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Huckleberries Online

Archive for July 2014

Quotable Quote

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

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.
  • 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?

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 …

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 Edit

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.


Joker: Roundabout Drivers

It's not the roundabout that are annoying, comments Joker, it's the drivers using the roundabouts. I have broken down the types of roundabout drivers that cause frustration.

  • 1. The IHOPers. Generally these are senior citizens who are petrified by the roundabout and they creep ever so slowly into the roundabout and you not sure if they're going to make it.
  • 2. Monster Truck Mayhem. These are guys who are itching to run over somebody. They actually accelerate in the roundabout, hoping you'll cut in front of them.
  • 3. The Andrettis. These are people who view the around about as an Indy race and whip all the way around the roundabout for the fun of it.
  • 4. Student drivers. These are people who equally dangerous because they seem so unsure of themselves as they go through the roundabout. Some are prone to stopping mid round and backing up.
  • 5. Praying. The majority of drivers who are praying the oncoming car/truck doesn't smash into them.

Question: Can you add to this list?

AM Headlines — 7.21.14

Firefighter Hugh “Hutch” Hill digs a fire line near Highway 20 on Saturday, near Twisp, Wash. Photographer Tyler Tjomsland provides photo essays of the Carlton Complex Fire that forced the residents of Malott in the Methow Valley to evacuate here. And: here. And: here.

City Official, Ex-Solon Fight Over Dogs

A former state senator and a city councilman came to blows Thursday evening over a dispute involving their dogs. Mike Jorgenson and Councilman Ed Graves, who are neighbors, offer conflicting stories on how the physical altercation began. However, the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office was eventually dispatched to sort out the matter. “Based on physical evidence and my observations and interviews, the dispute was physical mutual combat between both parties,” the deputy wrote in his incident report. Graves told The Press on Friday that the incident began weeks prior to the physical altercation. “I've been dealing with his dogs barking all night and day,” Graves said. “I asked him nicely to contain them so they weren't barking at 4 a.m.” According to Graves, Jorgenson called the mayor of Hayden Lake to report that it was Graves' dog that was causing the nuisance. Jorgenson confirms he approached the mayor and told him Graves' dogs are never leashed and constantly go into his yard. That's the one thing the two men agree on/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Duane Rasmussen file photo: Former state senator Mike Jorgenson, second from right, talks to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a reception in Coeur d'Alene last fall)


Actor James Garner, 86, RIP

James Garner, center, shown with co-stars Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster in the western movie comedy “Maverick,” died Saturday at age 86. Garner, who starred in the long-running television western series, also named “Maverick,” had a long career on both the small and big screen. Story here. (AP file photo)

Question: Who is your favorite movie or TV western star?

Spokane Boat-Car Gets Makeover

Spokane’s famed boat car couldn’t get any cooler. That’s what I figured, anyway. Little did I know what goes on inside the cranium of my zany friend, Tim Lorentz. “I rebooted LaBoata,” he told me on Friday. A serious upgrade was only proper, said Lorentz, considering that 2014 is the fifth anniversary of the most hilarious and joy-evoking vessel to ever navigate our Lilac highways and byways. Chances are you’ve seen LaBoata cruising the streets of Spokane. Or maybe you read about it years ago, when I introduced the world to this high school teacher and his comic craft. If not, picture the body of a 1976 Apollo speedboat encompassing a 20-year-old Chrysler LeBaron as snug as a coffin covers a corpse/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Did you ever drive an unusual vehicle?

Roundabouts Are As Bad As Soccer

Okay Gallup. I give you permission to give me a call and ask me if this country is headed in the right direction or the wrong direction. I've always been willing to give the nation the benefit of the doubt. But now, I'll have to put myself into the wrong direction column. A roundabout? In Asotin County? What is happening to this country? Forget what your history books tell you. When the Pilgrims first set foot on the shores of the New World, they came to escape cruddy European sports, such as soccer. They left everything familiar behind to escape socialized medicine. And they endured a long dangerous trip in tiny, cramped sailing ships to free themselves from traffic circles. And yet, today, one of the last holdouts of American exceptionalism is going forward with a roundabout. Last week, the Asotin County Public Works Director sold the Asotin County Commissioners on the merits of installing a traffic circle on the Fleshman Way interchange where it intersects with State Route 129. The plan calls for not one, but two roundabouts/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do roundabouts annoy you?

Should CPD Use Different Protocol?

There’s a difference in how law enforcement personnel typically describe officer-involved shootings: People are shot and killed. Dogs and deer are dispatched. In the case of Arfee, a black Lab shot to death July 9 by a Coeur d’Alene police officer, the investigation is being handled much differently than if the officer had fired at a human. Officer-involved “critical incidents” in North Idaho — specifically resulting in injury or death — are investigated according to a protocol established and agreed upon by law enforcement agencies and prosecuting attorneys. This protocol, which touts itself as “vital to the continuing public confidence” in law enforcement agencies, was not used by the Coeur d’Alene Police Department in the matter of the officer’s shooting of the dog. “Past practice is this is designed for a person,” said Coeur d’Alene Police Sgt. Christie Wood. Instead of asking another agency to investigate, Coeur d’Alene police are investigating for themselves a shooting involving one of their own and then — together with city administrators — establishing a board to review the department’s findings/Taryn Thompson, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Should Coeur d'Alene police use protocol reserved for humans in investigating police shooting of black labrador, Arfee?

