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Huckleberries Online

Archive for July 2014

Wild Card/Thursday — 7.31.14

Goodness! Betsy Russell is on vacation. And Dan Popkey has jumped ship. Who is minding the store while the mischievous Idaho politicians plot in their back rooms? We're at the mercy of the dysfunctional politicians who couldn't even conduct a convention properly. Woe is us. Here's today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.31.14

A jumper raises sand during the women's long jump final at Hampden Park Stadium during the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland earlier today. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Woman Swims Pend Oreille In 20 Hrs

A Massachusetts woman made history on Lake Pend Oreille on Thursday when she completed a 43-mile swim around 4 p.m. It took Elaine Howley 20 hours and 25 minutes to make the journey from end-to-end of the Lake Pend Oreille. Howley dived into the water Wednesday in an attempt to become the first person ever to swim the length of the lake solo. On Tuesday, she estimated the swim would take 18 hours to swim the 34-mile swim from Bayview to Sandpoint. Howley's started in Button Hook Bay and end at City Beach in Sandpoint/KREM2. More here.


Review: Uva Trattoria — 2 Thumbs Up

People sometimes talk about this particular building at the corner of 4th and Appleway in CdA as if it's had a zillion occupants throughout its history, but the story is actually surprisngly brief. Built in 1984, it was Godfather's Pizza for 20 years (and OMG do I still miss a good taco pizza every day, always). Fast Mexi Los Sanchez lasted about two years until Fiesta Mexicana cha-cha'd in, where it stayed until last fall. So, unlike several other buildings in town, I don't believe this one has THE CURSE (*cough* 1801 Sherman). After remodeling the interior to the point of being utterly unrecognizable, owners Steve Van Zeveren, his wife Crystal, and his sister Lisa opened Uva Trattoria to the public in May. Steve has an extensive background in Italian cuisine, having studied at the California Culinary Academy and residing as head chef for many years at Napoli Pizza in Vallejo, CA/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.

Question: Have you tried Uva Italiana Trattoria yet?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.31.14

PFPD Facebook: Kal’s Auto Sales, located on Seltice Way in Post Falls, reported that two vehicles had been burglarized sometime between 8:50 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Friday. The male suspect pictured below was wearing darker shorts and a light-colored t-shirt with an unknown design on the front and back. The suspect arrived on what appears to be a smaller female’s bicycle, possible white frame and seat. After he steals a stereo from one of the vehicles, the suspect heads west out of the lot. These burglaries were committed while it was still daylight and moderate traffic on Seltice Way. Also, La Cabana was still open.

  • 5:20 p.m. Contained dog reported @ 2507 N15th St/CdA.
  • 4:57 p.m. Fireman seeking source of smoke in attic @ 205 N. Park/CdA (opposite City Park in Fortgrounds neighborhood) reports temperature of 120 degrees.
  • 4:49 p.m. Someone injured in a fall @ 6900 block of Legacy/CdA.
  • 4:40 p.m. Driver of black Toyota @ e/b I-90/stateline, w/Bonneville County plates, is driving recklessly.
  • 4:26 p.m. Driver of Peterbilt truck @ w/b I-90/MP 21 (Vets Memorial Bridge) has driven 2 motorist off freeway.
  • 4:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 30-31 here.
  • 4:06 p.m. Deputy en route to domestic fight told multi-calls from address, which usually involve verbal disputes in which male tells female to leave residence.
  • 3:51 p.m. Someone injured in a fall @ 700 block of Sherman Avenue/downtown CdA.
  • 2:58 p.m. Motorhome has run out of gas @ w/b I-90/MP 16 (Sherman Avenue), blocking lane on blind corner.
  • 3:50 p.m. Someone is unconscious @ 2100 block of Sherman Avenue/CdA.
  • 2:40 a.m. Timberlake Fire EMTs responding to unconscious person @ Silverwood.
  • 2:09 p.m. Female driving stock has lost trailer wheel, having hard time keeping animals in, unknown highway location.
  • 2:05 p.m. Someone needs help getting up after fall @ 700 block of W. Ironwood Drive, north parking lot.
  • 1:08 p.m. Someone trying to reclaim stolen property on Iron Horse Circle/Post Falls.
  • 1:04 p.m. Deputy is looking for 22-foot pontoon boat off Boothe Park/Lake Coeur d'Alene, unknown reason.
  • 12:59 p.m. Fed Ex truck, red vehicle involved in noninjury crash @ Ramsey Road/Wyoming, Hayden, blocking.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

PM Headlines — 7.31.14

Matt “Batman” Cutter, 20, braves high temperatures in his rubber-hooded crime fighter outfit in downtown Spokane. Cutter was on his way to Riverfront Park to entertain children at a Shriners gathering Wednesday. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Malloy: The New Press Secretary

Popkey will become a “real” press secretary the first time he has to write a news release, or commentary, that defends a position contrary to Popkey’s personal views. In this case, it could be a monthly occurrence. The hiring of Popkey provides some adjustments for Labrador. Listening to advice is not one of Labrador’s strong points, but in this case it will pay for him to listen to somebody who has been around as long as Popkey. But Popkey’s success will not be determined by how much Labrador accepts advice. It will be how he helps improves accessibility with the media. Labrador is treated like a king with the national media, but often is trashed by the Idaho media – and not just the editorial writers. Reporters can attest that getting interview time with Labrador is next to impossible/Chuck Malloy, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Did you know that Idaho media has a rough time gaining access to Congressman Labrador?

HBO Blogosphere — 7.31.14

In her post below, “The heat goes on,” Marianne Love/Slight Detour includes several photos of her fine garden, including this one of a growing pumpkin.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, July 30): 7547 page-views/4569 unique views

Boundary Co Inmate Hangs Himself

A Boundary County Jail inmate hanged himself in his cell sometime Wednesday night or Thursday morning. On Wednesday, David Lee Ericson of Boundary County was arrested in Bonners Ferry on an outstanding warrant from Bonner County. according to the Boundary County Sheriff's Department. Also, he was charged with resisting arrest. Ericson, who had no apparent injuries and was in good health, was then confined by himself in the Boundary County Jail. During the night, Mr. Ericson died of an apparent suicide by hanging.  There is no suspected foul play. All subjects in confinement are checked every 30 minutes within the Boundary County Jail for their own safety as was Mr. Ericson. CPR was performed on Ericson before he was transported to the Boundary County Hospital. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.  Reports on toxicology and a full autopsy are proceeding. The Idaho State Police is investigating the matter/Boundary County Sheriff's Department news release.

USA Cat-Dog Divide Leans … Dog

We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too. Here in the U.S., slightly more households own dogs than own cats. But Euromonitor’s numbers show that in terms of raw population, cats outnumber dogs to the tune of 2 million (the number is closer to 4 million, by the American Veterinary Medical Association's estimate). Why? One simple explanation is that cats are more compact. You can fit more cats in a house than you can, say, golden retrievers/Washington Post. More here. (AP file photo, for illustrative purposes)

  • H/T: Okie Doke.

Question: I hate to admit it but Washington & Idaho lean cat. Thoughts?

HucksOnline Temp: 96 Degrees

It's 96 degrees right now in the land of the Huckleberries, which is suppose to be the max temperature today. But not to worry. sez it's suppose to feel like 92 degrees. Whatever that means. 14% humidity, 5-10 mph winds. Low tonight: 60, with 40% humidity. More here.

Guns On Campus For Oklahoma, Too?

Two Oklahoma lawmakers are pushing to have college students and faculty carrying firearms, a move they said would enhance safety on campuses but university presidents said is an unnecessary plan that could cause chaos. The state legislators said this week they want to end a current ban on licensed firearms carriers from bringing guns to campuses. “If there were a predator out there whose prey is young college-aged women and he wanted to assault them, where would he go to do that? He would go to a place where they are vulnerable, where they are unarmed … and that is a college campus,” said Republican Senator Ralph Shortey, who is leading the push with Republican Representative John Enns. The move comes after a rash of shootings at U.S. schools and universities has prompted fresh calls to supplement police and university security forces/Reuters. More here. (AP/Statesman file photo: In February, about 300 people showed up to protest a successful bill that allowed guns on Idaho college campuses)

Question: Where have we heard this questionable idea before?

A Spring Chorus

Don Sausser snapped this photo of “Allium Spring Chorus” last night at McEuen Park. “Allium” is the latest public art work to grace the upgraded McEuen Park.

Quotable Quote

Sharknado? Pfft. What's really scary is Catfishnado — Cindy.

Update: Swimmer 6 Miles From Finish

Tyler Viydo/KREM2 tweet: “Update on @emkhowley's LPO swim: Just 6 miles left! Team says she's starting to get tired but is going strong. ETA 3:30 at city beach.”

Yakety Yak, Don’t Talk Back

On her Facebook wall, Cindy posts: “Caught up with a couple who have been married 68 years. Wife says, “I hate to do all the talking, but he won't, so I HAVE to!” Husband just grins.”

Question: Who does most of the talking in your family?

Idaho College ‘Go On’ Rate Only 52%

Idaho’s go-on rate apparently is going downward. That’s the startling, sobering message from the latest round of numbers from the National Student Clearinghouse. Just under 52 percent of Idaho’s 2013 high school graduates have enrolled in two- or four-year college, according to the current clearinghouse numbers. This represents a drop from Idaho’s lackluster 2012 numbers, when 54 percent of graduates decided to continue their education. The apparent drop comes as Idaho policymakers have made postsecondary attendance a centerpiece education issue/Kevin Richert, Idaho Statesman. More here.


Nugent Responds To Lost Casino Gig

At WorldNetDaily, controversial rocker Ted Nugent responds to the recent cancellation of his concert at the Coeur d'Alene Casino:

They say that if you’re taking flak, you must be over the target. Well, lo and behold, the old Motorcity guitarslayer is not only directly over the target, I am obviously sitting deadcenter in the enemies’ own foxhole, driving them batty with my unstoppable onslaught of self-evident truth, logic, common sense and a tsunami of irrefutable evidence that obliterates their America-hating agenda. And I don’t even put forth any extra effort to do so. When experienced under the proper conditions – driving the enemy batty – flak is indeed a beautiful thang. For the lying freaks over at the Huffington Post, and the scammers at the Southern Poverty Law Center to go to such extremes to constantly lie about me is proof positive that I am not only on the right track doing God’s work spotlighting the current infestation of cockroaches amongst us, but that they are clearly scared to death of me and virtually incapable of debating me one on one. Full response here. (AP file photo)


Soaking Up Rays

People sunbathe on the jetty of the Nice harbour, southeastern France today. Temperatures in the area rose to 32 degrees Celsius (90 Fahrenheit).(AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

Question: With all the cautions related to skin cancer, do you spend much time soaking up rays in the summer sun?

IFF: Idaho’s In An Awkward Spot

A federal appeals court ruling issued last week puts Idaho in a bit of an awkward spot when it comes to the state insurance exchange that the Legislature and Gov. Butch Otter opted to create in 2013. If the ruling stands on appeal at the U.S. Supreme Court, Idaho’s insurance exchange will become the catalyst for enforcing the Obamacare individual and employer mandates and related taxes. The exchange will also be the vehicle for running a fairly new entitlement program costing millions of dollars. In other words, had lawmakers not enacted an insurance exchange, the best guard against Obamacare would have been refusal to go along with Obamacare/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Do you still think the Idaho health exchange was a good idea?

City Launches Online Poll

Screen shot of new online poll for city of Coeur d'Alene, which goes live Friday.

Tell us what you think! A new online service encourages city residents to take a simple poll on important city issues, events, services and programs in the community. It will launch Friday, August 1. CityPoll will provide leaders at City Hall with important information on how citizens feel about a wide range of topics. Residents can respond to a monthly poll question by visiting One vote per household per month will be recorded. Notification of the program will be included in monthly municipal utility billing statements. City officials will monitor responses and use the results as a strategic planning tool to assure the city is providing optimum service to its citizens. CityPoll supplements existing opportunities for the public to engage with the city/Coeur d'Alene Today. More below.

  • Poll goes live Friday.

Question: What are your thoughts re: the city of Coeur d'Alene polling citizens re: a variety of topics?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.31.14

  • 11:56 a.m. Female @ assisted living place @ 52 N. Ceder (& Seltice Way) unconscious, not breathing.
  • 11:46 a.m. PFPD officer locates possible stolen Washington vehicle @ Qemiln Park boat launch.
  • 11:31 a.m. Yellow lab is locked in Pontiac Grand Am at Trading Company/Post Falls lot.
  • 11:19 a.m. F150 Ford pickup & larger truck w/trailer crashed @ Greensferry/Hayden, Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 11:14 a.m. Suspicious suitcase lying on sidewalk outside DMV courthouse office, 451 Govt Way/CdA.
  • 11:13 a.m. Super 1/Hayden employees are holding large, loose dog that entered store.
  • 11:10 a.m. Someone left a bicycle by side of e/b I-90/MP 14 (15th Street/CdA).
  • 11:01 a.m. Male stole doughnuts & Gatorade from Peterson's grocery & headed n/b on 10th Street/CdA.
  • 10:51 a.m. Undisclosed theft reported @ 940 W. Ironwood Drive/CdA.
  • 10:48 a.m. A white car is parked along w/b I-90/MP 19 (Yellowstone Trail).
  • 10:39 a.m. 19YO tells PFPD officer that the traffic stop for speeding was his 2nd in 3 days.
  • 10:37 a.m. A&D Mini Mart, 356 Appleway, reports refusing service to drunk male in green Mercedes.
  • 10:21 a.m. Undisclosed suspicious circumstance reported @ H95/Marina Court/Post Falls.
  • 10:20 a.m. CPD
  • 10:03 a.m. Male w/briefcase stole doughnuts, other items from Ironwood Square biz, walking toward hospital.
  • 9:55 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 400 block of E15th Avenue/Post Falls.
  • 9:25 a.m. A baby is in seizure @ 14500 block of Treehouse Court/Rathdrum.
  • 9:02 a.m. Male is unconscious/breathing, lying on back on sidewalk near Mini Mart/3rd & Frederick, Post Falls.
  • 8:16 a.m. Officer orders that old Caddie be tagged as abandoned after owner has turned himself into jail.
  • 8:11 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 2200 block of W. Canyon Drive/CdA.

AM: Flagpole Painter Recuperates

Flagpole painter Warren Hinrichs, 73, holds his dog Stitch and rests up at home in Spokane on Wednesday. He started climbing and painting flagpoles and water towers more than 50 years ago with his dad, Bill Hinrichs, seen in many photos in his home office. He was rescued after passing out on a Yakima flag pole Monday. Story here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Poll: Labrador’s Gain, Idaho’s Loss

  • Wednesday Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation said decision by Dan Popkey of the Idaho Statesman to become Congressman Raul Labrador's spokesman was: “Labrador's gain, Idaho's loss.” 40 of 141 respondents (28.37%) voted that way. 31 of 141 (21.99%) said Popkey joined Labrador's staff because he saw no future in newspapering. 28 (19.86%) said Popkey made the jump for financial reasons; 25 (17.73%) said he “sold out”; 14 (9.93%) said Popkey's politics don't mesh with Labrador's Tea Party politics; and 3 (2.13%) marked “other.”
  • Today's Poll: Do you think Congressman Raul Labrador is “going places,” that he will become major player on national political scene?

Adler: Why Did Popkey Jump?

Talk about role reversal. For the past 30 years, Dan Popkey, the widely admired, prize-winning political reporter for the Idaho Statesman, who often led coverage of some of the state's biggest political stories, suddenly found himself the subject of one when he announced his resignation from the Statesman to become press secretary for Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. The news caught so many by surprise that, for a least a moment, it overshadowed the story of who would lead the Idaho Republican Party, the GOP's version of “Who's on First?” Popkey is not the first reporter who has exchanged a press pass and the job of asking questions for the job of answering questions. Career changes are often the function of complex reasons, but readers will be left to wonder at his reasoning/David Adler, director, BSU Andrus Center for Public Policy. More here. (Photo: Andrus Cener for Public Policy)

Question: Are you surprised that this story has overshadowed the leadership struggle of the Idaho GOP?

‘Huckleberry Road’

Tweet from Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images: “Today I deliver this piece, 'Huckleberry Road,' to the juried show at #ArtontheGreen here in Coeur d'Alene. This is one of two pieces I submitted and had selected for the show. Come by the #NorthIdahoCollege lawn this weekend and check out all the art.

Poll: Hydros? Good Riddance

Readers on were asked how they feel about the death of the Diamond Cup hydroplane races that were supposed to take place over Labor Day Weekend. More than 1,000 voters weighed in, and here's how it came out:

  • Glad: 51 percent (686 votes)
  • Sad: 16 percent (207 votes)
  • Mad: 11 percent (150 votes)
  • None of the above: 22 percent (294 votes)

Question: It appears to me that there remains strong sentiment against hydroplane racing in Coeur d'Alene? Am I reading the tea leaves correctly?

Edit: Idaho GOP Broken … So What?

In a memorable “Saturday Night Live” parody of the 1988 presidential debate, Dana Carvey portrayed Republican George H.W. Bush as too tongue-tied to say more than: “Stay the course. Stay the course.” At which point Jon Lovitz, the actor playing Democrat Michael Dukakis, sighed: “I can't believe I'm losing to this guy.” Anything sound familiar? Here we have the Idaho Republican Party. Once known as the epitome of organizational discipline and brand loyalty, it has squandered both/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Marty goes on to make a terrific point. The Idaho GOP is broken & dysfunctional … yet it continues to win at all levels. So what does it matter?

Post Falls To Upgrade Spokane Street

Let the revitalization of Spokane Street begin. Contractor Cameron-Reilly has started work on a $1.8 million urban renewal project in the busy Post Falls corridor from Interstate 90 to the Spokane River bridge. The project, intended to ease traffic and create a long-awaited city center, will include landscaped medians, lighting, on-street parking in some areas on the east side of Spokane and new sidewalks and curbs. “It will take 60 working days to compete the project,” said Tom Lien, urban renewal agency executive director, referring to the completion in late September. There will be intermittent lane closures throughout the construction period. Work will start on the south end of the corridor. New sidewalks will be constructed on one side of the street at a time, leaving access to the other side/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you consider this a good step in growing, evolving Post Falls?

Reagan Repubs Air Endorsements

The Kootenai County Reagan Republicans officially announced endorsements today for candidates in the November 4th General Elections.  The organization’s President Jeff Ward said “Reagan Republicans unanimously endorse the winners of the May Republican Primary and urge all Republicans and conservatives to show unity and rally behind the nominees selected by Republican voters.” For the past five years Kootenai County Reagan Republicans has actively promoted conservatism and Republican candidates in Kootenai County. As an open membership ecumenical organization, KCRR welcomes all Republicans and seeks to advance unity and emulate the grand Republican coalition advanced by President Ronald Reagan, to achieve solid conservative majorities on all levels of government/Reagan Republicans news release. More here (along with complete list of Reagan Republican endorsements.


Mitchell Pledges To Serve Just 1 Term

Democrat Nels Mitchell said he will only serve one six-year term as a U.S. senator for Idaho if elected over his opponent, Sen. Jim Risch. “In six years, I can accomplish a lot,” he told the Daily News during a meeting Wednesday. “I can do a good job, and I won't be worried about running for reelection again.” Mitchell, who is in the middle of an eight-day campaign trip in northern Idaho, said there are too many career politicians in Washington who place too much focus on being reelected rather than the pressing legislative issues at hand. They are also vulnerable to the pressures of special interest groups, which Mitchell believes have too much influence on legislation/Anthony Kuipers, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Factoid: Nels Mitchell's full name is James Nelson Mitchell, but he's always been called Nels (from family surname in middle) by his family.

Question: What happened to all that political talk from a few years ago about term limits?

Swimmer Tries To Swim Pend Oreille

Randy Hixon, top, provides kayak support as Elaine Howley, a Boston-based marathon swimmer, begins her solo swim, of more than 30 miles, of the full length of Lake Pend OreilleÕs Buttonhook Bay Wednesday near Farragut State Park. Howley is scheduled to finish the open water swim at the city beach in Sandpoint on Thursday afternoon. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Elaine Howley hopes that later today she will be able to say she is the first person to swim the entire length of scenic Lake Pend Oreille. Howley, a 36-year-old marathon swimmer from the Boston area, began her journey across the lake early Wednesday night, from Buttonhook Bay in Athol. She plans to end sometime between noon and 4 p.m. today on the white sands of Sandpoint City Beach. Howley was under the assumption that the swim was 34 miles, as pitched to her by Sandpoint swimming enthusiast and Long Bridge Swim creator Eric Ridgway, who is no stranger to adventure swims in the crystalline waters of Lake Pend Oreille. Then Howley saw the Wikipedia page for Lake Pend Oreille, with a statistic that differs from Google Earth's calculation of the lake's length. “I had a minor panic attack about six weeks ago when I saw the lake listed as being 43 miles long,” said Howley, a former Division 1 college swimmer and one of the top marathon swimmers in the U.S./Eric Plummer, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Is there some physical sports challenge that you've been considering?

Adam: Labrador’s Going Places

Adam Graham (RE: Popkey's financial future better): I doubt money had much to do with it particularly in the short term. It's probably more the fact that Raul Labrador is going places. I could see him as a VP candidate for the right nominee in 2016. To be in the midst of that would be a very unique experience. At this point in Popkey's Idaho Journalism, all he really had to look forward to was a gold watch. His influence was tied inexorably to that of the Idaho Statesman which is in decline.

Question: I think Adam's right. Labrador is going place. Why do we under-estimate him?

New Spokane Hotel Will Be Grand

What has Harry Sladich been smoking? I felt compelled to ask after digesting his recent oddly timed and snarky remarks about the Grand Hotel Spokane that Walt Worthy is constructing in the heart of downtown’s convention district. Sladich doesn’t think the hotel’s brand affiliation – the Marriott’s Autograph Collection – has the right sort of pizzazz that Spokane needs to lure gatherings of (harrumph, harrumph) consequence. “The bottom line is we needed a ‘demand generator’ and we simply did not get one,” noted Sladich in our news coverage. “Meeting planners are simply unaware of what the Autograph Collection is.” “Eeeeeeeeeee …” That’s the sound a gnat makes when it gets all whiny and bothered. Sladich is a wheel with Red Lion Hotels/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Have you spent much time in Walt Worthy's other major downtown renovation, The Davenport Hotel?

Front Porch: Grateful For Vet’s Story

The fading late afternoon sun, blurred by the haze of wildfires, fell softly across the foot of his bed. A smoke-tinged breeze wafted through the open French doors. His once-commanding frame seemed frail against the stark whiteness of crisp sheets and rumpled pillows. I stood quietly beside him, a writer at a loss for words. Nick Gaynos was dying. The World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor had endured many things, but the loss of his beloved wife, Tex, was proving too much for his heart to bear. After more than 70 years with her, he doesn’t want to be here without her. I met Nick and Tex in 2010 when I shared their Love Story with newspaper readers. His regal military bearing and her gorgeous red hair and sense of style made them one of the most elegant couples I’ve interviewed/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever sat vigil with a dying relative or someone else you care about?

Human Shields

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Hump Day Wild Card — 7.30.14

When I was a teen-ager, I worked all day long in the alfalfa/hay fields for my Uncle Manuel, hauling hay in the California's Sacramento Valley on days when temperatures hit 100-110 degrees. As a 20-something, I played softball all weekend in double elimination tournaments in the Red Bluff, Calif., area, on days that temperatures reached well north of 100. On the day I interviewed for a sports editor job with the Red Bluff Daily News, in June 1972, the temperature reached 118 degrees. Triple digits in Coeur d'Alene. Pfffttt. Here's today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.30.14

Chincoteague Ponies make the 89th annual swim across Assateague Channel to Chincoteague, Va., on Wednesday. A portion of the wild pony herd will be auctioned on Thursday to benefit the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which owns and maintains the herd. Story here. (AP Photo/Eastern Shore News, Jay Diem)

Trailer On Spokane Zombies To Air

We've been wondering what this zombie show that's been filming in Spokane all summer is going to look like. And it sounds like tonight we might finally get a look. During the world premier of Sharknado 2 tonight on the Syfy channel, there's going to be a preview of Z Nation, which features real-life Spokanites as zombies. Z Nation is about a group of survivors of a plague that turned most of the world into zombies who are trying to get across the country to save the world (or something like that), is produced by the same company, The Asylum, that made the Sharknado movies/Bloglander. More here. (SR file photo: Special effects makeup artists spent hours transforming Phil Humphrey of Spokane into, a “Z Nation” zombie extra)

Question: Anyone willing to admit that they've been waiting for world premier of “Sharknado 2”?

Susan: J-School Skills Valuable

Comment of the Day:

Susan Cuff (RE: Popkey's financial future better — DFO): There may be a declining number of jobs in traditional journalism, but the specific skills one learns in J-school - writing precision, critical thinking, research techniques - can be applied to a wide variety of careers. I've used everything I learned in J-school in every job I've had, in newspapers, public information, corporate communications/investor relations, technical writing and now alumni relations. Frankly, it's a skill that everyone should have - the ability to express oneself logically and precisely with the written word. I look for that in every employee I hire, regardless of job description.

Question: Susan makes a good point that journalism school teaches skills that can be used in a variety of other professions. Any of you study journalism but didn't have a career in the media? How did your schooling help.

Grandma Thanks Trooper After Ticket

Above, Copy of grandmother's letter sent to ISP. (Courtesy: ISP)

According to the KBOI staff, a grandmother who was visiting Idaho thanked an ISP trooper re: the way he handled himself while giving her a speeding ticket. You can see her letter above, which reads in full: “Dear Idaho State Police, Recently I was on vacation with my grandchildren and was pulled over for speeding. Officer Mike Nielson made it a good experience for my grandchildren by talking with them calmly and giving them stickers. He didn't leave me out and I got my very own STICKER SHOCK :) Thanks for a great attitude.” Full KBOI story here.

