2014/Clark Corbin, IdahoED News. More here.

Question: Izzit it me — or did the Coeur d'Alene School Board election results stop the uber-con push to put an end to implementation of Common Core?

Largest Ex-Gay Ministry Shuts Down

An “ex-gay” Christian ministry that spearheaded the largest national movement to cure homosexuality is shutting its doors for good one year after renouncing its controversial therapies. Exodus International announced its groundbreaking decision Wednesday before offering an apology for all the harm and pain it has caused the gay community over the last 37 years. “For quite some time we've been imprisoned in a worldview that's neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical,” said ministry President Alan Chambers (show in AP photo), who has struggled with his own same-sex attractions, on Thursday/Nina Golgowski, New York Daily News. More here.


Water On Iron

Weather never can
be trusted;
could an Ironman
get rusted?

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Heat, Spurs To Meet In Game 7

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) and Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) collide during the second half of Game 6 of their NBA Finals basketball series Tuesday in Miami. Game 7 preview here. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Question: Anyone give San Antonio a fair-to-middlin' chance to win Game 7 tonight on Miami's court?

Labrador On Bill: ‘Oooh, I’m Scared’

Here's a piece from Politico this morning about House members, including Idaho's Raul Labrador, being unimpressed with the bipartisan immigration measure that's being considered by the Senate. Here's the salient paragraphs:

“If 70 to 80 senators vote for the bipartisan bill — which some in the Senate are aiming for — the House would barely feel pressure to take up the bill. Most conservatives instead would see passing the legislation as an act of mass stupidity. 'I don’t know, Mother always told me that if 70 people jump off a cliff, you shouldn’t follow them,' Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said. Rep. Raul Labrador, an Idaho Republican respected on immigration issues, mocked fear of a large Senate vote, saying, 'Oooh, I’m scared.' Full Politico report here.

Question: Is that a classy reaction on Labrador's part to an immigration reform push that he bailed on recently?

Oregonian Faces Layoffs, Cutbacks

The Oregonian confirmed this morning that the paper will reduce print delivery to three days a week. Publisher N. Christian Anderson III informed staff just before 10 am that the paper will continue to publish seven days a week, but will only offer home delivery on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, with the Saturday edition apparently folded into the Sunday delivery. He also announced that newsroom layoffs are beginning immediately. Anderson told staff this morning that the company will inform them by Friday morning whether they are being laid off/Willamette Week. More here.

DFO: I'm glad that this type of drastic action appears to be in the rear-view mirror of the Spokesman-Review. But sad for the journalists affected by this decision in Portland and for the Portland subscribers.


AM Scanner Traffic — 6.20.13

  • 12:09 p.m. House boat is sinking @ end of 3rd Street dock/CdA & getting worse.
  • 11:55 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 19-20 here.
  • 11:46 a.m. CPD Blue asks for over-the-air details b/c “my computer doesn't like me now.”
  • 11:38 a.m. Patient @ 700 W. Ironwood Drive/CdA suffering intense stomach pain.
  • 11:17 a.m. Resident of CdA assisted living place asks if he can keep pistol in his room.
  • 11;14 a.m. Someone suffering possible stroke in 900 block of N. Armstrong Drive/CdA.
  • 11:07 a.m. Undisclosed type of theft reported in 4200 block of N. Crown Avenue/CdA.
  • 10:32 a.m. Small white GEO being driven recklessly on w/b I-90/MP 2 (Pleasantview, PF).
  • 10:17 a.m. Rathdrum female reports neighbor upset re: blaring radio pushed door into her.
  • 10:13 a.m. Family on E. Warbler Lane evacuates house after carbon monoxide alarm sounds.
  • 9:21 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency reported at Coeur d'Alene Pediatrics on W. Ironwood/CdA.
  • 9:17 a.m. Driver in & out of consciousness near office on Vernon Jordan Boulevard/Rathdrum.
  • 9:02 a.m. CPD Blue reports car w/Kootenai County plates parked wrong way on 900 block of 7th/CdA has tape partly obscuring license number.
  • 8:31 a.m. Undisclosed type of fraud reported in 5800 block of N. Parkwood Court/CdA.

Sunshiny Roosevelt Inn

Duane Rasmussen snapped this nice photo of the sun shining off the historic Roosevelt Inn in the downtown Coeur d'Alene area Saturday afternoon. One of the many nice things re: the marriage of Amy Dearest to Okie Doke last year was the bridal shower held at the Roosevelt Inn. Terrific venue for it.

Poll: Draft Women, Too

  • Wednesday Poll: If a military draft is reinstituted in this country, Hucks Nation overwhelmingly sez women should be drafted, too. 90 of 126 respondents (71.43%) support an equal opportunity draft. 32 of 126 (25.4%) don't. 4 (3.17%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Should Kootenai County OK a plan to lease jail space to be built and provided by a private firm?

County Wants To Shoot Dump Ravens

A handful of ravens may nevermore plague Bonner County’s garbage collection site in Colburn. The county is securing a permit from the Idaho Department of Fish & Game to shoot some of the crafty corvids to discourage them from raiding the site and strewing trash about. A couple of the luckless birds may be put on display as a warning to the survivors, a message that apparently is not lost on ravens, which are renowned for their intelligence. Dead ravens brought in for disposal have been displayed in the past, which has deterred other ravens from stalking the site, said Solid Waste Director Leslie Marshall. “When we hang one up in the trees they don’t come around. It’s like they get it, that it’s not somewhere to go,” Marshall said/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Bee. More here. (Wikipedia photo)

Question: Is this a good solution for pesky ravens?

What To Do?

Mrs. O & I have begun the discussion, the long-awaited one re: a possible Next Dog. As you know, we had to put our ailing Beagle Snoopy down earlier this spring. He was suffering a variety of ailments that made his life miserable — and ours rough. We put off the decision as long as possible. But knew it was coming. I always figured that Snoopy would be our Last Dog. I enjoy the freedom of not having a dog, when its time to visit the kids in Portland or far-off Florida. Also, I enjoy not cleaning up dog poop in the back yard. OTOH, it was fun to have a little buddy light up and meet me at the door when I returned home from work. He did a good job as a watch dog, too. Mrs. O isn't sure whether she simply misses her little friend — or really wants another dog. Color me Undecided.

Question: How did you know whether or not to get another dog after you lost one?

AM Headlines — 6.20.13

Close family friend Stephanie Mills, right, consoles Suzie Comack following the conviction of Joseph Herrera on second-degree murder charges Wednesday outside a Kootenai County courthouse in Coeur d'Alene. Story below. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Nun Leaves Behind Big Shoes To Fill

For 25 years Our Place Community Ministries has reached out to the poorest of the poor in the West Central neighborhood. And for the past seven years the organization has been led by Sister Ann Pizelo. Her recent retirement leaves some big shoes to fill. “Someone took a look at her job description and said, ‘There’s no way one person can do all this!’ ” said longtime volunteer Susan Smith/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question: When do you plan to retire?

Opinion On Supreme Court split

Ahead of major rulings on gay marriage and voting rights, Americans are split on whether they believe the Supreme Court is doing their job well. Among those surveyed in a CNN/ORC poll released Thursday, 48 percent said they approved of the Supreme Court's handling of its duties, while an equal 48 percent said they disapprove. Unsurprisingly, in light of last year's controversial decision to uphold President Obama's signature healthcare reform law, liberals (53 percent) and moderates (58 percent) are most likely to support the Court, while just 37 percent of conservatives say the same/Justin Sink, The Hill. More here.

