Archive for November 2013
The Macy's Parade Snoopy balloon is partially inflated on Wednesday in New York. The characters that glide between Manhattan's skyscrapers can't lift off if sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts top 34 mph. The New York Police Department, the National Weather Service and Macy's representatives will make a final determination in the morning. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Question: Do you watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade every Thanksgiving morning?
A Facebook Friend posts: “Ugh! I hope there is a special place in hell for irresponsible dog owners! Just had to clean doggy diarrhea out of every groove in 2 of my lawnmower tires Not high on my list of stuff to do when it is only 30 degrees out. Is it rocket science that cleaning up your pet's waste is a part of being a pet owner?”
Question: Would you confront a owner walking his/her dog, if the dog pooped in your yard and the owner didn't pick it up?
At my first newspaper job, employees were given frozen turkeys as a Christmas bonus one year. They were presented early in the day. So I had to store it under my desk until I went home much later. This was a long time ago. But I seem to remember accidentally kicking the frozen turkey about 50 times. That was a bit disconcerting/Paul Turner, The Slice.
Question: What was your most memorable Christmas bonus?
Gonzaga guard David Stockton (11) darts under Arkansas forward Bobby Portis (10) to shoot a layup while his teammate center Przemek Karnowski, back left, looks on in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Maui Invitational on Wednesday in Lahaina, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)
Kevin Pangos scored 34 points and No. 11 Gonzaga easily beat Arkansas 91-81 on Wednesday in the Maui Invitational. Pangos made seven of eight 3-point attempts, including four during a 3-minute stretch in the second half that led the Bulldogs to an 18-point lead. He did more than just shoot 3s, though. Pangos had four assists, three rebounds and several layups in traffic while the game was still close. Gonzaga (6-1) never trailed and responded each time the Razorbacks tried to string together baskets/Associated Press. More + boxscore here.
Question: Overall, a good trip to Hawaii?
We'll have another day to enjoy together, today, before breaking for the Thanksgiving vacation. Mrs. O and I will be hosting Amy Dearest and Okie Doke Thursday through Sunday at Casa Oliveria, splitting Thanksgiving with my wife's relatives (dinner) and my relatives (dessert). Seems all we need to bring to the feasts are our appetites. But that doesn't happen till tomorrow. Today, I'll continue to search for that elusive story that makes the cyber turnstiles jump …
Barbara Kansky, condo manager of Devon Wood in Braintree, Mass., uses a long cotton swab to demonstrate how to obtain a DNA cheek cell sample from her dog, Justine. Apartment and condo managers, dogged by complaints from those who’ve have experienced the squishy and smelly sensation of stepping onto a pile of dog doo, are turning to DNA testing to identity the culprits who don’t clean up after their pets. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Tuesday Winner — Psalm37, with 6 likes: “Tommy regrets not going on a diet so he wouldn't look so succulent.” And runnerup — Duane Rasmussen, with 4 likes: They should have just given the turkey to Sarah Palin. She would have solved the problem and done an interview at the same time. You can see Tuesday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.
Here's a heart-breaking story re: a Sagle woman who lost her husband two months ago and then everything else, including 3 dogs and at least 3 cats, in a fire recently. Gabe Cohen, new Coeur d'Alene bureau newscaster for KHQ filed this story Monday.
At The Slice blog, Paul Turner provides this photo of the front cover of the Nov. 27, 1964, edition of Life.
HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, Nov. 26): 9056 page-views/4908 unique views
People in the U.S. are now five times more likely to use the Internet for holiday shopping than they were 15 years ago, according to Gallup. Gallup says the 53 percent of those surveyed who plan on shopping online these holidays mark the first time that a majority will use the Internet to help check off their list. When Gallup first asked the question, in 1998, only 10 percent of holiday shoppers said they’d use the Internet/Bernie Becker, The Hill. More here.
Question: Do you do much of your holiday shopping online?
Las Vegas police officer Mike Lemley, dressed in a turkey costume, crosses the street at the intersection of Balzar Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Las Vegas, Tuesday. The giant turkey is roving crosswalks in Las Vegas to squawk on drivers who don't yield to pedestrians. It's the fifth annual appearance of the safety mascot dubbed “Butterball One.” Police waiting to the sides of the crosswalks are slapping drivers who don't stop with fines starting at $191. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police: Steve Crupi)
Question: I haven't used the Beck Road interchange yet. Have you?
It doesn't take a perfect score to win our weekly Spokesman-Review News Quiz, but it can't hurt! All entries this week are eligible to win two movie tickets, and our overall champ, drawn from among the top scores, earns a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. You can take the News Quiz here.
Several GOP lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to reconsider its plans to shutter America's Vatican embassy and move it into the larger U.S. Embassy in Italy. The move, which is expected to take place in late 2014 or early 2015, is being touted as a way to save money and better ensure the security of U.S. diplomats, particularly after last year's deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. The Vatican isn't opposing the move, but it has raised hackles among some lawmakers and several former U.S. envoys to the Holy See. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), a Catholic, called it a “slap in the face” to America's 78 million Catholics — particularly in the wake of the health law's controversial mandate that employers cover birth control/Julian Pecquet, The Hill. More here.
Question: Do you think the proposed move by the Obama administration is anti-Vatican or anti-Catholic?
Thanksgiving can’t possibly get better by making it the biggest shopping day of the year, but ultimately only we shoppers have the power to convince the big box guys that some things are too important to turn over to door busting specials. If we stay away, nap on the sofa, help mom with the dishes, play Scrabble with the nieces and nephews, watch an old movie or, heaven forbid, read a book, the guys at Shopko will conclude – it’s the nature of capitalism after all – that opening early on the day after Thanksgiving is still the way to go/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.
Question: Are Americans attached enough to Thanksgiving to avoid the box stores tomorrow?
The silliness at the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee didn't end with the resolutions involving the 2nd and 17th amendments Tuesday night. Chairman Neil Oliver, pictured, produced his own bit of silliness and worse when he, at first, refused to recognize Kellie Palm, the committeewoman from the 15th Precinct and former president of the Kootenai County Republican Women. Kellie is one of about 10 precinct committee people who don't genuflect to the dominant Ron Paul CC crowd — and not one of Oliver's favorites. She wanted to express her opinion in a debate about the 17th amendment, which the state GOP and apparently the Ron Paul faction of the local GOP want to repeal (allowing the Legislature rather than Idahoans to pick U.S. senators). At first, Oliver declared Palm out of order. He hit his gavel two or three times. He threatened to throw her out of the Central Committee meeting and yelled at her to “shut up” when she asked if it was okay to speak. All this was related to Huckleberries by Kellie Palm this morning. Who told Oliver that “shut up” was considered a curse word in her house hold (worthy of soap-in-mouth treatment). When Palm asked Oliver what grounds he was using to deny her the right to speak, he told her, “On the grounds of jibber jabber.” Seems the local GOParty is in dire need of adult leadership.
The new parking garage will partly open Thanksgiving morning, as work continues today on the McEuen Park upgrade. (Photo: Keith Erickson)
Thousands of people who converge on downtown Coeur d’Alene for the annual holiday lighting festivities on Friday will have the option to park at the new parking structure off Front Avenue. Access will be from Second and Third streets. Motorists can depart via Second Street, or Fourth Street. Third Street will remain one-way south, while Fourth Street will be northbound only. Project manager Dennis Grant of the city’s engineering department said about 180 parking spaces will be open. This includes parking stalls inside the parking structure and outside. Those limited parking spots will remain open through the winter, Grant said. The entire Front Avenue parking structure will open to the public next spring. Parking for the lighting ceremonies and downtown parade will be $7 per vehicle for event parking/Keith Erickson, city of Coeur d'Alene.
Question: When do you plan to first use the new parking facility at McEuen Field?
Coeur d' Alene High School is the king of Idaho football. The team won the 5A title last weekend 31-28. It's the school's third title in four years, but this victory was different. To celebrate, the school held an assembly on Tuesday. The student-athletes were introduced to a cheering crowd. The biggest chant, was saved for coach Shawn Amos. “We love Amos,” the crowd roared. “It was something special,” he said. Usually, Shawn Amos likes to quietly stay behind the scenes while leading the state's most successful football team. But in the last month, he's had to do it while battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma/Ian Cull, KXLY. More here.
Question: Isn't this a made-for-Hollywood situation?
I have a sorry and regretful story to tell. It concerns the board of a nonprofit organization that I believe overstepped the boundaries of decency, honesty and fairness. A nonprofit board that didn't understand its mission is to be the guardian, not the owner, of the organization's future. Nonprofit organizations, no matter how worthy the cause, cannot justify cutting ethical corners. And no organization can justify treating its employees and colleagues with total disdain. The organization I'm talking about is the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre, which announced in August it was shelving plans for a 2014 summer season at North Idaho College's Schuler Auditorium. Lo and behold, two months later, we learn that there will be a 2014 season after all. But with a change in management and at a different venue. Essential to this story is the gathering storm of money problems the troupe encountered over the summer of 2013/Mary Lou Reed, Inlander. More here.
Question: Do you expect to see the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre return to North Idaho College in all its glory in the near future?
First, you should know that Kevin Richert switched jobs, from opinion editor at the Idaho Statesman to join the staff of IdahoED News, which covers education in the state of Idaho. Now, onward. On his Facebook wall, Kevin writes:
“I'm entitled to one non-snarky sentiment this week, and here it is. I am so grateful for the new adventures of the past year: a fascinating new job with a great group of colleagues; graduate school (at last); training for and finishing my first marathon. And I'm especially grateful for my family and friends — and especially for Chris. In a year of new challenges, it's great to have support and love that simply never wavers. I feel blessed this Thanksgiving. Because I am. A great and safe holiday to you all.”
Question: What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving week?
Do you have body issues? Do you struggle with your self image? Do you believe that you're not pretty enough or skinny enough? We live in a culture that as a twisted definition of beauty. Our starlets are photoshopped to look curvier and bustier creating this artificial standard that demands you sacrifice your self worth on the alter of Sexy. This culture tells you that you need a slimmer waist, bigger breasts, fuller lips, and shinier hair to be hot. Our movies and music tell you that you have to take your clothes off to to be valued. When you walk through the grocery store check out lanes, you are confronted with magazines that promise tips to have a better sex life, get the guy you want, and lose a few pounds - all while Katy Perry is the cover model ideal of perfection/Nic, Rants, Raves & Random Thoughts. More here.
Question: Nic goes on to say that men have an image problem, too. Did you ladies know that?
Jack Erickson, the son of Brandon Erickson, salutes firefighters as he sits on the lap of family friend Capt. Scott Kiesig in the Eagle fire truck that was transporting the casket of his father following the Tuesday memorial service at Eagle Christian Church in Eagle. Brandon Erickson, a captain with the Eagle Fire Department, died Thursday after a complication from back surgery. (AP Photo/Idaho Press-Tribune, Greg Kreller)
After that vote, the committee heard a resolution presented by Committeeman Matt Roetter that if passed would have called on the state Republican Central Committee to eliminate its support for repealing the 17th Amendment. The 17th Amendment was ratified in 1913 and gave citizens the right to elect their U.S. senators. Prior to that amendment, state legislatures were charged with appointing their state's two senators. … After Roetter made the motion to pass the resolution, Committeeman Jeff Tyler, who is also president of the Reagan Republicans, presented a 12 minute YouTube video from Friends Of America which supports the repeal of the 17th Amendment. … The committee voted 35 to 14 — with one abstaining — to postpone the issue indefinitely (a move Roetter interprets as supporting the repeal)/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Duane Rasmussen photo: Reagan Republican President Jeff Tyler listens to state Sen. Russ Fulcher announce for governor Saturday)
DFO: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation opposes the repeal of the 17th amendment (more than 90% in a recent poll).
Question: How can you explain why the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee is so out of touch with reality that it would endorse by omission a party plank that would exclude Idahoans from picking U.S. senators?
As the chair of the CDA Arts Commission, I want provide a little insight into the process — and this specific call to artist. We did a national call for this art position. Why would we do a national call vs something just local?
DFO: Hey, don't look at me. I think the Arts Commission has done a terrific job beautifying our community. I see the day coming when Coeur d'Alene will be recognized regionally/nationally for its public art. I can't wait for the day someone snaps a photo of my friend Duane Rasmussen passing under the rainbow entrance to the new McEuen Park. Now let's all have a group hug.
Deanna Goodlander (RE: LastDemoIn Idaho: How about TLC for seniors): Spudbob. if you are referring to the Jewett House, the city received the House and the Beach in front of it with an agreement that it would be used for senior activities. The house is fairly small, but it does get used for card games etc. It's size limits its activities. Of great importance is the fact that the only real public access beach at that end of Sanders is the beach in front of the house. Also last summer the old chicken house at the back was used for growing plant starts for the community garden. There have also been some weddings on the grounds. Abiding by the agreement ensures that all of those uses will remain. The Lake City Center is available for a much more varied use.
Question: Mrs. O & I celebrated our 25th anniversary with dozens of our closest friends at the Jewett House in June 2000. Wonder venue for such things. Have you been to a function at the Jewett House?
Councilwoman KerriT (RE: Look within for next police chief): In Post Falls we've been fortunate to replace longtime Chief of Police Cliff Hayes in house with Chief Scot Haug and just a year ago, our longtime finance director Shelly Enderud was chosen to replace Eric Keck as City Administrator. With both of those in house promotions we knew that no search would have produced candidates more qualified or prepared to step into those important positions. I believe whenever possible promoting from within speaks to the value placed on employees who dedicate themselves to the job and the organization. The reality that thousands of dollars and considerable time was saved by not going through a search outside the city was just a bonus, not a policy.
Question: Post Falls has had a solid leadership in staff positions for quite some time. Is this another good argument for looking within when it comes to filling city department head positions? When should you look outside a department?
John Cross, center, Idaho GOP Region 1 chairman, and state Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, left, greet state Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, who flew into the Kootenai County airport Saturday to announce his gubernatorial candidacy. Cross, a former southern California law officer, presented a resolution to the county GOP Central Committee Tuesday, asking the county to allow the sheriff to decide constitutionality of 2nd Amendment questions. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Local Republicans voted Tuesday night to indefinitely postpone a vote that would protect citizen's right to vote for their U.S. senators under the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They also voted on a resolution that calls on Kootenai County commissioners to enact a county ordinance that would implore the Kootenai County sheriff “to take such measure as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of any federal acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations which violate the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.” The Second Amendment resolution was presented by precinct committeeman John Cross, who said the state Republican Party requested action on the resolution/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: The Republican Central Committee wouldn't even allow the sheriff to talk about this issue? Are. You. Kidding. Me?
AAA Idaho expects some 195,000 Idahoans to hit the roads for Thanksgiving holiday travel this year, and the motorists group says there’s good news for travelers: Idaho’s gas prices have dropped below the national average for the first time since the third week in May. AAA reported that the average Idaho gas price is now $3.22 per gallon, while the national average is $3.28. Idaho’s prices have fallen by 7 cents a gallon in the past week, while the national average rose by 7 cents/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Should we tell 'em that we're paying less than $3 per gallon in Coeur d'Alene?
In a state so in love with free-market capitalism, the fact that Idaho continues to pick winners and losers in the booze industry is confounding. Idaho still clings to a long-outdated, population-based system that limits each city to one licensed bar for every 1,500 citizens. The moralist, temperance-movement regulation has created a secondary market where would-be bar owners regularly pay $150,000-a-year to buy someone else's' liquor license. Compare that to the state's annual $750 annual fee the license owner pays to keep the cash cow. Think about that number for a minute. A bar owner would have to sell about 30,000 Jack and Cokes to just pay for his or her license on the secondary market. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 75,000 Pabst Blue Ribbons would have to cross the bar just to break even/Twin Falls Times News. More here.
Question: Do Idaho liquor laws make sense to you?
The forecast is good for Thanksgiving. But maybe not so good for the Gonzaga Bulldogs this year. Meanwhile, the Apple Cup looms ahead for the resurgent WSU Cougs. And the Idaho Vandals will complete their journey in the Independent wilderness with only one win. Next year, they'll find a home in the Sun Belt/Big Sky Conference. And all will be right with the regional college football universe. Meanwhile, Coeur d'Alene High is celebrating its 3rd state football title in 4 years (eatcher heart out, Boise area pretenders) this morning. With those happy thoughts, I'll post the Wild Card …
William Witters, of Valparaiso, Ind., waits for a ride in a wheelchair after passing through security at Chicago Midway International Airport on Tuesday. Thanksgiving travelers scrambled to book earlier flights Tuesday to avoid a sprawling storm bearing down on the East Coast with a messy mix of snow, rain and wind that threatened to snarl one of the busiest travel days of the year(AP Photo/Vyto Starinskas)
Facebook Friend D.J. Nall posts: “I sure do miss my mother today. She would fix a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for us and smile the entire time. Unfortunately I really hate cooking as much as anyone could hate anything. My husband knows that fact about me but he must hate cooking too cause he has never offered to fix the feast. I don't blame him.”
Question: Who's responsible for cooking your Thanksgiving dinner?
Update: Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Ron Clark located runaway Jeremy M. Yaken in the 1700 block of North West Boulevard. Officers received a tip of his whereabouts from an alert citizen that monitored the Coeur d’Alene Police Facebook page. Chief Clark spotted Yaken and was able to convince him not to run from him.
Coeur d’Alene police officers are currently searching in the downtown area for a missing ten year-old boy. Jeremy M. Yaken fled from his mother’s vehicle at approximately 4:20 p.m. while she was parked in the lower lot of City Hall near the library. Jeremy was last seen running toward the wooded area of Tubbs Hill. Jeremy has mental health issues and is considered an endangered runaway. He is described as 5 feet tall, 110 pounds, medium length brown hair, blue eyes, wearing a grey t-shirt, blue jeans and snow boots. He does not have a jacket on. Attached to this release is a recent photo of Jeremy. If anyone has any information on his whereabouts they are asked to call Coeur d’Alene Police at 208-769-2320. Sergeant Christie Wood Public Information Officer Coeur d’Alene Police Department.
There haves been a a lot of reports, along with video, of what is being called the Knockout Game. Where one person sees if he can get away with sucker punching another, knocking the unsuspecting person to the ground. In the video some of the victims hit the ground quite hard. I've heard no reports about broken limbs or concussions but I would expect they might occur. The reaction to this “fad” puzzles me and once again I'm guessing it's a generational thing. When I was a youngster I was allowed to play tag and dodge ball and such but would never have thought about blindsiding someone with the intent of knocking them down. Now, in some schools tag and dodge ball are no longer allowed but the Knockout Game is getting a pass. What, no harm no foul? I can't help but wonder what makes the teens think this is a game/Dogwalk Musings. More here.
Question: Why would a cowardly game like the Knock Game appeal to youth today?
Artist Mary Dee Dodge, center, has been working on the murals for the “Lodge of the Storyteller.” The room will house equipment to record and edit oral histories for the StoryCatcher Project. Also pictured, left to right, Library Director Bette Ammon artist Barbara Mueller, artist Allen Dodge, and Ruth Pratt, Library Foundation Executive Director. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Today photo)
A turkey stands in a pen as Gov. Mark Dayton kicks off Thanksgiving week in Minnesota with a brief stay of execution for the turkey at the state Capitol in Minneapolis on Monday. The turkey will be sent to the St. Paul Salvation Army and, eventually, be served to the less-fortunate. This turkey is the brother of two turkeys that were sent to The White House for a presidential pardon. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Glen Stubbe)
Monday Winner — JohnA, with 10 likes: When a fan points to the sky and says 'B-17' a confused elderly lady sitting behind him yells 'Bingo!' And runnerup — Flatlander, with 9 likes: By flying home at half time the Vandal defense was able to slow the Florida State scoring to only 38 points in the second half. You can see the Monday Photo and read all Cutline Contest entries here.
