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Archive for January 2014

TGIF Wild Card — 1.31.14

I'm not a Seattle Seahawk fan, but I'd like to see them win because a lot of you are. I want you to be happy when you return here on Monday morning. It should be a good game between to very good teams. I hope the zebras don't get in the way of a Seattle Super Bowl victory like they did back when against the Steelers. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 1.31.14

Becky Lee, of Seattle, tries to position her Seahawks glasses so they will fit the Statue of Liberty while her friend takes a photo, Friday, in New York. The Seattle Seahawks will play the Broncos Sunday in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Question: Anyone out there rooting for the Denver Broncos to win?

Preparing For Super Bowl Sunday

Facebook Friend Val Hughes posts:

I decided to shop this afternoon rather than tomorrow and I am glad! The grocery stores are already crowded with folks buying drinks and snacks for Sunday. At least today, the median age of shoppers was probably forty-ish. I bet that on Saturday, the median age for shoppers will plummet and a larger percentage of them will be male. I did enjoy all the uses of team logos and colors on food. I was unable to find a meatloaf in the shape of a football. (AP photo: Washington state Republican Sens. Mike Hewitt of Walla Walla, left, and Bruce Dammeier, right, of Puyallup, shown after passing a resolution honoring the Seattle Seahawks today)

Question: When do you buy your Super Bowl goodies?

Ed Board Sets Guns-On-Campus Meet

Idaho’s State Board of Education has called a special meeting for Monday at 10:30 a.m. in regard to SB 1254, the guns-on-campus bill. The measure would pre-empt public colleges and universities in Idaho from regulating guns on campus, instead imposing a state law saying retired police officers and those with enhanced concealed weapons permits can carry concealed guns on college campuses, as long as they stay out of dormitories or stadiums with seating for more than 1,000/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Any guesses re: which way the Idaho Board of Education will vote on this issue?

Cutline Contest — 1.31.14

Time 2 Vote …

Addison Hobbs 6, reacts to a snow ball thrown by her dad, Blake, while playing in the snow during Winter Storm Leon on Tuesday in Auburn, Ala. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Opelika-Auburn News, Albert Cesare)

Thursday Winner — Pair of Claws, with 9 likes: “Reporters listen in horror as Animal Control tearfully explains why there will be no Puppy Bowl this year. A promise to invest in sturdier python enclosures followed shortly thereafter.” You can see Thursday photo and read all Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.31.14

  • 5:12 p.m. Post Falls female reports male pushed her male companion while they sat on apartment stair case.
  • 5:07 p.m. Male on bicycle e/b from Post Falls liquor store shoplifted a bottle of vodka.
  • 4:20 p.m. Red Volkswagon w/Washington plates reportedly going 20 mph over limit @ s/b H95/Athol area.
  • 4:10 p.m. Red lights are flashing in all four directions @ Govt Way/Canfield intersection, CdA.
  • 4:06 p.m. Red lights are flashing in all four directions @ H95/Canfield/CdA.
  • 4:01 p.m. Hot water tank exploded in apartment @ 100 block of Anton Avenue/CdA.
  • 3:52 p.m. 2 aggressive pit bulls have female USPS carrier cornered on a porch @ 800 block of N6th/CdA. The dogs have bitten her mail bag.
  • 11 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 1.31.14

Jenn Na helps a customer at the Coffee Break stand, in Spokane Valley Jan. 22. The stand was targeted with an attempted arson and a spray-painted racial slur in the parking lot. It read “Go back to China.” Fire investigators are planning to arrest Na for second-degree arson for trying to set fire to her own stand on Barker Road. Story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

A Romp In The Snow

If this photo of Kim Knerl's pooch romping in the snow in Hayden doesn't bring a smile to your face, you've been hanging out with too many cats. (Facebook photo: Kim Knerl)

Regan, Vick In Fulcher’s Corner

Looks like Tea Party gubernatorial candidate Russ Fulcher has attracted some Kootenai County money for his campaign, which has raised $252,000 including a $100,000 loan to himself. From his campaign financial disclosure statements: Mary Souza of Coeur d'Alene, $300; Steve Vick of Dalton Gardens, $500; Jeff Tyler of Post Falls, $100; John Malloy of Post Falls, $100; Ronald Rock of Hayden, $500; Sharon Hebert of Coeur d'Alene, $100; Noel Adam of Coeur d'Alene, $100; Brent Regan, $4000; Gene Mann of Coeur d'Alene, $300; Regan Properties, $1000. You can read the entire financial report here.


Best Cookies Money Can Buy

Jen Rude/A Butterfly Moment describes a conversation she heard in the hallway at her kindergarten yesterday:

Mom of student: Mrs. Rude, we will bring cookies for the lemonade stand sale tomorrow.
Jen: Okay! Great!
Student: Mom, can I help you make the cookies?!
Mom of student: Oh, sweetie, the grocery store already made them.

Question: Mrs. O is a terrific cookie maker. How about you?

Arch Druid: Please Define ‘RINO’

I am not going to transcribe Larry Kettle’s letter today, 31 January 2014, “RINOS:  The fewer, the merrier.”  It is the typical diatribe that is actually not worth repeating.  Instead, I am going to suggest a few things about what “RINO” has come to mean:  Herb Huseland’s “My Turn” column in the same Coeur d’Alene Press regarded GOP political extremes in particular, to be more of a religion.  If you weren’t solidly in support of it, then you must be an apostate.  I’ll agree with him to that extent.  Only, every few days, weeks, months, or years; the GOP keep shifting the goal post on where they want the political/religious platform to be.  Anyone who was originally satisfied with where those goal posts once stood, would become a new apostate with this abrupt change in the political climate!/Arch Druid. More here.

Question: What's your definition of 'RINO'?

HBO Blogos: Red Kettles Raise $187K

On her Facebook wall, Eden Irgens posts this photo from the local Salvation Army, which reports the Red Kettles raised a record $186,735.66 locally from more than 900 hours of bell ringing, another record. All the money goes to help the needy in Kootenai County. Suh-weet!

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Jan. 30): 9,492 page-views/5,211 unique views

Wilhelm Named Top Post Falls Citizen

Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson posts: “Big night for my friend and fellow city councilor Linda Wilhelm who was named Post Falls Citizen of the Year. Congratulations! — with Alan Wolfe, Linda Wilhelm, Betty Ann Henderson, Ron Jacobson and Joe Malloy.Story here.

7th Grader Back w/Amphibian Bill

An Idaho seventh grader went toe-to-toe with the Senate’s majority leader on Friday – and won, reports Clark Corbin of Idaho Education News. Seventh-grader Ilah Hickman, who successfully got her bill introduced last year to make the Idaho Giant Salamander the official state amphibian but then didn’t get a hearing, returned to the Statehouse today, and this time, is starting her bill on the Senate side. In this photo by Corbin, she’s shown with Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you have a favorite amphibian?

Audit: Bad Transfers Cost Us $10.2M

Inappropriate transfers by Treasurer Ron Crane's office have cost taxpayers $10.2 million so far, but the hit to public money could rise to $27 million, according to an audit that concludes Idaho's money manager overrode internal controls meant to help contain financial risks. Legislative auditors concluded in a report that Crane's office should strengthen its measures designed to keep Idaho from losing money. Crane, whose management has drawn fire from auditors in the past including for using limousines in trips to New York, didn't immediately return a phone call Friday/AP via Eye on Boise. More here.


Woodings Enters Sec Of State Race

Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise, announced her candidacy for Idaho Secretary of State today, saying as a self-described “voting geek,” she’ll put her top emphasis on keeping Idaho’s election system open and fair, and “making sure that partisan interests do not have a place in that office.” Woodings, 35, said the day she turned 18, the first thing she did was drive to the post office and register to vote. “I was going to be able to be involved and to have a part in the Democratic process,” she said. “I really am committed to kicking down any barrier that stands between people and the polls”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.


Face-To-Face Meeting

English bulldog Cassidy, left, 3, of Smithtown, N.Y., and French bulldog puppy Snowman, 12 weeks, of Boston, Ma., face each other during a news conference in New York today. The French bulldog has rocketed up the rankings to the nation's 11th most popular purebred after its numbers more than quadrupled in the last 10 years. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Question: What breed is your dog?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.31.14

  • 12:06 p.m. CPD officer believes motorist stopped @ 600 block of Garden/CdA is wanted on warrant.
  • 12:04 p.m. 70YO female @ Wendy's, 279 W. Canfield/CdA, may have suffered stroke.
  • 11:55 a.m. North Idaho chapter of MADD has questions re: undisclosed legal case.
  • 11:30 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Jan. 30-31 here.
  • 11:14 a.m. Burglar alarm sounding @ Cornerstone Baptist Church, H41/Prairie, Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 11:12 a.m. Driver of white van w/Washington plates possibly DUI @ e/b I-90/MP 7 (H41/Post Falls).
  • 14 more items below

DFO: What’s Handeen’s End Game?

I've been trying to figure out what's Bjorn Handeen's game? He's a very nice guy. But his former ties to the Constitutionalist Party in the Great Lakes area and rightwing politics are known. That might explain why “moderate Republicans” (who were conservatives before the local Tea Party hijacked the name) didn't break the doors down to attend Handeen's first Precinct 52 Republican luncheon Thursday. Handeen says he wants to be a force in mending the dysfunctional local Republican Party. But he scheduled his first luncheon at the exact time the Reagan Republicans were holding their weekly luncheon across town. He wasn't exactly holding out an olive branch there. It is also curious that county GOP Chairman Neil Oliver elected to give his State of the local Republican Party address at Handeen's luncheon rather than the longer established Reagan Republican one — or even at the Central Committee. Appears that Oliver has picked sides in the GOP Lunch war. From the Cheap Seats, I view this as an attempt by Handeen & Co. to soften their hardline message and become mainstream locally. For all the huffing and puffing, the Tea Party hasn't succeeded in winning many elected positions, beyond those in the Central Committee. The carefully orchestrated appointment of Jim Brannon to the vacant county clerk post was the largest feather in the Tea Party hat to date. The Reagan Republicans have stumbled badly in their attempt to inject partisan politics into nonpartisan races in Coeur d'Alene. However, they support, to some extent, better candidates than the hardline United Conservatives of North Idaho. Handeen helped strategize the overthrow of the GOP Central Committee. He's an organizer. Non-Tea Party Republicans should be wary of his end game. On the other hand, he has done me one very important solid. I live in his precinct. But I can never remember what the precinct number is … until now/DFO.

Mansfield: Otter’s Camp Struggling?

Dennis Manfield, who ran for Congress and lost to Butch Otter, believes the slap the governor took at opponent Russ Fulcher yesterday shows something is unnerving his camp:

Otter doesn't bother with political slap-fests. In many ways he's always been above it. So this response by his camp is somewhat awkward to watch. Having run against him, myself, for US Congress, I can tell you that he's cool, calm and collected - always in control of events, causing things to happen without himself appearing to be struggling. He also makes things happen without it looking like he did anything to his opponents - in a sense, above the fray. But Idaho's demographics are changing - younger people who don't think of Governor Otter as their friend are shying away from elected officials who were against Obamacare before they were for it - and they may see their new premiums as too huge to pay. Full blog post here.

Question: Is Fulcher on the right side of a signature issue (Obamacare opposition) that could propel him to the Republican nomination for governor?

CPD Shut Down Knife-Selling Biz

Jedidiah Settle left, and brother Jacob Settle try to stay warm while selling knives Thursday in front of Taj Groceries on 15th Street. The boys sell knives around the area to earn money for their family. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Gabe Green)

Coeur d'Alene city police shut down a knife-selling operation Thursday in the parking lot of the TAJ convenience store across the street from Lakes Magnet Middle School. A citizen, who asked not to be named, complained to the police and The Press about the operation being too close to the school. The complaint led officers to check out the outdoor, table-top business being conducted by two brothers in front of the convenience store. “They were selling all kinds of different knives,” said Sgt. Christie Wood. “There is a city ordinance that says you cannot sell merchandise without a permit, except for plants.” The sellers were offering a wide variety of the sharp instruments including throwing knives, folding pocket knives, knives with spring-loaded blades and machetes/Jeff Selle, Press. More here.

Question: Would you be bothered if the brothers were allowed to operate their knife-selling business across from a school?

Poll: Rather Put A Fork In My Eye

  • Thursday Poll: The Polldaddy polling system was finicky for a good part of the day, so only 81 votes were registered for the Thursday poll. Of that total, 62 (76.54%) said they would rather “put a fork in my eye” than attend either the Reagan Republican of Precinct 52 Republican luncheons Thursday. Of the rest, 10 (12.35%) said they would attend the Reagan Republican luncheon, if give a choice, and 6 (7.41%) said they would prefer the Precinct 52 luncheon. 3 (3.7%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: How do you plan to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday?

NFL’s Vikings Pick Akey For D Staff

The Vikings have reached outside the NFL coaching circle to pluck a college talent for their ever-growing defensive staff. Multiple reports out of the whole Idaho media area say former Idaho head coach Robb Akey is moving to Mike Zimmer’s staff as defensive line coach, replacing the outgoing Brendan Daly. Akey is a somewhat outside-the-sphere hire for Zimmer, at least compared to the guys he’s been bringing in. Akey has zero experience as an NFL position coach, having spent his entire career coaching in the college ranks/Dan Zinski, The Viking Age. More here. (2010 AP file photo, of Robb Akey coaching UI in game against North Dakota)

Question: Are you glad to see Akey land on his feet?

Separated At Birth?

Nick Offerman, the actor who plays Libertarian Parks & Recreation director Ron Swanson on the popular NBC sitcom. (AP file photo)

Separated at Birth — Actor Nick Offerman, who portrays Libertarian P&R Director Ron Swanson, above, from “Parks & Recreation” and Kootenai County GOP CC Chairman Neil Oliver, inset? Offerman shares the same deadpan delivery as his character Ron Swanson and is a guy's guy, who loves carpentry. He even has a woodshop in Los Angeles. Besides NBC's “Parks and Rec,” He has a live, musical-comedy review called “American Ham” and a small film “Smashed” starring Aaron Paul and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. He'd probably not like the press any more than Oliver. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP)

Question: Am I the only one who sees the resemblance?

GOP Chair: ‘I Am Not Press Friendly’

Snippet from Jeff Selle's report of Bjorn Handeen's Precinct 52 Republican luncheon Thursday:

(Kootenai County GOP Chairman Neil Oliver) said the central committee is the place to air differences on political ideas, and by engaging the press, members are simply engaging in gossip. “I am not press-friendly because they will twist anything you say,” Oliver said. “I don't do much with the press, but I do speak with them when they call me. “I could put forth something in the press but quite honestly most people don't read the press that are Republican, and most people don't read the press that aren't Republican,” he continued. “They are dead. Their brand is completely dead. The press is just burning time. They are fire starters for people with woodstoves.”

Quiestion: Should the leader of a local political party be somewhat press friendly?

AM: Punks Smear Spokane Image

Bruce Palmer displays his blood-soaked shirt from a Monday evening attack on him and his wife in downtown Spokane. He sustained a broken nose after a confrontation with group of teens outside the Steam Plant Grill. Story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Washington Buyers Boost Booze Sales

Idaho state liquor stores had an estimated $10 million in additional sales – 6 percent of their total sales – from Washington customers in 2013, the head of Idaho’s state liquor division told lawmakers this morning. That’s because when Washington privatized liquor sales in June of 2012, the changeover bumped up prices enough in that state that more customers crossed the state line to North Idaho/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you appreciate Washington's contribution to Idaho's revenue stream as much as I do?

Mayor Seeks Police Search Panelist

A search is under way for a Coeur d’Alene resident to participate in the process of hiring the Lake City’s next police chief. Mayor Steve Widmyer has formed a 14-member committee to interview candidates and there is a vacancy for a community-at-large representative on the panel. “I have made it one of my top priorities to seek out the best possible law enforcement official to serve the people of Coeur d’Alene and lead our respected and dedicated police department,” Widmyer said. “This committee will serve a vital role in the process.” Any city resident is welcome to apply for the at-large position. The city requests candidates to provide a reason for their interest in serving, along with a resume/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.

Question: Would you be interested in serving on this committee as a community-at-large representative? Why?

Letter: Pit Bulls Are Threat To All

On Friday, Jan. 17, an experienced female Coeur d’Alene letter carrier was attacked and severely mauled by a pit bull while attempting front door mail service. The dog was indoors but emerged from the door when opened by the resident. The carrier received approximately 200 stitches in her face and another 100 stitches to repair bite wounds to her arm and torso through winter clothing. According to, pit bulls are six percent of the dog population, but account for 78 percent of attack fatalities nationally. Twenty-five deaths in the year 2013, one every 18.6 days, 56 percent were children. There is a severe injury or maiming every two and a half days/Jim Mathey, USPS mail carrier, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: I think it's past time to ban pit bulls in Coeur d'Alene. What do you think?

Jeers: Nevada Casinos ♥ Otter

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune opinion page offers jeers to Gov. Butch Otter:

Last week, the Idaho Statesman's Dan Popkey pored over Otter's latest campaign report. Among the $686,000 haul for the last six months was $60,000 from Nevada gaming interests:

  • Casino operators Steve Wynn, Wynn's wife Andrea, Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta each wrote Otter a $10,000 check — the most Idaho's law permits them to contribute.
  • Wynn Resorts and Station Casinos also gave the limit.

Otter's on record opposing online gaming in Idaho. But he's outraising GOP challenger Russ Fulcher by nearly 3-to-1. Does he need money this badly? Full Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Do you see a problem with Nevada casinos dropping $60,000 into Gov. Butch Otter's campaign warchest?

Guns On Campus Tests Local Control

There's no need to get up in arms over the proposal to broaden people's ability to carry guns on Idaho university and college campuses. In fact, there's no need to do anything. Legislators have had the good sense and necessary respect to allow campus administrations to determine their own gun policies. And why wouldn't they? Idaho reveres local control. Federal mandates meet stiff resistance when they cross state lines; in some cases, “free money” from our nation's capital is rejected or at least spent with a serious scowl. Even ultimata issuing forth from Boise aren't always embraced in the outlands with the same sense of cooperation legislators intend or expect. The guns-on-campus debate is no different. Whether you're a hawk or a dove is absolutely irrelevant. This is a litmus test for local control, and the test-takers are members of the 2014 Idaho Legislature. They're entertaining a version of the gun suggestion that was shot down in 2011, and apparently, they need to be reminded why many pro-Second Amendment Idahoans think it's just a bad idea/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Who should decide whether we have guns on campus — the Idaho Legislature of the local college Board of Trustees?

Handeen’s Precinct 52 Seeks Unity

Chairman Neil Oliver of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee checks his notes during a speech to Bjorn Handeen's Precinct 52 Republicans at IHOP Thursday. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Kootenai County Republican Central Committeeman Bjorn Handeen held his first Precinct 52 meeting Thursday with KCRCC Chairman Neil Oliver as the keynote speaker. Handeen opened the meeting, which attracted 22 people and handful of children, with a plea for all Republicans to unite. “I see many friends in the crowd, and I see many people who might not yet want to be described by me as a friend,” he said. “But I am hoping today that we can look at each other with new eyes and set aside our differences.” He told the group that it is time for party members to try and discover issues they can work together on with the same “resolve and single-mindedness” that they used to exploit their differences in the past/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: I'm trying to get my head around the notion that Handeen wants to help bring unity to the local GOTP but he schedules his meetings at the same time that the Reagan Republicans do. What's up with that?

Sgt. Wood To Drivers — Slow Down!

Since snowfall began hitting Coeur d'Alene Wednesday morning, there have been more than 30 accidents and slide-offs reported in town. As of 4 p.m. Thursday, the Coeur d'Alene Police Department had responded to 36 reports of accidents due to winter driving conditions. “City crews are busy clearing roadways and keeping the main arterials clear for safe travel,” Sgt. Christie Wood said. “Motorists are reminded to slow their speed due to icy winter conditions.” Wood added that motorists should also be on the lookout for children and residents walking on the streets and to adjust their driving accordingly. “We want everyone to make it to their destination safely,” Wood said/Coeur d'Alene Press.

DFO: They're still playing bumper cars out there today. Very slick roads. Unless you have $500 or so to pay a deductible, slow down.

McMorris Rodgers Glosses Over Facts

Everyone knew there would be a Bette from Spokane. If not a Bette, then a Bob or a Brenda or a Bubba or a Buck. And everyone knew that Bette from Spokane would be drawn out by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, as she rebutted the State of the Union address, to illustrate a point. It is a fine and useful technique, in speechmaking and in journalism, to “put a face” on general issues. To find the illustrative case. The human example. An interesting question preceding McMorris Rodgers’ moment in the spotlight was: How would she bring Spokane – how would she bring us – into it? In this case, she used Bette from Spokane in an attempt to illustrate the point that Obamacare is ruining people’s lives. But what it really illustrated is McMorris Rodgers’ loose allegiance to facts when it comes to Obamacare/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Does the tempest re: “Bette from Spokane” diminish your view of the rebuttal speech that Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave after President Obama's State of the Union?

I Think I Can, I Think I Can …

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Thursday — 1.30.14

I accidentally deleted my in-basket of office email last night while watching Gonzaga pull out a squeaker over Santa Clara. I thought I could walk and chew gum at the same time, while waiting for Sam Dower to hit the winning three-pointer. But I noticed after the game was over that I deleted the in-basket, my spam email, my sent emails, and my deleted file. Second time that I've done it. Don't you hate when that happens? Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 1.30.14

President Barack Obama greets supporters after speaking at McGavock High School today in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Gissel Invites All To Coffeefest

Human-rights activist Norm Gissel, pictured, is inviting anyone who wants to talk human rights to have coffee with him from 8 to 9 Friday mornings at Java on Fourth. Here's the text of a Human Rights Education Institute release: “If you are interested in good conversation, new ideas and human insight… this is for you! Buy your cup of coffee and sit down for thought provoking discussion on human rights, politics, history, art, current events, great books or any other idea that happens to come up, with respected civil rights attorney and maverick intellect, Norm Gissel. Fee: None.  Buy your own coffee and treats. Date: Every Friday morning at Java, 324 Sherman Ave, CDA. More info: contact Kelly at HREI 208-292-2359 or Mary Jo Kringas, 208-699-1228.

Question: Is this invitation something that might interest you?

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.30.14

  • 5:54 p.m. ISP officer reports e/b Seltice Way is backed up from Riverstone to H41, about 4 miles.
  • 5:37 p.m. Someone is unconscious in 3600 block of Government Way/CdA.
  • 5:24 p.m. ISP officer reports slideoff @ H41/Diagonal Road, Rathdrum.
  • 5:22 p.m. Traffic now flowing normally again on I-90 b/n Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene.
  • 5:19 p.m. Slideoff reported @ H41/Poleline Road, Post Falls.
  • 5:18 p.m. Traffic is backed up on e/b Seltice Way, from Atlas Road to Huetter Road as result of crash @ Atlas.
  • 5:08 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Jan. 29-30 here.
  • 4:58 p.m. ISP officer reports slideoffs @ I-90/MP 6 (Seltice Way) — 1 on e/b side, 1 on w/b side.
  • 4:48 p.m. Vehicle has slid into median @ w/b I-90/MP 17/Potlatch Hill, CdA.
  • 4:37 p.m. 2 vehicle slideoffs at I-90/MP 5 (Spokane Street/CdA).
  • 4:31 p.m. Semi is able to use NW Blvd offramp to exit I-90, opening traffic back up.
  • 4:29 p.m. Off-duty USFS worker reports 2 I-90 slideoffs @ Spokane Street/Post Falls.
  • 15 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM: Ape Predicts Seahawks Victory

This image provided by the Hogle Zoo shows Eli the ape with a paper mache Seattle Seahawks helmet she chose over a Denver Broncos helmet, predicting the winner of this Sunday's Super Bowl at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City today. Eli has correctly picked the Super Bowl winner for six straight years. (AP Photo/Hogle Zoo)

Cutline Contest — 1.30.14

Time 2 Vote …

While interviewing Sondra Berg, Santa Ana Police Animal Services supervisor, television reporters Bobby DeCastro, from FOX11, and Wendy Burch, of KTLA 5 plug their noses to avoid the stench emanating from the house with of dead and decaying snakes in Santa Ana, Calif. Berg holds an albino ball python that was one of the surviving snakes in the home. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Orange C ounty Register, Bruce Chambers)

Wednesday Winner — Kim Knerl, with 7 likes: Contestants audition for the new “Hee Haw” series; and runnerup — DFO, with 6 likes: Congressional Republicans react to President Obama's call for a higher minimum wage. You can see Wednesday photo and read all Cutline Contest entries and related comments here.