ACLU Challenges Samuel Jail Ruling

The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a judge's decision to house a child accused of murder in adult solitary confinement at the Kootenai County jail. The Idaho ACLU on Friday filed a brief in support of Public Defender John Adams' petition seeking to return Eldon Samuel - who turned 15 a week ago — to the county's Juvenile Detention Center. “I don't think we've ever had to participate in a case like this before,” said Idaho ACLU Attorney Richard Alan Eppink. “It's just so shocking this would happen.” First District Judge Benjamin Simpson on July 1 ordered Samuel, charged with killing his father and 13-year-old brother, be transferred to the jail and held in solitary confinement. Jail and juvenile detention staff and Samuel's guardian ad litem - who described solitary confinement at the jail as worse than Guantanamo Bay - argued against the transfer. Though Samuel spent much of his time in solitude at the juvenile facility, he had contact with others his age during academic classes and physical education/Taryn Thompson, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Where do you think Eldon Samuel should be held in custody?

Valle Returns To Inland Northwest

Everett AquaSox manager Dave Valle throws batting practice before the start of Saturday evening's game against the Spokane Indians. The former Seattle Mariner catcher wants to manage in the majors some day. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Fresh into Spokane and just off the bus, Dave Valle sought an updated scouting report. “Is Dick’s Hamburgers still here?” he wondered. Does Starbucks peddle overpriced mud? “First time I had a Dick’s hamburger was with Jamie Allen, the flash from Yakima,” Valle said. “He knew all about those late-night burgers.” The year was 1982 – Spokane’s last year in Triple-A baseball and Dave Valle’s first as a promising young catcher in the Seattle Mariners chain. Then, as now, he entered through the visitors’ clubhouse. “Looking around this locker room,” he said, “I don’t think anything’s changed.” Other than a coat of paint and his own career arc/John Blanchette, SR. More here.

Question: Who is your favorite current Mariner?

New McEuen Getting Bogged Down

The grassy swale at McEuen Park isn't so grassy these days. According to city spokesman Keith Erickson, the swale area in the grassy amphitheater area of the park has been perpetually flooded by the new park's irrigation recycling system. The recycle system is located under the Harbor House on the southwest corner of the park. It consists of a 60,000-gallon holding tank that is used to supply the park's sprinkler system. The holding tank is filled two ways: By recycling the water from the splash pad, and when that doesn't provide enough water to feed the sprinkler system, a pump kicks in and fills the 60,000-gallon tank with lake water. Erickson said Team McEuen - consisting of the city, the contractor and the engineering firm that built the park - is still trying to fine-tune the system. “First, we found out the splash pad uses 120,000 gallons a day,” Erickson said. “I don't think that much water was anticipated by Team McEuen”/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Press photo by Shawn Gust: Kaiden Montgomery, 7, of Coeur d’Alene, prepares to practice a kick start maneuver on his long board Friday. A muddy bog area in the southwest area of the park is a result of the Harbor House holding tank overflowing)


Some Dog-Shooting Reaction Extreme

The anger over the July 9 police shooting of 2-year-old black Labrador Arfee in downtown Coeur d’Alene is understandable. But some concerned citizens have gone too far. Huckleberries has perused emails fielded by the police department and city of Coeur d’Alene. Many are vulgar. Some threaten the police officer involved. One suggested that the officer who killed Arfee be shot in the chest with his own gun. Unhinged? You be the judge. Example: “A man with a receding hairline and no morals known as (interim Chief Ron Clark) is currently aiding and abetting the murderer, hiding him from the public.” Murderer? Next: “Nothing would make me happier tonight than to hear that your ‘distraught’ officer was gunned down in the line of duty in the same cowardly way he treated that dog.” Crazy talk. And: “Fire the cowardly, untrained, officer that shot the (NOT PitBull). Pathetic police work, I hope all the worst for your department.” And these are the comments I can print in a family newspaper. Some emailers kept their comments between the lines of reasonable public concern about the shooting. But many in the cyber lynch mob didn’t/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries. More here.

Other SR weekend columns:

Above The Fray

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Body Found Near NIC

The body of an unidentified man was found on the shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene near the boat dock at North Idaho College just before 6 a.m. today. The man was found by an NIC employee who was there to clean the restrooms on the beach, according to Lt. Stu Miller of the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office. Rosenberry Drive was closed for several hours while the body is recovered but is now open. How long the man has been in the water and the cause of death are unknown, Miller said/Nina Culver, SR.

