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Archive for October 2013

Halloween Wild Card — 10.31.13

It's Halloween. So don't whine to Huckleberries tomorrow if your candidates' yard signs are stolen tonight. That's what some trick or treaters do. If you have a yard sign on your front lawn, you might want to get rations of good candy to hand out — to avoid “tricks.” You've been warned. Now for your Halloween Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.31.13

Members of an international team of skydivers practice a head-down dive at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, Ariz. An international team of women skydivers has the lofty goal of setting a new all-female vertical world record, and they’ll attempt the feat in the skies over Eloy. Skydive Arizona, in Eloy, will serve as the base for the team, which will attempt a 65- to 80-way jump on Thanksgiving Day. (AP Photo/The Casa Grande Dispatch, Jason Peters)

WSUers To Protest ‘Cougador’ Mask

A group of Washington State University students will protest the distribution of “Cougador” masks before tonight’s football game against Arizona State University. Members of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan, or M.E.Ch.A., and other supporters have called the masks culturally insensitive, according to a statement prepared by the group. WSU Athletics will hand out 7,500 Lucha Libre-inspired masks before the game, which are supposed to be worn with a crimson cape handed out Oct. 12 before WSU’s game against Oregon State. Lucha Libre is a style of professional wrestling in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, most famously parodied in “Nacho Libre,” a 2006 film staring Jack Black as a wrestler/Kaitlin Gillespie, SR. More here. (Courtesy photo: WSU Athletics Facebook)

Question: Do you support/oppose this planned protest?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.31.13

  • 5:01 p.m. A pickup appears to be abandoned @ H53/MP 10.5 (Meyer Road/Rathdrum).
  • 4:58 p.m. Bearded man w/hoodie on bike is looking in open garages on s/b Stagecoach/Post Falls.
  • 4:45 p.m. White Dodge Dakota appears to be abandoned on H95/MP 439 (H53/Garwood).
  • 4:34 p.m. Driver of silver Acura is reckless @ e/b I-90 entering Idaho from Washington.
  • 4:31 p.m. Super 1/Kathleen Avenue security has caught 2 female shoplifters.
  • 4:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 30-31 here.
  • 10 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Cutline Contest — 10.31.13

Time 2 Vote …

Matt Lauer dresses as C.J. Parker, a character played by Pam Anderson in “Baywatch” on NBC's “Today” Halloween show this morning in New York. Story here. You write the cutline. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Wednesday Winner — Flatlander, with 13 likes: “Widmyer's campaign which isn't swimming in oceans of contributions like the Souza campaign, could not afford a large inflatable eagle to get its message out and had to resort to a smaller, yet still majestic bird.” Runnerup — DFO, with 8 likes: “Tom Turkey lobbies future Coeur d'Alene leaders to make pork the official main dish of Thanksgiving dinners within their city limits.” You can see Wednesday Photo & all cutline entries here.

Ex-WSU Star Rips NFL, Goodell

Former Washington State University and Arizona Cardinals defensive back Hamza Abdullah took to Twitter on Thursday to blast the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell for not doing enough to ensure players’ well-being. In dozens of profanity-laced tweets, Abdullah said on his verified account that the NFL treats players like slaves, that Goodell would sell his “soul for a dollar,” and that the league should play for psychiatric evaluations for its players. Abdullah also implied that he had suicidal thoughts, tweeting that “Every time I go to sleep, I pray that Allah takes care of my family, just in case I don’t wake up.” In the next tweet, he adds, “And quietly, I’m disappointed sometimes when I do wake up”/Associated Press. More here.

HBO Blog Roundup — 10.31.13

At The Slice blog, Paul Turner posts: “This illustration adorned the cover of the Saturday Evening Post dated Nov. 1, 1958.” More here. (Illustration: Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies)

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Oct. 30): 12,796 page-views/6302 unique views

In Other News — 10.31.13

North Idaho College President Joe Dunlap with several Sandpoint officials and dozens of donors cutting the ribbon for the NIC at Sandpoint science lab Wednesday. About 100 people packed into the new science lab at the North Idaho College at Sandpoint Center Wednesday to honor the many donors who helped make the lab a reality. The community surpassed fundraising goals after just a few months, raising well over the $100,000 needed to retrofit the space and purchase the furnishings, equipment and technology, and supplies necessary for the science lab. The new laboratory allows students to complete an associate’s degree in Sandpoint without having to travel to NIC’s main campus in Coeur d’Alene. (Photo: NIC Press Room)

Mary In The Morning

The staff at Steve Widmyer's Fort Ground Grill found a little surprise on the door when it arrived for work this morning — a Mary Souza sticker glued to the eatery's front door. Widmyer, who is locked in a fierce three-way battle with Souza and Joe Kunka, laughed and wondered whether Mary was making reservations for dinner tonight. (DFO, Ah, before any of you jumps to the conclusion that anyone is attributing the Souza badge to Mary or any of her close allies, don't. This is just fun.)

Jamie: Bike Signage Better In Boise

Jamie Lynn Morgan (RE: Bike Etiquette lacking in Coeur d'Alene): I live here and have visited Boise and can say that the signage for cyclists in Boise is much better than what we have here in Coeur d'Alene. In Boise the bicycle lanes are clearly marked and there are signs that tell you when you are supposed to be riding on the sidewalk, (which is not illegal unless the city ordinance states that it is. To my knowledge there is no where in North Idaho that does), Coeur d'Alene has limited signage and even the Centennial Trail has some areas where someone who doesn't know the trail ends up street side in neighborhoods. Even in the perfect situation there will be people who just aren't aware of the rules or etiquette and those that just don't care no matter how much “education” you provide. In the end it takes time and money, so the question then becomes…who is willing and who is going to pay for it.

Question: I do enough bike riding to agree that our signage in Coeur d'Alene isn't the greatest. Thoughts?

Cindy & The Attack Of The Rat Dog

On her Facebook page, Cindy posts: “Just returned from my walk during which I was attacked by a tiny yippy dog wearing a PINK SWEATER. I am not kidding. I was lost in thought and tunes (Hall & Oates, still) when I felt something grab my pants and there was this dog (too cute to be a rat despite the sweater) darting around my ankles. The owner came running up, chasing the dog. When she scooped him up I asked if he bites and she says, “Well, yes…” I said, “You are lucky I didn't kick him!” And she replied, “He's used to it.” Say what you will about cats, D.f. Oliveria, but I've never been attacked by one while on my daily walk.”

DFO: One of my good buds was complaining last night about his neighbor's two cats who think his wife's flower garden is their personal toilet. Nasty. (BTW, I ap-hollow-gize for the inset cat photo. Cindy keeps changing her Facebook photo. And, I think, we're stuck with this one for awhile.)

Question: What's more alarming — that Cindy was attacked by a rat dog in a pink sweater or that she was listening to Hall & Oates?

Halloween Returns to White House

Actors portraying the Bride-of-Frankenstein, left, Frankenstein, center, and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North from the Movie 'The Wizard of Oz' are seen on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington today, in preparation for trick-or-treaters. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will welcome local children and children of military families to 'trick-or-treat' at the White House for Halloween. The White House canceled its Halloween celebration last year in aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Question: What kind of candy are you giving out tonight?

A Moment Of Silence, Puh-LEEZ …

… For Truth North Idaho online site ( Which, I'm told, just went offline. For some reason, the SR internal protection system has prevented me from accessing the site at the office. I looked at it briefly last night from home. Yawn! Can someone else out there check to see if it's still in existence — or has gone underground. Much like most of the rest of the Truth North Idaho crew.

Reagan Repubs Top BNI In Press Poll

Acknowledging right off the bat that readers would overwhelmingly have said they trust new political action committee Trust North Idaho the most — the PAC wasn't known when the poll question was first posed — Reagan Republicans rule the roost in this election cycle. Asked which PAC they trust the most, here's how readers voted:

  • Reagan Republicans: 46 percent (1,090 votes)
  • Balance North Idaho: 31 percent (731)
  • Neither: 23 percent (538)


An Urban Critter Crunch

Wild critters pay no respect to the invisible line that marks the boundary between Washington and Idaho. Such animals live, multiply and die wherever food and habitat are friendly. Householders in both states, and around the nation, are finding more and more critters sharing their urban and suburban lives. Many animals are choosing different predators — traffic, traps and dogs — over the hardscrabble life of the wild. Our lawns and gardens are helping deer numbers triple every five years. Moderate winters and global warming help the fertile does produce twins. We are living in the midst of a deer population explosion/Mary Lou Reed, Inlander. More here.

Question: Do you enjoy have deer, wild turkeys & an occasional moose play in your urban neighborhood?

Another Fortgrounds Scraper

A rental on Park Drive becomes the latest residence to be scraped in the historic Fortgrounds area. The rental is one of nine owned by Lake City Development Corporation along Park Drive. Two more will be removed next week. The fate of the remainder will be determined by the reconstruction of the Four Corners area @ Northwest Boulevard and Mullan Road. Kathy Plonka/SR snapped this photo this morning.

DFO: For those keeping score at home, workers and heavy equipment are busy demolishing the yard and residence of a lakeshore house @ Military/West Lakeshore Drive to make way for a controversial condominium project. The shrubs have been yanked out. Today, the workers were pulling out the windows and doors. Scott Maben/SR wrote about neighbor resistance to the project here.


Huckleberries Hears …

The newsletter for the Human Rights Education Institute, November edition, that will be sent via email tomorrow or next week will announce a leadership change. Word is that Tom Carter has moved to Innercept Academy, a residential high school for troubled teens in Coeur d'Alene. Office manager Kelly Schumaker, hired by Carter in April, has a good shot at stepping into the job.

Huckleberries Hears …

… That, at the noon luncheon of the Reagan Republicans today,  Jeff Ward of Post Falls called out Huckleberries Online, saying (and we paraphrase) that this blog's activities should be subject to 'in kind contribution' for advertising on behalf of Balance North Idaho in the form of their biased reporting and commentary.

DFO: 'Tis nice to be loved …


C-SPAN To Showcase Lake City

Coeur d’Alene’s history and literary life – yes, it has literary life – will be featured on C-SPAN in December. A production team from the public affairs TV network will be in the Lake City next week to visit literary and historic sites and interview local historians, authors and civic leaders. Details will be revealed Monday at a kickoff event with Mayor Sandi Bloem at the Coeur d’Alene Library. The North Idaho stop is part of C-SPAN’s 2013 Cities Tour, in partnership with Time Warner Cable, that takes the network’s non-fiction Book TV and American History TV programs on the road/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Excited? Meh?

37% Prefer Govt Run By Zombies

It’s not exactly a vote of confidence in the powers that be: A sizable number of Americans think the undead would do a better job than the brain dead in Washington, D.C. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of American Adults believe the federal government would do a better job than zombies running the country today. But the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that most Americans don’t share that view, with just as many (37%) who feel zombies would do a better job running the country and another 26% who can’t decide between the two. (To see survey question wording, click here.) /Rasmussen Reports. More here.

Question: Do you think the cast of the “Walking Dead” would mind a change of venue to Washington, D.C., after Rick, Darrell & Co. eliminate them by plunging objects through their heads?

NSA Infiltrates Yahoo, Google

The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeable officials. By tapping those links, the agency has positioned itself to collect at will from hundreds of millions of user accounts, many of them belonging to Americans. The NSA does not keep everything it collects, but it keeps a lot/Washington Post. More here.

Question: 1984?

Best Halloween Song Ever?

Dressed as zombies, students from Mountain View Middle School perform a dance routine to the Michael Jackson song “Thriller” at the 2010 Spokane Jr. Lilac Parade. (SR file photo)

92.9 KZZU is asking Twitter followers: What's the best Halloween song of all times. Among the list of possibilities:

  • “Thriller”/Michael Jackson
  • “Season of the Witch”/Donovan
  • “(Don't Fear) The Reaper”/Blue Oyster Cult
  • “Lil Red Riding Hood”/Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs
  • “Monster Mash”/Bobby “Boris” Picket & the Crypt Kicker Five
  • Other

Question: Which Halloween song do you consider to be the all-time best?

Quotable Quote

“It is conceivable that it is on the up and up. But it's also conceivable that it's not. We just need to see the paper trail.”

— Deputy City Attorney Warren Wilson re: failure by Truth North Idaho to file campaign finance report

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.31.13

  • 12:08 a.m. Signal outage reported @ Northwest Boulevard/Lakewood (Riverstone entrance), CdA.
  • 11:31 a.m. Female trying to take kids from Post Falls day care w/o proper custodial paperwork.
  • 11:12 a.m. Semi w/dragging hydraulic line has pulled off & parked along e/b I-90/MP 7 (H41/Post Falls).
  • 11:01 a.m. Someone apparently is suffering an overdose of prescription drugs in 2800 block of Julia/CdA.
  • 10:54 a.m. 19YO NIC student is w/teacher in hallway after threatening suicide over test stress.
  • 10:48 a.m. Semi @ e/b I-90/Liberty Lake is dragging a hydraulic line underneath truck.
  • 10:47 a.m. Trash is lying on highway @ H95/Boekle, Hayden.
  • 9:52 a.m. Gray Chevy Cobalt, w/chrome wheels & spoiler (& hunting rifle inside) stolen @ 7 p.m. Wednesday in Kellogg.
  • 9:36 a.m. Male is worried that ex hasn't been seen in 5 days & her vehicle hasn't moved from driveway.
  • 9:31 a.m. ITD wants extra ISP patrol b/c work crews are replacing road sign @ w/b I-90/MP 7 (H41, Post Falls).
  • 9:10 a.m. Owner wants to speak to animal control re: citations for 4 dogs w/o rabies tags.
  • 8:50 a.m. Fleet crash reported @ Coeur d'Alene fire station, 4th/Foster, CdA.
  • 8:22 a.m. Crash reported b/n school bus w/no kids on board & vehicle @ Govt Way/Wyoming, Hayden.

FAA OKs Devices Throughout Flights

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta announces that government safety rules are changing to let airline passengers use most electronic devices from gate-to-gate during a news conference today at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport. The change will let passengers read, work, play games, watch movies and listen to music _ but not make cellphone calls. New York Times story here. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Question: About dang time, right?

Man Admits Sharlotte McGill Murder

On Thursday morning, October 31st, Avondre Graham pleaded guilty to 2nd degree murder in the death of 55-year-old Sharlotte McGill. McGill was stabbed to death in May 2012 outside of her east Spokane apartment complex. With her dying breath she described her killer as black, with a bad eye. Graham was arrested four months later, when he attacked another woman along the Centennial Trail. Graham will serve a little less than 10 years in prison/KHQ.

Question: 10 years for a cold-blooded attack that killed a stranger on the Centennial Trail. Are. You. Kidding. Me?


Oopsy: He Didn’t Vote To Oust Mary

On Facebook, former Coeur d'Alene Councilman Chris Copstead issued this apology re: an error he made in saying he voted to fire then planning commissioner Mary Souza (a statement that was picked up by Huckleberries here):

I made an error in a statement a few days ago. I stated 'Mary has reaffirmed my decision as a councilman some years ago to fire her from the CDA Planning Commission.' The discussion of issues with her actually started when I was still on council. She was actually fired after I left council. Please accept my apology for my error. I was very emotional over the race for council that evening, and things just kind of ran together. Lesson learned — be cautious and double check before you push send.”

AM Headlines — 10.31.13

A cyclist peddles along Centennial Trail in Coeur d’Alene past beautiful fall colors on Tuesday. Becky Kramer/SR reports that the Inland Northwest weather this year has been ideal for fall colors here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Poll: Miller To Win By Landslide

  • Wednesday Poll: Hucks Nation predicts Kiki Miller will win by a landslide in her three-way race to replace Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander in Coeur d'Alene City Council seat No. 6. 141 of 162 respondents (87.04%) predict Miller will win the council seat. Only 20 (12.35%) predict Noel Adam will win. 1 (0.62%) said Gary Herfurth will win.
  • Today's Poll: Who will win the race for Post Falls mayor?

SR: Idaho Pension Reform Overdue

The rocky relationship between ethics and Idaho’s legislative leaders is on display again, and this time an actual dollar figure can be affixed. Thanks to his scuttling of a pension reform bill, former House Speaker Lawerence Denney could gain a monthly retirement check that’s seven times greater than the one he would receive as a retired legislator if his campaign for secretary of state is successful. If he loses, he’ll collect a monthly check of about $500, based on nine terms in the House. If he wins and serves a mere four years, the monthly payout balloons to more than $3,600. This is a deal created by lawmakers that benefits lawmakers/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you recall Denney, as fondly as I do during his House Speaker days, turning a blind eye to the tax-dodging shenanigans of a certain Athol lawmaker?

Coldwater Creek Plans Cuts, Layoffs

Coldwater Creek Inc. will eliminate several hundred jobs, slash inventory and make other adjustments as part of a restructuring aimed at cutting $20 million to $25 million in its fiscal 2013 budget. Those steps include layoffs across the Sandpoint retailer’s operations business that will result in a 20 percent reduction in workforce expenses, the company said in Tuesday’s announcement. However, company officials declined to be more specific on how many jobs will be eliminated and where those layoffs will be. Earlier this year the women’s apparel retailer had about 2,500 full-time employees and 4,100 part-time employees. It operates about 340 stores after closing 50 last year/Becky Kramer, SR. More here. (SR file photo: Manager Violet Rodriguez works at the Coldwater Creek store in Sandpoint in 2012)

Question: Trouble in paradise?

Halloween: No Kids? No Problemo

Sweat and saliva streaked down my face. The plastic mask stuck to sticky places as I tried to take shallow breaths through the tiny nostril holes. Death via suffocation seemed imminent, but I didn’t care. I’d achieved my heart’s desire – a store-bought Halloween costume. No makeshift hobo costume cribbed from my brothers’ clothing for me. This was it. The real deal. A shimmery satin dress and a Cinderella mask, complete with crown. I may have won the costume war, but I lost the battle of the boots. Heartlessly ignoring my tears, my mother sent me out trick-or-treating wearing boots, a bulky sweater and corduroy pants topped by the thin blue satin gown. Even my formidable imagination couldn’t transform moon boots into glass slippers. If Cinderella had gone to the ball like this, Prince Charming wouldn’t have given her a second look/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

What do you usually do on Halloween?

Tracking Truth North Idaho

The city of Coeur d'Alene confirmed Wednesday that it will be asking Truth North Idaho to file financial disclosure documents for the first 20 days of October. After learning that political action committee Truth North Idaho's campaign website domain registered on Oct. 10, City Clerk Renatta McLeod said it appears the PAC had campaign-related expenses at that time. “We will be contacting Truth North Idaho and asking them to file a seven day pre-general report on that activity,” she said, adding she had previously informed the PAC that any spending or fundraising during the first 20 days of October would require financial disclosure on Oct. 29 under Idaho's sunshine laws. … Jeremy Morris, president of Liberty Consulting and spokesman for TNI, contacted the city on Wednesday and told McLeod that the domain was actually purchased by someone else on Oct. 10 and later transferred to TNI after the reporting period deadline. Morris declined to comment on the matter/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Seems to me that Truth North Idaho is working hard to conceal information about itself. Why would that be?

Denney Gave Ysursa Campaign Fodder

Former Idaho House Speaker Lawerence (Boss) Denney's entry into the secretary of state contest couldn't have been scripted any better for incumbent Ben Ysursa if Ysursa had written it himself. Here was Denney telling a Statehouse crowd he would be a loyal Republican first and a secretary of state second.“I've been sensitive to the wishes of my party and for the most part have always followed the Republican platform,” he said. Seconding that was Idaho House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star: “I think Ben's gotten sideways with the party on some issues.” In other words, Denney thinks he can win the all-important Idaho Republican primary by appealing to those Republicans who would rather win an election dirty than lose one cleanly. These are people who are absolutely convinced in the righteousness of their cause and the malevolence of their opponents/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: “These are people who are absolutely convinced in the righteousness of their cause and the malevolence of their opponents.” Doesn't that sound like the various groups of CAVErs (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) in Kootenai County?

3 Families Heavily Back Souza & Co

Three families have combined to give $20,497 to mayoral candidate Mary Souza and support the candidacies of three allied council members — Noel Adam, Chris Fillios and Sharon Hebert. The three families are: the Damianos ($9,000), Regans ($6,500), and Sims ($3,400). Phil Damiano and his wife, Leslie, (shown in Duane Rasmussen file photo) have given $2,000 to Souza and $1,000 apiece to the three council candidates. On Sept. 11, 2009, Mary Souza was singing the praise of Phil Damiano in her Coeur d'Alene Press column, Heart of the Matter:

Phil Damiano, owner of Coeur d’Alene Garbage Service, gave a passionate and informative presentation on the city’s garbage contract.  I never knew garbage could be so interesting! Phil documented, in great detail, his background and expertise in the waste collection industry.  He went on to question why the City of CdA has not put their garbage contract out for competitive bid since 1988…that’s nearly 22 years without a bid.  The contract is up for renewal next year, and Phil was quite unhappy that the city’s General Services Committee, made up of three city council members, recently voted to bypass the open bid process. Full column here.

Also: In June, the Damianos told the Republican women's group how the IRS intimidated them into dissolving the local Tea Party Patriots. Huckleberries coverage here. Leslie Damiano is president of the Republican women's group in Coeur d'Alene.


Safe! Safe! Safe! Safe!

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina looks back as home plate umpire Jim Joyce calls Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes safe on a three-run double by Shane Victorino during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series on Wednesday in Boston. At rear from left are Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Question: How did your Major League Baseball team do this year?

For Those Keeping Score At Home …

… Candidates sponsored by Balance North Idaho spent a total of $17,114 with Range NW, while candidates endorsed by the Reagan Republicans spent $18,797 with Strategery. This, according to campaign finance disclosures filed for the 7-day, pre-election deadline. Eden Irgens, president of Balance North Idaho, is also part of Range NW, while Ron Lahr and Jeff Ward, co-founders of the Reagan Republicans, are involved with Strategery. Mayoral candidate Steve Widmyer spent the most with Range NW so far — $17,114. Mary Souza has spent the most with Strategery so far — $6,086.


Mill Site Best For Event Center

Item: Experts: Mill site best for event center: Consultant says Riverstone location isn't large enough/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Event center construction and management experts told North Idaho College trustees Wednesday that the Atlas Mill site is the best location for the college to build its own sports complex and event center. Two sites have been considered for a proposed event center, the 25-acre mill site along the Spokane River, and a spot in the Riverstone retail and residential development.

Question: Should NIC trustees continue to pursue this idea of building an events center?


Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Hump Day Wild Card — 10.30.13

I noticed with satisfaction that Huckleberries Online topped 2 million page-views for the year Tuesday, a nice marker that things are still going well for this site after almost 10 years. I wasn't sure where Huckleberries'd finish after the long shakedown cruise of the Disqus system that cost many page-views in the spring. But things are clicking along now. As always, thanks for following this cyber experiment, which, I hope, continues to break new ground. Now for your Hump Day Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.30.13

In a multiple exposure, Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey throws during the first inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals tonight in Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Kris: Always Wave At Firemen, Cops

“I always wave to the police and firefighters. Does anyone else do that?” — Kris Crocker, KXLY chief meterologist via Facebook.

Question: Do you wave at firemen & cops?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.30.13

  • 5:43 p.m. ISP officer finds second dog that'd be running on I-90 dead @ MP 4.5, west of Spokane/Post Falls.
  • 5:41 p.m. Deputy asks for permission to dispatch paralyzed deer (5:21 item).
  • 5:32 p.m. Office unable to locate fire reported in Heartland/Combine area/CdA, near ISP HQ.
  • 5:21 p.m. Family on Colfax Avenue/Dalton Gardens reports injured deer in back yard.
  • 5:09 p.m. Post Falls 911 dispatcher has contact “dog mom” of dead dog on freeway.
  • 10 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Cutline Contest — 10.30.13

Time 2 Vote …

Wild turkeys road the area of 11th & Pine in the shadow of Tubbs Hill Saturday afternoon. Photographer Duane Rasmussen spotted them after visiting with Stickman. You write the cutline.

Tuesday Winner — Flatlander, with 11 likes: “Although the cost savings can be substantial when going with Chinese products, it is still recommended to Buy American when purchasing plastic surgery.” Runnerup — Kim Knerl, with 7 likes: “A Chinese pharmaceutical company has just unveiled their latest birth control device, with claims of being 100% effective.” You can see the Tuesday Photo & all cutline entries here.

DFO: Keep Flyers Outta Church Lots

In addition to deceptive campaign tactics, Truth North Idaho did something that I consider over the line last weekend by placing its “Voter's Guide” on windshields of vehicles parked at several local churches, including LDS, St. Thomas Catholic Church and Coeur d'Alene Assembly of God. In the past, religious-political groups have done the same thing at my church. I consider it deceptive for two reasons. First, those groups never asked leaders of my church for permission to distribute their material, in the last instance supporting candidates to the right of those backed by the Reagan Republicans. By distributing the political material while vehicle owners are inside worshipping, it appears to me, the religious-political groups gave the impression that the candidates were supported by the church leaders. In several instances, there was no contact information on the “guides” to give church leaders an idea re: who to contact. The Truth North Idaho tactic last weekend should serve as a warning that the organization may be back again next Sunday with another “guide” drop. You need to warn your pastor or church leaders to be watching for this secretive group. I'm wondering who paid for the flyers because Truth North Idaho didn't turn in a campaign finance report on time.