RRepubs Outdraw Bjorn’s Precinct 52

Luke Kilcup, chairman of the Idaho Federation of College Republicans, pausing during his presentation at the Kootenai County Reagan Republican luncheon at Fedora restaurant today. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Update: Just got a head count from the 2 luncheons today: 34 attended Reagan Republican luncheon at Fedora; 22 adults and some children attended Bjorn Handeen's Precinct 52 meeting at IHOP. Jeff Selle of the CdA Press attended both meetings. Will be eager to see his report in Friday's Press. Duane Rasmussen will have photos from both luncheons later this PM.

Today's the day that Constitutionalist-turned-GOPrecinct 52 Committeeman Bjorn Handeen launches his luncheon to compete against the Reagan Republicans. Bjorn's offering IHOP and GOTP (Grand Old Tea Party) Chairman Neil Oliver for his start-up luncheon at noon. The Reagan Republicans are going with Luke Kilcup and Fedora restaurant. Kilcup was elected in Boise this month to state chair of Idaho Federation of College Republicans. Anyone want to be a fly on the wall to report back to Huckleberries which Elephant and RINO Elephants went where?

Question: Which Republican luncheon will survive the competition?

Handeen Introduces Oliver

Bjorn Handeen, precinct committeeman from Precinct 52 (Borah Triangle area) introduces county GOP Chairman Neil Oliver. seated left, at the initial luncheon meeting of the Precinct 52 Republicans at IHOP earlier today. Oliver delivered his State of the Local Republican Party address at the event. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Wanted: William Edward Fesmire

The North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force (NIVCTF) is seeking information leading to the apprehension of William Edward Fesmire. Fesmire is being sought based on a Kootenai County felony warrant charging Fesmire with Felony Probation Violations. Fesmire is on Felony P&P for multiple Burglary charges. This is a $75,000 bond warrant with United States extradition. Fesmire is a white male, 22 years old, 6’4 tall, 175 lbs with brown eyes and brown hair. Fesmire was last known to be living in Coeur d’Alene. … Anyone with information regarding this subject or other fugitives being sought for violent crimes should call the NIVCTF at 208-665-4455. The identity of callers will remain confidential and reward money may be available/Coeur d'Alene Police Department.

Harris: Winter Making Comeback

A Kootenai County Groomer Program truck slumps over the edge of East Fernan Lake Road Wednesday after the driver maneuvered to avoid colliding with an oncoming van. Icy conditions made recovery of the vehicle difficult for tow trucks, causing an extended delays for drivers along East Fernan Lake Road. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Gabe Green)

Mother Nature dumped 5.6 inches of snow in Kootenai County as of Wednesday afternoon, and climatologist Cliff Harris said another 4 inches should pile up before it quits snowing today. “We had more snow in 24 hours than we have had all month,” Harris said. “All of the other snow this month adds up to 5.5 inches, for a total of 11.1 inches for the month so far. Harris said a normal snow pattern has now settled in place after a massive high pressure front that kept our region unusually dry for weeks has broken up. In fact, he said, there were two six-week patterns that kept the West Coast much drier than normal this winter/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Have you had any near-crashes as a result of icy roads this winter?

KCSD’s Frozen Dozen Helps Seniors

I asked Lt. Stu Miller re: that program in which KCSD provides inmate labor to clear sidewalks of snow for Seasoned Citizens. Here's his response: “The list we get is from the Lake City Senior Center.  The center determines eligibility based on income (i.e. if they have the income to hire someone to o it they wouldn’t qualify).  So it is really done for those seniors in need. Currently it’s a hit a miss program since our numbers in the Labor Program fluctuate and the need can sometimes be spontaneous  — where the Labor Program already has been assigned tasks.”

Marc Stewart has suggested some names for the program:

  • Jailhouse shovelers.
  • The great snow escape.
  • The shovelclank redemption.
  • Get out of snow free.
  • The gang that couldn’t shovel straight.

JohnA offers:

  • Ben Wolfinger and the Snowdance Kids
  • The Snowy Bottom Boys
  • Cool Hand Flukes
  • The Frozen Dozen
  • The Cold in the Fall Gang

Question: Do you have any suggestions?

Camas Prairie Trestle

On her Idaho Scenic Images Facebook wall, photographer Linda Lantzy posts:This old timber trestle was built in 1908 as part of the Camas Prairie Railroad. It was a blast exploring this area north of Grangeville. I've always seen the trestles to the west of hwy 95, but the timing was never right for searching them out. I found access points to a couple of them on this trip.You can view more of Linda's terrific outdoor photography of our state here.

Feds Ask Death For Marathon Bomber

US Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has authorized federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the young man accused in the Boston Marathon bombings in April that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.“After consideration of the relevant facts, the applicable regulations and the submissions made by the defendant’s counsel, I have determined that the United States will seek the death penalty in this matter. The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision,” Holder said in a statement/Boston Globe. More here. (FBI photo)

Question: Do you support this decision?

Herb: Tired Of My Party’s Radicals

It is a given  that very few extremists realize that they in fact are out of the main stream. As a moderate Republican that actually have a few friends that are Democrats, I have observed many in the past months that fit the term extreme on both ends of the political spectrum. I'm probably a little to the right of center, since I observe more wackos on the far left than the right. But then maybe they like the lonely Jackass in the field bray louder than those in the majority. Having said that, I am deeply offended by those in my own party that bring shame and disbelief to the average voter/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here.


Knox, Boy Toy Guilty Of Murder Again

American Knox — who is in the US — and her Italian ex-boyfriend Sollecito had pleaded not guilty. She was sentenced to 28 years and six months in jail, while Sollecito received 25 years. The latest verdict overturns the pair's successful 2011 appeal, which freed them after four years in jail. Ms Kercher was stabbed to death in the flat she shared in Perugia with Knox. After nearly 12 hours of deliberations, the judges delivered their verdict in a courtroom in Florence, Tuscany/BBC. More here.

Question: Should the USA extradite Amanda Knox to Italy and prison?

Legislators Not Happy w/IEN Problem

Legislators weren't happy with the latest snafu involving the state's broadband system for schools. Kevin Richert/IdahoED News provides some quotes and some context:

  • “I don’t see this as our problem,” said Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, who urged state Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna to sue the federal government for failure to pay.
  • Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said she was struggling with a request to resolve a budget mess months in the making.  But she also said she was worried about jeopardizing state plans to expand broadband into elementary and middle schools.
  • Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, stopped short of pushing for a lawsuit — but urged a candid conversation between the state and federal officials. “I think it’s time for a sitdown, even if you have to sit on their desk.” More here.


Opera Singer Warming Up For Anthem

Opera singer Renee Fleming who will sing the National Anthem before the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game holds the game ball during a press conference Thursday in New York. (AP Photo)

Question: How much of the National Anthem can you sing without looking at the words?

Quotable Quote

The problem with spending time in Darkness is that you begin to reflect their characteristics despite your good intentions. There is no good that can be gained from HBO besides helping DOoFus earn a salary. He does that by driving web hits which he can only generate by encouraging hate and discontent. Be in the world but never of it/Coeur d'Alene schools Trustee Tom Hamilton responding on Facebook to discussion re: whether his Hard Right friends should participate in discussions at Huckleberries Online.

Question: Can you feel the love?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.30.14

  • 11:54 a.m. Lift assist needed for someone who has fallen W@ 700 block of W. Walnut/CdA.
  • 11:03 a.m. Diabetic having problem @ 1100 block of E. Mullan Avenue/CdA.
  • 10:59 a.m. Yellow-and-white dog running loose on e/b I-90/MP 9 (east of Huetter rest stop).
  • 10:53 a.m. Non-injury, non-blocking accident @ Kootenai Coffee, 5417 Govt Way/CdA.
  • 10:35 a.m. Caller is staying at site of undisclosed traffic problem @ 2707 Fruitland/CdA.
  • 10:32 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 4200 block of Mount Carroll/Dalton Gardens.
  • 10:09 a.m. A chip truck is on its side @ s/b H3/H6 (Santa Creek/Benewah County)
  • 9:52 a.m. A suspicious male is sitting in vehicle in Hastings parking lot on Appleway/CdA.
  • 9:36 a.m. White Ford pickup has slidden off H58 b/n Washington state line & H95, near CdA casino.
  • 9:29 a.m. Unattended death of 63YO male reported @ 2200 block of H53/Hauser Lake.
  • 9:28 a.m. Male dropped off by CPD is threatening suicide at Fresh Start on East Sherman/CdA.
  • 9:06 a.m. Someone hurt in fall @ 300 block of S. Twig Drive/Post Falls.
  • 9:01 a.m. Father reports that son made suicidal comments @ Fred Meyer on Kathleen/CdA.
  • 8:56 a.m. PFPD officer en route to planned lockdown of Ponderosa Elementary/Post Falls.
  • 8:42 a.m. Slideoff reported on Seltice Way/Old Atlas Road/Huetter area.

Poll: 80 MPH Too Fast Anywhere

  • Wednesday Poll: 101 of 187 respondents (54.01%) said that the Legislature shouldn't increase speed limits to 80 mph anywhere in the state. 81 of 187 respondents (43.32%) said the speed limit should be increased to 80 mph in some places. 5 respondents (2.67%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Does Idaho imprisoned too many of its residents?

AM Headlines — 1.30.14

Seattle Seahawks assistant head coach Tom Cable watches players during warm-ups before NFL football practice at the team's indoor facility last week in Renton, Wash. Cable, a former University of Idaho football coach, is one of the reasons that the Seattle Seahawks are in Sunday's Super Bowl. John Blanchette column here. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Otter Strikes Back At Fulcher

Gov. Butch Otter responded aggressively to challenger Russ Fulcher’s continued hammering of Otter for creating the state-run health insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho. Otter says Fulcher, R-Meridian, the Idaho Senate’s majority caucus chairman, “favors allowing the Obama administration to impose a federal insurance exchange in Idaho.” That, Otter says, would open the door to outfits like Planned Parenthood helping customers decide on health insurance policies. Pro-choice Planned Parenthood, of course, is particularly unpopular among tea party conservatives Fulcher counts on to help him defeat Otter in the May 20 Republican primary. Opposition to the exchange is Fulcher’s top issue/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Are you planning to have as much fun as I am, listening to Otter and Fulcher hammer at each other?

Read more here:

Lock Up Fewer Idahoans, Cut Crime

Only two states have a lower crime rate than Idaho. Only one has a higher proportion of its population caught up in the corrections system. One of every 18 Idaho adults is on probation, in prison or on parole. Why? One explanation: Idaho's penalties for failing probation, its short-term rider program and parole are severe. Someone in Idaho convicted of a non-violent crime will serve 3.9 years in prison, 70 percent longer than the national average. Anyone convicted of a drug offense will serve an average of 4.1 years, nearly 86 percent longer than the national norm/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you think Idaho locks up too many people?

Hard To Tell Which Solons For Sale

Late last year, St. Louis Public Radio and NPR launched an interactive data project that lets Missouri voters see just how much money their state representative has accepted from lobbyists. It's an easy-to-navigate visual that gives people a sense of the kinds of relationships that have developed under their Capitol dome. A similar one-stop-shop of lobbying disclosure info wouldn't be possible in Idaho. We know that registered lobbyists in Idaho have spent more than a $1 million over the last two years advocating for their clients’ policy desires at the state Legislature. Disclosure information shows that out of 422 lobbyists, the average spent in 2012 was $1,500. More than half of Idaho's registered lobbyists didn't spend anything that year. But it's not clear who is on the receiving end of those lobbying gifts/Emilie Ritter Sanders, Boise State Public Radio. More here.

Question: Wouldn't you like to know which of our North Idaho legislators take the most freebies from lobbyists?

State Owes $14M For Luna IENetwork

State Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna is requesting a supplemental appropriation of $14.45 million for unexpected costs for the Idaho Education Network – about half of that for the current year, and half for next year – after the state failed to receive federal e-rate funding it anticipated. Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee members are aghast. Gov. Butch Otter is proposing to fund the amount by dipping into the $29 million he had otherwise planned to transfer to the Public Education Stabilization Fund at the end of fiscal year 2014, the current year/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise.


Souza Part Of Chief Selection Panel

Coeur d'Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer has picked a 13-member selection committee to hire the city's new police chief, a group which includes former mayoral candidate Mary Souza, pictured. “We had a talk after the election and I told her that if she ever wanted to get involved with the city to let me know,” Widmyer said, adding Souza sent him an email recently asking to be a part of the selection committee. Souza will join two representatives of the city policeman's association, Fire Chief Kenny Gabriel, City Administrator Wendy Gabriel, Wes Sommerton from the city's legal department, City Councilman Ron Edinger, City Councilman Dan Gookin, former FBI Agent Wayne Manis, retired Undersheriff Tad Leach, Sheriff Ben Wolfinger and Mayor Widmyer/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: What do you make of new Mayor Steve Widmyer including his former challenger Mary Souza on the police chief selection committee?

‘Bette In Spokane’ Declined Options

The woman described only as “Bette in Spokane” during a nationally televised address by U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said Wednesday she had no idea her frustrations over increasing insurance premiums would become part of the Republican attack on health care reform. Not that Bette Grenier, a critic of the Affordable Care Act, minds that much. But the “nearly $700 per month” increase in her premium that McMorris Rodgers cited in Tuesday night’s GOP response to the State of the Union address was based on the priciest option, a $1,200-a-month replacement plan that was pitched by Asuris Northwest to Grenier and her husband, Don/David Wasson, SR. More here. (AP photo: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., rehearses the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday)

DFO: I suspect McMorris Rodgers will be in the mix for vice presidential consideration in the 2016 presidential campaigns.

Question: What's your take on “Bette in Spokane”?

Keyboard Cat To Star At Halftime

Charlie Schmidt holds Keyboard Cat, the feature actor in his YouTube videos, on Wednesday in his Spokane studio. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

I probably don’t have to remind you that Sunday might be the biggest sports day in Washington history. Most of you have already made plans to gather in front of the tube with your friends and your Cheetos so you can watch Spokane’s Keyboard Cat provide the halftime entertainment for Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl X. The Puppy Bowl, for you nonsports fans, will air locally on Comcast channels 43 and 667-HD. (Check your listings for times.) Oh, yeah. The Seattle Seahawks are playing Sunday in some other football show, too. But Super Bowls come and go, while this Puppy Bowl is one for the ages, Charlie Schmidt said/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Are you a Keyboard Cat fan?

Fam: Spokane Violence ‘Epidemic’

The family of a man whose nose was broken during an assault outside a downtown restaurant Monday night plans to appeal to the city to address what his son calls “an epidemic” of downtown violence. Bruce Palmer, 56, was leaving the Steam Plant off South Lincoln Street with his wife, Billie, according to the family. Police say a group of teens stood in their path, striking their van with their palms and claiming Bruce Palmer had hit one of them with his vehicle. When Palmer got out to check for injuries, he got into an argument that became physical, police said. Palmer’s son Riley said his father’s nose was broken in the altercation and he later went to the hospital. He said the family plans to publicly ask at a news conference this morning that the community address what the Palmers perceive as a violence problem/Kip Hill, SR. More here.


Support Level High In CdA District

The level of support the Coeur d'Alene School District receives from the community it serves was noted as one of the public school system's defining characteristics Wednesday by Superintendent Matt Handelman, pictured. “I've appreciated it. I've been wowed by it,” Handelman said at the start of a two-hour “State of the District” presentation at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library. The roughly 60 people who attended the event didn't have to look far for evidence of that type of strong community support. It was all around them. The information session was organized and hosted by the school district and the Coeur d'Alene Education Partnership, an independent nonprofit education advocacy group created in 2012 by local, private citizens/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Am I the only one who thinks it's swell to hear the Coeur d'Alene School District applauded the volunteer work of Coeur d'Alene Education Partnership? The group, once headed by Councilwoman Amy Evans, was used as a political football by the ideologues during the 2013 Coeur d'Alene municipal elections.

Minimum Wage Jimjams

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Gonzaga 54, Santa Clara 52

Santa Clara forward Nate Kratch (43) battles for a loose ball against Gonzaga forward Sam Dower, left, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game tonight in Santa Clara, Calif. Sam Dower sank a three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left in the game to give Gonzaga a 54-52 victory. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Hump Day Wild Card — 1.29.14

I was wondering how long it'd take for NIC Trustee Todd Banducci to go into a rant against the “educational liberal mind” and “elite educated” on college campuses. He's hidden his political ideology fairly well during his first year of playing second fiddle for the right-wing crowd to Trustee Ron Nilson on the NIC board. But the guns on campus flushed him out. I can't wait for his next entertaining quotes. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 1.29.14

This undated frame grab provided by Anheuser-Busch shows the company's 2014 Super Bowl commercial entitled “Puppy Love”. The ad will run in the fourth quarter of the game. (AP Photo/Anheuser-Busch)

Question: Are you ready for some … Super Bowl ads?

Sandpoint’s ‘Hive’ Rocks Music Scene

As jam rockers Moon Taxi continue to rip through their set, the onstage lights grow more intense. Green lasers fly around and a strobe effect goes off; the band appears to stutter and stop. The fog machine fires up, obscuring the stage. The $50,000 light system is on full display for the 150 or so people in attendance. For a venue so spacious and open, with high, thick beams and a wraparound mezzanine, the show manages to stay personal. What was once the Dive in Sandpoint is now the Hive, a 600-capacity music and event venue. After sitting vacant since 2011, the Hive's owners took on the barn-like space last year hoping they could create something absent from the city — a mid-size, community-friendly spot where touring and local entertainment could perform/Laura Johnson, Inlander. (Inlander photo: Mike McCall)

Question: Where do you go in North Idaho to listen to live music?

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.29.14

  • 5:14 p.m. Driver of swerving, small silver Chevy possibly DUI @ w/b I-90/MP 6 (Seltice Way/Post Falls).
  • 5:05 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Jan. 28-29 here.
  • 4:59 p.m. Shoplifter w/orange bleached hair has left Hayden Walmart/Honeysuckle Avenue.
  • 4:56 p.m. Caller reports shed break-in b/n 5925-5935 W. Main Street/Spirit Lake.
  • 4:47 p.m. PFPD officer reports that an undisclosed intersection is so slick that “you can't stand on it.”
  • 4:32 p.m. Highly intoxicated male left 7th/Birch house/CdA w/small child en route to Post Falls in red 1992 Nissan.
  • 10 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Cutline Contest — 1.29.14

Time 2 Vote …

Miley Cyrus performs with Madonna for MTV Tuesday. The 21-year-old pop star and the 55-year-old Queen of Pop grinded and grabbed each other as they performed Cyrus' hit “We Can't Stop” and Madonna's 2000 track “Don't Tell Me” Tuesday during a taping in Hollywood. The “MTV Unplugged” special that closes with the duet is set to air Wednesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Sandy M. Cohen)

Tuesday Winner — Phaedrus, with 10 likes: “Tired of the (t)humping they're receiving in the local media, Jeff Tyler (r) and Jeff Ward (l) kiss and make up.” You can see Tuesday photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

New F&Ger Corkill Backs Wolf Control

Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Brad Corkill thinks the department is doing the right thing in reducing the number of wolves in Idaho. The department recently hired a professional trapper to reduce the wolf population in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Mr. Corkill, a former St. Maries resident who owns Whiteman Lumber in the Silver Valley, was recently appointed to the commission. “I think the elk herd down there is less than half of what it was 10 years ago, so something has to be done. I think the department’s heading in the right direction,” he said. Mr. Corkill said the response of some to the wolf trapping has been extreme/Judd Wilson, St. Maries Gazette. More here. (Photo: Whiteman Lumber Co. Web site)



PM Headlines — 1.29.14

Majestic Tschabold, from Medical Lake High School, waves excitedly to someone in the crowd after she was selected to be a princess on the 2014 Lilac Court earlier this week at the Bing Crosby Theater. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Blakley Spurns U-Dub For Broncos

In this Nov. 22, 2013, SR file photo, Coeur d'Alene's Chase Blakley gets rare sack on Highland quarterback Tommy Jewell (1) in the state 5A title game. Coeur d'Alene beat Highland for its 3rd 5A football title in 4 years. Blakley has spurned University of Washington to play for Boise State. (SR file photo: Jesse Tinsley)

The Boise State football coaches took a page out of Washington’s book on Tuesday night. The Broncos received a commitment from Coeur d’Alene High tight end Chase Blakley, who previously was committed to the Huskies. Blakley announced his commitment on Twitter. Boise State has lost five recruits to Washington and former coach Chris Petersen. Blakley is the first to go the other direction. Blakley (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) made 49 catches for 782 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He was an All-Idaho first-teamer as a tight end and defensive lineman. “Freak of an athlete who changed the game on both sides of the ball,” Capital coach Todd Simis said in our All-Idaho section/Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman. More here.

  • H/T: Arpie

Question: What do you think of Blakley de-committing from “Coach Pete” and University of Washington to play for Petersen's old team, the Boise State Broncos?

Read more here:

Read more here:

Dennis: Has Obama Gone Imperial?

Richard Nixon would have been proud of the 2014 SOTU speech. Accused during his administration of it being an Imperial Presidency, America responded. And it was not good for either the man, Richard Nixon OR the President, Richard Nixon. His lies prior to the 1974 SOTU speech showed that no man is above the law nor above the Constitution. Tonight, when President Obama stated tonight that he would “go it alone”, he was specific - without the Constitutional authority of the US House and Senate - by Executive Order expansion. And, wow, did the focus groups go crazy. No matter what political party any of us are registered in, NONE of us want a President who says he's going to go it alone by an “expansion” of executive authority/Dennis Mansfield. More here.

Question: What did you think of the several times in the State of the Union speech that President Obama said he'd go it alone, if he couldn't get congressional approval for his proposals?

Alliance Staging Cyber Privacy Meet

From Jennifer Locke of the North West Property Owners Alliance:

“North West Property Alliance is holding our first Cyber-Privacy and Security Awareness Town Hall meeting.   It is going to be very informative.  It will be at the Coeur d'Alene library, in the Community room, on Saturday, February, 1, starting at 12:30.  We will also be holding the same presentation on different days through out the month.” More here.


HBO Blogos: ‘Apple Cider’ Hits Area

Coeur d’Alene city street crews were out in full force starting early this morning, clearing roads as the area’s first major snowstorm blanketed the region under several inches of snow. Street superintendent Tim Martin said 19 operators maneuvering 5 plows, 4 graders, and 4 loaders set out to clear the city’s 500-plus miles of streets starting at about 5 a.m. “We’ll be working around the clock until we covered the entire city,” Martin said. He expects crews to finish the citywide plow by noon Thursday. Students at Canfield Middle School were given the honors of naming city storms this season. They chose “Apple Cider” as the name for the first major weather event. (Coeur d'Alene Today photo)

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, Jan. 28): 8886 page-views/4940 unique views

McEuen Work Turns To Interior

An overview of the McEuen Field reconstruction site is provided by this aerial overview. (If the FAA is checking in, this photo — repeat, this photo — was not provided by SR photog Jesse Tinsley & his helicopter-cam. It's a Coeur d'Alene Today photo)

The snow is flying and frigid temperatures have gripped the area, but work progresses on the McEuen Park project in downtown Coeur d’Alene. During the weekly McEuen Park update on Wednesday, officials said electrical and carpentry work is proceeding and crews are also making progress on elevator shafts and stairways that will lift people from the sub-level parking structure to Front Avenue above. “You may not see it, but there is a lot of interior building going on,” said project engineer Phil Boyd of Welch Comer Engineers. Crews are continuing their preparation work to pour the last segment of sidewalk on the north side of Front Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.


Weekly News Quiz — 1.26-30.2014

You don't have to be an expert in current events to win our weekly quiz, but it can't hurt. All entrants this week are eligible to win movie tickets in a random drawing, and our overall champ will take home a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. Good luck! You can take the SR Weekly News Quiz here.

  • Answer to this week's Question #1: 68%.
  • Leaderboard: RaynTim & Duffer are the only 2 Berry Pickers among the 24 individuals on the Leaderboard so far. Deadline to enter this week's SR News Quiz is 5 p.m. Thursday.

Banducci Queries Faculty Senate Rep

Here's another example of NIC Trustee Todd Banducci in action as interrupts a presentation by Michelle Lippert of the Faculty Assembly at the Jan. 22 meeting to cross examine her about discussion by some instructors last fall re: the 2014 NIC trustee elections. The Faculty Assembly apparently discussed the candidates and election somewhat but, Lippert says, were careful not to use school equipment or other material to promote anyone. Banducci gets involved in the presentation at the 49:40 mark of the video (you can move the cursor to that point & begin). The exchange with Lippert and other board members takes about 7 minutes.


KCSD Whisks Snow Away

A Coeur d'Alene Facebook Friend posts: “I know the KCSO inmates probably aren't too pleased to be doing this type of service, but for the last few years, the “paddy wagon” has shown up at my elderly widow neighbor's driveway after each snow storm and shoveled her driveway. Sometimes there are 12 or so, and they can clear the driveway in a flash. Hat's off to the Sheriff's office for offering this kindness to shut-ins!”