Question: Do you believe the Supreme Court is doing its job well?

Taliban Offers Swap For Idaho Soldier

The Afghan Taliban are ready to free a U.S. soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of their senior operatives imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay as a conciliatory gesture, a senior spokesman for the group said Thursday. The offer follows this week's official opening of a Taliban political office in Doha, the capital of the Gulf state of Qatar. The only known American soldier held captive from the Afghan war is U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho. He disappeared from his base in southeastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009, and is believed held in Pakistan/Kathy Gannon, AP. More here. (IntelCenter photo taken in 2010 of Idaho soldier Bergdahl)

Question: Should the U.S. accept this prisoner swap?

Read more here:

Bliss: More Factors In Far Right Surge

In a column for the Inlander, local Democrat Bliss Bignall disagrees with the premise in an article that originally appeared in the High Country News (“Their Own Private Idaho”) that emigres, especially from Orange County, Calif., are responsible to the Far Right political lurch in North Idaho:

First on the list is the mechanization of both the mining and timber industries. Many years ago, a friend who was in the mining machinery business told me that if a mine owner could buy something that would replace even one man, he would. Then came the simultaneous decline in both the mining and timber industries in Idaho. When these mostly pro-union Democrats lost their jobs, they all moved away. We’ve never replaced that population of workers. Another factor is the high number of Mormons (of which I am one). More here.

Question: Do you agree with Bliss Bignall that there are other factors, beyond the invasion of uberconservative operatives, that have caused North Idaho politics to lurch from Democrat to Far Right Republican?

County Mulls Alternative Jail Option

A Ketchum, Idaho, company wants to build a 621-bed jail in Kootenai County in the next two years and lease it to the county to give the sheriff’s office the relief it long has sought from jail crowding and the cost of housing inmates in neighboring counties. The county likely would spend less on jail operations than it does now with a more efficient building and extra cells to rent to other jurisdictions, according to a pitch Facilities Management LLC/Rocky Mountain Corrections made Wednesday to county commissioners. The county will spend around $900,000 this year alone to keep about 65 inmates in jails elsewhere – an expense that will vanish, said J. Walt Femling, company president and the former sheriff of Blaine County in the Sun Valley area. The design also would enable the county to run the new jail with fewer employees and overtime costs, Femling said/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland, of inmates at Kootenai County Jail)

Question: Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. How about you?

Stylin’ At Royal Ascot Horse Race

Mimi Theobald poses for the media with an ornate hat on the third day traditionally known as Ladies Day of the Royal Ascot horse race meeting in Ascot, England, Thursday. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Question: Do you ever wear a hat? Describe it.

Daughter’s Adventures Cause Worry

I’ve finally become “the old man” my father was to me. The reality struck Tuesday during the 8-hour journey back to Spokane from the San Juan Islands. I drove alone in the minivan that’s hauled our family on countless expeditions, the nature of which was revealed by the bikes, skis, canoes, fishing rods, kayaks or backpacks fastened on the roof rack. This time the van, minus its rear seats, was jampacked with the belongings of oldest daughter Brook, who’s transitioning again between life adventures. I found myself mentally detouring down the inevitable route of pride and anxiety that comes with being a father who’s infected his offspring with a love for the great outdoors/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors. More here.

Question: Do you have adventurous children who cause you to worry?

Rabid Bat Incidents Prompt Warning

Three rabid bats have been found in the Coeur d’Alene area in recent weeks – an unusually high number so soon after the mammals have emerged from hibernation. “Generally we only see maybe three the whole year, sometimes not even that,” said Dave Hylsky, an epidemiologist with Panhandle Health District. The cluster of rabies cases has prompted health officials to remind people not to handle bats or any wild animals, and to make sure their pets’ rabies vaccinations are up to date. Dogs, cats and ferrets should be vaccinated for rabies, as should horses, sheep and cattle, veterinarians say. “If the bat’s sick or out lying on the ground, you don’t want kids running up and touching it, which we’ve had,” Hylsky said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Describe a close encounter that you've had with a bat.


Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hump Day Wild Card — 6.19.13

For the record, I'm wearing a gray Hawaiian shirt with green palm trees, black jeans and black skechers as I type this. No tutu (for those checking in from Bonner County). What did you wear to work today? You can answer that question or start a thread on any subject under this Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.19.13

Tea Party activists attend a rally on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington today. The IRS has been under fire from Democrats and Republicans in Congress since May, when one of its officials publicly apologized for targeting conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status for close examination. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Heart Attack Kills ‘Sopranos’ Star

James Gandolfini, the New Jersey-bred actor who delighted audiences as mob boss Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos” has died following a massive heart attack in Italy, a source told the Daily News. “Everyone is in tears,” the source close to the 51-year-old TV tough guy said. A press-shy celeb who got his start as a character actor and became famous relatively late in his career — thanks to his breakout role on “The Sopranos,” Gandolfini has largely avoided the spotlight since the last season of the beloved show aired in 2007. The burly Westwood, N.J. native has appeared in several supporting roles since then, playing the director of the CIA in “Zero Dark Thirty” and the gruff blue-collar father of a wannabe rock star in “Not Fade Away” last year. Gandolfini hit Broadway in 2009 with the Tony Award-winning comedy “God of Carnage”/New York Daily News. More here. (AP file photo)


PM Scanner Traffic — 6.19.13

Coeur d’Alene police stopped a red Ford pickup and ordered two men out at gunpoint during the noon hour today on Northwest Boulevard in front of The Spokesman-Review office. One man was ordered on the ground, handcuffed, put in a patrol car and questioned by officers. According to police spokeswoman Christie Wood, they received a report of the men in some kind of altercation and that one of the men had a knife. Officers located and pulled over the truck, and detained both men for questioning. (SR photo: Scott Maben)

  • 5:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report June 18-19 here.
  • 4:53 p.m. Animal control officer tracking down loose dog @ 15th/Fruitdale, CdA.
  • 4:38 p.m. Angry male motorist yelling at kid @ Cassia/Nagel, Rathdrum.
  • 4:32 p.m. CPD Blue en route to remove child from hom in 600 block of W. Appleway, CdA.
  • 4:29 p.m. 2 “young gents” want to talk to CPD bike patrol @ PSB building in City Park.
  • 12 more below + AM Scanner Traffic link

PM Headlines — 6.19.11

During my recent vacay, Duane Rasmussen snapped this photo of Gov. Butch Otter hanging out with the North Idaho Political Action Committee members (aka, Reasonable Republicans) during the Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. Otter spent about an hour with the Reasonable Republicans. You can read more about the IACI conference here.

Cutline Contest — 6.19.13

Time 2 vote …

Moving across a rooftop, a wild turkey becomes a fowl shot while photographed as it emerges from behind a basketball hoop in the front driveway of a Walla Walla, Wash., home on Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Jeff Horner)

Tuesday Winner — CindyH w/10 votes: “These cyclists discover what the travel brochure meant by “no private bath.'” You can see Tuesday photo & all 19 cutline entries here.