HBO Blog Roundup — 10.30.13

On The Slice blog, Paul Turner posts re: photo above: “According to this remarkable site, The Vibrants were a CDA singing group from 1965-67.”

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, Oct. 29): 12,163 page-views/5892 unique views

Question: Does anyone remember the Coeur d'Alene singing group, The Vibrants, from the mid-1960s?

ISP Video Shows Shooting

As Spokane-area law enforcement agencies debate the use of video cameras to document the actions of officers and suspects, newly released footage from a state police shooting in North Idaho shows how video evidence can leave little doubt about what leads up to a deadly confrontation. The video released Tuesday shows how an interview with a motorist found sleeping in his car along Interstate 90 last June quickly led to the man being fatally shot in the passenger seat as he and an Idaho State Police trooper struggled over a pistol. Trooper Todd McDevitt warned Alexander L. Mandarino not to touch the handgun in the glove compartment and to get out of the car, which was parked on the side of the freeway near Lookout Pass at the Idaho-Montana state line/Scott Maben, SR Sirens & Gavels. More here.


Otter Seeks Delay In ACA Mandate

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter says he wants a delay in the individual mandate to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, to allow Idaho's insurance exchange to get its own technology platform up and running, rather than piggybacking on the troubled federal tech site. “Of all the challenges we’re facing with Idaho’s state-based health insurance exchange, none have been more disappointing than the chorus of those who attribute each setback to cronyism or conspiracy, and those whose most constructive criticism is 'I told you so,'” Otter wrote in a statement distributed to Idaho news media today/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Will this get Butch back on Wayne Hoffman's good side?

Can Fillios Serve In Both Positions?

Chris Fillios, a candidate along with Amy Evans for the City Council seat now held by Mike Kennedy, responds to a question during the Kootenai County Democratic Club luncheon earlier this month. Fillios has said at a public forum that he intends to complete his term as an East Side Highway District commissioner, if elected to the Coeur d'Alene council. But that may not be possible. Title 40, Chapter 13, Section 40-1303 of the Idaho code says “County commissioners, city mayors and city council members shall not be eligible to hold office as highway district commissioners.” The section involves appointment of Highway Commissioners. But it isn't a stretch to say that it probably prohibits elected highway commissioners from hold county commissioner, mayor, or city council office, too. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)


News Quiz — 10.27-31.13

Did you know you could win two movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel simply by entering our weekly news quiz? Test your knowledge of current events and put yourself in the running for Friday's drawings. Good luck! For News Quiz, click here.

  • Answer to Question No. 1: France.
  • Berry Pickers on Leaderboard: Sibulsky, RayNTim, Rational Universe, Duffer, & SFredrickson.

Revolving Door Boosts Prison Number

After seven months of intensive study of Idaho’s criminal justice system, researchers from the Center for Justice and the Pew Charitable Trusts have found some surprising trends underlying Idaho’s high incarceration rate, though the state has one of the nation’s lowest crime rates: Fully 84 percent of Idaho’s felony offenders are initially sentenced to probation or a short-term prison program followed by release on probation. But within three years, nearly a third of those end up in prison serving full terms instead. Now, 41 percent of Idaho’s prison beds are taken up by offenders who were released on probation or parole, but sent back to prison for various reasons – far above the rate in other states. In North Carolina, for example, that figure is 21 percent; in Kansas, it’s 33 percent/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.


Obama Unhappy w/Health Care Snafu

Declaring himself “not happy” with health care enrollment problems, President Barack Obama said Wednesday he takes “full responsibility” for resolving the computer problems that have bedeviled the administration and undermined a key step in the health care law. “We're going to see this through,” he said. Obama chose to address both the benefits and the difficulties of the health care law in Massachusetts, where the state's health care coverage provided the model for the federal health insurance overhaul. The president cited early problems with the Massachusetts law as he tried to lower expectations for the initial enrollment in the federal system/Associated Press. More here.


Report: Teacher Taped Pupil’s Mouth

A North Star Charter School teacher used duct tape to cover an elementary school student’s mouth during a test in October, according to a complaint from a parent. The parent was not identified by Today’s 6 and Fox 9, which ran a story last week about the complaint involving Julie Handyside, a fifth-grade teacher at the Eagle charter school. According to reporter Eric Fink’s story, “Parents say they received an apology letter from Handyside. In it, the teacher refers to the incident as more than an unfortunate mistake. It reads in part: ‘We all make mistakes and some are bigger than others. I have evaluated my teaching and this is by far the worst mistake I have made in my life or career’”/Kevin Richert, The EDge, IdahoED News. More here.

Question: Should this teacher loose her job?

RRepub Leader Backs TNI FB Post

Above is a copy of flyers placed by Truth North Idaho on cars parked at Coeur d'Alene Assembly of God and St. Thomas Catholic Church last Sunday.

On Truth North Idaho Web page Sunday, Reagan Republican president Jeff Tyler applauded TNI's efforts (Facebook page link here):

“Praise God! This is fantastic! It is time to put on the “Armor of God” and start a movement to restore the traditional family values that made this country great thanks to our Godly Founding Fathers. Truth is light and light pierces darkness!”

To which the anonymous Truth North Idaho poster responds:

“Thanks Jeff. TNI's representatives talked with a pastor in CDA today. As you said, “put on the armor of God.” The message from TNI is clear: If you attempt to deceive the voters in North Idaho about where you really stand on the issues–your statements just might be made public. And believe me, we have more.

This exchange remains on the page despite this report by Jeff Selle in the Coeur d'Alene Press: 'Truth' PAC admits it lied: Group used fictitious emails to deceptively elicit responses. The “armor of God” phrase discussed by Tyler and Truth North Idaho comes from Eph. 6:10-18, where believers are told to put on the various pieces of armor to fight the schemes of the devil. I suspect being truthful & not lying for political purposes (by Truth North Idaho) are covered by the “belt of truth” and “breast plate of righteousness.”


Michelle, Muppets Back Fruit, Veggies

First lady Michelle Obama, center, with PBS Sesame Street's characters Elmo, left, and Rosita, right, to help promote fresh fruit and vegetable consumption to kids in an event in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington today. Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) joined in Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in announcing a 2-year agreement to making healthy choices by using the Sesame Street characters to help deliver the messages about fresh fruits and vegetables. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Question: Anyone want to play favorite muppet?

Golden Arches Hurt Riverstone

I was dismayed and disappointed to see the new McDonald’s emerge at a highly visible location in the taxpayer-subsidized Riverstone development. What an incredible lack of foresight. Not only do the Golden Arches overshadow the publicly funded sculptures intended to beautify Northwest Boulevard, but this business stands in direct contradiction to many of the values I thought our city (and the LCDC) were aiming to promote. This mega-chain certainly will interfere with the success of local restaurants, and does nothing to promote health, environmental stewardship, nor the creation of a live/walk/dine/shop community as was afore-promised/Doctor Alison Granier, Coeur d'Alene. More here.

Question: Has anyone eaten at the Riverstone McDonalds?

Kathy Sims: Mary’s My Gal

She listens, she cares and, most importantly, she respects the opinions of others. Mary is smart, friendly, calm and respectful, and her time spent on planning and zoning will be a great foundation to start Coeur d’Alene on a much needed new path. Her goal is not to promote herself by building $20 million parks, but to make Coeur d’Alene a great, affordable place to live as well as visit. When they begin to talk about Memorial Field, Tubbs Hill and our town’s beautiful history, I trust my friend Mary, and so can you/Kathy Sims, Coeur d'Alene, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Swayed?

Sandpoint Drops Armed-Teacher Idea

The school district serving the Sandpoint area is no longer considering a proposal to arm teachers and other staff members as a security measure, the superintendent said. There is little support among the district staff for such a measure, and the board of trustees is divided on the idea, Lake Pend Oreille School Superintendent Shawn Woodward said. “We are not finished with the broader issue of school safety,” Woodward said. He is discussing options with Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler and members of his staff along with input from the school board, parents and residents. “No one solution has yet been selected for recommendation to the board,” he said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.


A Young Supporter Of Balance Ticket

Emmie Nail takes time out from campaigning to sit on her father's lap during the “Meet, Greet & Eat!” event at McKenzie River Pizza Tuesday evening, sponsored by Coeur d'Alene mayoral candidate Steve Widmyer and council candidates Kiki Miller, Amy Evans & Councilman Woody McEvers. Emmie's father is Michael Nail, a local CPA.  She is looking at her brother Eli. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.30.13

  • 11:42 a.m. ISP officer reports dogs jumped fence & “little puppies are 10-4” on Centennial Trail/Post Falls.
  • 11:30 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 29-30 here.
  • 11:22 a.m. Motorists are stopping to protect 2 yellow Labradors running loose on w/b I-90/Pleasantview, Post Falls.
  • 11:14 a.m. White 1995 Chrysler, with duct-taped sun roof, reported stolen, last seen @ 3:30 a.m. today on I-90.
  • 10:59 a.m. Someone suffering uncontrolled bleeding @ 8th/Lunceford, CdA.
  • 10:42 a.m. Someone injured in a fall in 4200 block of E. Inverness Drive/Post Falls.
  • 10:32 a.m. Driver of Ford Taurus, with Shoshone Co plates, erratic, speeding @ w/b I-90/MP 22 (H97, Wolf Lodge).
  • 10:13 a.m. CPD officer transporting juvenile boy to Juvenile Detention Center/CdA.
  • 10:12 a.m. CPD officer transporting 15YO boy, named Jeffrey, to Lake City High.
  • 10:10 a.m. Alarm sounding in Sunset Terrace home across from Carlin Bay, Lake Coeur d'Alene.
  • 9:43 a.m. 50YO female complains of shoulder pain after slipping in Center Partners parking lot, 1201 W. Ironwood/CdA.
  • 9:13 a.m. Someone is locked out of her Toyota Camri on West Riverview Drive/Post Falls.
  • 9:02 a.m. Undisclosed traffic hazard reported @ Government Way/Hanley, CdA.
  • 8:59 a.m. Officer checking possible abandoned silver Honda @ Skyway Elementary soccer fields.

Jack O’Lantern

Your eyes of flame blaze in the night,
your fiendish grin burns strange and bright,
and little children won't walk near you
and hurry by because they fear you.

But when a few short days elapse
we'll see your power quite collapse,
and you'll turn squishy, soft and shrunken…
for after all, you're just a punkin.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

PAC $$$ In CdA Races About Even

Competing PACs Balance North Idaho and Reclaim Coeur d'Alene have raised about the same amount of money to support their mayoral and City Council candidates. Balance North Idaho has raised $6,142, while Reclaim Coeur d'Alene has raised $6,085. This, according to the 7-day pre-election campaign disclosure statements. Additionally, the Reagan Republican Victory Fund has raised $2,500 and spent $2,452 w/The Strategery Group, and the Coeur d'Alene Firefighters PAC has raised $5,000 and spent $1,000 apiece to support the candidacies of Steve Widmyer, Kiki Miller, and Woody McEvers, as well as the Balance North Idaho PAC. A page appears to be missing from the Balance North Idaho PAC, detailing contributions of $50 and more. Meanwhile, the Reclaim Coeur d'Alene PAC details $2,600 in fund-raising for the last reporting period, including $1,000 from James & Ana Purtee and $500 from East Lakeshore Drive owner Gerald Frank. Controversial Truth North Idaho didn't file a campaign finance report. Here are the following reports:

Letter: Bike Etiquette Lacking In CdA

Bicycle riding is my fair weather exercise fun. I just moved here from Bend, Ore., and previously from Portland, Ore. Both cities are noted for their bicycle etiquette. When we approach someone walking or riding up ahead, we say “on your left.” It is a courtesy. Coeur d’Alene is also a bicycle Mecca, but needs a lesson in bicycle etiquette. Most cyclists I have encountered in Coeur d’Alene seem rude and self-absorbed to the detriment of other path users. I love this city and its trail system and hope more people remember to be kind./Susan Price, Coeur d'Alene, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press.

DFO: I couldn't agree with the letter writer more. Coeur d'Alene bicyclist don't seem to know the basics re: bike riding. (Did you know, for example, that Idaho law allows bicyclists to cross on a red light, once stopped, if it's safe to do so?)

Question: Should Coeur d'Alene begin a vigorous program to inform bicyclists how to ride safely?

Mary: Truth’s Truth Not My Truth

On her Mary Souza for Mayor “Truth Page,” Mary Souza denies any ties to the now debunked Truth North Idaho group or its attack on Mayor Steve Widmyer and council candidates Woody McEvers, Amy Evans & Kiki Miller:

My campaign had absolutely no knowledge of any actions reported in the Press, nor were we involved in any manner.  The bigger question, in my opinion, is why was this a front page headline?  Please read on for more…This story in the Press has nothing at all to do with this Truth Page on my web site,  it is referring to a newly formed PAC (political action committee) called Truth North Idaho, which says, in its Mission Statement that it “is steadfast in its determination to preserve and defend Christian family values in our community.” Full post here.

Question: Um, I certainly considered the sleazy attack by Truth North Idaho to be front-page news. We're still talking about the story a day later. What do you think?

AM Headlines — 10.30.13

Lake City Junior, Kyler Little, strides through an empty field next to the High School Tuesday. The cross country runner recently won the 5A region one boys meet and ranked 6th in state last year while still excelling in his studies — all the while dealing with a hair loss situation called alopecia areata. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Gabe Green)

Poll: McEvers Will Retain Council Seat

  • Tuesday Poll: Hucks Nation is solidly in Councilman Woody McEvers' camp. 126 of 170 respondents (74.12%) believe that McEvers will keep his Seat No. 6 in the three-way race with Amber Copeland and Sharon Hebert. Hucks Nation sez Copeland will come in second (23 of 170, 13.53%) and Hebert will come in third (12.35%).
  • Today's Poll: Who will win the three-way race for Coeur d'Alene City Council seat No. 6 — Noel Adam, Gary Herfurth or Kiki Miller?

In Mary’s Own Words

In making endorsements in her newsletter prior to the 2009 Coeur d'Alene municipal elections, Mary Souza wrote, in part, about long-time nemesis Mike Kennedy:

“Mike has raised more than $22,000 to fund his campaign for a part-time city council position that pays only $700. per month.  A large percentage of Mike’s donations have come from way out of town, southern Idaho and a lot from out-of-state.  Does this make you wonder?You can see whole newsletter here.

DFO: Why am I bringing this up now. Mary probably has set a record in fund-raising for her mayoral campaign. The 7-day, pre-election finance disclosure statement shows she has raised more than $37,000 (for a job that pays $32,400 per year), including a curious $1,000 that was siphoned through the Ocean of Life Foundation in Auburn, Wash., to protect the donor's anonymity until good reporting by Jeff Sele of the Coeur d'Alene Press forced the donor to come forward.

Question: Does this make you wonder?

Stone: Nilson’s Hypocritical RE: LCDC

In a recent “My Turn” column, Ron Nilson, pictured, decided to take on LCDC, pointing out everything that he thinks is wrong with the only economic tool available to local municipalities in order to compete to attract and develop jobs to stimulate the economy. However, most surprising was Mr. Nilson’s lack of transparency concerning the economic tools that he has utilized for purposes of expanding his own business, Groundforce Manufacturing in Post Falls. While I am a strong advocate for creating jobs, especially good paying jobs, Mr. Nilson forgot to share with the readers that the city of Post Falls received a $500,000 grant specifically to assist Mr. Nilson in developing important infrastructure like water, sewer, curbs, etc. While Mr. Nilson is known for his altruism, he is also a smart businessman who took full advantage of public dollars to help pay for the expansion of his business. I write this letter to point out Mr. Nilson’s apparent hypocrisy/developer John Stone of Riverstone. More here.

Question: I was wondering when someone would point this out. Thoughts?

Gookin: TruthNI PAC Ploy ‘Disgusting’

The deception and deceit by the Truth North Idaho PAC is disgusting. If a person has the guts to take a political stand, then he puts his name on it, right there for everyone to see — just like the signers of the Declaration of Independence. These cheap tactics tarnish what those great men stood for, what they sacrificed. As a City Councilman, I have asked the mayor about the invocation. I would prefer that there were none because it’s unsettling to those who do not believe yet who are compelled to attend. Even a generic prayer to God — who is worshiped by Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Christians — would be preferable. My concern was heard, but the practice continues/Councilman Dan Gookin, Coeur d'Alene. More here.

Factoid: Gookin opposes invocations to start council meetings. But Mary Souza, his candidate for mayoral office, apparently supports prayer (according to Truth North Idaho, which may not make it so).


Idaho’s A Good Place To Retire, But …

John Chamness, pictured, former director of the Coeur d'Alene Kroc Center, sends a link to a Hawaii (where he now live) newspaper that lists Idaho as the best retirement state in the nation, along with this message: “Aloha Dave. This came through my email (see link below) today about retiring in Idaho, Iowa better places to retire than Hawaii. I then looked out the window of my office to view the palm trees and the beautiful Hawaiian sun and 87 degrees! Lucky we live Hawaii!” You can read the story here. (SR file photo)

DFO: BTW, I know a couple that just retired from Hawaii to Alaska, to be near children/grandchildren — and because our cost of living is much lower. I asked them last week if they were ready for winter 2013-14.

Question: Would you rather retire in Idaho or Hawaii?

Truth North Idaho Admits Fib

Truth North Idaho, a newly formed political action committee, posted a message on its website Tuesday that appears to be an admission that it did, in fact, use fictitious emails to deceptively elicit responses from four Coeur d'Alene City Council candidates. “TNI extensively researched the candidates' writings, official websites, and statements to determine their candid and honest answers to the questions posed, regardless of who is asking the question,” the message said. Jeremy Morris, president of Liberty Consulting, who manages public relations for TNI, did not respond to a telephone request to explain how he obtained the fictitious emails on Tuesday. On Monday, Morris denied that TNI had anything to do with emails sent from Vince Harding and Samantha Tunic, but on Tuesday TNI posted the candidate responses to those emails in their entirety/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Truth North Idaho sounds better than Lie North Idaho, right?

‘Poop Factory’

Sandy, a Yellow Lab owned by Judy Bireley, Ft. Wayne, arrives at Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville, Ind., for an attempt at a world record for dogs in costume on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. Sandy came dressed as a “Poop Factory,” complete with a plastic doo-doo headband. The attempt, with 835 dressed-up doggies, fell short of the record of 1,326. (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Charlie Nye)

Question: Would you do this to a dog?

Ron Burgundy: We Don’t Want Ward

Ron Burgundy: Post Falls people would much prefer that Coeur d'Alene take (Jeff Ward of the Reagan Republicans) for good thank you very much. We will even trade you one PF board member for a CDA board member too if there's interest.

Question: Can you propose a trade of council member(s) between Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls?

Another Curious Email

In Post Falls, council candidate Jim Hail received an email that you might find familiar:

“In regards to your candidacy, we would like you to answer the following question to help us in deciding our vote.  We are not affiliated with any PAC or other political groups.  We are just concerned citizens. When CDA Council passed Bill No. 13-011, many objected that it infringed on religious freedom.  If this kind of bill was proposed in Post Falls, would you oppose or support it? As a resident of Post Falls, we appreciate your time in answering my question.”


DTS: What About The Cop Shooting?

DTSinIdaho: Any word on the Cop shooting in August.. I mean how LONG does it take to do the investigation.. if this was a COP shot, you could be sure it would be front page news… So, I hope the gal enjoyed the thrill of kicking a cop.. and Yea, 90 day, with possibility of release for good behavior.. which sounds like it is gonna be the full 90.

Question: You're guess is as good as mine re: the release of the information in the August shooting. At this point, I'd say the investigation and the report are long overdue. Anyone disagree?


Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Tuesday — 10.29.13

Today's the day for the 7-day pre-election campaign finance reports. The reports are due at 5 o'clock this afternoon. But some candidates have already submitted them. I'll post them as I'm able. Now for your Tuesday Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.29.13

French broadcaster Natacha Polony presents a dress made with chocolate, during the chocolate dress fashion show as part of the 19th World Chocolate Fair, Paris today. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

3 Months For Kicking Cop In Groin?

Two different women in the Spokane area faced consequences recently for kicking officers in the groin. Tonight at 5:00, hear what happened. One of the the women was recently sentenced to 3 months for kicking an officer/KREM2. (More here, including video report)

Question (from KREM2): Does the punishment (3 months in jail) fit the crime?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.29.13

  • 6:01 p.m. A couple is engaged in physical domestic dispute in Fred Meyer lot, near garden center.
  • 5:58 p.m. A box van is backed up to United van truck @ s/b H95/MP 426 (Cougar Creek Bridge).
  • 5:57 p.m. 3 males are trying to force way into home on Vail Street/Hayden.
  • 5:36 p.m. Coeur d'Alene resident reports neighbor's German shepherd tried to attack 2 kids in her garage.
  • 4:59 p.m. Transient w/yellow gloves blocking alley by Budget Saver, 15th/Sherman & is yelling at motorists.
  • 10 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

In Other News — 10.29.13

The fleet is out, congregating at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers at Lewiston, casting its luck and a lure to catch a salmon or a steelhead. Rich Landers Outdoors blog report. (Lewiston Tribune photo: Barry Kough)

Jeff Ward: Don’t Be Fooled Again

Huckleberries has been disappointed that Jeff Ward hasn't taken to his soapbox in Post Falls more often this fall to tell us Coeur d'Alene residents about the threat to democracy posed by non-Reagan Republican Stepford candidates. But he's back in full voice today:

“The status quo-anointed BNI slate will run on their superior “qualifications” (which simply means they are not pesky Republicans or annoying conservatives) and on a platform of “positive change” (which simply means keeping our tax dollars flowing into expensive downtown projects and exorbitant pubic salaries.) They will again call their opponents “negative” (which simply means someone who objects to their vision of giving our money to their cronies without asking our permission with a public vote) and “partisan” (which simply means someone who did not vote for Barack Obama.)” More here.

Question: I agree with Jeff on this one. Coeur d'Alene suffered a brain cramp two years ago when it elected Steve Adams and Dan Gookin to the City Council. Don't be fooled again. Thoughts?

Cutline Contest — 10.29.13

Time 2 Vote …

A model shows a creation by Chinese designer Hu Sheguang during the China Fashion Week in Beijing earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Monday Winner — Flatlander, with 5 likes: “The buck does not stop here.” Runnerup: Pair of Hands with 4 likes: “An irate mule buck, seen racing back to Home Depot to return his “easy to assemble” lawn chair.” You can see the Monday Photo & all cutline entries here.

Miller Has Doubled Adam Fundraising

Kiki Miller has raised twice as much money as main competitor Noel Adam in the race for Coeur d'Alene City Council seat No. 6 (now held by Deanna Goodlander). Miller had raised $9,407 to Adam's $4,068, according to the 7-day, pre-election financial disclosure reports. Gary Herfurth, a third candidate in the race, hasn't raised any money. Miller raised $6,407 during the last reporting period, including $1000 apiece donated by the Coeur d'Alene Fire Fighters PAC and the Kootenai County Fire & escue IAFF Local 2856 PAC. John Stone has given her a combined $550 to date. Miller spent $1,127 with Range NW during the last reporting period. You can see her disclosure statement here. Adam raised $1,433 during the reporting period, including $1000 from Phil Damiano of Hayden Lake. Adam has sent $2000 with Strategery. Also, he has loaned his campaign at least $3000. You can read Adam's report here. And: 48-hour disclosure statement here.

Truth North Idaho Changes Story

After telling The Press by email Monday that the “Truth North Idaho PAC has not contacted any candidates, neither directly, nor through the auspices of a pen name,” Jeremy Morris, the person behind Truth North Idaho, issued a press release this afternoon which indicates otherwise. Morris points out, in the press release, that copies of emails his group elicited from Coeur d'Alene city election candidates are now posted on the Truth North Idaho website. The candidates' responses were generated by email inquiries from senders who claim to be “progressives.” Below is a copy of an inquiry email sent to mayoral candidate Steve Widmyer by “Vince,” along with a copy of an email sent by a friend of “Vince’s” to council candidate Kiki Miller. A call placed yesterday to the number on the email to Widmyer was answered by Morris/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Hmm. You're called Truth North Idaho but you can't keep story straight re: contact with City Council candidates? Seriously?