Question: Would you have done this?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.30.14

  • 5:03 p.m. Unknown medical emergency @ 2800 block of Nettleton Gulch Road/CdA.
  • 5:01 p.m. Male sitting on female's CdA doorstep after yelling at her, spraying her & a child w/hose.
  • 4:44 p.m. Smoke on Canfield Mountain coming from smoldering tree that might have been hit by lightning.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 29-30 here.
  • 4:07 p.m. Male in white tank top, black shorts stole expensive head phones, perfume from Prairie Shopping Center/Hayden, and ran off toward Mineral, east of H95.
  • 3:49 p.m. Smoke reported on Canfield Mountain, above Lookout Drive/Hayden.
  • 3:40 p.m. A lot of loose gravel is lying on undisclosed Ramsey Road intersection.
  • 3:34 p.m. A male & a female are riding odd contraption b/n CdA library & McEuen Park playground.
  • 3:33 p.m. 2 dogs are running loose @ 27200 block of Lewellen Creek Road/Athol.
  • 3:29 p.m. Post Falls Police Department activities report July 29-30 here.
  • 3:19 p.m. Undisclosed parking problem @ 4414 Riverway Place/CdA.
  • 3:05 p.m. Several callers have reported reckless driving by white Chevy Impala @ e/b I-90/MP 11 (NW Blvd/CdA).
  • 2:28 p.m. Jason driving car w/o license plates on e/b Spiers Avenue/CdA.
  • 2:19 p.m. Young male is speeding & not using blinkers on s/b Greensferry/Seltice Way, Post Falls.
  • 2:02 p.m. 40is male suffering stomach pain around belly button @ 1600 block of W. Wilbur/CdA.
  • 1:26 p.m. Unknown medical emergency @ Dawn/Stephanie, Post Falls.
  • 1:23 p.m. PFPD officer reports that males were cleaning up graffiti (1:07 item), not vandalizing.
  • 1:19 p.m. Male has suffered 2-inch gash to the bone in leg @ 6792 Govt Way/Hayden.
  • 1:18 p.m. Drunk 52YO female may be suffering alcohol poisoning on 3rd Avenue/Post Falls.
  • 1:07 p.m. 2 males in gray Wrangler shorts spray-painting graffiti on Spokane Street bridge, near Qemiln Park/Post Falls.
  • 1:02 p.m. 71YO male may be suffering heart attack @ 1300 block of N. Spokane/Post Falls.
  • 12:59 p.m. PFPD Facebook: Cows in roadway at Poleline & Clark Fork (east of McGuire, south of Poleline). Animal Safety is on scene.

PM Headlines — 7.30.14

After an explosion on board, a Tollycraft cabin cruiser boat rests, half-submerged in Lake Pend Oreille. A 70YO man and his 8YO grandson escaped w/2nd degree burns on their legs. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Mike Curry)

House GOP Votes To Sue Obama

Update: A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Obama and other Democrats derided the effort as a stunt aimed at tossing political red meat to conservative voters. Just a day before lawmakers were to begin a five-week summer recess, debate over the proposed lawsuit underscored the harshly partisan tone that has dominated the current Congress almost from its start in January 2013. The vote to sue Obama was 225 to 201/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Do you think Obama is correct — that GOP opposition is hatin' all the time?

Coming Soon To A Sheriff Near You?

Here's the poster for a Republican Liberty Caucus gathering in St. Maries tomorrow evening, featuring Benewah County Sheriff Dave Resser. Questions of note on the poster: What is the purpose and duty of sheriff? What role does the sheriff play in security our county, state & nation? Resser ran for office as a Constitutionalist and won. Why am I telling you all this? It'll be interesting to see who emerges from the Tea Party right to run for Kootenai County sheriff two years from now in the GOPrimary.

Question: Who do you suppose the Liberty Caucus is securing Benewah County from?

Popkey Will Pull Down $84K/Year

Idaho Statesman veteran political reporter and columnist Dan Popkey will make about $7,000 per month — or $84,000 per year — when he begins his new position as U.S. Representative Raul Labrador's press secretary, Labrador's deputy chief of staff Doug Taylor confirmed Wednesday. That's a little less, Taylor said, than the last person to hold that position. “A lot of people have been saying, 'Oh, OK, so Dan Popkey decided to cash in finally, decided to go take that high-paying federal job,” Taylor said. “He probably would have made more had he stayed at the Statesman. This wasn't about the money”/Idaho Press Tribune. More here.

Question: Gannett was paying Popkey $84K per year? Seriously?

Rusche: Li’l Betsy Casts Long Shadow

JMRusche (RE: Popkey hire leaves Idaho journalism hole): Although there are several good young reporters, the experience and wisdom of Popkey and John Miller (formerly of AP) will indeed be missed. I think this is especially true for those living outside the Treasure Valley wanting to know what is going on in State Government. Melissa Davlin is good, but she is only on once a week during the legislative session and is not in a place where she can spend days or weeks digging. Kimberlee Kruesi and Rebecca Boone are good but lack time in grade. Audrey Dutton does well with the Business stuff for the Statesman, but the Statehouse? Betsy Russell may not be that big, but she has to carry an even heavier load now. If anyone knows where to look, it is Betsy. It puts a lot of burden on individuals if they want the facts and not just the political spin from Boise.

Question: Is there any question that my SR bud Betsy Russell is now the top political reporter in the state (if she wasn't before)?

HBO Blogosphere — 7.30.14

The No. 1 song 50 years ago (as of yesterday)? “A Hard Day's Night” by the Beatles. Paul Turner/The Slice regularly provides these interesting factoids on his blog. (Illustration:

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, July 29): 8150 page-views/5007 unique views

Question: Favorite Beatle's song?

Mmm Mmm Good

You remember that old Campbell's soup line: “Campbell's soup is mmm mmm good”? Well, as I write this, I'm eating Dannon Oikos Greek nonfat yogurt with Walkabout's huckleberries from the Fernan Saddle mixed in. Mmm mmm good.

Question: What food/treat would you describe as “mmm mmm good”?

Joker: If DFO Sold Out To Political PR

Joker: We all know DFO would rather die than work in public relations. But I believe if somebody added enough zeroes to the check he would join Popkey in the blink of an eye. If money were not an issue, here are the politicians that he could work for. I’ve also added priority action steps for DFO to be successful.

  • Bob Nonini – Take away Cathyanne’s email account (easier said than done) and make Bob read, “How to win friends and influence people.”
  • Anne Nesse – Driving Mrs Nesse! Anne has trouble getting around Kootenai County to talk to voters. DFO has a map and he’s not afraid to use it.
  • Mike Kennedy – Get him to register as a Democrat.
  • Kathy Sims – Hire OTV for a fashion makeover. The 1957 hair do and outfit need updating.
  • Mary Souza – DFO is the official tape recorder confiscator. He can also connect the dots and schedule a PR coup by getting Mayor Bloem on her online radio show.
  • Steve Adams – Take away his pocket U.S. constitution. Then actually hire a civics professor to explain how the United States government works.
  • Cheryl Stransky – Get her on the back of a milk cartoon stat! People need to recognize her.
  • Mike Jorgenson — Schedule Jorgenson on the senior MMA tour. Younger people just love brutal cage fights.
  • Vito Barbieri – Convince Vito that he needs to run against Raul Labrador. This will be a classic PR battle of wills between Popkey and DFO. Who will win this showdown? Everyone!

Popkey Hire Leaves Journalism Hole

Marc Johnson/The Johnson Post contends that Congressman Raul Labrador underscored his position as Idaho's most interesting man — and possibly most important politician — by hiring Statesman political reporter Dan Popkey (pictured). In this most-read column, Johnson also explained the blow suffered by Idaho journalism by this hire: “The other thing the Popkey hire illustrates, sadly, is the continuing and steady demise of real political journalism, and not just in Idaho. Dan’s reporting – along with the excellent work of the Spokesman-Review’s Betsy Russell – has long been required reading for anyone in the state who cares about politics and public policy. The kind of perspective, experience and knowledge of the political players that a reporter develops over 30 years can’t easily be replaced. Here’s hoping the effort continues to be made, but the trend lines are hardly encouraging.” More here.

Question: The Statesman has now lost three important journalists in the last year — Opinion Editor Kevin Richert, Outdoors writer Pete Zimowski and now political reporter Dan Popkey. What will the Statesman be like now?

Huckleberries Hears …

… That the Coeur d'Alene teen scene is aflutter re: news that Harry Styles of One Direction has been hanging out at Gozzer Ranch on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Styles is the front man for the mega-popular teen band. Styles has posted several photos of him and other teen-agers playing soccer at Gozzer Ranch. You can view them here. (AP/Invision file photo: One Direction members, from left, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik perform on ABC's “Good Morning America” on Nov. 26, 2013, in New York)

Brothers Hit Each Other Avoiding Deer

Two brothers were injured in a collision near Princeton, Idaho, early this morning, the Idaho State Police said. Wesley Orr, 23, was traveling west on State Highway 6 just east of Princeton when he encountered some deer in the roadway around 5:45 a.m., according to a news release. Kiel Orr, 31, was driving east on the highway at the same time. The two collided, closing the highway for two-and-a-half hours, according to the ISP. Neither men was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, according to the news release. Both were driving Honda Accords. ISP spokeswoman Teresa Baker confirmed the Orrs were brothers/Kip Hill, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever been to Princeton, Idaho?

Marathoner Tries Pend Oreille Swim

While the rest of us sit inside at our air-conditioned desks or do whatever else we can to stay cool today, it's fair to say Elaine K. Howley has the most strenuous plan to beat the heat. The 45-year-old open-water swimmer is attempting a solo, non-stop swim of the length of Idaho's largest lake, Lake Pend Oreille — a total of 34 miles from the southern tip at Buttonhook Bay up to Sandpoint's City Beach in the northwest. If Howley is successful, she'll be the first person to do so. It's expected to take the Boston-based ultra-marathon swimmer between 17 and 20 hours to complete her journey if conditions are fair, but could take as many as 24 hours if the water is choppy. Follow Howley's progress throughout the day via the Sandpoint Online Facebook page/Bloglander, Inlander. More here.

Question: Is there any water in the region colder to swim in than Lake Pend Oreille?

Gene: Why I Jumped To PR

Gene Fadness (RE: Popkey's financial future better — DFO): After 25 years as both an editor and a reporter in Nebraska and Idaho, I jumped ship back in 2001 to become the public information officer for a state agency. I was making decent pay near the end, but had no retirement plan to speak of. Newsrooms were already starting to lay off staff, work hours were increasing and, in my view, newspapers were moving away from in-depth reporting to becoming a print version of TV and radio. Hard-hitting, longer stories were being pushed aside to allow more room for large pictures and graphics in order to get younger readers who seemed to more interested in being entertained than informed. It used to be that newspapers couldn't compete with radio and TV for immediacy, so our niche was more detail and time to check more sources and provide in-depth coverage. With online reporting, the pressure is on to be quicker and be juicier. The result is shorter, quicker reporting and not as careful editing for both accuracy and balance. There are parts of journalism I really miss, but I don't think today's newspaper would take me even if I wanted to go back. I'm too old-school.


Balukoff’s 1st Campaign Ad

A.J. Balukoff's first campaign ad in his head-to-head race against Gov. Butch Otter. Eye on Boise story here.


AM Scanner Traffic — 7.30.14

  • 11:24 a.m. Female on 5th Avenue/Post Falls reports male choked her, he's still at residence.
  • 11:19 a.m. Vehicles are using emergency cross-overs to avoid traffic jam @ s/b H95/near Silverwood.
  • 11:03 a.m. Driver of electric blue Toyota Tacoma pickup cut of 2nd motorist while merging @ I-90/H95, CdA.
  • 10:51 a.m. Caller reports to CPD she's being harassed by phone.
  • 10:45 a.m. Motorist passed on double yellow in construction zone @ s/b H95/MP 452 (Bonner County line).
  • 9:50 a.m. Officer reports utility box w/cover torn off and wires showing along Atlas Road/Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 9:44 a.m. Business has supplemental info re: forgery @ 200 block of Ironwood/CdA.
  • 9:06 a.m. CPD officer reports man caught trespassing is high on something & insisting he's on supervised probation.
  • 8:57 a.m. Firefighters are attacking smoke & flames from re-newed fire (8:45 item) from Seltice Way/CdA side.
  • 8:45 a.m. Fireman reports fire extinguised along e/b I-90/MP 10, 1 mile east of NW Blvd/CdA, is smoldering again, w/flames seen in nearby trees. Smoke is coming from south side of Centennial Trail.

Poll: No To Obama Impeachment Try

  • Tuesday Poll: 3/4s of Hucks Nation would oppose any attempt to impeach President Barack Obama. 138 of 183 respondents (75.41%). Only 42 of 183 respondents (22.95%) support an impeachment attempt. 3 (1.64%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: What do you think of journalist Dan Popkey's decision to become Congressman Labrador's spokesman?

Thought For Today

So odd, the randomness of who has followed me on Twitter recently: Party 101. Supermodel Niki Taylor. 44 North Vodka. Kelly Osbourne News. Boysmutty. อุดม ประเหมือน. Move2Boise. KHQ's Stephanie Vigil. Performance Artist Kayvon Zand. KISS 98.1. Not sure what this says about me — OrangeTV.

Question: Who are some of the random individuals/companies that follow you on Twitter? Do you have a Twitter account?

Lilac Ice Cream, Anyone?

Local legend has it that the first lilac bush was planted at a homestead near Hillyard after traveling by trunk from Minnesota in 1882. Another story puts the city’s first lilacs in the yard of J.J. Browne, a lawyer and developer who planted them in 1906. Whichever the case may be, civic leaders started promoting Spokane as the Lilac City. And this spring, those tiny fragrant purple and white springtime petals inspired Chef Bob Rogers, executive chef at Northern Quest Resort & Casino, to make his own lilac ice cream. He experimented in May, cutting big clusters of lilac blossoms early in the morning, getting them wet, then shaking off the excess water and trimming the stems. He used lilacs that are “the in-between color. Not white but also not very dark”/Adriana Janovich, SR. More here. (Courtesy SR file photo from Blair Becker: A butterfly lands on a lilac bush)

Question: Is lilac ice cream something you'd like to try? Any unusual ice cream flavors you like?

Risch: Tie Pastor Release To Iran $$$

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch today told the U.S. State Department’s Undersecretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman that the United States should cut off all funds to Iran until Idaho Pastor Saeed Abedini and two other Americans who are imprisoned in Iran are released. Abedini, of Boise, has been imprisoned in Iran since 2012 on charges related to Christian evangelizing. Risch said he’s sure the move would work. At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today on the topic “Iran: Status of the P-5+1,” Risch told Sherman, “I have urged that you do something about getting Pastor Abedini and the other two Americans released. As you know, I was incredibly critical of you guys because you cut billions loose without demanding this tiny, tiny little thing as far as Iran is concerned. I wanna ratchet that up again – you did it again”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (Photo of Pastor Saaed Abedini by Be Heard Project)

Question: I'm glad that U.S. Sen. Risch is applying pressure to force the release of Pastor Abedini of Boise, who has been imprisoned in Iran for alleged crimes related to his Christian faith. You?

AM Headlines — 7.30.14

Christ Troupis talks with reporters outside the Twin Falls county courthouse on Tuesday. “We don’t want to preserve a conflict,” he said, noting that no appeals were contemplated. Troupis, who unsuccessfully challenged GOP Attorney General Lawrence Wasden in the primary this year, said the party needs to unify. Reaction to judge's ruling here. (SR photo: Betsy Russell)

Dancin’ To The Music

Maria Kitkarska, of Canada, performs in the Individual Clubs final at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre Precinct during the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland on Saturday. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

Quotable Quote

“I promise we won't have bobbing for Baby Ruth candy bars.”

Sid Fredrickson, wastewater treatment director re: games planned for department's 75th anniversary.

H/T: Taryn Thompson, Coeur d'Alene Press

Question: Remember the swimming pool scene in “Caddy Shack”?

DFO: Popkey’s Financial Future Better

DFO (RE: 007: Popkey's now a flack): There may be another angle at play here. Popkey is 55 years old — an age in which he's facing an uncertain future as far as newpapering goes. I know several individuals in the 45-55 range who are wondering if it's time to bail for another career because they don't know how long their newspaper will hold out. I'd guess Popkey's salary increased significantly when he signed on the dotted line with Labrador. Also, I'd guess that his benefits and retirement packages improved significantly. This could be a situation where a good reporter saw the writing on the wall and jumped for a signicantly better financial situation.

Question: Is this about money, bottom line?

Demo Stransky Challenges Barbieri

The Democrat challenger to Republican incumbent Vito Barbieri, District 2A Representative, said the two candidates couldn’t be any more different. Cheryl Stransky (pictured) has lived in northern Idaho for 37 years, raised two children and recently retired from 33 years working as a school counselor. She said she decided to run not because she was interested in politics but because she was interested in helping her community. Ms. Stransky said she is unimpressed with Mr. Barbieri’s representation. “His representation of our district is radically opposed to anything I felt comfortable with,” she said. “My opponent has lived in Coeur d’Alene for less than 10 years, so I feel like my investment in the community is more solid and I have a better understanding of the people’s wants and needs.” She criticizes that Mr. Barbieri fails to follow the wishes of the people that he represents/Mary Orr, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here.

Question: Do you think House District 2 (northern Kootenai County) is as radical as state Rep. Vito Barbieri?

200 Turn Out To Back Veterans Home

The need for a local veterans home came across loud and clear Tuesday night. About 200 people packed into American Legion Post 143 for a meeting conducted by the Idaho Division of Veterans Service and a planning team which is developing a feasibility report for veterans care facilities in the state. “It's very apparent that we have support,” Dana Kauffman of Insight Architects told the crowd of veterans, family members and elected officials. Facility proponents, led by former Post Falls Mayor and veteran Clay Larkin, are hoping that an 88-bed home will be constructed in three to five years. The feasibility report is expected to be submitted to the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C., by April/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo by Jake Parrish: Veterans turned out to support vets home in Post Falls)


Spokane Gets Common Core Texts

New textbooks are arriving at elementary schools in Spokane County’s largest district, launching widespread adoption of the Common Core curriculum. Common Core is a set of national standards in language arts and math education that’s been adopted by most states, including Washington and Idaho. Some teachers at Roosevelt Elementary School on Spokane’s South Hill called the massive book delivery “Christmas in July.” Not only does it comply with new state standards, it’s the first time the district has had all-new teaching tools in 25 years. “They had piecemeal things before, and they had to spend a lot of time making it fit together,” said Karin Thompson, elementary curriculum coordinator. With the new materials, “now they get to focus on the art and science of teaching,” she said/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here. (SR photo by Tyler Tjomsland: Mary Lutton, right, and Sandra Olsen, fifth-grade teachers at Roosevelt Elementary, sort through books for Common Core on Monday)

Question: Do you expect a fierce fight over Common Core in the 2015 Idaho Legislature?

Sewer Dept Celebrates 75 Years

Sid Fedrickson, Wastewater Utility Superintendent, examines the filtered water at the Coeur d’Alene Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Wastewater Treatment Plant opened on Aug. 1, 1939, and will celebrate it’s 75th anniversary this Friday. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Tess Freeman)

Coeur d'Alene's Wastewater Utility Department is celebrating its 75th anniversary Friday with a free hot dog and hamburger lunch. Wastewater Superintendent Sid Fredrickson said attendees can decide themselves whether to tour the Wastewater Treatment Plant before or after they eat. An open house is set for 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, with hourly tours for ages 10 and older and a presentation on “What Happens After the Flush.” Fun, games and crafts for kids are also planned. “I promise we won't have bobbing for Baby Ruth candy bars,” Fredrickson said. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. When the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant was built in 1939, Coeur d'Alene had a population of 10,000. Many homes were still on septic then, Fredrickson said/Taryn Thompson, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Kids Pay Price Of Otter’s Re-election

If “gettin' me re-elected” were not the primary thought in his head, here's how Idaho Gov. C.L (Butch) Otter might have handled the exodus of Central American children streaming into the country. He'd soberly frame the issue as a humanitarian crisis. These are not illegal immigrants seeking prosperity in the north. These are refugees. For anyone willing to listen, he'd share the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees report, which found 58 percent of the children interviewed left Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to flee violence. Advocates for these children say conditions at home are so bad that anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of them could qualify to remain in the United States/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree that Gov. Otter could have handled children refugee crisis better?

Idaho GOP Now Has No State Officers

In more of the reaction to yesterday’s court ruling on leadership of the Idaho Republican Party, the two party officials whom Barry Peterson unsuccessfully sued, Mike Mathews and Cindy Siddoway, have issued a statement on the results. “I am happy that the August 2nd meeting called by the grassroots of the party will go forward.  I look forward to holding elections to end any confusion in party leadership,” Mathews said. He was the party’s first vice-chairman, but according to the judge’s ruling, there are now no state officers, though the locally chosen central committee members remain in place/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Is an Idaho GOP without a chairman state officers more stable than one that has a chairman and state officers?

Citizen Militias

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7.29.14

On her Facebook page, Cindy issues the following threat: “Will be issuing fines to all who use the 'h' word in a complaint today
Should be able to take a nice vacation with the proceeds.
” So you've been warned. Here's today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.29.14

Yakima Fire Department firefighters rescue Warren Hinrichs who passed out while working on the flag pole atop the William O. Douglas Federal Courthouse in downtown Yakima Monday. (AP/Yakima Herald-Republic: Donald W. Meyers)

KCSD IDs Dead Man Found In Lake

Kootenai County sheriff’s detectives have identified the deceased male that was found on the shoreline of Lake Coeur d’Alene on Saturday, July 19. The victim has been identified as Daniel Escallero Moreno, 40, of Coeur d’Alene. At the time of his death, Moreno was a known transient. Autopsy and toxicology results are pending and may take several more weeks to obtain. Though there were no obvious signs of foul play, the case is still being actively investigated as a suspicious death. Anyone that may have had contact with Moreno prior to his death is asked to contact Sheriff’s Detectives at (208)446-1301. Further details are not available at this time/Lt. Stu Miller, KCSD.

007: Popkey’s Now A Flack

James Bond (RE: Fort Boise: Idaho's loss, Raul's gain): There is no question that Popkey was largely considered to be a prototypical liberal journalist by the establishment Republican crowd in Idaho. This turns that on its head. He may well be liberal in his personal views, but he just took a position with a right-wing, Tea Party guy! I bet there's plenty of grumbling going on in the offices of the other congressionals today. In a way, with Popkey's history of taking on the establishment and Labrador's anti-establishment pedigree, this is a poetic, predictable ending to a three-decade career in journalism. You're a flack now, Dan! FLACK!

Question: Has Popkey sold out?

Boat Fire Hurts Grandfather, 8YO Boy

A boat on Lake Pend Oreille burst into flames at a Bayview marina this afternoon, burning a man and boy on board. The victims jumped into the lake at MacDonald’s Hudson Bay Resort and were rescued by bystanders on the dock, while another witness pushed the burning boat away from the marina in Scenic Bay, Timberlake Fire Protection District Chief Kevin Kleinworth said. Richard Wagner, 70, of Idaho Falls, and his 8-year-old grandson both suffered severe burns. The boy was taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. The boat – a 1966 Tollycraft cabin cruiser – had just backed out of a boat house around 2 p.m. when the fire broke out, Kleinworth said. “They were about 20 feet from the boat house when apparently there was some sort of initial explosion, according to the bystanders, and fire,” he said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

PM Headlines — 7.29.14

Kameron Freiday takes a drink from a hose while battling temperatures in the high 90s as he laid pipe on a construction project in Coeur d'Alene today. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Can you think of a job that you wouldn't want to be doing in this heat?

Malloy: A Reason To Watch Pageant

Don’t look at me to handicap the Miss America Pageant in September. I do a lousy enough job picking winners of sporting events and political elections and I can’t remember the last time I saw a Miss America Pageant. I will make an exception this year and make a point to watch the competition on television on Sept. 14. And I will go out on a limb and say that Miss Idaho, Sierra Anne Sandison of Twin Falls, has a decent shot at winning. No, she does not hail from the South, or Midwest, which produce long lines of past winners. A Miss Idaho has never won. But Sierra has something that few others have – a compelling story. And all she had to do was walk on stage during the swimsuit competition of the Miss Idaho Pageant with an insulin pump attached to her side/Chuck Malloy, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo: Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison during a portrait session near Centennial Waterfront Park in Twin Falls)

Question: Do you plan to watch the 2014 Miss America Pageant to see Miss Idaho perform?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.29.14

Post Falls Police Department Facebook: “A woman’s wallet was stolen at the Post Falls Walmart (Westside) on 07/25/14 at approximately 6:00pm. The suspect in the case is pictured in the attached photo. If you know who she is, contact Detective Gunderson at 208-773-3517 reference case # 14PF14326 LLS”

  • 5:19 p.m. Pickup pulling large fifth-wheel broken down on w/b I-90/MP 30 (4th of July).
  • 5:14 p.m. Noninjury crash reported @ Ramsey Road/Diagonal, Rathdrum.
  • 5:07 p.m. Eastbound I-90 at standstill between CDA and Post Falls as crews battle brush fire east of rest area.
  • 4:31 p.m. Bag fell from vehicle pulling boat, dropping money @ H95/MP 422 (near Kidd Island Bay Road).
  • 4:29 p.m. 2 small grass fires reported @ I-90/MP 10, one mile west of NW Blvd/CdA.
  • 4:10 p.m. CPD officer searching for panhandler who has been bothering people on Sherman Avenue/CdA.
  • 3:46 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency reported @ 3200 block of N4th/CdA.
  • 3:15 p.m. Utility problem reported @ Atlas Road/Robison Avenue/Hayden.
  • 3:07 p.m. 73YO female w/suicidal tendencies is having problems in Post Falls.
  • 2:24 p.m. Life Flight may try to set down at Farragut Park traffic circle.
  • 2:20 p.m. Life Flight can't land at Farragut Park naval base b/c too many power lines.
  • 2:19 p.m. Medics on scene report that 8YO boy & 70YO man have 2nd degree burns to lower extremities and minor burns to upper body, including singed eyebrows.
  • 2:18 p.m. Herb Huseland reports that fire boat is spraying large, burning cabin cruiser, about 100 yards from McDonald's Hudson Bay Marina. The fire is dying down. Boat is completely destroyed.
  • 2:12 p.m. A boat is on fire on or near dock. Pilot may have been trying to refuel. Man in water. 8YO boy also involved.
  • 1:56 p.m. Dock fire reported at McDonalds Hudson Bay Resort, 17813 Hudson Bay Resort/Bayview.
  • 1:24 p.m. Driver of black SUV backed into Ford Mustang & then drove off @ 925 E. Polston/Post Falls.
  • 1:22 p.m. Saleswoman is trying to talk her way into homes in Post Falls neighborhood.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

HBO Blogosphere — 7.29.14

That purple thumb above belongs to Walkabout, who is using it to demonstrate the size of the huckleberries that she's picking this year..

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, July 28): 7732 pageviews/4706 unique views

Polls: Risch Up Easily Over Mitchell

Real Clear Politics has combined the results of two polls — Rasmussen & CBS News/New York Times/YouGov — to estimate that Republican U.S. Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, holds a lead of 29-30 percent over Democratic challenger Nels Mitchell. Results here.

Polls: Otter Up 18% Over Balukoff

Real Clear Politics has combined the results of two polls — Rasmussen & CBS News/New York Times/YouGov — to estimate that Republican Gov. Butch Otter holds an 18 point lead over Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff. Results here.

Temperature: Lake City Hits 102

NW Coeur d'Alene hits 102 degrees. Fernan Lake was 103. 99 in Hayden.

Tongue Firmly Cheeked …

“As an idaho ex-journo pointed out, it's just a matter of time before @BetsyZRussell announces she's working for the Harley campaign” — Kimberlee Kruesi tweet.