Jury: St. Maries Man Guilty Of Murder

more: Joseph Herrera was found guilty of second degree murder today in a Coeur d'Alene courtroom.The verdict came 18 months after Herrera was arrested for the murder of Stefanie Comack, Dec. 25, 2011. The jury started deliberations at 11:15 this morning. At about 2:15 the jury had a verdict, which was announced at about 2:50. The verdict prompted an emotional outburst and applause from members and supporters of the Comack family. Judge Fred Gibler, who had just minutes before warned those attending that he did not want any outburst or show of emotion from the audience when the verdict was read, immediately ordered several persons removed from the courtroom. Security was tight throughout the trial. Jim Comack, father of the victim, had previously threatened Herrera/St. Maries Gazette-Record. More on Gazette Facebook page.

DOTC: Beware Of Govt Privatization

Here's why Dan of the Community doesn't fall for privatization when it comes for government:

From long experience, I’m always very leery of the push to privatize services that otherwise would be provided by the public sector. It usually costs more in the long run because any private provider has to add in their profit margin into the costs before they provide even the first speck of service. To keep the initial price “competitive” they have to cut employee salaries and benefits. It’s simple math. At first blush that might sound like a good thing but those employees, if they still have a job, now have less to spend at local merchants, and may now qualify for various public assistance programs to boot. None of that is good for the local economy or property taxpayers. More here.

Question: Can you think of an example when government privatization worked?

Raul Claims No Snub From Boehner

1st District Rep. Raul Labrador says it’s not true that he’s being snubbed by Speaker John Boehner on a fundraising trip to North Idaho, an event scheduled for Friday in Coeur d’Alene; the Coeur d’Alene Press ran an article today suggesting Labrador may not have been invited, though the event is in his district. “I was invited four weeks ago,” Labrador said. “They keep inviting me, they keep wanting me to go, but just, for me it was a bad weekend.” He said he did make a plane reservation in case he was able to make it to the event, which Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers is holding for Boehner to raise funds for GOP candidates; the fundraiser originally had been planned for Pullman, Wash. but was moved to Coeur d’Alene/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Seems to me that Congressman Labrador could have spared the misunderstanding, if that is what it is, by simply answering reporter's inquiries frankly in the first place. Izzit just me?

Wayne’s Free Market Is Mythical

The walking, talking embodiment of the mythical free market in Idaho today is Wayne Hoffman, executive director of the Idaho Freedom Foundation. He called a few weeks ago and asked if we could get together and get acquainted while he was in the north country on other business. No harm in getting acquainted I thought, though for Wayne, there was some “harm” encountered. It seems the speeding ticket he received was because he was running late for our get together at an Irish Pub on Lake Drive in Coeur d’Alene. Though we are polar opposite on many things, there are some issues where we have commonality – government over-reaching and the public’s loss of trust in government “honesty” at all levels, for example. It was a pleasant enough discussion but when he used the phrase “free market” as in “we have to return to a true free market” I took strong exception/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Report. More here.

DFO: Make sure you read this one to the end. Chris saves some good insight for last few graphs.

Question: Do you believe in a mythical free market system, too?

Describing Life In 6 Words

I'm always finding reviews and recommendations for new and interesting books as I crawl across the web. I have started writing down titles and authors for future reference. But every once in a while, if a book looks really good, I'll go to our community library website and place a hold on it to get it as soon as possible. That happened this week. I saw somewhere a review of “Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs By Writers Famous and Obscure.” What?! Six word memoirs?! I knew I must read it! I picked it up from the library yesterday and couldn't put it down. I am finding it extremely fascinating to see how people describe their lives in six words/A Butterfly Moment. More here.

Question: Can you describe your life in 6 words?

HBO Blogosphere — 6.19.13

In this Duane Rasmussen photo from this morning, DFO smiles at Hucks Central after being presented a Tea Party Patriots seat cushion by local GOP stalwart Donna Montgomery. Donna got her seat cushion from Leslie Damiano, organizer of the defunct organization. You can see some of DFO's toys in the shelves in the background.

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, June 19): 8508 page-views/4794 unique views

Question: So what would you do with a free North Idaho Tea Party cushion?

Luna Resists More School Counselors

Tom Luna came under fire last week, when legislative auditors issued a followup report on encouraging high school graduates to attend college. In early 2012, the Office of Performance Evaluations said Idaho needs to hire more school counselors to help students make plans for life after graduation — and hire a statewide “counselor coordinator” to provide current information on college and career trends. Luna has resisted both recommendations. When the auditors pointed this out in their followup report, legislators of both parties expressed their chagrin with Luna, the Republican state schools superintendent/Kevin Richert, The EDge. More here.

Question: Were you helped significantly by a school counselor?

Wanted: Creepy Spider Stories

SR colleague Pia Hallenberg tweets: “Looking for truthful creepy #spokane #spider stories - feel free to share at”

Question: If you have a creepy spider story, feel free to share it here.

SR News Quiz — 6.17-20.13

If it's a new week, it must be time for a new current events quiz. All entrants this week are eligible to win two movie tickets, and our overall champ will take home a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. Simply answer 10 interactive questions, and you're in! You can take the weekly News Quiz here.

  • Answer to 1st Question: 1.
  • Merry Hucksters on Leaderboard: Cathyanne, BobEly, Duffer, TLPoelstra & SFredrickson

On The Waterfront …

… Greg Lee and I saw three workers setting up orange fence to block casual observers from entering Ironman Coeur d'Alene tent city and bike transition area at City Park/Beach during our noon walk today. They were pulling pieces of the orange fence from a big yellow park parked on the Centennial Trail between City Park and City Beach. Elsewhere, four workers were hanging advertising banners from the portable white fence now separating the east end of City Park from North Idaho Museum. A white fence now stands on the edge of the sidewalk on Northwest Boulevard in front of Park View Towers. Few people on the watefront today, as a result of the rain. Greg asked an older swimmer standing on City Beach about the water. He said it was fine, maybe 63 degrees. Good for Ironman. One swimmer in a wet suit was splashing on the lake.

DFO: The old Ironman Coeur d'Alene route north of town was a bother re: trying to get around the area. But I do miss hanging out at the Coeur d'Alene Bible Church barbecue while watching the bicycle portion of the ride.

Question: Do you plan to watch any portion of Ironman Coeur d'Alene?

AMA: Obesity Is A Disease

The American Medical Association’s endorsement of obesity as a disease state should give a boost to sales and continued development of prescription diet drugs. The AMA’s policy-making House of Delegates, which this week endorsed recognizing obesity as a disease, said they wanted to see the association’s backing of such a resolution as spurring more treatment options and better reimbursement for treating overweight Americans to create better health outcomes. Though the AMA’s backing has no force of law or guarantee of a prescription, let alone insurance coverage for such drugs, it puts the word out to scores of member doctor groups that obesity requires “a range of interventions to advance obesity treatment and prevention,” as the resolution said/Bruce Japsen, Forbes. More here. (AP illustration)

Question: Do you consider obesity to be a disease?

Salvaged Materials For Art’s Sake

These earrings were made out of shotgun and .22-caliber shell casings by Spokane artist Lisa Maddux, who makes art from the objects she finds on hiking, camping and fishing excursions. Her materials include copper, clay, paper and driftwood as well. “Art for me has always been a bridge to life,” she said. “When I create, I feel energy and a connection. It is a celebration of my life's journey through the world.” SR story by Jennifer LaRue. More here.