Silver Mountain Resort plans to open its lifts for skiers on Friday, joining the rest of the region's ski resorts in opening limited terrain to take advantage of early season snow, according to Rich Landers of the Outdoors blog. More here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, Nov. 25): 7563 page-views, 4118 unique views
Deputies with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office were called to a home in Post Falls on Monday for a report of a burglary in progress. A Post Falls resident came home just before 3:00pm Monday afternoon to find a man walking on his property near his garage. The homeowner, Garry Fowler, suspected the man was burglarizing his property and went to confront him. Once Fowler yelled at the suspect, he ran away through a wooded area. Fowler chased after him and saw the man get into a waiting car. Fowler got a good description of the vehicle, and reported it to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office/Cory Howard, KHQ. More here.
Facebook Friend Janna Rankin Scharf posts: “I pulled into a 15 min parking spot at 3rd & Sherman and just missed nailing the meter reader guy with my door when he pulled up beside me to tag my tire! Crimony! I may be the worlds slowest walker but gimpy knee or not, you probably never saw me move so fast as to get my business done and be on my way in 14 minutes flat!!!”
Question: Have you gotten a ticket by parking too long in one of the downtown spaces?
Gonzaga center Sam Dower (35) shoots a layup while being defended by Chaminade forward Frankie Eteuati (13) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Maui Invitational today in Lahaina, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)
After losing their first game of the season, Gonzaga Bulldogs throttled Chaminade 113-81 today in the Maui Tournament. You can see the ESPN boxscore here.
“Today's assembly at CHS had an incredibly touching moment: the entire school gave Coach Shawn Amos a lengthy standing ovation followed with students chanting 'We Love Amos!' We love Amos, indeed. Once again, congratulations to our students, coaches, families and community for winning the Idaho 5A State Championship” — Trustee Christa Hazel, via Facebook.
Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa says his recent decision not to run for a fourth term in office came down to one question. “Did I have the inner zeal in my body, the fire in the belly to run?” Ysursa says. “I just didn't feel it. I was hopeful I'd catch the bug but I didn't. I was convinced a year ago I wasn't going to run. And then others started working on me a little bit. It was a tough decision.” Ysursa, a Republican, joined the office as a deputy secretary of state in the mid 1970s. He was elected secretary of state in 2002 and then easily re-elected in 2006 and 2010. Approaching 40 years in the same office, he says he’s ready to retire/Scott Graf, Boise State Public Radio. More here.
Question: How did you/will you know it is time to retire?
President Obama urged a room of Hollywood executives and employees on Tuesday to “think long and hard” about the messages gun violence sends in movies. “We gotta make sure that we're not glorifying it,” Obama told the crowd at DreamWorks studio, adding that movie executives had a “big responsibility” to the viewing public. “Because the stories you tell shape our children's outlook and their lives.” Obama, who has sought to push tougher gun measures after a string of mass shootings across the country, briefly touched upon meetings Vice President Biden had with Hollywood executives earlier this year. “Those conversations need to continue,” he said. “The stories we tell matter,” he continued/Amie Parmes, The Hill. More here.
Question: How much does violence in the entertainment industry contribute to violence in our society?
The latest piece of public art was recently erected at Fourth Street and Kathleen Avenue roundabout (by Coeur d'Alene Church of the Nazarene), according to Keith Erickson/Coeur d'Alene Today. The piece, entitled “Umbrellas Gracilis,” is the work of Dave Frei and Jennifer of Cobalt Designworks of Vancouver, Wash. It features three lofty and colorful umbrellas. The word “Gracilis,” is Latin for slender.
Scootermom (RE: What Thanksgiving?): Medical care is necessary. Elder care is necessary. Buying crap at WalMart is not necessary. It wasn't so long ago that damn near everything was closed on Thanksgiving. Then, some restaurants opened and some grocery stores followed. While I'm not wild about that, it was limited to establishments that provided food. Now, the trend is toward making Thanksgiving just another holiday and ignoring its history of being a time for home and family. What next? Christmas? Is there nothing more important than the almighty cash register? Have we become so selfish that we can't set aside two days a year to stay at home? Can we close the mall for a lousy two days?
Question: I thoroughly agree with Scootermom re: commercial encroachment on Thanksgiving. Anyone disagree?
LastDemoInIdaho: I don't dislike public art, but can't help wondering about the city of CDA's focus, what with about $125,000 being spent on public art, at the new park and the 4th Street/Kathleen round-about. Nice, but does anyone at the city management level ever use the screen of “wants” and “needs”? My concern is that the Lake City Center (until recently the Lake City Senior Center) gets zero funding support from the city. I guess they plow the parking lot when needed, but meantime the small, lightly-used house at Sanders Beach is underwritten to the tune of $10000/yr by the town. The much smaller city of Hayden kicks in about $25000/yr to keep the Hayden Senior Center in operation. Meanwhile the Lake City Center continues to run in the red, relying on meager donations from seniors and a small, dwindling reserve fund. Where are this community's priorities?
DFO: The public arts projects, I believe, are funded by a small percentage of construction costs on capital improvements. I wouldn't balance their quality-of-life importance with senior needs.
Question: Should the city of Coeur d'Alene help underwrite the senior center?
As beautiful and inviting as it is, downtown Coeur d’Alene has some pedestrian obstacles: Sidewalks that are in a state of disrepair, including corner curbside access that does not comply with American Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. With this in mind, a City Council subcommittee has voted to look deeper into a proposal to spend $400,000 to repair bumpy—and potentially hazardous—sidewalks in the city center, while improving corner ramps to bring them into compliance with federal ADA regulations. The city’s Public Works Committee has forwarded to the full council a recommendation to consider sidewalk improvements to be performed by an in-house city street department crew/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here. (SR file photo of downtown Coeur d'Alene)
State Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, has had his Facebook page hacked, and state Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, tells of faux Facebook friend requests from people she's already friended. Sen. Goedde tells Huckleberries: “Two days ago, my Facebook page got hacked. Since then the clone page has over 130 friends. When you friend the bogus page, you get an email such as (this one). For the record, the federal government has not sent me $100,000. I know I am not alone in having Facebook challenges such as this.” On her Facebook wall, Sen. Keough posts today: “Twice today I've seen Facebook page 'Friend' requests from people I've already 'friended'. One I 'friended' right away and not very long afterward I received a direct message saying how they've gotten a bunch of money and I can too if I just call a number or send an email. I picked up the phone and called the person whose name was used and sure enough it was a fake page. The scary thing is that whoever set up the page copied info and photos to the 'new' page and had enough stuff on it to make it look like it was real.” Be very careful in cyberworld.
Question: Anyone else affected by this scam?
From a Berry Picker: “Upon learning about the knock out game being played in Spokane, an old guy sipping coffee at Super 1 in Hayden was asked to put away his taser by a worried clerk who did not think it proper for him to demonstrate his self defense techniques with taser sounds. This really happened this morning. You are scaring the old people Dave.”
DFO: Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culp.
A new park may be in the works in the area of the Riverstone development as part of a proposed development by a local affordable housing developer. Whitewater Creek Development (WWC), which built the popular, and now full, 50-unit Riverstone West Apartments, is seeking to build another housing complex adjacent to its current project. The endeavor would include a 1.4-acre park and 15,000-square-foot dog park near the Prairie Trail on the western end of Riverstone. The city’s General Services Committee has forward to the full City Council a recommendation that a landscape proposal be approved to allow for construction of the park, which would require very little maintenance by city crews, according to Coeur d’Alene interim parks director Bill Greenwood/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. (Coeur d'Alene Today photo: Riverstone Pond)
Question: I'm glad to see that the park expansion by the city of Coeur d'Alene isn't coming to a halt, now that long-time Parks Director Doug Eastwood has retired. Thoughts?
Not counting today, Sen. Russ Fulcher has 175 days to convince Idaho Republicans to dump a well-funded Gov. Butch Otter in next May’s primary if and when the governor announces he is running. Fulcher, who entered the race Saturday, struck some nice chords with conservatives by going after the easy target — Obamacare. We’re anxious to learn where he wants to take the state and how he will handle the multitude of challenges. Yes, he has served on JFAC — the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee — and as majority caucus leader he is no stranger to the fiscal challenges facing the state. But we need to know where the contrast is between Otter and Fulcher on all of the issues, not just the issue of dealing with federal health care reforms in Idaho. The problems of today — a troubled website and U-turns on what policies will be allowed — could be cleared up by May/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.
Question: What will Sen. Russ Fulcher have to do between now and the Idaho GOPrimary to persuade you to vote for him?
Brianne Ball, a part-time elementary school teacher and mother of three daughters talked about her louse-busting machine, called the AirAlle at her home in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. The machine uses hot air to kill lice eggs (aka nits) to rid people of lice. She travels to clients' homes to use the machine on their heads and claims a 100 percent success rate so far. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Lice happened twice to Brianne Ball’s family, and it was a commitment for everyone involved: her three daughters, her husband, herself. One child would come home infested, and it would spread to the whole family. And, as daughters put their heads together, it would spread again. The lice proved especially commited, chemical treatment after treatment, painstaking comb-out after comb-out. During one infestation, “we spent probably six months in lice world, no joke,” Ball said. “Just when I thought we were done, we’d find another nit”/Adrian Rogers, SR. More here.
Question: Ever have a lice scare in your family?
What ails Idaho's public education system isn't all that mysterious. It's underfunded. Recent cuts have come on top of a systematic disinvestment that has drained away about 20 percent of Idaho's financial commitment to schools. Student performance on standardized tests is average at best and often falls short of neighboring Washington. Teacher salaries are not competitive. Fueled in large part by a visible hostility toward teachers on the part of Idaho's elected leadership. Morale is depressed. Too few of Idaho's high-school graduates continue on to college and too few of them complete their schooling. The Gem State is among only eight states that do nothing in the way of funding early childhood education/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you believe Republican leadership in this state is hostile toward teachers, as the editorial above contends?
For the second year in a row, a Mormon group is asking women to wear pants to church on an upcoming Sunday in mid-December — this time as a show of support for inclusiveness for all. The first “Wear Pants to Church Day'' was held in December 2012 to show solidarity for women's equality. Organizer Nancy Ross said the goal of this year's event is broader: to encourage The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to continue to grow more progressive and inclusive. They are also inviting men and women to wear purple. The event, set for Dec. 15, is not meant as a protest of church policy, Ross said/Associated Press. More here.
A horse snacks on the fallen leaves recently along the banks of the Snake River south of Asotin. A few fall colors still remain as cold weather and winter take a grasp on the region. (Lewiston Tribune photo: Kyle Mills)
The Tax Commission has a message for all those holiday shoppers making their purchases online: You still owe Idaho tax. If the online retailer doesn't charge the tax, Idahoans are required by law to pay the 6 percent tax, in this case called “use tax” rather than sales tax, when they filed their next income tax return. More than 9,600 Idahoans paid the tax on their 2012 state income tax returns, the Tax Commission reports, paying more than $544,000. “But that number is estimated to be a fraction of what is owed,” the commission said today in a news release/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Do you keep track of online purchases in order to pay the sales tax to the state of Idaho?
Item: Card fraud plague grows: Attack targets data found in strip on back of credit, debit cards/Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: Grocery shoppers may want to stay away from using plastic this holiday season. Incidents of credit and debit card fraud have increased dramatically throughout the Northwest and investigators have potentially identified a wholesale grocery chain with roots in Spokane as the source. “This is a huge spike in this type of case,” Kootenai County Sheriff's Lt. Stu Miller said Monday. “It's affecting residents all over the Northwest.” The one common thread in these fraud cases is URM - a wholesale grocery chain that services more than 160 stores in the Northwest, including Super 1 Foods, Trading Co., and Rosauers.
Question: Are you now wary of using your credit or debit cards?
Shoshone Conservative (RE: Poll: Parents w/daughters only lean Republican): You know, I've noticed that quite a few “far right” (even by my standards) people I know have had their children turn out to be highly dysfunctional adults: Drug addiction, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, suicides - the works. Listening to them, they seem to be quite sincere in their beliefs and values, and, yet, have done a terrible job passing said values to their own children. I've always wondered why, actually. Of course, this isn't the case for all people on the “far right”, or even a majority, but enough to make one wonder.
Question: Do you think children of Far Right parents generally turn out any better/worse than anyone else's kids?
Arpie (RE: Johnson: Will Idaho history repeat?) Here's the key to the story: No Samuelson no Andrus — “That 1970 election began 24 straight years of Democratic control of the Idaho governorship, a political phenomenon that seemed unimaginable four decades ago, but that happened in no small part because of the turmoil fostered by the primary defeat of an Idaho governor who seemed unbeatable until he wasn’t.” But it does mean putting up with a Fulcher Government for four years — yuck.
DFO: I've been wondering if the best medicine to wake Idaho up to the Tea Party agenda is to elect a whole pack of them to statewide office, including Russ Fulcher for governor and possibly Steve Thayne for superintendent of schools. The city of Coeur d'Alene was shocked awake by the right-wing overthrow of the Coeur d'Alene School Board and the ensuing my-way-of-the-highway approach to governance. Idaho needs strong medicine to wake it up to the radicalism now going on in high places of the dominant party.
JohnA (RE: Where should CdA look for next police chief?) The city went outside when Dave Scates retired, just like they did with each of the new department hires under the Boy Mayor. That didn't work then and I'm not sure it will now. The city wasted a lot of time and effort with their search when in the end they had the best candidate in house in Wendy Carpenter. It was the same with the city administrator (they went through two before they realized the best one was in house) and fire chief (ditto) so I would expect them to look in house first before they go nationwide. It's not always glamorous to promote from within but it sure sends a great message to the troops that the administration respects all of its employees and the sacrifices they make on behalf of their city.
DFO: I tend to agree with JohnA. Someone with Big City ways may not understand the culture of a place like Coeur d'Alene. I'd look within the department and then maybe around the state and region. Wayne Longo was a great pickup from the ISP. If the Widmyer administration can't find anyone locally/regionally to fill the job, then expand the search. Thoughts?
“I love you. You are beautiful,” Brad Graffam says softly to his daughter Ashley as they touch foreheads in the second annual Joy Prom at The Beach Church on Saturday. The prom is for children and teens with special needs. The church is located off George Bishop Parkway just west of the Intracoastal Waterway. (AP Photo: Janet Blackmon Morgan)
More Info: Holiday travelers will likely enjoy bare roads in the Pacific Northwest this week, but rain turning to snow may start as early as Saturday, according to climatologist Cliff Harris. The dry weather isn't all good news, however, because it's causing poor air quality conditions and burning bans in the five northernmost counties of Idaho. According to a forecast released Monday, Harris said Interstate 90 should be clear all the way to Seattle, and east into Montana. All paths to Boise should be good to go, as well.
Question (for those with pseudonyms): Do you plan on traveling this Thanksgiving holiday?
Gonzaga found trouble in paradise, in the form of fouls, lack of rebounding, errant 3-point shooting and generally getting beat to most 50-50 balls. Dayton erased a 16-point first half deficit, built a nine-point lead late and then hung to defeat the 11th-ranked Bulldogs 84-79 in the opening round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational in front of 2,400 Monday at the Lahaina Civic Center. Gonzaga (4-1) will face Chaminade (2-1), which lost to Baylor 93-77, today at 1:30. The Flyers (5-0) move into the semifinals against Baylor tonight/Jim Meehan, SR. More here. (AP photo: Gonzaga guard Gerard Coleman (0) gets around Dayton’s Matt Kavanaugh (35) and Dyshawn Pierre, center, to take a shot)
DFO: It seems that Gonzaga has no depth under the basket, which means good teams will beat them by getting Dower & Przemek in foul trouble. They fouled out last night, along with Pangos. This may be a long year for fans who are accustomed to the Zags beating decent teams.
Thoughts about last night's game?
The Thanksgiving holiday will make this a short week at Huckleberries Online. But that doesn't mean it'll be uneventful. You never know what will break and make the turnstiles start clicking. Here's hoping you have plans with family and/or friend and/or both on Thursday and beyond. I do. Now for your first Wild Card of the work week …
No current Gonzaga players saw court time when the Bulldogs captured to 2009 EA Sports Maui Invitational championship. That doesn’t mean they’re not aware of the accomplishment. “That’s the standard now,” said junior guard Kevin Pangos, referring to the ’09 squad and indirectly to Gonzaga’s 2012 Old Spice Classic championship. “It just means we have to step up our game and try to win two (titles) in row. “I can’t wait. I’ve never been (to Maui). I know it’s a big tournament, great teams and obviously the weather is going to be nice. It’s a great time of year.” David Stockton and Sam Dower Jr. are Gonzaga’s elder statesmen. Both redshirted in 2009-10 as Gonzaga knocked off Colorado, Wisconsin and Cincinnati at the Lahaina Civic Center. The Zags have won five of their last six at the tournament, falling to Connecticut in the 2005 title matchup. The 13th-ranked Zags open against Dayton (tonight on ESPN2) at 9 PST. Both teams are 4-0/Jim Meehan, SR. More here.
Question: How do you think the Zags will do this year?
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Monday that he would introduce legislation to increase the penalty for violators of the “Do Not Call” law. “When it comes to the loophole-exploiting robocall industry, we need to fight fire with fire — and that means higher penalties, jail time, and better technology to fight the spammers who have ruined countless family dinners, sporting events, and other family gatherings,” Schumer said. Under current law, telemarketing companies are prevented from using machines that automatically dial numbers and then play prerecorded telemarketing calls, unless given written permission by the recipient/Ramsey Cox, The Hill. More here. (AP file photo, of Sen. Charles Schumer)
Question: Are you on the do-not-call list? Have you found it effective?
A B-17 Bomber flies over Lambeau Field before the first half of an NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings Sunday in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Weekend Winner: Pair of Claws, with 9 likes: “Hollywood's remake mania reaches critical mass with the announcement of a shot-for-shot, all-dog version of the Matrix.” Runnerup: CaverHater, with 7 likes: “Next event: cat chucking!” You can see Weekend Photo and read all the Cutline Contest entries here.
From front to back, Ken Owens, Eric Turrell, D.J. Duke and Adam Clement present the colors during the Veterans Day service at Pinegrove Cemetery in Rathdrum recently. It was the first event for Rathdrum Police's new Honor Guard. Turrell, of Coeur d'Alene Police, assisted Rathdrum in the startup. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Brian Walker)
Crews are currently paving portions of the Centennial Trail as part of the McEuen Park project, which has prompted temporary closure of the boat launch. This, according to Coeur d'Alene Today. The launch should be open in time for Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, Front Avenue has seen some major changes in recent days. The street is now open from Second to Fourth streets on the west end and from Seventh to Sixth streets on the east end. Stay tuned for details on partial opening of the McEuen Park parking structure.
HucksOnline numbers (for week of Nov. 17-23): 48,162 pageviews/26,286 unique views
Spokane area grocery stores, including all 12 Yoke’s Fresh Market stores and 21 run by Rosauers, are telling customers debit and credit card payments won’t be processed across the store computer network while investigators try to secure a computer network that was hacked over the past two months. Yoke’s and Rosauers are two of several grocers whose financial transactions have been vulnerable to a data breach reported in recent weeks by area banks and credit unions. Customers entering stores on Monday at local stores are told they can choose to use a secure but much slower dial-up connection to make card payments. Those stores are also telling customers they can pay in cash or with checks/Tom Sowa, SR. More here.
Coeur d'Alene coach Shawn Amos pushes his son Gunnar Amos out to the field before the Vikings took on Highland in the state 5A title game, Friday at the Kibbie Dome. Game story here. And: See photo essay of Coeur d'Alene High's 3rd state 5A football championship in 4 years here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)
Coeur d'Alene High will hold an assembly Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. to celebrate the football team's third state title in four years — Greg Lee/SR tweet.
DFO: The Amos family has been through so much in the last few months, with Shawn's cancer diagnosis and Gunnar's season-ending injury. I wish them nothing but the best — and celebrate a victory that seemed unlikely only a few weeks ago.