Question: Did you know KCSD provided this service? I didn't.

Gays See Chance In Anti-Gay Bill

Gay-rights activists were stymied again this year in winning a hearing to add discrimination protections to the Idaho Human Rights Act. Now, however, they say a separate bill seeking to do what they call the opposite — to bolster religious professionals' rights to deny service to gays — could provide a powerful venue to testify publicly on virtually the very same issue. Former Boise Democratic state Sen. Nicole LeFavour said Wednesday she'd prefer a bona fide hearing on enshrining discrimination protections for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals in Idaho code/John Miller, AP. More here.


Malloy To Speak At Rally Right Meet

From Facebook, Post Falls Councilman Joe Malloy reports: “I have been invited (and I accepted) to speak at the next Rally Right meeting, which is next Monday, Feb 3, 6 p.m., at Nate's New York Pizza on Highway 41 (just north of Mullan) in Post Falls. Come hear about exciting things like a bridge over the freeway and other local issues. Please, come ask questions about local issues that interest you. If nothing else, the pizza is really, really good.”

Question: I hear from some right-wing circles that Rally Right leader Bob Pedersen is without clout in the uberconservative movement of Kootenai County. But he must have some impact if he can attract a councilman to speak at his meetings. Right?

If I Had A Hammer

This picture – former Vice President Henry Wallace with folk singer Pete Seeger in 1948 – likely didn’t do Pete much good when he was summoned in 1952 to name names before the communist hunting House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). To Seeger’s eternal credit he refused to play the silly game, was held in contempt of Congress and sentenced to jail. The New York Post – as ridiculous as a newspaper in those days as it remains today – offered the headline: “Dangerous Minstrel Nabbed Here” in a story about Pete. Seeger had a particularly American attitude about a Congressional committee asking questions about his friends and associations. It was none of their business. Only a technicality kept him from prison/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here.

Question: Who is your favorite folk singer?

A Helping Hand

Kevin Moore hands out water to a stranded motorist on Interstate 285 Wednesday in Dunwoody, Ga. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said early today that the National Guard was sending military Humvees onto Atlanta's snarled freeway system in an attempt to move stranded school buses and get food and water to people. Georgia State Patrol troopers headed to schools where children were hunkered down early Wednesday after spending the night there, and transportation crews continued to treat roads and bring gas to motorists, Deal said. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

Question: Have you ever been stranded by weather? When? Where?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.29.14

  • 11:59 a.m. Female driver in red mini-van slid off H41 into fence, near Prairie Avenue/Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 11:30 a.m. Caller reports possibly drunken couple trying to stop motorists to get ride on Sunnyside/CdA.
  • 11:25 a.m. Non-injury, 2-vehicle crash reported  15th Street/Lunceford Avenue, CdA.
  • 11:17 a.m. 2-vehicle crash is blocking w/b lanes @ intersection of H41/Seltice Way, Post Falls.
  • 11:07 a.m. Fernan Lake Road is closed, near Fernan Lake Court, so tow truck can pull truck from lake (10:10 item).
  • 11:03 a.m. Residential alarm sounding @ H95/Marina Drive, CdA.
  • 10:10 a.m. Kootenai County plow truck slid off Fernan Lake Road, onto lake ice. Now at 80-degree downhill angle.
  • 10:07 a.m. Officer en route to juvenile hall w/Post Falls Middle School student.
  • 9:51 a.m. PFHS teacher reports seeing student fall on snow/ice on baseball field, then climb fence.
  • 9:20 a.m. A disabled, tan Chevy Blazer w/flashers on is blocking right lane @ s/b H95/MP 436.9 (Lancaster/Hayden).
  • 9:16 a.m. Fed Ex truck has spun on I-90 & is now facing w/b in e/b lanes @ M/P 4 (McGuire Road overpass).
  • 9:12 a.m. 2-vehicle crash is blocking Greensferry/Poleline Road, Post Falls, no injuries.
  • 8:54 a.m. Male reports to KCSD that his soon-to-be ex forged his name on a check.
  • 8:40 a.m. Caller reports flames on Majestic, east of Meyer/Rathdrum (later learned to be controlled burn).
  • 8:26 a.m. 83YO female has fallen at Heritage Place, 702 E. Walnut Ave/CdA.
  • 6:06 a.m. We are currently experiencing heavy winter driving conditions.  Please allow for extra time if you need to travel on the roadways today.  The roads on I90 around 4th of July are heavily covered in snow.  We are having multiple crashes and slide offs.  

For Drivers Who Forget

Careful out there:
slick, you know.
Had this last year:
it’s called snow.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

U.S. Rep Ap-hollow-gizes For Threat

A reporter for a New York City cable news station said Wednesday that U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, pictured, called him to apologize for physically threatening him at the end of an interview about President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. “I accepted his apology and I think we're going to move on from here,” said NY1 reporter Michael Scotto. During the confrontation Tuesday in the Capitol, Grimm stalked out of an interview when Scotto tried to ask him about a Justice Department investigation into his campaign finances. Then he stormed back, leaned in close and said, “Let me be clear to you. If you ever do that to me again, I'll throw you off this (expletive) balcony”/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: When were you last threatened with physical harm?

Thayn Mulls Superintendent Race

State Sen. Steven Thayn has had a change of heart — partially, at least — on a run for state superintendent of public instruction. For months, Thayn had ruled out a run. But that has changed with incumbent Tom Luna’s announcement that he will not seek a third term. “I am considering it,” Thayn, R-Emmett, told Idaho Education News this morning. Thayn says he has had between 15 and 30 people approach him about running for state superintendent. He expects to make a decision shortly — before Republicans and their top-of-the-ticket candidates go on their annual Lincoln Day banquet circuit. He’d also like to decide so potential state Senate candidates can consider a run/Kevin Richert, The EDge. More here. (Duane Rasmussen file photo, of Thayn during his visit to Coeur d'Alene with Sen. Russ Fulcher to push MP2 project in mid-November)

Question: Hmm. I might vote for Luna over this guy, if forced to choose. Thoughts?

NIC Board Debates Guns On Campus

Last night, the North Idaho College Board of Trustees voted 4-1 to oppose a legislative proposal to allow guns on campus under certain circumstances. Trustee Todd Banducci was the only one to dissent from the majority vote. Here's the video to that meeting. (Banducci speaks at 11:30, 14:15, and 25:47. Banducci's main speech re: “liberal mind” begins at 24:47)


Poll: $2M To Kill Wolves? No

  • Tuesday Poll: Hucks Nation solidly opposes Gov. Butch Otter's call to spend $2 million to eradicate more than 500 wolves in the state of Idaho. 87 of 150 respondents (58%) oppose Otter's request to cut the wolf count in the state back to 150. 56 of 150 (37.33%) support Otter's proposal. 7 (4.67%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Is it a good idea to allow 80 mph speed limits anywhere in Idaho?

Senate Mulls 80 MPH Speed Limits

Raise Idaho speed limits on some roads to 80 mph? That’s what Senate leaders are mulling, the Idaho Statesman’s Dan Popkey reports today. Popkey writes that Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, broke the news about the pending bill in a talk yesterday to the Idaho Association of Association Executives, after getting permission from Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, who’s working on the bill. House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, who spoke after Hill, also made reference to the proposal, saying, “There are areas where that would be OK and areas where that would not be OK”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Would you support 80 mph speed limits in some parts of the state?

Wiseguy: Just Like A Virus

Wiseguy (RE: GOP wannabe was a Constitutionalist): The problem is not Libertarian, or Constitution Party members joining the Republican Party. The problem is the Libertarian, or Constitution Party members who join the party then claim anyone in the Republican Party before they joined are not “real” Republicans and try to kick them out. They seem to be a political version of a virus. Invade the cell then destroy the cell from the inside.

Question: Do you think the Kootenai County Republican Party has an incurable virus?

AM: Snow Snarls Morning Commute

Heavy traffic west bound I-90 into Spokane was at a crawl, left, as east bound motorist avoided an accident near the Altamont Street exit during the Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 morning commute in a snow storm that left several inches on the ground. Story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

More Banducci

“In the capitol, you can walk right up the steps carrying your AK-47 if you want, so we're putting a higher standard here than we even have in our own capitol building. Doesn't that make you wonder for just a second what we're trying to accomplish and if it's reasonable?” — NIC Trustee Todd Banducci, in support of allowing guns on college campuses in Idaho.

DFO: And this guy defeated Mic Armon in the 2012 NIC trustee elections?! That's why we all need to pay attention to ALL the candidates in all the races in local elections, including precinct committeemen. Trustees Christie Wood and Ken Howard will be defending their seats this year. We need to make sure that they're re-elected to keep a majority in the hands of community-minded people, not the ideologues.

Bedke Drops Grocery Tax Shift

A week after floating the idea to lower top corporate and personal income tax rates by killing the annual $80 grocery tax credit for middle- and high-income Idahoans, House Speaker Scott Bedke has dropped the bill. In a report Wednesday by Kimberlee Kruesi of the Twin Falls Times-News, Bedke says he won’t be introducing the measure this week, as he had said he  intended. “The one thing that drives me is the mantra is first, do no harm,” Bedke told Kruesi. “I certainly don’t want your taxes to go up for having done this”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Don't you wish other lawmakers shared Bedke's do-no-harm mantra?

Read more here:

Trib: School’s Out For Mr. Luna

Reaction to Idaho school Superintendent Tom Luna's announcement that he was not seeking another term fell into three broad camps Monday:

  • That collective sigh of relief you heard came from Idaho's Republican Party.
  • Maybe the rumors of teachers and administrators high-fiving and fist-bumping each other were exaggerated. Maybe they weren't.
  • Faced with Luna's explanation for his imminent departure from public office, not a few ordinary citizens asked themselves and others: What's the real story here? More from Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune here.

Question: Is it possible that Luna will be replaced by a superintendent who's worse?

County Wants To Protect Gun Holders

Bonner County commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution Tuesday asking state lawmakers to make it a crime to publish information about Idaho's concealed weapons permit holders. Idaho law already exempts such records from being disclosed under the state's public records law, although Commissioner Mike Nielsen is concerned a rogue employee with access to those records could leak them to the press or online, as occurred in the cases of Chelsea Elizabeth Manning and Edward Snowden. Manning, formerly known as Bradley Edward Manning, leaked classified information to the WikiLeaks website while serving in the U.S. Army. Snowden, meanwhile, is accused of leaking top secret information about the National Security Agency's global surveillance programs/Keith Kinnaird, Hagadone News Network. More here.

Question: Would you support the type of legislation recommended by the Bonner County commissioners, making it a crime to publish information about Idaho's concealed weapons permit holders?

McMorris Rodgers Rebuts President

President Barack Obama had a case of a person helped by health care reform. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers had a case of someone hurt by it. Obama proposed raising the minimum wage to give workers more take-home pay. McMorris Rodgers proposed cutting taxes and cutting energy and health care costs to let them keep more of their pay. Obama mentioned growing up the son of a single mom and reaching the White House. McMorris Rodgers talked about growing up the daughter of Kettle Falls fruit growers and reaching Congress. Obama honored a veteran struggling with his wounds from war. McMorris Rodgers paid tribute to a Spokane soldier who died. The Eastern Washington Republican’s response to the State of the Union was a clearly calculated rebuttal/Jim Camden, SR. More here. (AP photo)

Question: I thought McMorris Rodger did a fine job responding to the president, certainly better than Marco Rubio last year. What do you think?


Injured Soldier Gets Longest Ovation

Craig Remsburg, father of Army Ranger Sgt.1st Class Cory Remsburg, center, watches as his son acknowledges applause from first lady Michelle Obama and others during President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night was interrupted more than 80 times by applause, but the longest ovation was for an Army Ranger recovering from injuries sustained on his 10th deployment. Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, of Phoenix, Arizona, sat in the gallery between his father, Craig, and first lady Michelle Obama. He wore a bow tie under his uniform and had his left hand in a brace. He applauded by patting his right had on his chest. At the rostrum below, Obama described how he first met Remsburg in 2009, at ceremonies commemorating the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France. The president described Remsburg as a “strong, impressive young man  [who] had an easy manner [and] was sharp as a tack.” A few months later, Remsburg was nearly killed by a roadside bomb near Kandahar, Afghanistan. his fellow soldiers found face-down in a canal, underwater, with shrapnel in his brain/AP & Fox News. More here.

Question: Wasn't that an amazing moment when President Obama introduced Army Ranger Sgt. Cory Remsburg?

Banducci Defends Dissenting Vote

“I myself am a life member of the NRA. Here's the NRA saying, let's talk about sensible legislation. Is the educational liberal mind incapable of compromise or to even look outside what their strident opinion is of what they have to have? It's amazing how we have such a knee-jerk reaction to anything to do with weapons by the elite educated” — NIC Trustee Todd Banducci.

Question: Who's being knee-jerk here? Banducci? Or the rest of the NIC board?

NIC Trustees Reject Guns On Campus

Originally posted at 8:11 p.m. Tuesday …

North Idaho college trustees voted tonight to oppose a state bill to allow concealed firearms on Idaho public college campuses under certain circumstances. The trustees voted 4-1 to oppose the bill sponsored by Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa. The dissenting vote was from Trustee Todd Banducci, president of Falcon Investments & Insurance, Inc. in Coeur d’Alene and a major in the Air Force Reserves.Like most colleges, NIC bans firearms on campus, either concealed or open carry. The Senate State Affairs Committee, which has rejected similar bills in past years, voted Monday to introduce the legislation/Scott Maben, SR. More below.

Question: Do you agree/disagree with this vote?

County Gives Scott $30K Sendoff

Kootenai County commissioners approved a $30,000 severance package for their former community development director after he voluntarily resigned earlier this month. Scott Clark, who was demoted to the position of long-range planner in August, resigned earlier this month after becoming embroiled in the county's effort to revamp its land use planning codes. In a Jan. 3 meeting, the county commissioners voted to approve a $30,000 severance package for Clark, but for legal reasons could not explain why they would pay severance to an employee who quit voluntarily. “Scott did voluntarily resign and that is the truth,” said Commissioner Dan Green on Tuesday. “And we did approve a $30,000 severance package for him.” While it is not customary to pay severance to an employee who voluntarily quits, Green said “each case is dealt with on an individual basis/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Duane Rasmussen file photo: Commissioner Todd Tondee and Scott Clark at Medimont in September 2012)

Question: Wouldn't it be nice to get $30,000 to quit your job voluntarily?

State Of The Union

Clay Bennett/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Wild Card/Tuesday — 1.28.14

Tonight, the NIC board of trustees debate guns on campus. Thursday, local GOTP chairman Neil Oliver delivers his State of the Republican Party address at the kickoff of Bjorn Handeen's Precinct 52 luncheon, which coincides with the Reagan Republican luncheon cross town. Meanwhile, Tom Luna fell on his sword. And I'm beginning to hear names re: possible commissioner candidates. In other words, just another day in the land of the Huckleberries. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 1.28.14

A snowy tree is backdropped by mannequins in a shop window in Bucharest, Romania, Monday. Heavy snow storms affected the southeastern regions of Romania leading to delays in the railway and air traffic, cancellation of 60 trains, closure of roads and prompted the authorities to halt all heavy traffic and close schools in affected areas.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Columnist Denounces Space Wasters

Can I let you in on a secret? Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong. And yet people who use two spaces are everywhere, their ugly error crossing every social boundary of class, education, and taste. *  You'd expect, for instance, that anyone savvy enough to read Slate would know the proper rules of typing, but you'd be wrong; every third e-mail I get from readers includes the two-space error/Farhad Manjoo, Slate. More here.

Question: Do you use one or two spaces after sentence-ending periods?

Letter Prompts City Park Upgrade

It began with a simple letter written by young Coeur d’Alene students. It ended with an improved playground and lots of smiles. Thanks to a cooperative effort between the city of Coeur d’Alene and the Coeur d’Alene School District, students at a local elementary school now have a new piece of playground equipment. At the request of the students, city officials this week installed a “funnel ball hoop” at Sunset Park, located about a block from Pathways School on Best Avenue. The project was prompted by a letter written last fall to the mayor and superintendent reading, in part, “We would like our playground at Sunset Park to be improved … things that would make or recess more exciting”/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Today photo: City parks crews install the funnel ball)

Question: Which city park in North Idaho is your favorite?

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.28.14

  • 5:39 p.m. Male busts down bedroom door to get car keys before in citizen dispute @ 600 block of E. Lunceford/CdA.
  • 5:32 p.m. Suspicious person reported @ 9th Street/Montana Avenue, CdA.
  • 5:18 p.m. Domestic dispute occurring @ 3700 block of N4th Street/CdA.
  • 5:10 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Jan. 27-28 here.
  • 5:01 p.m. Female driver in white Saturn did several 360s @ n/b H95/MP 403 (north of Worley) but able to drive off.
  • 4:59 p.m. Wheel is gone from pickup that hit guardrail on w/b I-90/Spokane Street onramp.
  • 4:51 p.m. Teal Ford Thunderbird in ditch after sliding off n/b H95/MP 396, north of Worley; driver not injured.
  • 4:47 p.m. Caller reports a Kootenai County Fire District vehicle has a headlight out.
  • 14 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Cutline Contest — 1.28.14

Time 2 Vote …

Decorated camels of India’s Border Security Force stand in formation during a rehearsal of the Beating Retreat ceremony at Raisina hill which houses India's most important ministries and the presidential palace, in New Delhi, India, Monday. You write the cutline.(AP Photo /Manish Swarup)

Monday Winner — Charlie, with 7 likes: “Do you ear me now?” You can see Monday photo and read all the Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Headlines — 1.28.14

Middle and high school students from 27 schools in North Idaho and Eastern Washington will participate in jazz clinics Feb. 3-5 at the North Idaho College JazzNIC festival, with a special concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Boswell Hall Schuler Performing Arts Center. Lake City High School band members practice the horns under the guidance of some of the Northwest’s finest jazz musicians at a past JazzNIC festival held at North Idaho College. Story here. (NIC Press Room photo: Tom Greene)

Eden: Infighting Saddens Me

EdeninCDA (RE: The penance of Glenn Beck): As there are countries with people literally facing war-like situations around the globe, it saddens me that this country is so divided with so much political in-fighting. We are all Americans living the the “United States.” We don't have to agree on everything, but mutual respect would be nice. If another tragedy happened like 911, I know this infighting would stop immediately, and we would all band together. Lets come together and find common ground while respecting our differences. We are weakest when we are not united for our country.

Question: Mebbe we should resolve, as a local blogosphere, not to support divisive people in the local primary and general elections of 2014? It might mean holding our noses & choosing the lesser of 2 evils in the GOPrimary. What do you think?

Dogwalk: Ain’t Gonna Watch Speech

I am not going to watch the State of the Union speech tonight.  I'm just not up to it.  It will be nothing new.   The President will lay out his intentions and  lay the ground work to blame the Republicans if he isn't successful.  Nothing new. His tone will be confrontational, not conciliatory.  I'm not sure he even knows what it means.  With all the talk that goes on about bullying, from my observations the President and  Harry Reid are the biggest bullies in the country.  Yet they never seem to be called on it.  People are too conscious of having to be politically correct to be able to speak truths without somehow softening them. I cannot sit and listen to the President's plans to pull the country further to the left.  To continue spending money unchecked.  And most of all, his blatant contempt of the rule of law/Dogwalk Musings. More here.

Question: What are you hoping to hear tonight in the president's State of the Union speech?

Idaho Dad: Bad Dad Ruins Outing

On his A Family Runs Through It blog, Idaho Dad writes of an encounter with a “bad dad” during a trip to a local sporting goods store. Idaho Dad was looking for fleece vest. Nearby, an agitated father called for his two young sons who'd wandered off about 30 feet to look at T-shirts with funny messages. That's where we pick up the story:

Then he said, again very loudly, 'Okay, square up so I can kick you in the nuts for being idiots.' And then he actually pretended to kick them both in the crotch. On the list of Bad Dad offenses, this one’s certainly not horrible. But still, I’m reasonably sure that a threat to 'kick you in the nuts' is not the best way to teach a lesson to young children.”


Silverwood To Double Fam Area Size

In 2014 Silverwood will almost double the size of its family entertainment area.  “Over the years children and young adults have grown up in the park riding roller coasters and splashing in our wave pools.  Now, these same individuals are bringing their children to the park to experience all the same memories their parents created with them. Silverwood is happy to announce that our family entertainment area will be  expanding to an additional 3/4 acre.  New rides, that mom, dad, grandma and grandpa can enjoy along  with the kids, will be added along with beautiful gardens and places to relax,” said Nancy DiGiammarco the park’s director of marketing and communications. Fly on a kite glider as you lay side-by-side with your child; take a giant puppy on a magical ride as it barks on your command; and ride the amazing spinning family coaster to the gleeful giggles of all young and old/Nancy DeGiammarco, Silverwood news release. More here. (Silverwood photo of new feature ride for 2014)

Question: Which Silverwood attraction to you enjoy most?

HBO Blogosphere — 1.28.14

On her Slight Detour blog, Marianne Love posts: “I call this 'MOSS ART' because when you get up close and personal with stump moss on a January day, there's extra frosting on the cake/stump.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, Jan. 27): 7,533 page-views/4,248 unique views

Wasden Announces Re-election Bid

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden hands out press releases at the state capitol announcing his bid for a fourth term as the state's top lawyer today in Boise. (AP photo: John Miller)

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden launched his re-election campaign today, pledging to continue to stand up for the “rule of law.” Among the accomplishments he listed from his 11 years in office: Pursuing more than 130 public corruption cases, resulting in 49 convictions or guilty pleas; prosecution of internet child sexual predators and establishment of prevention programs; launching 224 enforcement actions over consumer fraud that brought that brought in $41 million in restitution to victims and $32 million in fines and penalties; and suing the federal government over health care reform, prompting a ruling that helped define the limits of the commerce clause/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

DFO: AG Lawrence Wasden and Secretary of State Ben Ysursa are the two best public servants in the executive branch. Period. Too bad that Ben is stepping down.

Question: Wonder who the Tea Party will run against Wasden?

Crapo To Offer Response To Obama

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo will respond to President Barack Obama’s sixth State of the Union Address tonight via satellite feed.  Crapo serves as the Republican Chief Deputy Whip, Ranking Member on the Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee, and member of the Finance and Budget Committees. Crapo’s remarks are available following the State of the Union tonight, and feeds will be offered simultaneously in SD and HD.  A direct link to the video file of his response will also be sent out immediately following the address, and will also be available through the Senator’s website and YouTube channel

Question: Cathy McMorris Rodgers is also responding to the president's State of the Union address. Who else? Do you listen to responses to the State of the Union?

Forget Chocolates, Give Her A Juicer

From Cindy's Facebook wall: “Okay. This one wins the Press Release of the Day Award: Valentine's Day Survey: Women Want Juicers
I thought you'd be interested in knowing the one gift that will guarantee a date this Valentine's Day. The world’s only bribe-for-a-date site,, asked 1,372 women to share what gift they would accept, under $250, in exchange to go on a Valentine’s Day date with a complete stranger. The top gift choice was, drumroll please -–A juicer!

Question (for the Ladies of HBO): A juicer? Seriously?

GOP Wannabe Was Constitutionalist

Until recently, Republican state superintendent candidate John Eynon was secretary of the state’s Constitution Party. He left the third party shortly before filing paperwork to run on the GOP ticket. Eynon’s campaign manager downplays the maneuvering — describing Eynon as a 40-year Republican who left the GOP for about 12 to 18 months. But the acting chairman of the Constitution Party calls Eynon’s moves “mercurial,” and says Eynon had indicated he would run on the Constitution Party ticket as recently as Jan. 9/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.

Question: Can you trust someone to be a true Republican if he'd recently been secretary of the Idaho Constitution Party?

17YO Arrested In Spokane Assault

A 17-year-old male is in custody on a charge of fourth-degree assault after police say he struck a man outside a downtown Spokane restaurant Monday evening following an argument. Spokane Police Capt. Judi Carl, who is in charge of the Department’s new downtown precinct, called the episode “an unusual incident” that is not indicative of the area’s recent reduction in violent crime. “It is an unusual assault, because they were not known to each other, and that’s not very typical,” Carl said/Kip Hill, SR. More here.

DFO: This is unnerving because I was at the Steam Plant restaurant with Mrs. O a few weeks ago. We parked in that same garage outside the restaurant. It would be easy to block someone in.

Question: Do you feel sale in downtown Spokane after dark?

Snow In Forecast

The 10-day weather forecast for Coeur d'Alene calls for rain and snow Wednesday and snow showers Thursday. Then, it's partly cloudy or sunny for the next week, as we run up to the Super Bowl and beyond (to Blogfest 2014, Feb. 15). We've had the mildest of winters, despite what the McEuen Field construction crews may think. So here's the question:

Question: Am I the only one who thinks it might be all right to get a little more snow before winter limps off stage right?