Not The Whole Truth North Idaho

On the Truth North Idaho Facebook page, you'll notice two leading questions re: Coeur d'Alene's antidiscrimination ordinance, including: “Many in this community objected to the Coeur d'Alene LGBT ordinance on the basis that it infringed on religious freedom. Should the city be permitted to engage in religious discrimination by way of this pro-LGBT behavioral ordinance?” Of note, the response listed for Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate Chris Fillios is “NO” — he's against ouncil Bill No. 13-1011. But the anonymous individuals behind the Facebook page failed to mention that Fillios also said at two candidate forums that he wouldn't vote to repeal the ordinance because he thought that would be too divisive. That statement might not please the targeted audience for, ahem, Truth North Idaho.


Widmyer Closes Fund-raising Gap

Steve Widmyer raised more money that Mary Souza in the latest fund-raising period, but Souza has a larger war chest overall. Souza has raised $37,260 to Widmyer's $25,914 overall, according to the latest financial disclosure reports. Widmyer outraised Souza $11,092 to $8,037 during the last reporting period. Souza's list shows that she returned a controversial $1,000 donation to Ocean of Life Foundation, which was replaced by a $1,000 donation by foundation director Tom Wold Other big contributors to Souza, during the last reporting period, were Nancy Doty ($999) and Patrick W. Weller of Tacoma, Wash. ($900). You can read Souza's report here. Widmyer received $1000 each from the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, Coeur d'Alene Fire Fighters, Boise Firefighters & Coeur d'Alene Police Association. Also, he received $500 apiece from Doyle Jacklin, John Stone, John & Ann Beutler, and Dan Feist. He spent $9,083 with Range NW. You can read Widmyer's finance report here. Widmyer's total doesn't include four, $1000 contributions, disclosed in a 48-hour notice report moments ago. Contributors were: William Reagan, Danelle Reagan, PFFI PAC of Boise, and Idaho Association of Realtors. Joe Kunka, a third mayoral candidate, has raised a total of $2,500 to date, including a $500 contribution he made to his campaign during the last reporting period. You can read his report here..

Beauty Creek

Another of my favorite outdoor photographers, Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images, posted this photo of Beauty Creek on her Facebook wall, with the comment: “This was a very challenging location to access. I finished cold, wet, wearing half the forest, and very happy. Btw, I didn't touch a single one of those leaves. That's where they had landed.” You can see more of Linda's outdoor photography on her Facebook wall here.

Things I Wouldn’t Want To Win

On her Facebook wall, Cindy posts:

A Twitter contest prompted me to think about things I would NOT like to win. Here's my starter list:

  • Tickets to any baseball game other than Spokane Indians.
  • A one way trip to Detroit.
  • Tickets to a Willie Nelson concert.
  • A Chia Pet.
  • A Rottweiler.
  • A lifetime supply of Lima Beans.

Question: What would you add to Cindy's list?

Fillios: Is Press Hiding LCDC Truth?

Linda Fillios, of Advent Appraisals Inc. and wife of Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate, Chris Fillios, sent the following letter via email to Huckleberries Online:

There have been a few letters to DFO on urban renewals.  My husband, Chris Fillios, Candidate for City Council Seat 2 mentioned the LCDC tax issue during the Democrat forum two weeks ago.  Others at that meeting asked Chris to share the information, and one blogger apparently did after checking their tax bill and friend’s bill.  However the press never mentioned it.  Why are LCDC and the press hiding the truth from the public? Full letter to Huckleberries here. (Duane Rasmussen photo of Linda Fillios at McEuen Field sneak preview earlier this month)

Question: Is there anything more you need to know re: LCDC to make an informed vote in the Coeur d'Alene city elections Tuesday?

Copstead: Glad I Voted To Fire Mary

On his Facebook wall, former Coeur d'Alene councilman Chris Copstead said he's glad he voted to fire Mary Souza:

This Coeur d'Alene City Council race has been the ugliest thing that I've seen in my years in this wonderful community. I'm so proud to support Steve Widmyer for Mayor and Kiki Miller, Amy Wallace Evans and Woody McEvers for City Council. All four have continued to take the “high road” and truthfully tell what they stand for. I'm so proud to be their friend. Kudos to a few of the other candidates for following suit; Joe and Amber. I admire your status. Mary Souza and her team have proven to me that they are very ugly people with half truths, words taken out of context and ugly attacks on individuals. Mary has reaffirmed my decision as a councilman some years ago to fire her from the CDA Planning Commission. I truly fear for our great community if she should be elected.


McEvers Leads Hebert In Fundraising

Councilman Woody McEvers has a slight edge in campaign fundraising so far this year, according to the 7-day pre-election disclosure reports. McEvers, the incumbent in the race for council seat No. 4, has raised $6,019 to Hebert's $5,526. McEvers raised most of his money during the latest reporting period, $5,100, including major donations of $1000 apiece from the Coeur d'Alene Firefights PAC and Boise Firefighters PAC and $500 apiece from the Coeur d'Alene Police Association and Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe. McEvers spent $1,447 with the Coeur d'Alene Press. You can read his report here. Hebert raised $2,426 during the last reporting period, including $1,000 from Philip Damiano of Hayden Lake. She spent $2,558 with The Strategery Group. You can read her report here. Amber Copeland has raised $546 total, including a $100 donation from Dave Chamberlain during the last reporting period. You can read her report here.

Mushroom Walker

In this photo, which he calls “Mushroom Walker,” Facebook Friend Robin Loznak for Kellogg, Ore., posts: “I love the small details in nature.” At that's why Robin is a superb outdoor photographer. You can see more of his work on his Facebook wall here.

Amber: TruthNI Didn’t Contact Me

Amber Copeland, candidate for Coeur d'Alene City Council seat No. 4 (RE: “Amy's full response to Truth North Idaho”): “I didn't receive any emails from this group. I wonder if any of the other candidates who aren't endorsed did.”

Question: Not only was the Truth North Idaho email phishing expedition less than truthful but it was less than complete. Shouldn't Vinny & Co. have contacted Independent candidates, too?

Battle For GOP Soul Comes To Idaho

The awkward but sometimes mutually beneficial marriage between establishment Republicans and the tea party right is over. Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District will be the initial site of the divorce battle over who gets to keep the house, and establishment witnesses are lining up to testify. The state’s biggest political players signed on last week with U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson’s campaign. Butch and Lori Otter, the state’s first couple, will be co-chairmen of the 2014 Simpson campaign steering committee, and state House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis will join the likes of Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Secretary of State Ben Ysursa on the advisory panel/Opinion Editor Jon Alexander, Twin Falls Times News. More here.

Question: Do you see the battle for the GOP's soul here in North Idaho, too?

Vinny’s Buddy ‘Sam’ Contacts Amy

Another email to Amy Evans (which she didn't respond to) — this time from Vinny's buddy, “Sam”:

Hi Amy, I'm Sam.  My family moved here three years ago. First, let me say that although I'm new to Idaho–I care deeply for my new home in Coeur d'Alene.  That's why I was so excited to see you running for office.  It's important that we encourage each other to stand up for the values we believe in and I'm glad you're running. I'm not in the district to vote for you, but my friends are and they are registered.  I know that the outcome of this election will determine the kind of city that we leave for our children. My friend Vince said to email you. We've done some community project work together at NIC. Anyway, we were talking about an important issue to me. Women's reproductive rights. Vince just told me that under the current system, city employees have family planning benefits. I was not aware until I spoke to him that insurance policies for city employees provide for emergency contraceptives and services that promote keeping choices between a woman and her doctor available. I wanted to know if you would keep these important options available to women in our community? I look forward to hearing back from you and I wish you the best success. Best Wishes, Samantha Tunic.

And, this follow-up from “Samantha”: Hi Amy, Not sure if you got my email.  I was asking you about whether women in this city were going to be able to keep their access to insurance that covers emergency contraception and other services important to women.


IFF’s Billboard Bash Exchange Solons

The Idaho Freedom Foundation says it will put up more billboards like this one in Burley, criticizing local legislators’ votes on the state health insurance exchange.

Billboards bashing Idaho legislators for their votes on a state insurance exchange have begun popping up in their legislative districts. Idaho Freedom Foundation chief Wayne Hoffman says the signs are part of his group’s lobbying campaign to get Idaho’s exchange repealed in the legislative session that starts in January, but others say the effort appears aimed at Idaho’s upcoming 2014 elections, in which every seat in the Idaho Legislature will be on the ballot. “That looks a lot more like campaigning than lobbying to me,” said Jim Weatherby, Boise State University professor emeritus and a longtime observer of Idaho politics. “It’s not a traditional way of lobbying the Legislature to use billboards – in fact, I’m hard-pressed to give an example of that”/Betsy Z. Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Will these billboards sway you?

SR Edit: Widmyer Will Unite CdA

The Editorial of the Spokesman-Review endorsed the mayoral candidacy of Steve Widmyer this morning:

“Steve Widmyer wasn’t part of those battles, but when he saw that naysayers were running for mayor, decided that was unacceptable. He wasn’t alone; he’s pulled in impressive endorsements from civic, business and labor groups. Widmyer and his wife own two clothing stores and Fort Ground Grill, and he is a former controller at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. He has the business sense to appreciate the damage caused by embarrassing political battles, and the temperament to assuage critics while taking on upcoming challenges.” Full editorial here.

Question: Agree/disagree?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.29.13

  • 12:13 p.m. Possible domestic abuse reported in 3200 block of N13th/CdA.
  • 11:45 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 28-29 here.
  • 11:23 a.m. CPD officer in pursuit of vehicle speeding at over 40 mph along 15th Street/CdA.
  • 10:53 a.m. KCSD looking for green Ford Escort station wagon stolen from county resident Thursday.
  • 10:35 a.m. 56YO female having trouble breathing in 25000 block of old H95/Athol.
  • 10:19 a.m. Undisclosed vandalism to property of Patchwork Pony, 190 W. Hayden Avenue.
  • 9:58 a.m. Neighbor reports that back door of vacant house on Arizona/Rathdrum has been open for days.
  • 9:23 a.m. Motorist reports smoke on west side of Spirit Lake Cut-Across Road.
  • 8:51 a.m. Someone has suffered painful hip dislocation in a fall on Jefferson Street/Spirit Lake.
  • 8:25 a.m. Driver of white Subaru pulling trailer may be impaired @ e/b I-90/MP 8 (Huetter rest stop).
  • 8:22 a.m. Someone in 19000 block of Watson Road/Cataldo is suffering diabetic attack.
  • 8:03 a.m. 15YO boy is complaining of neck, head injuries at Post Falls Library, unknown reason.

AM Headlines — 10.29.13

Lawrence Young, of Coeur d’Alene, steers his boat toward the dock Friday, while fishing on Fernan Lake. Panhandle Health District and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality released an health advisory Friday warning of the presence of blue-green algae in the lake. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

In Defense Of Drones

Unmanned aircraft could be zipping around Northwest skies in a few short years, surveying farm and timber lands, monitoring power lines and searching for people lost in the wilderness. Pioneered by the U.S. military, drones appear on their way to widespread civilian use, and Idaho and Washington are eager to tap into the jobs that follow. Both states have applied to land FAA test sites for developing commercial uses of unmanned aircraft systems. Bradley Ward, pictured, a retired Air Force pilot in Spokane, has been in the driver’s seat of this technology and sees big benefits for the Inland Northwest. Ward piloted Predator drones in the Middle East from a base in Nevada, helped manage unmanned aircraft programs at the Pentagon and commanded a Global Hawk reconnaissance squadron in California. “The advantages that unmanned aircraft have over manned aircraft tend to be endurance,” he said/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Question: Do you support an expanded drone program in the United States?

Amy’s Full Response To TruthNI

Following is the email exchange that Amy Evans had with “Vince Harding” (Coeur d'Alene Press story here):

From: Amy Evans
Date: Wed, Oct 16, 2013 at 7:07 AM
Subject: Re: No response to inquiries
To: Vince Harding <>

Good Morning Vince,
Thank you for reaching out to me. I apologize for the delay. I'm striving to answer all questions/calls/emails within 24 hours. To answer your question, yes, I promise to look into the appropriateness of prayer at a public meeting. I understand this is of great importance to many in our community. Please feel free to contact me anytime. Sincerely, Amy. Sent from iPhone

On Oct 16, 2013, at 1:06 AM, Vince Harding <> wrote: “Amy, I emailed you and have not heard back.  My question was about whether you would be willing to look into whether it is appropriate to have prayer–particularly a prayer administered from one religious Christian sect—at a public meeting.  I would be happy to talk to you.  But just a quick response from you acknowledging my concern and your willingness to look into it is all that I think is needed.  You would not want me to sit this one out.  I have many, many progressive friends in this community–and we vote! — Vince.”


Poll: Evans Will Best Fillios

  • Monday Poll: Hucks Nation predicts Coeur d'Alene Education Partnership founder Amy Evans will crush highway commissioner Chris Fillios in their race for the Coeur d'Alene City Council seat No. 4. 156 of 198 respondents (78.79%) said Evans would win the race. 42 of 198 (21.21%) said Fillios would. (I predict the race will be much closer than these margins.)
  • Today's Question: Who will win the race for Coeur d'Alene City Council seat No. 4 (now held by incumbent Woody McEvers) — Amber Copeland, Sharon Hebert or Woody McEvers?

Army-Navy Store ♥’s Souza & Co

We were discussing the Big Bird in front of the local Army-Navy store on Government Way, supporting the campaign for mayoral candidate Mary Souza. Duane Rasmussen provides this photo for Huckleberries Online, showing the eagle and allied yard signs.

Evans Tops Fillios In Council Race $$$

In the race for Coeur d'Alene City Council Seat No. 2 (now held by Mike Kennedy), Amy Evans has out-raised Chris Fillios to date for the year — $13,027 to $8,191. This, according to the 7-day pre-election campaign finance reports. Evans has raised $3,275 during the latest filing period, including $500 apiece from the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and the Coeur d'Alene Police Association. She has spent $3,004 during the period, all with the Range NW public relations group. You can see her finance report here. Fillios raised $5,289 during the latest reporting period, including donations of $1,000 from Phil Damiano of Post Falls, and $500 apiece from James & Nancy Doty and Regan Properties. Also, he has received $748 in in-kind services from the Reclaim Coeur d'Alene group. Fillios has spent $2,878, including $2,178 with The Strategery Group. You can read his campaign finance report here.

DFO: I'll provide information on the campaign finance reports as they are available. Deadline for filing them is 5 p.m. today. Neither Mary Souza or Steve Widmyer has filed his/her report yet.


Life Cycle Of An Ash Aphid

Free-lance photog buddy Brian Plonka produced this superb video that he entitled “Awakenings,” which shows the life cycle of an ash aphid (that annoying flying bugs that you encounter along the Coeur d'Alene waterfront and elsewhere this time of the year). Brian photographed this piece in Hauser Lake, during a recent aphid hatch. Shot with Canon 7D, 24mm 2.8, 45mm 2.8 tilt-shift, 80mm 1.8, 180 mm 2.8 and 500 mm reflex lens (circle effects in last 2 sequences) .

Awakenings from brian plonka on Vimeo.


False Emails Target Widmyer & Co

Item: Candidates: Truth deceptive: Email responses not used in full context, solicited deceptively/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Some candidates for Coeur d'Alene City Council are crying foul over what they call deceptive emails they believe Truth North Idaho, a newly formed political action committee, sent them to distort their positions. Two suspicious emails were circulated earlier this month to Steve Widmyer, Kiki Miller, Amy Evans and Woody McEvers asking for their positions on women's reproductive rights and prayer at city council meetings. The candidates' emailed responses were published on the Truth North Idaho website over the weekend, but not in full context and possibly after having been solicited deceptively/Associated Press. More here.

Ron Burgundy: When you go to Mary Souza's public campaign facebook page tonight what do you see? Jeremy Morris's name all over it as and early and passionate supporter with comments likes and links. I bet that by tomorrow morning when they wake up and read the newspaper the page will be totally scrubbed with his name deleted. But rest assured there are screen shots to prove his connection to Mary Souza's campaign.

Question: Will this sleazy attack help/hurt mayoral candidate Steve Widmyer and the three allied candidates for City Council?

Think Local When Plannng Halloween

Halloween, which for some reason falls on a Thursday this year, has turned into Big Business worth almost $7 billion annually. That’s according to a boring website I stumbled upon the other day when I took a breather from watching Internet cat videos. But getting back to Halloween, the site also stated that adults are spending even more for their costumes than they are for costumes for the kids – some $1.22 billion compared to $1.04 billion. This is highly depressing. I’m a product of simpler times, when you didn’t have to rob a Rite Aid to pay for your Miley Cyrus twerking getup, complete with foam finger/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Are you going to dress up for Halloween? As what?

Summer Theatre To Reopen At Kroc

Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre is reopening after a sudden closure in August due to a budget shortfall. The theater company will produce two big shows rather than four and will stage those shows at the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center rather than North Idaho College’s Schuler Performing Arts Center. The new venue has 400 seats versus the 1,100 seats at the NIC theater. Those changes “really cut costs,” said Laura Little, a former executive director of the theater who agreed to take that job again. “I was happy to come back and make this work”/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here.

Question: Do you support this move?

Robber Hits Dutch Bros. Coffee

Coeur d’Alene Police are looking for a man they say robbed the Dutch Bros. Coffee at 1680 Northwest Boulevard, possibly at gunpoint, just before 10 p.m. Monday. Police describe the suspect as possibly having a dark complexion, standing about 5 feet 10 inches tall and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and red ski mask. Employees said he walked up to the drive-thru window brandishing a plastic Dollar Tree bag under which he claimed to have a gun. He threatened to shoot the employees if they did not fill a sack with cash, according to police. The suspect fled on foot, heading east on Mill Avenue with an undisclosed amount of cash. A police dog attempted to track the man but was unsuccessful. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320 or the Police tip line at (208) 769-2296/SR.

Handelman Discusses LCHS Intruder

Superintendent Matthew Handelman of the Coeur d'Alene School District has circulated an open letter to the community re: school safety. The community was shaken last week by a police-released video of an individual who walked into Lake City High unobserved with a suitcase. Handelman writes in part:

“The video of the suspect was disturbing to me, as I never want to see our school as vulnerable targets for crime. Our district has been open with the public, that, short of turning our schools into prisons, we cannot prevent every possible safety or security situation from happening. We can, however, learn from incidents that occur within our district and across the country to better understand our vulnerabilities and act strategically to strengthen our security. Investigative work by multiple School Resource Officers has led to the identification of the suspect. Police are still working on tracking down the suspect but through previous police knowledge, have determined he is a low risk threat to our students and staff. Full letter here.


County Planner Kicked To Curb

The Kootenai County commissioners decided Monday to continue with the land-use code writing process, but without the Texas-based consultant Kendig Keast Collaborative. A document communicating the commissioners' desire to end the county's contractual relationship with Kendig Keast will be drafted immediately. The consultant's president, Bret Keast, couldn't immediately be reached for comment late Monday. “Unfortunately, Kendig Keast, in my opinion, doesn't capture the essence of the county or the character of the county,” Commissioner Dan Green said. The commissioners will meet later in the week to decide what direction to go from here. One direction they don't like, though, is a modification of the consultant's proposed Unified Land Use Code/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you believe discussion of the new land-use code will be dominated by the anti-ULUC group that includes Brent Regan and Reagan Republican principals?

Putting ‘Treat’ Back In Halloween

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Monday — 10.28.13

8 days until show time. I imagine this last week of the bruising Coeur d'Alene city campaign will be full of flyers and flying accusations. Meanwhile, Post Falls has some good contests, including the mayor's race between Kerri Thoreson and Ron Jacobson. Will the Reagan Republican/Tea Party hordes overrun the Shire. Or will the sun continue to shine on Coeur d'Alene? Inquiring minds will find out a week from tomorrow. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.28.13

On her way from a photo shoot in the Coeur d'Alene National Forest, Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images spotted this parked pickup, full of hunter's equipment, that'd been smashed by a dead tree that'd fallen from about 50 feet above. Linda said she frantically looked to see if anyone was in the pickup. Fortunately, no one was. Then, she whistled & shouted trying to get the attention of the owner. She said she'd heard a gun shot nearby, when she was shooting outdoor scenes. She waited until slightly before dark to leave. You can see the conversation that this photo produced on Linda's Facebook wall here.

Kombucha, Anyone?

On Facebook, OrangeTV is singing the praises of a new place opening in Midtown that's dedicated to Kombucha. Which, according to Wikipedia, “is a lightly effervescent fermented drink of sweetened black tea that is used as a functional food. It is produced by fermenting the tea using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or 'SCOBY.' Although kombucha is claimed to have several beneficial effects on health, these claims are not supported by scientific evidence.” OTV adds in his comment section: ” … there are MANY flavors of Kombucha possible (mainly fruit oriented), hence the idea of a solely-devoted shop. So far, it has been available locally only at Pilgrims Market and a select handful of larger grocery stores. It's kind of sour and weird, but it is an acquired taste and does give you a rush of healthful feelings that's hard to describe to those who haven't tried it. (Photo: OrangeTV)

Question: Has anyone out there tried Kombucha? Can a store dedicated to Kombucha make it in Coeur d'Alene?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.28.13

  • 5:20 p.m. Caller reports older white van stopped in middle of I-90/Yellowstone Trail, CdA.
  • 5:09 p.m. Black vehicle w/broken axle disabled at top of e/b I-90/15th Street, CdA onramp.
  • 5:03 p.m. Vehicle is broken down & blocking s/b H95/Prairie Avenue, Hayden.
  • 4:51 p.m. Someone is unconscious @ Northwest Title Loans, 2500 N4th, CdA.
  • 4:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 27-28 here.
  • 4:23 p.m. Caller reports another motorist tossed beer can out window @ H95/Kathleen, CdA.
  • 4:04 p.m. A 20-by-30-foot fire is reported off 4th/Worley @ about H95/Elder.
  • 15 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

In Other News — 10.28.13

Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images snapped this photo on the Idaho National Forests last night. She calls it, “Autumn Forest.” A little while later, she stumbled onto the answer of the age-old question: If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a noise. You'll find out that the answer to that question is a resounding YES! You won't believe the photo. But you're going to wait until I post my Parting Shot. You can see more of Linda's scenics on her Facebook wall here.

Letter: Ethics On Souza’s Side

I’m appalled that Jack Riggs would use the Chamber of Commerce’s mailing list, which should be protected and neutral, to send a letter to chamber members. The content of this letter is misleading, and urges chamber members to “influence” and “educate” their employees to vote for a particular slate. This borders on unethical and is clearly unprofessional. I wouldn’t use my position to “influence” my employees, which would qualify as undue pressure and intimidation. Claiming Mary Souza isn’t pro business is a false statement. She absolutely supports the business community, while taking a stand for accountability with taxpayers’ dollars; some simply don’t like this approach/Jennifer Scott, Coeur d'Alene, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Vandal Hits NIC Signs

A vandal has caused $3900 damage to two signs at the intersections of two new entrances to North Idaho College, tearing off four emplems from two monuments, according to Coeur d'Alene police reports. The monuments were located at the Northwest entrances to Hubbard and River. Pat Murray from NIC security reported that the vandalism occurred between 9 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday. The vandal tore off two emblems, containing a yellow “I” and white “Vandals” and a second emblem with interlocking blue letters “LC.” Murray didn't have suspect information.

DFO: When I saw those signs going up, I wondered how long it would be before some jerk vandalized them. Now we have the answer. I hope they catch this creep.

HBO Blog Roundup — 10.28.13

Marianne Love/Slight Detour & Co. enjoyed a horse ride at Foxy Glen, north of Priest River, over the weekend. She has several photos that testify of the idyllic setting, including this one of a turkey checking out a rider. More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for week of Oct. 20-26): 58,957 page-views/29,665 unique views

Wintry Harbinger

SR photog Jesse Tinsley posts on his Facebook wall: “Just a dusting, but still the first snow of the season in my (Post Falls) neighborhood.” I didn't see snow around my place this morning. But I consider Halloween the first of three “pre-winter” holidays of early winter. The second two are Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mayor Sandi Bloem & I will be celebrating our joint birthday again on Nov. 20.

Question: Many people whom I've talked to are certain that we're going to have a colder, snowier winter this year. But I remind them that the prognosticators have been saying that for the last 2 or 3 winters — and have been wrong. What are you expecting?


Just saw that big red-white-blue eagle inflatable balloon in front of the Army-Navy Store on Government Way, with Mary Souza yard signs on it & the word “conservative.” I'm sure that the eagle and the signs were placed there legally because the Army-Navy parking lot was one of the prime locations for the failed RecallCDA effort in spring 2012.

Question: Would you be more/less likely to patronize a business that has a political sign out front?

Idaho Ed Advocates Have Abdicated

If the Idaho State Board of Education was doing its job, it would be an advocate for education. All education. That means education in the public schools, from kindergarten to high school. And it means education beyond high school - from community colleges to graduate programs. Championing education would obligate state board members to unambiguously spell out what it costs to provide programs - and when the state is falling short. It is not the State Board's duty to tell governors and legislators where to find the money, but neither is the board required to remain silent while those politicians pull $350 million out of the education budgets to pay for tax cuts/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Can you think of one Idaho Republican leader who is a strong advocate for public education?