Question: Describe the earrings you are wearing at the moment.

Standing Men & Women

Turks, some of them reading and the newspaper headline reading “Standing men,” stand in a silent protest in Guven Park in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday. After weeks of sometimes-violent confrontation with police, Turkish protesters have found a new form of resistance, standing still and silent. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Question: Have you ever participated in a political protest? Care to describe it?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.19.13

  • 12:14 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ Emiratus, 105 E. Anton Ave/CdA.
  • 12:03 p.m. Sick alcoholic male told to keep drink moderately until he enters rehab in a few days.
  • 11:31 a.m. Honda Civic & Ford Taurus involved in noninjury crash @ e/b I-90/Pleasantview, PF.
  • 11:06 a.m. 26YO male suffering chest pain after checking heart rate @ 157/138.
  • 10:19 a.m. CPD Blue reports fire hydrant broken off & needing repair, unknown location.
  • 9:59 a.m. BOSS hit on stolen silver BMW from Washington n/b on H95/CdA.
  • 9:44 a.m. Durango driver has followed possible DUI driver in red Dodge Dakota from Post Falls to McGrain Clinic @ KMC. Dakota driver almost hit parked cars & drove over one curb.
  • 9:22 a.m. Parent asks to see CPD Blue @ Coeur d'Alene HQ re: custodial interference problem.
  • 8:42 a.m. A patient may be having a stroke @ Northwest Specialty Hospital.
  • 8:23 a.m. Older male in yellow Toyota Tercel speeding, reckless @ w/b I-90/Cataldo area.

Walla Walla Onion Harvest Begins

Some farmers in the Walla Walla area have already started harvesting their Walla Walla sweet onions. KVEW reports the harvest is starting about a week-and-a-half early. The Walla Walla sweet onion is the official vegetable of the state of Washington/Associated Press.

Question: I ♥ onions, especially Walla Walla ones (which I plant annually). Mebbe it's the whole bit re: how fun it is to say Walla Walla. How about you? Do you love/hate to eat onions in your food?

Raul Mum Re: Boehner CdA $$$raiser

From left, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Vice President Joe Biden applaud during a ceremony to dedicate the statue of Frederick Douglass, seen behind them today in the Emancipation Hall of the United States Visitor Center on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner will be the focus of a fundraiser in Coeur d'Alene in which 1st District Congress Raul Labrador wasn't invited. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

U.S Speaker of the House John Boehner will visit Coeur d'Alene Friday for a private fundraiser in Congressman Raul Labrador's 1st District. According to organizers, Labrador is not attending the private event, and he's not talking about it either. “Sorry it's taken me awhile to get back to you,” said Labrador's spokesman Todd Winer, responding to repeated inquiries about the event. “We don't have any comment on the story you're working on.” Ron Nilson, CEO of Ground Force Worldwide, is helping to organize the event at the local level. He said Ed Schweitzer, CEO of Schweitzer Engineering in Pullman, is hosting the event/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Hmm. Let's read between the lines. Why would Congressman Raul Labrador not attend (not be invited to?) fund-raising event in his district that features House Speaker John Boehner? Pay back?

Poll: Women Should Be Drafted, Too

As the Pentagon unveiled plans to reverse a ban on women serving on the front lines, a poll released Wednesday found that most registered voters believe women should be eligible for a military draft if one is reinstituted. The survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research shows that 59 percent believe women should be included if a draft becomes necessary again, compared to 38 percent who say they should not be included. The poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon and the news site to mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the U.S. military draft, according to the website/David Sherfinski, Washington Times. More here.

Question: Do you agree that women should be eligible for the draft if this country reinstitutes it?

Poll: Concerned About ULUC

  • Tuesday Poll: A majority of Hucks Nation sez it has major concerns re: the proposed Unified Land Use Code being considered by Kootenai County. 67 of 122 respondents (54.92%) say they are very concerned about ULUC. 18 of 122 (14.75%) say they are “somewhat” concerned. Only 28 (22.95%) say they're not concerned at all. 9 (7.38%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: If the military draft is reinstituted, should women be drafted, too?

AM Headlines — 6.19.13

Officers from Shoshone County Sheriff Department stand by the scene of a fatal shooting last Wednesday on I-90 at milepost 72.8 near the Idaho-Montana state line east of Mullan. An Idaho State Police trooper shot and killed a motorist along Interstate 90 at Lookout Pass as a sheriff's deputy struggled with the man over a gun. The identities of the officers involved in the shooting are listed below. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Gabe Green)

Teri: Not An IM Competitor, But …

On her Facebook wall, Teri Runge Nipp posts:Hanging out downtown today I was asked three times if I was competing in the Ironman. I am very proud that I brought it here to CDA; however, not sure if I could ever endure the challenge. What an amazing accomplishment for all the athletes involved. I could do the swim and call it good.”

Question: Has anyone mistaken you for an Ironman participant?

Digger: I Don’t Wear A Tutu

Digger (re: Rasor's gays in tutus goes viral): “This is where I differ from “the community” … I often get my hand slapped for saying things that aren't in the agenda's talking points… but where does Rasor get the idea that gays wear tutus? Media? The internet? Watching any gay pride parade? I'm out and proud and won't deny who I am to anyone. But you won't find me in pink briefs walking down Main Street Moscow waving a rainbow flag. I think thats kinda counterproductive to our cause of proving we're “normal” just like everyone else.”

Question: Do you know anyone who wears a tutu to work?

Idaho Dumps Prison Contractor

Idaho prison leaders are looking for a new company to run the state's largest prison after Corrections Corporation of America admitted to understaffing and overbilling for its work operating the Idaho Correctional Center. But the Idaho Department of Correction won't be allowed to submit its own bid or take over operations at the prison south of Boise, because Board of Correction Chairwoman Robin Sandy said that would amount to expanding state government. The three-member Board of Correction made the decision during a meeting Tuesday evening, opting not to let an automatic two-year extension of CCA's $29.9 million contract kick in when the current contract expires on June 30, 2014/Rebecca Boone, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: The Idaho Department of Corrections won't be allowed to submit its own bid b/c the board chairman doesn't want to expand state government? Are. You. Kidding. Me?

SR: Idaho GOP Tramples Voters

  • Action: Tired of waiting for the Legislature to act, six Idaho cities have passed ordinances that prohibit discrimination against citizens in housing, hiring and public accommodations based on sexual orientation.
  • Reaction: Idaho Republican Party leaders have called on the Legislature to void those ordinances and prevent other municipalities from passing similar ones.
  • Action: Last fall, Idaho voters – via three referendums – successfully overturned education-related laws adopted by the Legislature.
  • Reaction: The Legislature passed a law making it more difficult – some say impossible – to gather enough signatures to place an initiative or referendum on the ballot. Then lawmakers ignored the will of the voters and passed some of the education items anyway.

That’s life in Idaho, where about four out of five lawmakers are Republican, the right to petition the government is trampled and local rule is overruled. More here.

Question: Now repeat after me, fellow Republican: “It's time to quit voting straight-ticket Republican until the Idaho Republican Party begins listening to Idahoans instead of extreme activists.” Got it?