In the letters to the editor in the Coeur d'Alene Press, the Coeur d'Alene Police Association applauds the decision by Mayor Sandi Bloem and most of the City Council not to attempt to fill positions created by the mass resignation of Coeur d'Alene department heads. The Bloem administration opted to allow Mayor-elect Steve Widmyer and the new council take care of those duties. In the comments section, Stickman weighs in with this: “I think Ron Clark is a very fine choice. I hope he is our next Chief of Police.” Which raises the question:
Question: Should the city look within or without to find a new police chief?
Parents who only have daughters are more likely to identify with the GOP, a new study suggests. The Pew Research Center highlighted a study released last week that found either having only daughters or having daughters first had a statistically significant effect on the parents’ political party. Parents who only have daughters are 11 percent more likely to identify with the Republican Party, according to the report in the Sociological Forum journal/Mario Trujillo, The Hill. More here.
Question: Anyone out there with daughters only? Are you a Republican?
The last time an Idaho governor received a serious primary challenge he lost. It was 1966 and three-term incumbent Republican Robert E. Smylie, pictured here dressed like he might have been trying out for The Sons of the Pioneers, seemed to be at the zenith of his political power – chairman of the National Governors Association, the senior governor in the nation and a serious player in national politics/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.
Question: Is Butch Otter set up for a possible defeat in the Idaho GOPrimary?
Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher's rise in the Idaho Senate has been swift, even with bumps in the road. But his campaign against Gov. Butch Otter might make his continued role in leadership difficult, he says. As the No. 4 Republican in the Senate, Fulcher's duties include acting as spokesman for the 28-member GOP caucus and participating in regular meetings of the four leaders, who frequently strategize and negotiate with Otter, the party's standard-bearer. “I do not want to put my caucus, or for that matter the discussions between the legislative branch and the executive branch, at risk,” Fulcher said. Asked whether he planned to resign from leadership, he said, “I don't want to commit to that yet, but what I will commit to is making sure that awkwardness is minimized”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Question: Is the Idaho Tea Party strong enough to knock out a relatively popular governor in a GOPrimary?
Clyde the turkey struts around the front lawn of the Governor's Mansion in Montgomery, Ala., Wednesday. Gov. Robert Bentley issued a Thanksgiving pardon for the bird. It was the first time the ceremony was held without South Alabama turkey grower Bill Bates, who died in August. Bates began the tradition of giving a Thanksgiving turkey to the Alabama governor 65 years ago. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Question: Anyone out there, besides Stickman, who's not eating turkey for Thanksgiving?
As we near the end of the dedicated careers of Mayor Bloem, Councilman Kennedy and Councilwoman Goodlander, the Coeur d’Alene Police Association would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to them. We are deeply appreciative of their outstanding leadership, the compassion, and support they have shown our police officers during exceptional moments and times of great tragedy. The Police Association wants to be clear in our statement of support for majority of the council’s decision to wait for the incoming mayor and council to choose a permanent Chief of Police. The Police Association had input on this decision and we agree completely with it. We have great respect for former Chief of Police Wayne Longo, and wish him well in his retirement. We have equal respect and admiration for current Chief Ron Clark, and are in no hurry to expedite the search for a permanent Chief of Police/Coeur d'Alene Police Association. More here.
Question: It appears the Coeur d'Alene Police Association takes a different approach to this issue than Councilman Dan Gookin. Thoughts?
Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputies responded to an assault call at Hico at 9219 E. Sprague. The victim said he was inside Hico to make a purchase. When he came outside he said there were three 17-21 year old white males in the parking lot, and as he walked by the three boys he said, “what's up fellas?” The victim said at that point all three males started to violently kick and punch him on the face and body. He fell to the ground and they continued to kick him until a witness inside the store came out and broke up the fight. He had no idea who the males were and said they left in a small, light colored vehicle, possibly a Honda Civic style vehicle. Deputies on scene said this assault resembled the “knockout game” that is happening across the country/KHQ. More here. (Photo: KHQ)
Question: Have you heard of the knockout game? What should be the penalty for someone found guilty for being involved in senseless attacks on others?
Idaho state Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, waves goodbye from plane at Kootenai County airport Saturday after announcing that the time is right to unseat Republican Gov. Butch Otter. The Idaho Statesman covered his announcement in Boise here. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Former newspaper reporter and public relations officer Keith Erickson has been hired to serve as Coeur d'Alene's communications coordinator. As a contract employee, Erickson, 50, will work with City Hall department heads, council members and city staff to maximize public awareness on city news, issues and events through news releases, social media, website updates and public contact. He is replacing the city's former spokesperson, Kristina Lyman, who has moved on to help with her family business. Erickson does not have a contract with the city. He said he is just filling in until the new city council is seated in January and decides whether it wants to fund the position. Erickson will report to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel. A longtime Coeur d'Alene resident, Erickson currently serves as spokesman for Coeur d'Alene's urban renewal agency, the Lake City Development Corp., also a contract communications position/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you see a conflict in Keith serving as spokesman for both the city and the urban renewal district?
Believe it or not, the Idaho Republican Party has a plank in its platform calling for the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which allows Idahoans rather than their state Legislature to elect U.S. senators. In other words, the state Republican Party is officially on record as supporting the return to the days when the Legislature picked the U.S. senators rather than rank-and-file Idahoans. It appears to Huckleberries Online to be another ploy by the radicals in the dominant party to limit the votes of regular Idahoans in a matter of great importance. (See: closed primaries). On Tuesday, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee will consider a resolution calling for the state to remove the plank from the state platform. You can read the resolution here.
Question: Would you rather be part of picking U.S. senators from Idaho? Or should the Legislature do it?
Idaho Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, announces his candidacy for Idaho governor at the Kootenai County airport in Hayden on Saturday. Among those listening to the announcement are (from left) President Jeff Tyler of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, Vice President Lora Gervais of the Reagan Republicans, Jeremy Morris, and Barbara Heddon. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Question: Do you think Gov. Otter is going to be happyhappyhappy with the Reagan Republicans?
Patty Gamon and her sister tag-teamed Thanksgiving dinner for more than 20 years before they threw in the turkey and started a new tradition. These days, their celebration includes no cleaning, no shopping, no prepping and – most importantly – no stressing. They might have to wait in line for 20 minutes; there are no reservations. But, there’s no going back to cooking their own turkey, making their own stuffing and doing all those dishes. “We quit,” Gamon said. Gamon – who’s 69 – is among a growing number who are giving up on cooking the traditional Thanksgiving meal. But it doesn’t mean they are forgoing the festivities/Adriana Janovich, SR. More here. (SR illustration: Molly Quinn)
Question: Have you ever eaten out rather than go through the stress of preparing Thanksgiving?
Long after parents and grandparents have gone to their heavenly reward, they still live on in the holiday dishes we prepare in their honor. Sometimes this is a good thing; other times, not so much. I know of a family who eats their turkey dry as straw every year and have to gag it down with lots of beer. It's not that the family likes turkey this way, nor are they so dumb they can't they figure out another way to cook it. It's just that dry-as-dust turkey is the way grandma used to make it and so every time they eat it, it brings back happy memories. In my family one of the weirdest traditions was tomato aspic, a cold gelled salad filled with vegetables and shrimp and served in some kind of fancy mold, usually a fish. I'm not sure where tomato aspic got its start in our family. Most likely it was one of those dishes mom or grandma found in a women's magazine/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you have a family recipe at Thanksgiving that has been handed down from previous generations?
The 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination had me thinking: They just don't make Democrats like they used to. In Kennedy's time, when a Democratic Senator, Representative or president swore an oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, he meant it. Today, those who actually do defend the constitution are condemned by today's Democratic Party as dangerous extremists or even terrorists. Obama's Internal Revenue Service targeted for harassment activist groups who threatened his vision of America by educating Americans on the Constitution's original intent. Obama's Defense Department has labelled Tea Party activists enemies of the state and threatened punishment against servicemen and women who dare to affiliate with such groups. None dare call this “McCarthyism.” Well, not quite no one. I have no difficulty calling it McCarthyism, although that might be unfair to McCarthy/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Would JFK identify with today's Democrats?
Twenty years of GOP control have left Idaho children with fewer opportunities. Idaho leads the nation in percentage of minimum-wage jobs. We trail the nation for what we invest in our children's education. State cuts to schools have forced rural schools to cut school days and doubled the school districts that run override levies (41 up to 89) to meet basic needs. The Idaho Democratic Party is dedicated to bringing balance back to Idaho and ending 20 years of failed GOP policies. We work to create a brighter, more prosperous future for Idaho families and small businesses. In 2014, our candidates will be experienced leaders in business, in their churches, in volunteer organizations. They will be public servants dedicated to putting Idaho families ahead of personal ambition. As a party, Idaho Democrats are strong and we are getting stronger/Larry Kenck, Idaho Democratic Party chairman. More here.
On Tuesday, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee will discuss a resolution that appears to ask for a county ordinance giving the sheriff power to ignore “unconstitutional” federal law re: the 2nd amendment. The resolution (which considers most federal firearms resolutions to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution) suggests the following county ordinance:
DFO: It'll be interesting to see if the Kootenai County RINO Central Committee jumps on the Oath Keepers bandwagon.
Question: Would you rather have the U.S. Supreme Court or the Kootenai County sheriff decide which federal firearms regulations are constitutional?
Idaho Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, leaves the Kootenai County airport terminal en route to his plane to fly from Coeur d'Alene after telling a gathering that he's running for governor. Supporters included Brent Regan (inset below) and Kootenai County Reagan Republican president Jeff Tyler. (Photos: Duane Rasmussen)
State Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, launched his campaign for governor today, flying from Meridian to Coeur d'Alene to Idaho Falls to announce that he'll run against GOP Gov. Butch Otter in Idaho's May primary. Otter is a second-term governor who's seeking a third term and earlier served three terms in Congress and 14 years as the state's lieutenant governor; Fulcher is a fifth-term state senator who's taken exception to Otter's move to establish a state-based health insurance exchange, rather than letting the federal government run Idaho's exchange. Fulcher, shown here greeting supporters in Idaho Falls, said his first priority would be “reversing Gov. Otter's efforts to implement Obamacare here in Idaho,” and added, “I also believe our state is going down the wrong path in areas of education and the adoption of other federal programs”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Is it worth dumping Otter for this guy?
Like an overmatched sparring partner, Idaho stepped into the stadium, took its lumps and collected a paycheck. The Vandals were little match for the nation’s second-ranked team, Florida State, on Saturday as Idaho absorbed a lopsided 80-14 road loss at Doak Campbell Stadium. The Vandals (1-10) fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter and never looked like a credible threat to pull off an upset against an FSU team (11-0) that topped 50 points for the seventh time this season. “What do you say?” said Idaho coach Paul Petrino, whose team collected a $950,000 payment from FSU to travel across the country. “You get beat 80-14, I wouldn’t say anyone on the other team didn’t play well”/Jason Shoot, special to the SR. More here. (Phil Sears photo special to SR: Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (8), linebacker Christian Jones (7) and defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel (55) combine to sack Idaho quarterback Taylor Davis (12)
Question: I suppose an 80-14 stomping is worth $950,000?
Many of you may know that hydroplane racing was derailed in Coeur d’Alene for 28 years when the City Council decided to seek an advisory vote on the issue on Oct. 16, 1985. But did you know that I filed my story about the dramatic 4-3 vote that night on deadline 15-20 minutes before then-Mayor Jim Fromm cast the tiebreaker? The story is told by Stephen Shepperd in his comprehensive new book, “Hydromania: A History of the Diamond Cup.” I filed my story, relying on Fromm’s word during an earlier break that he intended to seek an advisory vote. Fromm was under enormous pressure to reject a public vote from race booster Duane Hagadone and many other high rollers in the community. I submitted my story early when I realized that I’d miss the 10:15 p.m. deadline if I waited for all the council members and Fromm to explain their positions, one by one. Then, I sweated out the roll call/DFO, SR. More here.
Other SR weekend columns:
Question: When did you last take a leap of faith?
A monster Hat Tip to Coach Shawn Amos and the Coeur d'Alene Vikings who overcame much adversity in the final month of the season to win the Class 5A state football championship Friday night, for the third time in four years. This time Highland was the fall guy. The footballers from southern Idaho must be getting tired of looking up at the Vikings from North Idaho. So we have another reason to celebrate good things happening in our fair city. Now for the Weekend Wild Card …
At 8:39 p,m. Saturday, J.C. Penney in the Silver Lake Mall was robbed by a dark complected male suspect wearing a black baseball cap, black hooded sweatshirt and dark colored pants. The robber approached the lone employee in the men’s department who was closing out the computers. The suspect demanded, ‘To give him the money.’ It does not appear at this time there was a weapon displayed. The suspect left the business with several bank bags containing an undisclosed amount of money and was last seen leaving the store on foot/Sgt. Greg Moore, Coeur d'Alene Police Department.
S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered CDA's 5A state football championship win over Highland at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow. Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.
The Coeur d'Alene Vikings overcame the last hurdle of adversity. Coeur d'Alene sophomore quarterback Austin Lee scored from 15 yards out with 47 seconds remaining to lift the Vikings past the No. 1-ranked Highland Rams 31-28 in the State 5A championship football game Friday at the Kibbie Dome. Lee was pressed into fulltime duty two weeks ago when senior starter Gunnar Amos broke his ankle. He stepped up at the biggest time Friday. CdA (9-3) captured its third state title in the last four years. Highland finished the season 11-1/Greg Lee, SR/NWPrepsNow. Game summary here.
I guess today will be the last big-time observance of JFK assassination in my lifetime. Mebbe they'll do something on the 100th year anniversary. But none of us who were so affected by the event will be around to put the meaning in context. Those of us who were young at the time enjoyed a brief respite of hope that was dubbed “Camelot.” Which gave way to Vietnam, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, and campus and civil unrest. The music was good, however. I'm glad I witnessed it all in real time. Now for today's Wild Card …
Question: Do you eat your peas?
It was the last of three straight losses and part of a 1-3 start for the Coeur d’Alene football team. Vikings coach Shawn Amos knew that scenario could take place. That’s why he packed the front end of his team’s schedule like he did – with difficult opponents and long, excruciating road trips. The last of those trips was a trek to the southeast corner of Idaho where CdA jumped out to a 21-3 lead over perennial 5A power Highland. Whether it was the toll of the road trips, the toll of playing another state playoff-quality opponent or perhaps a collec- tive exhale after building the 21-3 lead, something gave way. Highland rallied to upend CdA 24-21. Seven consecutive wins later and the Vikings (8-3) will meet No. 1-ranked Highland (11-0) in the state championship final tonight at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow. Kickoff is at 7/Greg Lee, SR. More here. (SR file photo: Viking Addison Johnson (84) runs the ball against Skyline earlier this fall)
Question: Predict the outcome?
A dog floats through the air while competing in the recent qualifying matches of the 2013 DockDogs World Championship at the Five Flags Center in Dubuque, Iowa. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Telegraph Herald, Jeremy Portje)
Thursday Winner (tie, with 10 likes apiece) — Flatlander: “Kardashian family followers may have smartphones, but the smarts pretty much end there And — Pair of Claws: “A mannequin, furious over not being the most plastic, brainless, dead-eyed thing in the picture.” You can see the Thursday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.
Gonzaga University's Drew Barham (43) hangs on seven-foot Jordan Railey, left, of Washington State and Kevin Pangos takes up position behind them during a rebound Thursday at McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga won 90-74. In SportsLink, SR sports scribe Jim Meehan gives us the day-after game story here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)
HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Nov. 21): 7591 page-views/4341 unique views
On her Facebook wall, Kerri Thoreson posts: “Capone's Pub & Grill (PF) has great pizza and sandwiches but here's a shout out for their salad selection. Chicken Pesto salad served by Bree was fabulous this afternoon! — with Tom Capone.”
Question: Anyone out there who isn't a Capone's fan? And/or: On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you enjoy pesto?
Adam Guymon, left, and father Gregory Guymon, right, look on as and Alison Guymon, second from left, plays with a balloon with newly adopted nine-month-old Grace, as brother Grant Guymon holds her. The Guymon family, of Eagle, adopted Graces in Ada County Court today. The court scheduled more than a dozen adoptions as part of National Adoption Day. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Joe Jaszewski)
Question: Which C.S. Lewis book is your favorite?
In October, Ron Nilson of Ground Force Manufacturing wrote the following in his My Turn column:
“Remember: Private investment in economy has a greater multiplier effect than public investment. See the graph from U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, above. Government investment has only a negligible multiplier effect.” (Click here.)
Now fast-forward to this week's story in the Press about Ground Force Manufacturing:
“Ground Force received a $5,436 State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant distributed by the Idaho Department of Commerce and funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).” “The grant gave Ground Force funds to take four trips overseas to the Russian market. The trips enabled the company to form new relationships with end-user customers as well as new Caterpillar dealers.” (Click here.)
In a news release from the Coeur d'Alene School District, spokeswoman explains why the trustees will seek to reduce taxes by $450,000 when it meets in December:
The school board directed the district to make certain that this agreement (with the Coeur d'Alene Education Association) also reflects the intent to give money back to the taxpayers who take care of making our school district successful. The school board will take action at their December meeting to authorize the district to reduce the taxes that the school district will collect next fall by $450,000. This reduction will offset the emergency levy that was approved by the school board in September. The district will be able to do this as the new agreement includes enough one-time expenses to allow the district to budget accordingly for next year. “We want to continue to do the right thing at the right time with the information we have,” shared Trustee Dave Eubanks. Board members concurred. Full release here.
Question: Good move by Coeur d'Alene School Board to consider cutting taxes by the amount of the emergency levy approved in September?
Five year-old Charlotte Gjurasic adds a figure to the wall board outside of Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch's office Thursday as the Thurston County Family and Juvenile Court and DSHS Division of Child & Family Services hosted the Thurston County National Adoption Day Celebration in Tumwater, Wash. (AP Photo/The Olympian, Steve Bloom)
Question: Were you or anyone in your family adopted?
Actor Alec Baldwin, facing backlash over anti-gay remarks recently directed at a photographer, is now an attack line in Idaho politics. Earlier this morning, the conservative group Club for Growth sent out a press release slamming GOP Congressman Mike Simpson as an “Alec Baldwin Republican” who is “more in touch with the values of Hollywood liberal Alec Baldwin than it is with the people of Idaho.” The release also features a photo of Mr. Simpson with two “liberal Hollywood actors and Obama supporters”–Mr. Baldwin and Kevin Spacey. On Twitter, Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller called the photo “EPIC,” adding that it “kind of speaks for itself, no?”/Colin Campbell, Politicker, Observer.com. More here.
DFO: I consider Alec Baldwin to be a terrific actor — and a horrible human being.
Question: Do we have any “Alec Baldwin Republicans” in North Idaho?
From City Clerk Renata McLeod's draft minutes of the Tuesday meeting of the Coeur d'Alene City Council:
City Engineer Gordon Dobler stated that the Front Avenue design from 2nd to 3rd has been discussed several times. New information is being brought forward to include a donation from the Hagadone Corporation to enhance the improvements to the Centennial Trail through that corridor. He has met with the Centennial Trail Committee and they are in favor of the design. With the large donation there will be a ripple effect to the budget. He stated that he will bring back a budget amendment and move forward with a bid for construction in the spring. More about this item here.
Question: Anyone know more about the proposed design plans for this stretch of the new Front Avenue?
My teenage son really wants a Playstation 4. Nothing will make Julian happier than a next generation video game console under our Christmas tree. But I told him my willingness to buy something so pricy may depend entirely on the availability of steep discounts for consoles, games and controllers, the types of discounts that only Black Friday can offer. Black Friday has long been a staple of the Hoffman family shopping experience. Clothes, games and gadgets all have found their way into our household because of Black Friday, the day Christmas shopping season traditionally starts. And that tradition includes the sale and purchase of items sold illegally below cost. Did I just say, illegally? Yes, I did/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
Question: Do you mind that merchants who participate in Black Friday sales may be violating Idaho law?