Luna Changing View On Pre-K?

Is state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna softening in his opposition to pre-kindergarten programs? In a story in Monday’s Idaho Statesman, Luna suggests he is changing his views. Luna, like some Republican legislators, has questioned whether the state can afford to pay for pre-K. Legislative critics also have suggested that young children are better taught at home. Here’s what Luna told the Statesman’s Bill Roberts recently: “It is obvious to me there are some homes where that is just not going to happen. … We have to find a solution”/Kevin Richert, The EDge, IdahoED News. More here.

Question: Do you support pre-K programs?

Ellis Island Reopens To Visitors

Visitors walk around the registry room on Ellis Island in New York in Monday. The island that ushered millions of immigrants into the United States received visitors Monday for the first time since Superstorm Sandy. Sandy swamped boilers and electrical systems and left the 27.5-acre island without power for months. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Question: Did your forebears come to this country through Ellis Island?

Christie: Welcome To Blog Land

Christie Wood (RE: AM Headlines): I just called my friend Alan and told him Welcome to blog land! He is not familiar with the blogs so he will get a kick out of the comments. He has got to be one of the nicest guys I know and has an incredible sense of humor. His photo is pretty funny. It will be a keeper for his friends. The funny thing about blogs is people will slice and dice you without ever having met you. It definitely keeps us all humble so that is probably a good thing.

Question: Anyone here want to recount how s/he's been sliced & diced in the blogosphere?

JohnA: Glad To See Speeder Get His

JohnA (RE: AM Scanner Traffic): 8:39 item: I was passed by the Montana vehicle coming down the 4th of July Pass and he was easily going 90. He slowed down for an instant passing me when he saw the ISP coming at us in the eastbound lane, then hit it again past Blue Creek Bay. I wondered if the ISP would turn around and chase him, and finally I saw him go by me around Mullan Trail Road. The Montanan definitely 'had a jump' on him so I'm glad he called ahead for assistance. It proves once again that no matter how fast your rig is you can't out speed a radio. :)

Question: Have you ever called 911 to report a reckless driver?

Indeed, Mary Was Against Ed Corridor

Mic Armon (RE: Doty: Mary was against process): Not only was Mary very much against the purchase of the Education Corridor, but 3 of her close supporters and their attorney Star Kelso wasted a huge amount of tax payer funds with their personal vendetta against the purchase. They filed litigation that was ruled in favor of NIC at both the District court and then after their appeal to the Idaho State Supreme court, the Idaho Supreme Court also ruled in NIC's favor. This is another example of how Mary not only wants to rewrite history, but it shows the ways that her supporters will go to waste public funds for their own agendas.

Question: Who do you believe?

Letter: More Of Same From Far Right

In a letter to the SR, Tolli Willhite writes re: the Coeur d'Alene city elections: “We have seen the damage that can be done when we have views that only represent a small segment of our area. Last spring, we saw embarrassing statements made by government officials that reflected poorly on our area. We came to the brink of changing how we pay teachers for their hard work. We almost saw a mass exodus of quality experienced teachers because the competitive market was offering better options elsewhere. As a result, we saw the highest school board election turnout ever because citizens began to realize that aggressive partisan agendas have no place in nonpartisan local government leadership. If you were concerned about our schools, you should be more concerned this fall for our city. The same folks are involved with the same tired ideas. Let’s move past the divisiveness of gotcha politics and look toward our future.” More here.

Question: Is it fair to link the type of candidates running on Mary Souza's Reagan Republican ticket to the previous School Board and its scorched-earth policiies?

Man Who Shot Car Thief Faces Trial

Gail Gerlach testifies that a police officer pointed his hand like a gun and told him that if the shooting happened as he described, and he had indeed seen the victim wave something like a gun at him, then Gerlach was probably not going to be charged with a crime at a pretrial hearing Friday at the Spokane County Courthouse. Gerlach is the northside plumber who fired a single shot at a fleeing car thief, killing him in March of 2013. Gerlach's attorneys are trying to get pre-Miranda statements thrown out of the trial evidence. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley?

In a Spokane courtroom Friday, Gail Gerlach described the morning of March 25 as routine, other than his wife running behind getting ready for work. “Things were a bit hastened,” Gerlach said. “I got up and I got dressed. I brushed my teeth, and then I came back into my bedroom and I retrieved my gun, like I usually do.” Within the next few hours, Gerlach had fired that semiautomatic pistol at the Chevrolet Suburban that had been stolen from his driveway. The single shot killed driver Brendon Kaluza-Graham, 25, almost instantly, according to the medical examiner’s report, and set into motion an investigation whose fairness was at the center of a hearing lasting into the evening Friday/Kip Hill, SR. More here.

Question: You be the jury. How should this case go?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.28.13

A Sandpoint couple and 5 children were injured on Highway 95, near Sandpoint, this morning when their car overturned attempting to pass another vehicle. You can read the ISP report here.

  • 12:17 p.m. Caller is concerned re: elderly neighbor @ Emerald/Diamond, Hayden.
  • 12:14 p.m. Suicide threat made at Dirne Clinic, 1090 W. Park Place, CdA.
  • 12:03 p.m. CPD officer en route to Phippeny Park to meet caller who has found undisclosed property.
  • 11:04 a.m. A construction sign is lying in lane of traffic @ e/b I-90/MP 1 (Beck Road/Post Falls).

Penn State To Pay $59.7M To Victims

Penn State will pay $59.7 million to 26 sexual abuse victims of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, the school said Monday. The terms of the settlements include confidentiality agreements, the school said in a press release. Of the 26 settlements, 23 are signed and three are agreed in principle, with final documentation expected within the next few weeks/USA Today. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the amount of this settlement?

Tribe Tale Chills Public Land Debate

The hearing room at the state Capitol went silent this morning as the first scheduled speaker, Chairman Nathan Small of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, addressed the Federal Lands Interim Committee about the prospect of Idaho trying to take title to federal public lands within the state. “The tribes unequivocally oppose this notion,” Small said. “The wealth of public lands within Idaho’s borders is intended to protect the way of life … from generation to generation,” he said. It’s not, he said, to be sold off to private entities, or used for corporate interests - those who would “come out, rip, rape and run - because that's what they do when they get done with a place, a piece of property, is they run”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Am I the only one who thinks this debate is an incredible waste of time?

IFF: Solons Should Fix Exchange Mess

I’d like to go a month without having to address the state health insurance exchange. There are so many other obscenities in Idaho public policy requiring attention: Proposals to raise taxes in towns across the state; cities using military-grade equipment in little Idaho towns; cronyism posing as economic development. It’s really not my fault that the exchange continues to be a festering sore. And that’s why the 2014 Legislature may well find itself addressing the controversial issue all over again. Failure to take it up the insurance exchange in some way would represent a dereliction of duty/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Do you consider the state health exchange to be a “mess”?

McEuen Field Progresses

A view from on high of the evolving McEuen Field, taken this morning.

Herb: Urban Renewal Isn’t Socialism

In his latest Bay Views blog post, Bayview Herb gives his views on the individuals fighting to close down urban renewal in Coeur d'Alene. He makes this point about Riverstone:

All URA funds were spent on publicly owned ground and invested in the infrastructure of the city of Coeur d'Alene. $250 million dollars were invested privately to develop the project. For some unknown convoluted reasoning, a small group of anti-government people led by but not limited to such as (state Rep. Kathy) Sims, pictured, and Mayoral candidate (Mary) Souza seem to think this is Socialism. Since no public money is invested in Riverstone, and the tax base went from $3 million to $95 million, causing huge amounts of tax dollars to accrue to the city of Coeur d'Alene, I'm at a loss, as a conservative believing in small businesses and private enterprise, to see where this is anything close to a liberal project.


Widmyer & Co Sets Meet, Greet

Coeur d'Alene mayoral candidate Steve Widmyer and a slate of three City Council candidates are offering free pizza at a “Meet, Greet & Eat!” event scheduled from MacKenzie River Pizza, Grill & Pub, 405 W. Canfield Ave., from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The invite was sent out in the form of postcard over the weekend.

Question: Is this something that interests you?

Doty: Mary Was Against ‘Process’

In his neighborhood, James Doty, campaign treasurer for Mary Souza, is circulating a letter that claims, among other things:

Mary Souza was not against the library, the Kroc Center, or the Educational Corridor, as many would have you believe. She was against the process and the expenditure of incredibly large sums of tax payer monies without at least a vote of the people. Using LCDC (which is 100% tax payer money) as the private piggy bank to fund these projects is where she drew a line in the sand and she demanded that the public be given a chance to weigh in. Clearly, the primary focus and value of these expenditures are  for the benefit of the downtown property and business owners. All the property tax payers contribute, but the majority of the benefit is for a select few. More here.

Question: It's always about the process and never about the project, hunh?


Poll: Post Falls Officials Trusted More

  • Weekend Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation trusts urban renewal information from Post Falls officials more than from state Rep. Kathy Sims and Sharon Culbreth. 142 of 180 respondents (78.89%) said the information provided by Mayor Clay Larkin and City Council members re: urban renewal is more trustworthy that a brochure circulated by Sims & Co. last week. Only 24 of 180 respondents (13.33%) said Sims information is more trustworthy. 10 of 180 (5.56%) said neither side is trustworthy. 4 (2.22%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Who will win the election for Coeur d'Alene City Council Seat No. 2 (currently held by Mike Kennedy) — Amy Evans or Chris Fillios?

AM Headlines — 10.28.13

Developer Alan Johnson stands with stacks of documents from a lawsuit against him at the intersection of highways 95 and 54 in Athol. A fight with the Idaho Transportation Department has held up development of a travel center, grocery store and hotel on the site. SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Cutline Contest — 10.28.13

A mule buck races down West Third Avenue on Thursday in Durango Colo., with a canvas chair wrapped around its antlers. The deer had struggled for about 30 minutes before tearing down the chair from the tree and running several blocks and in to the brush. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers found the deer on Friday, tranquilizing it and cutting off its antlers. The deer got up and ran off in good health. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Durango Herald,Jerry McBride)

Weekend Winner — LikelyAsNot, with 5 likes: “Conan makes plans on what he is going to do to get revenge on his owners for making him wear this haircut.” You can see weekend photo & all cutline entries here.

Mary’s Song

If you're coffee's not working this overcast Monday morning, try this eye-opening ditty from the mayoral campaign for Mary Souza here.


Denney Killed Bill, May Help Him Now

Former Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney, whose pension benefits would soar by more than seven times if he wins his bid for Secretary of State, personally killed legislation last year designed to end the costly special treatment for longtime legislators who land high-paying government posts at the end of their careers. “He’s the one that made sure the bill died,” said former state Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, the bill’s sponsor/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Does this pass the smell test?

Bill Hall: The Man Who Loved Women

Sometimes it takes years to figure out your father. My father could be tough, and sometimes, I have been told, he could be gentle. That's what my mother said of my farmer father, the family disciplinarian. Not long after he died, she mentioned the obvious - that he was a manly man with manly attitudes and appetites. He relished baseball as a player and football for the fun of watching it on television. He killed his Idaho ration of one deer almost every year, occasionally an elk and no small number of ducks and geese. My grandmother - his mother-in-law - told me when I was about 8 that “for a while, we didn't know what we were going to do about your father. He was always getting into fights at barn dances”/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Tell us of a fond memory that you have of your father?

Adams: Repeal Urban Renewal Now

The fallacious notion, that Urban Renewal offers any good, needs to be addressed. In a free market capitalist system using the term economic tool and government in the same sentence is oxymoronic. Promoting economic development with tax-increment financing is outside the proper role of government in America. In fact, tax-increment financing allows cities to steal funds that taxpayers think they have dedicated to services, in order to subsidize favored developers, increase municipal budgets, and socially engineer the way we live. This would be the equivalent of the economic component of fascism. This is not good, and has no place in our society/Councilman Steve Adams, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Press: Heed This Loud Warning

At 10:50 a.m. Thursday, in the middle of the school morning, a clean-shaven young man with collar-length blond hair carried what looks like a guitar case into Lake City High School. If you watch the 15-second video provided by Coeur d'Alene police, you'll see him stroll in and walk around a bit, seemingly unsure where he's headed. The doorways and hallways are all empty except for a lone figure in the distance. This is news because the young man, believed to be 16 to 20 years old, was suspected of stealing a vehicle from the teachers' parking lot. As of late Friday afternoon, when this editorial was written, police were still seeking help solving the crime. Call (208) 769-2320 if you have information. But what made our jaw drop was this: The young man could have been anybody. Instead of a guitar case in his left hand, he could have been holding a pistol, a machine gun, a bomb/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.


Wallace Offers Window To The Past

Left: Bordellos are consistently found together with old mining districts. Wallace was no exception. Now a museum, the Oasis was open for business until 1988. (SR photo)

You don’t have to read about history in Wallace. You experience it. The entire downtown, businesses as well as homes, is recorded on the National Register of Historic Places. The hills above Wallace are bursting with mining equipment, old mining buildings, remains of mines that were bombed (union conflict with a mining company), gated mine entrances, and unrecognizable – but fun to guess – structures used in the mining industry. It should become apparent that mining dominates what this area was and is about/Mike Broadwater, Special to the SR. More here.

Question: When did you last spend time in downtown Wallace?

Nappi Bids Farewell After 28 Years

In fall 1984, a features writer at The Spokesman-Review fell in love with a Montana grizzly bear scientist she had interviewed for a story. The day she told then-editor Chris Peck that she was leaving to get married, my application arrived on Peck’s desk. After eight years away from Spokane, working at bigger newspapers in bigger cities, including USA Today in Washington, D.C., I was preparing to return home to Spokane to get married. Was there an opening? There was. And so, staring in January 1985, The Spokesman-Review became my work home, and my second family. Friday, I am leaving this wonderful newsroom and embarking on an “encore” career in health care/Rebecca Nappi, SR. More here.

Question: Do journalists become part of your lives?

Linked By Near-Fatal River Mishap

It’s hard to imagine where the long struggle for human rights in North Idaho would have been without Tony Stewart. Yet the longtime Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations leader almost wasn’t around to battle the Aryan Nations. In spring 1979, Stewart, a North Idaho College instructor, went rafting on the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River with a college tennis player and a second student named Steve. The water was high and flowing rapidly. As they rounded a bend, the three were pushed into several trees that had fallen into the water. All were thrown from the raft. Tony was pushed under the trees and trapped. All seemed lost until the third man in the party spotted Tony’s arm above water and grabbed it, pulling Tony to safety. Tony told Huckleberries last week: “I know I couldn’t have escaped the trap without Steve’s quick action and strong hands.” So why is the story pertinent 34 years later? Steve is now running for mayor of Coeur d’Alene – Steve Widmyer/DFO, SR Sunday Huckleberries. More here.

Other SR weekend columns:

Question: Have you ever had a harrowing experience on water?


Joe Heller/Hellertoon

Weekend Wild Card — 10.26-27.13

Ten more days, and we'll see if Coeur d'Alene remains a city with a bright future, under new Mayor Steve Widmyer. Or a city whose best days are in the rear-view mirror, for at least the next four years. Mayor Uniter. Of Mary Divider. The final deadline of interest between now and election day will be 5 p.m. Tuesday, when the campaign finance reports are due. You can bet I'll be all over those. Until then, we have another decent fall weekend ahead as we head toward Halloween on Thursday. Enjoy yourselves — and we'll meet back here on Monday …

Armed Man Robs Alpine Country Store

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is seeking an armed man who robbed a store north of Hayden. Deputies responded to the robbery at the Alpine Country Store in the Garwood area at 5 a.m. Saturday, according to a news release. The clerk said a man brandishing a gun entered the store and stole cash from the register. The robber then fled the store on foot across Highway 95, heading southwest. The suspect is described as a white male in his mid-to-late 20s, about 5-feet-9-inches and 175 pounds/SR. More here.

Coeur d’Alene 44, Lake City 13

Coeur d’Alene’s Austin Chadderdon and Chase Blakley (21) force a fumble from Lake City quarterback Tucker Louie-McGee. (SR photo: Bruce Twitchell)

When a football team has horses up front, it doesn’t matter much who is carrying or throwing the ball behind them. The Coeur d’Alene Vikings made that evident Friday as they exposed the Lake City Timberwolves where they were most vulnerable – up the middle. Making matters worse for Lake City, the Vikings’ defense corralled the Timberwolves’ two most dangerous weapons – the Louie-McGee brothers – as CdA took a big step toward securing the 5A Inland Empire League championship with a telling 44-13 win before an estimated crowd of 3,000 at LC. CdA (5-3, 2-0), which won back-to-back state championships in 2010 and 2011 and played for the title last year, can capture the league’s lone state playoff berth Thursday when it faces visiting Post Falls/Greg Lee, SR. More here.

Parting Shot — 10.25.13

On her Facebook wall, Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images posts: “I had another opportunity to shoot in the fog this morning in Coeur d'Alene. Autumn color is peak and leaves are dropping in my hometown right now.

Question:Anyone guess where this photo was taken?

TGIF Wild Card — 10.25.13

It has been a wild week at Huckleberries Online, where all the women are tough, the men are poignant, and no children are allowed. It looks like a quiet day today. But that can change in a matter of seconds, as information floods into HBO Central for perusal. We're 4 days from the next campaign finance reports. Which are always interesting. Until then, I'll post this Wild Card and go in search of more fodder …

Summer Theatre Plans ‘14 Season

The show will go on in 2014 for Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre. The Press has learned that Laura Little is the new executive director of the nonprofit professional theater production company, and shows are being selected for the next season. Little, who produces theater shows locally and on Broadway, is a former CST executive director. Actor Jadd Davis, who hails from Post Falls, will serve as the organization’s artistic director. Citing financial difficulties due to low ticket sales, the 46-year-old performing arts organization’s board decided in August to suspend operations. The board severed ties with its two full-time employees at the time, longtime artistic director Roger Welch, and Michelle Mendez, the executive director/Coeur d'Alene Press. (SR photo: Ellen Travolta and Jack Bannon in a scene from the 2012 production of “Hello, Dolly”)

Question: Anyone out there who doesn't think this is terrific news?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.25.13

On Thursday, Coeur d’Alene Police took a report of a stolen vehicle from Lake City High. The victim reported the vehicle missing from the teacher parking lot at 2:45 p.m. School Resource Officers examined video surveillance and observed a male matching the above description enter the school at 10:50 a.m. The male walked upstairs to the classroom area. He checked several locked doors and then entered a classroom that was unoccupied at the time. He was captured on surveillance walking in a few other areas of the building before he exited the school. Stolen vehicle: 2013 grey Toyota Rav4, Idaho license plate number K9776. More on Coeur d'Alene police Facebook wall here.

  • 5:01 p.m. Caller reports road rager forced her off e/b I-90 & now following on 4th Street & Appleway/CdA.
  • 4:41 p.m. Disabled silver Alexis Toyota is parked @ e/b I-90/MP 10, west of NW Blvd, CdA.
  • 4:25 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 24-25 here.
  • 3:59 p.m. BOSS hit on 2000 silver Audi, reportedly stolen in Washington, on e/b I-90.
  • 3:37 p.m. Caller has followed possible DUI driver to Super Supplement parking lot; will sign complaint.
  • 3:39 p.m. Disorderly male reported in Midtown Safeway store, 1001 N4th, CdA.
  • 2:50 p.m. Deputy reports no injuries from crash, including 1 rollover, @ Ramsey/Scarcello, Garwood.
  • 2:39 a.m. Driver of black Dodge Durango reckless on e/b I-90 before turning north of Spokane Street, Post Falls.
  • 2:31 p.m. CPD Blue has female juvenile in custody & taking her to juvie, unknown reason.
  • 2:22 p.m. Deputy reports 8 cows loose on county road, unknown location.
  • 1:34 p.m. Someone is suffering chest pain @ 29300 block of Linzy Lane, Athol.
  • 1:31 p.m. Undisclosed theft reported in 2400 block of Govt Way/CdA.
  • AM Scanner Traffic


In Other News — 10.25.13

Host Lake City High will be prepared to face cross-country rival Coeur d'Alene in the big game of the Inland Empire League tonight at Lake City. However, Greg Lee of the SR and Sam Adams of KHQ/SWX are each predicting a Coeur d'Alene win in a tight game. (Photo: Sue Hutter)

Cutline Contest — 10.25.13

Time 2 Vote …

Conan, a 12-year-old Pomeranian, is photographed at the Fantasy Fest Pet Masquerade in Key West, Fla. Owner Caroline Loessin titled her canine's entry in the Most Exotic category as “Pomeranian with a Facelift.” You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Rob O'Neal)

Thursday Winner — Sisyphus, with 8 likes: “Mary Souza coddles another campaign donor.” Runnerup — jmrusche, with 5 likes: “HHS announces that they have found the website 'bug.'” (You can see Thursday photo & all cutline entries here)

Slice Blog’s Conspiracy Theory

“The people in our midst who hate bicyclists are somehow responsible for the aphid swarms” — Paul Turner, The Slice.

Rally Right Rallying At Nate’s Pizza

Ad in the Nickel's Worth: “CONSERVATIVES UNITE! If you’re frustrated with liberalism taking over in America and the Republican Party drifting away from its conser- vative roots, let’s do some- thing about it! Come to RallyRight.Org’s & United Conservatives meeting at Nate’s Pizza, Monday, November 4th, 6pm. Hwy 41 and Mullan Ave., River City Center, Post Falls. Giant slice of pizza and a drink, $5. Spe- cial guest speakers.”

  • Motto on site: “It's easier to fix the Republican Party than to start a third party.”


HBO Blog Roundup — 10.25.13

Paving began today on the long-closed Front Avenue, on the northern edge of the new and evolving McEuen Field. Check out Web cam here. (LCDC photo: Keith Erickson)

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Oct. 24): 11,508 page-views/5408 unique views


Mary’s Latest Political Ad

Mary Souza's latest political cartoon can be found on Page 2 of Nickel's Worth (scroll to Page 2) here. (Strange that the artist refuses to take credit for his work anywhere)

DFO: I must admit. I find this one sorta clever.


9th Circuit Backs Fired Lake City Cop

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a $3.2 million judgment against the city of Coeur d’Alene for firing a police lieutenant without cause. Dan Dixon, who had worked 17 years for the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, and his wife Heidi Dixon sued the city in 2009. His firing that summer followed a string of frivolous complaints against him by a subordinate, the couple argued. Hayden attorney Larry Beck said his clients urge city officials “to finally recognize and accept the jury’s unanimous verdict” in their favor. City Attorney Mike Gridley said he will review the decision and consult with outside legal counsel to consider what to do next/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Sounds like it's about time to pay, right?

A New PAC For CdA Election?

If I was a connect-the-dots, paranoid type of guy, I'd expect some sort of surprise ad campaign, possibly against Steve Widmyer, from a new source: Truth North Idaho PAC. Whatever that is. Paperwork filed with the City Clerk's office shows that Barbara Jean Hedden is the treasurer of Truth North Idaho. In the Coeur d'Alene Press Thursday, a Coeur d'Alene woman naed Barbara Hedden wrote a somewhat confusing letter, apparently claiming Widmyer has some conflicts of interest. Click here. A Google search for Truth North Idaho brings up a link that can't be accessed. But the Google preview shows you a question that's being asked on some sort of survey: “Poll: Who will you be supporting as a Christian value voter in the Coeur d'Alene city election?” We'll have to see what this is all about.

Skewp: Guys Keep Cleaner Sinks

A Facebook Friend posts:As much as we ladies complain about how dirty, nasty and messy guys are … every single house I've ever cleaned with his and her sinks, it's always her side that is way worse than his! Sorry girls, but guys win for cleaner bathroom sink!

Question: Have we untapped a universal truth here?

Fernan Lake Health Advisory Issued

A health advisory was issued Friday for Fernan Lake, where toxic blue-green algae was found in the water. People should avoid direct contact with water containing visible algae, according to a news release from the Panhandle Health District. Swallowing water is particularly dangerous to children and pets, and the toxins cannot be removed by boiling or filtering water, the district said/SR. More here.

Terry: County Plan For Everyone

Terry Harris (RE: Regan & Co form anti-ULUC group): I know, I know… I'm not around anymore and I shouldn't have any say. But “because the county codes only apply to the rural residents, it is only fair that the rural residents have the greatest input on reformed codes” is a fallacy that non-rural residents need to beware. If an ugly sprawling rural landscape pollutes the lakes and waterways, folks in the cities also have a lot to lose.

Question: Do you agree with Terry Harris that city residents have as much stake in the Kootenai County comprehensive plan at county residents?

JohnA: They’re Paving Front Avenue

JohnA: Check out the McEuen webcam on the LCDC site. They're paving Front Avenue, at long last. Also, yesterday while I was visiting with my old friend, former police chief Dave Scates at the B of A, there was a semi truck loaded with tons of grass sod headed to the parking lot south of city hall. Yes, things are certainly looking up at the new park.