Sister’s Shaved Head Creates Row

Melanie Strandberg shaved her head to support her sister, Marisa Lowe. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

There was no doubt in Melanie Strandberg’s mind when her sister was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer. She had to shave her head. She’d already done it once. Marisa Lowe, now 24, was first diagnosed with cancer in February 2012, and Strandberg shaved her hair to support the sister she calls her best friend. This time, when 25-year-old Strandberg’s employer told her she had to hide her bald head with a wig, there was no doubt in her mind what she had to do: She resigned. In a move that rapidly went viral, Strandberg quit her job as a salon supervisor at La Rive Spa at Northern Quest Resort and Casino last Thursday/Kaitlin Gillespie, SR. More here.

Question: Would you shave your head to support a friend diagnosed with cancer?

Ouch! McDonalds Gateway To CdA?

We have been visiting your area a couple of times per year for almost a decade. We love the small town charm, spectacular scenery, slower pace and warm and friendly people. This trip, we drove into town and noticed a building boom, including a new McDonald’s. OMG…what are you thinking? A McDonald’s on that beautiful entry to your city! I’m sorry to say the charm is disappearing way too fast. I watched what happened to Lake Tahoe and now you can barely drive through that town in the summertime. Coeur d’Alene, please slow down a little, or is it too late?/Kathleen Blakeney, Moorpark, Calif., letter to Coeur d'Alene Press editor.

Question: I think I agree with the letter writer re: a McDonald's at the mouth of Riverstone. What were they thinking?

ULUC Hearings Up In The Air

Kootenai County officials went back to the drawing board Tuesday after failing in their first attempt to hold planning commission hearings on the controversial Unified Land Use Code proposal Monday evening. “The meeting didn't go exactly as planned,” Community Development Director Scott Clark told the board of county commissioners. “We had a big crowd, bigger than expected. It was a pretty busy place.” Coeur d'Alene Fire personnel interrupted the hearing Monday night to inform the county planning commission that it was over capacity in its meeting room and said that many of the attendees would have to leave. Planning Commission Chairman Wes Hanson opted to adjourn and continue the Monday hearing “to a date uncertain” rather than asking half the attendees to leave. There will be no more hearings this week/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.'

  • Larry Spencer: “Seems the property owners have come to understand that this “wonderful new code” is really just a transfer of control and use of their property to the planning department.”

Question: Obviously, organized opposition is going to greet every meeting held to discuss the Unified Land Use Code. At this point, are these hearings an exercise in futility? What would you do if you sat in a county commissioner's seat?

Arming The Rebels

Lisa Benson/Washington Writers Group

Wild Card/Tuesday — 6.18.13

Yes, I'm well aware that Disqus has knocked our popular “recent comments” feature sideways. But I'm determined to soldier on by front-paging good comments and snippets of comments. Sorry for the inconvenience. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 6.18.13

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium staff biologist Kadie Burrone offers her head as a climbing toy for an endangered clouded leopard cub, Tien, during his afternoon feeding time in Tacoma, Wash., on Monday. The 4.6 pound cub, born May 1, can be viewed during feedings at daily in the zoo's Cub Den. (AP Photo/The News Tribune,Janet Jensen )

Katrina: Bring On The Rusty Nails

Facebook Friend Katrina Swaim posts: “I scratched my arm on the garage door yesterday, so I decided today was a good day to get my tetanus booster. Now I'm good for ten more years. Come at me, rusty nails!”

Question: When did you last have a tetanus shot?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.18.13

  • 5:27 p.m. Disabled white pickup is blocking lane of s/b H95/Prairie, Hayden.
  • 5:22 p.m. Carbon monoxide alarm sounds in 2200 block of Shooting Star St/PF.
  • 4:58 p.m. Female pushed, punched in face by father re: dispute over her boyfriend.
  • 4:42 p.m. Juvenile Probation Dept wants officer to arrest wanted male.
  • 4:21 p.m. Undisclosed type of hit-and-run @ 15th/East Sherman, CdA.
  • 4:20 p.m. Vandalism to property — graffiti — reported @ 2115 E. Sherman Ave/CdA.
  • 4:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 17-18 here.
  • 12 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 6.18.13

Chris Malloy spotted a man snooping around his property in Spokane Valley this morning morning, Malloy held the prospective thief at gunpoint until officers arrive. Story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Cutline Contest — 6.18.13

Time 2 vote …

A woman, left, reads a book as cyclists have a bath in a public fountain after riding naked trough Madrid, Saturday. Cyclists demonstrated against cars and to promote the use of bicycles and to highlight the danger due to lack of cycling lanes in the capital. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Monday winner — DFO/with 11 likes: “DFO provides Cindy with a little treat for doing another swell job blog sitting during his recent vacay.” You can see Monday photo and read all cutlines here.

Alliance Forms To Fight ULUC

From position paper As the “mom and pop” rural folks and business owners who live and work upon our rural lands, NWPOA (Northwest Property Owners Alliance) would like our elected officials to understand that we are now organized and we are here to stay. We have to admit our own failure in not diligently participating, rather just trusting, those we elect to do the right thing. We invite our elected and appointed officials to make this right. And they should know this about rural folks, we know how to work. To that end, in the future we will be holding candidate forums, we will establish a candidate survey, and establish a candidate rating system with regards to rural property owner interests. We also intend to establish a PAC to financially support those candidates who value and strongly support our rural property rights. As we say in the county when we’ve built a fence down the wrong line, “just gotta pull em out, fill the holes and build it right the next time.” You can read comment by Jennifer Locke (pictured) and see entire NWPOA position paper on ULUC here.

Question: Are you beginning to believe, as I am, that the USS Unified Land Use Code is taking on a lot of water?

Berns: Gookin Wrong Re: Windfall

Executive Tony Berns of LCDC responds to comments made by Councilman Dan Gookin earlier this month:

At the City’s June 6, 2013, strategic planning session, Councilman Gookin shared that a key strategy of his to address the City’s budgeting challenges would be to terminate the LCDC, thus resulting in more revenue to the City (link to his comments:  As you know Wendy, LCDC has two redevelopment districts; the Lake District which sunsets in 2021, and the River District which sunsets in 2027.  Councilman Gookin shared that via his analysis, it would take about 3 years to “unwind the debt” of the LCDC, which he shared would then result in an additional $3 million/year of revenue for the City. There will not be $3 million in revenue per year to the City of CDA in three years by terminating the LCDC in 2014The City will not experience a windfall of new revenue if the LCDC is terminated.  Here is why: More here.

Question: Would it be foolish/wise to terminate LCDC in 2014?

HBO Blogosphere — 6.18.13

Here's another photo by Duane Rasmussen of the annual Car d'Lane show in downtown Coeur d'Alene during the last weekend.

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, June 17): 7035 page-views/4086 unique views

Idaho Launches Criminal Justice Fix

Idaho has some of the nation’s lowest crime rates, but its prison population is growing quickly at a time when most states are seeing declines.  So now all three branches of state government in Idaho – from the governor to the Supreme Court to the Legislature – are coming together to launch an intensive new effort to find out what’s going wrong and fix it, with the help of grant funding and aid from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the Council of State Governments’ Justice Center/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Talk about re-packaging at old idea. In the 1990s, then Gov. Phil Batt proposed to greatly reduce criminal justice funding by not imprisoning low-risk individuals caught for small offenses like low-level drug crimes, bad-check writing or driving with expired license or without insurance. Do you suppose something substantive will get done under Otter?