H/T: Duane Rasmussen

Huckleberries Talks To Nels Mitchell

Nels Mitchell, the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, was featured at a Minimum Wage Rally at Riverstone Park Monday. With him are fellow Democrats Idaho House candidate Anne Nesse, center, and U.S. House candidate Shirley Ringo. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

  • Huckleberries: How do you gain traction as a Democrat in Republican Idaho when your opponent is considered the most conservative U.S. senator?
  • Nels Mitchell: People are fed up with what's going on in Washington. They're tired of the gridlock and the ideologues like my opponent doing stunts like shutting the government down. The people that I've talked to around Idaho want functioning government. And they want their U.S. senator to be part of the solution and not the problem.
  • Huckleberries: You were in town Monday at a minimum wage rally. Is that a popular idea in Idaho?
  • Mitchell: Raising the minimum wage to a living wage is popular in Idaho. There are over 175,000 people who would receive a raise if the federal minimum wage was raised from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour. That's more than 25 percent of the workers in Idaho.
  • Huckleberries: Are the Democrats in position to make gains as a result of GOP dysfunction in the state? Or will people simply keep voting straight ticket Republican?
  • Mitchell: We are in a position to make gains this year. The Democrats are unified, and we have a great slate of candidates. We are focused on representing the people in the middle. I'm a centrist. In Idaho over 55 percent have elected not to affiliate with the Republicans or the Democrats. That creates an opportunity in my race as well as other races.
  • Huckleberries: What do you think of Raul Labrador's announcement about Dan Popkey joining his staff?
  • Mitchell: I'm not surprised that Raul would ask Dan. But I am surprised that Dan would accept. Dan has had a distinguished career in Boise and is well respected by both Democrats and Republicans.
  • Huckleberries: Republican candidates love to tie Democrats to President Obama. How do you avoid that in a state that's so red?
  • Mitchell: Like a lot of other people in Idaho, I have been disappointed with some of the president's performance. At the same time, I will be going back to Washington and representing the interests of independent Idaho. I'm not receiving any support nor am I working with the president, Harry Reid or any of the Democratic leadership, in part because I want to be an independent voice for Idaho in Washington.
  • Also: You can read more about Nels Mitchell on his campaign Web site here.
  • Also: Mitchell responds to Risch fund-raising letter that referred to him as a Democratic agent here.

Fort Boise: Idaho’s Loss, Raul’s Gain

Midday bombshell from ID-01 Congressman Raúl Labrador's office, longtime Idaho Statesman political reporter Dan Popkey is his new press secretary. And probably needless to say, Popkey's resignation from the Statesman is effective immediately, which is a shame, because we could use his skill at political analysis to help us sort this out. Local heads are exploding across the political spectrum, not least from those who insisted that Popkey was “an ultra-biased Liberal” or “self-described flaming Democrat from California” (which I missed) or “radical far far far left socialist/communist.” (The first two of those were sincere comments, the last one not so much, I think.) Popkey's put in three decades at the Statesman, and I could hardly begrudge anyone from jumping ship after that, especially when the ship is listing rather suspiciously/Fort Boise. More here.

Question (for the uber-cons out there): Isn't Popkey suppose to be a radical far far far left socialist/communist”? How does this hiring by Teapublican Congressman Raul Labrador line up with that depiction?

Send In The Clowns

Dressed as Charlie Chaplin, Guatemalan Uriel Cifuentes strikes a pose while marching in the Parade of Clowns as part of the sixth annual Latin American Clown Congress in Guatemala City, earlier today. Clowns from Central America and North America have gathered for four days in the capital city to exchange ideas and attend workshops. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Question: Are you afraid of clowns? Why? Why not?

City Seeks Comment On ‘15 Budget

The city of Coeur d’Alene has published its proposed 2014-15 budget online and encourages public comment on the spending plan. To view the budget, visit and click on Preliminary Budget. To comment on the budget, go to and click on Message the Mayor on the homepage. “The city wants to hear from the community about the budget,” said Mayor Steve Widmyer. “The council worked hard to offer a spending plan includes a zero percent increase in property taxes and is $3.3 million lower than last year’s budget.” There will be a public hearing on the proposed budget on Tuesday, September 2, during the regular City Council meeting at the Community Room of the Public Library. The fiscal year begins October 1/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today.

Question: You're not going to check out the budget, are you?

DeePee: No Journalism To Love Today

DeePee (RE: Popkey to be Labrador spokesman): So many people go IN to journalism with an agenda these days, it's just not the same game any more. Flackery seems to be the ultimate departure point. We are arguing over the quality of buggy-whips. There is no journalism “to love” these days, because it doesn't exist. I remember when it meant making sense out of things, and exposing crooked cops and politicians in their act. It's why I got out 14 years ago; the only advancement was to start covering gas station pump-island grand openings to please the ad staff. When I got in, in the early 1970s, it was catching bad guys, making deadline, and getting it first and getting it right, because they other newspaper in town would clean your clock if you didn't.

Question: Are you concerned about the nature of modern journalism?

Voodoo Worker Doughnuts Windshield

Luke Copeland went to Voodoo Doughnuts Too on Sandy Boulevard Saturday with a big order; he was picking up about $2,000 worth of doughnuts for his company. Everything was fine until one of the doughnut shop’s employees threw in two extra doughnuts, right on Copeland’s windshield. “I walked in to grab the manager and when I came out I noticed someone putting two big doughnuts underneath my windshield wipers,” Copeland said. “He basically told me I was not in a parking spot and that was his way of paying him back.” The frosting made a mess. Copeland was upset and perplexed. Earlier that day, he says, someone from Voodoo told him to park where he did to make it easier to put the large order into his car. Copeland says when he went inside the store to complain about the employee’s actions, he didn’t get a satisfactory response/KGW. More here. (Voodoo Doughnuts insignia)

Question: I thought Portlanders were peaceful, especially those who worked at Voodoo Doughnuts. Thoughts?

Popkey To Be Labrador Spokesman

Congressman Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, is pleased to announce that longtime Idaho Statesman political reporter Dan Popkey will become his new press secretary.  Dan will be based in the Congressman’s Meridian office and will coordinate communications in Idaho and Washington, D.C. “I’m very excited to have Dan on board as my new press secretary,” said Congressman Labrador. “He brings a wealth of experience and considerable knowledge of Idaho political history that will be a tremendous asset to me and my staff throughout the First Congressional District.  I’ve learned that one has to have an exceptional communications strategy to effectively represent Idaho in Congress. I know that Dan will help me better communicate my message to constituents and the media”/Congressman Raul Labrador news release. More here.

DFO: Idaho journalism has suffered a huge loss.


2 Survive Crash Into Fernan Lake

A 30-year-old female passenger was taken to Kootenai Health this morning after the 2006 Chevrolet pickup in which she was riding veered off Fernan Lake Road into Fernan Lake. Kristopher S. Corey, 39, of Hayden, was driving the vehicle at 6:30 a.m. when his pickup left the road. Corey was not injured. But his passenger, Arian El-Quare, 30, of Coeur d'Alene, suffered minor injuries. The two were standing on the side of the truck, which was submerged, resting on the driver's side in a few feet of water, when a deputy and Coeur d'Alene police officer arrives. They were helped up the steep embankment. Cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Arguing Against Global Warning Plan

Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett speaks at a rally in response to an Environmental Protection Agency hearing on tougher pollution restrictions, earlier today, in Atlanta. Utility and coal companies are expected to argue Tuesday against proposals from the Obama administration that would force a 30 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2030 from 2005 levels. The EPA is holding three public hearings on the proposal in Atlanta, Denver and Washington. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The longer the world waits to act on climate change, the more costly it will be to rein in the environmental impacts of releasing heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. That's the conclusion of a White House report on climate change released Tuesday. It comes on the same day the EPA begins public hearings on controversial power plant regulations that critics say will raise energy costs and do little to curb global warming. The timing of the Obama administration's report is not a coincidence. Although polls show a majority of Americans support the new power plant regulations, EPA officials are expected to get an earful of criticism as they present them in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Washington this week/Christian Science Monitor. More here.

Question: Are you willing to pay more in energy costs to curb global warming?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.29.14

  • 11:54 a.m. Aqua Drilling reports individual who stole items from business may be an Inland Recycling, 6303 Govt Way/Hayden. 3 males are in white Chevy pickup at recycling business.
  • 11:38 a.m. Horse running loose @ Church/Winch, Rathdrum.
  • 11:34 a.m. Deputy asked to do welfare check on individual at Coeur d'Alene Casino/Worley.
  • 11:15 a.m. 78YO female is suffering chest pain @ 2800 block of Ferry Landing/Post Falls.
  • 11:11 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 1100 block of Idaho/Post Falls.
  • 10:41 a.m. Suspicious panhandler w/sign at 3rd Street/Sherman Avenue, CdA.
  • 10:36 a.m. Trucking company concerned that driver has parked @ I-90/Wolf Lodge for hours w/o responding.
  • 10:35 a.m. Driver of full-size van w/carpet hanging out back erratic, pulled into Hauser Mobile station.
  • 10:03 a.m. Inland Northwest Bank, 5th Avenue/Spirit Lake, requests officer, unknown reason.
  • 9:38 a.m. Fireman en route to check possible smoke in area of @ H97/Yellowstone Trail, CdA.
  • 9:36 a.m. A dead dog is lying @ H41/MP 9.5 (just north of Rathdrum city limits).
  • 9:18 a.m. Domestic dispute involving adult son reported @ 300 block of E. Orchard/Hayden.
  • 9:08 a.m. Fireman discovers dust plume when he goes in search of smoke @ H41/Cederblom Estates.
  • 9:07 a.m. Female sez ex-husband won't turn over keys to house @ 1500 block of E3rd Ave/Post Falls.
  • 8:50 a.m. Undisclosed hazard reported @ 2300 block of Nettleton Gulch/CdA.
  • 8:49 a.m. Someone littering @ Government Way/Kathleen Avenue, CdA.
  • 8:28 a.m. A suspect in undisclosed crime has entered Great Floors on Govt Way/CdA.

Quotable Quote — 7.29.14

Quote of the day from the hearing room in Barry Peterson lawsuit:

Troupis: “The party's in trouble”
Judge: “That's not something I can fix”

H/T: Sisyphus

Poll: We’re Mostly PacificNW Natives

  • Monday Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation considers itself natives of the Pacific Northwest. 125 of 178 respondents (70.22%) said they were natives of this region. 50 of 178 respondents (28.09%) don't consider themselves PacificNW natives. 3 (1.69%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Would you support an attempt by congressional Republicans to impeach President Obama?

Judge: Peterson No Longer GOP Chair

Fifth District Judge Randy Stoker today rejected a bid from embattled former Idaho GOP Chairman Barry Peterson to hold onto the chairmanship by blocking a state central committee meeting scheduled for Saturday to choose new leaders. “His term has expired,” Stoker told the court. The judge’s ruling came after extensive arguments that lasted for more than two hours in court this morning in Twin Falls. “This is not a question of this court taking any position with regard to what the Republican Party should do in this state,” Stoker said. “I have no dog in this fight, so to speak”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (Eye on Boise photo: Former Idaho GOP chairman Barry Peterson leaves Twin Falls courthouse)

Question: Who are the winners/losers as a result of this decision?

Boehner: No Plans For Impeachment

Sarah Palin may have demanded that President Barack Obama be impeached, and tea party Republicans may have flirted with that idea as well, but House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) declared Tuesday that such talk was all a “scam” dreamed up by the White House. “This whole talk about impeachment is coming from the president’s own staff, and coming from Democrats on Capitol Hill,” Boehner told reporters at a news conference. “Why? Because they’re trying to rally their people to give money and show up in this year's elections. “We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans,” Boehner added emphatically. “Listen. It’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House”/Huffington Post. More here.

Question: Do you believe House Speaker Boehner that the Democrats are behind impeachment talks?

NRA Rep Compares Measure To Nazis

The Jewish Federation of Seattle demanded a representative of the National Rifle Association step down Monday, after video claiming to show him comparing a statewide initiative increasing background checks for gun purchases to Nazi Germany surfaced online. The video, first posted by, purports to record Brian Judy, an NRA liason, speaking at an event last week in Silverdale against I-594. The comments veer towards Seattle entrepeneur Nick Hanauer, a major supporter and financial contributor to the I-594 campaign, and his Jewish faith. “He's put half-a-million dollars towards this policy,” the video stated, “The same policy that led to his family getting run out of Germany by the Nazis/John Langeler, KING5. More here. (Wikipedia image)

Question: As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea not to bring up Nazi Germany comparisons during an argument over far less serious things, right?

Crows Enjoy ‘Air’

A black crow takes off as another looks on a 1932 lead statue named “Air” by French artist Aristide Maillol 1861-1944 in The Tuileries gardens of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, earlier today. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Cell Phone Carriers Beware

“Sign in Twin Falls courthouse: Ringing cell phone can bring $100 fine … they're serious here”

— Tweets Betsy Russell, who is in Twin Falls to cover court hearing over Barry Peterson's lawsuit to keep his Idaho GOP chairmanship.

Question: When did your cell phone last go off at an embarrassing moment?

Edit: Seniors, Rich Elect Seniors, Rich

In Idaho, the richer you are, the more you count. Likewise, the older you are, the more clout you have. Why? Because that's who votes in Idaho's elections. No wonder the people elected to tend to Idaho's affairs have a blind spot when it comes to children, the poor and education. For years, two trends have worked in tandem: While fewer Idahoans voted, more Republicans got elected. Since 1980, turnout dropped from 69 percent to 57.6 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, Democrats have all but ceased to be a political force in Idaho. The GOP controls all statewide offices, all four congressional seats and 80 percent of the Legislature. Here's one theory: More of the dropout voters are young, poor and less educated. You could draw that picture courtesy of numbers unearthed by the University of Idaho's McClure Center and the UI Social Science Research Unit/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.


Edit: Crane Channels ‘Tricky Dick’

Nearly a half century ago, President Richard Nixon wrote the modern playbook for politicians in trouble. With evidence of wrongdoing piling up, accusations flying, friends fleeing and excuses falling flat, Nixon reached deep into his bag of tricks. He denied. He insulted. He obfuscated. He played the victim. Clearly, Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane (pictured) is a student of history. For four terms - 16 years - Idahoans have entrusted billions of dollars to Crane. In return for this responsibility, not to mention his $101,150 salary, Crane has stumbled and bumbled through one misstep after another. It began when legislative auditors asked Canyon County's prosecutor to investigate Crane's use of a state credit card to purchase nearly $8,000 in gas. Crane's defense was he saved taxpayers money by not using a state vehicle for his commute to work — though a 1996 law said “the use of state vehicles for personal or other nonofficial business is strictly prohibited”/Idaho Falls Post Register. More here.

Question: Do you support/oppose Treasurer Ron Crane?

Temperatures Soaring Into Upper 90s

The inflatable raft was piled high with everything two friends could possibly need for an afternoon at the Spokane River. Towels. Snacks and drinks. A folding chair, an umbrella. More floating devices, and even a dog – an inquisitive dachshund named Lily. “She’s queen of the boat,” teased her owner, Nancy Ray. With temperatures soaring into the upper 90s on Monday, Ray and her friend Stacy Martin were looking for ways to keep cool. The heat sent them to Boulder Beach in the Spokane Valley. Temperatures are running about 10 degrees hotter than normal this time of year, increasing the allure of the Inland Northwest’s lakes and river. Monday’s high at Spokane International Airport was 98 degrees. The heat wave is expected to persist all week, with 100 degrees expected today and highs in the upper 90s through the weekend for both Spokane and Coeur d’Alene/Becky Kramer, SR. More here. (SR photo by Jesse Tinsley: Ben Gambill, left, and David Anderson show off with a tandem swing on the Spokane River shore near Boulder Beach on Monday)

Question: Have you been swimming in the lake this summer?

Peterson’s Motion To Dismiss Denied

Fifth District Judge Randy Stoker has denied the motion to dismiss Barry Peterson’s lawsuit over chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, saying he’ll instead move to hear the full merits of the case this morning, after a 10-minute break. The judge said he believes state statute cites party rules, so they can be enforced by the court. “I think that this case involves both political questions and questions of whether there has been a statutory and therefore a rule violation,” Stoker said. “It’s a mixed issue.” A 1908 Idaho Supreme Court case involving a fight between competing delegations in the Idaho Democratic Party set the precedent on that, he said/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you have a decent theory why Barry Peterson seems to be hanging onto his position for dear life when he could be blocking unity in the Idaho GOP?

Mitchell, Ringo Back Higher Min. Wage

Supporters of U.S. Senate candidate Nels Mitchell and U.S. House candidate Shirley Ringo listen as the two Democrats tout an increase in the state's $7.25 minimum wage at a rally at Riverstone Park Monday. Former state senator Mary Lou Reed is seated right. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

U.S. Senate candidate Nels Mitchell and House candidate Shirley Ringo believe a major disconnect exists when it comes to the issue of minimum wage. Idaho's all-Republican congressional delegation and Republican majority in the state Legislature oppose an increase of the minimum wage. Meanwhile, a majority of the public supports additional pay for the state's lowest-wage workers, Mitchell and Ringo, both Democrats, said Monday. The two were in Coeur d'Alene campaigning together, organizing what they called a “Living Wage Rally” at Riverstone Park. They also appeared earlier in the day together in Lewiston for a rally, and made appearances throughout the state on earlier dates/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo by Shawn Gust: Nels Mitchell, left, and Shirley Ringo, center, support increase in minimum wage)

No 1 Shows For Boys/Girls Club Plan

The public was a no-show Monday at a public hearing held by the Coeur d'Alene School District Board of Trustees. It is unclear if the empty chairs at the Midtown Meeting Center were a sign of summer apathy or silent approval of the subject of the hearing: a plan to lease land on the grounds of Lakes Magnet Middle School to the Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County. Either way, no one showed up to oppose the idea. The only members of the public who attended were Pat Whelan (pictured), chairman of the Boys & Girls Club board, and Ryan Davis, the program's director. “This has been a long and interesting process of trying to find a home for the Boys & Girls Club within the city of Coeur d'Alene,” Whelan said. “From our standpoint, we believe the grounds in question are darn near perfect”/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Was the public apathetic? Or did the public simply support the idea?

Clark: Etzel’s Edsel Has A Heart

Q – What do you call a two-time loser? A – A guy driving an Edsel with a Nixon sticker on the bumper. Eric Etzel spent a good bit of his youth trying to figure out why his father, Nat, thought the two-liner above was so funny that he told it over and over and over to just about everyone he met. Born in 1960, Etzel was naturally too young to know anything about presidential politics. Nor could he have known that the Ford Edsel was a flop of epic proportions. (Not to mention that it was considered by some to be one of the homeliest cars in automotive history.) It took until well into his teen years for Etzel to finally appreciate what the Old Man was cracking wise about. Even then he didn’t find much worth laughing at, but it did have an impact. Maybe it was the sheer repetition of hearing the word Edsel. But the older Etzel got, the more he wanted one/Doug Clark, SR. More here. (SR photo by Tyler Tjomsland: Eric Etzel poses with his 1958 Edsel on Monday at Underhill Park in Spokane)

Question: Did you ever own an “ugly” car?

On A Stick

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Monday — 7.28.14

I didn't catch the parade Saturday morning. But I did enjoy two nights of music and festival atmosphere at Hayden Days Friday and Saturday. Kelly Hughes & his western band drew a huge crowd Friday night. The Swing Street Big Band of Sandpoint attracted fewer on Saturday night. But put on a swell jazz presentation, featuring vocalist Maria Larson. I hadn't heard of Swings Street before, even though they've been performing locally for 17-18 years. They're worth the time to catch a performance. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.28.14

On his Facebook page, Robin Loznak of Kellogg, Ore., calls this viewtiful scenic: “Dog Days of Summer.” Can we all agree that we've reached the dog days of summer?

100 Degrees On The Way

Pretty hot!!! 99 degrees in NW Coeur d'Alene. Probably hit 100 tomorrow — Randy Mann, KREM2.

Question: How would you rate the weather this summer?

Top Comment: Frustrated In CdA

Kerri Thoreson (RE: Evening ends in parking ticket): To clarify, I wasn't angry, just frustrated. If, like with airport parking, you could receive a time stamped ticket when you enter the lot and then pay for however long you were actually parked, that would be well-received. I welcome you to read the many comments under that post to see that there appears to be many others frustrated not with paying for parking but with understanding what the process is now. I've also already written the check for the fine and will mail it today. I love downtown Coeur d'Alene, always have since growing up on 9th and Sherman. But a $20 fine on a citation written up after 10 p.m. at night in a mostly empty parking lot seems excessive. Had a nice chat with Mayor Widmyer yesterday after he'd read the post and comments. I'm thinking he was already on top of the issue.

Question: When did you last get a parking ticket in Coeur d'Alene?

OfCoffee:Joe’s Prophecy Comes True

OfCoffee (RE: Albertson purchase of Safeway OK'd): In a way, this is a prophesy come true. Joe Albertson started his company way back when he was fired from the company now known as Safeway. He was a middle-manager with my grandfather in Boise. Their company was purchased by what is now Safeway. Both men started their own grocery store chain. (My grandfather's was M&W in the Boise area. )Joe “allegedly” vowed to put an Albertsons across from every Safeway and put them out of business. It may not have worked like he foresaw, but it's funny how things come full circle.

Question: I worked my way through my senior year of high school and partly through college as a clerk in a grocery store. I enjoyed the experience greatly — the pace, the customers and the work. Have you ever worked in a grocery store?

Nesse Takes Stand On Minimum Wage

Anne Nesse, the Democratic opponent to state Sen. Kathy Sims, was on hand with a sign to demonstrate her support for raising the Idaho minimum wage from $7.25. She attended a Minimum Wage rally featuring U.S. Senate candidate Nels Mitchell and U.S. House candidate Shirley Ringo, both Demcrats, at Riverfront Park this afternoon. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.28.14

  • 5:26 p.m. Male van, wearing cowboy hate, may have watched kids @ Winton Park before leaving w/b on Linden/CdA.
  • 5:05 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 27-28 here.
  • 4:46 p.m. 5-7, 140lbs male has fled on foot from therapy appointment  @ 2500 NW Blvd/CdA, on juvenile detention release; he's still wearing his detention center clothing.
  • 4:41 p.m. 56YO male is en route to Post Falls Walgreens, possibly driving while intoxicated.
  • 4:32 p.m. Female is in Post Falls business parking lot, screaming at customers.
  • 4:29 p.m. Female needs medical help @ Post Falls WalMart East, Row 4, after domestic fight; police are trying to shelter her & her 2 children while they look in WalMart for the male who battered her.
  • 4:27 p.m. Someone is suffering a seizure @ 14900 block of  Arbor/Mountain Brook, Post Falls.
  • 4:16 p.m. Rathdrum female has finally persuaded unwanted male to leave her home.
  • 3:37 p.m. Undisclosed parking problem reported @ 100 N4th Street/CdA.
  • 3:25 p.m. Firemen on scene decides smoke in Blanchard area (3:17 item) is dust from logging operation.
  • 3:22 p.m. A power line is down over unoccupied trailer @ 20632 Altamont Road/Rathdrum.
  • 3:17 p.m. Smoke reported @ H41/Clagstone Road, Blanchard area.
  • 3:14 p.m. Extra Coeur d'Alene Tribe patrol requested for Conkling Park/Worley area.
  • 2:48 p.m. Someone hurt in fall on Steamboat Drive is at dock on Kidd Island Bay, boat access only.
  • 2:42 p.m. 86YO male has fallen @ 8600 block of Harbor Park Court/Post Falls & needs help getting up.
  • 2:06 p.m. 25YO female is yelling at customers in parking lot outside Coeur d'Alene store.
  • 2:04 p.m. 61YO male is suffering chest pain in computer room near front lobby of Buck Knives.
  • 1:59 p.m. Driver of green pickup w/load of something beneath tarp in back is tailgating @ e/b I-90/NW Blvd.
  • 1:14 p.m. Local mother threatening to kill herself unless son brings back her dog.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

PM Headlines — 7.28.14

David Herbold and his son, Felix Herbold, march in an “animal parade” on Main Street in Moscow on Friday. The parade marked the conclusion of a children's Summer Art Camp at the University of Idaho's Prichard Art Gallery. David Herbold was one of four instructors at the camp. (AP/Moscow-Pullman Daily News photo: Geoff Crimmins)

Minimum Wage Rally Comes To CdA

Here's some of the political literature that was being handed out at the Minimum Wage Rally earlier this afternoon at Riverstone Park, by supporters of U.S. Senate candidate Nels Mitchell and U.S. House candidate Shirley Ringo, both Democrats.

Peterson: I’m Facing Hostile Takeover

Embattled Idaho GOP Chairman Barry Peterson says the Idaho Republican Party is faced with “two rogue members engaged in a hostile takeover,” who want to “usurp” his authority as party chairman. Attorneys for the two party officers he’s sued say Peterson, elected to a two-year term as state party chairman in 2012, is no longer chairman, and contend the fight over control of the party doesn’t belong in court at all. “This court should not interfere in a political party’s internal decision,” they wrote in court documents. “The Republican Party, whether on the state or national level, is perfectly capable and prepared to handle the issue, and in fact already has”/SR. More here.

Question: I don't think the political future looks bright for Barry Peterson. Do you?

Are Local Police Trained Well Enough?

Recent shootings and other incidents involving local law enforcement officers have some residents wondering whether those sworn “to protect and serve” are being properly trained. Two officer-involved shootings in June resulted in 14 local law enforcement officers being placed on administrative leave. Eleven of those officers are with the Coeur d'Alene Police Department, leaving the agency operating 15 percent under normal personnel levels. The fatal shooting of a dog earlier this month by a Coeur d'Alene police officer prompted that agency to initiate mandatory dog encounter training for all officers. Coeur d'Alene resident Jim Ballew worked for 30 years in the California justice system as a trial lawyer and a judge. Ballew said the statistics for officer-involved shootings in the area are “almost unheard of” for a city the size of Coeur d'Alene/Keith Cousins & Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you think local police officers are trained properly?

Hoffman Backs Road-Block Legislators

Wayne Hoffman/Idaho Freedom Foundation appreciates that Coeur d'Alene has legislators, like Bob Nonini, Vito Barbieri, Kathy Sims and Ron Mendive, who fought against a mental health center for Coeur d'Alene: “Ah, but fear not, Coeur d’Alene. More crisis centers are planned, and Otter press secretary Jon Hanian said the governor is watching for “local legislative champions.” Of which, apparently, north Idaho doesn’t have enough. So now cue the outrage and the finger pointing, with behavioral health advocates saying Sims, Barbieri, Nonini and Mendive failed to “bring home the bacon.” First, I don’t think the creation of so-called behavioral health centers was a good step for the state. The concept has the lofty goal of cutting down emergency room and jail commitments, but the idea depends largely on voluntary, short-term commitments to these centers. Additionally, because the Legislature decided that no one can be turned away because of inability to pay, the government-funded services will invariably crowd out other, arguably better, non-governmental services for people with mental health problems and drug addictions.” More here.