Kevin Pangos has made a habit of big scoring nights or timely buckets against Washington State. Gonzaga’s junior guard was at it again Thursday, and he had a lot of company. Pangos poured in 27 points, Drew Barham had a career-high 17 and David Stockton nearly had a double-double as the 13th-ranked Bulldogs handled the Cougars 90-74 in front of a full house of 6,000 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Pangos hit nine 3-pointers and scored 33 points two years ago against WSU. He struggled in Pullman last season but delivered the game-winner with a short bank shot. On Thursday, he struck for five 3s – two in the final 75 seconds of the first half to hike Gonzaga’s lead to 49-33 – and made all six of his free throws/Jim Meehan, SR. (Jesse Tinsley photo: GU’s Przemek Karnowski is surrounded in the lane as he grabs a rebound)
Question: Are you impressed with the 2013-14 version of the Gonzaga Bulldogs yet?
Coeur d’Alene got a little taste of Hollywood on Nov. 13 during the red carpet world premiere of “Without a Ladder.” Tuxedo-clad gentlemen and ladies in their finest evening wear milled around the red carpet at Regal Cinemas Riverstone until the sound of drums alerted them that the film’s stars were on the way. Drummers from the Coeur d’Alene High School band, followed by jugglers from Sorenson Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities, led the way. Then a white horse-drawn carriage delivered actors Jack Bannon, Tiger Ashtiani, Leeja Junker and Kelly Eviston with a flourish. The premiere was the first such event for the Northwest Independent Film and Video Entertainment Society, or kNIFVES, the organization behind the movie. “Without a Ladder” tells the story of curmudgeonly widower Mr. Dobbs (Bannon), whose first Christmas without his beloved wife is eased by the presence of a boy (Ashtiani) who shows up on his doorstep/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (Photo special to SR: Bruce Twitchell)
DFO: You can see Without a Ladder at the Hayden Discount Theatre this weekend.
Question: What's your favorite Christmas movie?
On her Facebook wall, Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson posts: “I love to see the huge flocks of starlings swoop and soar over the fields but it's been so cold they spent more time huddled together atop a power pole than doing aerial acrobatics.” Kerri snapped this photo along West Riverbend Avenue/Post Falls Thursday.
… That some at City Hall aren't happy with Councilman Dan Gookin, who made a post on his YouTube account of a recent interaction with a female speaker during the public comment period who claimed that former Vice President Dick Cheney was a Darth Vader. In the 1:22-minute video, Councilman Ron Edinger asks who she'd referred to as Darth Vader. To which the woman responded, “Dick Cheney.” Then, Gookin interjects: “If Dick Cheney is Dark Vader, who is the Emperor?” From the side, Councilman Mike Kennedy can be heard to say to Gookin, “Enough.” And then to the female: “He was being silly.” There may be a move afoot to ask Gookin to remove the video from his YouTube site.
On his Facebook wall, new city of Coeur d'Alene spokesman Keith Erickson posts: “I'm elated to have landed a job I've been pursuing for 17 years: Communications coordinator for the city of Coeur d'Alene. As a reporter, I covered city hall for many years from the “outside.” Now a new perspective from the inside. For a city of nearly 50,000 and growing, this position is necessary. I'm happy to take on the challenge.
DFO: Absolute right person for the job.
The design work is ready and some construction work has already been started on Downtown Coeur d' Alene's next exciting new restaurant. For the last few years, a small auto repair shop, has sat among the primarily tourist driven Sherman Ave. strip of Downtown Coeur d' Alene. But only a few months back this building's tenant , known as TNT Mufflers , closed up shop leaving the building vacant. A plan was hatched to add onto the building creating a small bar and a coffee shop up front. Those plans appear to have changed, and now plans are moving forward to use the entire space for a new taphouse style restaurant/Inland Northwest Business Watch. More here (check out illustration of planned restaurant). (Photo from Crafted Taphouse Facebook page)
Question: Is this the type of eatery that interests you?
Fifty years ago, on Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. The news sent shockwaves across the nation and around the world. This collection of stories, pages and photos from archives of The Spokesman-Review and Spokane Chronicle detail just how much the tragic death of our 35th president affected Spokane. Click here.
Just noticed yesterday that Safeway changed their gas price policy. The price on the big sign, (usually one of the lowest in town), is now the CASH/DEBIT CARD price…use a credit card and it 10 cents a gallon more!! I guess now I’ll just have to put up with the lines at Costco — A Berry Picker.
Question: Do you pay more for gas simply to use your credit card?
On her Facebook wall, Cindy posts: “Pillow shopping is fraught with peril, but I'm pleased to report that my first night with my new pillow went well. It's a keeper. Did you know pillow prices range from $7.99 to $79.99? And so many options! Foam, fiberfill, down, feather, soft, medium, firm, extra firm. I am a medium down/feather girl myself. You?
Question: Do you give much thought to the type of pillow that you lay your head on come nighty-night-night?
FlorineD wondered yesterday how much money was raised and how many attended the annual all-you-can eat soup day for the homeless, sponsored by St. Vinny's. Here's the answer that organizer Chris Copstead sent Huckleberries: “Final numbers aren't in yet. Over $9,000. Attendance, somewhere around 750. The soups were GREAT!!! The Celebrity Servers were FANTASTIC!!! Those that came were FABULOUS!!! Thanks to the people in our wonderful community. They really care for those less fortunate.” The all-cap words and punctuation point triplicates are Chris'. But he earns leeway from Huckleberries Online for bringing home another successful fundraiser.
Question: Did you attend St. Vinny's fundraiser Thursday?
Idaho Gov. Otter is calling us to ask for donations. Not a penny, Governor. You made two big mistakes, as I see it. You went along with ObamaCare and set up his state exchanges and you let Common Core roll into our schools; also an Obama program. Most all of us here in North Idaho opposed both. You did not stand up Governor when it was important to us. So don’t call for donations. Don’t try to scare us with “Well, he is better than a Democratic governor.” Really?/Ed Young, Rathdrum, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press.
Question: Do you think the letter writer is correct — that most North Idahoans oppose Common Core and the state health exchange?
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, opionator Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune gives Jeers to Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation exec, for rallying around a gun bill sponsored by beleaguered Rep. Mark Patterson in the 2013 Legislature:
If Hoffman wants to cloak a misogynistic, twice-accused and once-convicted sexual offender who has a casual relationship with the truth with the IFF imprimatur, that's his business. But why is he tap-dancing away from it? Patterson's behavior is “not our deal,” Hoffman said. “We don't have a dog in that fight.” And the timing of the email? Just a coincidence. It was prepared Nov. 8 - before Popkey's piece - and then released after the story emerged. “That's just the way things work out sometimes,” said the man who heads up an online newsgathering organization, IdahoReporter.com. Who are you going to believe - Hoffman or your lying eyes? Full Cheers & Jeers column here.
Question: Has Hoffman and the Idaho Freedom Foundation tied themselves to Patterson with the emailing?
Item: Coeur d'Alene School Board, union may have a deal: School district employees stand to get pay increase/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: After two hours of back-and-forth negotiations Thursday - at issue is the distribution of surplus school district funds - the school board and Coeur d'Alene Education Association tentatively agreed on the following:
Question: Are you OK with this deal?
In this Nov. 22, 1963, file photo, President John F. Kennedy's motorcade travels through Dallas. (AP Photo/PRNewsFoto/Newseum, File)
DFO: I, of course, know exactly where I was at when I heard the news about John F. Kennedy's assassination. I was on my way to lunch in the Gridley (Calif.) High School cafeteria. Someone mentioned that the president had been shot. We didn't hear that JFK had died until the following period, 5th period. I was in my chemistry class. We listened to the radio report for awhile. Then, they dismissed school for the day.
Question: Where were you when you heard that Kennedy was assassinated? And/or: Why did this murder so deeply affect the lives of Baby Boomers?
SLFisher (RE: Editorial: Idaho Democrats MIA on Patterson): By the way, why haven't the *Republicans* said anything about Rep. Patterson? Where are the lawmakers who endorsed him? Do they still support him? Where is House leadership, which should be standing up and talking about what changes they're making to ensure that candidates are better vetted in the future? Where are any members of the House, who are now the only ones who can call an ethics investigation? What makes this the Democrats' responsibility to deal with? Shouldn't the Republicans be policing their own house?
Question: What do you expect from the GOP House leadership RE: dealing with Patterson?
Deanna Goodlander (RE: Let's get Mudgy/McEuen Field vandals): Mudgy's tough, he can take it. I was sharing studio space with brother Terry Lee when Mudgy was in creation. It was great to watch as Terry first sculpted a small Mudgy and then carved the big guy out of Foam and then applied the clay over the foam to create the full size Mudgy. Then they took him to the Foundry and cut him into little pieces again and poured each piece in molten bronze and welded him back together again. When they welded him together they reinforced the inside with steel so that he could handle all the kids and adults crawling all over him. It's an amazing process.
DFO: Whenever I have guests from out of town, especially if they have little kids, I take them on the Mudgy & Millie walk … all around the town. How about you?
Question: Has Mudgy & Millie become part of the fabric of this community?
CDAJim (RE: Ready for wall-to-wall JFK Day?): I agree that enough is enough. Conspiracy or not, there is nothing that can bring JFK back, so leave it alone. I did record some of the many programs that dealt with his murder, but have decided not to watch them. As we have discussed on HBO before, there are some great books written by historians that deal with Kennedy and his life and untimely death and many have speculated on what the future would have been had he not been killed. Some, like Robert Dallek, who spoke here in Cd'A, have postulated in “An Unfinished Life”, that Kennedy might have died in office anyway due to his ill health. I have read Stephen King's book “11/22/1963” and I believe, even though the concept of the book is remarkable, the conclusion, is great food for thought. I would suggest that those really wondering how things might have turned-out to read it. My final thoughts are – “Requiescat In Pace” (Rest in Peace) JFK
Question: Will this be the last meaningful observance of the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated?
Nothing like a phone recording of Marshall Mend singing you “Happy Birthday” — and reminding you that you're a year away from being a Senior Citizen — to get you day going. Or mebbe I should say the next year in the rest of your life going. Yesterday, I enjoyed a wonderful birthday full of simple gestures and well wishes. Exactly my type of birthday — low key. All 5 of my sibs checked in with well wishes — and my kids even remembered this year. Thank you for the kind words here on the blog and on the Facebook page. Now we're off to battle more dragons, if we can find any in this dead period between the election and the start of the next silly season (the Idaho Legislature). Now for your Wild Card …
Dean Miller, former SR colleague and southeast Idaho newspaper editor, has had it up to here with JFK remembrances. Moments ago, he posted on Facebook: “I can't wait for the Kennedy-ganza to end. It affirms the worst perversions of our politics. Yes, history matters. Yes, we don't know what might have been. Boomer historians have squeezed every ounce out of that turnip. Can we be done?” I haven't pushed the JFK assassination (Friday) too much. Yes, I know where I was when I heard the news — a high school freshman during my school's lunch hour. I also know what I did the rest of the day. And I've recently read Stephen King's 11/22/1963 about a guy who wants to stop the Kennedy assassination. But I'm not sure how to proceed tomorrow. (AP File photo: In this Nov. 22, 1963 file photo, President John F. Kennedy's motorcade travels through Dallas)
Question: Do you want wire-to-wire coverage of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination? Or something way more reserved?
It looks like the University of Idaho Board of Regents has made a wise choice in selecting Dr. Mary Beth Staben - that's doctor as in MD - as the spouse of the next president of the Vandal nation. According to her husband, “My wife hates to move.” While he spent five years laboring at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion - that's a town, not a color - she kept working as a hospitalist in Lexington, Ky. Her spouse had spent the past 19 years there at the University of Kentucky. By then, she had roots in the city and the last of their three children was finishing high school. But, says her husband (we'll call him Chuck because it seems that everyone else does), “It turns out she's enthusiastic about this move, but she may not have any more in her, and that's OK.” Darn right it's OK/Lee Rozen, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.
Question: Would you want to spend the rest of your working career in Moscow or Pullman?
Fans use smartphone cameras to photograph U.S. TV personality Khloe Kardashian, right, as she greets fans at a shopping center in Sydney, Australia, today. You write the cutilne. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Wednesday Winner — DFO, with 5 likes: “Wanna know how to make the hair on an Oregon Ducks fan stand on end? Just say two words — Stanford Cardinal.” You can see the Wednesday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.
Gabe Cohen/KHQ snapped this photo of the vandalized Mudgy & Millie statue on McEuen Field, at the base of the 3rd Street entrance to Tubbs Hill. You can read his report here.
In the comments section, Boxed In posts: “a reward should be issued for information leading to an arrest.” Boxed In is writing about the punk(s) who spray-painted the Mudgy & Millie statue at the foot of Tubbs Hill and sundry places at the emerging McEuen Field. I second the motion. Too often we let vandalism slide as a minor, annoying crime. I'd like to see Crime Stoppers offer a reward and make a big deal out of apprehending the individual responsible for this senseless attack. I figure the jerk(s) was trying to make a statement re: how much he disregards the nice things in Coeur d'Alene. Coeur d'Alene needs to return the favor and make sure this individual(s) is brought to justice for his boorish act. It's like he flipped the whole community a bird. Instead of ignoring this crime, the community needs to send a message to dirtbags like this that they will be caught and prosecuted. (SR file photo: Mudgy the Moose and children's author Susan Nipp at Independence Point)
The Coeur d'Alene Resort is offering to tickets to the Holiday Light Show cruise — to the individual who correctly guesses the circumference of the giant wreath that will be penned to the side of the resort parking garage through the holidays. You can post your answers of the resort Facebook page here.
On his Facebook wall, FBF Dan Mitchinson posts: “
A psychiatrist was killed with a garden gnome at the Sphinx and no one said a word. That’s because the “crime” occurred at Whitworth University during the Nov. 6 rehearsal of Cool Whip – a student-led improv group. The 10-member troupe played chain murder, a game in which one player is given a location, a profession and a murder weapon. The player must communicate these things without speaking to a player who joins him from offstage. When the second player thinks he’s figured out the three key things, he “kills” the first with the imaginary weapon and another offstage player joins the scene, and so on. All the players correctly guessed the profession and location, but by the end of the scene the murder weapon had become a rototiller. And that is the fun of improv; neither the actors nor the audience knows what will happen next/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR photo: Caleb Drechsel, left, plays a pantomime game with Alyson King during rehearsals for Cool Whip)
Question: Are you a fan of improv? Have you ever tried it yourself?
How did John F. Kennedy influence Idaho? Chris Carlson/Carlson Chronicles tells of a young Orofino lumberjack who entered politics after hearing JFK speak in Lewiston:
In the spring of 1960 Kennedy agreed to a stopover in Lewiston to give a speech at the Lewis-Clark Hotel before heading on to Portland to campaign in the important Oregon Presidential primary. The young lumberjack, Cece Andrus, decided to drive the 40 miles from his home in Orofino down the Clearwater River to hear Kennedy’s remarks. To this day he cannot tell you what exactly it was Kennedy said, but he walked out of the hotel feeling he had heard a great person’s call to others to enter public service, to be part of the new generation taking over in America. Andrus thought that if the young Kennedy could go after the presidency, he could go after a seat in the Idaho State Senate, in part because the Republican incumbent was ignoring the needs for a better quality and more equitably funded educational system in the state. The rest is history. Full column here.
Question: Which politician has inspired you most?
Outdoor photographer Robin Loznak of Kellogg, Ore., calls this photo, “Liquid Jewels,” writing on his Facebook wall: “The rainy season brings on the green in southwestern Oregon.” You can see more of Robin's photography here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, Nov. 20): 9340 pageviews/5017 unique views
The annual gathering of bald eagles in the Wolf Lodge Bay area of Lake Coeur d'Alene is lagging. The eagles provide a popular wildlife-viewing attraction as the birds are lured to the northeast corner of the lake from mid-November into January to feast on the spawning kokanee that stack up in the bay. However, Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist, counted only two adult bald eagles in the Wolf Lodge Bay area on Tuesday, down from three eagles she counted last Tuesday during the first of the weekly bald eagle surveys she'll do this season/Rich Landers, SR. More here.
In this Dec. 16, 2007, file photo, Cleveland Browns running back Jamal Lewis, center, runs through the snow and Buffalo Bills defenders Angelo Crowell (55), Keith Ellison (56), Chris Kelsay (90) and Kyle Williams (95) for four yards in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Cleveland. Organizers of the first outdoor, cold-climate Super Bowl, in East Rutherford, N.J., have decided to embrace the snow as the game’s unofficial theme. The 197-year-old Farmers’ Almanac is already out with its forecast that a big winter storm will hit the area that weekend.(AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
Question: Would you like to see the next Super Bowl played in the snow?
Question: Are you singing, “Happy Days are here again”?
Huckleberries has learned … that former Coeur d'Alene Press reporter Keith Erickson is the new spokesman for the city of Coeur d'Alene, replacing Kristina Lyman. The job will continue as a contract position rather than a full-time one with the city. Erickson will also continue has work as spokesman for the Lake City Development Corporation. Keith and I covered City Hall for our respective newspapers many years ago. He's a solid reporter. And he's performed well as LCDC spokesman.
About 180 spaces at the new parking structure at McEuen Park will be available just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday—and annual holiday lighting display downtown on Friday, November 29. The parking spots will be accessible from Second and Third Streets by late Friday and include covered and uncovered parking. Outlined here in red here are the spaces that will be available to the public starting next Wednesday, November 27/Lake City Development Corporation news release.
Question: Will the city charge the same amount for the spaces as they did the Third Street lot? Inquiring minds want to know.
There’s been a good deal of commentary about why Idaho exempts more than 3,000 elected officials from the rigors of the state’s concealed weapons license process. The flap was prompted by last week’s news that Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, can continue to carry despite having his license revoked for failing to disclose his 1974 guilty plea for assault with intent to commit rape. Outrage about the double standard spans the spectrum, from MSNBC’s left-winger Rachel Maddow to the gun-rights website The Truth About Guns/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
DFO: Popkey goes on to explain how elected officials in Idaho got exempt from the state's concealed-weapons law?
Christie Wood (RE: Let's get Mudgy/McEuen vandals): I appreciate Boxed in's comments about CrimeStoppers. For clarification CrimeStoppers has a standing reward for information that leads to the arrest of suspects responsible for grafitti no matter where it has occurred in Kootenai County. Crime Stoppers does an outstanding service to our community with very little recognition. They are funded entirely by donations, and their Board members are all volunteers. Please consider them when deciding what 501 3c's to donate to. They do a lot to solve crime in our community.
FlorineD: Might I suggest that HBO create the reward? Crimestoppers has the process in place, but I'll be Hucksters could provide some bucks…I'm in for $50, and would especially encourage posting mug shots of culprits on this blog.
DFO: Duane Rasmussen tells Huckleberries that CrimeStoppers has a standing reward of $50 for graffiti incidents. If anyone wants to add to that reward for this particular act of senseless vandalism, I'm sure CrimeStoppers would appreciate it.
On his Facebook wall, Robin Loznak of Kellogg, Ore., explains: “A small spider sends out gossamer strands of silk as it attempts to parachute into the wind from its perch on an electric fence. The behavior called “ballooning” is used by small spiders to sometimes fly great distances on the wind.” You can see more of Robin's outdoor photography here.
A report on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality in America’s cities by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, rated 291 cities across the nation, including three cities in Idaho. The 2013 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) is the second edition of the only nationwide rating system of LGBT inclusion in municipal law. This year’s index finds that cities across the country, including in Idaho, continued to prove that municipalities will act to support equality for LGBT people, even where states and the federal government have failed to do so. The MEI was issued in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute. The average score for cities in Idaho is 31 out of 100 points, which falls below the national average. Boise scored 56 points, Meridian scored 13 points, and Nampa scored 24 points/Paul Gueguierre, Human Rights Council. More here.
Question: Where do you think Kootenai County towns would stand in terms of the Municipal Equality Index?