Signing Autographs

Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson signs autographs during media day for the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game today in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Question: Is Russell Wilson your favorite Seattle Seahawk?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.28.14

  • 11:55 a.m. Caller from 5700 block of E. Park Road/Athol reports accidental overdose.
  • 11:43 a.m. 84YO male unable to walk @ Rathdrum Senior Center, H41/Montana.
  • 11:22 a.m. Male in wheelchair initially knocked unconscious in fall off side of North Idaho Centennial Trail at parking area 1 mile east of Beachouse, Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive.
  • 11:11 a.m. Caller on Treehouse Court/Rathdrum reports man in vehicle has watched apartment since early AM.
  • 10:26 a.m. Female has cut herself throwing glass in fight w/male @Oneida/Idaho, Rathdrum; both bloodied.
  • 10:02 a.m. Donald is at CPD lobby to report possible credit card fraud.
  • 10:01 a.m. Driver of silver Dodge Strata, registered in Post Falls, possibly impaired @ e/b H53/MP 7 (Greensferry).
  • 9:59 a.m. Yellow Labrador running loose @ junction of Highways 95/53 (Hayden).
  • 9:56 a.m. Elderly male suffering general illness at LaCrosse Rehabilitation Center, 210 W. LaCrosse/CdA.
  • 9:54 a.m. Big green van is disabled @ w/b H200/MP 51 (near East Hope).
  • 9:06 a.m. Water flow alarm sounding @ Coeur d'Alene Town Center, behind Hastings.
  • 8:48 a.m. CPD officer en route to undisclosed location where CPR on individual is in progress.
  • 8:34 a.m. Worker at Bakery by the Lake reports someone is leaving notes on her parked car.
  • 8:26 a.m. Female trying to fix flat tire @ I-90/MP 14.5, just east of 15th Street exit/CdA.

13YO Punched Alleged CdA Carjacker

A witness of a carjacking in Coeur d'Alene in mid-January said a child within the vehicle began punching the suspected carjacker. A suspect is accused of causing a crash and then took off in a good Samaritan’s car with the woman’s kids still inside according to police. One of the kids immediately began punching the suspect in an effort to protect his two younger siblings. One woman, whose husband and 13-year-old son were later hit by the suspect, said she is just grateful they are still alive. “I thought somebody was dead. It was terrifying,” said Lori Akin/Taylor Viydo, KREM2. More here. (KCSD booking photo of suspect Kara Powers)


The Penance Of Glenn Beck

This week Glenn Beck said something I agree with. (Now, there’s a line I never thought I’d write.) During an interview on Tuesday with Megyn Kelly of Fox News, Beck reflected on his time at Fox this way:

“I remember it as an awful lot of fun, and that I made an awful lot of mistakes, and I wish I could go back and be more uniting in my language. Because I think I played a role unfortunately in helping tear the country apart. And it’s not who we are. I didn’t realize how really fragile the people were. I thought we were kind of a little more in it together. And now I look back and I realize if we could have talked about the uniting principles a little more, instead of just the problems, I think I would look back on it a little more fondly. But that’s only my role.”

That’s not exactly a Damascus Road conversion, but it is a meaningful confession/Charles M. Blow, New York Times. More here.

Question: Do you wished people would concentrate more on consensus and bringing communities together rather than trying to force their creed on their neighbors?

Luker Offers Religious Freedom Bills

(Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, pictured) brought the House State Affairs Committee two bills: One to prevent any kind of professional or occupational license from being revoked or suspended due to actions the license holder takes in accord with “sincerely held religious beliefs.” The other would amend Idaho’s existing Free Exercise of Religion Act to expand it to cover cases in which the government isn’t involved, but one of the parties is relying on a government law or enactment; he said that’s in response to a New Mexico decision in which a photographer was fined for violating that state’s human rights law by refusing to photograph a same-sex marriage ceremony. He said that case arose because in New Mexico’s anti-discrimination law, that state “actually has added the words to prohibit discrimination on sexual orientation”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: I wonder how this legislation would work, if passed, in cities like Coeur d'Alene, Sandpoint and Moscow that have expanded anti-discrimination ordinances to include protections for gays?

Marlboro Man, 72, RIP

In this undated photo courtesy of Susan Lawson shows Eric Lawson. Lawson, who portrayed the rugged Marlboro man in cigarette ads during the late 1970s, has died. He was 72. Lawson died Jan. 10, at his home in San Luis Obispo, Calif., of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, his wife, Susan Lawson said Sunday. (AP Photo/Lawson Family)

Question: Anyone out there smoke Marlboros?

Quotable Quote

“Worst damn thing that ever happened to America was the invention of the Sports pages!,” he said. “Turned us all into a nation of watchers and couch potatoes!” — folk singer Pete Seeger.

Question: Are you a couch potato?

Bill Allows Spouse Hiring In Schools

A legislative proposal could clear the way for Idaho's smallest school districts and charter schools to hire the spouses of their board members. Rep. Marc Gibbs, a Republican lawmaker from Grace, said Tuesday that smaller schools face problems when the only qualified applicant for a position is married to a board member. A district or charter school that wants to hire a board member's spouse must have less than 1,200 students to qualify, and must first advertise the position for 60 days, or for 15 days if the vacancy crops up during the school year/AP via Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: I don't think this is a good idea. Do you?

AM: Local Woman Loses 319 Pounds

Jenny Duncan, shows off her “before pants” at The Body Shop in Coeur d'Alene last week. She lost 319 pounds through exercise and Weight Watchers. Story here. (Photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Have you ever tried Weight Watchers?

Poll: Don’t Allow Guns On Campus

  • Monday Poll: Almost 2/3s of Hucks Nation opposes legislation that would allow guns on college campuses in Idaho under certain circumstances. 92 of 145 respondents (63.45%) oppose the billl. Only 48 of 145 respondents (33.1%) support it. 5 (3.45%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you support Gov. Otter's bill to control the wolf population by killing more than 500 wolves?

How Mitchell Can Challenge Risch

Because Idaho is considered the most Republican state in the nation few political prognosticators, whether in Idaho or the nation's capital, believe Boise attorney Nels Mitchell has a snowball's chance of defeating the long-serving Republican officeholder. There's one big caveat, though, and that comes down to a question of money, as in: Can Mitchell raise enough to pound away on three vulnerabilities for which Sen. Jim Risch has no adequate response? If Mitchell can get the funding to saturate the major television markets with good ads exposing these “wounds,” at a minimum he can make what many expect to be a runaway Risch victory into a much narrower race/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: Do you plan to vote for U.S. Sen. Jim Risch in November?

Obama’s State Of The Union Tonight

Three numbers to keep in mind Tuesday night as President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address: six, 30 and 43. Six as in the number of seats Republicans need to gain this November to take control of the Senate. 30: The historical average of House seats gained by the other party — in this case the Republicans — in a two-term president's “six-year itch” midterm election. And 43%, of course, is Obama's job approval rating — a reminder that his political standing is weak, though up slightly from its recent low point, as he stands before a closely divided Congress — and country — to lay out his agenda for year six of his presidency/CNN. More here. (AP file photo, of Obama during 2011 State of the Union address)

Question: Do you plan to listen to the president's State of the Union address tonight?

Bill Calls For Killing 500 Wolves

Republicans promoting Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed $2 million taxpayer-financed fund to kill wolves hope the cash helps reduce Idaho’s population of these canine predators by more than 500 animals, to just 150 wolves in 15 packs. Rep. Marc Gibbs of Grace and Sen. Bert Brackett of Rogerson on Monday told the House Resources and Conservation Committee the money set aside with Otter’s proposal, along with smaller contributions from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and livestock producers, will bolster Idaho’s predator arsenal and help it reach a 150-wolf goal. Idaho now has about 680 wolves, according to Fish and Game estimates in 2012/Betsy Russell, SR. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you support/oppose this bill?

Wasden To Defend Gay Marriage Ban

Unlike his counterpart in Virginia, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says his personal views on same-sex marriage are irrelevant when it comes to defending the state's Constitution. It’s safe to say Wasden and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring look at their jobs very differently. Herring announced last week he would not defend his state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Instead, he’s joining gay couples who are suing the state over the ban. Herring told NPR he thinks the law violates rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. … Idaho's Attorney General Lawrence Wasden meanwhile won a federal judge’s permission to help the state of Idaho defend its voter-approved ban on gay marriage. Four gay couples are suing the state over its 2006 constitutional amendment that makes it illegal for same-sex couples to wed/Scott Graf, Boise State Public Radio. More here.


Popkey: Luna Takes 1 For The Team

Though Tom Luna had plenty of partners in passing the ill-fated Students Come First reforms in 2011 — including Gov. Butch Otter — he’s the one whose brand suffered badly as voters rejected the package in 2012. With polls showing Luna remained damaged goods, he gracefully exited Monday after months of saying he planned to run for a third term as super-intendent. Luna’s news conference came with less than three hours notice and caught plenty of people by surprise. Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, one of Luna’s closest allies, said he had “a little hint” on Friday and then got the news from Luna in a Sunday night phone call/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Popkey goes on to say that Republicans are now free to find someone who'd have a better chance against Democrat Jana Jones, who lost to Luna only 51% to 49% eight years ago. Could Luna have won re-election?

Read more here:

Folk Singer Pete Seeger, 94, RIP

This May 10, 2003, file photo shows folk singer Pete Seeger performing”When the Saints Go Marching In” with the Saint Rose Chamber Singers during commencement ceremonies for the College of St. Rose at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, N.Y. The American troubadour, folk singer and activist Seeger died Monday at age 94. Story here. (AP Photo/Stewart Cairns, File)


OTV: Why Are Local R’s Messed Up?

OrangeTV: I'll never understand this Republican Super Hot Mess that seems to happen on a weekly basis here in K-Co. Do any of these people get any joy or fulfillment out of belonging to these groups or is it just constant and pointless soul sucking drama? I mean, seriously. Someone explain it all to me in a way I might understand. I've never heard of Democrat groups dealing with anything like the public BS that constantly seems to frizzle among these shady Repub groups.

Question: OTV has a good point. I've been in the news biz for 44 years — and I've never seen a local political party as messed up as the Kootenai County Republican Party. Not. Even. Close. Is there something in the water?

NIC Spokesman Wary Of Gun Law

Item: NIC wants to keep local control: State gun legislation would infringe upon school's existing policy/Dave Goins, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: A North Idaho College spokesman on Monday took issue with state legislation that would create new exemptions for carrying firearms on Idaho's college campuses. NIC's Mark Browning noted that the Lake City community college already has its own “no carry” policy banning firearms — concealed or open carry — on the NIC campus. If the bill introduced at the Idaho Legislature on Monday becomes law, it would infringe upon NIC's gun policy by weakening local control for the school's trustees, Browning said.

Meeting Tonight: NIC's five-member board of trustees will meet later today in Coeur d'Alene to formalize their official position on the issue. The trustees will hold a special meeting at 5:45 p.m. in the Edminster Student Union Building Driftway Bay Room on the NIC campus.


Risk Pool

Lisa Benson/Washington Writer's Group

Wild Card/Monday — 1.27.14

I'm not saying that I'm a “Downtown Abbey” fan, but I believe Bates whacked his former wife and that he'll whack the guy who raped his wife, Anna, and be hanged for the crime as Anna fears. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 1.27.14

As seen from the Rose Garden, President Barack Obama works at his desk in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Monday, ahead of Tuesday night's State of the Union speech. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Huckleberries Hears …

… That there has been a number of resignations from the board of directors of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans. Jeff Tyler, one of the group's founders, resigned from the board this month after he was defeated in a bid to remain president by Jeff Ward (pictured), another founder. Tyler was named interim president of the group after the resignation of Ron Lahr last year. Within a 48-hour period this month, four others resigned from the Reagan Republican board: Becky Funk, Donna Montgomery, Jeremy Morris and Jennifer Locke. Montgomery, Morris and Locke were elected to the board during the January elections. Trouble in Republican paradise?

Sandpoint Men’s Group Going Strong

As many men age, they realize something is missing in life. Often this epiphany is sparked by a collapsing marriage, unfulfilling career or shortage of friends. Perhaps the children are gone and there is nothing to fill the time once consumed raising kids. So what’s a guy to do? Silently suffer. Divorce. Quit. Join a poker group. Buy a sports car. Not if Owen Marcus has anything to say about it. He wants men to learn how to connect with their emotions and build a support group with other men – a bond that’s more real than drinking beer and watching the game. Yet not so extreme as a boot camp weekend in the woods with a loincloth and instructions on hunting and gathering your own food. In other words, join a men’s group/Erica Curless, SR Boomer U. More here. (SR photo)

Question (for Men of HBO): Would you be interested in joining a men's group?

Cutline Contest — 1.27.14

Time 2 Vote …

A mule deer dpe grooms her nearly grown fawn recently in the Hualapai Mountains near Kingman, Ariz. Mule deer are named for their large, mule-like ears. You write the cutlines. (AP Photos/ Kingman Daily Miner, /JC Amberlyn)

Weekend Winner — Randy Myers, with 8 likes: “The Siamese twins found a snow angel to be a difficult project.” You can see Weekend Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

Her Secret Shame

Within her deepest heart of hearts
the horrid truth she hid:
she cared not if the Seahawks won
or if the Broncos did.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.27.14

  • 5:26 p.m. Caller willing to sign complaint re: possible DUI in green Honda SUV @ e/b H53/MP 9 (H41/Rathdrum).
  • 5:20 p.m. Male living along Highway 53 reports soon-to-be ex-wife left suicide text.
  • 5:12 p.m. ISP officer reports driver out of gas on e/b I-90/MP 24.5 (eastern edge of 4th of July).
  • 4:55 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Jan. 26-27 here.
  • 4:39 p.m. Someone has been injured in fall @ 2200 block of W. Linda Way/Post Falls.
  • 4:29 p.m. Post Falls caller reports neighbor's back door to garage left open for day, which is unusual.
  • 14 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

PM Headlines — 1.27.14

North Idaho College students Keith Strickland (left) and Jon Schmehl (center) were just a couple of the dozen or so students trying out marimbas in the student union building Friday. NIC music instructors organized and taught the free workshop for anyone who wanted a chance to play the Zimbabwe marimbas. (NIC Press Room photo: Tom Greene)

Huckleberries Hears …

… That Costco is still selling stamps for 46 cents this week, despite the U.S. Post Office fee increase of 3 cents to 49 cents that went into effect Sunday. A Berry Picker tells Huckleberries that a Costco employee is stationed at the entrance to the Neider Avenue store, offering to sell stamps at what is now a discount price. Seems the local Costco ordered an abundance of stamps. And is passing them along to customers at the previous price.


Druid: Rand’s ‘Fountainhead’? Ho-Hum

I had read this book many decades ago when I was a teenager.  My late dad brought “The Fountainhead” home from some fellow he knew, a fellow who loaned it to him.  Dad said then, that the fellow wanted him to read this book.  Well, I read it through first.  I asked to read it, and was finished with it in a matter of days.  It is this book that lingered in my thoughts over a good many years.  Unlike “Atlas Shrugged,” which I hoped would be just as engrossing, and sadly, proved not to be.  In my novel which I will soon complete, “Atlas Shrugged” became the novel I did not read to completion.  But “The Fountainhead” became the basis for arguing why Ms. Rand was ignorant and very naive.  I continue to stand by that/Arch Druid. More here. (Wikipedia photo of Ayn Rand)

Question: Have you read Ayn Rand's “Fountainhead” or “Atlas Shrugged”? Do you agree/disagree with Arch Druid's evaluation of them?

I Believe (Seahawks Version) …

  • That the Seattle Seahawks defense is terrific (and helped my Fantasy Football team to 2nd place in our league).
  • That Richard Sherman may be smart & calculating but his NFL title postgame rant was Bush League.
  • That the “12th Man” accounts for more of an edge than the 3 to 5 points analysts figure it's worth.
  • That Russell Wilson is a class act in any man's league.
  • That the Northwest deserves a professional football championship.
  • That Seahawk fans shouldn't go into gloat mode until after a Super Bowl win.

Question: Can you add to the list?

Out, Out, Damn Time-Warner

My wife and I escaped being held hostage by Time Warner over the weekend. The local cable TV service wanted to jack up our Internet/Cable TV/home phone/HBO bundle from $118 to more than $140. This, despite the fact that we no longer get CdATV Channel 19 as a result of the age of our TV. My wife contacted a Time Warner representative who agreed to drop our monthly rate to $110 per month, if we'd drop HBO, which we rarely watch. She did so after my wife informed her of the obvious: We regularly get direct mail from other companies offering us bundles that don't cost as much. Strangely, she extended the package for only six months. Which means we'll have to contact Time Warner again in six months to say that we'll drop the plan if rates are raised. So here's my question:

Question: Who offers the best cable/satellite TV bundle. Is it possible to tell the cable/satellite folks to take a hike, once and for all, and still get decent, less expensive, viewing through computer/Netflix, etc.?

Hillary’s ‘Biggest Regret’? Benghazi

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the National Automobile Dealers Association meeting in New Orleans today. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Hillary Clinton called the Benghazi terror attack the “biggest regret” of her tenure as secretary of State on Monday, a message she's expected to emphasize, as she ponders a 2016 White House run. “My biggest, you know, regret is what happened in Benghazi,” Clinton said when asked to identify “do-overs” of her time as America's top diplomat, during her keynote appearance before the National Automobile Dealers Association in New Orleans/The Hill. More here.

Question: How badly does the Benghazi terror attack hurt Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential chances?

P&R Panel To Discuss ‘Four Corners’

Following several months of public input, the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission this evening will review several redevelopment recommendations for the so-called Four Corners area. Four Corners generally stretches from the Riverstone development to Memorial Field near downtown along Northwest Boulevard, the western gateway to Coeur d’Alene. For nearly a year, project organizers, community leaders, stakeholders, and interestedneighbors have offered dozens of ideas for upgrades, ranging from improved trail access and educational interpretive posts, to improving the campus around Memorial Field and even a community garden/Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.

Question: Methinks Four Corners will finally attract attention when plans begin to solidify. Then, we'll begin seeing people who'll say: Why didn't the city tell the public about these plans? The Four Corners redevelopment will have a major impact on Coeur d'Alene. Why do you think there seems to be little public interest?

Super Bowl Guests Are Mixed Bag

(SR staff illustration: Molly Quinn)

Ask any coach. You can’t just show up on game day and expect to be at your best. No, to perform at the highest level, you need to prepare. But there’s still time. You have a week to study the scouting report. And you might as well start now. Here are the 48 people you are apt to encounter at Inland Northwest Super Bowl parties next Sunday.

  1. The Shy Person: Not everyone thrives in social settings with strangers. You can help by being friendly.
  2. The Freelance Offensive Coordinator: He knows what plays should be called. You can tell him he’s wasted as an HVAC specialist.
  3. The Remote Control Czar: If this person wants to pause and go back a lot, a protest might be in order. You can say, “I have a hunch they will show a replay.”
  4. The Human Vacuum: This guy can scarf down snacks for six hours. Don’t stand between him and the hors d’oeuvres spread. More here.

Question: What type of Super Bowl guest are you?

Cruise Ship Food Poisoning Hits 600

Passengers look out from the Royal Caribbean International's Explorer of the Seas cruise ship, docked at Charlotte Amalie Harbor in St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands, on Sunday. U.S. health officials have boarded the cruise ship to investigate an illness outbreak that has stricken more than 600 people and crew with gastrointestinal symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea. Story here. (AP Photo/Thomas Layer)

Question: Have you ever suffered food poisoning?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.27.14

  • 11:59 a.m. Post Falls female reports husband has uncontrolled nose bleed; dogs in house are aggressive.
  • 11:54 a.m. Elderly male has been unresponsive for 4 hours in 200 block of E. Anton Avenue/CdA.
  • 11:52 a.m. Shovel is lying in fast lane of e/b I-90/MP 26 (4th of July Pass).
  • 11:34 a.m. 82YO male is unconscious & may not be breathing @ Carriage Court/Haycraft, CdA.
  • 11:10 a.m. Someone suffering chest pain @ Pain Management Clinic, 1686 W. Riverstone/CdA.
  • 11:01 a.m. Officer making contact w/male @ 2000 block of Heavenly Star Court/Post Falls, unknown reason.
  • 9:57 a.m. 44YO female suffering undisclosed medical emergency @ 1400 block of N9th/CdA.
  • 9:54 a.m. Hayden WalMart reports abandoned vehicle in parking lot.
  • 9:39 a.m. KCSDeputy stopping at Kootenai High/Harrison for student conference.
  • 8:54 a.m. Patrol officer reports rocks have fallen on H97/MP 80 (Carlin Bay).
  • 8:33 a.m. ISP officer gives motorist verbal warning for driving w/fictitious plates.
  • 8:12 a.m. Neighbor reports barking dog @ Military/Garden in Fortgrounds area.

Schmidty’s To Replace Scrud’s

Out with the old and in with the new, that's the case for a Downtown Coeur d' Alene restaurant space. That space is a small storefront at 206 N. 4th about 2 blocks north of Sherman Ave and across  the street from the former federal courthouse building. At the end of November the sad news came in to the Inland Northwest Business Watch newsroom of the closure of Scrud's Gourmet Grub. The business had only been open a couple of years but had built a good size following. Scrud's had an extensive menu of burgers that even included some unusual combinations. … But the space won't stay empty long, and the space's replacement will also be a restaurant specializing in burgers. The new restaurant will be called Schmidty's Burgers , named for the new businesses owners Nathan Schmidt and Denise Hodges/Nils Rosdahl, Business Bits, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: I never ate a burger at Scurd's Gourmet Grub. Did you?

Vito: Nothing But Rumors

After two weeks of educating themselves on the upcoming issues, codifying rules and regulations and chasing down political rumors, North Idaho lawmakers say they are ready to get down to business when the legislature reconvenes on Monday. Six state legislators held a town hall meeting on Saturday at the American Legion Post 143 in Post Falls. The event, sponsored by the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, drew about 60 people who were interested in hearing where the lawmakers stand on the issues. “This session is eerily similar to last year's session and I want to point out some of the concerns I have,” said Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, pictured. “It is complete with rumors. Beginning this week we had the rumor that there are a group of freshmen working with the chairman of the Health and Welfare Committee to bring back that second step to the Obamacare mandate, which is the Medicaid expansion - just rumors, just rumors”/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

DFO: Appears that no tasteless President Obama jokes were told at this year's first legislative meeting in Post Falls. P'haps the hubbub that occurred at last year's legislative meeting was a learning moment for local GOP politicians?

Bald Eagle Days Munchie

Mike Billington feeds the peregrine falcon a previously frozen day-old old chick during Bald Eagle Days at the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center at Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, S.D., Sunday. Bald Eagle Days is sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Park Service. Billington is from The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. (AP Photo/ Argus Leader, Emily Spartz)

What? You thought eagles only grazed on dying salmon?

Grammar Nazis Make Bad Writers

A PSA from blog sitter extraordinaire Cindy: Seriously, some folks just can't help themselves and seem to delight in correcting grammar/spelling mistakes on Facebook posts etc. Like my mama always said “Those who can write do. Those who can't spend hours pointing out writer's mistakes.” Okay. Mom didn't really say that. (Read: 4 reasons why grammar police make terrible writers)

Question: Are you — or do you know someone who is — a grammar Nazi?

NIC Board To Mull Guns-On-Campus

Trustee Christie Wood (RE: New guns-on-campus bill introduced): The NIC Board of Trustees will be meeting at 5:45 p.m. in open session on Tuesday to take an official position on this bill. In the past we opposed such legislation. We will have a dialogue between trustees, and then a formal motion to support or oppose this.

Question: How do you think the NIC board will vote?

Poll: Keep Grocery Tax Credit

  • Weekend Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation opposes a proposal by House Speaker Scott Bedke that would end the $80-per-person grocery tax credit in favor of lower individual and corporate income taxes. 136 of 155 respondents (87.74%) oppose Bedke's idea. 15 of 155 respondents (9.68%) support it. 4 (2.58%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you support a bill that would allow guns on Idaho college campuses under certain circumstances?

Supt. Luna Won’t Seek Re-election

Idaho state schools Superintendent Tom Luna will not seek a third term, he announced this morning, saying he wants to take politics out of the process of putting into effect bipartisan school reforms recommended by a state task force. “I know it’s the right decision for me, for my family, and I know it’s the right decision for the children of Idaho,” Luna said. “I’ve never avoided a fight. I’ve always done what I thought was right”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (Eye on Boise photo: Betsy Russell)


AM Headlines — 1.27.14

Delta attendant Christi Turner waves a flag as the charter plane carrying the Seattle Seahawks arrives at Newark Liberty International Airport for the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game on Sunday in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Another ‘Last’ For Idaho Education

Some 2010 national figures are generating some new and unsavory buzz about Idaho education. The study found that Idaho’s college attendance rate — or, more exactly, the rate of high school graduates immediately going onto college — ranks last in the nation. Idaho’s rate was 45.1 percent. The national average was 62.5 percent. And the state topping the nation, oddly enough, was Mississippi, at 78.8 percent/Kevin Richert, The EDge. More here.