Cindy: DFO Softening Toward Cats

On her Facebook wall, Cindy posts this claim, in which I was badly misquoted: “Breaking news! Moments ago, notorious cat-hater D.f. Oliveria said, “I finally see the wisdom behind getting a cat.” You read it here, first.” If you're a Facebook Friend of Cindy's, you can read the rest of the thread, including my response, here.

DFO: Training for pup Huckleberry is going extremely well.

Question: Can you believe Cindy that I'd say something like that?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.25.13

Metal thefts have taken a new twist in Post Falls. Five metal plaques with emblems of each branch of the military were pried from the concrete base of a memorial at Q'emiln Riverside Park sometime between Monday and Friday last week, police say. The crime happened with Veterans Day coming up on Nov. 11. Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug said the vandalism/theft is sickening, and two detectives have been assigned to the case part-time. “It defaces the idea of honoring our military,” Haug said. More here. (Courtesy: KHQ)

  • 11:59 a.m. A bag of trash is lying on H95 @ M/P 439.5 (Garwood Road).
  • 11:51 a.m. Male who appears nearly asleep is driving s/b on shoulder of n/b H95/Sagle.
  • 11:49 a.m. Caller reports gun shot in area of Catherine/19th Avenue, Post Falls.
  • 11:48 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 12100 block of Friar Drive/Hayden Lake.
  • 11:27 a.m. Someone has been injured in a fall at Garden Plaza Court/Post Falls.
  • 11:25 a.m. Man reports his brother, armed w/baseball bat, is tearing up house @ Riffle/Red Dell, Athol.
  • 10:52 a.m. BOSS hit on stolen plate on white Dodge Durango, w/Washington plates, @ e/b I-90/NW Blvd, CdA.
  • 10:42 a.m. Resident is @ CPD HQ to report possible assault w/firearm.
  • 10:19 a.m. ISP officer stopping to assist disabled vehicle on offramp @ I-90/H41, Post Falls.
  • 10:17 a.m. Suicide threat reported in 3100 block of N11th, CdA.
  • 10:04 a.m. A disabled, red 1998 Subaru Forester is scheduled for removal @ H53/MP 13 (Ramsey Road/Rathdrum).
  • 9:52 a.m. Parked truck & trailer is partly blocking road @ Cornerstone, behind Prairie, Hayden.
  • 9:33 a.m. Construction workers report theft at work site @ Herborn/Seltice Way, Post Falls.
  • 9:07 a.m. ISP officer reports crash on I-90/MP 9 (near Huetter) is still causing bumper-to-bumper traffic.
  • 8:42 a.m. Resident in 2300 block of Cannon/Post Falls complains re: abandoned vehicles on her property.

Poll: Liberty Caucus Not Republican

  • Thursday Poll: 58 of 109 respondents (60.71%) don't think the Liberty Caucus of the Idaho Republican Party is Republican at all. Only 28 of 109 respondents (25%) said the Liberty Caucus members are truly Republican. 16 (14.29%) were undecided.
  • Weekend Poll: Post Falls officials vigorously dispute accuracy of anti-urban renewal pamphlet from state Rep. Kathy Sims. Who do you believe?

Quotable Quote

Arpie (RE: Denney launches state campaign): “With all the Reagan Republicans, Rally Right Republicans, Liberty Caucus Republicans, Mainstream Republicans and others I'm forgetting about, I just realized there's another kind of Republican. Ones like me who register Republican just so we can vote against all the whackos. I propose the name Clothespin Republicans because we hold our nose when we register and vote.With all the Reagan Republicans, Rally Right Republicans, Liberty Caucus Republicans, Mainstream Republicans and others I'm forgetting about, I just realized there's another kind of Republican. Ones like me who register Republican just so we can vote against all the whackos. I propose the name Clothespin Republicans because we hold our nose when we register and vote.

Question: Are you a Clothespin Republican?

AM Headlines — 10.25.13

Deanna Laird, 10, takes a bugs-eye view in order to paint greenery on the edge of a section of a large mural depicting Tubbs Hill at Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Sciences Thursday. The 6 by 40 foot painting, designed by local artist Jessica L. Bryant, will be displayed outside of the gym upon completion. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Gabe Green)

GOPMatt: Liberty Rising In Kootenai

GOPMatt53 (re: Duane: Why doesn't GOP pay rent?): Dear Duane Rasmussen…Libertarians have not taken over the Republican Party. Crony Capitalists Republicans have lost their standing in the party due to decades of abuse of power. The two are not the same thing! Case in point - when you, Duane Rasmussen, perceived you and your friends held the keys to Republican Party here in Kootenai County you were more than happy to use the County Building free of charge. For years you have had no problem with this function. Now that your circle of influence is dwindling and liberty is rising you provide sanctimony for anyone who will listen. Soon your cries will fall on deaf ears, much like the boy who cried wolf. More below.

Question: Are you excited that liberty is rising in Kootenai County?

LCDC Spokesman: Sims & Co All Wet

LCDC spokesman Keith Erickson (RE: Post Falls rips anti-LCDC info): The Lake City Development Corporation takes exception to this brochure. This perennial propaganda is filled with the same misleading information, false accusations, and skewed numbers as in year’s past and is distributed by a small group of local individuals who oppose the use of redevelopment tools provided by the Legislature to local communities. With elections looming, the timing is unfortunate, but not unexpected. Despite the authors’ attempt to decrease the effectiveness of Idaho’s only locally controlled economic development tool, the mainstream opinion is that urban renewal is an effective and value-adding economic development tool for the state.

DFO: I need to find a copy of the anti-LCDC attack flyer circulated by Sims & Tom Macy a few years back.


Attack Of The Killer Ash Aphids?

Tina Martin is bugged about what's clogging the air. Those smokey-winged ash aphids - as much an October tradition as the World Series, Halloween and sprinkler blowouts - are out in full force this week, keeping our mouths shut and honing our swatting skills. “They're everywhere and they're a nuisance,” said Martin as she attempted to walk in Kiwanis Park in Post Falls on a sun-soaked Thursday afternoon. “They really know how to put a kink into a gorgeous fall day, don't they?” The tiny winged pests forced Martin to cut her walk short. “You'll notice I'm not smiling,” the Post Falls woman said, referring to both her disgust over succumbing to the aphids and how she didn't want any in her mouth. “They get in your hair, on your clothes, in your nose, in your eyes …”/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how bugged are you by this fall's aphid invasion?

Regan & Co Form Anti-ULUC Group

A proposed Unified Land Use Code for Kootenai County has led to the formation of a new group of 25 rural property owners. The Rural Property Owners Committee hopes to meet with and possibly influence the Kootenai County commissioners and the county's planning commission as those officials work on land use regulations, said Brent Regan, one of the committee members. “The proposed ULUC is foundationally flawed because it doesn't respect the primacy of property rights under Idaho law,” Regan said. The group also wants to “publicize and act upon landowner concerns” regarding the ULUC, developed by a consultant, Texas-based Kendig Keast Collaborative. The proposed ULUC should be set aside, according to a position paper signed off on by all the committee members. There are 27 committee members total, two of whom are not rural property owners in Kootenai County/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo, of Brent Regan)

Question: This group reads like the membership list of the local Tea Party. What's next? A proposal to form a land-use advisory board a la Bonner County?

Archives: Sitting While Others Cheer

From Huckleberries Online archives — Nov. 5, 2007:

Coeur d’Alene’s anti-urban renewal gang huffed and puffed, but it couldn’t spoil the standing ovation Councilwoman Dixie Reid received from Rotarians on Friday. The anti-Lake City Development Corp. fanatics – Coeur d’Alene Press columnist Mary Souza, council candidate Dan Gookin and ex-state Sen. Kathy Sims – watched unhappily while Rotarians gave Dixie the long ovation she deserved for her decades of top-notch council service. Former Hecla exec Bill Griffith told Huckleberries that at least two of the three remained seated during the long ovation: Gookin and Rotarian Sims. Souza, a city planner and Rotarian who regularly chastises the council and urban renewal efforts in her weekly Press column, had complained to Coeur d’Alene Rotary prez Steve Roberge when she heard that Dixie was scheduled to speak to the club four days before the city elections. Even though Dixie had spoken to the group at least twice before. In a comment posted Sunday at Huckleberries Online, Roberge said he thought Souza raised a legit question that he reviewed in depth. Ultimately, he decided that Dixie should speak because she isn’t seeking re-election and she didn’t plan to influence Tuesday’s election with her talk (which reviewed the various issues and colorful characters she encountered during her decades of council service). Obviously, the Rotarians who cheered Dixie agreed with Roberge’s decision that Dixie’s speech met the club’s four-way test: 1. Is it the truth? 2. Will it be beneficial? 3. Will it build goodwill? 4. Is it fair? Those who stayed seated should consider whether their actions met the Rotary rule re: building goodwill.

DFO: Some things never change, hunh?

Post Falls Rips Anti-Urban Renewal Info

Two critics of Idaho’s urban renewal tax district system – a state lawmaker and a Coeur d’Alene Realtor – are spreading false information about how Post Falls handles urban renewal dollars, the mayor and other city officials said Thursday. “It is unfortunate when, during a political season, incorrect information such as this is mass produced and distributed,” Mayor Clay Larkin said in a statement. He was referring to a recently circulated brochure from state Rep. Kathleen Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, and Sharon Culbreth with Realteam Real Estate Center in Coeur d’Alene. The brochure declares “urban renewal abuse is statewide,” and by way of example claims that $890,000 in “excess unspent funds” in the Post Falls Urban Renewal Agency “are being considered to fund city employee salary increases”/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that the backers of the RecallCDA effort would be accused of spreading false information about urban renewal?

Is Denney Eyeing Retirement Payday?

Former Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives Lawerence Denney addresses a group of about 30 as he announces his candidacy for Idaho Secretary of State Thursday at the Coeur d’Alene Airport. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: David Cole)

If former House Speaker Lawerence Denney were to serve one four-year term as Secretary of State after his many years of legislative service, his state retirement pension, for life, would rise from roughly $500 a month to more than $3,600 a month. That’s because the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho sets retirement pensions based on the highest-paid 42 months of state employment – and state legislators, who now make a little over $16,000 a year, who move up to higher-paid, year-round jobs at the end of their careers can count all those lower-paid years of legislative service for retirement. The current salary for the Idaho Secretary of State, by law, is $99,450 a year/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Another reason not to support Denney?

Luna: Let Them Eat Hors d’oeuvres

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune gives Jeers to …

… State school Superintendent Tom Luna, stating: “If he's so committed to his plan to boost school funding 5.9 percent, where was he last week? Luna sent his assistant, Jason Hancock, to outline the blueprint to the State Board of Education when it met at Lewis-Clark State College. It's been more than 40 years since a state school superintendent blew off his yearly budget presentation to the State Board. While State Board members openly groused about how K-12 funding would leave higher education to grovel for scraps, Luna was sucking down hors d'oeuvres with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, scene of the sixth annual National Summit of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Full column here.

Question: Do you really want Luna to run for re-election in 2014?

Public Shares Blame For Smear Tactics

And so we come to another election season when we are asked to consider: Whose interests are “special”? And whose are simple, pure, virtuous and just? Just kidding. We’re not asked to consider it – i.e., think about it – in any way whatsoever. We already know the answer: Our interests are simple, pure, virtuous and just. Theirs are special, and all that that implies. Spokane is growing up, politically, which means more money and more odious nonsense on the airwaves. So we get developer-funded ads criticizing candidates for taking union money. And we get union-funded ads criticizing candidates for taking developers’ money. Neither side seems to see anything contradictory in this. It’s just the snake swallowing its tail/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Don't you think it's sorta cute that Spokane people think they have rough and tumble political campaigns? Hashtag: #trylivingincoeurdalene

The Maze

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Wild Card/Thursday — 10.24.13

My Fantasy Football team is a game above .500. The pup hasn't had an accident in the house in 2 days. The campaigns for city offices are entering the far turn (with campaign finance reports due again next Tuesday). The page-view turnstiles are clicking above 10,500-11,000 page-views per day. In other words … another fairly usual day dawns in the Land of the Huckleberries. And it's time to play the Wild Card …

Parting shot — 10.24.13

An ambivalent seven-month-old Jude Whittington gnaws away at his pumpkin pants while his parents, Colin and Katie Whittington, try to coax a smile for a festive fall photo in Memphis, Tenn., Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Jim Weber)

No Bullying Found In 91-0 HS Victory

Aledo (Texas) football coach Tim Buchanan said the district has completed its investigation and found “no grounds” for bullying after a parent from the losing team filed a complaint following Aledo's 91-0 win over Fort Worth Western Hills on Friday. Aledo, The Associated Press' No. 1-ranked Class 4A team in the state, led 56-0 at the half and went on to the lopsided victory despite playing mostly second- and third-team players in the final two quarters. Buchanan said he had his punt returner fair-catch balls after he had two long returns (including a touchdowns) in the first half. He put in his backups and simplified the playbook, but that didn't stop his team from scoring points in bunches/ESPN. More here. (AP file photo: Action from first quarter of Aledo-Fort Worth Western Hills high school football game)

Question: What would you have done if you'd been the coach of the team that was winning by a lopsided score?

The Slice: All Over The Map

In his blog, The Slice, SR colleague Paul Turner asks readers if they still use paper maps when traveling. Here's a sampling of responses to the question about how many people still use paper highway maps. “We just returned from a 4,100 mile trip to Iowa and Indiana and yes, we used paper maps all the way,” wrote Jerry Hargitt. “We do have a GPS that we keep handy in a bag in case we need it, but we didn't. When I plan a new trip, I get out my collection of paper maps. Nothing else will do.” “I always keep AAA highway maps in my car (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, BC and Alberta), but my husband doesn't,” wrote Sharon Forsyth. “Neither of us have vehicles with satellite navigation systems, but we both have smart phones. Problem is, there's miles and miles of country in these parts that are out of cell range. Never fails that when we lose cell range and need a map, we're in my husband's car.” More here.

Question: I still use paper highway maps when traveling, especially in and around Portland, Ore. How about you? Do you rely on your GPS system or use paper maps?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.24.13

The Post Falls Police Department Facebook wall provides this post, under the heading, “Have you seen this bike?” — “It is a Silver and Blue NEXT All Terrain Pro Bicycle. It is an 18 speed also shows aluminum series on front part of frame and power stroke sticker on front shock. There is a black wide gel 'Bell' seat on it. Bike appears brand new. If you see this or have information regarding the theft, please call Detective Gunderson reference Case 13PF19813. JN.”

  • 5:45 p.m. ISP is seeking mini van that glanced off another vehicle during a merge @ s/b H95/Cocalalla area.
  • 5:29 p.m. 50YO diabetic male having trouble breathing @ McDonalds Hamburger on Appleway/CdA.
  • 5:21 p.m. CPD Blues seeking 2013 gray Toyota RAV stolen from Coeur d'Alene High parking lot today.
  • 5:05 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 23-24 here.
  • 4:42 p.m. Male driver unconscious, unresponsive after hitting boulder in front of 10251 W. Prairie; CPR in progress. Off-duty Northern Lights medic called in crash.
  • 4:39 p.m. Someone injured in fall in 7900 block of Banning Lane/CdA.

Cutline Contest — 10.24.13

Time 2 Vote …

Nurse Dee Reynolds cares for a little Colombian tarantula, one of her 50 tarantulas at her home in Los Angeles. Tarantulas are the heaviest, hairiest, scariest spiders on the planet. They have fangs, claws and barbs. They can be as big as dinner plates, and the females eat the males after mating. But there are many people who call these creepy critters a pet or a passion and insist their beauty is worth the risk of a bite. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Question — Sisyphus, with 12 likes: “DFO checks himself in to the asylum after election day.” Runnerup — Flatlander, with 9 likes: “The joker ponders how he evaded capture from Batman for years, yet was done in by OrangeTV in one happy hour using just Tootsie Roll martinis.” You can see Wednesday Photo and all cutline contest entries here.

Post Falls: Anti-LCDC Brochure Wrong

A recently circulated brochure critical of the Lake City Development Corporation (LCDC), and urban renewal agencies in general, produced under the signature of State Representative Kathleen Sims, Sharon Culbreth and Frank Orzell, made assertions regarding the City of Post Falls that Post Falls officials say are untrue. The brochure states that the City of Post Falls received $890,000 of unspent urban renewal funds and considered using them “to fund city employee salary increases”. City Finance Director Jason Falkner and City Administrator Shelly Enderud say the assertion in the brochure is simply untrue. The funds which came back to taxing districts as a result of delays by agencies reviewing project improvements involving Interstate 90 were never considered for ongoing expenses. Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin, and mayoral candidates Kerri Thoreson and Ron Jacobson and other members of the city council, confirmed that the representations made in the brochure are incorrect, and that the funds were budgeted for one-time capital expenses and essential capital reserves/Kit Hoffer, City of Post Falls. More here.


In Other News — 10.24.13

The North Idaho College Theatre Department is presenting The Diary of Anne Frank, directed NIC alum Tracey Vaughan at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24, 25, 31; and Nov. 1 and 2. There will also be two special speaking events on Oct. 25 and Oct. 31. More here.

HBO Blogosphere Rdp: 10.24.13

“Just days, maybe even hours remain of the height of our fall splendor.” posts Marianne Love/Slight Detour. “If the wind blows like it did yesterday morning, we may lose a good portion of the brilliance sooner rather than later.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, Oct. 23): 10,971 page-views/5497 unique views

Otter, Fulcher Similar On K-12

State Sen. Russell Fulcher is positioning for a run for governor, and he has been outspoken about the state’s controversial health insurance exchange. He calls it Gov. Butch Otter’s “regrettable decision to voluntarily thrust Idaho into Obamacare.” When it comes to public education — which accounts for nearly one half of the state’s budget — Fulcher has been nearly silent. He did not respond to Idaho Education News’ repeated requests for an interview this week. But Fulcher’s voting record shows that he was in line with Otter on every major education issue of 2013. Fulcher, R-Meridian, filed the paperwork Saturday for a possible gubernatorial run, naming a political treasurer. This is required in order to raise campaign funds — but it doesn’t mean Fulcher has decided to run/Kevin Richert, IdahoED News. More here.

Denney Launches State Campaign

About 25 backers, including a half-dozen GOP state lawmakers, joined former House Speaker Lawerence Denney in the Statehouse today to launch his campaign for Idaho Secretary of State. Flanked by family members including wife Donna, Denney said, “Donna and I have been prayerfully considering this move for quite some time … and we have decided that now is the time.” Denney said if elected, he’d work to stop the state Land Board from acquiring commercial property as part of the state endowment; address unspecified problems in Idaho elections that he said he’s heard about from people around the state; and oppose any move to a vote-by-mail system in Idaho. “Sure vote by mail is easier and it’s cheaper, but we cannot protect the integrity of the ballot,” he said/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (SR file photo: Denney as Speaker of the House in 2011)

Question: Denney will oppose any move to a vote-by-mail system? Deal breaker for me. Here's hoping Ben Ysursa seeks re-election. What do you think?

Souza Denounces City Investigation

The above flyer began from the Souza for Mayor campaign began arriving in Coeur d'Alene mailboxes this week.

On her “Truth Page,” mayoral candidate Mary Souza examines “Issue No. 8,” which she titles, “The city if investigating one of our campaign donations.” In the post, she tells of a meeting with City Clerk Renata McLeod and Deputy City Attorney Warren Wilson, whom she described as “quite unfriendly and unprofessional,” to discuss the contribution from Ocean of Life Foundation. The meeting ended abruptly when campaign organizer Becky Funk turned on a recorder. You can read all about it here. Mary observes: “They are fishing for something, anything to make my campaign look less than honest.  There is nothing to find, but they will keep the appearance of uncertainty hanging in the air.”


Halloween Treat

Baby elephant Bowie checks out a frozen Halloween candy corn treat at the Fort Worth Zoo Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Question: The only time I eat candy corn is at Halloween. And I don't think I like it. How about you?

News Quiz — 10.20-24.13

If you've been tracking current events — or even if you haven't — you have a shot at winning this week's news quiz. All entrants are eligible to win two movie tickets, and our overall champ will take home a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. Good luck! News Quiz here.

  • Answer to Question No. 1: 1983.
  • Berry Pickers on Leaderboard: Rational Universe, Another Perspective, Duffer, RaynTim, Sid Fredrickson, Fort Boise.

Idaho: The Finland Of Math Scores

When it comes to test scores in math, Idaho lands on the map smack dab between Finland and Ontario. (Canada, that is, not Oregon.) In science, Idaho is a little north of Hong Kong, and a little south of the Russian Federation. Those are the geographically jumbled results of a new study that looks at how individual states stack up, internationally, on math and science tests. The bottom line: Idaho outperformed the international averages in both disciplines — but lagged behind nations such as Japan, Chinese Taipei and the Republic of Korea (or South Korea)/Kevin Richert, The EDge, IdahoED News. More here.

Question: Are you OK with Idaho test scores, in comparison to other countries?

Labrador Pup Helps Kids Read

Puppies flew through the air at Westview Elementary earlier this month. The plush yellow and black Labs landed in the outstretched arms of dozens of excited first-graders. These puppies have an important job: For the rest of the year they will serve as reading buddies to their first grade companions. The dogs and their accompanying reading logs are part of Learning with Lucky, a reading incentive program. The initiative was created in 2005 in Coeur d’Alene by insurance agent Camy Popiel and elementary teacher Cathy Bayes/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (SR photo: Westview Elementary first-grader Preston Duncan, center, snuggles his new stuffed Labrador puppy during a gathering of classmates being introduced to the Learning with Lucky reading program)

Did/do your kids enjoy reading? How did/do you encourage that?

Surprise Party Raises $855 For Behan

As his wife’s 40th birthday approached, Rob Brewer knew he wanted to do something memorable for Lorna. He planned a surprise party complete with purple streamers and paper plates. He ordered a cake and swore their friends to secrecy. But the biggest surprise was the gift he chose. He created a Lorna’s Surprise Party fundraiser to benefit the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery/CindyH, SR. More here. (SR photo: Lorna and Rob Brewer are shown with their daughters, Winnie, 1, Dot, 5, and Lucy, 3. Rob threw a surprise birthday party for Lorna on Oct. 6)

Question: Have you ever hosted/been given a surprise party?

All For Halloween, Say ‘Eye’

Cake artist Sarah King displays her eyeball cakes at the 'Feed the Beast extreme cake shop' in London on Thursday. The Halloween themed cake shop will have a 6ft long devil horse cake dripping blood, and the giant rotting maggot riddled section of a Kraken eye. Smaller items include rotting chocolate hands and feet, wound cupcakes and maggot topped gluten free cupcakes, it is open at The Rag Factory near Brick Lane in London Saturday & Sunday. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Question: Anyone out there bake strange Halloween treats?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.24.13

  • 12:38 p.m. Disorderly male is bothering motorists @ H95/I-90, CdA.
  • 12:16 p.m. CPD Blues seeking male in hoodie & baggy pants on bike @ w/b Appleway, unknown reason.
  • 12:13 p.m. Neighbor reports 3 males in rental truck stopped @ vacation home on Granite Loop, Bonner County.
  • 11:57 a.m. Someone is suffering chest pain in 3900 block of E2nd/Post Falls.
  • 11:29 a.m. Officer reports graffiti removed from businesses @ 18th/Sherman, CdA.
  • 11:15 a.m. Someone hurt in fall in 1100 block of W. 1st Ave/Post Falls.
  • 11:01 a.m. Someone has reported large oil spill extending from mouth of Spokane River to Coeur d'Alene Resort.
  • 10:51 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency reported in 500 block of Aqua Avenue/CdA.
  • 10:39 a.m. Caller reports loose moose (10:33 item) is “hunkered down” along Mullan, Post Falls.
  • 10:33 a.m. A male on a motorcycle is chasing a loose moose @ H41/Mullan, Post Falls.
  • 10:30 a.m. An older male is sitting in parking lot, drinking, and watching nearby day care, 1261 Seltice Way/Post Falls.
  • 10:27 a.m. 67YO female is having trouble breathing @ Liberty Dialysis, Hayden.
  • 9:11 a.m. 66YO female has regained consciousness after passing out in 2000 block of Govt Way, CdA.
  • 9:03 a.m. 15YO female is okay after cutting herself @ Post Falls High.
  • 8:47 a.m. 70YO male suffering chest pain @ E. Park/Bay, Post Falls.
  • 8:43 a.m. 77YO female is unconscious in 500 block of S. Idaho/Post Falls.
  • 8:22 a.m. Undisclosed suspicious circumstance reported in 1000 block of E. Howard/Athol.