GOP Sen. Russ Fulcher of Meridian has scheduled announcements in Meridian, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls on Saturday to announce his “decision about a potential gubernatorial bid,” after several weeks of traveling the state to gauge support. Fulcher said he’s reached his decision “after much prayerful consideration;” you can see his full announcement schedule here. As Idaho Statesman political columnist Dan Popkey noted this morning, “Fulcher, who isn’t made of money, surely wouldn’t be flying around the state to say he’s decided not to run. Despite Otter’s likely financial advantage and incumbency, Fulcher’s in”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: I agree with Popkey. Fulcher wouldn't be flying around the state to make an announcement if he'd decided not to run for governor. Which would leave a tough choice for individuals fed up with the way Otter has run education into the ground in Idaho — status quo or Tea Party? Or “none of the above”?
The partisan battles that have paralyzed Washington in recent years took a historic turn on Thursday, when Senate Democrats eliminated filibusters for most presidential nominations, severely curtailing the political leverage of the Republican minority in the Senate and assuring an escalation of partisan warfare. The rule change means federal judge nominees and executive-office appointments can be confirmed by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote super majority that has been required for more than two centuries/Paul Kane, Washington Post. More here.
Question: Do you support the position taken by Senate Democrats?
Girls basketball cooach Dale Poffenroth enters his 10th season only seven victories shy of 200 at Coeur d'Alene High. SReporter Greg Lee gives provides an overview of the upcoming girls basketball season in North Idaho here. (SR file photo)
A Stevens County judge was asked Wednesday to decide whether the shackled 11-year-old boy seated before him, convicted of conspiring to murder a female classmate, posed a threat to society or was a victim of its failures. Ordering a sentence of more than four years, Judge Allen Nielson said releasing him would be a disservice to the community, rocked by the revelation in February that two Fort Colville Elementary students had smuggled weapons into the school with what police said was an intent to kill. “I have the primary conspirator here today,” Nielson said minutes before sentencing the boy, who will turn 12 later this week, to 176 weeks to 220 weeks confinement at Echo Glen Children’s Center in Snoqualmie, Wash. His co-conspirator has been serving a similar sentence since he pleaded guilty to charges in April/Kip Hill, SR. More here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
Question: Proper sentence?
Open letter to new UIdaho president Chuck Staben (pictured): As a strong supporter of the University of Idaho and its flagship, land grant, national research status within the state, allow me to give you a conditional welcome to the great state. Why “conditional” you may ask? Because you must understand you have been hired by an impotent board that has not for years served as the advocate for higher education it should. It is a board that has stood by idly as the budget for higher education has been eviscerated by a governor and a legislature that by their actions demonstrate they just don’t get nor appreciate the proper role education plays in securing a decent future for Idaho’s children as the driver of a thriving economy/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicle. More here.
Question: Do you believe, as Chris Carlson does, that the Idaho Board of Education has sat idly by while the Otter administration and Idaho Legislature has eviscerated budgets for higher education?
In every state in the country, there is at least one ostensibly independent “free-market” think tank that is part of something called the State Policy Network— there are sixty-four in all, ranging from the Pelican Institute, in Louisiana, to the Freedom Foundation, in Washington State. According to a new investigative report by the Center for Media and Democracy, a liberal watchdog group, however, the think tanks are less free actors than a coördinated collection of corporate front groups—branch stores, so to speak—funded and steered by cash from undisclosed conservative and corporate players. Although the think tanks have largely operated under the radar, the cumulative enterprise is impressively large, according to the report. In 2011, the network funnelled seventy-nine million dollars into promoting conservative policies at the state level/Jane Mayer, New Yorker. More here.
Question: Why does this New Yorker story make me think about the Idaho Freedom Foundation?
I wasn’t surprised by the many responses I received following my Tuesday column on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which hits the half-century mark on Friday. If there’s one topic guaranteed to get baby boomers reminiscing, it’s the horror and heartache we felt after gunfire in Dallas turned the world upside down. But George McAlister’s acid-etched memory of 11/22/63 is something else again. “I had a different experience that no one really talks about,” he wrote in an email to me. I’m nominating that sentence for Understatement of the Year, George. McAlister, 62, is library director for North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene. He and his wife, Ann, who works in the field of occupational medicine, live in Spokane Valley/Doug Clark, SR. More here.
Question: Do you remember any weird reaction to the JFK assassination?
We went looking for the pulse of the Idaho Democratic Party the other day. We couldn't find it. Only a political party without a heartbeat lets the Idaho GOP off the hook while it tolerates a twice-accused and once-convicted sexual offender among its ranks in the state House of Representatives. Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, pleaded guilty to a 1974 assault with intent to commit rape in Florida. But, because the judge gave him a withheld judgment, he's entitled to say he has no felony conviction. Three years later, Patterson again was charged with rape, this time in Ohio, where he was tried and acquitted. Patterson blames everyone else for his troubles: Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney had no business disclosing his criminal history, the victim in the Florida case recanted, the cops lied and, of course, Patterson has a hazy recollection of the incident because chemotherapy treatments impaired his memory. Patterson kept all of this from the voters when they elected him last year. Anywhere else, Democrats would be all over Patterson and his party/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Why do you suppose Idaho Democrats haven't said anything about Patterson scandal?
Help yourself to some nuts this holiday season: Regular nut eaters were less likely to die of cancer or heart disease – in fact, were less likely to die of any cause – during a 30-year Harvard study. Nuts have long been called heart-healthy, and the study is the largest ever done on whether eating them affects mortality. Researchers tracked 119,000 men and women and found that those who ate nuts roughly every day were 20 percent less likely to die during the study period than those who never ate nuts. The risk of dying of heart disease dropped 29 percent and the risk of dying of cancer fell 11 percent among those who had nuts seven or more times a week compared with people who never ate them/Associated Press. More here.
DFO: Suh-weet! I love me some peanuts, walnuts, cashews, etc. & etc.
Question: Are you a regular nut eater?
There are many ways to deal with a devastating diagnosis. After being diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in 2011, former Coeur d'Alene Press reporter Linda Ball decided to write her way through both the bad times and the good. It started with a blog and ended recently with a book called, “The Boob Blog,” which the 57-year old Ball said is the story of “my own personal journey through the labyrinth of breast cancer.” She said she feels her story is an interesting and inspiring one with more than its fair share of laughs. “I wrote it mainly to let people know you can pull through something that's horrible and still have a life,” Ball said. “I thought the way I handled the whole thing was a little bit different than many women. A lot of them kind of put their lives on hold and I chose not to do that”/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Have you ever considered writing a book about your life or some aspect of it?
I have Beatles on the mind today, especially McCartney, who penned the words to “When I'm 64” when he was 16 years old. McCartney has made the magic figure. And, as of today, so have I. I've been looking forward to it. Mrs. O still loves me (I'm pretty sure). So all is good at Casa Oliveria. Before I post the Wild Card, however, I'd also like to give a shoutout to Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem, who shares this birthday with me. This community has been fortunate to have her at the helm for the past 12 years — the best mayor I've seen in my 44 years of newspapering. Happy birthday, Sandi. Now for your Wild Card (and a YouTube posting of McCartney's 64) …
When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now,
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine? More here.
Cyclocross, a lesser-know style of bike racing, attracts cyclists who like to push themselves and their bikes to the limit, through rain, snow and mud. On Sunday, November 17, 2013, dozens of hardy racers found all three elements as they gathered in Sandpoint for the last race of the cyclocross season. See video here. (SR photo/video: Jesse Tinsley)
Senator Russ Fulcher recently concluded his “Russ Fulcher Listens” tour throughout the State of Idaho, where he heard the concerns and counsel of so many hard working Idahoans including: Republican primary voters, grassroots organizers, and key community opinion-makers. After much prayerful consideration, Republican Senator Russ Fulcher has made a decision about a potential gubernatorial bid and will publicly announce his intentions. He will make his announcement at several locations on Saturday, including 11:45 a.m. at Resort Aviation at the Kootenai County airport in Hayden.
DFO: I sincerely believe in prayer. I'd hate to think what my life would be without it. But I get nervous when a politician mentions it. Izzit me?
I take stock of what I do here at Huckleberries Online at two different times of the year — on my birthday (today) and at Blogfest (around Feb. 16 each year). I spend some time on those days reflecting whether I enjoy doing what I'm doing — and whether it provides something of worth to the community. The first question is important because I have entered that realm where retirement is a possibility. The answer this year is the same as it has been for several years — yes, I enjoy what I'm doing. I find it fulfilling. I enjoy the challenge of the blank screen I find every morning waiting for me. I don't know where the day is going to take me. So you don't either. The answer to the second question is equally important. I believe it is also yes. I have long since given up on partisan politics, especially the extreme politics as practiced in North Idaho. I'm a registered Republican. But don't hold that against me. I consider the well-being and progress of my home for the last 29 years to be of far greater importance than political ideology. As a result, I readily support individuals and entities that have added to my enjoyment of the community, with an eye toward the great place we will hand over to the next generation. I'd like to think this blog has played a role in keeping local government in the capable hands of those who believe in such wonderful projects as the Coeur d'Alene Library, Education Corridor, Kroc Center, Riverstone, Prairie Trail and so much more. I'm pleased that the Bloem administration survived an ugly recall attempt and vicious attacks to hand the baton to a capable group of successors. Those who would derail the progress of this best of Coeur d'Alene cities are still out there. So I guess I'll keep on truckin' here at Huckleberries Online/DFO.
he hair flies as Oregon cheerleaders go through a routine during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Utah Valley in Eugene, Ore., Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Tuesday Winner — Since the Tuesday Cutline Contest was controversial, I declined to name a winner. But you can see the Tuesday Photo and follow the thread here.
From Post Falls police Facebook page: The Post Falls Police Department would like to warn our community about a local jury duty scam. The elderly seem to be the main target. However, everyone should be aware. This week, a male claiming to be with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office has called numerous people and asked why they didn’t show up for jury duty. He told them that there’s a warrant for their arrest. He also said an officer would arrive to arrest them unless they sent $2,000 within two hours using a green dot card, which is similar to a gift card. The scammer has called from two different phone numbers so far, 208-251-7111 and 208-251-3384. Both numbers come back to Pocatello, Idaho. More here.
DFO: There should be a special place in hell for individuals who scam the elderly, right?
A few minutes ago, Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns said good night to Priest Lake.
HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, Nov. 19): 10,499 page-views/5254 unique views
Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images tried out new photographic equipment and came up with this shot of the autumn forest from the Coeur d'Alene District. You can see more of Linda's fine outdoor photography here.
Vandals spray-painted a Mudgy & Millie statue and several areas of McEuen Field in an attack that caused an estimated $600 in damage. A city maintenance supervisor contacted Coeur d'Alene police about the vandalism Monday. Suspect(s) had sprayed red paint on a Parks Department truck as well as CDF Landscape truck. Vandals had also sprayed red paint, and used vulgar words on several structures along McEuen Park Trail at the base of Tubbs Hill near City Hall and over to the Harbor House and 3rd St. boat launch area. The Mudgy Moose statue was spray painted on the body of the statue as well the Mudgy and Millie information sign. On July 2nd 2013 No Trespassing signs were installed by City workers at the McEuen Park constructions site. The no trespass order remains in effect for the duration of the construction project. If anyone has any information on this crime of vandalism please contact the Police Department at 208-769-2320 or on-line at email@example.com/Sgt.Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department.
DFO: If the dirtbag(s) who did this are caught, I'd like to see them put in stocks and displayed in a cage at City Park. How about you?
The decision of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI) to back Medicaid expansion creates a bit of a credibility problem for the business lobby organization. Not so long ago, IACI argued that the state was better off creating an insurance exchange, lest the federal government do it for us. Alex LaBeau, the president of IACI, often remarks that given the choice, Idahoans are much better off if they can pick up the phone and call Idaho officials, such as the Department of Environmental Quality instead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. His argument won the support of lawmakers, who voted to implement Obamacare with the creation of a state insurance exchange. Now, IACI says the state should further implement Obamacare by accepting the optional expansion of Medicaid/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
Huckleberries is interviewing Steve Shepperd (above showing off his new book) re: his new book on the history of Coeur d'Alene hydroplane racing: “Hydromania: A History of the Diamond Cup”:
Lake Roosevelt's High School's Trey Nicholson, left, and Nathaniel Hall try to tackle White Swan High School's Tony Picard, center, during a football game in White Swan, Wash. A tiny Washington high school is home to perhaps the largest running back anywhere in the country — amateur or professional. At 400 pounds, Tony Picard racked up 576 yards rushing and seven touchdowns this year at Whie Swan High School. Story here. (AP Photo/Yakima Herald-Republic, Andy Sawyer)
Question: How would you like to try to stop this bulldozer?
You don't have to be an expert in current events to win the Spokesman-Review weekly quiz, but it can't hurt! All entrants this week are eligible to win two movie tickets, and our overall champ (drawn from among the top scores) will earn a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. Good luck! You can take the News Quiz here.
Lookout Pass Ski Area plans to open for the winter season on Thursday, Nov. 21, and Schweitzer Mountain Resort and Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park have just announced they will open on Saturday, Nov. 23. This will be the first time the Mount Spokane resort has opened before Thanksgiving in many years, operators say. These resorts will join 49 Degrees North, which opened for one day on Sunday and will reopen on Friday. Silver Mountain Resort hasn't yet announced an opening date/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors. More here.
Question: Where do you ski? Why?
Idaho Sen. Branden Durst, D-Boise, is resigning from the state Senate, effective Dec. 1. Durst said he's resigning to focus on his family's needs; earlier this year, his wife and family moved to the Seattle area, where she now is employed as a teacher, and he's since spent much time over there. The Idaho Democratic Party announced that it is inviting Democrats from District 18 who are interested in the position to fill out a questionnaire; the party's District 18 central committee will recommend three candidates to Gov. Butch Otter for appointment/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Traffic flow near the McEuen Park upgrade downtown will dramatically improve by this weekend. Project coordinators announced Wednesday morning that construction signs detouring traffic around the project site will be removed on Friday morning. By the afternoon, motorists will be able to access Front Avenue off Sherman Avenue from Second Street and also from Third Street. Front will be open to Fourth Street for one-way north-bound traffic. Meantime, diagonal parking on Front Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets is now open and has been very popular. “People are really liking it; most of the spaces are full,” says architect Dick Stauffer. The McEuen parking structure will partially open next Wednesday (November 27) with about 180 spaces/Keith Erickson, Lake City Development Corporation.
Question: Can hardly wait to ride my bike along Front Avenue/McEuen Park again. How about you?
While the city has recently lost key staff members (“Cd’A officials in transition mode,” 11/17), the full responsibility of choosing their replacements need not have been placed upon the incoming mayor and council. The present council was made aware of the early retirements almost a year ago. Back in February, the Police Association wrote a letter to the mayor regarding the selection of a new chief. Since that time, I’ve meet with the mayor on several occasions, urging her to initiate the process. As I recall, Mayor Bloem was reluctant to do so and cited the coming elections as her reason. I commend Ron Clark on the fine job he’s doing as acting chief, but our town needs a full time police chief. Now the job is left to an incoming council. They are certainly capable of the task, but they could have been helped greatly had the current administration been more proactive on the replacement process/Councilman Dan Gookin, Coeur d'Alene, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press.
Question: Do you agree with Gookin that the current council should have begun the process of picking new department heads?
President Barack Obama awards former President Bill Clinton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom today, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Obama paid tribute Wednesday to Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton, and both of them honored a presidential icon: John F. Kennedy. Obama awarded Clinton and 15 other Americans the Presidential Medal of Freedom, created 50 years ago by Kennedy. Other recipients included television legend Oprah Winfrey, country music artist Loretta Lynn, women's rights leader Gloria Steinem, baseball great Ernie Banks and pioneering astronaut Sally Ride. “These are men and women who in their extraordinary lives remind us all of the beauty of the human spirit,” Obama said during a ceremony at the White House/USA Today. More here.
Question: Has your view of former president Bill Clinton changed since he left office?
State Sen. Mark Patterson is the poster child for a man unfit for office. The Boise Republican needs to just go away. Resign. Fade into the shadows, please. Patterson has been on a crusade for the past two weeks against Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney, who denied Patterson a pistol permit because the freshman senator failed to mention that he pleaded guilty in Florida in 1974 to a charge of assault with intent to commit rape. Patterson has been all over the rhetorical map since the news splashed across newspapers throughout Idaho. He’s tried to pin the blame for his downfall on Raney, on the victim, on the system. The one person exempt from Patterson’s finger-pointing is himself. Let’s be very clear here: Patterson is a felon convicted of a depraved attack on a woman/Twin Falls Times-News. More here.
Question: Anyone disagree?
A broad-based business organization has made a compelling pro-commerce, low-tax argument for Idaho to accept the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Now the state’s political leaders need to revisit a decision that hurt a variety of its own citizens. Before getting into the case made by the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry in a recent letter to Gov. Butch Otter, an explanation of how the state handles a great deal of indigent care is necessary, because it is unique. Local property tax dollars are sent to the state’s general fund, and money is sent back to local governments to cover bills in catastrophic health care cases. IACI says the system is inefficient and flawed/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Do you think wiser/cooler heads in the GOP will be able to overcome Tea Party hysteria — and vote to expand Medicaid?
There are a lot of reasons we like the choice of Chuck Staben as the 18th University of Idaho president, but chief among them is the fact that he told students and faculty during an October visit that, if chosen, he would consider this a great fit and the final fit of his career. This is encouraging because the turnover at Idaho’s land grant school has been as dizzying as the pace at which a new president will have to commit to categorically elevate an institution that suffers from areas of underachievement. We especially like what Staben, provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of South Dakota, told the U of I Argonaut during his visit last month: that the school needs “more students, more graduates, more research and greater engagement”/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Does anyone out there really believe that this will be the “final fit” for Staben's career? (See: Dennis Erickson)
Audrey Willey, 94, strikes the final notes of the classic song “Danny Boy” as she performed piano for a Thanksgiving lunch gathering at the Southside Senior & Community Center on Tuesday in Spokane. Willey has some 200 songs she plays form memory. “I don't have to carry music around. It's in my computer” she said as she pointed to her brain. She started playing at the center one year ago and prefers WWII era songs, with the most request being “in The Mood.” (SR photo: Dan Pelle)
Question: Are you still going to be kicking up your heels when you're 94?
Mars Hill Church – the Seattle-based megachurch made famous by its rapid expansion, high-tech outreach and its sometimes-controversial pastor Mark A. Driscoll – has plans to open its 16th satellite campus in downtown Spokane. “We just want people to meet Jesus,” said Miles Rohde, who will be the lead pastor of the Spokane church. “Spokane is getting younger, with lots of college kids coming and raising their families there. We have a message of the Gospel we want to communicate and we have an amazing lead pastor in Mark Driscoll and the message he’s able to convey biblically, and we want to share that in Spokane.” Mars Hill recently made an offer to buy the First Covenant Church building at 212 S. Division St./Tracy Simmons, special to the SR. More here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)
Question: Have you ever attended a megachurch?
In an editorial re: the looming horse race for the Secretary of State office in the GOPrimary, opinionator Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune suggests the state's next chief elections officer should work to increase voter turnout:
When Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1980, nearly 31 percent of Idaho's voting age population participated in the spring primary election. In November of that year, 69 percent of the eligible electors cast a ballot in the general election.Fast forward to 2012: The percentage of voters who cast a ballot in last year's primary election dropped to 16.1 percent. Turnout for the general election also is trending down - to 57.6 percent in 2012's presidential election, but as low as 56 percent in 2000. Part of that is culture. Americans across the country are less engaged in government of self-rule than their forebears. Part of the fall off is by design. By closing their primary to all but registered Republicans, the Idaho GOP got what it desired — driving away voters it didn't want involved in nominating its candidates. More here.
Question: Should the Idaho GOP abandon its closed primary, which has depressed voter turnout?