Hall: A Match Made In Computers

One day years ago, a young woman I worked with reported she had found a computer website where strangers could sort of meet each other and strike up online conversations. It virtually amounted to dating. The website found people out there in the electronic night and gave them a chance to discover like-minded potential mates. But that was a little tricky. That was mostly before matchmaking companies, who have some safeguards in place, pretty much took control of the process. So you throw your hook out there into millions of people of the opposite gender trying to catch a likable, lovable counterpart. And now such websites include matchmakers for gay people and matchmaking specifically for Christians, among others. But it's a little bit tricky, even with posted photos. For all you know the picture  is bogus and you are chatting with Bigfoot, although it could be a charming Bigfoot/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: If you found yourself single again, for whatever reason, would you try online dating?

HBO Blogosphere — 7.28.14

Miss Kea, a border collie owned by Marianne Love/Slight Detour, corners a short-horned, neighbor's cow near a wood pile on the Lovestead. Eventually, the collie escorted the bovine back to her place. You can read all about it & see more photos here.

HucksOnline numbers (for week of July 20-26): 42,925 page-views/27,049 unique views

Albertson Purchase Of Safeway OK’d

Safeway shareholders have approved the company’s $9.2 billion sale to Albertsons, a deal that comes amid fierce competition for the combined supermarket chains from a host of foes. About 96 percent of the outstanding shares of Safeway were voted in favor of the merger at a meeting Friday at Safeway’s headquarters in Pleasanton, Calif. The deal still needs to clear a review by the Federal Trade Commission, which could require Safeway, or Albertsons, or both, to divest some stores for competitive reasons. But Safeway spokesman Brian Dowling said, “We don’t expect any stores to close as a result of the transaction”/Contra Costa Times. More here.

Question: Which local grocer attracts most of your business?

Read more here:

On The Waterfront — 7.28.14

I notice that the city of Coeur d'Alene has installed a plaque acknowledging those involved in the decision making and vote casting that led to the giant makeover of McEuen Park, including the mayors and council members who guided the process — or were in office when the park opened. Right below Mayor Steve Widmyer's name? Councilman Steve Adams. Farther down the list is Councilman Dan Gookin. Adams and Gookin, of course, cast vote after vote against reconstruction of the park — often joined by Councilman Ron Edinger in a 4-3 minority. We have agreed here that the names of Gookin and Adams belong on the plaque because they served in office during the long battle that included a recall attempt against then mayor Sandi Bloem and three of their colleagues. I still think there should be an asterisk alongside the names of Adams and Gookin — and possibly Edinger — explaining that the new McEuen Park wouldn't have happened if they'd had their way. (File photo by Duane Rasmussen: Mayor Steve Widmyer and former mayor Sandi Bloem cut ribbon at McEuen Park dedication while former parks director Doug Eastwood looks on)

  • Also: Workers were busy today fixing the bog mess at the southwest corner of McEuen Park's large green area, next to the Harbor House. It was the first time in quite awhile that the area was dry.

Stransky Drums Up Votes

Democrat Cheryl Stransky walked the parade route at Hayden Days Saturday morning, drumming up support for her underdog challenge to state Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens. The two candidates will face off for the House District 2A seat in the general election in November. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Reagan Repubs To Celebrate 5 Years

The Kootenai County Reagan Republicans will celebrate the fifth anniversary of its founding next week. The celebration is scheduled to begin with a social hour at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at the Avondale Golf Club, 10745 Avondale Loop, Hayden Lake, following by a meeting a half hour later. 

Question: Do the Reagan Republicans have as much clout today as they had 2-3 years ago?

SR News Quiz Has 2 CdA Winners

Two movie tickets and a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel are up for grabs in this week's Spokesman-Review News q\Quiz. Test your knowledge of current events and put yourself in the running for Friday's drawings. Take quiz here.

  • Answer to Question No. 1: Orchards.
  • Last week’s winners: Steve Sibulsky, of Coeur d’Alene, who won the $50 gift card, and Jordan Keough, of Coeur d’Alene, who won the movie tickets.

Fist Bumps Safer Than Handshakes

When it comes to preventing the spread of germs, maybe the president is on to something with his fondness for fist bumps. The familiar knocking of knuckles spreads only one-twentieth the amount of bacteria that a handshake does, researchers report. That's better than a high-five, which still passes along less than half the amount as a handshake. So fist bumps — popularized by Barack Obama and others - seem to be the wisest greeting, especially during cold and flu season, said researcher David Whitworth of Aberystwyth University in Wales/Associated Press. More here.

Question: I gave someone a fist bump less than 10 minutes ago, for giving me a good tip re: snow removal. When did you last give someone a fist bump? Why did you do it?

Slice: Chemical War Against Wasps

I would prefer to abide by a live-and-let-live policy. But the wasps that have built a nest above our garage doors will not listen to reason. And clearly, they have no collective memory of last summer's conflict. (It did not go well for them.) The nest is integrated into some crack in the eave. It cannot simply be knocked down. So I had to spray. Here are the active ingredients, as listed on the can.

  • Prallethrin………0.02%
  • Cypermethrin….0.05%

*Contains petroleum distillates

Question: How goes your battle with wasps/hornets, etc., this summer?


An American Indian mother comforts her baby while watching the dancers at the annual Julyamsh powwow, sponsored by the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe over the weekend at Greyhound Park/Post Falls. Marianne Love/Slight Detour provides approximately 25 photos of the annual powwow on her Slight Detour blog.

We shall remember yesterday’s visit to Julyamish in Post Falls as a day filled with beauty, awe, fun and family enjoyment. There’s no better way to describe yesterday's experience as our family members from Frenchtown, Plummer, Seattle and Sandpoint gathered together at what better place:  a powwow. We took in the awesome sights of the horse parade, the grand entry, individual dancing contests, vending booths and food booths.  We listened to singing and drumming/Marianne Love, Slight Detour. More here.

Question: Did you attend this year's Julyamsh?

Minimum Wage Rally Today In CdA

From Kootenai County Democrats: “Idaho ranks last in the nation in family wages and that’s not good enough! It’s time for working families to finally get some attention and get some value out of the folks they send to Washington, D.C. A rally to promote an increase in the minimum wage is scheduled at 3 p.m. today at Riverstone Park in Coeur d'Alene. The rally will feature Shirley Ringo, candidate for Congress - Idaho District 1, and Nels Mitchell, candidate for United States Senate-Idaho. The economic recovery has left many working Idahoans behind and struggling to support families on insufficient wages. If families can't support themselves, they can't support local businesses. These rallies let the people of Idaho know that we can elect leaders who put Idaho families and businesses over the interests of wealthy, well-connected lobbyists.”

Question: Anyone out there who doesn't think Idaho's $7.25/hour minimum wage (same as federal minimum wage) is pathetic?

Carlson: Reading Tea Leaves

Chris Carlson/The Carlson Chronicle shines a spotlight on a surprise guest at kingmaker Frank Vandersloot's 4th of July celebration fireworks in Idaho Falls this year: “Vandersloot is justly proud of this event and he often has a special guest.  His guest this year not surprisingly was an Idaho gubernatorial candidate.  What was surprising was that the guest was neither Tea Party endorsed State Senator Russ Fulcher nor was it incumbent Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter.  It was none other than the Democratic nominee, Boise businessman A.J. Bulakoff (pictured). The 'chattering class' as well as the general voting public ought to sit up and take notice for this could portend more than Vandersloot just covering himself in case Bulakoff pulls off the upset.  It could signal that the traditional Republican Latter Day Saint vote is starting a seismic shift away from the incumbent governor.” Full column here.

Question: What do you make of kingmaker Frank Vandersloot inviting Democratic candidate A.J. Balukoff to his fireworks show?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.28.14

  • 11:54 a.m. Minor vehicle crash reported @ KCSD @ H95/Hayden Avenue.
  • 11:15 a.m. Post Falls Police Department activities report for July 27-28 here.
  • 11:05 a.m. Someone dialed 911 from pay phone at St. Vinny's, 108 E. Mullan/Post Falls, & hung up.
  • 10:36 a.m. Someone has walked into Post Falls fire department, complaining of chest pains.
  • 10:16 a.m. Firefighter decides that haze, not fire, is source of Canfield Mountain smoke call (9:56 item).
  • 10:06 a.m. Disabled vehicle is blocking one lane of Ramsey Road, south of Wilbur Avenue, CdA.
  • 9:56 a.m. Hayden caller sees smoke on north side of Canfield Mountain, near Mulholland Drive, Dalton Gardens.
  • 9:46 a.m. Caller reports vehicle stolen from 400 block of Miles Avenue/Hayden.
  • 9:17 a.m. 10-12 foot canoe drifting in middle of Hayden, w/backpack in it; no one on board.
  • 8:59 a.m. A female in a disabled gray SUV is waving her arms @ I-90/MP 3 (McGuire Road overpass).
  • 8:44 a.m. A dead deer is lying half on the slow lane @ w/b I-90/MP 13.2 (4th Street/CdA).
  • 8:19 a.m. Elderly male appears confused on overpass @ H95/Government Way, CdA.

Kerri: Evening Ends In Parking Ticket

On her Facebook page, Kerri Thoreson posts: “A souvenir from Saturday night … $20 fine for missing our estimated return from across the lake by 30 minutes in the Third St. lot. Ticket issued at 10:19 p.m. which surprised me that at the mostly empty lot citations were issued that late in the day. Will have to read for comprehension the signs by the box where you have to predict how long you'll be parking. The 'mug shot' of the MAIN ST license plate is a hoot.

Question: Why do parking tickets make us angry?

Poll: Otter Right RE: Migrant Kids

  • Weekend Poll: In a tight vote, Hucks Nation agreed with Gov. Butch Otter that Idaho shouldn't accept immigrant children from this country's southern border. 96 of 196 respondents (48.98%) agreed with Gov. Otter. 92 of 196 respondents (46.94%) disagreed. 8 (4.08%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you consider yourself to be a native of the Pacific Northwest?

Club Offers Social Pot Spot

Eric Buchanan envisions a day when marijuana will be as common as vodka tonics or microbrews at lounges and nightclubs across Washington. Until then, he and his business partners are weaving their way through largely untested and often ambiguous state laws in an effort to hurry things along. Their new Spokane Valley nightclub, The Lounge, is part medical marijuana dispensary and part members-only social club where patrons can smoke pot and mingle. It’s a carefully selected mix of business models they hope will keep them on the right side of various drug and other laws without triggering the licensing and other state restrictions under the voter-approved recreational market. But they know it’s a gamble/David Wasson, SR. More here. (SR photo by Tyler Tjomsland: Eric Buchanan uses a “vape pen,” which emits a smokeless vapor, on Friday at The Lounge in Spokane Valley)

Question: Do you look forward to the day “when marijuana will be as common as vodka tonics or microbrews at lounges and nightclubs”?

AM Headlines — 7.28.14

Tim McCall, a diver with Tom’s Diving Adventures helps tow crews to direct a car toward the shore in Gotham Bay. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Mike Curry)

Rathdrum Eyes Mountain For Rec Area

Rick Van Zandt, a Rathdrum business owner, right, discusses features of a map with Brett Boyer, city administrator, during a visit to the city’s property on Rathdrum Mountain. The city has plans to develop parts of mountain as a light recreation area for public use. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Touring the city of Rathdrum's undeveloped property on Rathdrum Mountain, Tim Skubitz soaked in the scenery. “When you're in town, you don't appreciate the beauty we have,” the Lakeland Joint School District board member and owner of the Rathdrum McDonald's said. “What a jewel this is. It's quite a treat to see it.” On Friday, city officials introduced the city's 557 mountain acres to community leaders, including representatives of the chamber of commerce, Rotary, business owners, planning commission and school district. The property, which is about half a mile north of the city limits, includes streams, giant cedar trees and dirt Forest Service roads. Some areas offer partial views of Rathdrum and the Rathdrum Prairie. Spring Creek on the mountain feeds into City Park year-round/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Which municipal recreation area in North Idaho is your favorite? Why?


Mini-Review: Denny’s Gets Kudos

Orange TV/Get Out! North Idaho: “Mini-review from a Facebook friend: “Ok, quick food review. Coeur d'Alene Denny's. I think maybe we take for granted that they know how to cook eggs correctly and treat their customers with awesome respect. We have had several bad experiences recently trying to get a decent breakfast at some other prominent establishments but Denny's tonight completely rocked my world. Our server remembered our order from last month and with a full restaurant the time from seating to food on the table was maybe 7 minutes tops. The current staff there is worthy of praise.”

Question: I don't eat at Denny's often. But I've never had a bad experience there. Good breakfasts. Thoughts?

Costello: Obama Keeps Cash Flowing

Not so many years ago, we were told that if we surrendered liberty for security, then the terrorists would have won. But times have changed. Now we have to ponder, if President Obama were to arrest his political fundraising and attend to his responsibilities, would that mean that the terrorists have won? I cannot recall a single president in my life who dedicated his office so completely to raising money. Bill Clinton built a strong resume as a passionate fundraiser, even going so far as to rent out White House bedrooms and pimp himself as a host for “coffee klatches,” but he took time out now and then to be president. But Barack Hussein Obama lets nothing stand between himself and his fundraising. On the day that Russian surrogates shot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, killing nearly 300 innocents, Obama could only find 38 seconds in his schedule to bloodlessly mention “terrible tragedy,” before boarding Air Force One and flying off to two fundraisers/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you think President Obama is too interested in fund-raising?

Press: Now Hear This, Cities

Let's get one uncomfortable truth right out of the way: When it comes to budgets, most people pay attention only after they've been bitten in a tender place. Almost nobody shows up for cities' summer budget workshops except the people who are paid to be there. Letters to the editor decrying municipal budget proposals are rare. And when it comes to the obligatory public hearings before the seal of approval is applied with a resounding thud that echoes through nearly empty chambers, most folks are somewhere else. Most folks choose to be almost anyplace else.The thing about these city budgets is that they're important. Mighty boring, maybe, but important. They affect every single citizen in that city through the provision of services like fire and police protection. They make sure your trash gets taken away and life-sustaining water flows into your home. They plant the seeds for new parks and maintain the ones you already enjoy. They ensure the streets and sidewalks you use to get to those parks - and to school and work and the grocery store - are navigable in good weather and bad. And they do much, much more/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Why aren't people interested enough in the budget process of local government to show up for workshops?

Idaho GOP, Teapublicans Split Sheets

About eight years ago, libertarians, Tea Partiers and people who thought Ron Paul would make a wonderful president married into the Idaho Republican Party. As with many unions, each side thought it could change the other — to no avail. So it became a test of wills. A party chairmanship here. A battle over closing the primary election to all but registered Republicans there. Punctuated by ceaseless rounds of bickering during primary election challenges. Then came the equivalent of a wife blowing a fuse while her husband sat through a double-header on their anniversary — a dysfunctional state convention at Moscow where the spouses couldn't agree on electing a chairman and adopting a platform. So finally, it came. After years of hanging in there for the kids, they're splitting the sheets/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (AP file photo of former/current GOP chair Barry Peterson)

Question: So, who do you think will get the Mercedes, the keys to the house & the kids — mainstreamers or Teapublicans?

Nonini: Par For The Course

In response to Len Crosby’s My Turn article “Nonini response shocks veterans”… Senator Nonini is known for his lack of communication with we the people. His no vote and lack of response on the Mental Health Crisis Center for CDA and now his lack of response to your Veterans Home in North Idaho are par for his course. I am not shocked at his lack of representation to his constituents because this is his normal behavior. I am, however, shocked that he allowed his wife to respond in such a demeaning manner. Goes to show how the Noninis are in it for the money and don’t really care about any other issues. If I were in Bob’s shoes, I’d be quite embarrassed by his wife’s actions and words. But wait…is it possible that Cathyanne did not discuss this with Bob prior to her writing it? Like I said, no communication, par for the course!/Joanne Lokken, Coeur d'Alene, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press.

Question: I'm surprised that Nonini hasn't set this right already by apologizing to the veterans. Are you?

Quest For Cure Drives Young Diabetic

Carson Magee, 11, stands in Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone Park next to his winning race car design for the “Our Everyday Heroes” contest. His design pays homage to firefighters, emergency medical technicians, police and the U.S. armed services. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

When Coeur d’Alene resident Carson Magee was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 7, he thought he would be cured with a few shots at the hospital. But when he realized how the disease would affect his life, he made it his mission to find a cure. At only 11 years old, he has now become one of the nation’s top youth activists for type 1 diabetes awareness. “Diabetes never really gives you a break,” Magee said. His work to bring more awareness to the form of the disease that used to be called juvenile diabetes has reached national recognition. On July 7, he won the “Our Everyday Heroes” race car design contest for JDRF, formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation/Wilson Criscione, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever been an activist for some cause? Which one? What did you do?

LCDC Proposes $7.8M 2015 Budget

The Lake City Development Corp. has approved a draft budget for 2015, which shows a total reduction of $4.4 million in spending from 2014. A public hearing will be held on the proposal Aug. 20. If approved, it will be remitted to the city of Coeur d'Alene by the Sept. 1 deadline. The draft budget - which will cover fiscal year 2015 from Oct. 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2015 - proposes total spending of $7.8 million. LCDC Executive Director Tony Berns estimates the urban renewal agency will take in $8 million in revenues over the same period of time. “This is based on 2013 levy rates,” Berns told the LCDC board of directors last week. “So it is a conservative estimate.” Berns said property values in the agency's Lake District increased by $20.7 million, which will generate $4.3 million in tax increment revenue. Valuations in the River District increased by $16.3 million, which will generate revenues of $1.9 million/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Being Native All About Cedar Plank

I may not be a true Pacific Northwesterner, despite living and working in the region for 37 years. I don’t like to catch or eat fish. And I have never eaten a cedar-planked salmon. That’s Craig Wikoff’s prerequisite for claiming that you’re a true Pacific Northwesterner. Craig? He’s a former pastor and missionary who now manages the company website for Outdoor Gourmet, a Sandpoint business that specializes in wood-grilling planks. I learned all this from reading a column by Savannah Tranchell, a Sandpoint native who writes for the Yakima Herald-Republic. Savannah was checking her work email while visiting her mother in Sandpoint recently when she read one from Craig. It challenged: “You can’t call yourself a Pacific Northwesterner if you haven’t tried cedar planked salmon.” Savannah asked her mother if she’d heard of Craig. Her mother had more than heard of him. Craig officiated at her 2005 wedding when she remarried. One thing led to another, columnizes Tranchell, and a few days later she was sitting on Wikoff’s back porch talking shop about plank grilling – the technique of using soaked wood planks to infuse meat, particularly fish, with smoky, woodsy flavor. All of which leads to the obvious question: Are you a real Pacific Northwesterner?/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries. More here.

Weekend SR columns:

Question: Do you consider yourself to be a native of the Pacific Northwest?

Washington Referendumb

Lisa Benson/Washington Post Writers Group

Weekend Wild Card — 7.26-27.14

I caught the Kelly Hughes band for the second time this summer Friday evening — at Hayden Days. Kelly was as entertaining as always. A large crowd was on hand to enjoy the music and browse the many booths lined up on the east side of Hayden City Park. Hayden Days continues today with a parade in the morning and activity all day long, culminating with big band swing from 7 to 9 p.m.. The milder temperatures will make this a good weekend to enjoy the outdoors. The heat will move back in Monday, when we'll launch another week Huckleberries. Here's your weekend Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.25.14

Palestinian children, some flashing the V-sign, play with the photographer at a United Nations school where hundreds of families have sought refuge after fleeing their homes following heavy Israeli forces' strikes, in Jebaliya refugee camp, Gaza Strip, Friday. Over 140,000 Palestinians are seeking shelter in 83 UNRWA schools, according to UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness. The number of Palestinians seeking shelter since the ground operation began has increased seven-fold. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Comment Of The Day — Scootermom

24 Likes: “She just doesn't know when to shut up” — Scootermom (RE: Nonini's wife angers local vets)

TGIF? Wild Card — 7.25.14

This is TGIFriday. But I'm treating it like a Monday. First, I was halfway to work on my bike when I realized that I had forgotten my bike helmet. Then, I forgot to put the coffee pot entirely under the drip area — and had to deal with the subsequent mess. Moments ago, I referred to school Trustee Tom Hearn as “Ron Hearn” (a kid I new in high school) on a Facebook post. I. Am. Not. Responsible. For. My. Post. This. Morning. Now for today's Wild Card …

FHB: We Never Talked Politics Again

Frum Helen Back (RE: Watergate figure retired in Idaho): We were eating dinner when the story broke. My Republican husband made the comment that the Democrats probably staged the break-in to look like the Republicans did it. That's when the war started between the two of us. As a Democrat and a person who never liked Nixon, I did not take kindly to his remark. We settled the war by agreeing to never talk about politics again. And that reminds me that he never apologized for the remark he made about the Democrats staging the burglary.

Question: Do you and your spouse share the same political views?

PM Headlines — 7.25.14

Russell Edwards narrowly escaped injury on Wednesday afternoon when a tree crashed onto his 1998 Ford Mustang as he sat in the drivers seat in his drive way in north Spokane. The car is totaled and Edwards only carried liability coverage. Story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: Do you carry more than liability insurance for your car(s)?

PFPD Seeks Missing 17YO Girl

From Post Falls police Facebook page: Destiny Wood (17 year old female) has been reported (and entered into NCIC) as a runaway. She was last seen on 7/23/14 at her residence in Post Falls. She is 5-3, 156lbs with auburn hair and brown eyes. Destiny does wear glasses. She was wearing a blue pullover, purple “tight” pants with black high heel boots and a silver engraved locket. She may be in the company of Jonathan Turner; Jonathan is easily recognizable by the tattoos on his face. Neither have a phone nor do we not have any viable leads as to their location.

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.25.14

  • 5:40 p.m. Caller reports swimmers jumping from pedestrian bridge, north of I-90, in Washington.
  • 5:15 p.m. Female, possibly drunk, has taken children from Anton Avenue in car toward Silverwood.
  • 4:59 p.m. Several transients loitering @ Exxon station @ 201 W. Appleway/CdA.
  • 4:57 p.m. Lifeguard reports Jetskiers speeding in no-wake zone off City Beach.
  • 4:46 p.m. Someone is having trouble breathing on Parkwood Court/CdA.
  • 4:31 p.m. CPD officer en route to McEuen Park for extra patrol, unknown reason.
  • 4:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 24-25 here.
  • 17 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Zombie Killer Takes Selfie

Norman Reedus (“Darryl”), right, takes a selfie at “The Walking Dead” panel on Day 2 of Comic-Con International today in San Diego. Looking on from left are Chad Coleman and Emily Kinney. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Question: I lasted 2 seasons with “The Walking Dead” before I pulled the plug. Mrs. O, Junior & now Amy Dearest & Okie Doke are fans. Zombies give me the creeps, especially with the noise they make, which Mrs. O sez I can duplicate well. How about you? Are you looking forward to the next season of “The Walking Dead”? Or have you pulled the plug?

Watergate Figure Retired In Idaho

Forty years ago on Aug. 9, President Nixon became the only U.S. president to resign. For his role in helping end what President Ford called “our long national nightmare,” a Meridian man continues to win praise for his courage. Tom Railsback, an Illinois Republican who spent 16 years in the U.S. House, fell in love with Idaho on golf trips and bought a second home in McCall more than a decade ago. In 2011, Railsback and his wife, Joye, bought a home in Meridian and now share their time between the two residences. Railsback, 82, made history by cobbling the bipartisan coalition on the House Judiciary Committee that prompted the adoption of articles of impeachment against Nixon in late July 1974/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Photo: New York Times front page after the Aug. 9, 1974, resignation of President Richard Nixon)

Question: What do you most remember about Watergate?

Read more here:

Edit: Ombudsman Stands By Her Guv

Idaho’s new public records ombudswoman grounded into a double play her first time up. Let’s hope it’s only a blip and not a signal of Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s less than enthusiastic support for transparency. Cally Younger, an attorney for the Otter administration, was named earlier this year the overseer of Idaho’s compliance with its own sunshine laws. Younger’s appointment came at the behest of Idaho’s newspaper publishers — including the Times-News’ Travis Quast — who rightly asserted the state could do a better job of adhering to its own freedom of information and access to public records laws. So, to say we were disheartened by the response Idaho Education News received when it asked for the applications of anyone who sought the two recently filled posts on the state Board of Education would be, well, a huge understatement/Twin Falls Times-News Editorial Board. More here. (Eye on Boise file photo: Gov. Butch Otter introduces Cally Younger as the new state ombudsman in April)

Question: Are you concerned re: application-gate?

Quotable Quote

The John Walsh scandal is just painful to watch. Who is advising him? Anthony Weiner? Larry Craig? — Marc Johnson

‘Selfie’ Seeks Spook Foraging Elk

Folks snapping “selfies” with a bull elk that was foraging for food in a vacant lot in Garden City last night caused the antlered animal to become spooked and take off gallivanting through Garden City. “Spectators … were getting too close to the elk,” according to an Idaho Fish & Game news release. “This interaction caused the stress which led to the young bull running through the Garden City neighborhood, including Veterans Parkway,” which is a big, busy thoroughfare with heavy traffic. F&G Conservation Office Bill London said, “When people get this close to a wild animal, the stress not only creates potential harm to the animal and to the public, the increased adrenaline can also make it difficult to tranquilize an animal”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (Courtesy photo: Idaho Fish & Game)

Question: Why are people so clueless at times?

HBO Blogosphere — 7.25.14

“If there route had gone through Spokane,” begins Paul Turner/The Slice blog, “What might have happened to the guys in 'Easy Rider' while here?” Do you think the Easy Riders would have gotten out of the Inland Northwest alive? (Photo:

Which Idaho River Are You

I generally ignore the Facebook re-posts that ask things like “Which female Harry Potter character are you” Or “Which state is most like you.” But I was interested enough in one posted on Facebook Friend Ben Wilson's wall that I answered the questions inside: “Which Idaho river are you?” I got the Snake River through Hells Canyon. How about you?

Julyamsh Starts This Evening

On her Facebook wall, Kerri Thoreson posts: The Julyamsh Pow Wow starts this evening at the Greyhound Park. I love everything about the celebration. The grand entry with the Warrior Society color guard and eagle staff, the parade of horses and seeing several hundred dancers in full regalia gather in the arena. I love the drums, especially this year's host drum, Northern Cree. Lots of different dances but my favorite is the fancy dancers, (in a photo I shot last year). Tonight, all day and evening on Saturday and during the day on Sunday. Julyamsh Web site, including schedule of events here.

Question: Have you ever been to Julyamsh?

Quotable Quote

You know you're in Otis Orchards when you drive passed a sign that says ”Ahhhh fresh manure…” — Cindy Hval.

GONI! Mini-Review: Crafted Taphouse

On his Get Out! North Idaho Facebook page, OrangeTV writes of Crafted Taphouse, 523 E. Sherman Ave: “The consensus about Crafted Taphouse so far seems to be: great food, great atmosphere, sloooooooow service. Perhaps they are still working out the bugs, and they have been packed since opening, but they ought to figure out a way to speed things up a bit before people stop coming back entirely.”