208 Idaho Numbers Coming To End

In less than a decade, Idaho will likely join the ranks of states with more than one area code. That’s right, Idaho’s 208 area code is quickly becoming an endangered species. This isn’t a new story. Back in 2007, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission said the state would run out of 208 phone numbers within five years. That’s when number conservation and consolidation kicked in. The amount of phone numbers available expanded when the state changed the way it assigns them. According to the North American Numbering Plan, Idaho has approximately 820,000 208 telephone numbers available. Today, there are about 3.4 million 208 numbers assigned to Idaho/Emily Ritter Saunders, StateImpact. More here.

Question: Would you be willing to give up your 208 Idaho area code without a fight?

Sedation Eases Dental Procedures

Chuck Gamache’s wisdom tooth was impacted, growing sideways in his jaw. It had to come out. This was terrifying, considering Gamache’s dental history: the pain of a childhood in-line skating accident that broke his front teeth, a young adulthood marked by soda pop and neglect that made him self-conscious. “When I got to the dentist, regardless of the situation, it would get to where I was almost hyperventilating, going into shock,” said Gamache, 31, of Spokane Valley. “I mean, I was freaking myself out.” Before getting his wisdom tooth out, he asked his dentist, Dr. James Hood, about “conscious sedation” – the use of drugs to ease anxiety before and during dental procedures. They settled on a three-pill plan, two to be taken the night before his procedure and one in the morning/Adrian Rogers, SR. More here. (SR photo: Sedation has eased dental procedures for Danyel Swenson, wearing an “elephant nose” delivering nitrous oxide and accompanied by her doll Grace at KiDDS Dental in Liberty Lake)

Question: How nervous are you before a dental appointment?

Out Of The Woods

In this Duane Rasmussen photo, a cat emerges from tall grass somewhere northeast of Post Falls last weekend. Duane informs Huckleberries that he can't touch a cat without an allergic reaction, like red eyes. How about you?

Question: Are you allergic to cats? Or afraid of black cats?

If You Wore A Tutu To Work …

… What color would it be? (Please explain color choice)

Pork Bullets Target Extreme Islamists

A company based in Dalton Gardens have created “Jihawg” ammunition. The concept is to defend against Islamic extremists and create “Peace Through Pork”. According to Islamic law pork is unclean. Anyone who is considered unclean must go through a cleansing ritual. No unclean person will be accepted in to paradise after death. Jihawg claims to get to the root of extreme Islam & Jihad by putting the idea of paradise in doubt of extremists/Dylan Wohlenhaus, KHQ. More here. (KHQ photo)

Thoughts about 'Jihawg' ammo?

PFPD: 77 Sex Offenders In Post Falls

From Post Falls Police Department Facebook: “Registered Sex Offender Awareness – According to our local sex offender database that is maintained by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, there are 358 Registered Sex Offenders (RSOs) in Kootenai County with 77 of those residing in Post Falls (see attached map). The information in the sex offender registry is provided only for the purpose of protecting the public. It is not to be used for the purpose of harassing or intimidating anyone.” More here.

Question: Do you feel safe?

Idaho Teachers’ Programs Get ‘D’

When it comes to preparing teachers for the classroom, Idaho colleges and universities get a “D” grade, according to a Washington, D.C.-based group. The new National Council on Teacher Quality report found Idaho teacher education programs lacking in several areas. Among the findings:

  • Idaho isn’t selective enough. Only 22 percent of the state’s teacher education programs restrict admissions to the top half of college-bound students. Nationally, the average is 28 percent.
  • Reading programs fail to measure up. Only a quarter of the state’s elementary instruction programs teach what the report calls “effective, scientifically based reading instruction.” The national average is 29 percent.
  • Idaho’s special education teaching certificate, covering kindergarten through 12th grade, fails to note differences between working with elementary and secondary students.

Not all the news is bad, however/Kevin Richert, IdahoED News. More here.

Question: Do you have a teacher in your family?

No Dates Yet For ULUC Hearings

The previously scheduled Planning Commission Unified Land Use Code (ULUC) hearing and deliberation scheduled for June 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26 and 27, 2013 has been temporarily “postponed”.  In order to better accommodate interested attendees and to encourage ongoing participation in the ULUC review process, the Planning Commission is looking into locating more accommodating facilities for continuing the public hearing forums.  It is the Planning Commission’s intent to promptly move forward with the process in order to ensure the public, agencies, affected political subdivisions, and cities all have timely opportunity to participate and provide input for Planning Commission consideration prior to formulating their recommendation to the Board of Commissioners. Once locations and dates have been identified, public notice will be provided with a 28-day notice in local newspapers, posted to the project website, and e-mail blasted out to the ULUC e-mail blast list/Sandi Gilbertson, Kootenai County planning news release.

Don’t Fail Idaho Misreports Stats

The Don’t Fail Idaho media blitz asks us to rethink education for Idaho because results from the NAEP 2011 tests prove that about 60 percent of Idaho’s fourth- and eighth-grade students were not proficient in reading and mathematics. Not proficient in the sense that 60 percent of our students are not making the grade, are falling further behind and will never catch up. Not to panic, though! The Don’t Fail Idaho campaign’s message about student achievement is based on an incorrect understanding and analysis of NAEP achievement levels. One thing for sure, misreporting student achievement data is not going to help anyone make informed decisions about K-12 education in Idaho/Bert Stoneberg, IdahoED News. More here.


Mary Campaigns Downtown

Mary Souza campaigns in downtown Coeur d'Alene during the recent Car d'Lane event.   She paused to visit briefly with NRA board member, Dwight Van Horn. Photographer Duane Rasmussen noticed she had political campaign buttons that she was giving to some people.  I don't know if Van Horn got one or not. 

Question: Just getting back to speed after a week's vacay. Dunno if anyone else has announced for mayor or City Council, besides Mary and Jim Brannon. But I did hear that former chamber manager Pat McGaughey has been mentioned as a mayoral prospect. Any other good rumors re: fall municipal elections this year?

AM Scanner Traffic — 6.18.13

  • 11:59 a.m. Deputies responding to suicide threat on Taryne Street/Hayden.
  • 11:43 a.m. Firefighters responding to fire alarm in 6300 block of Tall Pines Road/CdA.
  • 11:14 a.m. Caller in 1100 block of Skyview Drive reports 2 large dogs killed 2 chickens moments ago.
  • 10:49 a.m. PFPD Blue checking on vagrant sleeping in weeds near Post Falls McDonalds.
  • 10:46 a.m. Caller reports 2 people shooting drugs in North Dakota car in KMC ER parking lot.
  • 10:43 a.m. CPD Blue checking on someone's welfare in 1000 block of 14th/CdA.
  • 10:41 a.m. 80YO patient falls in 2700 block of Stagecoach/PF while being transported.
  • 10:34 a.m. Railroad lights operating w/o train visible @ H41/Hayden, Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 10:16 a.m. Small grass fire reported (9:14 item) as result of power pole on fire.
  • 9:14 a.m. Transformer sparking and pole on fire @ 7215 Kelso Lake Road/Priest River.
  • 9:07 a.m. Male who'd been trespassed from local gas station March 29 on property again.
  • 8:27 a.m. 19YO belligerent male trying to get prescription drugs from his mother.