Some people could confuse MP2 with a type of digital music file, but for one group of Idaho lawmakers it's an old approach to government that shuns the “entitlement mentality” they believe is undermining modern American society. “What this is really about is changing the political culture of the United States and of Idaho,” said state Sen. Steven Thayn, R-Emmett, during a 90-minute panel discussion Tuesday evening at Lewis-Clark State College. The forum was sponsored by MP2, a newly formed nonprofit corporation that sees strong families and individual empowerment as a more effective approach to solving social problems, compared to simply creating another government program. The name of the organization stands for “Motivating People to be More Productive.”Thayn, Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, and Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, took part in the event. About 15 people attended/William L. Spence, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Duane Rasmussen photo: Sen. Russ Fulcher at the MP2 meeting at North Idaho College Monday)
Question: Do you think MP2 is going to catch on in Idaho?
Pork fat is delicious. But might it also be the grease that is needed to unlock dysfunctional Washington, D.C.? Former Rep. George Nethercutt is making that case, sort of. Nethercutt, the man who unseated Tom Foley in 1994, has written a defense of something that few support: congressional earmarks. Writing in last week’s Inlander, Nethercutt argued that earmarks – the supposed tool of cronyism and spendthrift government – are needed, within reason, to improve the toxic and broken political system. Earmarks went out with the tea-water in 2010, and the House has stuck with a ban on them since then. Opposing earmarks and pork is a salty political treat; everyone eats it up. Earmarks bad. It might be the sole point of agreement between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.
Question: Is there room for pork — horse swapping — in badly divided Congress?
Deanna Goodlander (RE: Jimmy John: How to upgrade East Sherman): Starting at the freeway off ramp put in street trees and a treed median. Similar to Government Way. This would give the feeling of connection to Sherman from 11th street on. Over time this could change the character of the neighborhood. Some of those old motels are just placeholders for future development. There is a lot of vacant land that is in the City of Fernan on the east side of Lake Coeur d'Alene Drive. There is opportunity there for a substantial development there. Time will help that to develop, although I believe that Fernan put in some restrictions against any high rises on that property.. High rises backed up against the freeway would have great views of the lakes in that location. Some of the best views in town are right there with the mountains and Fernan Lake on the east and Coeur d'Alene Lake and the Coeur d'Alene golf course on the west.
Question: Which future urban renewal project has a higher priority in your book: East Sherman, Midtown or Four Corners?
Ten-month-old Nabahe Shebala receives a smile from his mother Paula Shebala during the Native American dance exhibition at North Idaho College Tuesday. This event is part of the annual NIC Cardinal Connections Symposium, which connects campus and community. The NIC American Indian Student Alliance served lunch with all proceeds to benefit AISA scholarships. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
DFO: Isn't this a sweet photo to start the day?
Jon Ingalls' announced retirement a month from now further sets the stage for significant change in Coeur d'Alene city management. By giving up his position as deputy city administrator, Ingalls is leaving a significant leadership void and a six-figure pile of cash on the table. Much has been made of Coeur d'Alene's pay scale, and you'll read even more about it in the months ahead. Three fresh new faces are joining the City Council in January, and all have indicated a willingness to explore the pros and cons of that scale and the actual work that goes with specific jobs/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Are you worried that the future leadership team of the city of Coeur d'Alene won't measure up to the recently retired group?
Tom Taggart (Gary Ingram: Tea Party keeps GOP in line): At the very start of the tea party movement it was a more diverse group of people. That quickly changed as many issues unrelated to fiscal responsibility started to come forward. These very far right issues and supporters drove all democrats and moderate independents away. This idea that somehow the mainstream republicans are going to become liberal is ridiculous. The only way our more reasonable republicans could possibly look liberal is if you were standing on the far edge of a flat earth. There is no way the Tea Party is healthy or good for republicans.'
Question: Does the Tea Party still have clout in Kootenai County/North Idaho?
150 years from Gettysburg Address. 3 days from the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination. (Yeah, I know exactly where I was when I heard the news — in the lunch room of my high school cafeteria. I was a freshman.) And one day from a birthday I share with Mayor Sandi Bloem. Eventful week. Now for your daily Wild Card …
Jimmy John: I hear a lot of talk about revitalization of east sherman and I agree, I just don't know what would be the best way to achieve that. What sort of revitalization ideas do people have about east sherman? The cemetery certainly makes things difficult in my opinion.
DFO: Jimmy John brings up an interesting question. Just how would you go about revitalizing East Sherman Avenue. You need some private investment to go along with urban renewal money to pull it off, as we saw happen on Northwest Boulevard. Which was an eyesore as a western entrance to the city when the Spokesman-Review opened at 608 NW Blvd in 1994.
Question: How would you begin to revitalize East Sherman Avenue?
Sens. Steve Thayn and Russ Fulcher visited Coeur d'Alene Monday to introduce the MP2 Project to about 100 people. Here's an introduction about MP2 by Thayn that I Googled:
I would like to introduce you to the MP2 Project. It is a political philosophy/movement that views the world through the lens of production. That almost all problems can be addressed best through work and productivity. The MP2 Project also believes that the people need to be able to control the fruits of their labors rather than government. The MP2 Project differs greatly from liberalism which has little interest in production and sees redistribution of wealth as the major purpose of go vernment. In fact, liberal policies inhibit and restrict production. In time, liberalism creates poverty. More here. (Duane Rasmussen photo of Steve Thayn)
Question: Got it? MP2 good. Liberalism very, very bad. Thoughts?
Afghan students display an effigy of U.S. Presdient Barack Obama with the word 'donkey' scribbled across his forehead during a protest against the upcoming Loya Jirga, a traditional means of consultations, in Jalalabad today. Thousands of prominent Afghans are scheduled to meet for a Loya Jirga in Kabul on Thursday to debate a contentious security agreement with the United States. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Monday Winnner — Randy Myers, with 8 likes: One student lineman called out, “If I cut this line now will I win the cutline contest?” And runnerup — Kim Knerl, with 7 likes: “Just an average day for NSA workers.” You can see Monday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.
Marianne Love/Slight Detour posts that she'd never seen a ladybug gathering until yesterday when she was raking late-falling leaves. More here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, Nov. 18): 8943 page-views/4618 unique views
It is with great sadness we tell our community that our loyal police dog Justice passed away yesterday on November 18th 2013 after suffering complications from a surgery. Justice recently retired from the Police Department after eleven years of outstanding service. Her partner and long-time handler Officer Craig Buhl was at her side when she passed. Justice has the distinction of being the first canine officer for the City of Coeur d’Alene. Justice received her name in 2002 from the 5th grade students at Borah Elementary. We are very proud of her story that is a bit of “Rags to Riches” and we have told it often. Justice was saved from an animal shelter and she was donated to the Canine Training School at McNeil Island Correctional Facility in Steilacoom Washington to learn how to be a narcotics dog. Here is the story told by Justice herself through her handler Officer Buhl/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department. More here.
For the tens of thousands of motorists who enter Coeur d'Alene along Northwest Boulevard every day, big changes are headed your way. For more than a decade, the city has considered exciting new possibilities for public-orientated improvements along the broadly defined corridor that introduces motorists and pedestrians to the downtown area and beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene. After all this time, things are beginning to come into focus as the city moves forward with work on a master plan for the area, dubbed Four Corners. Though not yet clearly defined, Four Corners generally stretches from Riverstone to Memorial Field along Northwest Boulevard. Project organizers, community leaders, stakeholders, and interested neighbors have offered dozens of ideas for upgrades—ranging from improved trail access and educational interpretive posts, to improving the campus around Memorial Field and even a community garden/Keith Erickson, Lake City Development Corporation. More here.
Question: Do you understand the importance of the Four Corners project for Coeur d'Alene?
This image released by the United States Postal service shows a variety of Harry Potter themed Forever stamps, clockwise from top left, Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange and Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort. The USPS dedicated 20 new Forever stamps, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida. (AP Photo/USPS)
Question: How many Harry Potter books and/or movies have you read/seen?
An email from the Idaho Freedom Foundation arrived in the inbox of nearly every Idaho legislator last week touting a controversial and unsuccessful bill to criminalize Idaho police officers who enforce federal gun laws that might pass in the future as a paragon of “constitutional principles.” Last Tuesday’s mass email came just as the bill’s sponsor, embattled state Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, hit the national news with his claims that a local sheriff’s move to revoke his concealed weapons permit over an undisclosed past assault with intent to commit rape case really was retaliation for his bill, and his criticism of the Idaho Sheriff’s Association for not backing it/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.
Question: Bad timing?
Gary Ingram: Mainstream Republicans for the most part are conservative and most of the so called Tea Party influence is focused on individual specific issues that are more ideological. This is a healthy mix because the more ideological bent of the Tea Party helps to keep the mainstream from drifting to the left. Don't overlook the possibility that a lot of Democrats embrace the Tea Party agenda, as well, because it is not a political party but a national movement demanding more fiscally responsible government and more protection for freedom. Remember the 'silent majority' movement back in the early 70's, that beckoned a similar mission? The majority wasn't silent, the government was deaf. And so it seems today. Sigh.
Question: Does the Tea Party keep the GOP in line? Or will it be the death of the GOP?
The WiFi rollout has also sprung some surprises on the state’s contractor, Education Networks of America. The job of rigging up WiFi in more than 200 high schools and junior high schools — all with different demands and different levels of technological expertise — has been “eye-opening,” said Garry Lough, ENA’s Idaho director of customer services. ENA is three months into the job; under its contract with the state, the installation must be finished by March 15. ENA has finished work at about 30 schools so far, but Lough still says the company is on pace to meet its deadline/Kevin Richert, The EDge. More here.
Question: Do you support this project?
The two Spokane teen-agers accused of killing a WWII veteran during a parking lot robbery reportedly are being targeted by the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang. Court documents indicate Spokane police learned the supremacist group may have placed a $10,000 bounty on the teens, both of whom are black. The details are part of a court filing explaining why Kenan Adams-Kinard and Demetruis Glenn, both 16, were quickly moved to protective adult custody rather than returned to juvenile detention before being formally charged as adults with the homicde/Kip Hill, SR. More here. (SR file photo)
Human rights officials say an Idaho pastor who is being detained in a brutal prison in Iran was finally allowed to visit with family. Officials with the American Center for Law & Justice say Monday's visit marked the first time Saeed Abedini was able to see family since his transfer to Rajai Shahr prison more than two weeks ago. The 33-year-old Christian pastor who had been living in Boise. But he's been in Iranian custody since September 2012 and is serving an eight-year sentence for undermining state security/Associated Press. More here.
Seems St. Thomas Catholic Church field is for sale — at least, that's what the signs from Lakeshore Realty that are on the fences seem to indicate. My sources tell me that the little-used open space amounts to 1.6 acres, for $320,000. Dunno if the city is interested in the field for a possible park in an older neighborhood of Coeur d'Alene, especially with the recent purchase of Person Field relatively nearby. But if might make a good acquisition. What do you think?
Are you tuned in to the emotions of others? Or have you been accused of being insensitive? If you are among those people who are mystified by moods, new research offers hope. A new study shows that certain types of reading can actually help us improve our sensitivity IQ. To find out how well you read the emotions of others, take the Well quiz, which is based on an assessment tool developed by University of Cambridge professor Simon Baron-Cohen/New York Times. (H/T: Julie Titone via Facebook)
DFO: I correctly answered 31 of 36, so I'm fairly good at reading expressions to understand people's moods.
Question: How did you do?
It was dusk, so the young 30-something who held the door for her friends and then entered our church in front of us can certainly be forgiven for letting the door swing shut behind her, just as my wife reached for it. The young woman was happily occupied in conversation with her peers. My wife, with her silvery gray hair, was simply not on this young churchgoer’s radar. Nor, apparently, was I. She clearly did not see us. We were, for all practical purposes, invisible – the kind of invisible that accompanies other hints of pending mortality, such as sore knees, weak eyesight and hearing, multiple trips to the bathroom each night, or going to bed feeling fine and waking up injured. Invisibility comes with the territory of getting old/Ted Ketchum, SR Boomer U. More here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
Question: Have you detected yourself “disappearing” as you've aged?
In this file photo Aug. 28 taken on a mobile phone by her son Riccardo Arcelli, second from left, Pope Francis has his picture taken inside St. Peter's Basilica with youths from the Italian Diocese of Piacenza at the Vatican. “Selfie,” the smartphone self-portrait, has been declared word of the year for 2013 by Britain's Oxford University Press. Story here. (AP Photo/Riccardo Aguiari, File)
Question: How often do you take “selfies”? Why? And where do you post them (if you do)?
Ready or not, reports City Administrator Wendy Gabriel/Coeur d'Alene Today, winter is on the way. Rest assured, the Coeur d’Alene street department is ready. Street superintendent Tim Martin says his crews are poised to tackle anything Mother Nature dishes out with 7 dump trucks equipped to plow major arterials and 7 residential plow teams ready to plow neighborhoods. Graders will again be equipped with snow gates to minimize berms left in front of driveways. Martin will provide an overview of the 2013-14 snow removal plan during the City Council meeting Tuesday (November 19) at 6 p.m. in the community room of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library. The meeting will be televised on Channel 19. The street department’s goal is to complete a citywide snow removal cycle in 38 hours, which is a 25 percent reduction in time since 2000 thanks to increased efficiencies and improved equipment. That’s pretty impressive when you consider the city has 505 lane miles of streets.
Question: Are you as impressed as I am that city plows respond so quickly to snow storms — and still find time to raise gates to prevent our driveways from being plowed in?
In this Sept. 5, 2000, file photo is Tom Metzger, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and founder of the White Aryan Resistance, speaks in in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. Metzger told The Associated Press today that he is returning property in Leith, N.D., that Craig Cobb deeded to him because he disagrees with his methods and he's too controversial. The prominent white separatists says he is distancing himself from Cobb, another white supremacist, who faces terrorizing charges for allegedly threatening residents of the North Dakota town he's trying to turn into an Aryan enclave. (AP Photo/Barbara Minton, File)
One of the most prominent white separatists in the country is distancing himself from a white supremacist who faces terrorizing charges for allegedly threatening people in a North Dakota town he's trying to turn into an Aryan enclave. Tom Metzger, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and founder of the White Aryan Resistance, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he has instructed his attorney to return property in Leith that Craig Cobb has deeded to him. “The way he does business is not the way I do business,” said Metzger, who still considers Cobb a friend. “I think people should move into communities as regular people and become part of the community, and not necessarily declare their racist views/Associated Press. More here.
Question: Are you surprised that supremacists don't get along with one another?
A group called Organization United for Respect (OUR) is rallying support for Walmart employees after a Walmart store in Canton, Ohio, put out tubs with a sign saying “please donate food items here so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.” The group is asking for “likes” on the post if followers “think Walmart should pay us enough that we can afford to buy our own Thanksgiving dinners”. The group has over 41,000 fans and the post has nearly 900 “likes”/IncNow. More here.
Question: Do you think the Canton WalMart store was trying to do the right thing?
Dan Popkey/Idaho Statesman provides context re: the “listening tour” of state Sen. Russ Fulcher and state Sen. Steve Thayn that found its way to North Idaho last night:
Fulcher appeared with three of the GOP’s most vocal tea party-backed foes of Otter’s state-run health insurance exchange, Rep. Vito Barbieri and Sen. Steve Vick of Dalton Gardens and Sen. Steve Thayn of Emmett. Announcing his exploratory campaign in October, Fulcher said Otter had “lost touch,”and cited the exchange as Public Enemy No. 1. Common Core offers another way for the Senate’s No. 4 Republican leader to distinguish himself. The chairman of the Legislature’s Education committees, Rep. Reed DeMordaunt of Eagle and Sen. John Goedde of Coeur d’Alene, reaffirmed their support for Common Core last week, a sign of a serious push to reverse the 2011 Legislature’s approval of the K-12 reforms. DeMordaunt and Goedde said Common Core’s standards “are critical in making sure every child is prepared for success after high school.” More here. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Question: Would you like to see a Tea Party ticket challenge Gov. Butch Otter and the GOP mainstream in the 2014 GOPrimary?
While our first Affirmative Action president fiddles, Nero-like, over the smoking rubble that was the American economy, few outside of the gun-nut community – of which we are card-carrying members – noticed the newest death-rattle, this emanating from the small (pop. 3,468) town of Herculaneum, Missouri. There in Herculaneum, at year-end, we will witness the demise of Doe Run, this nation's last primary lead smelter and in operation since 1892 – thanks, once again, to the goal post-moving United Snakes Environmental Protection Agency and its lackeys in the green movement. When we started paying attention to the mining industry some 40 years ago, twenty primary lead smelters operated in the U.S. By the time of the closure of the Bunker Hill smelter in Kellogg, Idaho, at the end of 1981 we were down to six. And now there will be none/David Bond, Wallace Street Journal. More here.
Local handyman Steve Morris of Coeur d'Alene was hired by a Hauser Lake resident to shore up the bank near their home on Monday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
When Idaho coach Paul Petrino told reporters in August his Vandals would “take some bumps’’ this season, he undoubtedly had Saturday’s game at No. 2 Florida State in the back of his mind. Heading into the final weeks of the regular season, the matchup appears even more daunting, with the BCS-chasing Seminoles 10-0 and winning by 41 points per game. Las Vegas is expecting perhaps the season’s biggest blowout, with a line of 56 (according to the Idaho Statesman service) or 57 points (according to other books) in the Seminoles’ favor as of Monday/Dave Southorn, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Can we put the 56-point mercy rule in effect for this game?
The dimly lit ballroom of the Boise Centre erupted into applause as local Albertsons executive Susan Morris welcomed local business leaders with a declaration that Albertsons once again calls Boise home. The company was a “diamond sponsor” of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce gala in October, its logo and name decorating the venue. Morris got more than a warm welcome as she told the audience how Albertsons plans to invest in the local community after a half-dozen years of separation from its roots. Albertsons is now the biggest company based in Idaho, measured by revenue and by employment, dwarfing iconic Gem State companies like Micron Technology Inc. and J.R. Simplot Co./Audrey Dutton, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Where do you buy your groceries? Why there?
Things got hot and heavy at Stateline Showgirls Friday night when a customer refused to pay for some personal attention. A dancer reported that she performed four $25 lap dances for a customer. The man paid for one of the dances, but then told the dancer he would not be paying for the others. When the man attempted to leave the club, the dancer grabbed him by the shirt, which drew the attention of a bouncer. According to a crime report filed with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, the man told the bouncer that if the dancer wasn't pulled off of him, “he would have to hit her”/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Some citizens are asked to go the extra mile to do their civic duty. But 800 miles? That's what Idaho's courts demanded of 55-year-old long-haul trucker Larry De Ment, who with his wife, Sandy, relocated from Spirit Lake to Boise in February. The De Ments moved because Larry had gotten a job driving trucks for a company based in Salt Lake City, Sandy said. While preparing for the move, Larry received a jury summons for the federal court in Coeur d'Alene. After filling out the appropriate paperwork he was granted a one-year extension. “We assumed it would transfer to the Boise court, which was fine,” Sandy told The Press on Monday. “But we didn't expect that after we moved we would have to come back to Coeur d'Alene”/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Does this guy have a legitimate gripe?
I’ve never been much for censorship. If adults want to get their hair cut or their coffee served to them by some nearly nude chick with self-esteem issues, well, so be it. But sometimes a line does get crossed. Sometimes enough is enough. I found my “offended moment” the other night while standing in a grocery store checkout line. What I saw to my left made me gasp. There, staring back at me from a magazine rack, was the grotesque dead face of our 35th president, John F. Kennedy. Eyes sightless and wide. Mouth slightly agape as if he’d just expelled his final breath. My God/Doug Clark, SR. More here.
Question: Is there such a thing as too much information?
There is no greater threat to religious liberty than government's involvement in faith. And that's why we hope the U.S. Supreme Court rules once and for all that local government is no place for public prayer. The co-mingling of public prayer with local government has simmered for years, stuck in a legal purgatory between the separation of church and state and constitutionally protected freedom of expression. The upstate New York town of Greece ignited the issue a few years ago, when a newly elected supervisor began opening each town board meeting with a Christian prayer. Those in attendance were asked to bow their heads as a local minister or board member asked a Christian God for guidance and support. A federal Circuit Court backed two residents - an atheist and a Jew - who claimed the distinctly sectarian prayers violated their religious liberty and isolated them from their own government/Twin Falls Times News. More here.