Question: Have you tried Crafted Taphouse yet? What do you think of the service?

Living Wage Rally Coming To CdA

U.S. Senate candidate Nels Mitchell and U.S. House candidate Shirley Ringo will speak at a two Living Wage Rallies on Monday. Mitchell and Ringo will be on the Lewis-Clark State College campus, 500 8th Ave., Lewiston, 10:15 a.m., at the campus fountain. There will be a second rally, at 3 p.m. at Riverstone Park, 1805 W. Tilford Lane, Coeur d'Alene. The purpose of the rallies is to raise awareness about the need to make the federal minimum wage a living wage. The public is invited.

Question: Do you support the concept of a living wage in Idaho?

Blog: Things To Do In Lake City

A Puget Sound couple who write a post, called “Live It in a Day” for the Growing Sound Roots blog recently visited the Inland Northwest, describing Spokane as “a cute little town with a lot to offer in a day.” Of Coeur d'Alene, the couple wrote: “When in Coeur d'Alene, the best thing to do is to walk, walk, and walk more. Walk around their super cute downtown area to window shop. Walk around by the lake or the river. Hike Tubs Hill, which is right near the famed Coeur D'Alene resort (which is way over priced, but definitely a good location). Get on a boat and out in the water if it is summer. Coeur d'Alene nightlife is fun with The Beacon, The Moose Lounge, Mic N Mac's, and a few other local places. If you want a true view of Idaho life, head to the Iron Horse, but beware of the smoke.” More here.

Question: In a short paragraph like the one above what would you recommend that friends and family do in Coeur d'Alene?

Expert: Nugent Could Take $$$ Hit

Ted Nugent's recent spate of offensive and racist comments that have sparked protests and canceled shows are damaging his image and could well cripple his income if he continues, according to veteran concert promoters and industry journalists. In a week when two casinos operated by different Native American tribes canceled three separate Nugent shows set for next month and dozens protested a concert in New Jersey, concert touring experts say the National Rifle Association board member and conservative commentator is doing real damage to his money-earning potential. “If you're going to say something political, you're going to have some backlash, it doesn't matter who you are or what you say,” said Larry Magid, a Philadelphia-based promoter who has handled Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, and Bette Midler/Joe Strupp, Media Matters for America. More here.

Question: What would you do, if you were the person in charge of Nugent's bookings?

Mixed Blessing

No, this isn't a photo of the Bayview/Athol area cleaning up after Wednesday's thunderstorm. The AP caption sez: “Indian villagers cross the river Baitarani in a country boat after the same was flooded following monsoon rains near Akhuapada in Jajpur distict of Orissa state, India, Wednesday. India's monsoon season, which runs from June to September, bring rains that are vital to agriculture but also cause floods and landslides. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)

Question: Have you experienced monsoon rains?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.25.14

  • 12:08 p.m. Driver of Cadillac, registered in Rathdrum, weaving, driving on shoulder before turning @ Pleasantview.
  • 11:46 a.m. Possible stroke reported @ 1100 block of Alaska Loop/Hayden.
  • 11:32 a.m. Injury accident reported just north of H95/Kathleen Avenue intersection, CdA.
  • 11:32 a.m. Abandoned vehicle reported at Spokane Point/ Lake Coeur d'Alene, 1737 Cottonwood Road/Worley.
  • 11:31 a.m. Vandalism to property reported @ 2300 block of W. Wilbur Avenue/CdA.
  • 11:14 a.m. Vehicle has crashed off H97 into Lake Coeur d'Alene at Gotham Bay.
  • 10:52 a.m. Suspicious males reportedly loitering @ 1000 block of E. Elm Avenue/CdA.
  • 10:36 a.m. ISP officer stopping to help motorist in disabled car @ e/b I-90/H95, CdA.
  • 10:20 a.m. Female in black BMW speeding, weaving @ w/b I-90/MP 6 (Seltice Way/Post Falls).
  • 10:06 a.m. Texas man is concerned re: 74YO father in Kootenai County whom hasn't contacted him since April.
  • 9:27 a.m. Responders are dealing w/female w/possible cracked ribs of Upper/Lower Black Rock Road/Cataldo.
  • 9:20 a.m. Intercept officials are concerned re: suicidal 21YO male who walked out of Kootenai Health toward I-90.
  • 9:17 a.m. Motorist in red Suzuki has suffered bloody nose from minor crash @ H41/Prairie, Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 9:16 a.m. Responders on scene of accident trying to direct others to scene @ Upper/Lower Black Rock, Cataldo.
  • 9:07 a.m. Dispatchers are checking 911 hangup from Joel Pearl Group, 9235 Govt Way/Hayden.
  • 9:06 a.m. Vandalism to property reported @ R & L RV Sales, 10789 H95/Hayden.

Taking A Stand When Nature Calls

Rich Landers, SR Outdoors blog writer, posts: The females in my family have never had a problem squatting in the woods to relieve themselves — this video seems to suggest it's a problem for some outdoorswomen. But the Pee Pocket device the video promotes has real value in outdoor applications. For instance, by being able to stand a pee like a man, a woman can urinate more easily into a bottle in a tent, for instance, so the urine can be disposed of in an outhouse or away from camp the next morning.  This would be a big advantage in a storm or when in grizzly country  — or for simply keeping pesky deer away from camp that are otherwise lured by the salt. More here.

Question: Is this the type of device that you might be interested in?

Poll: Nugent Wasn’t On Radar Screen

  • Thursday Poll: Controversial rocker Ted Nugent wasn't on the radar screen of Hucks Nation before he was booted from a gig at the Coeur d'Alene Casino for racist statements. 71 of 133 respondents (53.38%) said they hadn't paid attention to Nugent prior to the hubbub. 49 of 133 respondents (36.84%) said they had paid attention to his music and him. 10 (7.52%) didn't know who he was before the controversy. 3 (2.26%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you agree with Gov. Otter's stand that Idaho shouldn't accept any migrant kids from our southern border?

Peterson: I’m Still In Charge

After two challengers announced campaigns to replace him this week, Idaho GOP Chairman Barry Peterson closed the work week affirming that he's still the boss. In an email Friday morning, Peterson reminded fellow Republicans that the party's Rules Committee held a special meeting to clarify party leadership after the state convention adjourned June 14 without electing officers. “It was confirmed that the Convention Delegates chose to retain the current party officers for an additional two year term until the next convention,” Peterson wrote of the June 19 meeting. Peterson said the State Republican Central Committee will decide the matter Aug. 9, a date Peterson chose. The Central Committee will review Rules Committee findings and “the Idaho Republican Party will have resolved all pending issues as related to the status of party leadership,” Peterson assured recipients of his email/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: I love this guy. Things would be duller in these dog days of summer, if he simply rolled over and let the mainstreamers have their way. Thoughts?

Read more here:

Treasurer Crane Defends Record

In his 16 years as Idaho’s state treasurer, Ron Crane has built up the state’s credit rating, launched a popular college savings program and a free annual control-your-finances conference for women, and helped create a bond bank that lets local school bonds and other local-government debt take advantage of the state’s favorable interest rates, potentially saving property taxpayers millions. But he’s best known for a series of critical state audit findings over the past five years, the most recent suggesting that Crane made an inappropriate transfer between two funds that cost the state’s taxpayers more than $10 million. Crane vigorously disputes the audit finding, contending his office did nothing wrong and made reasonable decisions based on what it knew at the time/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Are you concerned about Treasurer Crane's record? Or have you locked into the race at all?

Coeur d’Alene Sunset

Carrie Gridley, owner of CG Salon at Charlotte's Web (2nd & Indiana), snapped this photo of a recent Coeur d'Alene sunset. Sam Crawford posted it on his Facebook page — and drew my attention to it via email. Posts Sam: “Coeur d'Alene is spectacular in the summertime.” Usually, I have mixed emotions re: sunset photos. Sometimes the photo isn't nearly as worthy as the sunset. But this one is. I'm going to make it my desktop photo for the foreseeable future. Absolutely wunnerful.

Hey, Didn’t You Used To Be …

… rocker Ted Nugent?

Immigrant Kids In Idaho, Guv Upset

Eight migrant children from Central America apprehended at the Mexican border already have been sent to Idaho, according to a U.S. Health & Human Services Report quoted late yesterday by the Associated Press, though they’ve gone to sponsors, not to state custody; that means they’ve been taken in by relatives, family friends or foster parents. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, who yesterday sent a letter to top federal officials declaring that the Gem State won’t take any of the unaccompanied minors who arrived illegally at the southern border as part of a surge of tens of thousands, wasn’t happy about the report. “Assuming this report is true, HHS has not provided any information  about this nor did it go through any of the established channels  to inform the Governor’s Office that this was happening,” Otter’s press secretary, Jon Hanian, said in an email/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: So the kids have sponsors — and the governor's upset? Seriously?

Hearn: Critic Finney Prefers Scowling

Trustee Tom Hearn of the Coeur d'Alene School District took critic Mary Jo Finney to task after the county Prosecutor Barry McHugh dismissed Finney's complaint that Hearn and two other trustees had violated the state's open meeting law:

I could say a lot about this complaint by Mary Jo Finney but I won't other than the following. I have repeatedly offered to meet with Ms Finney to discuss her concerns and she has refused to meet with me. She apparently prefers sitting in the back of school board meetings reading emails and scowling at the board members she doesn't like and then writing letters to the editor or filing spurious complaints about board members. Ms. Finney apparently sees herself as the great defender of Truth, Justice, and the American Way … or something. I am very open to the concerns of citizens about the schools but if the citizen refuses to meet with me to discuss their concerns then I am suspect of their real motives.


Vestal: Rocker Nugent Is Tone Deaf

Why did the Coeur d’Alene Tribe cancel the concert of super-bigot and hack rocker Ted Nugent? Because the left hates guns. Some people thought it was because a tribe inviting The Nuge to play for them was a bit like the NAACP inviting David Duke. Some thought it was because a tribe that has a record of standing up for human rights and against racism had a responsibility not to host someone who called the president a “chimpanzee” and a “subhuman mongrel,” and who suggested that it might have been better – Obama-wise – had the South won the Civil War. Others wondered if it was related to Nugent’s practice of wearing a Native American headdress onstage, or mocking those who object to racist sports-team names. Others might have thought it had something to do with Nugent’s witheringly ignorant comments about poor people, another of the many types of people other than white hunter-Americans that he likens to animals. There are many, many reasons that the tribe – or any decent earthling – might not want to support this jackass. Including this one: His music is lame/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here. (AP file photo: Ted Nugent performs at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, Md., last August)


Playhouse To Stage ‘Avenue Q’

In the Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q,” no topic is too taboo to skewer: race relations, poverty, religion, sexuality, politics, pornography. That’s nothing new – shows like “Rent” and “Spring Awakening” have tackled most of the same issues – but the twist here is that a majority of the characters are puppets, cheerful-looking but gleefully vulgar cloth-and-felt creations that would likely get evicted if they moved onto Sesame Street. “Avenue Q,” which beat “Wicked” for the Best Musical Tony in 2004, is one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, but it’s just now making its Inland Northwest community theater premiere at Lake City Playhouse. Why the delay? George Green, LCP’s artistic director, said the complicated production – it requires about a dozen puppets, all of which are operated by the actors onstage – and the risqué content have prevented “Avenue Q” from becoming a community theater staple/Nathan Weinbender, SR. More here. (Photo by Kathy Plonka: From left, Kayla Mueller, Lili Gorman and Mark Pleasant star in the Lake City Playhouse production of “Avenue Q”)

Question: So, are you into vulgar puppetry?

Nonini’s Wife Angers Local Vets

Local veterans are hopping mad re: a snarky response from Cathyanne Nonini re: a request that her husband, state Sen. Bob Nonini, attend a presentation re: a veteran's home being located in North Idaho. Cathyanne Nonini's responded to a request from Len Crosby, the legislative chairman for the Post Falls American Legion post:

Hello Len, I will forward your request to my husband … However your request is received with some bittersweet feelings. My husband, the good Senator, and I have always enthusiastically supported the American Legion, as you know. It was hurtful and disappointing that you and Mary chose to support my husband's very liberal and unkind opponent in the recent Republican primary. Whalen became very ugly and mean in the last weeks of the campaign and your financial support helped with his personal attack of my husband. Bob has done an excellent job in Boise and the campaign was one of the ugliest we have ever seen. I am proud that my husband kept his campaign clean and focused on his record and issues, while your candidate chose to personally attack and tried to malign my husband's reputation. Interesting that now you ask for Bob's assistance and interest in your issue — Cathyanne. Full exchange here.


Storm Strikes RV Park, Kills Cattle

Ernie Power, camp host at Silverwood RV Park, cleans up debris Thursday from surrounding trees that blew onto his RV after a storm fell near 100 trees and caused damage to dozens of vehicles Wednesday night. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

John Symons couldn't believe it when a son told him that four of his cows and a calf were killed by lightning Wednesday. “It made me sick to my stomach,” the Hayden-area rancher said Thursday. “A neighbor threw rocks at them and knew they had died when they didn't move. They had dark spots on their bellies from where they were struck.” The cattle deaths, toppled trees that caused widespread damage at Silverwood Theme Park's RV park and many power outages were among the results of the fierce thunderstorm that left areas of Kootenai County recovering on Thursday. Symons' loss of cattle at Hudlow Road and Marble Lane north of Hayden was estimated at $4,500. “That's a lot of money to lose,” Symons said. Symons said the cattle were under a tree that was split by a lightning strike/Brian Walker, Press. More here.

Question: What is the worst storm that you've experienced?

Jeers — To Idaho F&G Commission

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune gives jeers to …to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. The commission is opposing creating a Boulder-White Clouds National Monument. “Without state sovereignty, you won't have hunting, fishing and trapping in any meaningful way,” said Commission Chairman Fred Trevey of Lewiston. How would he know without first consulting groups such as the Idaho Conservation League? Negotiations with monument supporters could lead toward an agreement to secure hunting and fishing rights within any national monument proclamation President Barack Obama issues. This looks like Fish and Game extending political cover to Otter, who not only opposes the monument, but the much more flexible Boulder-White Clouds bill Congressman Mike Simpson could have passed with the governor's support. Full Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Do you support/oppose prospect of President Obama creating a Boulder-White Clouds National Monument?

Letter: McRuin Is All Wet

From Saturday’s front page; “I don’t think that much water (120K gallons/day) was anticipated by Team McEuen.” If that is not a giant red flag I don’t know what is. The Team should have known EXACTLY how many gallons per day this pad would take because it should have been clearly specified/designed/reviewed and implemented. “That was unbeknownst to anyone…” Ooh that makes ya all warm and fuzzy inside don’t it? Can you imagine these boobs building your house? You would turn on a faucet and your neighbor’s toilet would flush. “Due to the popularity of the splash pad…” Y’all did not think that the much hyped park would draw kids to the splash pad when it is 95 flippin degrees out? Why build it? Why waste the electricity or water on it? Let the kids enjoy it since they will be paying for the maintenance on it forever. “…appears to have lower than anticipated soil infiltration rate…”/George Beauchesne, Hauser, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Izzit just me — or do some of the most vocal critics of the McEuen Field reconstruction live outside the city limits?

Crude & Unreliable

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Thursday — 7.24.14

Huckleberries Online survived the monster storm Wednesday afternoon by … staying on line while the police squawkers provided snippets of the ongoing damage. At one point, a dispatcher told a responder to a utility problem that he'd have to wait because there were 25 priority calls in front of his. Local police, firefighters & utility crews began to get the matter in hand within about an hour of the storm's beginning. They all deserve a monster hat tip for facing the storm and helping us through it. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.24.14

A lineman reaches for a lift from a helicopter as work continues on twinning power lines that run from Calgary to Edmonton near Carstairs, Alta., Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

McEuen Park: Mission Accomplished

After years of talking, planning, wrangling, dreaming and dissension, the transformation of the Coeur d'Alene waterfront from a mundane parking lot into a classy people's playground is now a pinch-me-it's-true reality. McEuen Park, officially opened two months ago, is the most dramatic change ever to hit the city of Coeur d'Alene. McEuen Park is huge. Like a fabulous, multifaceted emerald setting, the 20-acre project wraps around the town jewel, Tubbs Hill, from the west side of the waterfront to Sanders Beach on the east. Together, Tubbs Hill and McEuen Park add up to 140 acres of public space. That's one-sixth the size of New York City's Central Park with its millions of people. The park will continue to be a work in progress as trees grow tall, shrubs fatten, grass grows greener and the additional pieces of public art that have been commissioned are installed/Mary Lou Reed, Inlander. More here.

Question: Did you realize the McEuen Park/Tubbs Hill green space is 1/6th the size of New York's Central Park?

Update: Nugent Loses 2 More Concerts

The Puyallup Tribe of American Indians in western Washington, following the lead of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Idaho, today cancelled two shows by rocker Ted Nugent who is finding himself at the center of a growing controversy over his record of racist and violent rhetoric. “The Ted Nugent shows, scheduled for August 2nd and 3rd at the Emerald Queen Casino, have been cancelled,” the tribe announced on the casino’s Facebook page without further elaboration. The cancellation, Hatewatch learned, came just a short time before Seattle TV station KOMO was expected to air a segment on the Puyallup tribe booking Nugent for the shows. Puyallup Tribal Council Vice President Lawrence W. LaPointe told local media that the tribe booked Nugent without realizing that he espouses “racist attitudes and views.” “The first amendment gives people the right free speech, but I think racism is intolerable and not acceptable here,” he said. “We’ve been getting lots of complaints from the community and other organizations”/Bill Morlin, SPLC HateWatch. More here. (AP file photo)

Also: SR story here.

Question: It appears that a trend is beginning. Thoughts?

PM Headlines — 7.24.14

Kevin Daughdrill (in front of sign) and Eric Allen (behind sign) of the Idaho Transportation Department affix new speed limit signs along the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 east of Mountain Home today. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman: Joe Jaszewski)

PM Scanner Traffic— 7.24.14

Beer Theft at Stateline Walmart: The male pictured above is suspected of stealing a 30-pack of Bud Light from WalMart, located on Pointe Parkway in Post Falls, around 11:55 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9. A witness observed the male drive away in an orange and black truck, heading towards the Washington state line. If you have any information or tips, please contact Det. McDonald, reference case 14PF13077, at 208-773-3517. (A picture of suspect's truck with Dixie flag in bed can be seen in comments section)

  • 5:16 p.m. Blue Harley-Davidson w/blond female on back weaving, 35 mph, pulling into Curleys/Hauser.
  • 5:05 p.m. Animal problem reported @ 2000 block of N6th Street/CdA.
  • 4:57 p.m. ISP officer reports male passenger of vehicle behind Pier 1/CdA is going through garbage.
  • 4:51 p.m. PFPD officer reports vehicle belonging to shoplifting suspects (2:51 item) still in parking lot.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 23-24 here.
  • 3:46 p.m. Male in green van hitting child @ 1500 block of 3rd Avenue/Post Falls.
  • 3:38 p.m. Dark vehicle appears to be abandoned @ Spokane Street/Spokane onramp.
  • 2:51 p.m. PFPD officer reports WalMart shoplifters stuffed stolen items in trunk of vehicle, secured w/bungy cords, and then left on foot when they saw him coming. He tells partner he doesn't think he can, by law, open trunk & look for stolen items. His partner agrees. So the officer said he'll wait on scene to see if suspects return. Car keys locked in vehicle.
  • 2:38 p.m. Motorist, who was driving erratically in Hayden Super 1 lot, now getting gas at nearby Exxon.
  • 2:34 p.m. Tree appears to be down on a cable line @ Bunco Road/Vlazy Lane, east of H95/Athol.
  • 2:15 p.m. Deputy reports cable line down @ Hayden Lake Road b/n MP 6-7.
  • 1:49 p.m. Female in gray 2009 BMW took bundle of wood from Post Falls property.
  • 1:31 p.m. Someone is unconscious in 100 block of W9th Avenue/PostFalls.
  • 1:14 p.m. 83YO Post Falls female is semi-conscious at home after be treated for stroke @ Kootenai Health.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Coeur d’Alene To Hold Line On Taxes

Coeur d’Alene’s 2014-15 budget will have a zero percent property tax increase under a preliminary spending plan that has received support from the City Council. During a budget workshop Thursday, the council endorsed a budget of $74,561,945 as outlined by finance director Troy Tymesen. The budget will be formally adopted following a public hearing at the regular City Council meeting September 2. As proposed, the budget includes the streamlining and restructuring of some city departments. The deputy city administrator’s position, which in the past was budgeted at $148,292 including wages and benefits, was vacated last December and will not be filled. Those duties will be assumed by other city department heads and their staffs/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.


Immigrant Kids Come To Idaho

Yesterday, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter sent a letter to federal officials telling them not to send any of the unaccompanied young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to Idaho. Today, however, federal officials say they've already sent children from the border to the Gem State. A relatively small number of the unaccompanied immigrant children who have been flooding into the United States have been sent to Oregon, Washington state and Idaho over the past six months. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says 50 immigrant children were released to sponsors in Oregon, 211 in Washington state, and 8 in Idaho between January 1 and July 7. Sponsors can include relatives, family friends, or foster parents/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you think Butch's head is about to explode?

HBO Blogosphere — 7.24.14

In her Slight Detour blog/Marianne Love headlines today's post: 'Twas a dark and stormy few minutes” re: the Wednesday afternoon thunderstorm. Text & more photos here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, July 23): 8653 page-views/5337 unique views

T-Shirt & Self-Absorbed People

Having survived a couple close encounters with extremely self-absorbed people, I feel like I deserve a t-shirt of some sort — Cindy.

Question: If you had a personalized T-shirt that expressed a philosophy, what would it say?

2 New Idaho Chair Hopefuls Emerge

Two new candidates for Idaho Republican Party chairman have emerged in the past two days: Cassia County Republican Chairman Douglas Pickett, and former Dick Cheney aide and three-year Idaho Falls resident Steve Yates. This comes as the party is headed to court in a lawsuit filed by its last elected chairman, Barry Peterson, who maintains he’s still in charge despite the failure of the June state party convention to elect anyone as state party chair; while other party leaders have scheduled a state Central Committee meeting for Aug. 2 to choose new leaders, Peterson’s called a competing meeting for Aug. 9/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Does this guy sound better to you than Hang-On-For-Dear-Life Peterson?

Read more here:

Labrador Drug Bill Gains Support

Bipartisan legislation introduced last year by Idaho 1st District Rep. Raul Labrador and a bipartisan group of senators and representatives aimed at relaxing harsh 1980s-era federal drug sentencing laws is gaining support in Washington, D.C. The Washington Post editorialized strongly in favor of the measure today, and Labrador reported today that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, endorsed the bill today in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute. The measure already is backed by a diverse array of groups ranging from Heritage Action to the ACLU to the American Correctional Association and the NAACP. It would give federal judges more discretion on how they sentence drug offenders who otherwise would be subject to mandatory minimum sentences; and allow inmates already serving the harsh sentences to petition for reductions/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: I like this legislation. You?

2 Chief Finalists Field Questions

Lee White, left, and Gary Jensen, in the back with red tie, discuss their interest in the police chief job with citizens. (Photo: Coeur d'Alene Today)

The two top contenders to be Coeur d’Alene’s next Chief of Police spent Tuesday meeting with the City Council, visiting with police department personnel and participating in a community meet and greet as city leaders near the end of a months-long search for a new police chief. The candidates, Gary R. Jensen, chief of police in Logan, Utah, and Lee R. White, assistant police chief in Mesa, Arizona, interviewed individually with the 14-member selection committee, fielded questions from the City Council during a 90-minute public meeting, visited the Coeur d’Alene Police Department to meet with personal, and met with community members during an hour-long meet and greet late Tuesday afternoon. “I think it’s been a great process and we have two highly qualified professionals who want to make Coeur d’Alene their home and lead a progressive police department,” said Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer. A decision on the new chief is expected in mid-August. An appointment is expected in September/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today.

Question: Anyone meet these two finalists?

Sewage Spills In Lake At Arrow Point

An estimated 1,320 gallons of sewage spilled this week into Lake Coeur d’Alene at the Arrow Point Marina. North Kootenai Water & Sewer District on Wednesday morning discovered the accidental release of septic effluent from its septic effluent lift station on Arrow Point Drive. The release was due to a pump failure in the lift station and the peak flows overcoming the remaining pump, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality said. Residents of the area were notified, and the swimming areas in the vicinity of the release were immediately closed pending water sample results, the DEQ said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.


You Can Watch Dog Training Video …

Every officer in the Coeur d’Alene Police Department must watch a series of short training videos on dog encounters – one of the city’s responses to a controversial dog shooting by an officer earlier this month. The video series, “Police and Dog Encounters: Tactical Strategies and Effective Tools to Keep Our Communities Safe and Humane,” was produced by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services office, Safe Humane Chicago and the National Canine Research Council/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

DFO: If you want to watch the dog-training video for police that CPD officers are mandated to view, click on the link above. Thoughts?

PFPD Seeks Males In Hurt-Dog Case

Detectives are looking for subjects possibly involved with the dog rescued at Falls Park. A witness described the individuals last seen with the dog as being 17-18 year old males dressed in black. One of the males was carrying what appeared to be a BB rifle. The males appeared to be harassing the dog and may have caused injury to the dog and there may be other witnesses to the incident. The dog is currently being treated at an animal hospital for several injuries but is stable at this time. Anyone with information on the juveniles or the dog’s owner is asked to contact Detective Moss at 773-2952

Today Is National Tequila Day

Thursday, July 24, is being celebrated as National Tequila Day, yet another of what seems like an endless stream of fake, completely made-up holidays. Contrived marketing scheme or not, today’s holiday comes with a range of tequila-infused deals and promotions in bars and restaurants around the country—so, yeah, there’s good reason to celebrate. Nationally, the On the Border restaurant chain is selling $2 house margaritas and $2 shots of Lunazul Reposado Tequila all day at participating locations. Other national chains with National Tequila Day specials include Abuelo’s, where hand-crafted margaritas are $5.95 all day, and Chevy’s, where deals like $2 house margaritas and $4 shots of Cuervo Silver or Cinge come with the added bonus of being available not only on Thursday, but every day through Sunday/Money. More here. (Photo: National Tequila Day Facebook page)

Question: I can't remember the last time I've consumed tequila, can you?

Soldier Ray Stone Writes Home

During WWII V-Mail (Victory Mail) was the primary way servicemen were able to communicate with their loved ones back home. In this note, Ray Stone writes to his wife “I think about you always Betty. The feeling and the love I have for you has grown into something much deeper than small talk & sayings.” He wrote this from Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge.

DFO: The letter former Coeur d'Alene mayor Ray Stone sent home to his wife, Betty, during the Battle of the Bulge is one of the many items featured on Cindy Hval's “War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation” Facebook page. You can become a follower of Cindy's page by clicking here.