Question: Did you go immediately from high school to college?

Guns-On-Campus Bill Introduced

The Senate State Affairs Committee this morning, without objection, voted to introduce a new bill to allow concealed firearms on Idaho public college campuses under certain circumstances; the same panel has rejected such legislation in past years. “It’s an issue that relates to a fundamental one in our state Constitution,” Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, (pictured) told the panel; he chairs the committee, but handed the gavel to vice chair Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, so he could present the bill. “The people have the right to keep and bear arms, which is a fundamental right that we put in our Constitution. This addresses that particular right on college campuses/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you support/oppose this bill?

SR: Idaho Waking Up To Ed $$$ Need

Early indications are that Idaho will be engaging in a different kind of budget debate this year. Austerity and tax cuts are no longer the only considerations as the economy emerges from a lengthy slumber. Gov. Butch Otter began with tepid proposals to increase spending on education, but his budget still leans toward two perennial favorites: rainy days and tax cuts. However, a burst of fresh thinking has come from the state’s former chief economist, Mike Ferguson, and two former state school superintendents; Jerry Evans, a Republican, and Marilyn Howard, a Democrat. Their budget calls for much heavier investments in education to help the state break out of its low-diploma, low-wage rut/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here. (AP file photo, of Gov. Butch Otter)

Question: Is this the year Idaho will hold its politicians accountable for underfunding public education?

Clark: Revisiting Billy Tipton’s Legacy

It all began 25 years ago with a tip from Spokane County Coroner Graham McConnell. “Clark,” he told me, “you’re not going to believe this, but …” That’s how I learned the fantastic secret that Billy Tipton, a well-known Spokane jazz musician and booking agent, couldn’t quite carry to the grave. Tipton died of a bleeding ulcer, but that wasn’t the story. The shocker was that Tipton was born Dorothy Lucille in 1914. She borrowed her brother William’s name to play jazz as a teenager and kept up the male masquerade for 54 years. The performance was worthy of an Academy Award. None of Tipton’s three adopted sons knew the secret. Ditto the many musicians who played with Tipton/Doug Clark, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo: William Tipton Jr. holds his dad’s saxophone as he talked about his life at his home in Spokane Valley on Friday)

Question: Did you ever hear Billy Tipton play?

Hall: A Smart Kid’s Lot Is Bittersweet

One night some years ago, I was driving across the Northwest listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio when a new country music talent ambled out on that legendary stage for the first time. He promptly sang his socks off and wowed the crowd. As the cheers and prolonged applause wound down, one of the seasoned stars of that venue could be heard to say, “Enjoy this moment while you can because you will remember it for the rest of your life.” “I just wish my dad and mom were still alive to enjoy this,” the singer replied in wistful words. I didn't catch his name, but I've never forgotten what he said as I drove through a night sky as dark as death but dappled with stars as bright as a melancholy man's yearning for his parents' approval.I wonder if there is anything in life more bittersweet than triumphing in a way that would have thrilled your mom and dad if they had only lived to see the day. Many a parent has exited too soon, costing a child the parental approval he had most hoped to hear/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Did your parents live to see you accomplish something significant?

Denney Benefits From ‘Duck’ Link

Idaho state Rep. Lawerence Denney's upcoming fundraiser with reality TV show star Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” isn't hurting his campaign for secretary of state. “We do get a lot of publicity out of it,” the former Idaho House Speaker said Friday in an interview with The Press' editorial board. The March 29 VIP fundraiser in Nampa with the Robertson family from the A&E show is expected to raise plenty of money, too, he said. Denney is no stranger to the Robertson family. He has visited the family in Louisiana, and Phil Robertson's son Alan, a pastor, conducted the marriage of Denney's daughter and her husband. “We've known of them for quite a while,” Denney said. The Robertsons got a lot of national attention after a magazine interview in which Phil Robertson made comments about homosexuals/David Cole, SR. More here. (AP file photo: “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Roberson, center, surrounded by sons)

Question: Can you name any of the other candidates in the Secretary of State race?

NIC Offers CdA Tribe Language Class

Raymond Brinkman talked about the importance of preserving the Coeur d'Alene language before teaching the class at North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene on Wednesday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

At first, Leo Tanner found the long strings of consonants in the Coeur d’Alene language intimidating, and he had difficulty producing sounds from the back of his throat. The North Idaho College student had studied Spanish and Hindu, but Coeur d’Alene threw him for a loop. “I thought, ‘Gosh, I’ll never be able to learn that,’ ” Tanner recalled. But with a semester of study behind him, Tanner is gaining confidence in speaking the ancestral language of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Earlier this week, he tossed back answers to instructor Raymond Brinkman during the twice-weekly class. And words like “snqwqw’lups,” which means blue jeans, no longer sound or look strange. “It’s artistic when you look at it,” said the 24-year-old anthropology major. “It reminds me of Picasso”/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Do you speak a second language?

IFF Budget Cuts Taxes, Funds Schools

The Idaho Freedom Foundation on Friday released a proposed alternative state budget that would dramatically cut taxes but still leave funds available to pay for schools and begin a general fund investment in the state’s roads and public defender programs. IFF’s proposed budget would cut taxes by $180 million, enough to eliminate the corporate income tax or eliminate the tax on groceries. This is the second year IFF has provided lawmakers with an alternative to Gov. Butch Otter’s budget proposal. The IFF budget blueprint would spend about $2.836 billion, about 2 percent more than is being spent under the current state budget. Otter’s proposed budget grows state spending by $2.947 billion, or about 6 percent, when several of Otter’s spending proposals are treated as expenses against the general fund/Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: What do you think of the alternative Idaho Freedom Foundation budget?

Did Knox’s Ex Seek Lake City Bride?

The international murder case involving Seattle’s Amanda Knox has a Coeur d’Alene connection, according to entertainment website Radar Online. Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted of the 2007 murder of 21-year-old language student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy. The convictions were overturned four years later. Knox returned to the Puget Sound area. Sollecito has been staying with relatives in New Jersey. According to Radar Online, Sollecito tried to avoid extradition to Italy by asking Knox to marry him. When she refused, the article said, he responded to a message left by Kelsey Kay, of Coeur d’Alene, on his website to raise money for legal expenses. Sollecito called Kay and immediately discussed the marriage idea/D.F. Oliveria, SR Sunday Huckleberries. More here.

Other SR weekend columns:


No Longer A Be-Lieber

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Gonzaga 84, BYU 69

Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski (24) blocks a shot by BYU's Skyler Halford during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday in Spokane. Kevin Pangos scored 24 points to lead Gonzaga to a 84-69 victory over visiting BYU. AP story and ESPN box score here: (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Weekend Wild Card — 1.25-26.14

We'll dive headlong into Super Bowl mania next week — and see if the local/state GOPrimary dance cards begin to fill up. I can't wait to see who the men & women behind the curtain for Reagan Republican/Rally Right trot out as candidates in attempt to take over this little part of the world. County clerk Jim Brannon, of course, will run for the office that he was appointed to. Competent Deputy Treasurer Lori Thomas will get a challenge from the RR/RRs. Beyond that, who knows? It'll be fun to watch — and pick sides. All that can wait for a little more time. I'll post this Wild Card & see you back here Monday …

Parting Shot — 1.24.14

An extra football crosses in front of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as he throws another during NFL football practice at the team's training facility in Englewood, Colo., earlier today. The Broncos are scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

New Guns-On-Campus Bill On Tap

Gun-rights advocates are resurrecting a measure aiming to allow concealed weapons on Idaho university campuses. A bill is up for consideration Monday in the Senate State Affairs Committee. In 2011, that panel's members dumped a House-passed measure, arguing decisions should be left up to university leaders. This year, one of the proponents, Republican Rep. Judy Boyle of Midvale, has been working with key lawmakers including Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis to address objections/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Are. You. Kidding. Me?

TGIF Wild Card — 1.24.14

I opened TGIFriday in grand fashion this morning, sipping coffee with Chris Carlson and his daughter, Serena, at the By the Lake Bakery @ 7th & Front. Chris Carlson was Cecil Andrus' press secretary back in the day and later founded the public affairs Gallatin Group in Boise. Chris is now retired in Medimont, writing books and columns. He has lived Idaho's history over the last 4 decades. I print his insightful Carlson Chronicle columns on Huckleberries Online as a service to you. Now for your TGIF Wild Card …

PM Headlines — 1.24.14

Barbara Kreisle, of Boise, takes a photo of the inversion over the Treasure Valley while on her way up to Bogus Basin to teach cross country ski lessons in Boise Wednesday. (Idaho Press-Tribune photo: Adam Eschbach)

Cutline Contest — 1.24.14

Time 2 Vote …

Dyloan Witzig, right, and his brother Zach, catch their breath after wrestling on the hill behind York Suburban High School on Tuesday in York, Pa. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/York Daily Record, Jason Plotkin)

Thursday Winner — Sisyphus, with 14 likes: If Miley Cyrus and Justin Beiber were drowning, what kind of sandwich would you make? and runnerup — Nic, with 11 likes: Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, left a voice mail for President Obama Thursday morning stating, “He's your problem now.” You can see Thursday photo & read all 26 cutline entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.24.14

  • 5:34 p.m. 30ish female has fallen @ Skate Plaza/CdA and is suffering a seizure.
  • 5:08 p.m. Driver of white Chevy half-ton pickup possibly DUI @ n/b H41/MP 17 (south of Spirit Lake).
  • 4:46 p.m. Abandoned vehicle reported @ s/b H95/MP 438 (Boekel Road/Hayden).]
  • 4:43 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency reported @ 1000 block of W. Kyler Avenue/Hayden.
  • 4:35 p.m. Older Oldsmobile w/back window knocked out speeding @ 100 mph @ w/b I-90/MP 8 (Huetter).
  • 4:20 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Jan. 23-24 here.
  • 12 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Center To Be Renamed For Wassmuth

Honoring one of Idaho’s earliest and best known human rights advocates, the board of the Idaho Human Rights Education Center has approved changing its name to the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights. Bill Wassmuth, a one-time Catholic priest who died in 2002, became one of the northwest’s most visible leaders against hate when he confronted the Aryan Nations in Idaho. Among other things, he founded the Northwest Coalition against Malicious Harassment, later called the Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity. Marilyn Shuler of Boise, who served on the original Northwest Coalition board, said the name change was a fitting memorial to Wassmuth. “Bill was a charismatic leader and a passionate man whose strong sense of justice permeated his work in Idaho and elsewhere,” Shuler said.  “He was totally committed to spreading the message of equality throughout the northwest, and he simply refused to let any obstacle stand in his way”/Idaho Human Rights Education Center. More here. (SR file photo: Bill Wassmuth at NIC popcorn forum in 1997)

Question: Did you ever meet Bill Wassmuth?

North Idaho Beauty & Local Authors

In her latest Writing North Idaho blog post, Kathy Cooney Dobbs gives a shootout to four North Idaho authors, including Marianne Love/Slight Detour who penned (among other books) “Pocket Girdles and other Confessions of a Northwest Farm Girl.” Marianne's book of humorous, autobiographical stories inspired Dobbs, who writes: I decided I wanted to write memoir, to tell stories  like she did, in a humorous, heartfelt way. Other North Idaho authors spotlighted in Dobbs' blog post include: Nancy Owens Barnes (“Moose for Breakfast Outdoor Poems & Essays”), Elizabeth S. Brinton (“My American Eden / Mary Dyer, Martyr for Freedom”), Phyllis Horne (“The Carnival Girl - One Woman's Journey Through the Carnival Life”), and Ana Parker Goodwin (“Justice Forbidden - A Dr. Faythe Bradington And L.P. Sanborn Novel”). You can read the entire post here.

Question: Have you read a book(s) by a North Idaho author? Would you recommend it?

Nic: For The Love Of Adventure

Wanderlust is such a fun word. The strong desire to go somewhere, do something, to travel, to engage with differing cultures. See the world. Have an adventure. Over the past few years, I’ve developed a wanderlust that is largely unsated. There’s an urge to be somewhere other than here. I have previously expressed some of my hopes to travel, but most of my dream destinations have gone unpublished. I want the excitement, but haven't ventured out. While I could blame a commitment to grownup responsibilities, such a reason would be little more than a cheap excuse. The real blame for my unrequited thirst is in my own fears and insecurities. Somewhere along the way I’ve lost my sense of excitement. The timid side of me often wonders if I still know how to have an adventure. My inner critic tells me that I’m not a fun person anymore/Nic, Faithful Geek. More here.

Question: Are you as adventurous now as you were back when?

HBO Blogos: Late Ray Stone Honored

Members of the Coeur d’Alene High School Class of 1958 and NIC alumni reconnected recently for this picture and to make a $1,000 donation to honor their former instructor at both schools, Ray Stone. The donation will endow the recently created Ray Stone Memorial Scholarship. Pictured are, from left, front row: Betty Stone (widow of Ray Stone), Betty Hamlet Davis, Merle Hedge, and JoAnn Skogstad Nelson; second row: Gloria Manly Jennings, Collin Annable, and Rita Dobler Hanson, and Nancy Devote Runge; third row: John Adams, Russ Brown, NIC Foundation Executive Director Rayelle Anderson, and John Showen; back row: Bob Schini, NIC President Joe Dunlap, Cliff Fender, and Ron Yandt. Story here. (NIC Press Room photo: Tom Greene)

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Jan. 23): 8,135 page-views/4,618 unique views

CSB Mulls No-Lice Policy Change

The Coeur d'Alene School Board is re-considering the district's no-lice policy. A recommendation is on the table that would allow children back into class even when nits are still present if the parents can show they have followed recommended treatment.  Several organizations, including the CDC state that is is best to keep children in school as opposed to being at home due to lice. This is a departure from most parents' and teachers' understanding of how to deal with lice. According to a district source, most parents do not want nits present in the classroom. Yet, the source said, the medical viewpoint is that this is okay.

Question: Should the Coeur d'Alene School District loosen its no-lice policy?

Food Porn: Bojack’s Breakfast Bento

On Get Out! North Idaho, Patrick posts: “BoJack's in midtown CdA describes the 'Breakfast Bento' as such: 'Hand cut Hashbrowns, Homemade Country Gravy, Scrambled Eggs, topped with Linguica & Country Sausage, Ham with 2 skewers of Maple Bacon sprinkled with fresh Cheddar Cheese! $5 — available midnight to 2 a.m. during the week and till 4a.m. on the weekends!'

DFO: Linguica … mmm-mmm … good.

Question: I've never eaten at BoJack's or The Garnet in midtown Coeur d'Alene. Which place provides a better breakfast?

No Bird Cage Liner Here

So a man from Oregon calls our circulation desk at the Spokesman-Review here in Coeur d'Alene — and asks how thick the paper is. That caught our attention. Usually, potential customers ask about prices for the newspaper or advertisements. Why did he want to know about the paper's thickness? His wife has rabbits. And the hometown paper was too thin to properly line the bottom of the cages. Seriously.

Question: What do you do with your old newspapers?

Woody TV Turns 10

Councilman Woody McEvers emails: “Today is the 10 year anniversary of CDATV 19. Time Warner and the City created the franchise agreement to start CDA TV 10 years ago today. CDA TV has been on the air for 9 years. Thanks for all your support and we hope to keep expanding our programing in the future.”

Question: Which programs do you watch on Woody TV, er, CDATV 19?


Study: Most, Least Bible-Minded Cities

In an era of shifting populations and values, the notion of America's Bible Belt can be a slippery concept. But a new study gives us an idea of which cities can be considered to be part of that tradition — and which cities aren't. Chattanooga, Tenn., was named America's most Bible-minded city, followed by Birmingham, Ala., and Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va. And despite its name, Providence, R.I., was named the least Bible-minded city. It tied New Bedford, Mass., in that slot, followed by Albany, N.Y., and Boston. Las Vegas, the town often called Sin City, ranked 90th. Another city known for debauchery, New Orleans, came in at No. 35/Bill Chappell, NPR. More here.

Question: Which county do you think is more Bible-minded — Kootenai or Spokane? Why?

Report: Better Roads Save Lives

At Eye on Boise, Betsy Russell reports that road construction provided by GARVEE bonds has saved lives in Idaho, especially on Highway 95 in North Idaho:

In the Garwood to Sagle corridor on Highway 95 in North Idaho, between State Highway 53 and Ohio Match Road, crashes fell 25 percent in the three years after construction, compared to the three years before, even as traffic volumes went up by more than 10 percent. At another major construction project south of Coeur d’Alene on Highway 95, Worley to Setters, crashes fell by 72 percent – even as traffic volumes went up 36 percent from 2007 to 2012. More here.


Driver’s License Indignity

“I guess it is time to pay to get a new drivers license,” posts Jamie Lynn Morgon on Facebook. “Girl at Fed Ex wasn't going to give me my Cinder Wine shipment. Said my license photo doesn't look anything like me …”

Question: Does the photo on your driver's license look like you? Do you know when your license expires (without looking)?

Richard Sherman’s $5M Rant?

Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman laughs as he speaks during a news conference Wednesday in Renton, Wash. The Seahawks play the Denver Broncos in the NFL football Super Bowl on Feb. 2. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Richard Sherman could stand to make about $5 million in endorsements — all because of his 15-second rant moments after helping the Seattle Seahawks get to the Super Bowl. Sherman, a defensive back, made the play that secured Seattle's 23-17 win over San Francisco on Jan. 19. Immediately after the play, he did a TV interview proclaiming that he was the best cornerback in the National Football League, and dissing the opposing player who he had foiled on the play. Sherman's agent, Jamie Fritz, told CNNMoney that interest in his clients has boomed since the remarks. While Sherman's current endorsements amount to just a bit more than his $550,000 NFL salary, Fritz believes there are millions in deals that will be signed soon, — some before the Super Bowl is played Feb. 2/CNN Money. More here.

Question: Do you suppose it was about money … All. The. Time?

‘A Gift From God’?

“Pope Francis said the internet is 'a gift from God.' Sounds like somebody hasn't scrolled down to the comments section yet” — Stephen Colbert.

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.24.14

  • 11:57 a.m. Officer arrests female named Cassandra on outstanding warrant.
  • 11:41 a.m. Business alarm sounding @ Coeur d'Alene Town Center strip mall, 101 Appleway/CdA.
  • 11:37 a.m. Someone suffering chest pain @ 8800 block of N. Tessa Way/Hayden.
  • 11:31 a.m. Motorist reports impaired male driver of red vehicle driving in & out of ditch @ H41/Prairie.
  • 11:24 a.m. Undisclosed vandalism reported off I-90/MP 22 (H97 underpass).
  • 11:13 a.m. USPS worker finds child, less than 6YO, without shoes knocking on undisclosed Post Falls door.
  • 10 more items below

‘Neighbor From Hell’ Relief Sought

Property owners at the Court/Spain, a north Spokane condominium complex, are asking a Superior Court judge to end their ordeal with a neighbor from hell. Heroin and meth deals, multiple incidents of theft, public urination. The people living at the Court/Spain have seen it all at the hands of the guests and tenants of unit 11 and now the Spokane Police Department is in the middle of the lengthy process of evicting the owner in the wake of a series of undercover buys that led to a drug raid at the property. In that raid police flushed 10 people out of a two bedroom condo operating as a flop house and serving up all the property crimes that come with addictions/Jeff Humphrey, KXLY. More here.

Question: Have you ever lived next to a “neighbor from hell”?

Backers Push ‘Add The Words’ Again

Backers of the “Add the Words” legislation, to add the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act to ban discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, announced today that GOP leaders in both houses have informed them there will be no hearings on the bill this year. “Earlier this week, Speaker Bedke said that the Legislature is an ‘arena of ideas’ and that all ideas deserve consideration and an up or down vote,” Rep. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, (pictured) said. “Without explanation, the idea that all Idahoans should be free of discrimination … is somehow deemed to be outside the field,” he said/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Should the Idaho Legislature, at least, grant a hearing for “Add the Words” legislation?

AM Headlines — 1.24.14

Steve LaBeau, second from right, an elementary principal from Nampa and Common Core supporter, listens as Stephanie Zimmerman, right, a Common Core critic, discusses her objections to the new standards adopted in 45 states, including Idaho, on Wednesday in the Idaho Capitol's Lincoln Auditorium in Boise. Dorothy Moon, third from right, a former educator from Rupert who also objects to the standards. Story here. (AP Photo/John Miller)

Poll: Seahawk Was Simply Venting

  • Thursday Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation said that Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was “blowing off steam” in a postgame rant against S.F. 49er receiver Michael Crabtree. 61 of 246 (24.8%) took that position. Another 52 (21.14%) said the Sherman rant was “classless”; 39 (15.85%) said Crabtree was to blame, too; and 35 (14.23%) said the rant was typical of modern athletes. 59 of 246 respondents (23.98%) voted “Who cares?”
  • Today's Poll: Do you support House Speaker Bedke's plan to shift money from grocery tax credits to individual and corporate income tax cuts?

Idaho Employment Hits Record

More Idahoans found jobs in December than in any other month in 20 years, pushing total employment to a record 728,600 and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate down to 5.7 percent, its lowest level in over five years. Preliminary estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed nearly 3,800 Idaho workers found jobs in December, the largest single-month increase since January 1994. That surge dropped the unemployment rate four-tenths of a percentage point, matching the jobless rate in October 2008/Bob Fick, Idaho Department of Labor. More here.

Question: The Obama recovery?

Popkey Thrilled By Magic Valley Race

Dan Popkey, the political columnist of the Idaho Statesman, is eager to meet political newcomer and former Olympic star Dick Fosbury:

” I must confess that the prospect of meeting Fosbury in the halls of the Capitol is almost as thrilling as the notion that Willie Mays would move to Idaho and get elected to the Legislature. Fosbury brings back my 10-year-old self, watching a black-and-white TV in Cupertino, Calif., flickering from Mexico City with images of some of the greatest moments in sport. Bob Beamon’s space-walking long jump; Al Oerter’s fourth gold in the discus; Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the medal stand in the 200 meters, fists raised in a civil rights shout-out. Complete column here.

Question: Which former Olympic star would you most want to meet?

Read more here:

Letter: Socialist? Hold On A Minute

I have to comment on a couple of letters in recent editions of The Press. According to Giles Kavanagh, “Obama is a Marxist.” Is this the same Obama that has been president during the most rapid stock market advance in history? Mr. Giles also said, “Obama’s agenda is clear: The destruction of America.” Is this the same Obama who ordered Seal Team 6 to eliminate Osama bin Laden? Is this the same Obama who has presided over the killing of numerous foreign terrorists with drones, and who has presided over the elimination of every foreign terrorist cell in this country?/Bruce Hansen, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you think President Obama is a 'socialist'?

JT: Raul Encounters Local Tea Party

JT (RE: Post Falls crowd hears Labrador): I attended the town meeting last night. The Press article didn't capture the tone of the gathering nor have today's comments. It was a first for me and was disquieting to put it mildly. There was significant TEA Party presence in the audience. The first questioner asked first about EPA requirements of biodiesel use then… wait for it… “why haven't you moved to impeach Obama?” at which time there was much applause and cheering. More questions about the EPA, even chemtrails, VA retirement cuts (which Congressman Labrador explained as reduction of the COLA adjustments not reductions in base dollars). Rep. Labrador's TEA Party bona fides were challenged as he didn't know of a planned 10 Million Man March on DC. He did respond he did not advocate violence to bring political change and welcomed a peaceful March. Full comment here. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Question: Is it possible that Congressman Labrador is too liberal for Tea Party types?

IFF: Eliminate One Tax Or The Other

If Idaho lawmakers want to do something really bold and useful this legislative session, I have two suggestions. One of these is doable this legislative session, depending on how lawmakers proceed. Option one: Eliminate the tax on groceries. Eliminating the sales tax on groceries would save Idahoans somewhere around $170 million a year. This sounds like pretty tough and, perhaps, insurmountable public policy to put in place. But not when you consider that Idaho's goofy little grocery tax credit—intended to refund Idahoans' payment of sales tax for groceries—already has a $130 million annual price tag. … A better approach is Option Two: This would be to eliminate the state's corporate income tax. I've done the math and if state lawmakers reject the governor's plan to dump extra money into budget reserve accounts and new special projects and they keep spending increases to within 2-3 percent, they can get this done/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: I half agree with Hoffman here. Idaho should be ashamed of itself for taxing an essential like food. If they dump the grocery tax credit, legislators should eliminate tax on food altogether. Thoughts?