Question: The Coeur d'Alene City Council opens its meetings with prayer, which trigger some hubbub during the recent election. Do you support a prayer invocation at government meetings?
About 100 people attended the first MP2 Economic Tour at North Idaho College Monday night, including Mary Souza, Chris and Linda Fillios, Jeff Tyler and NIC board member Todd Banducci. Panelists for the event were, from left: Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Hayden, Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, Sen. Steve Thayn, R-Boise, and Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Boise. NPR reporter Jessica Robinson covered the meeting. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
A group of conservative Idaho lawmakers wants the state to reconsider standards known as the Common Core in the upcoming legislative session. Idaho schools are three years into implementing the new math and English standards. The Common Core was a hot topic at a forum Monday night in Coeur d'Alene. The audience was fairly quiet as four Republican state lawmakers described their vision for Idaho's economy until, state Senator Russ Fulcher of Meridian responded to a question about Common Core. Fulcher: “The responsibility for Idahoans' education needs to be kept here in Idaho. So I have a problem with the Common Core as it's currently being laid out.” Audience member: “Good!”/Jessica Robinson, NPR. More here.
On the Civil War battlefield where President Abraham Lincoln gave a speech that symbolized his presidency and the sacrifices made by Union and Confederate forces, historians and everyday Americans gathered Tuesday to ponder what the Gettysburg Address has meant to the nation. Civil War historian James McPherson and U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell were scheduled to speak to mark the 150th anniversary of speech. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett also will deliver remarks. It comes near the end of a momentous year for the park, city and college that share the name Gettysburg, as hundreds of thousands of visitors took part in historical re-enactments and ceremonies/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo of a Lincoln impersonator)
DFO: I heard the Gettysburg Address being read on NPR en route to work this morning. It remains an incredible document.
Question: What has the Gettysburg Address meant to this country?
Anglers trolling for chinook on Lake Coeur d'Alene off Silver Beach have been snagging their lines on dozens of underwater arches made of nylon rope. The Lake Coeur d'Alene Angler's Association complained about the ropes, which remain from this past summer's Diamond Cup hydroplane races. “It isn't anything we haven't been trying to get resolved,” Doug Miller, a Diamond Cup organizer, said Monday. “We don't want fishermen to be tied up in the lines.” He said the ropes held buoys for the race course, and they will be removed this week, along with the 500-pound concrete railroad ties that anchored the buoys. Some were removed Monday. Following the races, the buoys were cut from the ropes and 10-pound weights were tied to the ends. Once those weights pulled the ropes down, they formed loops that arch up from the lakebed/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Shouldn't the hydroplane race organizers have taken care of this months ago?
Jeff Ward and the Reagan Republicans are the gift that seems to keep giving. They simply can't let go of their 15 minutes of infamy and shuffle off the local stage. I consider United Conservatives of North Idaho to be a bigger threat to good local government at this point, with its anticipated support for Tea Party candidates in county and legislative races who are more extreme than the Reagan Republican ones (think: Bob Nonini, Vito Barbierie). But the Reagan Republicans simply won't go away. So we'll discuss them a bit longer. Now for today's Wild Card …
People visit the field of field Pickett's Charge, earlier today, in Gettysburg, Pa. Nov. 19th marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's short speech that has gone on to symbolize his presidency and explain the sacrifices made by Union and Confederate forces during the U.S. Civil War. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Question: Is it still too soon for Christmas music and photos with Santa?
In an effort to work harder in communicating and connecting with the community, members of the school board will be joining forces with district administrators to embark on opportunities to reach out and listen to what the community thinks of the Coeur d’Alene school district. Chairman Tom Hearn shared the initiative as this month’s school board meeting. “We want to hear from all perspectives in our community and we can achieve this by going out and engaging in a conversation about the current state of our schools,” stated Chair Tom Hearn. “It’s important for us to go to people rather than ask our stakeholders to come to us.” The school board is interested in hearing it all… what the district is doing well, what areas the community would like to see the district do better and ask the question of stakeholders, “What matters to you about public education?”/Laura Rumpler, Coeur d'Alene School District spokeswoman. More here.
Question: The Bloem administration at City Hall was accused repeatedly — and, I believe, inaccurately — by opponents as one that didn't listen to the public. Here we have the school board taking steps to be more available to the public. How do you know whether a public board is open and responsive to the public?
Power Line Technician students from St. Clair College practice on the school's training field of poles in Chatham, Ontario, Friday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Dave Chidley)
Weekend Winner — JohnA, with 6 likes: “See, honey, just like I wrote: 'He buy production he got walrus scumble/He's got Ono sideboard he's got spinal cracker/He's got feet down below his knee/Hold you in his arms yeah you can feel his disease”. Let's 'Leave together, right now, mercy me'.” You can see Weekend Photo & all contest entries here.
Idaho’s biggest business lobby, the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, has come out in favor of Medicaid expansion, a move that could save the state budget more than $600 million in the next decade and save county property taxpayers $478 million. In a letter to Gov. Butch Otter dated Friday, IACI President Alex LaBeau called for re-convening Otter’s task force on Medicaid redesign – which last year recommended the expansion, along with various changes to the Medicaid program – to look at how best to accomplish it/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Do you back Medicaid expansion in Idaho?
Coeur d'Alene district school bus was headed south on Ramsey at 3:22 p.m. Monday when it was rear-ended at the intersection just North of Dalton Avenue. There were no passengers on the bus. The driver of the car was treated at the scene. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
We tend to demand to know a lot about the background of those people who would be president, somewhat less for prospective members of Congress. Down to the level of state legislature, we usually ask fewer questions. But here we have Mark Patterson, a state representative from west Boise, Republican, for whom background has become a real issue, partly because of a dispute with the Ada County Sheriff over a denied concealed weapons permit. But there’s more to it. We know he heads a business called Rock N Roll Lubrication LLC, said to employ five people, which manufactures lubricant for bicycle chains, motorcycles, and sporting equipment. The product has gotten excellent reviews, with (apparently) some cache not only nationally but internationally. The first Idaho state paperwork for it dates to November 2007; Patterson’s name is alone on papers filed in state business records for that firm. Before November 2007 … nothing/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.
Question: Randy brings up an excellent point. Why is it that we know so little about some of the individuals we elect to county and legislative offices?
On SportsLink, Jim Meehan writes: “Back with my day-after post from Gonzaga’s 82-67 win over Oakland on Sunday. Find my game story here and Dan Pelle's photos here. Gonzaga has moved up two spots to No. 13 in the AP poll and three spots to No. 12 in USA Today's top 25. Rankings here.” Gonzaga-Oakland post-game report here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Nov. 10-16): 47,917 page-views/26,369 unique views
As much fun as it has been to watch the Reagan Republicans struggle to win nonpartisan offices for their Tea Party Lite endorsees, they won't be much of a worrisome factor as we move into 2014. Rally Right and United Conservatives of North Idaho become more of a concern with partisan races for county and legislative seat looming in the spring GOPrimary. Both organizations want to capture the top local plums in the primary — two Kootenai County commissioner seats currently held by Todd Tondee and Jai Nelson. Current county commissioners attracted the enduring wrath of right-wingers by pushing the ill-fated Unified Land Use Code. They're sure to face opposition in the closed primary. The Tea Party wing of the local Republican Party fielded candidates for four county seats in the 2012 primary — 2 commissioner, sheriff, prosecutor — only to lose to more moderate candidates, endorsed by the Reagan Republicans. Incredibly, the Reagan Republicans provided a buffer from the county's more radical right in the election. The Tea Party Republicans were able to grab one legislative seat with Ron Mendive's win over Jeff Tyler in House District 3 and hold two seats, the one occupied by Rep. Vito Barbieri in District 2 and Sen. Bob Nonini in District 3. State Rep. Kathy Sims in District 4 and Sen. Steve Vick in District 2 straddle the line between the UCNI and the Reagan Republicans. The results of the Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls city elections indicate that those two communities haven't succumbed to Tea Party politics. But the offices that are up for election in 2014 are part of a closed primary system designed to give a dedicated minority an advantage at the polls. Rally Right and UCNI have held recent meetings in anticipation of next spring's GOPrimary. The county's large contingent of Unaffiliated voters must remain vigilant to ensure that the best candidates win/DFO.
Last week, the Reagan Republicans heard co-founder Jeff Ward analyze the 0-for-6 record of their endorsees in the city elections in Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls. Ward blamed media bias and the notion that the message of the losing candidates wasn't conservative enough. This week, the Reagan Republicans will hear from former Coeur d'Alene School Board appointed trustee Brent Regan speak on: “Communicating our Message.” Regan was soundly defeated by Trustee Christa Hazel in his bid for an elected term in May.
Seems some of WSU Coug Nation has its shorts in a wad because the editor of the Arizona Wildcat wrote an essay for Yahoo Sports prior to the Arizona came, taunting Washington State. As you know, Washington State scored a rare victory in Tucson, 24-17, which unleashed cyber bullies to strike back at Meghan Coghlan. The Inlander's Bloglander blog reports: “Fans found her Twitter account, forcing her to make it private. They found her on Instagram. They posted the college newsroom phone numbers for her and the editor-in-chief. Within the state, #MeganCoghlanSucks was briefly trending on Twitter.” In a column in the Arizona Wildcat, entitled “Enough is enough,” Coghlan described how the harsh feedback to her tongue-in-cheek column degenerated into bullying and sexism. You can read it here (caution: strong language)
Question: Why are sports fans such idiots at times?
Idaho Rep. Mark Patterson says he’s been slandered and is considering suing Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney for damages. Patterson also said he may appeal Raney’s revocation of his concealed weapons license in court. But the freshman Boise lawmaker said he’s not sure he’ll run again and didn’t rule out resignation before his term ends late next year. In an interview aired Monday on 580 KIDO, Patterson alleged Raney illegally spoke to the Idaho Statesman about his revocation of Patterson’s concealed weapons license to advance Raney’s own political ambitions. “There’s no secret that Gary Raney wants to run for higher office and I believe that this is a hit piece to protect him when he does run for a higher office so he can write me off as some kind of criminal and a nut job,” Patterson told KIDO’s Kevin Miller/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you think Rep. Patterson has grounds for a lawsuit against Sheriff Raney?
Wendy Gabriel has worked in Coeur d'Alene's City Hall for almost a quarter of a century, first as a prosecuting attorney and currently as longtime city administrator. The self-described Idaho farm girl is a woman of many talents ranging from assisting at the birth of a calf, to running a city department with 350 employees, to raising her family.
What was it like growing up in Declo, Idaho, population 230?
It was wonderful just standing outside our house and seeing as far as you could see. The thing I remember most was it was so peaceful. On a summer night I'd have my window open and I could hear the crickets. Declo was a farming community and what we had was a cafe - the Cowboy Corner Cafe - a post office and a convenience store. My dad was a farmer-rancher and he really wanted us to help him with his work because he said we needed to learn a work ethic while we were young. So we helped build electric fences, chop thistle and brand cattle. And every year after branding, Dad would buy me a new cattle hat. That was my reward. I was definitely a farm girl and I think I had the best childhood I could have ever had. Full Coeur d'Alene Press interview here.
Question: Have you ever dealt with City Administrator Wendy Gabriel?
In an article by Kaitlin Dewey/Kiplinger, Coeur d'Alene is listed at No. 10 among the 10 worst cities in the country for singles. The article explains: “Landing on our list of worst cities for singles doesn't necessarily make a city a bad place to live. Far from it. Many of these cities are great for couples, families or retirees, and many offer enviable amenities, from warm weather to low living costs. What these cities don't offer are deep pools of financially attractive singles. Like it or not, when it comes to dating, money matters — at least to a degree. So while love might ultimately conquer all, a steady paycheck conquers the here and now — the tab for dinner and the like.” You can read what makes Coeur d'Alene unattractive for the single set here. (Jesse Tinsley file photo of the Coeur d'Alene waterfront in winter 2012)
Question: Do you agree that Coeur d'Alene should rank in the Top 10 places in the country to avoid if you're single?
Republicans have made the Mountain West a stronghold, which is why brewing party brawls in Wyoming, Idaho and Utah are bedeviling loyalists who yearn for GOP unity. Closely watched elections this month in Virginia and New Jersey did little to resolve the growing struggle between tea partyers and the Republican establishment. Now, some of the sharpest infighting is shifting to the rugged Big Sky region, where the tea party scored its first major victory, ousting a veteran Republican U.S. senator in a Utah party convention three years ago. “We have to have this fight,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, an Idaho Republican facing a tea party challenger next May as he seeks a ninth House term. The struggle will continue well into the next presidential race, he said/Charles Babington, AP. More here.
Question: Who do you think will win control of the GOP in western strongholds like Idaho — mainstream Republicans or the Tea Party?
Chuck Staben, pictured, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of South Dakota, has been named the new president of the University of Idaho; the state Board of Education voted unanimously today in favor of the choice. Staben’s salary will be $350,000 a year, and he was appointed for a term of three years, starting March 1. Staben is a biochemist with a Ph.D from the University of California at Berkeley and a BS from the University of Illinois. He's been at South Dakota since 2008, and previously served as a vice president and professor at the University of Kentucky, from 1989 to 2008/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. (Photo: University of South Dakota Web site)
Question: Do you support this choice?
On the Coeur d'Alene Press online site, Editor Mike Patrick posts a letter he received from Jeff Ward/Reagan Republicans on Oct. 21 in response to a campaign mailer signed by Scott and Mary Lou Reed:
Attached is a letter sent last week by Scott and Mary Lou Reed to Coeur d'Alene voters. Granted, it is highly inflammatory and hypocritical but the real story is that I am intentionally misquoted at least four times and also quoted completely out of context, all to give a false narrative slandering the Reagan Republicans. I am shocked that a couple held in such high esteem by powerful elements in this community would sink to such a level. Since the Press spent a significant amount of column space on me and the Nonini letter in May (a letter I did not write, only edited, was not inaccurate, and, at worst, was unintentionally misleading,) I would think you might be more interested in reporting about a letter that undeniably tells complete falsehoods while directly quoting a political opponent. All supporting documentation on both sides here.
Question (from Editor Patrick): Do you think (Ward's) complaints are legitimate?
Since Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy opened its doors to students in 1999, the Coeur d'Alene School District has served as the school's authorizing entity. But that may change. Idaho charter school law was amended last year and now calls for all agencies to reauthorize charter schools under their authority. Coeur d'Alene School District Superintendent Matt Handelman told trustees earlier this month that the district's administration is exploring whether another agency can authorize Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy. “Although Charter operates very independently, we essentially subsidize them, and there's a question of whether that's in our best interest as a school district,” Handelman said. Although charter schools are free, public schools that operate independently from the existing school district structure, they must be authorized by a school board or by the Idaho Public Charter School Commission/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Gabe Green CdA Press photo: Giana Posely scans her notebook Thursday in study hall at Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy)
Question: I'm surprised the school district isn't eager to reauthorize one of the top schools in the country, aren't you?
“It keeps me going,” said Terry Hollister as he prepared for leaf pick up near his home in Coeur d'Alene on Friday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Lewiston's newly elected city council has every reason to begin moving toward banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The voters spoke. They backed three councilors who pledged to move toward enacting such an ordinance. Councilors-elect Mike Collins and Jesse Maldonado endorsed passing a measure outright during an Oct. 22 League of Women Voters candidate forum. Although Councilor-elect Bob Blakey told the same forum he opposed the concept, he later told the Tribune's Joel Mills he would support outgoing Mayor Kevin Poole's suggestion of assigning a revived human rights commission with the task of building the case for a local law. “I botched it,” Blakey told Mills. “That's not who I am. There are hostile people toward the gay population in Lewiston, but I'm not one of them”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you think the Idaho Legislature will address this issue, now that the biggest towns in the state have?
Last Sunday's front page Veterans Day story (in Coeur d'Alene Press) opened with this paragraph: “At first glance, Christina Axtman, the 5-foot tall, 31-year-old former Army cook from Mullan, does not look like an Iraq war veteran.” Turns out, she apparently isn't. This week the Shoshone News-Press received tips that Axtman had made up much of her military story — that she didn't serve in Iraq, that she didn't shoot a woman running up to Camp Taji with an explosive device and a baby strapped to her front, that she wasn't seriously injured when the Humvee she allegedly was driving hit an improvised explosive device. The News-Press contacted military officials who paint a different picture of Axtman/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Community collaboration was powerful as 124 local citizens voiced their concerns and opinions about what lies ahead for the Lake City during the Coeur d'Alene 2030 Community Vision Summit in North Idaho College's Student Union Building on Saturday. Participants were split into six focus groups: education and learning, jobs and economy, health and safety, community and identity, environment and recreation and growth and development. The groups were given information regarding community trends and issues relevant to their topics as well as 1,300 community members' input obtained through questionnaires and surveys. Their task was to edit and find out what might be missing from the overarching vision. “This project is all about the community,” said project manager Nicole Kahler. “It's community driven, it's community owned, so let's hear some stuff from the community”/Devin Heilman, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Gabe Green CdA Press photo: Denny Davis participates in Coeur d'Alene Vision 2030)
Question: Do you understand the importance of Coeur d'Alene Vision 2030?
Item: Cd'A officials in transition mode: City leaders on their way out leaving key decisions to those on their way in/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: The city of Coeur d'Alene has more than a few major decisions to make, but don't expect the current City Council or mayor to do that. They are in transition mode, and with two new City Council members and a new mayor coming on board in January, the sitting city leaders are deferring those decisions to their successors. “They have a lot of huge decisions to make, and they are coming in cold in terms of staff,” said outgoing Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander. “I don't think it would be right for us to try and direct that on the way out.” Goodlander said the new city leaders will have the duty of replacing five out of the 10 department heads at the city.
Question: Is it a good/bad thing that Mayor-elect Steve Widmyer and the new Coeur d'Alene City Council will have to replace 5 of 10 departments heads?
In the Coeur d'Alene Press Sunday, Editor Mike Patrick delivered the analysis re: the recent city elections that the Pachyderms and other Republican groups didn't want to hear. In part, he opined:
More fundamentally, an increasing number of residents don't want local elections mired in the political muck that has made such a mess of partisanship-poisoned state and national elections. Conscientious voters want to know what individual candidates have done and how they think, not what party they belong to. Is it remotely possible the winning candidates were victorious because they're more qualified? We doubt that our analysis will elicit more than scowls and scorn from certain parties. That's OK. (Reagan Republican leader Jeff) Ward, pictured, can tune us out, but he should heed the wisdom coming from within his own group. At Thursday's debriefing, highly respected former Idaho legislator Gary Ingram offered this salient synopsis: “People don't like to be around angry people.” The difference between winning and getting your rear kicked could be as simple as that. More here.
Question: Are the Reagan Republicans done as an influential group in Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls?
The towering trees of the Ross Creek Scenic Area are one of the chief attractions in the Scotchman Peaks wilderness study area on the Montana-Idaho border. Friends of Scotchman Peaks member Philip Hough leads tours through the grove as one of the few easy access points in the 135-square-mile mountain range. (Missoulian photo: Roby Chaney)
In the often-divisive arena of wilderness policy, the Scotchman Peaks straddle many boundaries. The scenic mountain range between the Clark Fork and Bull rivers has more geopolitical lines dotting its map than a United Nations seating chart. About 20,000 of Scotchman’s 88,000 roadless acres lie in the Panhandle National Forest on the Idaho side of the border. The Kootenai National Forest in Montana has the rest. Three counties in two states have jurisdiction of the area. The Friends of Scotchman Peaks hope to change that. In the process, they hope to reframe the wilderness debate in the United States. “We’re wondering – can we do this? – can we identify a place as an inspiring, appealing candidate for wilderness and make it go?” asked Doug Ferrell, a Trout Creek construction designer and founding member of Friends of Scotchman Peaks/Rob Chaney, Missoulian. More here.