OpenCDA Goes After Reporter Selle

Looks like Bill McCrory of is attacking the messenger today, as a result of recent reporting by Jeff Selle of the Coeur d'Alene Press on the Coeur d'Alene city elections. McCrory, who founded with Mary Souza and Dan Gookin and who recently dubbed Steve Widmyer unfit to be Coeur d'Alene mayor, now is saying, basically, that Selle's unfit to be a newspaper reporter. (Personally, I think Jeff has done a superb job reporting local news since he returned to the newspaper business. He was a very good hire by Mike Patrick and the Coeur d'Alene Press.) Recently, Selle has been threatened for an article on mayoral fund-raising by Rev. Tom Wold of the Ocean of Life Foundation (who left a recording that warned: “So, with that, I expect you to act professional,” he said. “If you can't, we'll pursue a little farther and faster after you.”) Now, he's being publicly flayed by Souza's long-time sidekick. Is Jeff getting too close to some truth here? McCrory's article here.


AM Headlines — 10.24.13

A pile of rubble is all that remains of the front of Wink Salon on Hess Street in Hayden after a driver lost control of their vehicle and ran into the front of the building Wednesday afternoon while pulling in to a parking space for the neighboring business. The Salon will remain open while the entry way is repaired. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Gabe Green)


Unfit For Mayor Site Goes Live

Update: Site pulled. See comments

A Web site dubbed “Unfit for Mayor” (playing off the words that leveled at Steve Widmyer) just went live. The Web site, launched by Jennifer Drake & Sara Meyer of the Decline to Sign organization that successfully fought RecallCDA last year, explains its mission:

Mary Souza once said that “Past performance is the best predictor of future behavior. The surface may look good, but if there's any garbage hidden away we want to find it now, before the deal is complete. We can't afford to take chances with our future.” There is much truth to this statement.  This website takes a look at Ms. Souza’s past performance as a member of this community through her quotes and writings, in order to predict how she would behave as a future mayor.  And there is cause for concern. Mary Souza has proven herself to be one of the most divisive and negative members of this community.  She has used her platform as a columnist and founding member of Recall CDA and OpenCDA to abuse the public’s trust by spreading lies, rumors, and belittling comments about people simply because they share opinions contrary to her own.  While she claims to be a responsible citizen simply asking questions, her style is contentious at best.  Her writing is full of rampant speculation, personal attacks, and manipulation of the truth. You can see the Web site here.


This Time I Stopped At Old Mission

A Facebook Friend posts: “Stopped at the Cataldo Mission today. Have driven by it a hundred times but never have stopped. Love to spend more time there. Beautiful site if you haven't been there. Even more so with the changing colors of the trees. Purchased a cross for my beautiful wife and I as a blessing to our marriage. Already have it on the wall.”

Question: When did you last stop at the Cataldo Mission?

Idahoans Want Raul Back At Table

Idaho GOP Congressman Raul Labrador is using “immigrant families as pawns in his political games,” say the Idaho Community Action Network and Coalition for Immigration Rights of Idaho. Reform advocates say they will deliver the last of 2,500 petitions to Labrador’s Meridian office at 1 p.m. Thursday, along with pawns from a chess set and an attached message: “Congressman Labrador we are not your pawn, we are not a game you can play your political games with.” A news conference will follow. The groups are urging Labrador to “return to the bipartisan table and hammer out a pathway to citizenship that works for all Americans”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you want Congressman Labrador to return to be part of immigration reform talks again?

Read more here:

Souza Campaign Donor Identified

Item: Campaign contribution is subject of city probe: Ocean of Life contributor identified/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: After The Press informed Souza that it was going to publish a story on the matter, Souza returned the Ocean of Life Foundation's $1,000 contribution the same day, and later mentioned in her newsletter that the director re-issued a check to her campaign and in the process, was publicly revealing his name, which is Rev. Thomas Wold. Just before the article went to press last week, Wold did reveal his identity to the editor of The Press. He gave his name with the understanding that, because the donation had been returned, his identity not be disclosed in that story. The Press article ran without his name. Based on his earlier voicemail message, the article quoted Wold saying he had made several contributions to campaigns in the city council races, but “(The Press) haven't found that out yet.” Souza also refused to identify the director of the foundation at that time, saying the donor wanted to remain anonymous.

Previous: Souza returns Ocean of Life Foundation donation/Jeff Selle, Press

Question: So why all the fuss re: concealing Rev. Wold's involvement in Souza campaign?

Rental Car Mix-Up Brings Lawsuit

A North Idaho family detained by police at gunpoint after their loaner car from a Spokane BMW dealership was mistakenly reported stolen is suing Lithia Motors and Camp Automotive. Casey and Sheree Bryntesen describe a harrowing experience they say left them and their two children traumatized, and they are seeking more than $2.2 million plus punitive damages. Dylan Jackson, a Seattle attorney representing Oregon-based Lithia and Camp Automotive, said the business made a “clerical error” and the company apologized to the family and offered them “substantial restitution, but they refused to take it.” The family, which lives in the Wolf Lodge area east of Coeur d’Alene, said they were on their way to a Bible study at a friend’s house the evening of June 19. Their 11-year-old son, 9-year-old daughter and family dog were in the back of the BMW sedan, the replacement car Camp had provided while their car was in the shop for repairs, the suit states/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Is this dealership snafu lawsuit-worthy?

Foggy Morning

Metal-sculpted flowers up to 40-feet tall frame the 605-foot Space Needle as it become obscured by fog Wednesday in Seattle. Forecasters say a mostly dry, high pressure system that has been sitting over the Northwest for a couple of weeks is causing dense fog in many parts of Washington. The National Weather Service said visibility early Wednesday morning in the central Puget Sound area was a quarter-mile or less. The high pressure has created a condition where the coast and mountains are sometimes more likely to see sunshine than lowlands and valleys. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Question: Do you like fog?

Thieves Steal Military Plaques

Metal thefts have taken a new twist in Post Falls. Five metal plaques with emblems of each branch of the military were pried from the concrete base of a memorial at Q'emiln Riverside Park sometime between Monday and Friday last week, police say. The crime happened with Veterans Day coming up on Nov. 11. Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug said the vandalism/theft is sickening, and two detectives have been assigned to the case part-time. “It defaces the idea of honoring our military,” Haug said. The plaques are 2 inches thick and 15 inches in diameter. It's unclear what type of metal they are made of, but city officials originally believed the plaques are brass, which would make them valued at an estimated $700 each/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Courtesy photo: Coeur d'Alene Press)

Question: What kind of two-bit scum would do something like this?

Shaken, Unhurt After Moose Mishap

Luck, a wise soul once observed, is the residue of good design. In which case I’d like to thank the Toyota Corp., its American and Canadian auto parts manufacturers, its Texas assembly workers and anyone else who had anything at all to do with my very first pickup that I bought about a month ago. All the good design that went into my 2013 Toyota Tacoma made for a happy ending at about 10:30 p.m. last Friday. That’s when I collided with a moose who picked a really bad time to gallop across U.S. Highway 395, about 3 miles south of Colville. Air bags. Seat belts. Anti-lock brakes … I never gave much thought to modern vehicular safety features. Not until we blessedly came to a stop, that is. My lovely wife, Sherry, and I walked away shaken yet amazingly unscathed. Couldn’t say the same for the poor moose, alas/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever hit a moose, deer or elk on the road?

Obamacare Limits

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Hump Day Wild Card — 10.23.13

We had the first house-accident-free day with the new pup, Huckleberry, as training intensifies at the Oliveria Homestead. She's starting to understand there's only room for one alpha male on the property. The key to dog training? Patience. Consistency. And a good Beagle training book. Now, while we wait to see if the Reagan Republicans conjure any other Holocaust reference (“Never Again”) to refer to the Coeur d'Alene city elections, I'll post today's Wild Card and search for pertinent fodder …

Parting Shot — 10.23.13

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester throws in the outfield before Game 1 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday in Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Question: Does anyone out there care which side wins the World Series this year?

Whatta Week

A Facebook Friend from Bonners Ferry posts:Wow what a week. Scarywood with the kid and some friends, sold a car (one more to go to clear out the lot, lol), had a bike stolen, dog had a seizure and smacked a deer with the wife's car. I think I need a vacation.

Question: Anyone have a more harrowing week then my friend?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.23.13

  • 5:30 p.m. CPD Blues ushered stray dog into its back yard in 1200 block of E. Walnut/CdA.
  • 5:09 p.m. A couple is involved in a physical dispute in field behind U.S. Bank call center, Seltice Way/Atlas, CdA.
  • 4:42 p.m. Father is helping daughter change flat tire on I-90/MP 13 (4th Street, CdA).
  • 4:32 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency reported in 1900 block of Havichur Loop/Post Falls.
  • 4:21 p.m. A disabled, white Chevy Silverado is parly block e/b I-90/MP 18 (Yellowstone Trail).
  • 4:04 p.m. Driver of black Nissan Ultima, w/Montana plates, possibly DUI @ e/b I-90/MP 2 (Pleasantview).
  • 11 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

In Other News — 10.23.13

A water potato is extracted from the mud at Hawley's Landing, Heyburn State Park during the Coeur d'Alene Tribe water potato celebration on Tuesday. Story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Inlander Looks At CdA Mayor’s Race

With the city still reeling from one of the most heated stretches in recent history, all three candidates promise to heal the rift that's divided Coeur d'Alene. “We won't allow name-calling,” Souza said at the launch. “We will not allow juvenile behavior. And when citizens get up to speak, they'll be listened to, and they'll be treated well.” But on her campaign website, Souza links to older columns where she dubbed long-haired Woody McEvers a “hippy dippy councilman,” dismissed letters opposing a public vote for McEuen Field as “from cronies of the Mayor,” and criticized councilwoman Deanna Goodlander's mid-meeting coughing spells as “disruptive and unfair to anyone trying to give testimony.” Repeated attempts to schedule a phone or in-person interview with Souza over the past week were unsuccessful. Some supporters, like Councilman Dan Gookin, have found Souza's critical rhetoric refreshing. “She doesn't sugarcoat it,” Gookin says/Daniel Walters, Inlander. More here. (Photos: Inlander compilation, from left Mary Souza, Steve Widmyer & Joe Kunka)


HBO Blogosphere Rdp: 10.23.13

On his Facebook wall, Robin Loznak of Kellogg, Ore., posts this photo and the message: “Fall leaves cover an abandoned 1940's Chevrolet sedan decaying in thick brush along the Umpqua River near Elkton, Ore., on Sunday. When new, a similar vehicle like the 1941 Chevorlet Fleetline sedan, sold for only $877.” Robin calls this photo, “Back to Nature.” You can see more of his outdoor photography on his Facebook page here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, Oct. 22): 10,980 page-views/5655 unique views

Cutline Contest — 10.23.13

Time 2 Vote …

This booking photo provided by the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department shows Dennis Lalime, arrested Sunday, when returning from a Halloween party made up as “The Joker,” and charged with drunken driving after crashing his car in Pittsfield, Maine. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/ Somerset County Sheriff’s Department)

Tuesday Winner — Psalm 37, with 8 likes: “The whale shark appreciated the back massage before being helped back to the sea.” You can see Tuesday photo & all cutline entries here.

Beards Vs. Birds In World Series

In this combo of photos, Boston Red Sox players, top row from left, Jonny Gomes, Ryan Dempster, Mike Napoli and David Ortiz, and bottom row from left, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Dustin Pedroia, David Ross and Mike Carp sports beards during a workout at Fenway Park Tuesday in Boston. The Red Sox are scheduled to host the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of baseball's World Series tonight. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Question: If I were ruler of the universe, there would be no Duck Dynasty-type beards in baseball. What say you?

A Quiz For Foodies …

I am totally not a foodie. I took a food quiz provided by NPR via Twitter … and bombed. So I urge you to try your hand. Take the NPR foodie quiz here.

Study: Idaho Tax Burden 49th Lowest

Idaho’s tax burden per capita is 49th lowest in the nation, according to the latest results from an annual study by the Idaho State Tax Commission, and it’s the lowest among 11 western states. The study found that Idaho’s per-capita tax burden is $2,975, compared to $4,296 for the national average and a $3,648 median among western states. It compared individual and corporate income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and motor vehicle taxes, including fuel taxes and license and registration fees. Click below for the full announcement from the Tax Commission; you can see the full 50-page study here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Idaho's doing something correctly, right?

Trustee Recall Has 75% Of Signatures

A North Idaho school trustee who is pushing a plan to arm teachers could face a recall election. Opponents have gathered 75 percent of the signatures needed to launch a recall election against Lake Pend Oreille School Board chair Steve Youngdahl, according to Jessica Robinson of Boise State Public Radio. “There’s a fantasy that’s out there, that if we have all of these armed teachers, we’re going to deter this threat and the teachers are going to be able to return fire and it’s going to be more like a ‘Die Hard’ movie than a classroom,” Tom Bokowy, a Sandpoint area parent, told Robinson/Kevin Richert, The EDge/IdahoED News. More here.


Duane: Why Doesn’t GOP Pay Rent?

In the comments section, Duane Rasmussen posts: “Since the Libertarians have over run the Republican Party in Kootenai County and adopted a platform counter to the State Republican Party's platform, and since it is probably counter to the RNC's platform as well. I think it is time to dig in and start calling the artillery in on our own position. I think that is a Vietnam thing for those of you too young to remember. It can't really get much worse for Republicans. So I will ask the forbidden question: Why does the Republican Central Committee get to meet at the County Building rent free? I hear the Democrats do not meet there. It appears to be just a perk given to Republicans (now Libertarians) because the County Commissioners are Republicans. Do the County Commissioners have the courage to stand up to the Libertarians or they just more of the same thing? I hope they are not Libertarians in disguise.”

Question: Can someone tell Hucks Nation why the Kootenai County RINO Central Committee gets to use a room in the Kootenai County Courthouse rent free? Commissioners?

Autumn Tranquility

The lovely leaves of red and gold
drop silently when they grow old
and drift down noiseless to the ground
and quiet lay without a sound —
until the leaf blower guy shows up.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

New Widmyer Campaign Video

Here's Steve Widmyer's new YouTube video for his Widmyer for Coeur d'Alene mayor campaign:

Question: Good? Bad? So-So?


Hot Peppers Blues

A Lunch Poem by OrangeTV: “Jimmy John's, you finally grew on me and I basically dig you, I do. But you forgot the hot peppers on my Italian Night Club twice in a row and that makes me blue.

Question: What is the most important topping on your Jimmy Johns or Subway?

Mary Tells Backers To Observe Rules

On her Mary for Mayor CDA page, Coeur d'Alene mayoral candidate Mary Souza is cautioning her followers to play within the rules re: yard signs:We've had a number of yard signs being taken from supporter's properties. At the same time, some are accusing our campaign of putting signs where they should not be. Draw your own conclusion. Sometimes supporters on both sides can get overly zealous and resort to chicanery thinking it will help their candidate. Let's not make it a bigger deal than it is. Let's make sure our side does not engage in such tactics!”

Question: This is a word to the wise for all candidates and their followers, right?

Hudson’s In 100YO Restaurants Book

In an industry in which 70 percent fail within 10 years, Rick Browne explores the stalwarts, 100 restaurants, inns, taverns and public houses that have survived a century or longer. He offers a culinary history through America’s oldest dining rooms and their dishes, including one of Coeur d’Alene’s favorite burger joints/Adriana Janovich, SR. More here. (SR file photo: In his cookbook, author Rick Browne writes of the Huddy burger, “It is a very good burger. In fact, it’s so good that next time I’m going to get the double”)

Question: When did you last eat a Hudson's Hamburger?

Spokane Gets Nothing Bundt Cakes

Cake lovers rejoice. Nothing Bundt Cakes, a national chain, has opened its first Spokane franchise and is celebrating with a grand opening on Saturday. Although the bakery on 29th Avenue is the first store in Washington, Nothing Bundt Cakes has deep Spokane roots: Co-founder Debbie Schwetz is a 1975 Lewis and Clark High School graduate and still has family in the area. The inspiration for the Las Vegas-based business came when Schwetz’s good friend, Dena Tripp, brought a Bundt cake to her home for dessert. She’d dusted it with powdered sugar. Schwetz wondered why Tripp hadn’t used her frosting recipe; Tripp said frosting Bundt cakes is difficult. As the two friends shared the cake, talk turned to business. What if they found a way to pair Schwetz’s decadent butter cream cheese frosting with a moist, dense Bundt cake? Would people buy them? Could they open a Bundt cake business?/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (SR photo: Liz Kishimoto)

Question: What's your favorite cake?

S’mores For Dinner?

On her Facebook page, Cindy posts: “Sometimes when you can't decide what to make for dinner, it's best to start with dessert.” She combined graham crackers, marshmellows, chocolate, her five males and a fire to come up with this treat.

Question: How do you like your s'mores — golden or blackened? And what do you think that sez about you?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.23.13

  • 11:47 a.m. Motorist reports semi and tanker truck that passed him on n/b H95/MP 442 (Chilco) were speeding.
  • 11:42 p.m. Female & male companion are refusing to leave Budget Saver, 15th & Sherman, CdA.
  • 11:36 a.m. Caleb reports his back door was kicked in & tools stolen when he left house for half hour around midnight.
  • 11:05 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 22-23 here.
  • 10:44 p.m. Large, red dog is causing traffic to weave by running loose on e/b I-90/MP 1, Pleasantview, Post Falls.
  • 9:26 a.m. Unattended death reported in 1300 block of Indiana/CdA.
  • 9:24 a.m. Fist-sized rocks are lying @ intersection of H95/Wyoming, Hayden.
  • 9:01 a.m. Asphalt trucks reportedly dropping product on H53, near H95 intersection, Hayden.
  • 8:54 a.m. Deputy checking on loose cow he believes is owned by 81YO female.
  • 8:23 a.m. Male suffered head cut after tripping on curb in front of Fred Meyer garden center.

Poll: P&Zers Right To Vote Vs ULUC

  • Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation supported the recommendation from the county Planning & Zoning Committee to dump the controversial land-use planning code. 63 of 83 respondents (75.9%) took that position. Only 14 of 83 (16.28%) disagreed with the P&Z vote. 6 (7.23%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you think the Liberty Caucus in Idaho is truly Republican?

Ex-Lt Gov Backs Widmyer Ticket

Jack Riggs, the former Republican Lt. Gov. of Idaho & CEO of Pita Pit USA (HQ @ 105 N4th), has sent a letter to HucksOnline Central, endorsing Steve Widmyer for mayor and Amy Evans, Woody McEvers & Kiki Miller for council. He writes:

“Unfortunately, as a lifelong resident, I believe that the failed RECALL CDA attempt last year created some of the ugliest and most divisive local political fallout in my lifetime. For reasons I do not really understand, in the past few years an anti-business, anti-change, anti-growth sentiment has arisen from some groups in this area. While claiming some sort of altruistic motives, those with this sentiment are not the friends of business, nor the promoters of commerce.” Full letter here.


Student Charged With Killing Teacher

A 14-year-old Massachusetts high school student charged with killing a teacher has been ordered held without bail. Philip Chism was ordered held Wednesday at his arraignment in adult court on a murder charge in Salem. His defense attorney argued for the proceedings to be closed and her client to be allowed to stay hidden because of his age. The judge denied the request. Authorities say the teen killed well-liked Danvers High School math teacher Colleen Ritzer, whose body was found in the woods behind the school early Wednesday. The teen also was reported missing Tuesday after not coming home from school. He was spotted walking along a road early Wednesday/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Is it becoming too dangerous to be a teacher?

Mary Defends Time As Columnist

On her “Truth Page,” mayoral candidate Mary Souza explains why she's no longer a columnist for the Coeur d'Alene Press. Seems Mary was first granted the Press column, according to Mary, when she complained re: the newspaper's depiction of her in a story about a possible conflict of interest. She reportedly met with the Coeur d'Alene Press editor and the publisher and was granted a weekly column that was first published on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006. She lost the column during the fall 2007 elections “when all the incumbents were re-elected. The Hagadone group, who owns the newspaper and the CdA Resort, was rumored to be applying for city permits at that time, to expand their operations, so they had to make nice with the city. (elections have consequences).” Mary goes on to say the column was brought back a year later. Sez Mary: The Press “gave me the prime placement at the top of the Sunday Opinion page, and paid me more than they’ve ever paid a columnist, according to the editor.” She dismisses the claim that she lost the column due to inaccuracies. Full “Truth Page” report here.

  • DFO: Now we need a “Truth Report” on Christie Wood's claim that Mary secretly taped her during a three-hour coffee talk. And we need to know why she's keeping the identity of the Ocean of Life Foundation donor of $1000 secret.

Question: Did you read Mary's column back when?

AM Headlines — 10.23.13

“I found one!” said Ronnie Nelson, a fourth-grader from Harrison Elementary School, as he held up his first water potato during the Coeur d’Alene Tribe water potato celebration at Heyburn State Park on Tuesday. Jon Firehammer, research fisheries biologist for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, helped in the hunt for potatoes. SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Which State Best Suits You?

Seems Time magazine has come up with a test re: various personality traits that shows which state is most suitable for you. I, apparently, belong in Arizona. Which is a nice thought with winter coming on. After you take the test, tell us which state best suits your mood. Take test here..H/T: Nathan Empsall (via Facebook)

Nic: Lost In The ‘90s

On his Facebook wall, Nic posts: “Yesterday, I saw someone on roller blades which brought back lots of 90s era memories. Today, my brother posted a preview for a movie that stars both Kevin Sorbo and Dean Cain - seriously, Hercules and Superman… in the same movie. Again, tons of 90s flashbacks. Then, as I'm folding laundry, I think 'Since I'm reliving the 90s, my mom is probably listening to the radio somewhere - and knowing her, it's probably KBSG (which back in the day was an oldies station). And - after thinking about the golden oldies, I suddenly have Marvin Gaye stuck in my head. I heard it through the grapevine. Yes, that's how I roll.

Question: Which decade are you lost in? Why?

Coldwater Creek Considers Changes

It's too early to tell what Coldwater Creek's exploration of “strategic alternatives” will mean for the community. Company leaders recently announced the board's executive committee was investigating several options to enhance the company's value, including partnerships, joint ventures or a sale or merger. However, local economic experts and company officials aren't speculating whether or not the company will take any action - or what changes would be required from potential actions - based on those investigations. “We're a huge supporter of what Coldwater Creek is trying to do to improve its position,” said Karl Dye, executive director of the Bonner County Economic Development Corporation/Cameron Rasmusson, Bonner County Bee. More here.

Question: Do you buy much Coldwater Creek stuff?

Local GOP Backs Liberty Caucus

It's an issue that has been brewing within the Republican Party since January, when the state central committee officially sanctioned a liberty-based caucus within its party ranks. It played out locally Tuesday night, when one member of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee called on the committee to withhold support from the Republican Liberty Caucus until it brings its platform in line with the party's official platform. The motion was vigorously debated, but in the end the central committee voted overwhelmingly against the motion, and allowed them to continue supporting the organization. Committeeman Matt Roetter, who made the motion, sees the RLC as hijacking the party from inside/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: So is it time to start calling the local Republican governing board the Kootenai County RINO Central Committee?

Fulcher Launches Exploratory Effort

Idaho Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, (pictured) has replaced his Senate campaign website with a Russ Fulcher for Governor Exploratory Committee site, headlined “Listening to You. Listening to Idaho.” Fulcher is exploring a race against two-term Republican Gov. Butch Otter, focused on Otter’s decision to press lawmakers to adopt a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Otter is one of only three Republican governors to oversee a state-run exchange. The others are in Nevada and New Mexico. On Monday, Fulcher said he would post a schedule of his two-week “listening tour” on the website, “if not today, in the next day or two.” Fulcher said he plans to begin his tour next week to test support for a run against Otter, who has continuously held high office since 1987/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Good grief! I might have to vote for Butch in the GOPrimary, after all. How about you?

Read more here:

Vestal: 4000 Books Read & Counting

Paul Wasson is reading his 4,000th book since 1971. Or perhaps that should be cast in the past tense: He was reading it, as of Tuesday. By now, he’s probably on 4,001. Wasson, a Spokane attorney and omnivorous reader, has been taking in a couple of books a week since he graduated from Gonzaga University. It’s a whole lot of books, and while there are surely others who have read as much, Wasson’s careful habit of tracking everything he’s read – an inch-thick list covering 42 years – makes him unusual even in the world of book gluttony. Anyone who has enjoyed a long reading life would envy Wasson his record-keeping – a massive accounting of the nourishing and enjoyable hours spent with your nose in a book. “It’s just slightly under 1,000 books a decade, a hundred books a year,” he said/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: How many books have you read this year (estimate)? Best one?

Moose Hang Out In North Spokane

A bull and cow moose hang out in a North Spokane neighborhood on Monday, before Washington Fish and Wildlife officers tranquilized them and moved them out of the Indian Trail neighborhood for public safety. (Courtesy photo to SR: Bryan Olesen)

Two moose that had checked out a school playground in the Indian Trail neighborhood were tranquilized and removed Monday by state wildlife officers, but not before the 900-pound bull knocked down a wooden fence. “Some kids at Woodridge Elementary School called their parents with a great excuse for why they weren’t walking home right after school – a moose was in the way,” said Madonna Luers, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman. Moose are still in their mating season, which is why the bull was pursuing the cow and why other moose incidents are being reported around Spokane, said wildlife officer Mike Sprecher. “It’s not safe for them to be hanging around a school and along Indian Trail Road”/Rich Landers, SR. More here.