Edit: Speaker’s Idea Deserves Look

The Bedke “tax shift,” which would reduce Idaho income tax rates and pay for it by ending the $80-per-person grocery tax credit claimed by middle- and high-income Idahoans, is a welcome idea that deserves consideration — and maybe some tweaking this week by the Legislature. House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, (pictured) unveiled the shift concept Tuesday during a luncheon speaking engagement at the Andrus Center in Boise. Though his proposal did not set the room on fire, we hope Idahoans and the Legislature will realize the principle of the idea — to repurpose a block of money that can benefit the state in the long term. Low income families and the elderly would keep their grocery credit. An estimated $70 million to $80 million would be generated because middle and higher income residents would no longer get the credit, thus allowing Idaho’s tax rate to drop to 6.95 percent from the present 7.4/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.


ead more here: Statesman Editorial Board. More here.

Not-So-Chilly Dogs

Star, an 11 year-old dachshund female mix, left, and Henry, a 12 year-old male retriever mix, go for a stroll along Oakland Street, Thursday in Cheney, Wash., wearing homemade jackets sewn from bedspreads. The pair, belonging to Jon (pictured) and Barb Ballester, go on three walks a day, often up to 3 miles per outing. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

DFO: Mrs. O bought a pink jacket w/a peace sign on the back for our Beagle pup, Huckleberry. The pup looked silly. But, I guess, the jacket kept her warm while she was learning to walk on leash.

Question: Do you outfit your dogs in jackets during this cold weather?

Bell: Education Faces Slow Road Back

Idaho’s schools, hard-hit by budget cuts during years of economic downturn, would see a 5.1 percent boost in funding next year under a budget plan pitched to lawmakers Thursday by state schools chief Tom Luna. Luna’s proposed $66.9 million increase for schools is well above the 2.9 percent, $37 million increase Gov. Butch Otter has recommended. And unlike Otter, Luna calls for modest raises for teachers next year; Otter recommended none. “He laid out a blueprint that will give us something to work with,” said Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, co-chairman of the Legislature’s joint budget committee. Said Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, the House co-chair of the panel, “It’s a slow road back”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.

Question: Do you think Idaho political leaders are committed to proper funding of education over the long haul?

Reach America Urges Youth Outreach

Gary Brown (pictured), president of Coeur d'Alene-based Christian ministry and education program Reach America, has a bit of advice for local Republicans. To win the future politically, he said, younger generations must be won over. Conservatives haven't done a good job of that, and need a new strategy, Brown said Thursday, speaking to the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans at Fedora Pub and Grille. He believes the political party needs to reach middle- and high-school students, and build relationships with them. The purpose is not to recruit them, he insisted, but to listen to them and help them realize their importance to the political process/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Smoking Mad

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Thursday — 1.23.14

Where 10 days from the Super Bowl — and about three weeks-plus from Blogfest 2014 at the Fort Ground Grill (2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15). Meanwhile, the mildest winter in my 30 years in Coeur d'Alene hangs on. That may not be great for snow enthusiasts or those who fret about snowpacks and drought conditions. But I'll take it. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 1.23.14

Members of The Coeur d'Alene Resort holiday light crew, Chris Taylor, left and Casey Fehrnstrom remove the display above the marina in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Resort Security Spots Room Thief

Police are searching for a suspect that broke into empty rooms at the Coeur d’Alene Resort and stole liquor.  Authorities said a security guard at the resort called police and said they found a man in room and he was not a guest at the resort. When the security guard spoke with the suspect, he told him he was looking for his girlfriend according to a police report. Then, the suspect took off and jumped a fence by the McEuen construction area. The security guard said the suspect was wearing jeans, a zip up hoodie and was approximately 5’9” or 5’10”/Taylor Viydo, KREM2. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: Do you ever buy bottles of booze stocked in expensive hotel rooms?

Johnson: The Best In The World

I can make this statement without fear of contradiction: Itzhak Perlman (shown in AP file photo) is the greatest violinist in the world. Make a similar claim about a baseball pitcher or an NFL quarterback and you’re certain to get an argument about whether so-in-so is better than such-and-such. With Perlman no such argument is possible. He is the best – period. I’ve heard him play twice now once some years ago at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and more recently with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. The Kennedy Center performance was unique for me. I arrived in the big city late in the day, checked the Washington Post to see what entertainment might be available and notice the Perlman concert. Expecting to be disappointed, I called the box office and was told only single tickets remained and that they were “stage seats” – 15 or 20 chairs, really, arranged in a row right on the stage. I grabbed a ticket and watched the great artist from a wonderful vantage point – better than front row center – and even closer/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here.

Question: Are you a fan of classical music?

Cutline Contest — 1.23.14

Time 2 Vote …

These police booking mugs made available by the Miami Dade County Corrections Department show pop star Justin Bieber today. Bieber and singer Khalil were arrested early Thursday for allegedly drag-racing on a Miami Beach Street. Police say Bieber has been charged with resisting arrest without violence in addition to drag racing and DUI. Police also say the singer told authorities he had consumed alcohol, smoked marijuana and taken prescription drugs. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Miami Dade County Jail)

Wednesday Winner — fidjt, with 12 likes: “I got it one piece at a time….” and Runnerup with 9 likes — Flatlander: “Alan is not sure what to do after picking his car up from the mechanic, the check engine light is no longer on, but it still feels like the engine is missing.” You can see Wednesday photo and read all Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.23.14

  • 5:34 p.m. Post Falls apartment manager reports evicted tenant tried to run him over while he was taking out trash.
  • 4:49 p.m. 73YO female suffering uncontrolled bleeding @ North Star Assisted Living, 2340 W. Seltice Way/CdA.
  • 4:42 p.m. PFPD officer en route to undisclosed Post Falls store where highly drunk male just bought more alcohol.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Jan. 22-23 here.
  • 3:53 p.m. 81YO male injured in fall @ 600 block of Tubbs Hill Drive/CdA.
  • 10 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Handeen Launching Rival Luncheon

Hmm. Here's an interesting bit of internal GOP trivia. Bjorn Handeen, Precinct 52 committeeman, is launching weekly meetings for residents of his precinct in the Borah Triangle area. The GOPrecinct 52 meetings will begin at noon Thursdays at IHOP, 2301 N4th/CdA — or the same time that the Reagan Republicans meet at Fedora restaurant. Kootenai County GOP CC poohbah Neil Oliver will be the first featured speaker for the weekly meetings, providing a “State of the County Republican Party” message on Jan. 30. He will be followed two weeks later, on Feb. 13, by appointed Republican county clerk Jim Brannon (“Preparing for the Primaries”) and then on Feb. 20 by Precinct 12 Committeeman Bruce Maddux (“The Role of the Christian in a Representative Democracy”). Handeen emails: “We are committed to establishing a recurring luncheon event where Republicans of all varieties can come together and exchange ideas. We welcome Republicans from any precinct in the county, and beyond. We look forward to this, the beginning a new era of collaboration among all Republicans.”

Question: Can the Handeen Republicans and the Reagan Republicans meet at the same time on the same day — and still be part of “a new era of collaboration among all Republicans”?

2 Seek To Repeat Knievel Jump

Texas motorcycle stuntman Big Ed Beckley’s plans to repeat Evel Knievel’s attempted jump of the Snake River Canyon in south-central Idaho could be upstaged by a Hollywood stuntman with an earlier launch date. Jerome County commissioners approved a permit for a rocket-powered jump proposed by Scott Record and Scott Traux for Sept. 1, a week ahead of Beckley. The Times-News reports the plan approved earlier this week involves taking off from private land in Jerome County and landing on private land in Twin Falls County, sidestepping public land restrictions and permits/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Would you pay to see someone try to jump over Snake River Canyon?

HBO Blogosphere — 1.23.14

On The Slice blog, Paul Turner headlines this post: “Don't Laugh, It's Not Funny.” If you don't know what he means, you haven't lived in the Inland Northwest long. (Photo:

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, July 22): 8370 page-views/4667 unique views

Ex-Olympian To Run For Idaho House

Former Olympic champion Dick Fosbury, a Democrat, will challenge state Rep. Steve Miller, R-Fairfield, for his District 26 come this November. Fosbury moved to Ketchum in 1977. He's a retired engineer who currently sits on Blaine County's Planning and Zoning Commission. This will be his first attempt to run for state office. Miller won the the District 26 seat in 2012 after running unopposed in the Republican Primary. He won the general election with 50.9 percent of the votes against Democratic nominee John Remington. You may know Fosbury for his gold medal he won in the 1968 Olympics in the high jump. He was the first to use the “back-first” technique, which is now known as the Fosbury Flop/Kimberlee Kruesi, On The Agenda. (AP file photo: Dick Fosbury shows his revolutionary technique in February 2000 exhibition in Greece)

Question: Did you know that the creator of the Fosbury Flop was an Idahoan? I didn't.

Year Of The Cat? Say It Ain’t So

Adrienne Berthot, a member of Washington State University's student chapter of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, is shown with two pet cats. (WSU News photo: Linda Weiford)

The Chinese Year of the Snake ended in 2013, but judging by all the tail swishing it shaped up to be the Year of the Cat, reports WSU News (via Camille Troxel/KXLY). Consider what took place:

  • Internet celebrity Grumpy Cat set out on a multi-city publicity tour aboard a bus.
  • The Internet Cat Video Festival played to sellout crowds in cities across the nation, sometimes drawing 10,000 spectators who gathered, concert-style, before giant projection screens to watch cats do what cats do.
  • Ratings reached an all-time high for Animal Planet during its fourth-season reality show, “My Cat from Hell.”
  • In the classic Monopoly board game, Hasbro replaced the long-used iron token with a shiny metallic cat.
  • The book, “I Could Pee on This: And other Poems by Cats” perched high on National Public Radio’s bestseller list for eight months. More here.

Question: Year of the Cat? Can this be possible?

Cindy Tweets …

” … How do you explain your intense need to spend time alone to people who hate to be alone?” #introverts #writers


Huckabee ‘Libido’ Comment Offends

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) on Thursday blasted the Democratic Party for providing women with free birth control “because they cannot control their libido.” His argument was that Democrats send a mixed message in accusing the GOP of a “war on women,” saying it is their party that isn't standing up for women and that the birth control provision in ObamaCare isn't aimed at protecting women. His statement quickly attracted controversy and provided fodder for Democrats, who accused the GOP politician of making crass comments/Cameron Joseph, The Hill. More here.


Pope: Internet Is ‘Gift From God’

Careerist clergy. The super rich. And now we can add another pelt to Pope Francis' collection: Internet trolls. In statement released on Thursday, the Pope said the Internet and social media are making people across the world “increasingly interdependent.” “The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity,” Francis said. “This is something truly good, a gift from God.” At the same time, though, all those tweets and texts and comment streams can cause people to “lose our bearings,” said the 77-year-old pontiff/CNN. More here.

Question: Do you consider the Internet to be a “Gift from God”?

McEuen Update: Sidewalk Work Set

As each week goes by, Front Avenue adjacent to the McEuen Park project in downtown Coeur d’Alene is looking more like a revitalized downtown street and less like a construction zone. Crews next week will begin pouring the last section of sidewalk on the north side of Front between Fifth and Sixth streets. The work is expected to take 2-3 weeks. When complete, detour fencing along that block-long stretch of sidewalk will be removed, improving pedestrian flow. McEuen Park itself is also taking shape, contractors and city officials said during a weekly park update on Wednesday. Large colorful water features for the interactive splash pad will soon be installed. When complete, the splash pad will boast more than a dozen spouting ornaments and be the largest aqua play area in the city/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here. (Photo: city of Coeur d'Alene)

Kenck: GOP, Lobbyists Too Cozy

We the People of Idaho do not control what happens in our Statehouse. Lobbyists and special interests are calling the shots there. The outcome: more cash for the wealthy and higher taxes for the rest of us. If Idaho’s rank as 50th in family wages is not enough proof of that, then look at the cozy relationship between high-powered lobbyists and GOP politicians. On January 10th, GOP politicians skipped work to attend a free campaign school organized by Idaho’s most powerful lobbyists—for more than two hours during a time of day that our legislators to be working for all of us. Over 50 GOP politicians attended the “Republican Incumbents Campaign School.” School attendee, Sen. Dean Mortimer, said this: “Skip (Smyzer) and the others are saying, ‘Anything we can do to help get you re-elected, we’re here’”/Chairman Larry Kenck, Idaho Democratic Party. More here.

Question: Do you think elected GOP politicians, serving in Boise, are too cozy with lobbyists like Skip Smyzer?

Seattle Has Slender Title History

In this Jan. 19 file photo, Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman celebrates with fans after after the NFC championship NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Seattle. The last time one of Seattle's major franchises had a parade to celebrate a title, no one on the Seahawks roster was born. To call Seattle's championship history thin is an understatement. Maybe that's why there's so much support behind these Super Bowl-bound Seahawks. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Question: Are you a fan of any other Seattle professional teams? Mariners? Sounders? Storm?

AM Scanner Traffic — 11.23.14

  • 11:51 a.m. Ambulance responding to stroke victim (11:45 item) is having mechanical problems. QRU on scene.
  • 11:46 a.m. Budget Saver manager asks that people involved in AM fight (11:10 item) be trespassed from property.
  • 11:45 a.m. Someone is possibly having stroke @ Sandman Motel, 1620 Sherman Ave/CdA.
  • 11:33 a.m. Owner locates aggressive pitbull @ Phippeny Park, 7th & Montana/CdA.
  • 11:27 a.m. Animal control officer reports she's on another pitbull call @ Oakcrest & can't take one @ park now.
  • 11:23 a.m. CPD officer reports aggressive pitbull running loose @ Phippeny Park, 7th & Montana, after running away from fight @ Budget Saver, 15th/Sherman, CdA (11:10 item).
  • 11:17 a.m. Dogs running loose @ Macie Loop/Orchard Avenue, Hayden.
  • 11:10 a.m. Fight w/strangulation try reported in area of Budget Saver & Fresh Start, 15th & Sherman/CdA.
  • 11 more items below

Gay Couples Lose Joint Filing Vote

The House has voted 57-12 in favor of HB 375, which writes into Idaho law – retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year – that same-sex couples legally married in other states may not file joint income tax returns in Idaho, meaning they’ll have to re-do their taxes from how they did their federal ones, now that federal law allows them to file jointly. Idaho’s income tax laws generally follow federal tax laws, even to the point of requiring Idahoans to submit copies of their federal returns along with their state returns. Twelve of the 13 House Democrats voted no, with the exception only of Rep. Carolyn Meline, D-Pocatello; all House Republicans who were present voted yes. Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, missed the vote/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.


AM Headlines — 1.23.14

Gonzaga's Sam Dower, left center, and Gary Bell Jr., right center, enjoy their team's drubbing of the visiting San Francisco Dons Dec. 30 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The two starters were injured and out of the lineup. Dower has returned to action. Now, Bell has been cleared for action and will play tonight against San Diego. See below. (SR file photo)

A Stall For 2

Two toilets are shown at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center for next monthÌs Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Although two toilets and only one stall like this are not common in Russia, social media users have responded by posting other pictures of toilets standing side by side. One said this was standard at Russian soccer stadiums. (AP Photo/Steve Rosenberg, BBC)

Question: Um … would you consider using a modern two-holer like this?

Poll: CdA Police Shooting Justified

  • Wednesday Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation sez the August 2013 shooting of Eric Johnston of Dalton Gardens by a Coeur d'Alene officer was justified. 80 of 116 respondents (68.97%) took that position. Only 28 of 116 respondents (24.14%) said the shooting wasn't justified. 8 respondents (6.9%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: What do you think of Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman following the Seahawks 23-17 win over San Francisco in the NFC Title Game?

Question: How do you explain the difference in poll results re: the August 2013 police shooting between Hucks Nation and the Coeur d'Alene Press Online, where 48% said the shooting was justified and 47% said it wasn't?

Racist Fliers Crop Up In Hayden

A local resident tells Huckleberries that the flyer above was left on vehicles in the Hayden area on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The photo above was left on the resident's vehicle while it was parked at the Holiday Inn Express Sunday night. The resident emails: “We were informed that motel security cameras captured images of at least two males placing the offensive papers. Triple Play patrons' cars were also involved.” Also, a Berry Picker emailed a picture same flyer to Huckleberries that was left on the windshield of a Hispanic man's vehicle at Hayden Cinemas. The man found it after taking his family to a movie.


Sherman To Crabtree: Helluva Game

Super Bowl XLVIII is 10 days away, but off-the-field drama continues for Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. He's facing backlash over his post-playoff rant Sunday. However, newly released audio clips from the game reveal the moments before Sherman's post-game rant. By now, most people have seen or heard about Sherman's post-game interview, but nobody really knew what he told 49ers wide-receiver Michael Crabtree in the end zone, until now. It turns out throughout the game,  the NFL had both players mic'd up. Some of the clips aired Wednesday night on Showtime’s “Inside The NFL.” Seconds after the pivotal play cemented Seattle’s victory, Sherman sprinted over to 49ers receiver Crabtree and said “Hell of a game - hell of game!” Crabtree then shoves Sherman in the face/CBS This Morning. More here. (AP file photo of Seattle's Richard Sherman tipping last-gasp pass to San Francisco's Michael Crabtree in end zone)

Question: Do you think Seahawk Sherman is shouldering too much of the blame for his after-game rant last Sunday?

Quotable Quote — Kerri Thoreson

Councilwoman Kerry Thoreson introducing Congressman Raul Labrador at Post Falls Senior Center Wednesday (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

“Had the honor of introducing Congressman Raul Labrador at a standing room only Town Hall meeting at the Post Falls Senior Center tonight. I'm so appreciative that we live in a state where citizens have such incredible access to our elected representatives” — Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson of Post Falls.

DFO: I agree with Kerri re: access to the state's top officials. I still remember the first time I met the governor of Montana (Tom Judge, at the time) after relocating to take a job at the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Mont. I met him as he de-planed with this agriculture secretary at the Kalispell airport. Walked right up to him. No body guards.That was a far cry from months before when I'd met California Gov. Jerry Brown (first term) in Stockton, Calif., who was surrounded by body guards.

Question: Are you impressed that you have such easy access to high-ranking Idaho officials?

Captain & Tenille Split The Sheets

“Tenille filed for divorce from The Captain. If love can't keep them together, what hope is there for the rest of us?” — a Facebook Friend.

Question: Do you ever fear that your happily ever after might come to an end?

Glenn Beck Is ‘Hateful, Angry’

From a Facebook Friend: While driving home today I was listening to Glenn Beck. It is no dang wonder why so many people are full of hatred. It is no wonder so many people have the ME, ME, ME attitude. It is no wonder so many people hate the less fortunate in this country. Glenn Beck is a hateful, angry person.

DFO: I quit listening to radio commentary years ago. I couldn't stand the around-the-clock, heated rhetoric, even, at times, when I agreed with the bottom-line premise on an issue. How about you?

Question: Do you listen to radio commentary?

Seattle Fan Down To Painted Toes

Some people wear their dedication to their teams on their sleeves, sporting jerseys and jackets with team colors and logos. Some folks fly their pride from their flagpoles, car antennas or Clocktowers with billowing banners showing support. I thought about that last week as I sat in the pedicure chair of a local salon, while a nail technician painted my toenails Seahawks green and blue. Only four letters separate fan from fanatic, but despite my Seahawks pedicure I don’t think I’m quite ready to add those letters. I fell in love with football long before I had four sons – but love definitely has something to do with it. You see, my high school sweetheart played football and I spent many Friday nights under the bright lights of Joe Albi Stadium. Quickly, I mastered the ins and outs of the game so I could engage in conversation with him that involved words instead of merely sighs and eyelash flutters. Even better, the Seahawks franchise was brand new at the time, and that gave me something to watch with my dad/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Question: How do you show support for your favorite team?

Luna Calls For Teacher Raises

State schools chief Tom Luna told lawmakers he’s made several changes to his budget proposal: He’s calling for a 1 percent increase in salary-based apportionment to school districts, to allow teachers to get pay raises next year, in addition to $16 million for one-time leadership awards, continuing funding that was provided on a one-time basis this year. For school administrators and classified staff, he’s requesting a 2 percent increase in salary funds, because they won’t be part of the leadership awards. Gov. Butch Otter's proposed budget didn't include any of those items/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Other Eye on Boise stories this AM:

Question: Hmm. Luna playing nice to teachers? Is it an election year?

Trib: Beware Of Quack Bedke

Idaho's middle class has a bad case of the economic jitters. Call in Dr. Scott Bedke. There's just one rather glaring problem. Dr. Bedke is a quack. Only a quack would come up with Bedke's plan to bleed the middle class more - in order to ease the burdens of the rich. Bedke, an Oakley Republican, is speaker of the Idaho House - one of the most powerful jobs in state government. So what he says goes. And Tuesday, here's what he said: Stick moderate-income Idahoans with a sales tax boost. Then lower individual and corporate income tax rates. Idaho is one of the few states that subjects the necessities of life to its sales tax. That became an embarrassment for a GOP political establishment that in 2006 eliminated the property tax corporations and well-to-do homeowners paid to support schools. They then shifted the burden of school support on to a sales tax increase, which falls disproportionately upon lower-income families and renters/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: So what do you call it when Idaho lawmakers seek to rob the poor to give to the rich? Otterism?

Labrador Visits Post Falls

Congressman Raul Labrador discusses an issue with a man who attended his townhall meeting at the Post Falls Senior Center Thursday night. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Many questions asked to Rep. Raul Labrador during a town hall meeting Wednesday night had the same answer; Republican unity is needed to change the tide on many issues. Post Falls resident George Rodkey wondered how conservatives can have their voice heard on ideas when the media as a whole is “against” them. “We need to be bold in our vision,” the Republican lawmaker told a standing-room-only crowd of about 250 at the Post Falls Senior Center. “One of the problems of the Republican Party is that we continue to talk about ideas as it relates to business (and job creation). As a party, we'd better start talking to the employees, not just the business owner.” Labrador, who plans to seek re-election, said just fighting efforts such as Obamacare isn't enough/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Congressman Labrador says the GOP needs to talk to employees, not just the business owner. What do you suppose the GOP would tell workers in Idaho, a state that has the lowest average wages in the United States?

Clark: It’s OK Not To Root For ‘Hawks

We met in a downtown parking lot after midnight. The little guy wore an overcoat a size too big at least. His face looked like it hadn’t felt a razor’s edge in days. He told me he was the last non-Seahawks fan in Spokane. “No names,” he added, looking nervously over his shoulder. “If you write anything about this, just call me Deep Route.” I had to laugh. “With apologies to Watergate, of course.” Deep Route gave me a blank look and said, “Huh?” “As in Deep Throat,” I explained, “Woodward and Bernstein …” “Who’d those guys play for?” asked Deep Route. I shook my head. “OK. Never mind. So why’d you call?” Deep Route grinned. “I want people around here to know it’s OK,” he said. It was my turn to play dumb. “OK?” “Yeah,” he said. “That it’s OK to not to jump on all this Seahawks bandwagon baloney. That it’s OK not to act like a bunch of ignorant sheep”/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Anyone out there willing to say s/he is not a Seattle Seahawk fan?

NIC Trusts Prioritize Tech Training

Item: NIC narrows planning focus: Trustees decide to make technical training top priority/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: North Idaho College trustees have directed the college's administration to narrow NIC's facilities planning focus to one construction project - expansion of the college's professional technical training programs. The trustees gave the directive Wednesday during their regular monthly meeting, after they were asked by NIC President Joe Dunlap to approve development of an in-depth, multi-project, long-range facilities plan. A draft work plan was presented by Dave Teater and Doug Nichols, a pair of school facilities planning and capital project management experts introduced to the trustees by Dunlap. The plan named four specific capital construction projects the pair would be involved in, if hired: a professional-technical training facility, a sports complex and event center, a joint-use facility, and a student recreation center.

Question: Looks like Trustee Ron Nilson, a pro-tech advocate and owner of Ground Force Manufacturing in Post Falls, is having an impact at North Idaho College. Thoughts?

Who’s Watching Who?