By The Lake

McEuen’s all gone
and Front Street’s gone too;
what we presently have
is a hole with a view.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Poll: Solons Will Push To Revoke Laws

  • Monday Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation believes Republican legislators in the 2014 Idaho Legislature will attempt to void antidiscrimination laws passed by six Idaho cities, including Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint. 74 of 101 respondents (73.27%) held that position in Monday's poll. Only 19 of 101 respondents (18.81%) don't believe an attempt will be made to overturn the laws next session. 8 (7.92%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you have major concerns about Kootenai County's propose Unified Land Use Code?

Tony Stewart Remembers Ray Stone

I wish to share my thoughts on the passing of my good friend Ray Stone. In 1970, I was interviewed by NIC Dean of Instruction Ray Stone and NIC President Barry Schuler for the opening political science position. Ray called two days later to offer me the position that begin a more than four decades of friendship. I served as chair of the NIC Division of Social Science for 14 years and during most of that time I reported to Dean Stone. When Ray decided to seek a seat on the Coeur d’Alene City Council, I became involved in that first campaign and continued to work in all his other races for council and mayor. We spent many hours together addressing political issues and most important of all we worked with other members of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations to promote human rights in Coeur d’Alene and the region. Ray was so proud of three very significant and special human rights ceremonies and events that took place while he was mayor. More here.

Question: What will Ray Stone be remembered for?

Trustees-Elect Face Financial Dilemma

Tom Hearn, who'll take office as a Coeur d'Alene School Board trustee July 1, Facebooks: People have asked me recently what has been happening since the election and what can we expect on July 1st. Christa, Dave and I have been meeting regularly with the administration to get up to speed on lots of issues but primarily the finances of the district. Due to under funding of the levy (in my opinion) and lack of legislative support the district has significant financial problems. There have been over 30 positions lost due to attrition and not refilling the position in the last few years and the school district's funding from the state is less than it was in 2009. People know that our per pupil funding in Idaho is among the lowest in the country and one has to ask where is the commitment to adequate funding of public education in Idaho? More here.

Question: Will new Coeur d'Alene School Board trustees be able to deal with financial mess, possibly caused by under-funding school levy this spring?

AM Headlines — 6.18.13

Below normal spring runoff has allowed Avista to stabilize Lake Coeur d’Alene at summer levels and expand boating opportunities about a week earlier than normal. The Spokane River was opened Wednesday to recreation between the Spokane Street Bridge and the boater safety cables upstream of the Post Falls Dam. More from Rich Landers' Outdoors blog here.

LGBT Laws: Otter Backs Local Control

Asked about the Idaho GOP Central Committee’s new resolution calling on the Legislature to overturn local anti-discrimination ordinances, like those six Idaho cities have passed to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, Gov. Butch Otter said today that the resolution runs counter to his views on local control. “I think, even though the cities and counties are creatures of the state, the state has always recognized the value of local control, local decision-making, and these folks having a responsibility to establish for themselves the character of their community,” Otter said/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Agree/disagree with Gov. Otter re: local control?

FishinJay: Slum Lords Alive In CdA

FishinJay (re: “FB: No rental houses in Coeur d'Alene”): There are lots of “for rent” signs, but the conditions in many of these places are disgusting. I can speak from experience here, because I just completed a 4 month effort to find a place to live. I started off with a month and a half of looking at just about every 2 or 3 bedroom house for rent in the 83814 zip. Let me tell you, slum-lording is alive and well in CdA! It is common to find black mold, rotten floors and ceilings, broken appliances and fixtures, stained stinking carpet, and a flat out refusal by the land lord to fix those things prior to a renter moving in. But it was easy to see why: people are snapping up these rentals just as quickly as they come on the market. It's unbelievable to me what other people are willing to rent in this town. Remainder of comment in drop-down box.

Question: Have you had a bad experience with a rental or a landlord in the Coeur d'Alene/Kootenai County area?

Hayden Chamber Sets Anti-Bias Panel

A panel featuring human rights advocate Tony Stewart will discuss the recent antidiscrimination ordinance adopted by the city of Coeur d'Alene when the Hayden Chamber of Commerce meets for breakfast at 7 o'clock Thursday, June 27, at the Kroc Center. Stewart will be joined by Idaho state Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, and Coeur d'Alene council members Mike Kennedy and Dan Gookin. A press release for the event reads: “Since there are ongoing efforts to bring similar ordinances to the surrounding communities, there is a potential for this legislation to affect businesses in the Hayden Chamber. In response the Chamber will be hosting a panel of individuals to discuss the impacts on businesses.”

Question: Am I reading the tea leaves correctly — that Hayden will be asked next to approve an antidiscrimination ordinance?

Carlson: Otter Needs An Opponent

Idaho's political cognoscenti (a nice way of saying “junkies”) would probably agree with the statement that historically most of Idaho's outstanding governors first cut their teeth with service in the Legislature. Democrats like John Evans and Cecil Andrus, and Republicans like Phil Batt and C.A. (Doc) Robins come immediately to mind. Conversely, governors who have struggled to govern well and often clashed with the Legislature's leadership seldom have any legislative service or at best one term in the distant past. Current Gov.C. L. (Butch) Otter and former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne immediately come to mind. Politics is all about relationships and working with fellow citizens for the common good. It is not for the faint-hearted and as has been often pointed out it is a contact sport/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: I agree with Carlson that Gov. Butch Otter needs an opponent (read: someone to send him into retirement). But I simply can't get excited about the prospect of a possible Gov. Labrador. Maybe the devil we have (who has badly damaged public education) is better than the one we'd get?

Ex-Mayor Recalled As ‘Feisty,’ ‘Kind’

Ray Stone was not one to back down from political pressures. “You always knew where he stood,” Ron Edinger said of the former Coeur d'Alene mayor. “He was a very staunch Democrat - and he always let you know it. He stood by what he believed.” Stone, Coeur d'Alene's mayor from 1986 to 1994 and a city council member from 1971 to 1979, died at The Hospice House in Coeur d'Alene Monday. He was 89. Stone was also a World War II veteran, the leader and drummer of a local band called The Ray Stone Swing Band, a teacher and a former dean at North Idaho College. Edinger, also a former Coeur d'Alene mayor and city council member who served with Stone, said Stone looked out for the “little guy or underprivileged person” “I lost a dear friend in Ray Stone and a good golfing buddy,” Edinger said. “He was a feisty and kind-hearted man”/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: In 1995, Ray Stone tells an audience at the Coeur d'Alene Library about his experience in helping liberate a Nazi concentration camp)

DFO: Feel free to share any other remembrances you have of former, two-term mayor Ray Stone.