Question: Are the moose running loose in Kootenai County this year?

Kicking Idahoans Is Smart Politics

In Idaho, a politician who takes the right - even popular - step for his state and constituents flirts with disaster. The politically safe play is to kick the very people who elected you. Shutting down the federal government and threatening default on the national debt hurt Idaho.Because it is a poor state, Idaho gets $1.28 back from the federal government for every $1 in taxes it sends back to Washington, D.C. The Gem State has a disproportionately large number of people who work for federal contractors - such as the Idaho National Laboratory at Idaho Falls and Mountain Home Air Force Base.Tourism, agriculture, forestry and construction depend on the battalion of federal employees working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and the Small Business Administration/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: More evidence that the only one of the Idaho congressional delegation who voted correctly re: government shutdown/debt ceiling deal was U.S. Rep. Simpson?

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Oct. 31 won't mark the end of frightful things. Around here, it might be the beginning. Smear campaigns aimed at blasting a political foe without adequate time to rebut are nothing new, but with municipal elections more heated than any we remember, this election season might set a record for ugliness. In recent days we've seen personal attacks in the comments section of that go well beyond fair criticism. A number of alleged “facts” are also false, raising the stakes unwisely and unnecessarily. We also have seen the seeds of not-so-subtle harassment being sowed. The anonymous commenter who listed the personal properties owned by one candidate and also provided the name, address and phone number of one of that candidate's children was stunned when she learned that she'd been banned from the website. That's how far the disconnect has grown for some bloggers who might or might not also be working for specific campaigns. Civility? Apparently, some people don't understand the meaning of the word. That or they just don't care/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Is the 2013 Coeur d'Alene city elections the most heated local one in your memory? Or (for oldtimers here) does it fail to reach the level of intensity of the Mitchell-Amaro judicial race a few years back?

Marriage Equality

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Wild Card/Tuesday — 10.22.13

Another wild day at Huckleberries Online ends, with some technical difficulties experienced along the way — and a whole lotta blog posts on both sides. We're beginning to enter the final phase of municipal election 2013, which has left many of you with raw nerves. We should have fun here in the next two weeks, before taking a break from politics until the 2014 Legislature begins. Then, we'll need to plan for the Blogfest 2010 in February and watch as the Tea Party Lite and Tea Party wings of the local/state GOP fight for legislative/state/county seats. As for now … it's time to head home. Here's your evening Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.22.13

Mike Rader pours the first flight of cabernet sauvignon earlier today as judging began for Wine Press Northwest's 14th annual Platinum Judging at Clover Island Inn in Kennewick, Wash. More than 600 wines from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia are judged over three days. To qualify, a wine has to have won gold in a previous competition. Results will be published in the winter issue of Wine Press Northwest. (AP Photo/Tri-City Herald, Kai-Huei Yau)

Question: Do you consider yourself to be a connoisseur of fine wine?

Simple Mind: No Tombstone For Me

Those who know me, know that I don't plan on being buried in a cemetery… that I will be cremated and blown to the wind.I have gone to the cemetery and put the flowers on the grave, like most. Usually the King and I do it the weekend before Memorial Day. He puts flowers on his parents grave and I put some on my husband who passed away in 1986, which is close by.  So I do know the routine.But in this day and age, your kids are spread across the land. And I don't find it fair to make them feel like they have to either feel guilty because  they don't come to the grave and place flowers, or have to do so. So there won't be a tombstone in a cemetery for me.  What I have chose is a bench in a park… for everyone to sit and view the beautiful scene, that I so enjoy now./From A Simple Mind. More here. (City of Coeur d'Alene photo: angel tombstone at Forest Cemetery)

Question: Do you plan on having a tombstone?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.22.13

  • 6:13 p.m. Drunk female is yelling/screaming at Hayden tavern on Government Way.
  • 6:01 p.m. Caller reports smoke, unknown source, in 1300 block of E. Mullan/Post Falls.
  • 5:47 p.m. Caller reports another driver drove slowly through CdA on H95 & then may have pointed gun at him near Meadowbrook, south of Spokane River.
  • 5:39 p.m. Dog reportedly running loose on sidewalk around Kootenai Health.
  • 5:08 p.m. Panhandler sticking head in windows in front of Walgreens @ H95/Appleway, CdA.
  • 4:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 21-22 here.
  • 4:30 p.m. 2-vehicle crash reported @ 3rd/Miller, CdA.
  • 4:19 p.m. Tires on fire on brown Ford Blazer @ w/b I-90/MP 1 (Beck Road, Post Falls).
  • 10 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

In Other News — 10.22.13

Photographer Don Sausser didn't provide info re: these girls playing in leaves in a Coeur d'Alene yard. But it doesn't need much of an explanation. Do you recall playing in leaves when you were young?

Cutline Contest — 10.22.13

Time 2 Vote …

An Indonesian youth walks on the back of a beached whale shark as fishermen prepare to pull it back to the sea at Kenjeran beach in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Tuesday. The whale survived and successfully released back into the sea. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Trisnadi)

Monday Winner — Eman, with 7 likes: “This is gonna leave a mark.” You can see Monday photo and all the cutline entries here.

Press Poll: Balance Or RRepubs?

At the Coeur d'Alene Press Online site today, the poll question asks readers which political action committee do they trust more — Balance North Idaho or Kootenai County Reagan Republicans. There's also an option for “neither.” Click here.

Prosecutor: ISPer ‘Justified’ In Killing

An Idaho State Trooper was justified in shooting a Montana motorist who grabbed a gun during a police check along Interstate 90 at Lookout Pass in June, Shoshone County Prosecuting Attorney Keisha Oxendine said today. Alexander L. Mandarino, 26, of Whitefish, Mont., died from a single gunshot wound to the chest. Trooper Todd McDevitt fired the shot as Mandarino and Shoshone County Deputy Adam Durflinger wrestled over possession of Mandarino’s handgun, an investigation by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office found. Mandarino “posed an immediate and continuing danger to the officers on scene,” Oxendine said in a statement released today/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

KCSD Finds 200 Pieces Of Mail

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office recently located over 200 pieces of mail, belonging to over 70 different people, abandoned off Howard Rd, north of Highway 54, near the City of Athol. This mail is believed to have been stolen from resident’s mailboxes between Spirit Lake and Bayview. It is unknown when the thefts occurred, but it is believed to be sometime between Oct. 10-13. We are currently working at identifying and contacting the victims in these cases/KCSD press release. More here.

Gridley: I Didn’t Talk To Souza

“The city attorney told me I have followed all the laws and have provided them with all the information they requested, but the “investigation” will continue until after the election — Mary Souza, in Oct. 21 newsletter.

City Attorney Mike Gridley sent Huckleberries the following email moments ago:

“I saw that Mary Souza has distributed a newsletter claiming that she has talked to the “City Attorney” regarding irregularities and possible campaign finance law violations.  For the record I have never spoken to Ms. Souza regarding this matter and I have certainly never told her that she has followed all the election laws.  I understand that she did meet with Deputy City Attorney Warren Wilson and City Clerk Renata McLeod regarding this matter and requested a letter indicating that she is in full compliance with the Sunshine Laws but she was told that issuing  such a letter would be inappropriate until a final review of all of the required filings is completed after the election is over.  Because information regarding a questionable campaign contribution by an organization named “Ocean of Life Foundation” was brought to our attention, we requested additional information from Ms. Souza, which she has provided.  At this point, we have not been contacted by the person behind “Ocean of Life” and therefore cannot comment further on that matter.”


HBO Blogosphere Rdp: 10.22.13

On her Facebook wall, Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns posts this photo of fog on Priest Lake. (When I grow up, I want to be as good with a camera as Pecky is.

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, Oct. 21): 11,163 page-views/5126 unique views

When Steve Saved Tony

In an email to HucksOnline, Tony Stewart, former NIC instructor and human-rights activist, tells this story of a spring 1979 rafting outing on the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River with NIC tennis player Geoff Mould and Geoff's friend, Steve Widmyer:

It was early spring and the water was high with rapid flowing currents. As we came around a curve, we spotted several trees that had fallen into the river over the winter. The current was so swift that it drove our raft directly into the trees and held the raft against the trees. Geoff and I were thrown from the raft and I was pulled underneath the trees and trapped while Geoff was fighting the rapids trying to get back into the raft. The force of the water not only pinned me under the trees but emptied my pockets and I lost my eye glasses. I simply was trapped underneath the trees and unable to get out. But Steve reached over the raft and spotted one of my arms. He tightly grabbed on to my arm with both hands and pulled me from under the trees and into the raft. Full email here. (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo, of Tony Stewart)

Question: Where would the local human-rights movement be without Tony Stewart?


Huckleberries Hears …

… That New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be the featured speaker at a $1000-per-couple fundraiser for Gov. Butch Otter's re-election bid at the Coeur d'Alene Resort Dec. 6. Stay tuned.

Quotable Quote

“A friend suggests a new bumper sticker: “Hug a teacher, she gave her life to keep your kids alive” — Spokesman-Review Editor Gary Graham via Twitter.

County Republicans To Meet Tonight

When it meets tonight, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee will discuss:

  • Kootenai County Republican Central Committee agenda here.
  • A resolution asking for strict enforcement of current immigration laws, rather than a loosening of laws to provide fast-track citizenship for illegal aliens. Resolution here.
  • A resolution asking for the KCRCC to refuse to support Liberty Caucus functions, until that group can show on critical issues that it is strongly Pro-Life, Pro-Traditional Family and will endorse Republicans. Resolution here.


Women Still Dominate Yoga Practice

Journalists participate in a press preview of Yoga: The Art of Transformation at the Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery in Washington today. The Smithsonian Institution has organized what curators believe is the first exhibition about the visual history and art of yoga. The exhibition includes Indian sculpture, manuscripts and paintings, as well as posters, illustrations, photographs and films to showcase the history of yoga over 2,000 years. (AP photo)

At a yoga studio in the District recently, practitioners breathed, bent, twisted and stretched their way to a happier state. They left more relaxed, more energized, with better posture and a renewed outlook. But there was one curious thing: Of the 24 people in the room, only four were men. Studio owners and teachers in the Washington area say that this disparity is not unusual, no matter the time of day. Typically, they say, the ratio of women to men rarely goes much below 80-20. In fact, a 2012 survey by Yoga Journal found that of the 20.4 million people who practice yoga in the United States, only 18 percent of them are men/Eric Niiler, Washington Post. More here.

Question: Why don't more men you know practice yoga?

Tootsie Roll Martini, Anyone?

On his Facebook wall, Orange TV posts this comment: “This week during my Happy Hour shifts at Mik's I am going to feature a different Halloween related drink - today it's a Tootsie Roll martini! You hated getting them in your trick or treat bag as a kid, but you will LOVE this drink as an adult! Come see me after 4 and try one.”

Question: Is this something you would like to try?

Never Again — Reagan Republicans

In their latest attempt to scare partisans to the polls, the Reagan Republicans are circulating a mass mailing to Coeur d'Alene residents urging them to vote for their four endorsees for Coeur d'Alene mayor and City Council. This is the cover of the two-sided mailer, which also included an absentee ballot.

Question (FromUnda): “Honest question for the Jennifer Locke's and HMOffsuites around here: Specifically, how is your life different (for the worse) because of Obama being our President? And please, no “he's ruining our country!” nonsense. Solid examples that have affected you.”

Reagan Republicans Hit Mailboxes

A Berry Picker just brought in this Reagan Republican flyer that hit his mailbox today, conjuring the specter of President Barack Obama in an effort to scare partisans in voting for their four candidates. On the front of the flyer is a photo of Barack Obama waving and the words in capital letters: “NEVER AGAIN!”

Question: Seems like only yesterday that mayoral candidate Mary Souza, head of the Reagan Republican council ticket, was saying on her Truth Page that this is the most nonpartisan council election ever. Wait a minute … it was yesterday. Thoughts?

UI Experiences Fall Enrollment Drop

University of Idaho fall enrollment dropped 5 percent from 2012 to 11,844 students, the college reported Tuesday. Reasons for the decline: A 6 percent drop in the number of continuing students to 8,028. The drop was caused by students graduating more quickly because of the reduced number of credits needed to get a diploma and the falling number of first-year students in the three prior years, school officials said. U of I’s freshman class held about even at 1,638, up from 1,633/Bill Roberts, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you a graduate of an Idaho college or university?

Public Support For Legal Pot Hits High

A record number of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, according to a new released Tuesday. The poll, which was conducted Oct. 3-6, reports that 58 percent of the public support the legalization of marijuana, while 39 percent oppose it. The tide of public opinion appears to be rapidly turning in favor of legalization. In , Gallup found that 48 percent of Americans favored marijuana legalization compared to 50 percent who did not. Just over a decade earlier, in 2001, only 31 percent supported legalization while 64 percent opposed it. The first time Gallup recorded a majority of Americans in favor of legalization came in , when 50 percent said they supported it and 46 percent said they opposed it/Adam Wollner, NPR. More here.

Question: Do you support legalization of marijuana?

Turning Journalists Into ‘Linkalists’

In this sketch from “Portlandia,” a local newspaper reconfigures its business model to be a aggregation website focused explicitly on drawing in viewers with slideshows about sideboob, celebrity nip slips, stars with no makeup and stars with shaved heads. In other words, they cease being journalists, and become “linkalists” instead. This sets off the ire of the paper's longtime editor, played by George Wendt, who recognizes that the industry is changing but isn't sure that generating monster traffic with stories titled “Charlize Theron NSFW” is why he got into journalism/Ross Luippold, Huffington Post. “Portlandia” videos here. (AP/IFC photo, of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein in a scene from “Portlandia.”)

Question: Should HucksOnline post more fluff designed to boost page-view count?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.22.13

On its Facebook wall, Coeur d'Alene police report this 2002 silver Kia Rio Station Wagon stolen from 500 block of Appleway early Monday morning. The car is a 4 door with body damage on rear of vehicle. ID plates K488252. If you see it, call the police.

  • 12:09 p.m. Someone is suffering chest pain at Legacy House, 10900 W. Park Place.
  • 12:08 p.m. CPD is taking a teen female from Lake City High to juvenile detention.
  • 11:38 p.m. No injuries from 2-vehicle crash in front of Appleby's @ Hanley/Sunshine, CdA.
  • 11:26 a.m. Motorists are trying to catch dog running loose @ w/b I-90/MP 5.5 (Spokane/Post Falls).
  • 10 more items below

Rep Compares Tea Party To KKK

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), a liberal firebrand known for his controversial comments, compared the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan in an email to supporters that features a photo of a burning cross. In an interview with the Rev. Al Sharpton, quoted in the fundraising email, Grayson declares that “the Tea Party is no more popular than the Klan.” He also charges that the “ultimate Tea Party Republican desire” is to “bring about the End of Days.” The comments were blasted to Grayson's supporters in a Monday email that also features a picture of a burning cross, with two KKK members in the background, forming the first letter T of the words “Tea Party.” The KKK is known to burn crosses near communities they hope to intimidate/Alexander Jaffe, The Hill. More here. (AP photo)

Question: A bit of unhingement from the Democratic side of the aisle?

Not All Of GOP Stars Back Simpson

Eight-term Idaho Republican Congressman Mike Simpson announced Tuesday that his campaign organization includes five of seven state constitutional officers, the top leaders of the Idaho House and Senate and the state’s senior lawmaker, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo. Gov. Butch Otter and his wife, Lori, are the titular heads of the Simpson re-election campaign, and another 11 GOP officials or former officials are co-chairs. (Candidates dole out such titles liberally; Simpson is calling both Otters “campaign chairs.”) Their are four notable omissions on Simpson’s All-Star GOP roster: U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and Treasurer Ron Crane/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: What is your thoughts re: Mike Simpson of the 2nd Congressional District?

Read more here:

CdA Fireman’s Hobby Now 2nd Career

“I like making things with my hands,” said Blaine Porter as he talked about the outdoor wood stoves he makes from recycled materials at his home in Rathdrum on Friday. Blaine is a firefighter, this is a side business for him and he markets them to hunters and campers. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Dozens of discarded water heaters caught Blaine Porter’s eye at the Kootenai County Transfer Station. The grandson of a blacksmith, Porter founded himself sizing up the high quality of the steel in the tanks. It was the beginning of Second Round Wood Stoves, a line of custom-made stoves for camping and shops. Porter recycles water heaters, 55-gallon drums, old propane tanks and even military ammunition cans, transforming them into stove bodies. It’s a side business for the Coeur d’Alene firefighter, who enjoys welding. “I like repurposing something that would be thrown out and turning it into something useful,” said Porter, 44. “I’m not a big tree-hugger and I wear work boots instead of Birkenstocks. … But I think we should all do our part to leave the world a little better than we found it.” And, “I like that my product is keeping people warm,” he said/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Do you heat with wood?

Poll: Trustee Undeserving Of Recall

  • Monday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation considers at attempted recall of Bonner County Trustee Steve Youngdahl to be inappropriate. Youngdahl ignited a controversy by proposing to arm teachers in his Lake Pend Oreill School District. 85 of 113 respondents (75.22%) said the proposal is insufficient reason to recall the trustee. Only 25 of 113 (22.12%) said Youngdahl should face recall for his proposal. 3 (2.65%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Did the county P&Z make the right decision in recommending that the controversial land use code be dumped?

Dems Hope To Ride ‘Luna Law’ Failure

The last time an Idaho Republican failed to win a statewide campaign, the loser was Tom Luna. Democrats think they can do it again. Seizing on the sweeping defeat of Superintendent of Public Instruction Luna's K-12 reforms last November, Idaho's minority party wants to make education the signature issue of 2014. The Democrats' aim goes beyond unseating Luna. The party promises a vigorous challenge to Luna's close partner in enacting Students Come First, two-term GOP Gov. Butch Otter, as well as Republicans down the ticket. “The voters on Propositions 1, 2 and 3 voted against bad Republican ideas and they're going to vote against bad Republican candidates,” said Democratic Party Chairman Larry Kenck. “It not only points at Tom Luna. It points at Governor Otter and the whole Republican Party”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Republicans are fairly confident that they can do almost anything and get away with it in this ruby red state. But, sooner or later, they may be surprised that their candidates are no longer a lock to win. Do you think it'll be in 2014?

County Dumps Land Use Code Plan

It’s back to the drawing board for Kootenai County’s controversial land use code if County Commissioners accept the recommendations of its Planning and Zoning Commission. The planning commission on Monday voted to move forward on writing a new land use code without the help of Kendig Keast, the county’s land-use consultant which developed the controversial Unified Land Use Code. The commission met to consider a prospectus provided by the consultant that details what the county needs to do in order to simplify the ULUC and make it more user friendly. When Commission Chairman Wes Hanson laid out two options on how to proceed, Commissioner Linda Fillios provided a third option. “I have a third option. Get rid of it totally,” she said, adding she talked with several people of all different political persuasions and they all told her to “chuck it”/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Is it a good idea to re-start the process for the controversial land use code?

Larkin Ready For Life After Mayor

Mayor Clay Larkin's pickup truck license plate states he's a “Gadbout.” His office is filled with memorabilia, ranging from awards to groundbreaking shovels and hard hats to mussels on a pipe as a visual of how invasive species can wreak havoc on waterways. Larkin, who is not seeking re-election on Nov. 5, has just more than two months left as mayor. He said he's had an amazing time serving as mayor - or he wouldn't have been in the saddle for 13 years, longer than any of Post Falls' previous 35 mayors. “When I leave in January, I'll do so knowing I'm leaving the city a bit better than what it was when I took over as mayor,” Larkin said. Larkin announced last spring that he'd seek four more years, but a few months later, opted not to/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

DFO: I've been here so long that I remember covering a Post Falls candidates forum when then school board Trustee Clay Larkin was running for the City Council. I felt at the time that he was a good one. I think I was right. Then, Post Falls has had one good mayor after another dating back to Frank Henderson in the early '80s.

Question: What will Clay Larkin be remembered for, when he retires after 13 years of being Post Falls mayor?

AM Headlines — 10.22.13

Hugh Watson, the former North Idaho College mens basketball coach, is coaching basketball, at age 71, and not giving in to a diagnosis of incurable cancer. Jim Meehan SR story here. (SR file photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Press Poll: Arm Teachers

Recent Coeur d'Alene Press poll: Asked “Should public school employees be armed,” readers were fairly evenly divided. Only 72 voters (2 percent) were undecided, while 1,607 (51 percent) voted “yes” and 1,451 (47 percent) voted “no.”

DFO: In a similar poll @HucksOnline 63.64% of Hucks Nation opposed arming teachers.

Question: Which poll do you think more accurately reflects the will of North Idahoans?

Edit: Barry & Jim’s Silly Fed Land Plan

Barry Peterson, the man at the helm of the Idaho Republican Party, needs to go back to school. For that matter, so does Idaho County Commissioner Jim Chmelik.How else can you explain both men - and the organizations they influence - getting behind the idea the federal government should hand over millions of acres to the state of Idaho? In June, the GOP central committee, over which Chairman Peterson presides, backed the transfer. In September, Chmelik persuaded two-thirds of the Idaho Association of Counties to pass a resolution supporting the Legislature's stance in favor of the land trade. However, county leaders want assurances the payment in lieu of taxes their federal landlords provide would be continued under state ownership/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Anyone out there still want to see Idaho control federal lands?

Handeen Endorses Fillios

In my capacity as the State Committeeman of the Kootenai County Republican Party, I have had the occasion to work alongside Chris Fillios a number of times. I have found Mr. Fillios to be a true uniter. I am considered by many to be politically farther right than the average Republican, and Fillios and I have seen certain issues much differently. Nevertheless, whenever Mr. Fillios and I have a political dispute, I can always count on getting a fair and proper discussion. Chris Fillios strives to proactively seek out differing opinions. He is at all times an active and courteous listener. He has always demonstrated a willingness to build mutual trust and understanding, even toward those with whom he disagrees/Bjorn Handeen, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here,

Question: Handeen calls Fillios “a true uniter.” Can a true uniter oppose the many individuals who support projects helped by urban renewal dollars, like the Kroc Center and Riverstone?

Poll Results Worsen For Republicans

Kevin Drum of Mother Jones writes: I don't want to beat a dead horse, but — oh, who am I kidding? I love beating this particular dead horse. Today's ABC/Washington Post poll is the worst horror show yet for the Republican Party. Of the respondents:

  • 81 percent disapprove of the government shutdown.
  • 53 percent think Republicans are solely to blame (compared to only 29 percent blaming Obama).
  • 77 percent believe that Republicans only care about doing what's best for themselves, not what's best for the country. More here.

Question: Do you still think that government shutdown was a good idea, pilgrim?

Yard Sign Gets The Boot

The Meyer Family of Parwood Development wasn't happy to see this sign on its property at H95 & Wilbur Avenue, in the shopping complex that includes Bed, Bath & Beyond. Sara Meyer tells Huckleberries that the sign was placed on private property without permission. Mary Souza has been an outspoken critic of the Meyers and partner Charlie Nipp. The sign was removed. A Steve Widmyer sign is located elsewhere on the property.

Deanna Goodlander: They also put signs on (our) family property at Ramsey and Appleway without permission from us, or the tenant in the building. Also on property across the street that we used to own without permission and when those are taken down they just go put more up.


‘Daily Show’ Rips Obamacare Rollout

The Daily Show scheduled one hell of a week to be on hiatus, what with last week’s government shutdown developments and the continuing Obamacare website difficulties. But don’t worry, Jon Stewart and company came out swinging when they finally got their chance on Monday evening. Stewart started by railing against the failure to competently roll out Obamacare via This is something he touched on before the show’s hiatus, but given an additional week to seethe and more information on the tech disaster, he was able to give the humiliating situation a just and proper shaming/Ryan Perry, UPROXX. More here.

Question: Will the botched rollout do what House Republicans couldn't — delay Obamacare for 6 months to a year?

CdA Press Seeks Ghost Stories

The Coeur d'Alene Press staff would like to hear from our readers about the haunted places of North Idaho. A story is now being developed to be published just before Halloween sharing the creepy details about these places. And frankly, when the story is done, we want our readers' hair standing up a bit. Do ghosts, spirits and demons haunt homes and buildings in our area? We believe for some of our readers the answer to that question is a definite yes. We have in the past heard that places such as the Clark House on Hayden Lake, The Bates Motel on Sherman Avenue in Coeur d'Alene, and the Brig at Farragut State Park are haunted. For those who believe, we are simply asking for the details/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you believe in ghosts?

CdA Schools Rebut Phony Gun Story

Item: Schools rebut phony 'story': Online satire not funny to Cd'A district officials/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Teachers are not packing guns while working in Coeur d'Alene's public schools, but a “news” article published online in August would have readers think otherwise. The story, posted on National Report - a website that touts “America's No. 1 Independent News Team” - details a fictitious Coeur d'Alene school board decision granting teachers permission to carry concealed firearms on school grounds. The story indicates the school board also called for mandatory firearms training for educators.