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Hump Day Wild Card — 1.22.14

Frito Ray & I had coffee at Caleb Duke's Grumpy Monkey (named after his 2YO daughter) in the old Subway building on 4th Street, just south of I-90. The coffee shop has a nice vibe going. It has more seating room than Ironwood Square's Starbucks & has a casual, funky vibe to it. It's worth checking out. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 1.22.14

Young people uses a mattress as a sled to slide down the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Wednesday in Philadelphia. A winter storm stretched from Kentucky to New England and hit hardest along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor between Philadelphia and Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Amanda Knox Case Has CdA Angle

Amanda Knox wasn’t the only woman that Raffaele Sollecito proposed to in the hopes that he could secure a green card and save himself from potentially going back to an Italian jail for Meredith Kercher’s murder. can exclusively reveal that Sollecito tried to convince an American woman named Kelsey Kay, from Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, to sign a contract that would have bound her to him in a marriage-for-citizenship arrangement. In a sit-down interview with Radar, Kay revealed that she first connected with Sollecito online after reading his book, “Honor Bound,” and finding his GoFundMe Page linked to his Facebook profile/Lindsey DiMattina, RadarOnline. More here. (AP file photo: This Nov. 2, 2007, file photo shows American exchange student Amanda Knox, left, and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito outside the rented house)


PM Scanner Traffic — 1.22.14s

  • 4:55 p.m. CPD officer asks 911 dispatch to see if St. Vinny's/CdA has bed available tonight.
  • 4:35 p.m. Caller reports male lying on bike path, 100 feet north of Hayden KFC.
  • 4:26 p.m. Drunken male reported in 1000 block of Park Place/CdA.
  • 4:21 p.m. Disabled mini-van partly blocked H95 near Hayden Avenue.
  • 4:20 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Jan. 21-22 here.
  • 12 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

PM Headlines — 1.22.14

Mikayla Covert, 13, walks past “The Framework of Society” mural by Deidre Wilson on her way home from school last week in Shelley. The mural was painted in May as part of Daniel Borup's advanced art class at Shelley High School. According to Borup, the design took ten hours to paint and is one of four located in the city of Shelley. Every semester, students in Borup's advanced art class design their own mural and the top one is selected and painted somewhere in town. “I hope it's opening their eyes to the impact of art,” Borup said. (Idaho Post-Register photo: Pat Sutphin)

Cutline Contest — 1.22.14

Time 2 Vote …

“It would be a whole lot easier to drive if the rest of the car was attached,” said Alan Eaton, an estimator with Custom Body on North Monroe Street in Spokane, while walking a customer’s 2009 Honda Accord door frame over to Pat’s Frame Shop two blocks away. You write the cutline. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Tuesday Winner — Flatlander, with 13 likes: “US Boarder Patrol Agents are at a loss to explain why their much more elaborate fences are unable to secure the US-Mexican border, while this simpler version seems to stump the majority of Canadians from crossing illegally into the US.” You can see Tuesday photo and read all Cutline Contest entries here.

Marc: Rolaids & LCDC Service

Marc Stewart (RE: Goodlander gets LCDC appointment): Deanna is more than qualified to sit on this board. I question her sanity to want to do it. LCDC, planning and zoning and the school board fall into the category of self punishment. Why why why?

Question: Which volunteer committee position in the local government offers the most heart burn?

Tough On Wolves, Not Much Else

Idaho's 105 legislators are back in their comfortable seats under the capitol dome in Boise, intent on carrying out the state's important and urgent business. Well, maybe not so important. And maybe not so urgent. And maybe not even so comfortable. This year, you see, is an election year, and concern for primary elections trumps most everything for the Republicans, who are in charge. For chomping at the bit back in the legislators' home districts are even more conservative candidates, eager to run against any RINO (Republican In Name Only) who shows a weakness for cooperating with the moderate middle in order to get things done/Mary Lou Reed, Inlander. More here.

Question: Does Mary Lou offer a good explanation why Idaho's skittish GOP legislative leaders are concerned about wolves & the color of school buses but thread lightly around other controversies?

HBO Blogosphere — 1.22.14

At Slight Detour, Marianne Love writes: “I don't know if this wooden creature has ever had its portrait taken, but I will say that it sure did cooperate for me, holding that pose on the driftwood log AND so nice with the mountains in the background.  Again, any intruders would have chuckled as the goofy old lady rolled around in the sand to get this shot.” More photos of Marianne's outing here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, Jan. 21): 6772 page-views/3848 unique views

CSD To Present State Of The District

Laura Rumpler announces the upcoming State of the School District presentation that is to be held on 1-29-14 in the Cd’A Library Community Room. And shares that the event will be recorded and broadcast throughout the month of February. This event will be hosted by the Coeur d’Alene Education Partnership.

The Coeur d’Alene Education Partnership will present a State of the District community event in partnership with the Coeur d’Alene School District from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29 in the Community Room of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.  Parents, teachers, students, and community members are invited to attend.  The library is located at 702 E. Front Ave. Topics to be discussed include a district performance report from Superintendent Matt Handelman, an update on the district’s new safety and security enhancements, information about the Idaho Core Standards and the Smarter Balanced Field Test, and a presentation about the district’s strategic planning project titled Our Schools, Our Future. More here.

Question: Do you think the Coeur d'Alene School District is in better shape today than it was a year ago? Why? Why not?

SR Weekly News Quiz — 1.19-23.14

How much do you know about Spokane-based films, recreational marijuana and other news of note? Find out in the Spokesman-Review  weekly quiz, where you could win two movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel simply by entering. Good luck! You can take this week's quiz here.

  • Answer to Question No. 1: 40 stores.
  • Leaderboards: Merry Hucksters on the SR News Quiz leaderboard are Another Perspective & RayNTim,

Bedke Targets Grocery Tax Credit

House Speaker Scott Bedke will introduce a bill to drop Idaho income taxes and pay for it by ending the $80-per-person grocery tax credit claimed by middle- and high-income Idahoans. Bedke said he plans to introduce the measure as early as this week. He proposes continuing the $100 grocery credit for Idahoans with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level and the $120 credit for those 65 and older. He aims to drop top personal and corporate tax rates from 7.4 percent to 6.95 percent. The Oakley Republican said that will attract new business, boost the economy and spur Idaho’s transition from an agricultural to a high-tech economy/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea?

Read more here:

Otter: Bridgegate Could Help Christie

Idaho GOP Gov. Butch Otter, who held a December campaign fundraiser with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the headliner, says he has no reason to believe Christie knew about his staff”s traffic jam plans and that if Christie is cleared of foreknowledge of the payback scheme his stock as a 2016 presidential candidate may rise. “I think there’s probably going to be some help if he comes out of this without any knowledge of the bridge closure,” Otter said Wednesday. “So far, I haven’t seen anything that would suggest to me that he did have any knowledge”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Let's have a show of hands. Anyone out there agree that Bridgegate could help Christie in the long run, if it's proven that he didn't know about staff shenanigans?

Read more here:

Changing Of Idaho Guard Battalion

The first woman ever to lead an Idaho National Guard battalion had a suspicion she'd made history when she assumed command of the 145th Brigade Support Battalion. But Maj. Kimberly R. Tschepen focused instead on her 18 years of service to Idaho's 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team Battalion. “That's just how we operate, I don't really think of it in that respect,” she said. “But I'm definitely honored and hope I can set an example for those to follow.” Tschepen became the commander for the National Guard's 500 men and women in Lewiston, Orofino, Kamiah, Moscow, Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint and Post Falls on Jan. 4. After taking over for Lt. Col. Ryan J. Robinson of Sandpoint, Tschepen became a role model of sorts for young women in the service to look up to/Dylan Brown, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Idaho National Guard photo: Idaho National Guard Maj. Kimberly R. Tschepen passes unit colors to Battalion Sgt. Major Rik Williamson during a change of command ceremony in Post Falls)


Hate Crime Targets Coffee Hut

Coffee sales are brisk at a Spokane Valley stand where two young owners were targeted with a racial slur and an attempted arson at their 7-month-old business. “People have been coming by just making sure we are okay. People telling us we are doing a good job; we are supported. Even people who we’ve never seen before have been coming by,” said Coffee Break co-owner Diana Na. “We have a lot of great customers and we’ve had a lot of great feedback. That’s what’s motivating us.” The arson attempt is being investigated by Spokane Valley Fire Department, said Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Craig Chamberlain. It’s unclear if the act will be pursued as a hate crime. Jenn Na, co-owner, made the unpleasant discovery at Coffee Break early Tuesday when she arrived to open the stand before dawn/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here. (Dan Pelle SR photo: Sisters Jenn (left) and Diana Na own the Coffee Break coffee stand in Spokane Valley)

Question: Do you ever wonder about the people responsible for hate crimes?

NIC Prez Makes Plea For Dollars

North Idaho College President Joe Dunlap makes his budget pitch to state lawmakers in Boise on Monday. Gov. Butch Otter's budget calls for a 9.1 percent increase is targeted for the two southern Idaho community colleges. Eye on Boise post here. (Eye on Boise photo: Betsy Russell)

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.22.14

  • 11:44 a.m. Officers on scene of 911 call request EMTs for patient evaluation @ W. Seltice Way/Atlas, Huetter.
  • 11:18 a.m. Fire alarm sounding on 3rd floor of Kathy Reed House, 570 W. Neider Ave/CdA.
  • 11:10 a.m. Caller reports several males who may have warrants are hanging out @ old truck driving school building.
  • 11:01 a.m. Possible drug problem in MIl River area/Spokane River called in.
  • 10:44 a.m. Driver of green KIA @ e/b I-90/Huetter rest stop reports he's out of gas & doesn't know anyone in area to call to get him some more fuel.
  • 9:53 a.m. A red Oldsmobile has been abandoned under I-90 bridge @ Northwest Blvd/CdA.
  • 9:18 a.m. A tire is lying on road @ n/b H95/MP 422 (near Mica Creek bridge).
  • 8:47 a.m. ISP officer reports tire debris lying on road @ H95/MP 440 (Garwood Road).
  • 8:09 a.m. A disabled Cadillac is parked off highway @ e/b I-90/MP 10.8 (west of NW Blvd/CdA).

Corkill Appointed To F&G Commission

Two new Idaho Fish & Game commissioners, Brad Corkill from North Idaho and Mark Doerr from the Magic Valley, have been unanimously approved by the Senate. Four Panhandle senators spoke in favor of Corkill’s confirmation, and three Magic Valley senators spoke in favor of Doerr’s, including Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, who shared a goose-hunting story/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise.

  • Factoid: Corkill is the former chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.


Keough Opponent Job Shadows Thayn

A young man in a suit who just turned 21 a month ago is doing a job-shadow of Sen. Steven Thayn in the Idaho Senate this week – at the same time he’s running against one of Thayn’s colleagues, Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint. Christian Fioravant, who moved to Bonners Ferry about a year and a half ago, filed as a Constitution Party candidate for the Senate seat on Dec. 30. Thayn, who began shepherding Fioravant around the Capitol on Tuesday, didn’t know Fioravant was a candidate until Keough told him on the Senate floor that morning/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Is this as innocent as Thayn is trying to make it sound?

Goodlander Gets LCDC Reappointment

(Councilman Steve) Adams said he talked with the mayor about his recommendations before the council meeting, and explained that he was opposed to re-appointing former City Council Member Deanna Goodlander to the Lake City Development Corp. He asked the council to hold a separate vote on Goodlander's appointment, and he would support the rest of the recommendations. The council agreed and appointed all of the other volunteers on a 5-1 vote. McEvers voted in protest against that motion. He did not want Goodlander removed from the list, but Goodlander was appointed anyway on a 4-2 vote, with (Councilman Dan) Gookin and Adams voting no/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you support the reappointment of former councilwoman Deanna Goodlander to the LCDC board?

AM Headlines — 1.22.14

Brenda Grimm-Bear is shown cutting hair at her barber shop. An older gentleman who described himself as a World War II veteran turned up at Spokane County offices Tuesday morning and paid an $8,068.46 sewer bill that had the Spokane Valley woman facing foreclosure of her home. More here.

Poll: Oil Trains Make Us Nervous

  • Tuesday Poll: 56% of Hucks Nation are either somewhat concerned or very concerned re: the pending increase of trains carrying oil through the Inland Northwest. 40 of 141 respondents (28.37%) are very concerned, while 39 of 141 respondents (27.66%) are “sorta” concerned. 60 of 141 respondents (42.55%), however, aren't concerned at all. 2 (1.42%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you agree with the official finding that the August 2013, shooting of Eric Johnston of Dalton Gardens was justified?

Idaho Biz Targets Tea Party Challenge

Ground zero in the Republican Party’s fight to define its future is on the opposite side of the country from Washington, amid snow-covered mountains and the Snake River canyon, in a U.S. House race that pits the business community against the Tea Party. It’s here in Idaho’s 2nd District where Representative Mike Simpson, an Appropriations Committee chairman and ally of House Speaker John Boehner, is fighting for re-election against fellow Republican Bryan Smith, a lawyer and political novice aligned with the limited-government movement. Smith says Simpson doesn’t reflect the district’s “conservative values” and multiple Tea Party groups are backing him. The threat to Simpson has awakened national and local business groups and Idaho companies with little or no history of getting involved in primary contests. And defending Simpson is a top priority for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce/John McCormick, Bloomberg Business. More here. (AP file photo: Bryan Smith shakes hands with supporters at Montpelier last fall)

Question: Are you as concerned today with the Tea Party's influence in Idaho as you were 3 years ago?

Leach: Clearly Suicide By Cop

In a letter to the editor of the Coeur d'Alene Press today, former county Undersheriff Tad Leach writes: “Ofc. Spencer Mortensen of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department has been absolved in his shooting, and the video from his body worn camera is available to the public. In viewing that video, Ofc. Mortensen was exemplary in his actions. He advised the subject numerous times to drop the knife, tried to put distance between them and warned him he would shoot. It was only when Ofc. Mortensen was in imminent danger and had no choice but to protect himself, that he fired his weapon. While Coordinator of the Law Enforcement Program at North Idaho College, I provided the curriculum on Officer Assisted Suicides (commonly referred to as Suicide by Cop) for law enforcement officers at the POST Basic Academy. This situation had all the earmarks of that sad phenomenon.” More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree with former Undersheriff Leach's contention that the Aug. 25, 2013, shooting of Dalton Gardens resident Eric Johnston was “suicide by cop”?

Trib: Time To Deal With ‘Maniacs’?

In 1977, the people running Lewiston schools dropped the repulsive “Savages” as Sacajawea Junior High School's mascot and adopted in its place the “Braves.” Considering the times, it might have sounded like an improvement. Back then, you could order breakfast in a restaurant called Sambos. With rare exceptions, network television was virtually all white. If you saw a racial or ethnic minority, often as not it was a caricature. And remember the sexist airline ads? How about “I'm Cheryl. Fly Me!”? Sambos long ago served its last plate of pancakes. The nation looks a little more like itself on television. Long ago, the “fly me” ad campaign flew away. But the Sacajawea Braves remain — as do the Orofino Maniacs and the Nezperce High School Indians. For now. But for how long?/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune Editorial Board. More here.

Question: I thought Orofino picked its mascot name from a fan who said that the players were playing like “maniacs.” The nearby mental institutions, of course, provide another possible meaning for the mascot. Is it time to do away with the Orofino Maniac mascot?

12th Man

Can the fans
still be as noisy
at a game played
in New Joisy?

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

(DFO: For those keeping score at home, the SR has provided a “12th Man” flag on Page A7 today, that you can put in your window to indicate support for the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl)

Outage KOs Part of Seattle-SF Game

Football fans can blame an ice-covered tree for knocking the NFC Championship game off the air for several minutes Sunday just as the Seattle Seahawks were rallying for the win. But as catastrophic as the transmitter shutdown was for Spokane-based Fox affiliate KAYU-TV, it could have been much worse. “We had a guy on duty on” Tower Mountain, KAYU General Manager Doug Holroyd said. “Had we not had people in place … it would have been the end of the game for those folks.” The series of events started at 6:05 p.m. Sunday when the tree, which was not interviewed to determine which team it favored, fell across a power line that feeds the KAYU transmitter on Tower Mountain/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here. (AP file photo: Seahawks' Jermaine Kearse catches a touch-down pass during the second half of the NFL football NFC Championship game Sunday)

Question: Did you behave well when the Seahawks-49ers game blacked out?

Bill Hall: Life Is Full Of Broken Yolks

I was frying two eggs the other day, one for me and one for Sharon, when I felt like a manly man and cracked one of the eggs too roughly, producing what is known as a hard-fried egg with a broken yolk. That left us with two different egg dishes. One was a perfect egg, sunny-side up, steamed in a covered skillet until just the right amount of hot, runny yolk. The other was a broken egg with yolk running all over the skillet, instantly solidifying and turning into something like a hard-boiled yolk, only flatter. That was my mistake. So I did what any honorable cook would do: I served that egg to myself and served the perfect egg to a perfect mate. Sometimes a rooster must, as a matter of integrity, be there for the hen. Sharon tried to be equally generous, saying she didn't mind the flat, hardened yellow yolk cooked into something like a drunken Picasso painting/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: What do you with hard-fried eggs with broken yolks?

One Crash Leads To Another

An officer with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department looks at the wreckage of one of the vehicles involved in a major collision Tuesday morning on Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive. (Coeur d'Alene Press: Gabe Green)

Two residents were injured and the normally quiet Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive was temporarily closed Tuesday morning after two related vehicle collisions resulted in a scene one witness described as shocking. The initial crash happened at 7:30, after Patricia Desmet, 61, of Coeur d'Alene, turned westbound in her Subaru onto Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive. Desmet told law enforcement officers that she saw a Mercedes SUV approaching her vehicle on the wrong side of the road. Desmet attempted to swerve away from the Mercedes but was unsuccessful. A good Samaritan, Coeur d'Alene resident Sheri Bullock, 42, pulled her Volvo SUV over and left her three children inside as she went to check on the drivers involved in the crash. At that point, the Mercedes driver — a Coeur d'Alene woman identified by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office as Kara L. Powers, 33 (pictured) — allegedly walked over to the good Samaritan's Volvo and got into it. With Bullock's three children still inside/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Child, 139 Animals Taken From Home

A goat pokes its head through a fence Tuesday at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds where about a dozen goats, along with 129 other animals, are being kept after being confiscated Friday from a residence near Athol. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Gabe Green)

An 8-year-old girl and 139 animals were removed by sheriff's deputies from a home in Athol last week. The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office received an anonymous tip Jan. 14 that the girl was living in a home located on East Pend Oreille Divide Road with no running water or electricity. When deputies arrived, they found that the home did not have any sewer or functioning septic system. According to a press release, the home was filled with animal feces, rotting food and garbage. The child was taken into protective custody and deputies are seeking child injury charges against the parents/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


DonS: Local Newspapers Making Do

Don Sausser (RE: Oregonian going tabloid): My first act of the morning is a cup of coffee (or three) with our only hometown paper, the CDA Press. I also read the Spokesman Review each morning. It seems that two HBOers need to find something to hate. The newspaper business has been squeezed by online sources and the fact that few young folks under 30 subscribe to or read newspapers. I believe the two papers are dealing with those restraints quite well with good writers and photographers.

Question: Do you read the morning paper over coffee?

EagleKeeper: FAA Must Protect Public

EagleKeeper44: (RE: Poll: FAA wrong to ground SR photog): Interesting but not surprising poll result. The FAA is tasked with insuring that things that fly are as safe as practical. If the quadracopter crashed (killing grandma jones in her garden) because of design fault/poor engineering/insufficient operator training or procedures, public out roar would be deafening. The FAA MUST err on the side of public safety … give the new technology time to mature and you will see them used as the SR photo guy wants to…be patient.

Question: Do you agree with EagleKeeper?

JohnA: No Excuse To Miss Deadline

JohnA (RE: Haagenson: McEuen schedule 'tight'): I think it is inexcusable for planners, engineers or contractors to believe it is OK to miss the important May 1st deadline. There is nothing OK about it. It's bad enough they missed the November opening of Front Avenue; this would be unacceptable. I was all over the park construction yesterday. On a beautiful day, only a handful of workers were on site, many just ambling about with their seemingly singular task at hand. They say they can't get contractors? Hmm, I wonder how many seasonal workers are laid off right now and would love the opportunity to get in and get their hands dirty, basically doing manual labor getting the open space ready to go. And, why did no one see the hydro-seeding as a big issue, and have a contingency plan in place? The whole project is becoming suspect, right before our eyes, and I think those responsible will be held accountable for any delays past May Day. It could be that Mayday will have a different meaning this year.

Question: If the contractor misses the startup deadline, will it diminish this project?

Lisa Benson/Washington Writer's Group

Wild Card/Tuesday — 1.21.14

My wife & I spent last week hosting our son (Coeur d'Alene High class of 1997) for an unexpected but totally enjoyable visit. Each day featured a stop at a different eatery — Moon Time, Bardenay, Fort Ground Grill, Hayden Capones, Canton & coffee shops. That, and walks downtown & along the waterways. We made it out to Higgens Point for a flyover by the lone eagle still hanging out there. Junior was hoping for some colder weather to get a taste of his native state. But was okay that the temperatures were much like those he'd left in Florida. All in all, a fine time was had by all. Cindy's quality substitution, per usual, allowed me to focus on Junior rather than spend time watching what was happening here. Now, I'm back and rejuvenated. Only 4 weeks of vacation to go this year ;-) Here's your Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 1.21.14

A man who gave his name as Jose, feeds birds from his hand in the Retiro park in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday. The Retiro Park, a beautifully tended 350-acre garden space where city-dwellers go to get away from the metropolitan hubbub lies in the heart of the city. Originally the formal gardens of a medieval palace, it became King Philip II's 16th-century refuge from court preoccupations, as well as his religious retreat.(AP Photo/Paul White)

A Bus Of A (Slightly) Different Color

Little-known fact: When a school bus is decommissioned, state law requires that all school bus markings be “obliterated” and its paint color be changed, before it can run on state highways. A state trooper in Coeur d’Alene recently ticketed someone for not doing that. “It was still school bus color, and they wrote ‘em a ticket,” said Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger. But when the officer was preparing to go to court, it was discovered that Idaho’s state law still referred to the color of school buses as “school bus chrome,” a name that goes back to the 1930s. “School buses haven’t changed color,” Wolfinger said. “That color has now changed names.” It’s now officially known as “glossy yellow, federal standard 595a, color number 13432.” The trooper contacted Wolfinger, and he contacted his local senator, Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, to work on a bill to update the state law/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how high would your rate the importance of this issue?

Oregonian Going Tabloid

The Oregonian will transition from a broadsheet size to a compact format this year, the Oregonian Media Group announced Tuesday. “The new format will allow for a stronger visual presentation of editorial content and advertising,” said N. Christian Anderson III, president of Oregonian Media Group and publisher of The Oregonian. “With color on every page and a streamlined design, the compact will be a richer experience for our readers.” The compact size will measure about 15 inches tall by 11 inches wide, the format Homes & Gardens of the Northwest is currently printed in/Oregonian. More here. (AP file photo, of Oregonian building in Portland, Ore.)

Question: Would you prefer a tabloid version of The Spokesman-Review or Coeur d'Alene Press if it was available?

Cutline Contest — 1.21.14

Time 2 vote …

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada leans over the net as she plays Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

PM Scanner Traffic — 1.21.14

  • 5:49 p.m. Driver of older white vehicle @ n/b H95/MP 446 (Bunco Road/Worley) has almost hit female driver's vehicle twice, cussed at her out window, flipped her off, and is now brake-checking her.
  • 5:31 p.m. A Christmas tree is lying on the onramp @ w/b I-90/MP 13 (4th Street/CdA).
  • 5:21 p.m. Someone who has fallen needs lift assistance @ 600 block of N. Park Drive/CdA.
  • 4:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Jan. 20-21 here.
  • 4:29 p.m. 57YO male employee lost consciousness temporarily @ Midway Nissan, 550 Alberta, Post Falls.
  • 4:24 p.m. 4YO Hayden boy accidentally got pepper spray in his eyes.
  • 3:45 p.m. Confused motorist who won't give his name is driving around in circles @ undisclosed CdA location/
  • 3:42 p.m. Elderly female is locked out of her apartment @ 1300 block of 3rd Avenue/Post Falls.
  • 3:41 p.m. Elderly male is riding a bicycle on shoulder of w/b I-90/MP 5; officer responds he's already checked on him.
  • 3:29 p.m. ISP officer asked help in pulling over motorist who almost ran him off road merging @ H95/Kathleen.
  • 3:07 p.m. 81YO male is suffering intense stomach pain from recent surgery @ 6600 block of Harbor/Harbor Island.
  • 2:50 p.m. Deputy asked to check on possible diabetic motorist pulled over @ unknown location.
  • 2:15 p.m. Driver of Jeep Wrangler w/small child in back seat swerving, speeding @ e/b I-90/MP 7 (H41/Post Falls).
  • 1:56 p.m. CPD officer reports Lake Coeur d'Alene Drive reopens after early-morning crash.
  • 1:51 p.m. Local woman says her sister may be using her Alzheimer-suffering mother's drugs.
  • 1:31 p.m. Officer reports he has purse of woman involved in morning crash that closed Lake Coeur d'Alene Drive.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Stapilus: Risch No Shoo-In

An array of familiar Democratic faces turned up Tuesday at the Boise press conference where attorney Nels Mitchell announced his run for the Senate against Republican Jim Risch, but one in particular may have resonated for people familiar with recent Idaho politics. He was Mike Burkett, a former state senator and like Mitchell an attorney. Also like him, he has run as a Democrat against Risch. What’s remarkable about Burkett is that he is one of the few people ever to beat Risch in a political contest. That was in 1988, long before Risch was a U.S. senator, but at another time when he was powerfully positioned in the state, as Senate president pro tem. Risch then had been winning elections for 18 years (for county prosecutor, then senator) and had never lost one. He was very smart, disciplined, an excellent speaker and debater and (with his wife Vicki) a fine political strategist, and centrally positioned among Idaho Republicans in his points of view. There was also a rap on him: That he was arrogant, loved to wield power, stepped on people/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Are you a fan of U.S. Sen. Jim Risch?