Angry Crowd Closes ULUC Meeting

It was powder keg that darn near went off in the Kootenai County Courthouse Monday night. Luckily, the Coeur d'Alene Fire Department was able to snuff the fuse by informing the Kootenai County Planning Commission that its meeting was over capacity, so it was canceled. But not before a few sparks went off.  Pressure started building in 2010 after Kootenai County adopted a new comprehensive plan and decided to update its land use codes to enforce the new plan. As the proposal was being developed, county officials met with several community groups, advisory groups and affected land owners to explain their intentions. Still, after years of meetings, it became apparent during a forum on the subject earlier this month that many county residents are still frustrated. That all came to a head Monday night/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Press photo: Nearly 300 people turned out for the Kootenai County Planning Commission's hearing on its proposed Unified Land Use Code)

Commenter Bob Ely: “Those of us who live in the county are quite concerned that the county commissioners are going to ram this ill conceived plan down our throats. Note to commissioners: go back to the drawing board.”

Question: What percentage of the public do you think is concerned re: the proposed new land-use code?

Rasor’s Gays In Tutus Goes Viral

This Dan Pelle SR file photo from the 4th annual Monster Dash in Manito Park/Spokane last fall is for illustrative purposes only.

Cornel Rasor, who chairs the Idaho Republican Party’s resolutions committee, says that he pushed for a resolution to void all local ordinances banning discrimination against LGBT people because he wants to be able to fire any gay man who “comes into work in a tutu.” The Associated Press reported that a non-binding resolution passed Saturday at the party’s Central Committee summer meeting in McCall calls for the state legislature to block anti-discrimination ordinances passed by at least five municipalities throughout the state/David Edwards, The Raw Story. More here.

  • Correction: If you follow the link above, The Raw Story reports that Rasor made this comment at the Central Committee summer meeting. He actually made the comment directly to SReporter Betsy Russell during an interview.

Question: Do you know any gay guys who show up to work in tutus?

DJs Fired For Mocking ALS Victim

The cast of an Atlanta sports radio show has been fired after mocking a former NFL player who has Lou Gehrig’s disease, a station official said Monday. The show, “Mayhem in the AM,” was broadcast on 790 The Zone Monday morning. In a statement, General Manager Rick Mack said the station regrets comments made about ex-New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason (pictured). The 36-year-old suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS patients lose the ability to speak and move, which has happened to Gleason. Gleason played for the Saints between 2000 and 2006. The Spokane native is an alumnus of Washington State and Gonzaga Prep/SR, AP. More here. (AP file photo)

Scootermom: “I don't listen to much radio anymore. I hate the banter that's usually offensive, sexist, juvenile and just plain not funny. I see that I've not been missing much.”

Question: I consider the firings to be an appropriate response for the insensitive actions of the “Mayhem in the AM” crew. How about you?

Idaho GOP Wants To Void LGBT Laws

Idaho Republican Party leaders want state legislators to wade into city affairs and invalidate local laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation such as the one Coeur d’Alene passed after an emotional community debate two weeks ago. Six Idaho cities have passed nondiscrimination ordinances in the past year and a half, and a seventh, Idaho Falls, is looking into one now. The Idaho GOP wants the efforts stopped. “It’s a way for the people to make their expressions known to the Legislature,” Idaho Republican Chairman Barry Peterson said. “We let ’em know that this is the way that the majority of the party feels.” About 81 percent of Idaho’s state lawmakers are Republican. Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem noted rifts within the GOP/Betsy Z. Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you think the majority of Idaho Republicans support/oppose the GOP resolution seeking to void the LGBT laws approved by six Idaho cities?

The Monster

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Wild Card/Monday — 6.17.13

I'm still shaking cob webs off, after a week's vacay, first hosting relatives in Coeur d'Alene and then watching Amy Dearest receive her master's degree in family counseling in Portland. Mrs. O received quite an eyeful Saturday when she decided to buy a treat for Amy Dearest to celebrate her accomplishment — a remnant of the Naked Bike Ride. Seems 25 naked riders — 24 males and a female — were doing a victory lap, a week after the big PDX ride, when Mrs. O & Amy Dearest encountered them at a stop light. Neither of my Ladies were impressed, using the “Seinfeld” term “bad naked” to describe the scene. With that happy thought, I'll post the first Wild Card of my post-vacay …

Parting Shot — 6.17.13

A little girl stands in front of a fountain during nice and sunny weather at the Alexanderplatz square in Berlin, Germany, Monday. (AP Photo/dpa, Ole Spata)

Woman Quits Job To Back Sick Sister

A Spokane woman who shaved her head as a show of solidarity for her sister who has cancer quit her job at Northern Quest Casino after she was made to feel embarrassed for shaving her head. Friends and family who shave their heads in support of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are sometimes told to cover up because their look is offensive. In this case Melanie Strandberg wouldn't stand for it, and her stand has sparked a firestorm of support from the worldwide cancer community. Melanie's sister Marissa has cancer. First it was ovarian but now cancer has attached her sister's colon. “She's amazing; she's the most amazing person I know,” Strandberg said. Marissa's chemotherapy treatment starts this Thursday so, two weeks ago, to show her support for her sister, Strandberg shaved her head/Colleen O'Brien, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo)

Question: Am I the only one here who thinks Northern Quest Casino botched this situation, big time?

PM Scanner Traffic — 6.17.13

  • 5:12 p.m. Sports car speeding @ 100 mph on w/b I-90/MP 16.5 (Mullan Trail/CdA).
  • 5:02 p.m. 4-foot piece of metal roofing laying in right lane of w/b I-90/State Line.
  • 4:49 p.m. Red pickup has hit piece of construction equipment @ H95/Bunco Road, Athol.
  • 4:26 p.m. 50ish female w/chest pain in & out of consciousness on Good Hope Road/Athol.
  • 4:14 p.m. Mother reports 17YO boy threatening to kill himself by jumping in front of car @ Honeysuckle/Ramsey, Hayden.
  • 4:13 p.m. Marine deputy out w/disabled vessel near Higgens Point/Lake Coeur d'Alene.
  • 4:08 a.m. Patient suffering chest pain @ Urgent Care, 315 W. Dalton Ave/CdA.
  • 14 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Cutline Contest — 6.17.13

Firefighters protest in their underwear against austerity measures in Sabadell, Spain, earlier today. Spain has been in recession for the best part of the past four years as the economy battles to recover from the collapse of its once-booming real estate sector. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • Time 2 vote …

Idaho GOP Passes On Common Core

Idaho Republicans took a stand on Common Core over the weekend — but stopped well short of outright rejection of the controversial educational standards. Meeting in McCall on Saturday, the GOP’s state Central Committee passed a resolution rejecting “the collection of personal student data for any non-educational purpose.” The resolution takes no position on Common Core itself — or the Idaho Core Standards, the state’s variation on the initiative. These math and English language arts standards are slated to go into effect this fall, with student assessments to follow in the spring of 2015/Kevin Richert, Idaho Education News. More here.

Question: What kept Idaho Republicans from rejecting the controversial Common Core standards?

Read more here:

PM Headlines — 6.17.13

John Shearer, sitting with his wife Teresa, center, and friend Fran Brown, left, cruises down Sherman with his car club, the Wenatchee Valley Cruisers, before the start of the annual Friday night cruise in downtown Coeur d'Alene. Shearer is driving his restored 1943 Army troop carrier. The cruise was the kickoff for the annual Car d'Lane care show show weekend, put on Coeur d''Alene Downtown Association. On Saturday, the show continued with displays of hundreds of cars on downtown streets. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)