Question: Do you believe everything you read on the Internet?

Monkey Business

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Monday — 10.21.13

The wood is stacked and ready to burn — sweet tamarack. Pup Huckleberry is in intensive training to join the ranks of obedient dogs that we've been blessed to have had over the last 20 years. We're two weeks & a day from the Coeur d'Alene city elections, where the future of progressive Coeur d'Alene hangs in the balance. But the sun is shining. And it's a good fall day to be living in the Shire. Now for today's Wild Card …

DFO: Got a personal errand today. Be back at 1:30 p.m.

Parting Shot — 10.21.13

On his Facebook page, OrangeTV posts the photoshop above with this explanation: “Mary for Mayor CDA posted a nonsensical and badly drawn cartoon dissing Steve Widmyer. I can create nonsensical artwork as well and mine is much more fun and colorful!”

Question: Can anyone interpret this for Hucks Nation? Patrick?

Kiki: Not Wasting A Gorgeous Day

On her Facebook page, Coeur d'Alene council candidate Kiki Miller posts re: a resident who told her, after she'd knocked on his door today: “You're seriously spending this gorgeous afternoon knocking on doors with campaign flyers? And I thought you were the smart one in the bunch!” Adds Kiki: “Okay, all kidding aside, he did say he would vote for me anyway. It was a beautiful day to do some walking.”

Question: Has any political candidate knocked on your door so far?

County P&Z: Dump Keast, ULUC

Jennifer Locke reports: “Breaking news… The (Kootenai County) Planning Commission voted this afternoon to can Kendig Keast and also voted 4 to 1 to can the ULUC. Yes!!!!!!!  Very exciting.  Hopefully the County Commissioners will do the right thing now and take a look at reworking and fixing the parts that need to be address in our current code.”


Cutline Contest — 10.21.13

Time 2 Vote ..

Miguel Oliveira of Portugal, right, crashes on turn four during the Moto2 race at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in Phillip Island, Australia, on Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.21.13

  • 5:58 p.m. Female in Mercedes, parked near Sherman Park/Memorial Field, CdA, reports she got into a fight w/a male who left but is now coming back to the vehicle.
  • 5:39 p.m. Undisclosed female juvenile problem @ I-90/9th Street, CdA.
  • 5:23 p.m. Flames are coming from yellow semi/trailer parked  b/n I-90/MP 25-28 (4th of July)
  • 5:03 p.m. ISP officer reports static on scanner frequency; may be result of surveyors' frequency.
  • 4:59 p.m. Bonner County deputy wants patient evaluation of crash victim @ 204 Blanchard Cutoff.
  • 4:50 p.m. 3 10YO juveniles are playing in median @ e/b I-90/MP 10 (west of NW Blvd/CdA).
  • 12 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

HBO Blogosphere — 10.21.13

This looks like the eastern third of the new & emerging McEuen Field, showing pickleball/tennis courts, children's play area, dog park, outdoor basketball courts & children's splash pad. (Photo: Coeur d'Alene Today)

Top Post: As a resident of Bayview, I can't vote in the Coeur d'Alene elections. It's really a pity, since the city also represents the county seat and the center of most activities in Kootenai County. In the past I have remained quiet about municipal elections held in areas I don't live in. Then it occurred to me that many of the radical rightists that oppose Widmyer live in Post Falls and just drop in to agitate in Coeur d'Alene from time to time/Bay Views. More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for week of Oct. 13-19): 56,002 page-views/28,205 unique views

In Other News — 10.21.13

A shot from atop the adjacent Parkside building shows the new & evolving McEuen Field, which is expected to be ready for play and recreation next spring. (Photo: Coeur d'Alene Today)

Yet Again …

A Sparks Middle School student, back to camera, cries with family members after being released from Agnes Risley Elementary School Monday today in Sparks Nev., after a shooting at Sparks Middle School. A student at the Sparks Middle School opened fire on campus, killing a staff member who was trying to protect other children, police said Monday. The shooter also died and two children were injured. More here. (AP Photo/Kevin Clifford)

Mary Souza: 3 Levels Of Intimidation

In her latest newsletter, Mary Souza claims she's the focus of a three-pronged attack against her candidacy, one involving the Coeur d'Alene Press, the city attorney's office and Scott and Mary Lou Reed. She claims she won't back down from those trying to torpedo her mayor candidacy, real and imagined. Of the Reed letter, which was published in today's thread on HucksOnline, she writes: “The third attempt at intimidation came in the form of a letter from local leaders of the Democrat party.  They sent it out to who-knows-how-many people in town, and it’s one of the worst, most divisive campaign letters I’ve ever seen.  It blasts the opposite party by name, many times, using all kinds a negative labels like extremists,' 'hard-core partisans,' and then it claims that 'partisan election tactics should not invade non-partisan elections'.” Full newsletter here.


McClure’s Widow: ‘Jim Would Be Proud’

Louise McClure, widow of the late Idaho Sen. Jim McClure, has penned an op-ed piece about the recent government shutdown and “flirtation with default on our debts.” In it, she  bemoans the breakdown in civility and constructive problem-solving in the House and Senate from the days when McClure served, from 1967 to 1991, and lauds 2nd District Congressman Mike Simpson – the only member of Idaho’s all-GOP four-member congressional delegation who voted for the deal to end the shutdown and avoid default/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (1994 AP file photo, of the late US. senator James McClure)

Question: I consider Simpson to be the only one of the Idaho congressional delegation who voted sensibly on the deal to end the shutdown and avoid default. How about you?

Online Dating On The Rise

Ask Michael Hofmann how he met his girlfriend, Addi, and he'll tell you, with a laugh, “” He signed up for the online dating site shortly after moving to D.C., last year. He was finding it hard to make connections at bars, he says, and didn't have time to search for more meaningful places to meet people. He hit the romance jackpot: Addi was the first woman on the site he went on a date with. They both liked The Sound of Music and Harry Potter — but more important, they liked each other. After dating for nine months, they moved in together. Hofmann is among a growing portion of Americans who are turning to the digital world for matchmaking. Online dating — and social support for it — is at an all-time high/Emily Siner, NPR. More here. (AP file illustration, for online dating)

Question: Would you consider online dating, if you were single?

Boomers Wonder: What If?

(Illustration: Molly Quinn)

If you notice someone who looks to be about 60 staring off into space, that far-away expression might not be the result of forgetting. It could be the product of remembering, and wondering “What if?” In at least one regard, baby boomers truly are special. You could argue that never before has there been a gray-haired generation that had faced so many choices and opportunities along the way. So now, aging boomers can find themselves with an unprecedented abundance of second thoughts. What if I had done this? What if I had tried that? What if I had really let my freak flag fly?/Paul Turner, SR. More here.

Question (to Baby Boomers): What is your biggest regret in life?

Mom Loses Kids To Video Addiction

A woman who lost parental rights to her three children due to her addiction to an online role playing game has had her request to regain parental rights rejected by the Idaho Court of Appeals. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports in a story on Sunday the Court of Appeals upheld a North Idaho First District Court judge’s decision. Police in December 2010 responded to a noise complaint and found insufficient food in the home, a butcher knife near toys, and one child with severe tooth decay. The district court found that the woman chose to play “World of Warcraft” six to eight hours a day to meet group objectives in the game rather than take care of her children/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Do you know someone addicted to video games?

Letter: Police, Fire Shouldn’t Endorse

Since when does the police or fire department only support a portion of the citizens in our fine city? I find it very distasteful when the police or fire department endorse one candidate over another. Do they not serve all of the citizens of our fine city? In their professional life they should remain neutral and above reproach. We LOVE our firefighters and police and they should NOT be used as political fodder in a campaign that is HOTTER than any fire!/Peter & Pamela Bates, Coeur d'Alene Press.

Question: Should public safety unions endorse political candidates in local city races?

M’s Player’s Wife Faces Fraud Counts

The wife of Seattle Mariners outfielder Carlos Peguero has been accused of making $180,000 in unauthorized purchases with a debit card belonging to another person in the Mariners organization, federal court documents showed. Citing an anonymous source familiar with the investigation, The Seattle Times reported Saturday that the unnamed victims described in court documents are star pitcher Felix Hernandez and his wife. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment beyond what was available in court filings, and a team spokesman did not return a call seeking comment. Maria Jacqueline Peguero was charged earlier this month with three counts of wire fraud, according to the federal court documents/Associated Press. More here.

Question: What would you do if you were Felix Hernandez? The Mariners?

Is Raul A General In GOP ‘Civil War’?

Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador didn't appear on a nationally televised Sunday morning news talk show today, but his ears must have been burning. Labrador, who has racked up nearly a dozen appearances between NBC's Meet The Press and ABC's This Week, was mentioned on the NBC program this morning during a roundtable discussion about political brinksmanship in the wake of the recent partial federal government shutdown and the showdown between the far right wing of the Republican party and the White House. “There are a lot of Conservatives, and I'm not talking about the leadership here; I'm talking about the Rep. Raul Labradors, the (Sen.) Ted Cruzes, the (Sen.) Mike Lees, who say, 'Look, the goal that the president has is to destroy the Republican Party, to fracture the Republican Party. We've got to dig in and not deal with this guy at all,'” said Meet the Press host David Gregory/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here.

Question: Do you think the Tea Party will take over the Republican Party?

Celebrating A BYU Victory

BYU fans celebrate during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Saturday in Houston. BYU defeated Houston, 47-46. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

DFO: And you thought daylight turned trolls to stone? Pshaw.

Question: I'm afraid these guys are sober. What do you think?

AM Scanner Traffic — 10.21.13

  • 11:42 a.m. ISP officer is helping female driver change flat rear tire along freeway.
  • 11:15 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 20-21 here.
  • 10:40 a.m. ISP officer arrests man wanted in another jurisdicition @ s/b H95/Corbin Hill, Athol.
  • 10:09 a.m. A small dog is running loose in Lakes Middle School parking lot.
  • 10:01 a.m. Driver of blue Honda SUV speeding, passing unsafely @ s/b H95/Cocalalla.
  • 9:26 a.m. Caller reports battery on Fish Lake Road/Twin Lakes.
  • 9:23 a.m. Officer is checking “diabetic issue” @ Hayden Avenue/Govt Way, Hayden.
  • 9:21 a.m. Driver of vehicle w/child in front seat weaving @ unknown Post Falls location.
  • 9:09 a.m. PFPD seeks dented, silver 1988 Toyota pickup, stolen early this AM from Idahline.
  • 8:57 a.m. 35YO male, calling from pay phone @ CdA Super 1, says hands number after taking Advil.
  • 8:42 a.m. CPD seeks silver 2002 KIA station wagon w/smashed in Hatchback, stolen this AM.
  • 8:38 a.m. Driver of Yukon, w/Illinois plates, alternating speds @ H41/Seasons, Twin Lakes.

Hugging The Journalist

Once I overheard a fellow reporter say, “there are no hugs in journalism.” This gave me pause. During my career I’ve written about more topics than I can recall but they tend to fall in four basic categories: business, technology, health and people. Business and technology interviews are always hug-free and most of the other interviews are as well, especially telephone interviews. Those never have hugs. But some of the stories are much more personal than what company made the latest, greatest widget – the woman who was switched at birth in the hospital, the baby who received a bone marrow transplant, the recovering drug addict, the abused girlfriend, the survivor whose family was murdered, the mom who couldn’t afford Christmas presents. These stories go beyond the what, where, when and how to dive into the who and the why. The who and the why are what interest me most/Jill Barville, SR/3Rs. More here.

Question: Have you ever hugged a journalist?

AM Headlines — 10.21.13

Debbie Edmistion sings her part with other baritones, including Christi Dunphy, left, during a recent rehearsal of the Sweet Adelines at the Coeur d'Alene Assembly Church. The Sweet Adelines are preparing for a winter concert on Dec. 9. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Archives: About That Secret Recording

In 2008, Sgt. Christie Wood of the Coeur d'Alene Police Department wrote an op-ed piece that was published in the Coeur d'Alene Press in which she described being secretly recorded during a coffee with Mary Souza. (Wood is also a former Coeur d'Alene school trustee & currently serves on the North Idaho College Board of Trustees.) Wood explained why she had invited Souza to have coffee: “I did so because of her written statements to the public about local public officials had become filled with innuendo and negativity. I was one of the persons she had written about in what I considered to be a personal attack and I was disappointed she had been so reckless and untruthful. Also, Wood wrote:

In good faith I spent 3 hours over coffee talking with Mary. The door was open to talk about anything she wished. The conversation was lively at times and although we do not agree on some issues, I gave her credit for caring about the future of education in our community and working to be part of the decision process. I have since learned that Mary taped our conversation at the coffee shop. She did not ask me if I minded being taped or tell me she was taping me. That is perfectly legal in Idaho but not very considerate. I did not say anything to her about School District 271 or NIC that I would not say in public, however I did spend the first 15 minutes or so talking with her about my family. The conversation was mother to mother. Mary is my neighbor so I have known her for awhile and our children went to school together.

DFO: To my knowledge, Souza hasn't addressed this accusation by Sgt. Christie Wood, of a secret recording over coffee. It might be time for her to do so.


Poll: Call Downtowners ‘Visionaries’

  • Weekend Poll: Supporters and candidates of a Reagan Republican ticket for Coeur d'Alene city office this fall have been using the mantras, “entrenched power elite” and “downtown power elite” to describe individuals who have helped revitalize the central business district. When asked what name best characterizes these downtown individuals, Hucks Nation responded: “visionaries.” 79 of 121 respondents (65.29%) chose “visionaries.” 15 of 121 (12.4%) selected “Entrenched Power Elite,” and 14 of 121 (11.57%) picked “Downtown Power Elite.” 9 (7.44%) chose “other.” 4 (3.31%) were undecided.
  • Today's Question: Bonner County school trustee Steve Youngdahl is facing a recall effort for proposing to arm teachers. Is such a proposal cause for a recall try?

Mary’s Attack Cartoonist Strikes Again

Mary Souza's attack cartoonists is at it again, trying to drive a wedge between the revitalized downtown area and the rest of the community. Click here.

UI Wants To Build New UI Prez House

The University of Idaho wants to build a $1.38 million new house for the next school president. The Lewiston Tribune reports that school officials presented the plan to the Idaho State Board of Education on Thursday. The plan by the school’s presidential residence study committee recommends that the president’s house be rebuilt at the same location as the current residence. UI Vice President for Finance and Administration Ron Smith says the existing house would be demolished to make room for the new one/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Do you support construction of a new house for the next University of Idaho president, at a cost of $1.38 million?

No-Bid Exchange Pact ‘Indefensible’

Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke said Friday that it was “indefensible” for the state’s health insurance marketplace to award a no-bid contract worth up to $375,000 to one of its own board members. Bedke, R-Oakley, joined Sen. Jim Rice in criticizing exchange Executive Director Amy Dowd’s decision to award board member Frank Chan the $180 per hour contract. Rice is a Canyon County Republican who sits on Your Health Idaho’s 19-member board. Chan resigned from the board Wednesday, when the deal to oversee a large technology project was announced. He couldn’t be reached for comment/John Miller, AP. More here.


Scarywood Scare Triggers Suit

When does a Halloween scare go too far? A Kootenai County jury may decide just that after a Benton County woman filed a civil lawsuit against Silverwood Theme Park last week, alleging a costumed worker spooked her so badly in the parking lot in 2011 that she passed out and hit her head. Kristen Griswold said Silverwood, which transforms into a Halloween haunt each October and redubs itself “Scarywood,” is responsible for one of its masked frighteners startling her after the park closed for the night two years ago. The lawsuit, filed by Spokane attorney Douglas Phelps, said Griswold lost consciousness after the park worker jumped from behind a “concealed location” and yelled loudly as she and her friends left the park shortly after midnight on Oct. 15, 2011. Griswold struck her head on the concrete, sustaining injuries that affected her ability to work, according to the lawsuit/Kip Hill, SR. More here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Is Scarywood too scary?

Mayor Candidates Clear The Air

Both Post Falls mayoral candidates on Friday fought back against concerns targeted at them during their run for the Nov. 5 election. Kerri Thoreson and Ron Jacobson - both current city council members - cleared the air on multiple issues at the Panhandle Pachyderm Club meeting at Red Lion Templin's Hotel. Then came rapid-fire questions from conservatives, including voting records on tax hikes, why they would be better-qualified to be mayor, and how much time they could devote to the part-time job. Jacobson has called Thoreson a “cheerleader” for the community, and said he would be a better choice to ease the tax burden on residents by facilitating commercial growth based on his banking and financial background. “As a banker, I've dealt with big companies and small companies,” he said. “I'm not running to be a rah-rah guy”/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Gabe Green CdA Press photo: Post Falls mayoral candidates Ron Jacobson, right and Kerri Thoreson laugh at a political joke made by a Panhandle Pachyderm Club member)

DFO: Both candidates are clearly qualified to be mayor of Post Falls. No wrong picks in this race.

Question: Current Mayor Clay Larkin backs Jacobson; Reagan Republicans back Thoreson. Who do you back?

Reeds: Extremists Target City Hall

The following letter was mailed out by Scott & Mary Lou Reed over the weekend:

The “Reagan Republians” are planning to take over the city of Coeur d'Alene. We need your vote on Election ay, Tuesday, November 5, to stop these extremists in their tracks. We believe hard-core partisan election tactics should not invade non-partisan elections. Let the hard-core partisanship be reserved for those offices designated by statue for political party contests. You don't have to believe us, you can read the words of the Kootenai County Reagan Republican (KCRR) founder and leader Jeff Ward himself:

  • “Ward: An Election Is A War” (KCRR newsletter October 2011)
  • “Hospital Board Seats Targeted” (CdA Press, April 2013)
  • “Reagan Repubs Target City Elections” (Spokesman-Review HBO Blog)
  • “Reagan Repubs Target School Board (Spokesman-Review HBO Blog)
  • “…we wil elect members to taxing district boards: school boards trustees, highway district commissioners as well as fire district trustees and city councilmen in November — Jeff Ward (

Rest of Reed letter here.


Biggest Losers Up For Challenges

Lonne Jordahl poises himself to run as he receives a kettle bell from fellow green team member Marcus Kennedy Saturday during the Peak Fitness Biggest Loser Challenge at NIC. (Photo: Gabe Green)

During the relay races, determined challengers had to make their way back and forth across the soccer field doing a number of things: jumping rope, running with a band around their ankles, carrying a stick overhead, crisscrossing a ball beneath their legs as they lunged to teammates on the other side, and more. This is the third week of the eight-week-long challenge, which is based on a point system. Participants have weekly assignments and weigh-ins to measure gaining and losing progress. At weeks three and six, the teams compete for points. Herbert said the challenge can be scary for some people, but the unity of the team and the constant interaction with the trainer helps/Devin Heilman, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Are you currently working to take weight off?

School Gun Plan Prompts Recall Try

Item: Bonner County school gun proposal prompts recall drive/Cameron Rasmusson, Daily Bee

More Info: Opponents of the proposal to arm school staff have launched a recall effort against Lake Pend Oreille School District trustee Steve Youngdahl. Spearheaded by Tom Bokowy, Jacinda Bokowy, Stephanie Aitken and Sandpoint City Council candidate Bill Aitken, their efforts produced the minimum number of signatures to launch a recall petition against Youngdahl. Supporters have just over 70 days remaining to collect the necessary 105 signatures to bring the issue to ballot. According to Tom and Jacinda Bokowy, they’ve accumulated more than a third of that requirement. If enough signatures are collected, residents of district Zone 5 will vote on the recall in a special election.

Question: Is Youngdahl's proposal to allow some teachers to carry guns in Bonner County schools offensive enough for a recall attempt?

Huckleberries: Out Of Context

Things are getting curiouser and curiouser in the uber-conservative attempt to overthrow Coeur d’Alene’s City Hall. In a debate earlier in the campaign, GOPartisan Chris Fillios claimed his opponent, Amy Evans, was a self-described “progressive liberal.” (This, after she’d called him a nice guy.) Now, a transcript has surfaced on a North Idaho tea party blog containing the word-for-word comments by Evans at the monthly Progressive Dinner at Seasons restaurant in September. During the dinner, Evans referred to the label hung on her and others who helped start Coeur d’Alene Education Partnership by uber-conservative newspaper letter writers: “progressive liberals.” Seems someone secretly recorded her comments (which is legal but doesn’t pass the smell test). But Evans’ detractors failed to provide the context of her comments/DFO, Sunday Huckelberries, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever been secretly recorded?

Victory Parade

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Weekend Wild Card — 10.19-20.13

Looks like another beautiful weekend on tap this weekend. I have some wood gathering to do. Mebbe a little college football. Other than that … no plans. Got an interesting mass-mailed letter from Scott & Mary Lou Reed in the mail Friday re: the city election. I'll share it with you Monday to get things going. Now for your Wild Card …

Cutline Contest — 10.18.13

Becky Greathouse of San Leandro poses for a photo Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 in San Luis Obispo, Calif., with a pumpkin grown by Randy Pharr of Templeton. At 890 pounds, Pharr's pumpkin was the heaviest on record in San Luis Obispo County. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Tribune (of San Luis Obispo), Joe Johnston)

DFO: Goodness, I forgot to post the Cutline Contest photo today — and none of you told me about the oversight. Whazzamattah wid you? You can write your cutlines over the weekend. We'll see who wins Monday.

Thursday Winner — Cabbage Boy, with 9 likes (3 tied for 2nd with 5 likes apiece): “Como se llama.” You can see Thursday photo and all the entries here.

TGIF Wild Card — 10.18.13

Randy Myers and I are racing to see which one of us can trademark the acronym for the coin of the realm by the progress-adverse Reagan Republican candidates for Coeur d'Alene mayor and City Council: “Downtown Power Elite (DPE). Or is it “Entrenched Power Elite (EPE)? Of course, Downtown Offensive Power Elite, or DOPE, which is exactly what this regressive conservative mantra is. Don't any of these cranky codgers appreciate progress? Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 10.18.13

On his Facebook wall, Kim Knerl posts: “This was dropped off in front of my house this morning. Is someone trying to tell me it's time to stop peeing behind trees?” Seems Kim lives on the route of the Hayden Lake Marathon, which takes place tomorrow — about 20-plus miles into the race that winds around the entire lake, up & down many hills. Comments Kim: “Is it just me or does anyone else feel it might be fun to go over to the Halloween store and purchase items to do some interior decorating to the Econo John?”

Question: What would you with a porta-potty that showed up unexpectedly near your home? Decorate it?

Home Delivery Whoppers? Really?

On her Facebook wall, Cindy posts: “I don't know how I feel about living in a town where Burger King delivers. I mean does anyone ever truly have a Whopper Emergency? Coffee and wine delivery makes so much more sense.”

Question: Would you like to see a burger/fast food joint in the Coeur d'Alene area offer home delivery? Which one?

3rd Street Launch To Shut For Week

The Third Street boat launch will be closed from Oct. 21-28 due to construction at the Third Street and Front Avenue intersection. The work is part of the Front Avenue improvement project. A construction crew will be pouring concrete and paving a ramp at the intersection. For a map of nearby boat launches, visit

Question: Anyone tried out the launch since it reopened?

PM Scanner Traffic — 10.18.13

  • 5:02 p.m. Driver of black Ford pickup w/deer rack possibly DUI @ I-90/H41, PF.
  • 4:48 p.m. Caller reports 6YO missing from Atlas School. Her sister-in-law & her fiance were suppose to pick up the child & take her to day care on Ironwood. The girl never arrived.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 17-18 here.
  • 4:03 p.m. Undisclosed threat made in 6600 block of Commercial Park Ave/Rathdrum.
  • 4:02 p.m. 2 male panhandlers in black beanies & long overcoats knocking on car windows & asking for money along I-90 off-ramp in Coeur d'Alene area.
  • 3:53 p.m. Rocks from trailer pulled by pickup broke caller's window @ e/b H53/MP 1, Hauser.
  • 3:38 p.m. Driver of green mini-van possibly DUI @ s/b H95/MP 419 (Mica Creek).
  • 3:29 p.m. Male in Shady Rest apartments/Post Falls threatening suicide.
  • 2:46 p.m. Traffic Hazard: an infant car seat carrier b/n Sherman Avenue/Yellowstone Trail, CdA; dispatcher adds: “Unknown if occupied.”
  • 2:29 p.m. CPD Blue reports he has a female juvenile in custody, unknown reason.
  • 2:16 p.m. Someone suffering heart problems in 1700 block of W. Fisher Ave/PF.
  • 2:15 p.m. Male is preventing female from leaving home on E. 17th Ave/PF.
  • 1:35 p.m. 25YO suicidal male in 2000 Ford Explorer was last seen at noon today in CdA.
  • 1:19 p.m. 6-foot male, w/female in cheerleading outfit, has stolen a flare gun from sporting goods department of Post Falls WalMart. Now standing at checkout counter w/gun in pocket.
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