HBO Blogosphere — 1.21.14

Kerri Thoreson and hubby, Bert, enjoyed the sunshine Monday — and the beauty of the (almost) iced over Twin Lakes.

HucksOnline numbers (for week of 1.12-18.14): 34,494 page-views/20,519 unique views

Idaho 49th In Number Of Doctors

Idaho ranks 49th in the nation for its number of physicians per 100,000 residents, Dr. Mary Barinaga of the Idaho WWAMI program told legislative budget writers this morning. And Idaho’s doctors are aging: 25 percent are over age 60, and 86 percent are over age 40. “Knowing that it can take up to 11 years after high school to produce a physician, Idaho really has some challenges ahead as these physicians start retiring,” Barinaga warned. That includes four years of college, four years of medical school, and three to seven years of residency and fellowship/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Hey, it could be worse, right? Idaho could be 50th.

All That Remains Of ‘Kate’

Here's all that's left of the popular public art piece, entitled “Kate,” after some jerk(s) absconded with her and one of the dogs from the Riverstone Pond area Friday night or Saturday morning. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Coeur d’Alene police at 208-769-2320. You can read more about this story here. Let's catch this jerk(s).

Matthew: Too Close For Comfort

Matthew Root: Another school shooting. This time in the engineering dept. at Purdue University where my son teaches. He gathered his students and is locked in his office with them. One person in his building taken into custody. This is scary stuff when your son is sheltered in place with his students. This is too much.

Question: When you consider the exposure of your core and extended family, how do you cope in our culture of senseless, random violence?

Anti-Common Teacher Jumps In Race

A Grangeville teacher — and opponent of the new Idaho Core Standards — is jumping into the rapidly growing Republican field for state superintendent. John Eynon filed paperwork Friday naming a campaign treasurer, a precursor to raising money for a race. His campaign website — emblazoned with the slogan, “Common Sense, NOT Common Core” — leaves no question about his signature issue. Eynon describes himself as a “public school teacher and education professional.” He describes the Idaho Core Standards as unproven and a federal “overreach” into Idaho classrooms. “Common Core is the Democrat Party platform, says Eynon. “So, when it comes to Idaho education do we only have one party represented?”/Kevin Richert, IdahoED News. More here.

Question: Impressions of this guy?

Idaho Teachers Back Common Core

A solid majority of teachers support the new Idaho Core Standards, according to a survey commissioned by a conservative group opposing the standards. In a survey of 402 teachers in December, conducted by the Idaho Freedom Foundation, 59 percent of teachers had a favorable or very favorable impression of the new math and English language arts standards. Only 31 percent of teachers opposed the standards. The Freedom Foundation’s executive director, Wayne Hoffman, has said the state should step away from Common Core — dismissing it, in one recent column, as “the latest national education fad.” On Tuesday, he labeled Common Core as education’s “latest, bright shiny object,” and said the survey results would not cause his group to rethink its position on Common Core/Kevin Richert, The EDge, IdahoED News. More here.

Question: Are you surprised that Idaho teachers would support something that the Idaho Freedom Foundation considers to be “the latest national education fad”?

Stolen SUV May Ge Involved In Crash

A chaotic scene unfolded in Coeur d’Alene this morning after a woman reportedly caused a crash, stole a car with three children inside and then caused another crash. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office responded to a crash at Silver Beach Loop Road and Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive at 7:30 a.m. this morning. A silver Mercedes SUV was reportedly driving east in the westbound lane and hit a Subaru driven by a 61-year-old Coeur d’Alene woman, according Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Stu Miller. An uninvolved driver with three children in her Volvo stopped to help. The 33-year-old driver of the silver Mercedes stole the Volvo and crashed it into the side of the Subaru. The children were able to escape before the woman drove off again, Miller said/SR. More here.

Christie Begins Second Term

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie waves as he stands with his wife Mary Pat Christie during a gathering for his swearing in for his second term Tuesday in Trenton, N.J. Mired in a scandal, Christie sought to turn back the clock Tuesday and focus on the mandate he said he got in November to “stay the course” and put aside differences, even as Democrats ramped up an investigation into whether his administration abused its power. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Question: Who will Republicans turn to for a presidential nominee, if they can't pick Christie?

Poll: FAA Wrong To Ground SR Photog

  • Vacation Poll: Two-thirds of Hucks Nation say the FAA is wrong to prevent SR photographer Jesse Tinsley from taking photos for paper w/remote-control helicopter? 198 of 304 respondents (65.13%) took that position. 85 of 304 respondents (27.96%) agreed with the FAA decision. 21 (6.91%) was undecided.
  • Today's Poll: How concerned are you re: risk posed by proposed increase in number of trains carrying oil through local area?

AM Scanner Traffic — 1.21.14

  • 12:02 p.m. 30ish female, possibly intoxicated, unable to stay awake @ mental health facility, 2195 Ironwood Court/CdA.
  • 11:42 a.m. Neighbor @ 4200 block of Appaloosa reports seeing male in black jump fence and enter basement of next-door house; the male might be neighbor's son.
  • 11:09 a.m. Possible violation of domestic violence order occurring @ 2500 block of N16th/CdA.
  • 10:52 a.m. Daughter reports 67YO father unconscious @ 9300 block of Govt Way/Hayden.
  • 10:08 a.m. Caller tells KCSD that neighbor is using his property for access to his.
  • 9:59 a.m. Dog running loose @ H95/Lacey Avenue, Hayden.
  • 9:23 a.m. Wife reports husband threatening to kill her while she's taking a shower.
  • 9:04 a.m. 67YO female injured in fall in 300 block of W12th/Post Falls.
  • 8:56 a.m. 81YO female suffering chest pain in 900 block of W. Joe/Worley.

Denney Defends ‘Duck Dynasty’ Event

I'd like to thank Marty Trillhaase for drawing attention to our campaign fundraiser on March 29, at the Idaho Center. Yes, we're bringing in leading cast members from “Duck Dynasty,” the wildly popular Arts and Entertainment Network program that was temporarily canceled, then brought back. Why was it brought back? Well, as I said, it's a wildly popular show and the public demanded it.For those who haven't seen the show, “Duck Dynasty” is about a Louisiana family that has made a fortune by making duck calls and put together a funny reality show highlighting their down-home lifestyles. Phil Robertson, his son and other men in the program have long beards, which adds to the flavor of the program.Granted, political correctness is not their strong suit and I don't agree with everything they say. Of course, I also don't agree with everything written in the Lewiston Tribune. In both cases, I will defend their rights to express opinions - even if I don't agree with them. But the event on March 29 is not about expressing political views/Lawerence Denney, candidate for Secretary of State, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Haagenson: McEuen Schedule ‘Tight’

An aerial view of McEuen Park. Aerial services provided by Big Country Helicopters ( and pilot Jim Van Sky. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

McEuen Park, just like any large construction project, has had a few setbacks but those involved with its makeover say they are doing their best to keep it on track to finish on time and on budget. “There has been a myriad of issues,” said Dean Haagenson, CEO of Contractors Northwest Inc. “Some of those would extend this out far beyond the end of May, but the city, the contractor and the design team are working to complete the project on time. “It's going to be tight, but it is doable and we are going to suck it up and make it happen.” Haagenson said there have been project delays that could wind up pushing the project back, and there may be other unforeseen circumstances that delay the project in the future, but for now they are committed to getting things wrapped up sometime in May/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: What new McEuen Field amenity do you want to use first, when the complex reopens?

City Crews Dealing With Sinkhole

A sinkhole forming around a manhole on Mullan Avenue between Fifteenth and Sixteenth streets has forced the emergency closure of the road while city wastewater utility crews work to repair the problem. The street is expected to reopen by Wednesday morning. Meantime, detour signs have been placed to reroute traffic/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today.

Thomas Announces For Treasurer

Chief Deputy Treasurer Laurie Thomas announced on Thursday her intent to run for Kootenai County Treasurer. “When Tom (Malzahn) announced he was retiring, I did some soul searching and realized I really love what I do,” Thomas said. Malzahn, the current county treasurer, announced his intention to retire last year, but he delayed his retirement until the end of his term because he could not be assured that Thomas would be appointed to complete the term. Now he is endorsing Thomas to succeed him. “Laurie has served as the chief deputy treasurer for 13 years and is the most qualified person in Kootenai County for the job,” he said. “She will make a great treasurer serving all of the people of Kootenai County”/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Treasurer Tom Malzahn says Chief Deputy Thomas is the most qualified to succeed him. Do you think the Reagan Republican/Rally Right brain trust agrees?

AM Headlines — 1.21.14

Jasmyne Bivens, left, and Javontae McCain, both 17 and classmates at On Track Academy, walk in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march as it moves west from the Spokane Convention Center toward River Park Square on Monday. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

City Announces Committee Openings

Interested in providing your input on important issues involving the city of Coeur d’Alene? The city currently has several volunteer openings on advisory committees for citizens who would like to offer their expertise on a wide range of topics. Openings include:

  • Arts Commission (1 opening)
  • Planning Commission (1 opening)
  • CDA TV Commission (1 opening for a citizen at large and 1 opening for a business owner residing within the city limits.)
  • Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee (2 openings)
  • Urban Forestry Committee (1 opening)
  • Jewett House Advisory Board (1 opening, for a senior citizen)

For information on these positions, contact the city at (208) 666-5754, or email to request an application.

Question: Have you ever served on a city or county committee? Which city/county? Which committee?

CdA Trustee Opposes Common Core

Coeur d'Alene School Trustee Tom Hamilton posted this comment under an editorial by Coeur d'Alene Press Editor Mike Patrick in favor of Common Core:

For those of you that would actually like to research some of the reasons people are opposed to Common Core, REAL research, not just rhetoric, please see the following: This is a well researched, well written and foot-noted dissertation on the history and issues with the Common Core. Before you just take the State's (or Mike Patrick's) word for it, please do a little bit of your own homework to help you make up your mind on your own.


Grassy Swales Help Church Save $$$

Fifty-five-thousand square feet of asphalt made it easy to find a parking spot at Coeur d’Alene Assembly Church, but all that blacktop was costing the church a small fortune in stormwater fees. When the city of Coeur d’Alene reinstated the fees last year, church officials were caught off guard by the $264 monthly bill. The assessment was based on the square footage of impervious surfaces on church property, which collected runoff that flowed into the city’s storm drains. “It was an expense we hadn’t budgeted for,” said the Rev. Dan Christ, Coeur d’Alene Assembly’s lead pastor. Fortunately, there was a solution. The church worked with city officials to install a grassy swale at the edge of its parking lot. The swale captures the runoff, allowing the water to filter into the ground. Coeur d’Alene Assembly spent about $5,000 on the project and lost seven parking spaces, but no longer has to pay stormwater fees/Becky Kramer, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo: Coeur d’Alene Public Works inspector Shane Roberts, left, talks about the new grass infiltration area at Coeur d’Alene Assembly Church with pastor Dan Christ on Wednesday)

Question: Do you support the city's requirement that grassy swales be installed on all new developments?

The Seahawk Who Roared

“I'm the best corner[back] in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you going to get” —Richard Sherman

That's the quote that got America talking. The man behind it was Seattle Seahawks all-pro defensive back Richard Sherman, a guy whose mouth is about the only thing louder than his game. In the moments after Sherman's post-game interview, Twitter exploded. People called him everything from a “thug” to a “disgrace,” and even Justin Verlander - a professional pitcher for the Detroit Tigers - suggested that Sherman would get “high and tight” fastballs if he were in the MLB/Isaac Saul, Huffington Post. More here.

Question: Did Richard Sherman take away the luster of the Seahawks' big win over San Francisco by shooting off his mouth?

INW Prepares For More Oil Trains

A string of train accidents involving crude oil shipments in the U.S. and Canada is causing uneasiness in Spokane and other communities bisected by railways. And the safety of rail cars and hazardous cargo is under intensifying scrutiny. With the number of oil trains from the upper Great Plains expected to increase through the Spokane area, the risk of spills and potentially deadly fires is a growing concern, City Council President Ben Stuckart said. “These are almost moving bombs,” Stuckart said. “They’re carrying highly explosive material.” Spokane is a pinch point for rail traffic through the region. The tracks for BNSF Railway Co., a major oil hauler, cross the Spokane River, pass near schools and cut through downtown beside retail centers, office towers, hospitals and Interstate 90/Scott Maben & Becky Kramer, SR. More here. (AP file photo: Workers comb through debris on last July 9, three days after an unattended train with 72 cars carrying crude oil rolled away and derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, setting the downtown ablaze and killing 47)

Question: Do you believe that oil trains rumbling through the Inland Northwest are hazardous to the health of residents & the environment?

Grip: Spring Training Would Be Nice

Actually a nice spring training preview would go over really well right now. After tasting some warm weather in my trip to the LA Basin last week, the idea of sun, heat and the smell of the ball coming off the bat sounds pretty good right now. But that's for a few weeks down the road. It's a bit too cold around here to get in a baseball state of mind. However, the weather is perfect for staying indoors and contemplating another Seahawk Super Bowl. It's almost starting to become a habit. Yep, every time the NFL holds a Super Bowl in a cold-weather city, you can book the Hawks. It was eight years ago the league put the championship game in Detroit and Seattle was there. Since then, the game has been held in Miami, Phoenix, Tampa, Miami again, Dallas, Indianapolis (wait, how did the Hawks miss that one?) and New Orleans/Vince Grippi, A Grip on Sports. More here.

DFO: Vince Grippi provides a daily wake-up call for Northwest sports fans with his Grip on Sports that can be found on the SR's SportsLink blog. I will begin highlighting Vince's posts more frequently.

Question: I have a friend who begins counting down the days to spring training the minute the World Series ends. Are you excited to see pitchers and catchers report to spring training each February?

Lego-rama Spurs Imagination

Ethan Schwegel, left, 10, shows David Johnson, 10, second left, and Jaxon Duran and Jaxon's mother Angela his elaborate LEGO project during the ninth annual LEGO-rama on Saturday at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library. Schwegel's LEGO creation took first place in the Ages 7-10 category of the competition. Jaxon's took third. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)

The sound of plastic Lego pieces rattling against each other filled the basement of the Coeur d’Alene Library on Saturday as dozens of kids turned out for the library’s ninth annual Lego-Rama. Some brought their completed entries for the design contest, then settled onto a large blue tarp in the middle of the floor covered with Lego pieces to create some more. The tables were filled with space stations, spaceships, space colonies and other works of the imagination in keeping with this year’s “Space: Building for the Future” theme. There were a few R2D2, storm trooper and Jedi knight figurines from the “Star Wars” movies thrown in the mix/Nina Culver, SR. More here.

Question: Did you kids play with Legos? Did you?

Otter Backs NIC Sandpoint Expansion

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter wants North Idaho College to receive state funds next year to expand its Sandpoint Outreach Center to offer more classes. The $226,700 recommendation is part of a 9 percent increase in community college funding Otter is seeking next year. Much of the $2.8 million increase would cover enrollment increases at the fast-growing College of Western Idaho near Boise and occupancy costs for new buildings at both CWI and the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. NIC President Joe Dunlap welcomed the push for more money, which he said was “our only piece” of the increase/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

DFO: I keep wonder when the governor or the Legislative District 4 delegation will begin pushing for money to expand the Coeur d'Alene Education Corridor.

Question: Are you surprised that the governor would support NIC expansion in Sandpoint?

Broken Finger Attracts Waves

Sandpoint’s Joanne Cottrell could not help but be pleased. “I was walking back to work after lunch and noticed that people driving by were very friendly” she wrote. “They were smiling and waving at me. How sweet.” Then she realized what was going on. Cottrell recently fell and broke her wrist. And, well, she can tell it. “I walk down the street with my arm raised to keep my wrist elevated. Looks like I am waving.” So, OK, maybe what she witnessed was not a spontaneous burst of good cheer from passing strangers. But hey, a smile is a smile. “I am glad that I can bring a bit of happiness to folks. I may continue to wave after my cast is off”/Paul Turner, The Slice. More here.

Question: Do you wave at strangers? Ever?


Joe Heller/Hellertoons

DFO: Funny … my wife, my family and I discussed AARP membership last night. My wife, who is six years younger than I am, gets an AARP membership application every two months or so. I got one when I turned 50 and haven't gotten one since. I can't figure out why I would need an AARP card. Can anyone tell me?

MLKJr Day Wild Card — 1.20.14

I'm off today as a result of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance. And Cindy's off somewhere still celebrating the Seattle Seahawks' victory over the 49ers in Seattle. Congratulations to all you Seahawk fans. It'll be a fascinating matchup between Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning — and their supporting casts — in the Super Bowl. But that'll have to wait two weeks. And you'll have to wait until Tuesday before HucksOnline is fully operational again. Sorry. You can play this Martin Luther King Jr. Day Wild Card until we fire things up again at 8 a.m. Tuesday …

Caption: Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) hits the ball away from San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) and is intercepted by Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Malcolm Smith (53) during the NFL football NFC Championship game, Sunday in Seattle. The Seahawks won 23-17 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Paul Kitagaki Jr.)

Thieves Steal Riverstone’s ‘Kate’

'Kate' on her bicycle near Riverstone Pond. (Courtesy: city of Coeur d'Alene)

Coeur d’Alene police are investigating the theft of a popular—and very identifiable—piece of art from Riverstone Park. Sometime between Friday night and early Saturday morning, parts of a statue depicting a 1920s-era woman on a bicycle being followed by two dogs were stolen. “This was not just a prank; it appears to be a sophisticated effort,” said Coeur d’Alene Recreation Director Steve Anthony. “They probably cut the pieces off with industrialized bolt cutters.” Officer Mark Knapp of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department said officials are investigating the crime, which is a felony. “It’s a bronze lady in a seated position so that’s going to be hard to miss,” Knapp said. “We’re keeping our eyes open.” Anthony estimated the artwork is worth about $25,000, ~~though if recycled the stolen pieces would be worth much less. Entitled “Kate,” the statute was of a woman riding a bicycle alongside two dogs. The woman and one of the dogs was taken. Anthony said the woman weighs several hundred pounds and the dog about 30-50 pounds/Keith Erickson, city of Coeur d'Alene.

DFO: Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call Coeur d’Alene police at 208-769-2320.

Special Seahawk Weekend Wild Card 1.18.14-1.19.14

Today is just a day to get through before Sunday's battle between the Seahawks and the 49ers. I'm sure there are other non-football things going on this weekend, so feel to discuss them here.

Or if you want to talk Seahawks here's a few conversation starters. #GOHAWKS

Seahawks in Super Bowl would be big score for business

Seahawks’ Baldwin has boulder on his shoulder

 Dave Boling: To know Marshawn Lynch is to watch him play 

Let’s get nasty: 49ers vs. Seahawks

49ers must find ways to deal with Seattle’s noise

Read more here:

Parting Shot: Fetching pose

Ready to play: This dog was patiently waiting with his tennis ball perched in a window at a home in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. Kathy Plonka, SR photo

The top 10 books people lie about reading

File photo: Paul Wasson has read 4,000 books and counting.

Have you ever lied about reading a book? Maybe you didn’t want to seem stupid in front of someone you respected. Maybe you rationalized it by reasoning that you had a familiarity with the book, or knew who the author was, or what the story was about, or had glanced at its Wikipedia page. Or maybe you had tried to read the book, even bought it and set it by your bed for months unopened, hoping that it would impart what was in it merely via proximity (if that worked, please email me). Read more.

The list includes Atlas Shrugged, Moby Dick and War and Peace, none of which I've read or plan to read. Actually, I haven't read a single book on this list have you?

Baby teeth jewlery

Move over breast milk jewelry. Baby teeth are about to become all the rage when it comes to preserving your child's precious moments.

If you think wearing actual teeth around your neck is weird, that's O.K. You can get molds of your child's teeth in sterling silver or gold and wear those instead. Choose a necklace, or charms for a bracelet. Those are the most popular options, according to one Etsy store owner who sells such jewelry.

Jackie Kaufman, owner of the Rock My World shop on Etsy, said she's had about 100 orders so far. She had the idea after a woman who had saved all her children's baby teeth asked her to make a piece of custom jewelry.

“Once I posted the finished product, I started getting many requests for us to create different pieces of jewelry using the teeth,” she said. “Most people had no idea that this was possible.” Full story. Yahoo

Personally, I wouldn't want to wear anyone's teeth— even my kids. How about you?

TGIF Wild Card 1.17.14

That was some fog yesterday.I think I'd rather have snow. I know my kids sure would.

And now it's already  Friday and I'm still working on Tuesday's to-do list. At this rate I'll have my Tuesday work done by NEXT Tuesday. Some weeks are like that.

Hope DFO is enjoying his time with his son because I'm going to need at least a month off to recover from this week.

Here's your Wild Card.


Co. blamed for W VA chemical spill files bankruptcy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The company blamed for a chemical spill that left 300,000 West Virginians without safe drinking water filed for bankruptcy Friday.

Freedom Industries Inc., facing multiple lawsuits and state and federal investigations after the Jan. 9 spill, filed a Chapter 11 petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Company president Gary Southern signed the paperwork, which lists the company’s assets and liabilities as a range — both between $1 million and $10 million. It says the company has at least 200 creditors and owes its top 20 creditors $3.66 million.

The water was tainted after a chemical used to clean coal leaked from a storage tank and then a containment area at a facility owned by Freedom Industries. The water ran into the Elk River, contaminating the state’s largest water system. Read more.

Are you prepared if your water source becomes contaminated?

Roast House wins Good Food award

File photo: Deborah Di Bernardo holds a handful of coffee beans recently roasted by Dave Rier, left, at Roast House Coffee in Spokane.

A boutique coffee roaster in Spokane has been nationally recognized for supporting sustainability and social good – as well as being “exceptionally delicious.”

Roast House won a 2014 Good Food Award.

Owner Deborah Di Bernardo received the award in San Francisco Thursday night.

“We’re still walking around going, ‘Really? Really?’ ” she said. “I think gobsmacked, totally gobsmacked, is how I feel.”

In their fourth year, the awards honor people who make food that is not only delicious but also “respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions,” according to the Good Food Awards website. Adriana Janovitch, SR

How important is it to you to purchase organic or Fair Trade foods?

New NIC mascot unveiled

Cecil the Cardinal celebrated his 80th birthday last night with a makeover during the North Idaho College halftime show at the men's basketball game (a 96 - 60 victory over Colorado Northwestern Community College) Thursday, Jan. 17. He electrified the crowd with some high-flying dunks in his new wings after the old mascot was carted off the court in an ambulance. Video of the halftime show can be seen at

I didn't know the NIC Cardinal was named Cecil. Did you?

Pope defrocked 400 priests in 2 years

VATICAN CITY — A document obtained by The Associated Press on Friday shows Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for sexually molesting children.

The statistics for 2011 and 2012 show a dramatic increase over the 171 priests removed in 2008 and 2009, when the Vatican first provided details on the number of priests who have been defrocked. Prior to that, it had only publicly revealed the number of alleged cases of sexual abuse it had received and the number of trials it had authorized.

While it’s not clear why the numbers spiked in 2011, it could be because 2010 saw a new explosion in the number of cases reported in the media in Europe and beyond.


Little League coach sues kid

A California Little League Baseball coach who suffered a torn Achilles tendon is suing one of his former players for throwing his helmet during a game-ending celebration, according to Sacramento's KCRA-TV (h/t Barstool Sports). The kid is 14 years old.

But that isn't stopping Alan Beck from suing the child and Little League Baseball for $500,000 in pain and suffering in addition to another $100,000 in lost wages and medical bills, per the Placer County (Calif.) Superior Court summons obtained by KCRA-TV.

“At first I thought it was joke,” the boy's father, Joe Paris, told his local television news station. “Now, I think it's absurd.”

Paris' son allegedly tossed his helmet while scoring the winning run in a game this past spring, and the equipment struck and tore Beck's Achilles tendon.

“He is a good guy who was volunteering his time and now he's in a wheelchair. Who's the victim here?” Beck's attorney, Gene Goldman, told KCRA. “This wasn't part of the game. To have someone throw a helmet in that manner, you just don't do that.”

Except the kid's in Little League, and Little Leaguers do that. All the time. Read more. Yahoo Sports

Do you think the coach was right to sue the kid?

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