Question: Do you have any World War II memorabilia that belonged to your parents?

Poll: Steer Clear Of Oath Keepers

  • Wednesday Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation feels local legislators should steer clear of the right-wing Oath Keepers organization. 100 of 137 respondents (72.99%) say legislators, like state Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, should give Oath Keepers a wide berth. (Shea, Sen. Bob Nonini, Sen. Steve Vick and Rep. Vito Barbieri took part in an Oath Keepers event at the fairground this spring.) 19 of 137 (13.87%) said legislators should be involved with the organization. 14 (10.22%) didn't know anything about Oath Keepers. 4 (2.92%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Had you paid much attention to controversial rocker Ted Nugent before the Coeur d'Alene Tribe canceled his casino performance?

Still Touring de France

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali crosses the finish line to win the eighteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 145.5 kilometers (90.4 miles) with start in Pau and finish in Hautacam, Pyrenees region, France, earlier today. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Question: Do you pay attention to the Tour de France, now that American Lance Armstrong has been discredited?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.24.14

  • 12:03 p.m. Illegal burn reported @ Lookout/Sunday, CdA.
  • 11:51 a.m. Children report male in Ford is parked behind house on parents' Carpenter Loop property.
  • 11:39 a.m. Paint crew set off fire alarm @ Post Falls High, 3823 Poleline.
  • 11:36 p.m. A disabled Pontiac is blocking left lane of H95 @ Hayden Avenue.
  • 11:21 p.m. Caller reports suspicious happenings @ Coeur d'Alene area restaurant.
  • 11:15 p.m. Traffic lights aren't recycling @ I-90/Pleasantview, Post Falls, causing vehicles to back up to 5th Street.
  • 10:44 a.m. Sick animal reported @ 1000 block of E. Honeysuckle Avenue/Hayden.
  • 10:01 a.m. Someone needs help getting up after fall @ 3100 block of 5th Street/CdA.
  • 9:57 a.m. Dog running loose @ 500 block of Montana Avenue/CdA.
  • 9:49 a.m. Caller contacts KCSD to report muddy footprints at neighbor's place.
  • 9:43 a.m. Extra patrol requested in 1000 block of Foster Avenue/CdA, unknown reason.
  • 9:07 a.m. Someone is suffering a seizure at a trailer court @ 1356 H41/Post Falls.
  • 8:58 a.m. CPD is seeking brown 1985 utility trailer w/toolbox on back that was stolen in CdA June 27.
  • 8:51 a.m. Male driver appeared to be casing Hayden Lake Country Club, now leaving via Lakeview/Hayden.
  • 8:29 a.m. 84YO female suffering intense back Meyer/Buffalo Grass, Rathdrum.
  • 8:18 a.m. A tree has fallen across frontage fence on south side of I-90/H95, CdA.

Quotable Quote

“I take it as a badge of honor that such unclean vermin are upset by me and my positive energy… By all indicators, I don't think they actually qualify as people, but there has always been a lunatic fringe of hateful, rotten, dishonest people that hate happy, successful people” — rocker Ted Nugent, responding in a Michigan newspaper to critics who want his concert at Oshkosh Saturday canceled. Earlier this week, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe cancelled his concert at the Coeur d'Alene Casino, due to his “racist attitudes and views.” (AP file photo, of Ted Nugent)

Question: Is Nugent digging himself a deeper hole re: future concert gigs? Or is all publicity good publicity for controversial rockers and entertainers?

Cedar Planks: Hot New Grilling Trend

When you choose to spend your vacation in your hometown, it’s a choice to spend several days recognizing people around every corner and perfecting the art of the enthusiastic, “Oh! Hey! How ARE you?” when you can’t remember someone’s name. Growing up in rural North Idaho, you get to used it. It’s a small town. But then, it’s a small world, too. Two days into a recent vacation, I was sitting on my mom’s sofa in Sandpoint, Idaho, checking my work email when one responding to a recent Appetite blog post caught my eye. “You can’t call yourself a Pacific Northwesterner if you haven’t tried Cedar Planked Salmon,” it challenged me. “I understand from the article that you might be from around here (Sandpoint) …” The name felt familiar. “Hey, Mom, do you know a Craig Wikoff?” I asked. “Yes,” she said. “He officiated my wedding”/Savannah Tranchell, Yakima Herald. More here. (AP file photo, of cedar plank salmon)

Question: Have you tried Cedar Planked Salmon?

Prairie Avenue Widening To Begin

Traffic snarls are ahead on Prairie Avenue. The mile stretch along the busy east-west corridor from Huetter to Meyer will be closed Monday through Oct. 1 as the road is widened from two lanes to five. “Only emergency vehicles and residents in that area will be allowed access,” said Lynn Humphreys, chairman of the Post Falls Highway District. “We're trying to create a travel surface that's safer and has easier access across the prairie.” One lane in each direction will be open after Oct. 1 until the project is finished late in the fall or next spring, depending on the weather. “Motorists should avoid the area (starting next week), if possible, and should expect delays after Oct. 1,” Humphreys said. Hayden Avenue will be the primary detour route during the project/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo by Shawn Gust: An electronic sign informs motorists of the Prairie Avenue road closure between Huetter Road and Meyer Road beginning Monday and extending into October)

Question: Is the pain of detours and road closures worth the wait in this instance?

AM Headlines — 7.24.14

Alva Lucas holds Ireland, 3, his girlfriend, Gladys Wallin's granddaughter after their home was destroyed by falling trees during a windstorm on Wednesday, at Riverside Village Mobile Home Park in Chattaroy, Wash. “My car is gone and so is my home, but I made it out with what counts,” he said, holding Ireland. Trees fell on 20 trailers at Riverside Village Mobile Home Park displacing more than 35 families, said Spokane County Fire District No. 4 Capt. Megan Hill. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Tyler Tjomsland)

Senator: PTSD Made Me Plagiarize

After The New York Times reported that Sen. John Walsh plagiarized at least a quarter of his master's thesis, the Montana Democrat is telling The Associated Press that post-traumatic stress disorder may have played a role. “I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor,” the Iraq war veteran said. “My head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment.” Walsh told the AP that he was on medication at the time and was dealing with the suicide of a fellow veteran. Walsh was appointed to the Senate in February, after Max Baucus resigned to become the U.S. ambassador to China. On Wednesday, the Times published a report that combed through the 14-pages of “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” which Walsh submitted as his final paper to earn his Master of Strategic Studies degree from the United States Army War College/Eyder Peralta, Boise State Public Radio. More here. (AP photo: Sen. John Walsh and his son, Michael)

Question: Among the misdeeds committed by our elected officials, where does plagiarism rank?

Evening Adventure In Selle

On her Facebook wall, Marianne Love/Slight Detour posts this photo of Mama Turkey & her offspring having an evening outing in the Selle Valley, near Sandpoint, earlier this week. The wonderful photo received 14 comments and 146 likes.

CPD Gets Dog Encounter Training

Recently in Kootenai County there have been law enforcement related dog shooting incidents. Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Ron Clark looked into training for officers who encounter dogs while on duty. He found no training is available through the Idaho Peace Officer Standards Academy (POST). In his effort to seek out specialized training he discovered the U.S. Department of Justice has video based training available, which was found to be very informative and useful for police officers in dog encounters. Every officer in the Coeur d’Alene Police Department is currently receiving this mandatory training. “Training law enforcement in dog encounters is crucial” said Chief Clark. “I am not saying officers should compromise safety, but understanding dog behavior and having nonlethal options will reduce the number of lethal incidents that are a tragedy for all involved” Clark said/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police. More here.

Question: A good first step?

WSU Was Killer’s Main Target

Washington State University was alleged Seattle Pacific shooter Aaron Ybarra’s primary target, according to his redacted journal, released Tuesday by a King County judge. Ybarra, 26, of Mountlake Terrace, a northern suburb of Seattle, was charged June 10 with the first-degree murder of SPU student Paul Lee, 19, as well as two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of second-degree assault. The journal, a nondescript spiral bound notebook, contains a little more than seven pages of writing with less than two weeks of entries, but it reveals the plans — and some of the reasoning — behind Ybarra’s alleged actions. “Sometime by the end of this week or the beginning of next week I will reveal how I really feel about humanity, America and the world it’s self,” he wrote. In a June 2 journal entry, Ybarra wrote, “There are a few universities in the state to choose from that I’m planning to attack. Washington State is the main target”/Shanon Quinn, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.


Idaho’s Death Penalty Unusual, Cruel

For every death row inmate Idaho executes, it has freed another on new evidence while an equal number died of illness - to say nothing of all the condemned people serving out life sentences thanks to successful appeals. What would you call that? Dysfunctional? Random? Since the death penalty was reinstated in the late 1970s, Idaho has condemned 41 people, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Three have been executed: Keith Eugene Welles in 1994, Paul Ezra Rhoades in 2011 and Richard Leavitt the following year. New evidence exonerated Donald Paradis, who emerged from prison 21 years after he was sentenced to death. Thomas Henry Gibson, Paradis' co-defendant, was released and paroled after an appeals court overturned his conviction/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Has the time come to do away with the death penalty?

SR: Protesters Get Hearing, Sorta

The Ada County courtroom where about two dozen “Add the 4 Words” protesters were sentenced Monday was packed. Too bad there wasn’t enough seating for Idaho’s legislators. They would have witnessed the hearing they have refused to give gay rights advocates, who want the words “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” added to Idaho’s Human Rights Act. They would have heard Magistrate Judge Michael Oths congratulate the demonstrators for their courage. They would have heard Oths fittingly associate them with the American tradition of civil disobedience in the face of injustice. They would have heard pleas from individuals whose families have suffered grievous losses because Idaho law continues to stigmatize gays and lesbians/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you think the 2015 Legislature will grant a hearing to Add the Words protesters & supporters?

Prosecutor Clears School Trustees

The Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office has determined that school board members in Coeur d'Alene did not violate the state's open meeting law. An investigation into a possible violation was initiated last spring in response to a March 27 complaint lodged with the prosecutor's office by citizen Mary Jo Finney. Finney, of Coeur d'Alene, alleged that school trustees Tom Hearn, Christa Hazel (pictured) and Dave Eubanks broke the state law which prohibits the formation of public policy in secret. In a June 6 letter to Finney, acquired by The Press through a public records request, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Bryant Bushling wrote, “…your input is appreciated and the issues that you raised are legitimate concerns. However, based on a thorough review of the available evidence, it cannot be shown that a violation of the open meeting law occurred.” Bushling advised Finney that his office reviewed hundreds of emails and portions of recordings of four school board meetings/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Am I the only one who thinks this investigation was a silly waste of time?

In The Path Of The Storm

This is what things looked like at Arch Druid's mobile home court at about 7:30 last evening, following the terrific wind storm that hit Kootenai County three hours earlier. Arch Druid posts: “I just got back from the Kootenai County Farmers Market where the storm had already disrupted all the business. I get back home and this is what I find. I need someone with a chainsaw to come up to Oak Crest Mobile home park. A major portion of that tree took out a Japanese maple and landed on the neighbor's deck.”

JohnA: We caught the brunt of it in Medimont, losing power from 4 PM last night to 4 AM this morning. Incredible show, the second such event in the last 10 days. I drove home from town in a downpour over the 4th of July and had to wait as crews cleared debris from Highway 3. We'll be clearing the same from our property today but nothing appears irreparable. I'm with Herb on this one. The state and utility crews do a great job during very difficult conditions. My hat's off to them this morning.

Question: How did you weather the storm?

Huckleberry Stains Source Of Pride

After a two-year hiatus from picking, I recently returned from a huckleberry excursion to the Metaline Falls area. The seat of my jeans was stained purple, I smelled like DEET, I was sunburned and I was so stiff I could barely make it out of the vehicle. I had spent $45 on gas and the truck needed washing, if not repainting. But I had huckleberry butt and a gallon of hard-earned huckleberries – the day was a success! Huckleberry stains are among the worst ever, soaking through jeans and even underwear, but they are an indication of a successful day picking. These butt stains are not as impressive as a tattoo of a three-headed, fire-breathing serpent wrapped around a sailing ship, of course, but they are worn proudly and last about a week. On bare skin, they create an interesting purple pattern that looks like a massive hematoma/Alan Liere, SR. More here. (SR illustration: Molly Quinn)

Question: Have you ever had huckleberry butt?

UI Recruit Gets Scholarship, Loses Dad

When Jaden Gardner received a scholarship offer to play football for the the University of Idaho on June 18, it should have been one of the happiest, most thrilling days of his life. Instead, the 16-year-old linebacker was handed a sobering reminder that some things are more important than sports when his father, former Idaho standout Bryson Gardner, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away that very same afternoon. “It as a big honor and was such a crazy day, but for my dad to not be there to experience it with me, it was really hard for me,” Jaden said. “My dad had told me he wanted to help me achieve my goals, and when I decided I wanted to play college football, he was right there helping me. For him not being able to be there when I got the offer was very hard.“It’s a big deal, getting your first offer from a college, but the importance of it was really weighed down. Not having my dad there showed what really matters in life”/Ben Handel, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. (Courtesy photo from Laura Gardner, via Daily News: Jaden Gardner (10) watches from the sidelines while wearing one of his dad’s old jerseys during a June 18 football camp at the SprinTurf in Moscow)

Question: Did you lose a parent at a young age?

Good Cop, Pathetic Cop

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Hump Day Wild Card — 7.23.14

I've been enjoying a bag of huckleberries that Walkabout dropped by the office earlier this week. It's my midafternoon treat. I try to limit myself to two handfuls. But sometimes that doesn't work well. Can't get enough of Idaho's state fruit. I notice that someone along 5th Street (near Dave Smith Motors) is selling them for $45 per gallon. That seems like a decent price. Anyone else out there picking huckleberries this year? You can answer that question or start your own thread with this Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.23.14

An Australian athlete does a handstand as she arrives with her teammates during the opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland, earlier today. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Comment Of Day — Ron Burgundy

Ron Burgundy (RE: Idaho no dumping ground — Otter): This can only mean one thing. Butch has seen private polls that show Balukoff far too close for comfort so he is in full campaign mode and trying to encourage some tea partiers back into his fold. It is sad to watch when an old man starts dumping his principles in order to cling to office.

Question: Do you think Gov. Otter is running scared?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.23.14

  • 5:26 p.m. Minor injury reported from falling tree @ RV Park store/Silverwood.
  • 5:23 p.m. Dispatcher reports things are clearing up & sends officer to check on utility problem at Abbott/Chilco.
  • 5:14 p.m. Silverwood employees have gone through RV Park — and determined no injuries as result of falling trees.
  • 5:08 p.m. Responder reports tree on power wires @ 405 Buttercup/CdA — and told 25 priorities ahead of him.
  • 5:07 p.m. A tree is down across both lanes of traffic on Perimeter Road, north of traffic circle, Bayview-Athol.
  • 5:05 p.m. Utility problems @ Lintzy/Parks, Athol, and at Ohio Match/Pope, Athol.
  • 5:03 p.m. A tree has fallen across BNSF tracks, north of Ohio Match Road.
  • 5:01 p.m. Several trees have fallen on trailers in RV Park @ Silverwood/Athol, trapping several people inside.
  • 5 p.m. Dispatch reports that some individuals are trapped in mobile homes in northern Kootenai County.
  • 4:59 p.m. A utility problem is reported @ Lewellen Creek Road/H54, Athol.
  • 4:57 p.m. Utility problems reported @ H95/Brunner, Athol, and Hanley/Valley, Dalton Gardens.
  • 4:52 p.m. Response from Kootenai Fire delayed b/c can't get garage door open as a result of loss of power.
  • 4:51 p.m. Big tree is down over power lines @ H95/Garwood Road.
  • 4:48 p.m. Traffic lights are out in all directions @ H95/Garwood Road.
  • 4:43 p.m. Someone is suffering chest pain @ Old Highway 95/Garwood Road.
  • 4:34 p.m. Officer reports 2 transformers have blown @ Kathleen/Govt Way, CdA; dispatcher responds that transformers also has blown @ Cosgrove, Sherman Avenue, knocking out lights?
  • 4:31 p.m. CPD officer reports: It's raining buckets @ H95/Ironwood Drive/CdA.
  • 12 more items + AM Scanner Traffic below

Coeur d’Alene Symphony’s Schedule

The Coeur d’Alene Symphony is excited to announce our 2014-2015 season…seven exciting events, including our free concert in Coeur d’Alene City Park on Labor Day. The Symphony’s five regular season performances will be at The Salvation Army Kroc Center Worship and Performing Arts Theater on Golf Course Road in Coeur d’alene.  Each concert will be presented twice, on Friday evening at 7:30, and again as a Saturday matinee at 2.

  • October 10 & 11:  Rossini’s “Thieving Magpie Overture”; Mozart’s “Symphonie Concertante”, featuring Concertmaster Dr. Phillip Baldwin and Principal Violist Jay Prior; Dvorak’s “Symphony #8.”
  • December 5 & 6:  “Christmas At The Kroc” with Tchaikovsky’s “Suite #3” and a whole lot of Holiday favorites.
  • January 23 & 24:  “Family Fun at the Symphony”  It’s Movie Night, and kids under 18 are free with a paid adult, thanks to a grant from Kootenai Electric Cooperative.
  • March 13 & 14:  “National Young Artists Competition Winners”  Seven amazing young artists from around the country, winners of our competition in January, will perform with the Orchestra.
  • May 1 & 2:  The Symphony’s regular season finale includes Brahms’ monumental 2nd Symphony…and a special performance by a soloist to be announced. More here.

Question: Are you a supporter of the Coeur d'Alene Symphony?

Poll: City Failed On Dog Shooting

Online voters (to a Coeur d'Alene Press poll) left no doubt about their assessment of the recent dog shooting by a police officer. Asked, “Are you satisfied with Coeur d'Alene's handling of the dog shooting?”, here's how readers on responded:

  • Yes, 153 votes (10 percent)
  • No, 1,327 votes (86 percent)
  • No opinion, 67 votes (4 percent)

KCSD Offers New Online Reporting

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office now provides a new online reporting option for the public. This web based reporting system will allow the public to file certain types of incidences (Lost Property, Scam Calls, Crime Tips and Traffic Concerns) over the internet at their convenience. The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office expects this internet based reporting service to be very popular among citizens who have come to expect services to be provided immediately and conveniently online/Gary Shults, Kootenai County Sheriff's Department. More here.

Question: Good move by the sheriff?

Severe Thunderstorm Hits Region

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued at 4 p.m. for Spokane and areas to the north as well as North Idaho south of Coeur d’Alene. The warnings are part of a broader swath of severe storms extending from southeast Washington into the fire zones of Central Washington. Sustained winds of 50 to 70 mph were reported from the storm that moved west of downtown Spokane along the West Plains just after 4 p.m. Emergency crews were responding to what so far have been small ground fires. Downed power lines as well as trees and branches are being reported. One tree was reported down on North Wall Street. Avista Corp. reported that 8,800 customers were without power in north Spokane, Colville and Palouse. That number quickly swelled to 16,000 customers without power/Mike Prager, SR. More here.

Question: What is happening in your neck of the INW woods?

HBO Blogosphere — 7.23.14

“Bill has been telling me for about two years now about his favorite fishing partner,” posts Marianne Love/Slight Detour. “She’s this good lookin’ gal, whom he takes up to Grouse Creek with him on his Tuesday night outings.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, July 22): 8146 page-views/4975 unique views

Poll: Idahoans Oppose Online Taxes

The National Taxpayers Union says it’s conducted a poll in Idaho that shows Idahoans oppose taxes on online sales, with questions such as, “Please tell me if you agree or disagree with the following statement. Out-of-state tax collectors, such as those from the state of New York, should not gain new power to audit and take into New York courts, online retailers who operate from Idaho. Do you strongly agree/disagree with it, or just somewhat agree/disagree with it?” Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they agreed. But the debate in Idaho has been about national and out-of-state retailers selling their products in Idaho without collecting Idaho’s sales tax – putting local retailers at a price disadvantage. “Currently, a legal loophole, created before the Internet even existed, is encouraging customers to make purchases from online out-of-state retailers so they can avoid paying sales tax,” said Pat Nagel, owner of Idaho Camera and a member of the Idaho Retailers Association/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: We oppose online taxes, but is it fair to give out-of-state and national companies an advantage of 6% over Idaho retailers?

Ted Nugent Facing More Cancellations

Rocker Ted Nugent, it appears, is going to have a more difficult time booking shows at American Indian casinos after a North Idaho tribe’s decision this week to cancel an appearance because of his “history of racist and hate-filled remarks.” The focus of the growing issue is not Nugent’s constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech, but why American Indians – the targets of racial animus for centuries – would host a performer whose on-stage antics are riddled with racism. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe of American Indians cancelled Nugent’s August 4 appearance at its casino after being asked by Hatewatch on Monday how such a performance squared with the tribe’s remarkable history of involvement in human rights causes. Nugent lashed out following the announcement, saying those responsible for cancelling his show were “unclean vermin,” Gannett Wisconsin Media reports/Bill Morlin, HateWatch. More here. (Photo from Ted Nugent Facebook page)

Question: Are you surprised that American Indian Country is taking a second look re: booking concerts with controversial rocker Ted Nugent?

Plant Life

A new Facebook post by, entitled simply: “Plant Life.” Sorta reminds me of that new piece of public art at McEuen Park.

Me Hatesss McEuen Park

Overheard: A woman with a momentarily lost child complaining to a city worker near the tennis/pickleball courts at McEuen Park at about 12:40 p.m. today: “I hate McEuen Park. It's too big.” She had lost sight of her child because there were so many people using the park. She plans to voice her complaint to as many people who will listen.

SR News Quiz — 7.20-25.2014

Two movie tickets to area cinemas and a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel are up for grabs in this week's news quiz. Test your knowledge of current events and put yourself in the running Friday's drawings. You can take the test here.

  • Answer to Question No. 1: 75%.
  • Leaderboard: Only 2 Merry Hucksters are among 28 finalists in weekly News Quiz — Sibulsky & SFredrickson. You have until 5 p.m. Friday to enter contest.

TeeHee Shirt Message

On a boater in a yellow T-shirt emerging onto the boardwalk from the Coeur d'Alene Resort marina about 12:30 p.m. today: “There are two types of people: The haves & the have yachts” (complete with a photo of his ha-huge boat moored nearby).

Huckleberries Hears …

That the resolution to require a “loyalty oath” to the Idaho GOPlatform from candidates running as Republicans for office was withdrawn by sponsor Toby Schindelbeck at the local GOP meeting last night. The proposal, which at least one precinct committeeman referred to as the “Lynch Luke” resolution, called for candidates responding to an official party query re: their stand on the state party platform. In the 2014 GOPrimary, state Rep. Luke Malek (Schindelbeck's opponent) was the only local Republican legislative candidate who refused to respond to the questionnaire. In other words, Malek is the only candidate of whom the resolution would apply. The Idaho GOPlatform includes the goofy notion that the 17th amendment, which calls for direct election of U.S. senators by citizens, should be repealed. Schindelbeck withdrew the resolution at the request of John Cross. You can read the resolution in its entirety here.

Question: Would you be more/less likely to vote for a candidate who entirely supported the Idaho GOP platform?

Idaho No Dumping Ground — Otter

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter fired off a letter to top federal officials Wednesday declaring that he wants “to immediately eliminate the chance of the federal government using Idaho as a destination or a staging area for the influx of unaccompanied and illegal immigrants entering the United States through our southern border.” Idaho — which borders Canada, not Mexico –- had not been targeted for any such use. But Otter’s spokesman said, “The governor felt it was important to act preemptively.” A second-term Republican who is up for re-election, Otter wrote to U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Leon Rodriguez; he copied his letter to Idaho’s all-GOP congressional delegation/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.

Question: Do you share Gov. Otter's feelings re: using Idaho as a staging area for an “influx of unaccompanied and illegal immigrants”?

McEuen Gets More New Art

Coeur d'Alene recreation director Steve Anthony, left, and artist David Tonnenson install Allium Spring Chorus. (Photo: Coeur d'Alene Today)

The third piece of public art was installed at McEuen Park on Wednesday at the Third Street entrance on Front Avenue. “Allium Spring Chorus” is the work of Somerville, Mass., artist David Tonnenson, who made his first trip to Coeur d’Alene to help set it up. The inspiration of the design is the allium plant, a wild onion that is native to Idaho. The three flower heads include hundreds of metal stars that will catch and reflect light from six LED lights shining gold and purple. The art includes 2,800 separate pieces in all and took six months to create, the artist said. Cost of the piece was $110,000. The next pieces of art to be installed at the park will be The Explorers, a bronze sculpture representing two boys and a girl playing on a log, and American Worker, a bronze statue paying tribute to the working class. The Explorers will be installed at the base of Tubbs Hill at the trail confluence. American Worker, donated by local businessman Dean Haagenson, will on Front Avenue near Sixth Street. Both pieces are expected to be installed in August/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today.

Question: Thumbs up? Or thumbs down?

A Cake In The Spirit Of Aloha

The cake came in the spirit of aloha, a welcoming gesture from a much-loved neighbor to the young family in the new subdivision. The crumbly-topped treat marked the Higdons’ move to Kailua. And, like its bearer, it quickly became beloved. More than 60 years later, Aunt Gaynelle’s Spanish Coffee Cake continues to serve as a reminder of the kindness of the woman who first shared the favorite recipe. Her gift still gives, spreading aloha – or, love – across an ocean, around a continent and now, finally, to Spokane. “I have given her recipe to all who ask,” said Alexis Higdon, who was just 3 when Aunt Gaynelle carried the cinnamony cake across the street. She wasn’t really a relative/Adriana Janovich, SR. More here. (SR photo: Top: Alexis Higdon of North Spokane makes this coffee cake every Christmas. But it’s good any time of the year)

Question: Do you eat coffee cake at times other than the Christmas holiday?


A passerby holds up a woman after her leg became impaled on a fence at Vine Street Cemetery in Hazleton, Pa., on Tuesday. Firefighters had to cut a section of the fence around her leg. The woman was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton with part of the fence remaining in her leg. Story here. (AP Photo/Standard-Speaker, Jamie Pesotine)

Question: What was your most traumatic injury?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.23.14

  • 11:40 a.m. Office motion detector set off in home @ 4200 block of E. Mullan Trail.
  • 11:35 a.m. CPD officer is helping distraught owner look for small, creamy-colored dog.
  • 11;31 a.m. Mother on 4th Avenue/Post Falls reports 18YO daughter hit her, left in Chevy Prism.
  • 11:12 a.m. Deputy checking open shop door behind Shanty Bar/Huetter.
  • 11:01 a.m. 2-vehicle, non-injury accident is blocking NW Blvd/Hubbard, CdA.
  • 10:54 a.m. CPD office en route to Kootenai Health for voluntary hold on upset female.
  • 10:31 a.m. Man w/toddler in front on Meyer/Rathdrum travelng on dirt bike toward Super 1; boy, 12, following on dirt bike.
  • 9:52 a.m. CPD officers en route to Office Max, off Canfield Avenue/CdA, for probation check.
  • 9:27 a.m. Coeur d'Alene woman reports items being sold at yard sale were stolen from her.
  • 9:19 a.m. Firefighters locate slow-moving, 20-by-100-foot grass fire off Edwards Road/Twin Lakes area.
  • 8:42 a.m. Resident of Chevrolane Way/Twin Lakes reports smoke coming from nearby mountain.
  • 8:39 a.m. Worker named Larry triggers house alarm @ Seltice Way house where he is laying carpet.
  • 8:23 a.m. Post Falls resident reports male sitting in vehicle for quite awhile @ Tiger & Ping.
  • 8:19 a.m. Front-door motion alarm sounding @ Hagadone Corporation HQ.