Question: Should Scotchman Peaks become a wilderness area?
Just a week after longtime Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa announced that he’d retire rather than seek another four-year term in 2014, the list of those considering running for the post in the May GOP primary has swelled. Added to the list on Friday: Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene. “It’s definitely intriguing,” said Malek, a first-term state representative and former Kootenai County deputy prosecutor. He said supporters have been urging him to run, and part of the appeal is the chance to get someone from North Idaho into the ranks of Idaho’s top state elected officials. Currently, there are none. “It’s an extremely important position, and I do think I would bring a qualified skill set to it as well,” Malek said/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Do you have a favorite among the five men who are interested in running for Secretary of State?
The Reagan Republicans were miffed last week when a young Elephant posted on their Facebook wall a photoshopped picture of Gov. Butch Otter, President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The three men appeared to be walking hand in hand. This, under a headline, “Turn Idaho Blue” and above a caption, “Support Obama, Give to Otter.” It seems photoshopper Ethan Crisp considers Republican Otter damaged moderate goods because Christie will appear at a $1,000-per-couple fundraiser for the governor in Coeur d’Alene on Dec. 6 – Christie, after all, praised Obama for relief help after Hurricane Sandy hit. Crisp’s photoshopping drew a rebuke from Reagan Repub President Jeff Tyler, who reminded him of President Reagan’s 11th Commandment for the GOP: Speak no ill of fellow Republicans. A commandment that the Reagan Republicans and their PR arm, Strategery, ignored in nonpartisan local races involving their uberconservative endorsees and moderate Republicans such as Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander and school trustee Christa Hazel. Do as I say, not as I do?/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries. More here.
Other SR weekend columns:
It looks like fall is trying to tip into winter outside today. Wet & nasty. But I'll take that to slushy. It might be a good day for reading if it weren't for a honey-do or two on the list. I might toss in a walk or two this weekend. Other than that, I have no particular plans. It's nice to occasionally chill. I don't do it enough. I'll be back at Huckleberries Central on Monday to continue the search for good topics this post-election season. See you then. Here's your weekend Wild Card …
Capital quarterback Conner Poulson fumble the ball as he is taken down by Coeur d’Alene’s Jackson Carlson in the first quarter Friday night at Coeur d’Alene High School. (SR photo: Bruce Twitchell)
Ty Holgate got his wish. Late Friday afternoon the temperature began to drop, the wind picked up and rain turned to snow. Ideal conditions for a senior running back operating behind a senior-laden offensive line. Holgate rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns and the Vikings piled up nearly 400 ground yards in a 42-14 victory over visiting Capital in a 5A state semifinal. “That’s what I was hoping for,” Holgate said of the snowy weather that left a trace of the white stuff on Viking Field. “That way we can run the ball.” The victory puts Coeur d’Alene (8-3) in the state championship game for the fourth straight season. The Vikings will face No. 1 Highland (11-0), which defeated Rocky Mountain 24-6, in the Kibbie Dome in Moscow on Friday/Jim Meehan, SR. More here.
A male wearing a gray-hooded sweatshirt and a red bandana over his face took an undisclosed amount of money in an armed robbery that occurred at Domino's Pizza in Hayden before 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Witnesses described the armed man as a white male about 6 feet tall who was brandishing a black colored firearm. The robber fled on foot and was last seen running northbound from the restaurant. A KCSO K9 attempted to track the suspect but was unable to locate him/Kootenai County Sheriff's Department.
There must be a special circle in hell reserved for rapists who later claim: She made it up. And then, beyond that circle, there must be a deeper one – deeper and more imaginatively punitive – for rapists and accused rapists and would-be rapists who, when their history is dredged up years later, drape themselves in a victim’s robes, whine about their oppression, and claim that everyone else is lying. This has been the strategy of Idaho state Rep. Mark Patterson, who – in addition to claiming that the woman he admitted trying to rape had just made it up – has now donned the mantle of the righteous soldier. As a gun-loving conservative, apparently, Patterson is the victim of the usual suspects. “I will not be silenced,” Patterson wrote in a recent statement, because everyone knows how difficult it is to be pro-gun in Idaho, “so long as God gives me the strength”/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.
Miles Scott, 5, dressed as Batkid, rescues a damsel in distress in San Francisco today. San Francisco turned into Gotham City on Friday, as city officials helped fulfill Scott's wish to be “Batkid.” Scott, a leukemia patient from Tulelake in far Northern California, was called into service on Friday morning by San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr to help fight crime, The Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation says. (AP Photo/Bay Area News Group, Gary Reyes)
Question: So which movie/TV show has best zombies?
Lookout Pass and 49 Degrees North ski areas have put skiers and boarders on alert that snow is piling up on their slopes and, depending on what the incoming storm deposits overnight, they may start their lifts this weekend for the first runs of the season.
Question: Are you ready to hit the slopes?
Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy Shevell talk as they watch sumo wrestlers on the fifth day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament, in Fukuoka, Japan, Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
Thursday Winner — DFO, with 15 likes: “I remember when Cindy was just regular folk, like the rest of us. Now that she's on the red carpet, hobnobbing with the stars, she pretends as though she doesn't even know us.” You can see Thursday Photo and all cutline entries here.
United Conservatives of North Idaho, which is even further to the right than the Reagan Republicans, is getting back in the legislative swing by scheduled a townhall meeting at the Athol Community Center at 6'o'clock this evening. State Rep. Vito Barbieri (who will appear with state Sens. Russ Fulcher and Steve Thayn in the Coeur d'Alene Library Monday) will be the featured speaker this evening. The recently minted North West Property Owner Alliance will also give a presentation. UCNI and the Reagan Republicans were key players in the 2012 GOPrimaries in Kootenai County — the former representing the Tea Party to the latter's Tea Party Lite.
I was worried this would happen — this lull between the city elections and the start of the Idaho Legislature. That's what happens when good local government replaces radical ideology. Competent office holders take over. And things get boring. Imagine the lather we'd be in if Mary Souza and her Reagan Republican ticket had won the election. Rumors would be swirling regarding which department head(s) were dead men walking. Tony Berns, the Lake City Development Corporation executive, would be circulating resumes. We'd be wringing our hands re: the ribbon cutting for the McEuen Field reopening next spring. Would Sandi Bloem be invited? Would Mary play nice? Councilman Dan Gookin would be trying out the chair for council president. Councilman Steve Adams would be counting down the minutes until he could make a motion to fire City Attorney Mike Gridley. It would be “fun times” at HucksOnline. Instead, I'm beating the bushes for news. The same sort of thing broke out after the Coeur d'Alene School Board election in the spring. Three quality challengers replaced three ideological appointees who'd help keep things stirred up in the Coeur d'Alene School District for months. Yeah, we can look forward to the state and legislative races in spring 2014. But they're not nearly as much fun as nonpartisan ones. It's also harder to get rid of bad eggs in closed GOPrimaries. If quality government breaks out in too many places around here, I'll be out of a job as the Huckmeister/DFO.
Question: Anyone know how we can keep ourselves entertained through the Christmas holidays?
A Kalispell bride accused of murder took the witness stand Friday morning, admitting that she pushed her husband off a cliff in Glacier National Park but that “it was instinct” when he grabbed her arm during an argument. Jordan Graham, 22, testified during a hearing on a defense motion to drop at least the first-degree murder charge or dismiss the indictment against her altogether in the death of Cody Johnson, 25, last July 7. That motion was denied Friday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy. Graham has pleaded not guilty, and a Dec. 9 trial has been set/Alice Miller, Missoulian. More here.
Question: How would you tell one of your friends that they're dating the wrong person?
Idaho Dad/A Family Runs Through It was proud of his son for figuring out a way to move a 250-pound picnic table up a 1.2-mile mountain trail for his Boy Scout Eagle Project. More here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Nov. 15): 8272 page-views/4539 unique views
Maureen Dolan here and Jeff Selle here now have Facebook pages. Also, don't forget the new Coeur d'Alene Press Photojournalism Facebook page here. Check them all out.
Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre will present fully-staged productions of “My Fair Lady” and “The Addams Family” and staged readings of “Around the World in 80 Days” (July 16) and “The Odd Couple” (Aug. 13). All performances this season will be at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Coeur d'Alene, 1765 W. Golf Course Road. … Season tickets for the two musicals are now on sale: $85/adults, $75/seniors (65-plus) and military and $50 for children 12 and under. The staged readings' fundraiser ticket prices are $25 per person regardless of age/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you plan to see a Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre show next summer?
Tom Applegate, owner of Mad Bomber brewery talked about his new establishment in Hayden earlier this month. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
When you walk into Mad Bomber Brewing, be prepared to share a stool, spiritually speaking. If you order a St. Nicholas Pale, you’re drinking with Staff Sgt. Nick Reid, who was killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan last December. The Fatman India pale ale? That honors Staff Sgt. Kenneth Wade Bennett, who died a month earlier while attempting to defuse a device near Kandahar. He called his EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) team Fatman, after the bomb detonated over Nagasaki during World War II. And the Benjamin, a big imperial IPA, was the favorite of Sgt. Ben Sites, who succumbed to a brain tumor in July 2012. His parents plan to come out from West Virginia when that beer is tapped in a week or two. All were bomb squad buddies of Tom Applegate. The 26-year-old Montana native left the Army in June to launch his Hayden brewery, which opened Nov. 1/Rick Bonino, SR Spokane7. More here.
Question: Do you plan to check out this brewery?
Add another name to the list of those pondering a possible run for Idaho Secretary of State now that longtime Secretary of State Ben Ysursa has announced he’ll retire after his current term: Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene. “It’s definitely intriguing,” said Malek, a first-term state representative and former deputy Kootenai County prosecutor. He said supporters have been urging him to run, and part of the appeal is the chance to get someone from North Idaho into the ranks of Idaho’s top state elected officials – currently there are none. “It’s an extremely important position, and I do think I would bring a qualified skill set to it as well,” Malek said/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Do you think Rep. Luke Malek should run for secretary of state?
Oprah Winfrey says there’s a “level of disrespect” toward President Obama in office. “In some cases, and maybe in many cases,” it could be due to his race, the media mogul admitted. In an interview with the BBC this week to promote her film “The Butler,” BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz asked the former talk-show queen if it has ever crossed her mind “that some of the treatment of Obama, and the challenges he’s faced, and some of the reporting he’s received, is because he’s an African-American?”/Judy Kurtz, The Hill. More here.
Question: Do you agree with Oprah Winfrey — that some of the animosity toward President Obama is racial?
Heads or tails? That was the question posed Thursday night to Don Bowden, the mayor of the Idaho town of Albion with a population of less than 300. The stakes? His job. After he tied with challenger John Davis in the Nov. 5 election at 60 votes apiece, a coin flip was called to determine the winner. Bowden correctly picked tails, allowing him to stay in office for another term/NPR. More here.
Question: Which side of the coin do you pick on coin flips? Why?
Hawaii recently became the 15th state to legalize same sex marriage when Gov. Neil Abercrombie – that’s him on the left of the photo – signed legislation passed rather handily by the state legislature. On Thursday a state court judge in Hawaii upheld the new statute against an 11th hour effort to prevent it from going into effect. It is expected that the first same sex marriages in the nation’s 50th state will take place on December 2nd. The remarkable political turn of fortune for the same sex marriage issue has been stunning, particularly when you consider that as recently as 2004 national Republicans advanced a policy agency that placed opposition to gay marriage at the center of many statewide races/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.
Question: Do you believe same-sex marriage is inevitable throughout the United States?
Two Chicago-style deep-dish anchovy-covered pizzas were sent to comedian Jon Stewart accompanied by a note saying: “Jon, Deep Dish With Dead Fish. Love, Rahm.” Stewart denounced Chicago-style deep-dish pizza during a show Wednesday, as an above-ground marinara swimming pool for rats. That didn’t sit well with Chicagoans and Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office fired back sending the pizzas with the accompanying note. (AP Photo/The Daily Show, Zhubin Parang)
Question: Do you like anchovies on your pizza? What's your favorite topping(s)?
… to bring you news that Erica Curless is returning to the newsroom part-time. On her Facebook wall, Erica posts:
Erica will become the reporter for out Boomer U page on Mondays, which features articles about us Seasoned Citizens.
DFO: Please join me in extending a hardy, welcome back, to Erica.
Conservative online reporter Ben Swann has come to the defense of state Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, in a lengthy article on Swann's Web site. In an article titled, “Idaho Lawmaker Smeared as 'Rapist” For Standing Up Against Federal Gun Grab?' Swann provides an interesting spin on the controversy that's threatening to bring Patterson down. You can read it here.
A nanotyrannus lancensis fossil is displayed in New York on Thursday. Two fossilized dinosaur skeletons found on a Montana ranch in 2006 are coming up for sale in New York City. The nearly complete skeletons are billed as the Montana Dueling Dinosaurs. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Question: Which dinosaur is your favorite?
Item: Ready for snow? You better be: About 4 inches expected in lower elevations this weekend/Cliff Harris, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: “We should have two to three times the amount we had on Election Day,” said climatologist Cliff Harris, adding that about 4 inches of snow are expected in the lower elevations this weekend. Harris said a rain/snow mix is expected tonight into Saturday and, with temperatures dipping into the low 20s on Saturday night, more snow is expected. “It's all about elevation this time of year,” said Harris, referring to varying levels of snow accumulation throughout North Idaho. “Most of the snow will come Saturday night into Sunday.”
Question: Are you ready for winter?
If you look at the building, you will notice the limited amount of signage in and around the building because of the architectural review that was done by Riverstone. You will also see that the LED sign was taken down and that the monument sign is reduced in size because McDonald’s put up a sign that was approved by the city, but was inconsistent with our architectural review. Time and efforts were put into making sure that this building looked compatible with other buildings at Riverstone/developer John Stone of Riverstone, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Are you still bugged by the golden arches at Riverstone?
Last week I voted for four Reagan Republicans and not one of them won. All we got was Progressive Socialist Democrats as mayor and City Council representatives. When did Coeur d’Alene go from Red to Blue? Is it because of the North Idaho College crowd? I moved here from California 11 years ago to escape socialism. It appears that it followed me here. This country is on the verge of collapse and we continue to go down the road of higher deficits, government run health insurance, spiraling unemployment and we still continue to vote in people who are hell-bent on destroying the Constitution of the United States and the freedoms that separate us from the rest of the world! And now we have it in our own back yards/Craig Ankney, Coeur d'Alene, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press.
Question: Are. You. Serious?
Charis Construction worker Jimie Rodrigouiz, right, takes measurements as Travis Miles works the site of a new section of foundation Thursday at the Ross Point Camp and Conference Center in Post Falls.The camp, run by the American Baptist Churches of the Northwest, is undergoing an improvement project of nearly a $1 million. Coeur d'Alene Press story here. (Press photo: Shawn Gust)
Rep. Mark Patterson is in public opinion jail, where constituents hold the keys and voters will arrange for any pardons and releases. We think Patterson belongs there and we believe the only way he is going to get out is if he decides to surrender himself to complete transparency about his life — especially regarding criminal activity. He is the person who decided to enter politics and become a public figure and project a patriot/family man image. He is the person — the only person — who knows the depth and breadth of his past. We need full disclosure about his mysterious past in order for any kind of relationship to continue/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.
Question: I personally think you can put a fork in Rep. Patterson. He's finished. All that's needed now is for a solid candidate to oppose him in the primary to complete the job, whether he comes clean or not. Glad he's not representing me. Thoughts?
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune give Jeers to …
… State Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise. When it comes to concealed weapons permits, Idaho has two standards - one for Idaho's 3,000 elected officials and another for the rest of us. Luker says that's OK. The issue came to light after Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney revoked state Rep. Mark Patterson's concealed weapons permit. Patterson failed to disclose his withheld judgment in a 1974 Florida rape case. But he's been rescued by a 1909 Idaho law, which allows him to carry a concealed weapon as long as he remains in office.Luker told the Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell he likes the 1909 law.”Certainly public officials can be targets in their own rights, especially in today's world,” Luker said. Full Cheers & Jeers column here.
Question: This is a question worth asking our legislators when they run for re-election: Should elected officials in Idaho be required to obtain a concealed weapons permit like the rest of us?
President Barack Obama reversed course Thursday and offered to let insurance companies sell existing plans even if they don’t meet the minimum standards set by his health care law. But Obama’s attempt to make good on his promise that people could keep their insurance plans if they liked them faces strong opposition from insurance companies, which warn that rates might rise sharply, and it risks undermining the basic premise of his law, which requires quality, affordable insurance. “We fumbled the rollout on this health care law,” Obama said in an hourlong news conference Thursday at the White House. “We should have done a better job getting that right on Day One, not on Day 28 or on Day 40”/McClatchy Tribune. More here.
Question: Has the botched Obamacare rollout made you change your opinion of the president?
More Info: Jeff Ward, a founding board member of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, provided his initial analysis of the city council elections during a luncheon Thursday at Fedora Pub and Grille. Essentially, he said, the Reagan Republicans lost last week because the campaign message was not conservative enough, and the media was biased against them. Ward said the initial reaction after losing an election is to assume that the message needed to be more moderate, but he disagrees with that notion.
DFO: If Ward and the Reagan Republicans got any more conservative, they'd have to disband and join United Conservatives of North Idaho.
Question: Do you think the failed ticket of Mary Souza & Co. in Coeur d'Alene wasn't conservative enough?
Workers continue to remove scaffolding from around the top of the Washington Monument in Washington this morning. The National Park Service began removing the scaffolding that was erected to allow crews to repair the monument, which was damaged in an earthquake in August 2011. It has been closed to the public ever since, and the park service hopes it will reopen in the spring. It will take about three months for the scaffolding to be gone. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Question: Which monument in Washington impresses you most?
Arpie: (Luna supports Common Core) I got a big kick out of the way Luna responded in red as if he was an English teacher schooling a couple of recalcitrant students. Luna's response is measured and forceful at the same time. It's clearly written and a great defense of Common Core, where we're headed and the reasons we need to head there. He's suckered me in before. I'm afraid to admit I voted for him last time. I'm political enough to realize he is not my enemy on this issue.
Question: Is Luna's support of Common Core enough to get you to vote for him if he runs for re-election?
JohnA (RE: Leaf pickup under way): The one year the city didn't pick up leaves, 1997, cost Al Hassell the election to the Boy Mayor. I remember the county was jacking the cost to process the leaves at the landfill and we simply couldn't afford it. Yeah, we think how rich the city is these days but that was pre-LCDC and the local economy was nowhere near as vibrant as today. In any event, the council made a very tough decision to not give in the county's demands and passed on the Leaf-fest that year. Of course, Al lost by 67 votes out of 10,000 cast, and the rest as they say is history. The next year the county relented on the cost and the process resumed, only now it was under a new administration at the city.
Question: Don't you yearn for the days that a major issue in town was leaf pickup?
TWolf22 (Civilization's Collapse, cont.): Yes, I was there in the 60's. In southern California, and even a very enlightening trip to the San Francisco Bay area in 1967. You remember, the Summer of Love. Not that the family was perfect and that there wasn't unwed or unwanted children before, but the 60's generation really catapulted the disintegration of the family unit into what it has become today. No pressure, no responsibility, do what makes you feel good. Yes, there were some good things, but in general, the changes that grew out of the 60's related to family and education and work ethic and personal responsibility have wrecked what this country used to stand for. It used to be about working hard and taking advantage of the opportunities to succeed if you did work hard.
Question: Do you consider the 1960s (if you're old enough) to be the decade that planted the seeds of this country's societal disintegration?
Cindy was on the red carpet Wednesday night, hobnobbing with the stars while I was back her at Hucks Central, mucking the cooler and checking our delivery system which suffered a bit of a brain cramp around 3:30 p.m. Cindy didn't see Riverstone Pond, which I'm sure is still there today. But she had a good time — and will report on the premiere for the Friday edition of the SR. Meanwhile, I'll keep breaking big rocks into little rocks and feeding the insatiable maw of the Huckenberry Monster. Now for today's Wild Card …