Camo Quail

On her Facebook wall, Kerri Thoreson posts: “Quail mingling with the sparrows this morning and a little leaf shadow camouflage.”

Poll: Add The Words Sentencing OK

  • Tuesday Poll: A majority of Hucks Nation said penalties handed down to Add the Words protesters were OK (33 of 108, 30.56%) or should have been tougher (25 of 108, 23.15%). A large minority, however, said there should have been no penalty (35 of 108, 32.41%) or the sentencing should have been more lenient (11 of 108, 10.19%). 4 respondents (3.7%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Should local legislators be associated with the Oath Keepers organization?

Adams Targets Open-Container Law

Two city council members lobbied in July to discontinue the open-container law in Coeur d’Alene. They said there is currently not enough support from the rest of the council to modify the law, but hope that will change in the future. Park visitor Todd Fencl said an ice-cold beer was the only thing missing from his barbecue Tuesday in McEuen Park. “You have a big family reunion, you would want beer. Wouldn’t you?” he said. “If they’re going to build a nice park; they should have an area for that.” Coeur d’Alene City Council member Steve Adams brought the issue to the table after a local company asked for permission to serve beer during so-called,“bike-bus” pub crawls. “I don’t think we should be telling consenting adults where they can have a drink,” Adams said. “If you go to the park right now and there’s folks down there with plastic cups, they probably have alcohol in the cups”/KREM2. More here.

Question: The last thing I want at City Park or McEuen Field is some drunk pounding beers at a family picnic and getting more and more obnoxious as s/he does. It's bad enough to have dogs off-leash in the park (and Tubbs Hill). Anyone?

Post Falls Rescuers Save Dog ‘Bridger’

Kootenai County Fire and Rescue Lt. John Ward gives water to the injured dog that was found in an irrigation ditch at Falls Park in Post Falls on Monday. (Courtesy photo: Post Falls Police Department)

The injured yellow Labrador found motionless in a ditch at Falls Park on Monday would've died without intervention, rescuers said Tuesday. The male dog was spotted by a pair of teenage hikers in a 6-foot-deep part of Corbin Ditch, and rescued by Post Falls Police and Kootenai County Fire and Rescue. As of Tuesday, the dog's owner was unknown. Police have named him “Bridger” in the interim. He was found near Avista Utilities' one-way bridge and the restored Corbin Ditch headgate. “The dog was extremely dehydrated,” Post Falls police Chief Scot Haug said. “I think it would have died had someone not called.” With the rough terrain, KCFR Lt. John Ward said, the dog wouldn't have been able to get out on his own/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


AM Headlines — 7.23.14

During the recent 7th annual Coeur d’Alene Parks Day celebration at McEuen Park, long-time Coeur d’Alene attorney Scott Reed presented an interesting historical perspective on the downtown park and how it very nearly became the site of a shopping mall back in the 1950s had the public not voted the proposal down. You can read his account here.

State Destroys Ed Board Applications

This week, Gov. Butch Otter’s office released paperwork on some — but not all — of the Idahoans who applied for two vacant spots on the State Board of Education. The rest of the applications no longer exist, according to the governor’s office. “We have given you all of the applications we have,” Cally Younger, Otter’s associate counsel and the state’s public records ombudsman, said in an email to Idaho Education News Tuesday. “Previous submissions were destroyed because they contain sensitive personal information.” What does the state public records law say about retaining public records? Not much, evidently/Kevin Richert, The EDge. More here.

Question: Should the public have access to these applications for board vacancies?

Walking For Diabetes Awareness

Erik Bendl and his dog, Nice, walk along M-139, north of Berrien Springs, Mich., as they head toward St. Joseph, Mich., Wednesday. Bendl, 52, began his “Walking the World For Diabetes Awareness” from his home in Louisville, Ky., on June 13 and has been averaging 10 miles each day. In the last six years Bendl has walked in more than 39 states as well as Washington, D.C., with a goal of helping diabetes organizations and encouraging healthy lifestyles through diet and exercise. (AP Photo/The Herald-Palladium, Don Campbell)

Commenters, Not Cops Out Of Control

Over the last few weeks, I have read the articles and subsequent comments on several police involved incidents that have grabbed the headlines in North Idaho. From the shooting on the 90 in Post Falls, to the “Nicklebag” incident, to the shooting of the Labrador dog near downtown Cd'A, it seems like everyone has an opinion. Unfortunately, many of the opinions are simple hyperbole, and to summarize too many of the comments, the cops are wrong-headed, out of control criminals who we should fear. Really? Is that your experience, or is that a story you are repeating from a “friend?”/retired police captain Allen Huggins, Coeur d'Alene, Coeur d'Alene Press op-ed column. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree with former police captain Huggins that commenters, not police, are out of control re: reaction to recent police incidents, including shooting of black labrador Arfee in Coeur d'Alene?

Day Of Hope Coming To County

Some 20,000 Kootenai County residents live below poverty level. They don't see doctors or dentists, for fear of the expense. They know the discouragement of having to scrimp for groceries and shoes, let alone something extra like a haircut. This fall, a partnership of local health care providers, schools, churches, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and businesses are working to replace that fear and discouragement with hope. The Day of Hope scheduled for Sept. 6, at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds, will provide guests with everything from free groceries, shoes, haircuts and family portraits, to health screenings and job counseling. It's also a day to be stress-free, as the event will offer opportunities for fun and entertainment for kids and adults. As many as 4,000 guests are expected to be served, and hundreds of volunteers are needed. “No one group could do this alone,” said Rodney Wright, a member of the leadership team. “Here's a chance to consider what we can do if we all work together”/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: This sounds like a swell idea to me. Thoughts?


Child Luring Reported Near Post Falls

A possible child luring was reported in the area of South Pine Court near Post Falls on Tuesday, according to a press release issued this morning by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office. It was reported that at around 4 p.m. an unknown male approached a 6-year-old child that was playing in the driveway of a residence. Pine Court is between Ross Point Road and Cedar south of Seltice Way on the east side of Post Falls. The male attempted to lure the child away by asking for help looking for lost kittens and then briefly followed the child in a vehicle, according to the KCSO. The incident was witnessed by the child’s grandmother, who got the child to safety and later notified the KCSO. The suspect is described as an older white male, approximately 50 to 60 years old, with short gray hair and a gray beard or unshaven face. The suspect was driving an older, possibly '80s, compact passenger car. The car was described as having either faded or oxidized “dull” black paint and as having a bad muffler or a modified exhaust. Those with information are urged to contact the KCSO at 446-1300/Coeur d'Alene Press.

TV Crew Seeks Bigfoot Near Moscow

Representatives of a production company involved with the TV series “Finding Bigfoot” recently sought approval from Troy officials to shoot footage in the area of Moscow Mountain. The crew is expected to shoot twice overnight and wrap up by the end of the month, said Rhonda Case, Troy city clerk.“Finding Bigfoot” is in its fifth season on Animal Planet. Its premise is “investigating compelling evidence that may prove the existence of the elusive creature,” according to promotional material created by its producers.The crew coming to the area is led by Robert “Sean” Mantooth, a 1995 graduate of Washington State University. He is listed as a producer for the cable television program/Terry Harber, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. (Animal Planet/Daily News photo: Cliff Barackman, Matt Moneymaker, Ranae Holland and James “Bobo” Fay are the crew of “Finding Bigfoot,” a series on Animal Planet)

Question: Why do people believe that Bigfoot exists?

Obamacare: A Tale Of 2 States

By only halfheartedly embracing Obamacare, Idaho cut the number of people without health insurance by more than 25 percent. How many more people could be helped if state leaders stopped dragging their feet? Consider the case of Washington. Like Idaho, it established its own state-based health insurance exchange, thereby extending federal subsidies low-income families needed to afford coverage. For those hovering at or below the federal poverty line — and therefore unable to afford private insurance — Washington accepted Obamacare's offer to extend Medicaid coverage. Says the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner, both steps provided coverage to about 370,000 of Washington's 900,000 uninsured. Prior to Obamacare, Washington's uninsured rate was about 14 percent. Now it's down to 8.65 percent/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do you think its a good thing that Idaho's half-hearted insurance exchange has cut the number of people without health insurance by 25 percent?

Kids w/Lost Limbs Find Kinship At CdA

Camp No Limits camper Addison Benson, 6, of Laurel, Mont., pulls a counselor around during physical therapy at Camp Cross on Lake Coeur d’Alene on Tuesday. She lost both legs below the knee in a lawn mower accident when she was 3. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

While other campers were playing wheelchair basketball inside, avoiding a rare rainy summer day on Lake Coeur d’Alene, 6-year-old Addison Benson ran around outside on her prosthetic legs. For Benson, who lost both her legs in a lawn-mowing accident when she was 3, the four-day camp is a chance to be around other kids who, like her, have lost limbs. “It’s something we look forward to,” said her mom, Andrea Benson. Camp No Limits is a nonprofit organization that provides education, mentorship and support to young people with limb loss and their families. Mary Leighton, an occupational therapist, founded the organization in Maine in 2004 after being inspired by a 2-year-old boy who was missing three limbs/Wilson Criscione, SR. More here. (SR photo by Kathy Plonka: Kaylynn McSmith, 6, of Nevada, shows off her “Nub Buddy” during camp No Limits. Her limb loss is due to congenital amputation)

Question: Kathy's photos show children with amazing courage. Thoughts?

Press: Bon Voyage, Hydroplanes

This year's Diamond Cup hydroplane races are dead in the water. They were docked by Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger, whose refusal to authorize the water-event permit presented a substantial obstacle to the show going on. We're not at all convinced that Sheriff Wolfinger did the right thing, legally or practically. A greater willingness to work with race organizers might have helped save the day. The fact that Diamond Cup organizers have been awarded every other permit in this arduous process makes the sheriff's refusal appear all the more arbitrary. But a sheriff overstepping his bounds isn't all that sunk this year's Labor Day races. Far from it. The lethal torpedoes were fired by Doug Miller himself/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Would you like to see another organization try to make hydroplanes work on Lake Coeur d'Alene?

Oath Keeper Shea Gets GOP Pass

Did you know Matt Shea (pictured) was an Oath Keeper? Did you know he likes to sit around with other Oath Keepers – self-declared patriots and apocalyptic prophets – and check out night-vision goggles and talk about guns? That he once pulled a gun on an aggressive motorist he thought was targeting him for his work as a legislator, or that he took creepy photos of himself on his election opponent’s property? That his ex-wife, who had a restraining order against him for “assaultive behavior,” once testified that Shea envisioned himself as a future president who would be assassinated? That he anticipates the “inevitable” collapse of the economy, and relishes talk about revolution and preparing for the day when you must “stand up to your government”? You didn’t? Where have you been? Shea’s opponent for a state House seat, Josh Arritola, seems shocked by this old news. He tried to make political hay out of it last week – right as ballots dropped in a primary that both Arritola and Shea will survive. The result was another lively round of Watch Local Republicans Squirm Because They Can’t Say Out Loud What They Can’t Stop Whispering About Matt Shea/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: Do you view Oath Keepers in a positive/negative light?

IRS Document Dump

Lisa Benson/Washington Post Writers Group

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7.22.14

I beat most of the rain drops this morning as I biked to work. Some sprinkles. But the skies really opened up after I got to work. Now, I'm dry and happy at my usual post in the shotgun seat of the wild ride that we call Huckleberries Online. I had fun last night using the cooler to dispatch 2 or 3 drive-by trolls last night. I love how they squeal and gnash their teeth when the cooler door slams on them. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.22.14

Cleo Whiting of Delta, Colo., clips lavender blossoms on Saturday at the Martha Lane Lavender farm near Sequim, Wash. A dozen lavender farms across eastern Clallam County opened their grounds to visitors during the annual three-day Lavender Weekend, a celebration of all things lavender. (AP Photo/The Peninsula Daily News, Keith Thorpe)

Trees Obscure Forests

You know what makes me really angry? Short-sighted people who are unable to embrace a bigger picture. Forest people I love. Tree people, not so much — Cindy Hval.

Question: Are you a forest person or a tree person?

Best Comment Of Day — Walkabout

Walkabout: I was shocked last night when I went to pick huckleberries. Coming down the trail was a lady with a gigantic bouquet of cut huckleberry bushes with the berries still attached. I don't know how I contained myself but I went on to explain that what she did was illegal. It will take many years before those bushes produce again, if ever. The punishment is up to 6 months in jail and $5,000 fine. I still don't understand how people can be that stupid. If everyone did what she did there would be no bushes left for anyone to enjoy.

Question: Picking huckleberry bushes? Are. You. Kidding. Me?


Yep, this original oil painting by Chrsitina Oss LaBang is about our favorite Stickman. Christina, who's Stickman's sister, photographed him walking along Tubbs Hill some time back. It became a postcard that Stickman sent to me with a kind note this week. And, best of all, it will be a painting on one of the city's utility box some day soon. Cool, hunh?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.22.14

  • 4:43 p.m. Someone is unconscious @ 15th Street/Hanley Avenue, Dalton Gardens.
  • 4:38 a.m. 2-vehicle, rear-end crash reported @ H95/Canfield Avenue, CdA; no injuries.
  • 4:37 p.m. Undisclosed type of trauma injury on Meadow Street/Spirit Lake.
  • 4:31 p.m. Accident reported in Target store parking lot, unknown injuries.
  • 4:15 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 21-22 here.
  • 3:49 p.m. Dog running loose @ 200 block of S11th Street/CdA.
  • 3:39 p.m. Possible animal abuse reported @ Costco/Neider Avenue, CdA.
  • 3:28 p.m. An injured dog @ Riverbend/Post Falls has bitten several people.
  • 3:22 p.m. Male is yelling @ female in possible Coeur d'Alene physical domestic, punched fist through door.
  • 3:11 p.m. Driver of one semi @ w/b I-90/MP 45 (Pinehurst) sez driver of second truck yelled race epithets, road raging.
  • 2:52 p.m. Someone in Mount Carroll/Dalton Gardens residence is throwing a fit.
  • 2:40 p.m. PFPD officer is stopping at home @ 8500 block of Meadowbrook/Post Falls for unknown reason.
  • 2:39 p.m. 67YO male is suffering breathing problems @ Urgent Care/Post Falls.
  • 2:14 p.m. A collapsible table is lying @ w/b I-90/MP 15 (Sherman Avenue/CdA).
  • 2:05 p.m. Someone is having trouble breathing at water slide of Silverwood Theme Park/Athol.
  • 1:03 p.m. Non-injury crash b/n semi/small SUV @ H53/MP 3 (Ramsey Road/CdA).
  • AM Scanner Traffic

And Now A Message From Christa …

“Two local kids decided to help two other local kids in need using cardboard, junk, and lots of creativity. $810 raised. Makes you wonder what else our community's students can do when they put their mind to it? Way to go, Henry Depew and Owen Harro!”— Chairman Christa Hazel of the Coeur d'Alene School Board (via Facebook).

Question: Sorta puts us grownups to shame, hunh?


Judge OKs $222K For Gerlach Team

Taxpayers will have to dole out more than $220,000 to defense attorneys and expert witnesses who helped Gail Gerlach (pictured in SR file photo) beat a manslaughter charge in an April trial. A jury acquitted Gerlach of criminal wrongdoing after he fired a single shot that struck Brendon Kaluza-Graham in the back of the head. Kaluza-Graham had stolen Gerlach’s work van and was driving away when Gerlach, a self-employed plumber, fired his handgun. He claimed self-defense, telling jurors that he believed Kaluza-Graham had a gun. Judge Annette Plese signed an order authorizing payment of $221,574.42 to attorneys Richard Lee and Dave Stevens, as well as expert witnesses Gaylan Warren and Robert Smith. Under Washington state law, the jury’s finding of self-defense allows civil damages to be awarded to Gerlach to cover “reasonable” court costs/Kip Hill, SR. More here.

Question: Was the Spokane County prosecutor's office correct in pursuing this case?

Idaho Preschool Enrollment Only 35%

A report released today shows Idaho is among the worst states in the country in enrolling children in preschool programs, while Washington fares slightly better than the national average. According to the 2014 Kids Count Data Book, 35 percent of 3- and 4-year-old children in Idaho attended preschool from 2010 to 2012. Only three states enrolled a lower percentage. Although an improvement from the 31 percent enrolled in 2007, roughly 31,000 young children are not enrolled in preschool programs in Idaho. In Washington, 41 percent of the state's children were enrolled while 103,000 were not. Nationally, slightly more than 4 million children, or 54 percent, were not enrolled in preschool programs from 2010 to 2012.New study on state education shows Idaho and Washington students healthier but poorer/Samantha Malott & Shanon Quinn, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.


Judge Censured For Rape Sentence

A Montana judge who gave a rapist a 30-day sentence and said the victim shared responsibility for the crime was publicly reprimanded by the Montana Supreme Court July 22, the Associated Press reports. District Judge G. Todd Baugh, of Billings, Mont., appeared before the highest court in Montana, where Chief Justice Mike McGrath read a prepared statement of censure—a rare move used to publicly indicate that a judge is guilty of misconduct. But censure is more than a slap on the wrist: Baugh will also be suspended from his bench for 31 days, beginning in December. “We have determined that, through your inappropriate comments, you have eroded public confidence in the judiciary and created an appearance of impropriety in violation of the Montana Code of Judicial Conduct,” McGrath said/Harrison Berry, Boise Weekly. More here. (AP photo: Judge G. Todd Baugh listens as Montana Chief Justice Mike McGrath begins censure proceedings against him in Helena, Mont., today)

Question: An appropriate discipline for this sorry jurist?

HBO Blogosphere — 7.22.14

In a post titled, “To help take your mind off the H-Bomb,” Paul Turner/The Slice posts (via “I would almost consider watching this to see what sort of character Carl Reiner plays.”

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, July 21): 8278 page-views/5139 unique views

Local GOP Target Difficult Candidates

When it meets at the Kootenai County administration building this evening, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee will discuss a resolution that will pressure Republican candidates to support the state Republican platform. Currently, each Republican candidate for office is asked to sign a statement that says s/he supports the state platform completely or with some reservations. The resolution concludes that the chairman of the local Republican Party will submit a press release, no later than 30 days prior to an election, identifying candidates who refused to submit the disclosure statement and therefore cannot be endorsed by the local Republican Central Committee. You can read the resolution here. The local GOP will also discuss a resolution by Bjorn Handeen to protect dogs, in wake of a recent police shooting of a dog, and one that fosters greater transparency through the local media. You can see other resolutions and GOP meeting documents below:



Here's another photo of the Muddy Miles fundraiser for Heritage and Coeur d'Alene Kroc Center, taken at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds Saturday. Kootenai Health sponsored the event.

We’re Unsatisfied With Social Media

Research on customer satisfaction has revealed something rather peculiar: social media, the thing that has increasingly come to define our lives, isn’t especially well-liked by its users. That is according to the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey, released today. The annual report on social media breaks things down by several popular outlets, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. To the surprise of perhaps nobody, LinkedIn comes in at dead last among the measured social media channels. More surprising is that Facebook ties LinkedIn at the bottom of the barrel for customer satisfaction/Jacob Long, Geek-Sided. More here.

Question: Are you satisfied with social media?

Land Board Lauds Record Earnings

The state Land Board, which consists of the state's top five elected officials and is chaired by the governor, has sent out an opinion piece to Idaho news media hailing the endowment's record earnings in the past year, from the record 18.8 percent return on investments in the endowment fund to a 14-year high of $102 million from state endowment lands. That included the take from a record 347 million board feet of timber that was logged from the endowment lands, part of it consisting of trees that had been damaged by wildfire or insects, and from a hotly bid-for $1 million lease to use state lands to recreate Evel Knievel’s 1974 attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon near Twin Falls/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.


PHD Lifts Fernan Lake Health Advisory

A health advisory was issued on July 8 for Fernan Lake by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and Panhandle Health District. The advisory was issued due to the presence of high concentrations of blue-green algae that can produce toxins harmful to humans and animals. Officials from Idaho Department of Environmental Quality have been monitoring the lake since the advisory was issued and they now confirm the concentration of the blue-green algae in Fernan Lake is no longer a concern for the presence of harmful toxins produced by the algae.  The health advisory has been lifted. Swimming and other water activities can safely be resumed in Fernan Lake. There are no longer restrictions on domestic water supply use with the appropriate water treatment technology/Panhandle Health District.


JohnA: Tomfoolery On Our Waters

JohnA: After spending some time cruising the St. Joe River, I have these observations to share: we are blessed with abundant waterfowl like eagles, osprey and herons, but cursed by idiot boaters, wake boarders and jet skiers. While observing the former we were very nearly hit by each of the latter. The biggest offenders are those jerks who are so involved in towing someone that they pay no attention whatsoever to anything else. The topper was yesterday when we encountered not only a boat surf-gating its wake boarder (creating the four-foot wake that we all love and enjoy so much) but also a boat right next to them filming the whole spectacle. Now, I may be a bit old-fashioned but it seems to me that out of the two drivers, two so-called 'observers' and several other passengers (not to mention the towee) that SOMEONE might have looked up to see that …

Question: What is the dumbest thing you've seen on our waterways?

Giant Catsup Bottle For Sale

A “For Sale” sign is seen Tuesday in front of what's billed as the “World's Largest Bottle of Catsup” that once served as a water tower in the city of Collinsville, Ill. The landmark replicates a bottle of Brooks Old Original Rich and Tangy Catsup, which was produced in the buildings beneath the tower. The 100,000-gallon tower held water _ never ketchup _ and hasn't been used since Brooks moved out in the early 1960s. (AP Photo/Belleville News-Democrat, Derik Holtmann)

Question: Catsup is my favorite condiment. Hands down. How about you?

CdA Brewer Makes Sam Adams Finals

Steve Anderson's face may soon appear on Samuel Adams beer bottles across the nation, bottles containing his very own “70% Wheat” home-brewed creation. Anderson, of Coeur d'Alene, found out the evening of July 4 that he is one of the top nine contenders in the Samuel Adams 2014 Longshot American Homebrew Contest, which challenges homebrewers to send samples of their best beer to Boston and put their brewing skills to the taste test. “It's like the appeal for any hobby that you do when you're making things,” he said. “It's just knowing that you can do at home what they're doing on a factory level.” Anderson's 70% Wheat traditional German-style beer, created through the all-grain homebrew process, has beat thousands of entries and may win him an all-expense-paid trip to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver this October if he places in the top three/Devin Heilman, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Have you ever made home-made beer?

2 Police Chief Finalists To Meet Public

The public will have an opportunity today (Tuesday) to meet the two finalists for Coeur d’Alene police chief. The community forum will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave. Gary R. Jensen, chief of police in Logan, Utah, and Lee R. White, assistant police chief in Mesa, Arizona, will be in town for on-site interviews with the selection committee and to meet the City Council and personnel at the Coeur d’Alene Police Department. Coeur d’Alene Human Resources Director Melissa Tosi said the city hopes to have the chief’s position filled in September. During his 21-year police career, White has worked in or supervised nearly every area of police work, making his way through the ranks of the Mesa Police Department from patrol officer to assistant chief. Jensen began his career in law enforcement in 1987 as a deputy sheriff in Utah. As chief of police in Logan, he is responsible for budgets totaling over $10 million and oversees a department of 116 people/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today.

Question: Do you plan to meet the finalists for the Coeur d'Alene police chief vacancy?

Lake City Innovation Center Proposed

Nick Smoot, with the Innovation Collective, made a presentation last week to the Lake City Development Corp. highlighting a new innovation center they want to build in Coeur d'Alene. If possible, he told the LCDC board, his group would like to build it on property owned by LCDC south of City Hall. The property is between Young Avenue and east Pine Avenue on the west side of Eighth Street. “In our minds, this is the ideal location,” Smoot said, adding the collective wants to develop a “creative-class” culture that would help lure high-tech entrepreneurs to Coeur d'Alene. The barn-like building would be approximately 20,000 to 25,000 square feet, and start as a one-story with the ability to expand into two stories if needed. Smoot said he has contacted the local neighborhood association and the Tubbs Hill Foundation about his plans, and everyone so far has been positive about the project/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: I like the idea of an Innovation Center. But I'm not sure I like the proposed location, next to Tubbs Hill. How about you?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.22.14

On Monday, Post Falls police and Kootenai County Fire & Rescue rescue a dog that appears to have fallen into a ditch, according to PFPD Facebook page. The dog does not appear to have any broken bones or major injuries at this time. The dog is currently being treated for dehydration and neglect. “We think the dog had been there for at least two days and if it had not been rescued it would have perished. We do not believe the dog was shot it looks like he just fell down,” said the PFPD Facebook page. PFPD is looking for information re: owner of the dog. (Photo: PFPD Facebook)

  • 12:04 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 2000 block of N13th/CdA.
  • 11:55 a.m. 3YO boy found walking up parents' driveway, by neighbor.
  • 11:41 a.m. 3YO boy has been missing from his rural home for 20 to 30 minutes (undisclosed location), parents and neighbors have started a search in wooded area that backs up home.
  • 11:41 a.m. Caller reports child took boy's green BMX bike from neighbor's property @ 500 block of N20th/CdA.
  • 11:28 a.m. Angry male walking around blue Ford Explorer in Post Falls business lot, waving arms in the air.
  • 10:10 a.m. Firefighter on scene reports no gas leak in basement (9:56 item).
  • 9:56 a.m. Resident @ Greenleaf/Sapling, CdA, reports smell of gas in basement.
  • 9:40 a.m. Male is holding frightened female against brick wall along Spokane Street/Post Falls.
  • 9:37 a.m. 7YO female is walking alone outside her house in a Post Falls subdivision.
  • 9:31 a.m. 2 large sheets of metal are lying across both lanes of traffic @ I-90/MP 42 (near Pinehurst).
  • 9:27 a.m. Gas is leaking from ruptured line that someone hit @ 3670 Mullan (cross of Jordan/Post Falls).
  • 9:26 a.m. Post Falls city tweet: “Rained Out. Mother Nature is not cooperating with the chip sealing project.”
  • 8:25 a.m. Female suffering general illness @ 7300 block of Bedford Lane/CdA.
  • 8:16 a.m. PFPD officer is stopping to check 2 small children who were left in vehicle alone.
  • 6:30 a.m. Steve Sibulsky reports: Big smoke plume coming from somewhere behind Pilgrim’s Market as I drove to Rotary about 6:30 this morning. As I drove back about 8:20…cones blocking 4th & Walnut and fire trucks near a house on Fifth. KREM story here.

Stepping In It

Worried she may have stepped in sheep droppings, Marie Frati, 8, checks her shoes after feeding the sheep at Pheasant Fields Farm in Silverdale, Wash., recently. Pheasant Fields Farm hosts several weeklong camps every summer where kids participate in typical day-camp activities, such as crafts, games and songs, as well as farm and outdoor activities, like climbing trees, finding bugs, planting food, feeding animals and collecting eggs. (AP Photo/Kitsap Sun, Meegan M. Reid)

Question: When did you last step in animal poop?

Poll: Put Samuel In Juvie Detention

  • Monday Poll: A majority of Hucks Nation sez that 15YO double homicide suspect Eldon Gale Samuel III should be housed in the juvenile detention center rather than adult solitary confinement in county jail, where he is now. 68 of 126 respondents (53.97%) prefers juvenile detention housing for Samuel rather than the county jail. 48 of 126 (38.1%) support keeping him in solitary confinement in the county jail. 4 (3.17%) marked “other.” 6 (4.76%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you agree with the sentences handed down for the Add the Words protesters?

Ed Board: Guv Passes Over Goedde

Among those Gov. Butch Otter passed over for the two recent state Board of Education openings, to whom he appointed David Hill and Debbie Critchfield: Outgoing Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene; former Sen. Melinda Smyser, R-Parma; Trudy Anderson, a retired associate vice president from the University of Idaho; and more. Idaho Education News reporter Kevin Richert writes today about the selection process, including what both Hill, a former top official at the Idaho National Laboratory, and Critchfield, a board member and current public information officer for the Cassia County School District, said in their applications. You can read his full report here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise.

Question: Seems to me that Senate Education Board Chairman John Goedde would have been a swell pick for the Idaho Board of Education. Do you suppose his loss to Mary Souza in the GOPrimary indicates that his star has fallen?

Portland Firm Buys White’s Boots

White’s Boots, one of Spokane’s best known “made in America” manufacturing companies, has been sold to a Portland company with plans to expand production. The purchase price has not been disclosed by LaCrosse Footwear Inc., which sells footwear under the Danner Boots brand. LaCrosse is a subsidiary of Japanese company ABC-Mart Inc. White’s Boots opened its Spokane operations 99 years ago, earning customer loyalty and testimonials from celebrities and hardworking laborers. Its boots are pricey. But they are regarded as among the best outdoor footwear available, a classic example of undiluted craftsmanship. The Spokane operation will not lose any of its 110 workers, said Kirk Layton, the chief financial officer for LaCrosse. The goal is to increase the Spokane plant’s production and sales/Tom Sowa, SR. More here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: Have you ever owned a pair of White's Boots?

AM Headlines — 7.22.14

A wall of fire burns a stack of hay bales as personnel with Kootenai County Fire and Rescue monitor the blaze Monday in a farm field near the corner of Pleasant View Road and Highway 53 in Post Falls. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Ruling Strikes Blow At Obamacare

A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down one of the pillars of ObamaCare, ruling that the law’s premium subsidies are invalid in more than two-dozen states. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 decision that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not permit the IRS to distribute premium subsidies in the federal ObamaCare exchange, meaning those consumers must bear the full cost of their insurance. “Because we conclude that the ACA unambiguously restricts the section 36B subsidy to insurance purchased on Exchanges 'established by the State,' we reverse the district court and vacate the IRS’s regulation,” the court said in its ruling/The Hill. More here.


Race Organizers Blame Hydro Chief

Diamond Cup hydroplane race organizers have publicly bashed Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger more than once for the cancellation of this year's planned event. But privately they also have taken some shots at allies of the boat races that had been planned for Labor Day weekend, according to a letter emailed late Friday by Diamond Cup president Doug Miller and his right-hand man, Keith Kroetch. To a large extent, the two pointed fingers at Sam Cole, chairman of H1 Unlimited, the unlimited hydroplane boat racing league. Miller and Kroetch said Cole provided nothing but headaches for the new race organizers. Part of the problem is what Cole didn't provide, they complained. Cole offered few guidelines, absolutely no financing, no help with media, and no sponsorships, they wrote/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Izzit just me — or are Diamond Cup making things worse by blaming the H1 Unlimited chairman for some of their problems?

Hall: Here Come The Women Pastors

If strong, warm-hearted women frighten you, then I regret calling your attention to the many churches now dominated by female preachers. A would-be manly man just doesn't have a place to hide any more, except perhaps as part of an all-guy hunting trip. Women preachers on public display in a church may scare such men every bit as much as suddenly finding a woman on a hunting trip. Sharing the woods with a female hunter can crowd such men pretty hard, especially if she's a good shot. So most such men leave the ladies at home when they go out in the woods. After all, somebody has to stay home and nurse the baby. Frankly, church congregations that still fear female preachers are stuck in some kind of time warp. And excluding women from church management is pretty strange this late in the religion game. After all, our modern world is full of female doctors, lawyers, professors, writers and, thank the lord, bowlers. So what's with all this shrinking from girl preachers?/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Does it matter to you whether your pastor is male or female?

Skin Cancer Can Have Childhood Link

Oh, long, sunny summer days. So bright and inviting and treasured by schoolchildren. Oh, warnings about the dangers of the long, sunny summer days and the importance of sunscreen and protective clothing for children, along with adults. So predictable. Yet melanoma rates keep rising in the U.S. And damage caused by ultraviolet rays during childhood – both indoors and outdoors – elevates the risk for developing melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, during adulthood. Besides a history of sun damage, other risk factors include light skin, blue or green eyes or blond or red hair. But anyone can get skin cancer. Ultraviolet light damages the DNA in skin cells, causing them to grow abnormally and possibly turn into cancer. It might take decades. But it starts with UV damage. “Most of the skin cancer we have comes when we’re young and develops when we’re old,” said Dr. Benjamin Ringger, of North Idaho Dermatology/Adrian Rogers, SR. More here. (Illustration: McClatchy-Tribune)

Question: I had a lot of exposure to the sun as a child in California's Sacramento Valley, esp. during summers when I worked outside shirtless hauling hay. So far, knock on wood, that hasn't come back to haunt me. How about you? Were you exposed too much to the sun as a child?

Judge Sentences, Praises Protesters

An Idaho judge sentenced two dozen gay-rights protesters arrested at the state Capitol this year and offered them this message: “I respect your courage in doing what you did.” The protesters took part in “Add the 4 Words” demonstrations during this year’s session of the Idaho Legislature, standing silently, hands over their mouths, and refusing to leave until lawmakers agreed to hold a hearing on legislation to amend the Idaho Human Rights Act – or until they were arrested. No hearing was held. The protesters want the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” added to the types of discrimination banned by the act. Lawmakers have refused to hold a hearing on the proposed legislation for the past nine years. “What I appreciate about the approach you all took is the American tradition of civil disobedience,” Magistrate Judge Michael Oths told a packed courtroom. “We all disobey and then we take our consequences”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (AP/Statesman photo by Kyle Green: Former state Sen. Nicole LeFavour addresses Judge Michael Oths Monday)

Question: Do you expect to see “Add the Words” protests during the 2015 Legislature?

Investigators Visit Flight 17 Site

A Malaysian air crash investigator takes pictures in a wheat field at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine earlier today. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Sandpoint Shooting Details Aired

The woman who was killed in an armed confrontation with Sandpoint Police on July 8 was brought to Bonner General Health by her husband because he said she was exhibiting “erratic” and “aggressive” behavior, according to the Bonner County Sheriff's Office. The husband, who was not identified by sheriff's officials, came to the facility's emergency department and stated that Jeanetta Marie Riley was armed with a knife. “The man said his wife was threatening to attack anyone trying to approach her. The man said he did not know what to do or where he could take his wife to get help,” Det. Sgt. Gary Johnston said in the news release. The man left the lobby and BGH initiated its lock-down procedures. At 9:13 p.m., three Sandpoint officers were dispatched to the hospital in two marked patrol units/Keith Kinnaird, Daily Bee. More here.


Conserve Tax Dollars, Not Trees

I got a case of government heartburn when the Spokane City Council voted 6-0 Monday night to start buying only recycled paper. Especially since doing so will cost nearly six grand more a year than the city pays now for politically incorrect old-paper paper. The council members call this going green. To me it’s a typical waste of greenbacks. One of the chronic problems with government is that too many of the do-gooders we elect believe that the money they’re spending is theirs, not ours. Aw, sure, $5,900 is but a droplet in the city’s budget ocean. Unless you take it to the food bank, that is, where that much scratch buys nearly 18 tons of food. Government has bigger appetites/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree with columnist Clark that Spokane City Council is wasting money trying to do good?

Where The Finger Points

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Wild Card/Monday — 7.21.14

On Monday mornings, I never know where the week will take us, here at Huckleberries Online. It's midsummer. So you'd expect that things would be slow. But they haven't been slow this summer. As a news junkie, I like the action. I'm sure you do, too. Now for the first Wild Card of the work week …

Parting Shot — 7.21.14

Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison pointing to her sash and her insulin pump during a portrait session near Centennial Waterfront Park in Twin Falls. Sandison represented the Magic Valley in the Miss Idaho pageant as well as a former Miss Pocatello. She is also the coordinator for Possibilities for Disabilities. Story here. (AP Photo/The Times-News, Drew Nash)

Carlson: Campaigning On Your Dime

Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter brought his “dog and pony” show called Capital For A Day to St. Maries on July 21st. My, oh my, how it has changed since Governor Cecil D. Andrus, who initiated the program in 1973, and I walked the streets of the temporary “capital” (usually a county seat). No entourage. No security detail. No advance team. No “show and tell.” No setting up a town hall meeting and expecting the citizens to come to us. Nope. Just Cece and I, popping in and out of various businesses on Main Street, chatting with the owner and asking if they were having any difficult issues with any facet of state government. The day’s agenda usually included a noon speech at a Rotary or a Kiwanis Club and in the afternoon drop by visits to the local paper and other media to report on what he was hearing/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: Should Gov. Butch Otter suspend the Capital for a Day program until the general election in November?

Tribe Cancels Nugent Concert

The Coeur d’Alene Casino is cancelling Ted Nugent’s appearance scheduled for August 4. Nugent’s history of racist and hate-filled remarks was brought to Tribal Council’s attention earlier today. “The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has always been about human rights – for decades, we have worked individually and as a Tribe to make sure that each and every person is treated equally and with respect and dignity. We know what it’s like to be the target of hateful messages and we would never want perpetuate hate in any way,” said Chief Allan, Chairman of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. “We adamantly do not want our casino to be used as a venue for the racist attitudes and views that Ted Nugent espouses. Unfortunately, when we booked him, we were looking at him from an entertainment perspective, as an 80s rock ‘n roller who we thought folks might enjoy. We take the comments and concerns of our community very seriously and we apologize to anyone who was offended by the idea that we would promote these kinds of attitudes. We will do our best to avoid such mistakes moving forward,” said Laura Stensgar, Executive Director of Marketing for the Coeur d’Alene Casino. The Casino will refund the full ticket price for anyone who has purchased tickets to the show. Call 1-800-523-2464 to arrange for a refund/Heather Keen, Coeur d'Alene Tribe.


PM: UI Structures To Welcome Public

Three gateways that signal the beginning of the University of Idaho campus will be open this fall on State Highway 8 in Moscow, part of a $775,000 project. Lewiston Tribune story here. (Drawing: University of Idaho, via Lewiston Tribune)

UI Player Booted After Theft Charge

Dezmon Epps, who was dismissed from the Idaho football team on Sunday for a violation of team rules, was charged in Moscow with misdemeanor petty theft after allegedly stealing $37.72 in groceries from WinCo Foods. The former Idaho wide receiver pled not guilty on Monday in Latah County District Court and posted a $300 cash bond. He's scheduled for a pretrial hearing on July 29. Epps paid $9.04 for groceries Sunday afternoon at the WinCo supermarket in Moscow, located at 1700 W. Pullman Road, but also stole 10 items totaling $37.72 in value, according to a police report included in court documents. The stolen items included two bottles of Gatorade, sweet rolls, bacon, hash browns, butter, chicken and two packets of Life Savers candy/Josh Wright, SR. More here.

Question: Is the penalty (being booted from the team) greater than the alleged crime (petty theft)?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.21.14

  • 5:33 p.m. Male @ Post Falls Library needs transport to Kootenai Health for strep throat.
  • 5:29 p.m. Officer stopping to help motorist in disabled car @ s/b H41/MP 3 (RR crossing near Hayden Avenue).
  • 4:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 20-21 here.
  • 4:21 p.m. Noninjury crash b/n Jeep & station wagon reported @ n/b H95/MP 446 (Brunner Road/Athol).
  • 4:18 p.m. Male pulled boy from Subaru Legacy & is beating him in Post Falls grocery parking lot.
  • 4:05 p.m. A barrel is floating on Lake Coeur d'Alene @ Rockford Bay leaking oil & other matter.
  • 3:58 p.m. Diesel is leaking from truck @ Prairie Avenue/Pleasantview, Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 3:37 p.m. 70YO male hurt hip in fall @ Lake City Senior Center, 1916 N. Lakewood Drive/CdA.
  • 3:36 p.m. PFPD officer reports no one will answer door re: unlawful entry report on Partridge Loop/Post Falls.
  • 3:36 p.m. Officer requests bomb squad, ambulance at county park (undisclosed which one).
  • 3:29 p.m. Driver of yellow Montana vehicle swerving, possibly DUI @ I-90/Post Falls area.
  • 3:18 p.m. Officer waiting for detained female's boyfriend to pick up her dog at Hayden Walgreens.
  • 3:12 p.m. Deputy reports his patrol-car radio isn't working on any frequency.
  • 2:52 p.m. Stacks of hay bales on fire @ H53/Pleasantview, Post Falls, fire about 12 feet high, 100 feet long.
  • 2:42 p.m. 82YO female has fallen and dislocated a hip @ Bestland Assisted Living, 606 Best Ave/CdA.
  • 1:44 p.m. Someone is at the CPD lobby to report a vehicle burglary, undisclosed location.
  • 1:18 p.m. Spirit Lake police report location of a runaway teen-age girl.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Here’s Mud In Your Eye

One of the many participants emerges from the fourth annual Muddy Miles at the North Idaho Fairgrounds Saturday. As part of the fundraiser for Kootenai Health and the Kroc Center, an arena will be set up with a two-mile, mud-soaked course that included a multitude of obstacles: a Slip 'n Slide, tire balance beam, Lake Mukamuka, a “concrete wall of terror,” spectators spraying Silly String, and throwing of Wiffle balls and water balloons. You can see more photos from Muddy Miles at Jake Cda-ecs. (Photo:

Grenade Found In Spokane River

At about 12:05 p.m. today, a diver, who was working for Avista Utilities on the south channel dam repairs, located a suspicious device on the bottom of the Spokane River but couldn't tell what it was, at first, due to visibility. It appeared to be a rusted grenade. Kootenai County deputies responded to the scene and agreed the device may be an old grenade.  Later, the Spokane County bomb squad said the device appeared to be an altered training grenade.  The Spokane County Explosive Ordinance Disposal Team destroyed the device.

Not Guilty Plea Entered For Samuel

A Coeur d’Alene boy charged with murder in the deaths of his father and brother was arraigned Monday but did not enter a plea, so a judge entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. Eldon Gale Samuel III, 14, appeared in cuffs before 1st District Court Judge Benjamin Simpson in a courtroom at the Kootenai County Jail. Samuel was arrested March 24 at an emergency housing unit owned by St. Vincent de Paul North Idaho. Investigators say he shot his father, Eldon Samuel Jr., 46, then shot and stabbed his brother, Jonathan Samuel, 13. He faces one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder and is being held on $1 million bail. No trial date has been set. Samuel’s attorney, public defender John Adams, told the judge he expects it will take at least four months to obtain and review records needed for the boy’s defense. Due to that delay, Samuel waived his right to a speedy trial/Scott Maben, SR. More here.


LeFavour — $70, 70 Hours Of Service

Judge Michael Oths has imposed a $70 fine, 70 hours of community service and court costs on former state Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, for two misdemeanor counts of trespassing at the Idaho state Capitol during this year’s legislative session in favor of protecting gays from discrimination in Idaho. That matches a plea agreement reached in April. “What I appreciate about the approach you all took is the American tradition of civil disobedience is we all disobey and then we take our consequences,” the judge said. “We understand there’s a price tag involved in it, rather than as we may do in other parts of the world, blowing things up or that kind of tactics. .. I think the great tradition is you put your name on the line, and it’s not easy to do that, I understand that. But you accept the consequences for that, and I think you’ve done both.” The judge added, “I think people have been respectful in their approach, and I want to make that comment”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. (AP file photo: Nicole LeFavour is arrested after blocking the entrance of the Senate chambers at the Idaho Statehouse Feb. 3 in Boise)

More news from today's hearing:

Question: Do you agree with the sentence that the sympathetic judge handed down for former state senator Nicole LeFavour?

HBO Blogosphere — 7.21.14

During the weekend, 24 machines in the local Four Wheeler Club pause during a trip covering about 90 miles from Wallace south to Avery and back again.  Dave Lyda, who owns the North Idaho Trophy Company is in the foreground wearing a black, white and red baseball hat.  The route followed the Slate Creek drainage to the St. Joe River Ranger Station and through several train tunnels near Avery before returning to Wallace. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Suspicious Activity Leads To Arrest

From Post Falls Police Department Facebook wall: “A citizen reported suspicious/drug activity at Chase Field. Officers made contact w/ 3 females and a male inside a vehicle. The male was subsequently charged with possession and arrested on an outstanding warrant. One of the females was cited for possession of marijuana. This is a great example of how our citizens assist law enforcement by calling in suspicious activity.” Post Falls Police Department activities report here.

LGBT Activists Face Sentencing Today

There’s a full house this afternoon for the sentencing of two dozen “Add the 4 Words” protesters at the Ada County Courthouse for offenses relating to protests at the state Capitol during this year’s legislative session in favor of adding the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act. Between those up for sentencing, their supporters, volunteer attorneys and members of the press, the room has filled; extra chairs were added to seat the crowd of more than 70, but finally the last few people who arrived late were turned away. A dozen Idaho attorneys, organized by Boise Attorney Dan Skinner, are representing the protesters pro bono/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. (AP/Statesman file photo by Joe Jaszewski, of 'Add the Words' protesters in Idaho Statehouse earlier this year)

More from hearing:


Lavadog Opens Near Hayden Super 1

At Get Out! North Idaho, OrangeTV reports: “Lavadog in Hayden (near Super 1) seems to have FINALLY opened for business last week (although they are apparently not open Sundays). There was a glowing OPEN sign, a propped open door, and some activity. Swung by and took a picture of their menu, which is posted in their drive-thru. Lemon garlic sauce on your hot dog? Why not.” (Photo: Get Out! North Idaho)

Question: Izzit just me — or why to upscale hotdog places rarely succeed?

Otter Opposes Idaho Monument

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said today that he strongly opposes and will resist any attempt by President Barack Obama to use executive authority under the Antiquities Act to lock up more public land by creating a Boulder-White Clouds national monument. Governor Otter said such unilateral action — supported by the Democrat challenging Governor Otter in the November election — would impose additional restrictions on Idahoans' traditional uses of the area.  “The President has made no effort to work together on this issue and is considering this decision without Congress or support of the state.  He would not only violate the checks and balances instituted as part of our U.S. Constitution to ensure the voices of voters are heard, but he would also undermine existing management agreements on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. We must not allow a president who has spent no time in Idaho and is focused solely on pleasing environmentalists to dictate how Idaho residents use public lands”/Otter for Governor Campaign press release. More here. (Map:

Question: Idaho has shown it doesn't have the will to protect Boulder-White Clouds as a wilderness area, despite the efforts of many key players, like Congressman Mike Simpson. Maybe it's time that President Obama took the decision out of Idaho's hands. Thoughts?

‘Tammy’: Long Series Of Fat Jokes

Thanks to the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Margaret Cho and George Carlin, not to mention the late, great Bill Hicks (NSFW), it's possible to enjoy off-color jokes — otherwise known as politically incorrect humor — because a larger point is being made. In other words, fat jokes — as just one example — aren't just opportunities to laugh at the overweight. They are an opportunity to, maybe, laugh at our overall cultural obsession with looks. Or maybe they're the holding up of a cultural mirror inviting us to reflect on why such nasty humor is appealing. And so on. Except in Melissa McCarthy movies. I've never watched her sitcom, “Mike and Molly,” so I can't comment on what happens there. But her movies? “Bridesmaids,” which won McCarthy — incredible as it was — an Oscar nomination, showed just how comedically talented the woman is/Dan Webster, SR 7 Blog. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Why do we poke so much fun at overweight people?

CdA Tribe Books Controversial Nugent

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe of American Indians — itself a target of a recent racism — has booked racist rocker Ted Nugent for a public concert next month at the tribe’s landmark North Idaho casino. The decision is stirring controversy for a tribe that has proudly involved itself in human rights causes and contributed thousands to fight racism. Nugent sometimes wears an Indian headdress on stage, coming close to ridiculing American Indian culture, and mocks those campaigning to change names of sports teams that use words like Redskins and Savages. The legendary rocker, who also is on the board of the National Rifle Association, has a “long history of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, animus towards immigrants, and propensity to use violence-tinged language,” Media Matters reported earlier this year. That came after Nugent called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and referred to him as a “chimpanzee”/Bill Morlin, SPLC HateWatch. More here. (AP file photo: Musician and gun rights activist Ted Nugent addresses a seminar at the National Rifle Association's 2011 convention in Pittsburgh)

Question: Did the Coeur d'Alene Tribe make a mistake in booking controversial musician Ted Nugent?

Flight School

On her Facebook wall, Kerri Thoreson posts: “Flight School Saturday for at least a dozen of our resident sparrow fledglings. They've been practicing flying from trees to feeder to fence rail. They also hop about on the front sidewalk and look for bugs in the grass. Their parents keep an eye on them from afar. I enjoy watching the circle of life unfolding right outside the window.”

Could Guns-On-Campus Law Expand?

Idaho’s new guns-on-campus law just went into effect on July 1, but could changes already be on the way? College of Western Idaho President Bert Glandon floated the possibility last week, as his two-year institution adopted a rewrite of its firearms policy. Now, concealed weapons permit holders over the age of 21 will be allowed to carry guns on the CWI campus, in accordance with the controversial campus carry bill passed by the 2014 Legislature. At a board of trustees meeting Tuesday, Glandon said he is already hearing rumblings about possible changes — perhaps dropping the concealed carry permit age to 18, allowing open carry on college campuses and considering weapons in K-12 and looking at weapons policies for K-12 schools. (Details from Kelcie Moseley of the Idaho Press-Tribune.)/Kevin Richert, The EDge. More here.

Question: Do you believe pro-gun legislators in Idaho will try to expand the guns-on-campus law in the 2015 Legislature, possibly to drop the concealed-carry permit age to 18 or to allow open carry on campus?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.21.14

  • 11:19 a.m. 2 males in white 4-door Buick, w/Montana plates, looking in mailboxes @ Prairie/Huetter.
  • 11:17 a.m. 2 CPD units en route to Coeur d'Alene domestic, featuring yelling, baby screaming in background.
  • 11:04 a.m. 79YO male dizzy @ VA outpatient clinic, 2177 Ironwood/CdA, after falling on buttocks last night.
  • 10:55 a.m. 100YO female injured in fall @ 515 Garden Plaza Court/Post Falls.
  • 10:50 a.m. CPD responding to possible abuse of 7YO girl in northwest part of Coeur d'Alene.
  • 10:46 a.m. Caller reports e/b vehicle trying to avoid Huetter port of entry by turning on H41 & then Prairie Avenue.
  • 10:37 a.m. Smoke detector company can't reach residents @ Park/Spokane, Post Falls, re: fire alarm.
  • 9:51 a.m. Citizens dispute reported @ Gateway Marina/Harrison.
  • 9:40 a.m. Teriyaki Grill, 2384 Old Mill Loop/Riverstone, reports safe & register missing, theft must have occurred last night.
  • 9:22 a.m. Fireman on scene (9:13 item) reports radiator hose broke on RV @ Huetter rest stop.
  • 9:13 a.m. RV reportedly on fire @ e/b I-90/MP 8 (@ Huetter rest stop).
  • 8:38 a.m. A dog is running loose on Bedford Lane/CdA.
  • 8:30 a.m. Driver of red Porsche or Corvette @ w/b I-90/MP 6 (Seltice Way) is reckless, cutting people off.
  • 8:07 a.m. CPD officer reports possible wanted male is staying @ 300 block of N20th Street/CdA.

Hoffman: Check The Ingredients

At the Panhandle Pachyderm Club Friday, executive director Wayne Hoffman of Idaho Freedom Foundation uses a catsup bottle to illustrate the point that citizens need to check the ingredients in proposed legislation. Many times, he said, politicians say they favor one thing and end up voting for something entirely different. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Deposed Cantor Gave Most To Raul

A look through 1st District GOP Congressman Raul Labrador’s latest campaign finance report turns up an a bit of irony: Labrador’s biggest donation - $5,000 for the reporting period and $10,000 for the election cycle to date – came from the Every Republican is Crucial PAC – ERIC-PAC, the PAC operated by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Cantor was defeated in the Virginia Republican primary last month; Labrador mounted an unsuccessful challenge to his successor in his leadership post, losing to House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy. Overall, Labrador raised a surprisingly paltry $48,145 for his re-election campaign during the quarter that ended June 30, while his Democratic challenger, state Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, wasn’t far behind at $42,838/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.


Poll: Don’t Regulate Robotics

  • Weekend Poll: An almost supermajority of Hucks Nation says city of Coeur d'Alene shouldn't regulate robotics. 82 of 126 respondents (65.08%) oppose city regulation of robotics, a proposal that has been discussed by the Coeur d'Alene City Council. Only 27 of 126 respondents (21.43%) support such regulation. 17 (13.49%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Where should Kootenai County incarcerate 15YO double homicide suspect Eldon Samuel?

Bret Maverick & James Garner, RIP

Riverboat ring your bell
as you round that misty bend;
may all his cards be aces
and his good luck never end.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Obama Protects GLBT Workers

President Barack Obama on Monday gave employment protection to gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies, after being convinced by advocates of what he called the “irrefutable rightness of your cause.” “America’s federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people,” Obama said at a signing ceremony from the White House East Room. He said it’s unacceptable that being gay is still a firing offense in most places in the United States. Until last month, Obama long resisted pressure to pursue an executive anti-discrimination covering federal contractors in the hope that Congress would take more sweeping action banning anti-LGBT workplace discrimination across the landscape of employment in America/AP. More here.