Weekend Wild Card — 7.19-20.14

I'm digging out a tree stump this weekend. If I succeed, I'll see you back here at Huckleberries Central Monday morning. If not, call Cindy. In the meantime, Ruth Pratt and the Coeur d'Alene Big Band will be performing from 1-4 PM at City Park as part of the 2014 Coeur Alene Summer Concert series. I may see you there. Now for your weekend Wild Card …

Hydro Race Canceled, Sheriff Blamed

From Diamond Cup organizers moments ago:

“Diamond Cup Unlimited, LLC is reluctantly announcing the cancellation of the 2014 Diamond Cup Hydroplane Race. The Kootenai County Sheriff's obdurate refusal to accept an application for a Marine Event permit in conformity with his statutory obligations under Idaho law has caused the cancellation of the race. Idaho law obligates the Sheriff’s Office to accept a completed  application for a Marine Event permit up to 30 days before the event. As late as yesterday afternoon, when asked again by Diamond Cup representatives to honor the letter of Idaho law, the Sheriff refused, citing his staffing needs and demands. Diamond Cup Unlimited, LLC has worked tirelessly to host the 2014 event in an effort to repay debts arising from the 2013 race/.  We appreciate the efforts of all of those who have worked with us in a cooperative and community minded manner.  Ironically,   with tighter crowd control procedures and a minimum of 30,000 tickets sold, the Diamond Cup would have achieved its goal of retiring its 2013 debt, funding the 2014 race, and being financially sound going into 2015.  However, the Sheriff’s announcement of July 1, wherein he refused to consider the issuance of a permit any further, coupled with his subsequent refusal to accept any other application materials, terminated ticket sales and causing financing commitments to be withdrawn. Ticket holders who wish to obtain a refund should contact Tickets West or Diamond Cup for reimbursement.  We will continue to pursue all avenues for a 2015 race.  Thank you to those who have supported us.”

Question: Do you think Sheriff Ben Wolfinger is to be blamed? Or praised?

Parting Shot — 7.18.14

A banner flies off the shore of Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Friday, over the heads of people fishing on the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier. The banner was flown by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal is response to a shark attack that happened earlier in the week where two men were fishing in the water near swimmers on Okaloosa Island. The banner reads: “Keep hookers off beach, no fishing — PETA (AP Photo/Northwest Florida Daily, Devon Ravine)

Like Time Through An Hour Glass …

Paul Turner headlines a post on his Slice blog: “Half a dozen Fridays.” Then, in the small print below, he writes: “Not counting today, that's all we have left before Labor Day.”

Question: Do you have anything big left to do this summer?

French Dining Superior In Every Way

The chance to spend a few weeks in France this summer provided both the time and the detachment to reflect – on politics, the U.S. relationship with, as Donald Rumsfeld might say, “old Europe,” history, art and, of course, food and the enjoyment of a good lunch or a fine dinner. The richly appointed bistrot Benoit on the Rue Saint Martin in the heart of Paris – the photo is of the main dining room – is one of my favorites. My conclusion after happily eating and drinking my way across Paris: the French way of dining in a nice restaurant is superior in most ways to the same type of experience in the United States and there are at least six reasons for my belief and they have nothing to do with the quality of the food, which is almost universally great/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here. (AP file photo: French chef Paul Bocuse tastes a dish at the 2013 World Cuisine contest, in Lyon, France)

Question: Do you agree with columnist Johnson that the dining experience in France is superior in every way to that in America?

TGIF Wild Card — 7.18.14

We've survived temperatures in the upper 90s and almost another week at Huckleberries Central. The blogosphere in the Land of Huckleberries appears calm at the moment. But you know as well as I do that the local blogos is subject to change on a moment's notice. In other words, keep your seatbelt fastened loosely. You never know when we'll hit turbulence. Here's the last Wild Card of the work week …

  • Tonight's Free Event: Umpqua Bank will be showing the movie “Up” on a big screen in the banks parking lot from 8-10:30 p.m. Friday. Location: 1106 E Sherman Ave. bring a lawn chair. Free popcorn and ice cream.

Poll: Police Acting Professionally

  • Thursday Poll: 78 of 126 respondents (61.9%) said police professionally handled the shootout on I-90 at Post Falls June 22. 25 of 126 (19.84%) said the police were not professional. 23 (18.25%) were undecided.
  • Weekend Poll: Should the city of Coeur d'Alene regulate robotics?

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.18.14

  • 5:25 p.m. Bicyclist reports being run off road by white pickup w/Montana plates @ Sherman/Fernan Lake Road.
  • 5:22 p.m. Driver ejected in one-car rollover @ H95/Rockford Bay Road, ambulance en route.
  • 5:05 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 17-18 here.
  • 4:57 p.m. Shoplifter who said he was in a hurry ran away from Black Sheep worker & out door.
  • 4:52 p.m. Male driver has glass in hand after crashing green Tacoma into tree @ 6416 Burma/Harrison.
  • 4:48 p.m. CPD officer stopping for male & female trying to hitchhike on w/b I-90/MP 95, CdA.
  • 4:02 p.m. Female driver in brown Toyota Corolla putting on makeup, reckless @ Seltice Way/Post Falls.
  • 3:55 p.m. Someone has been injured in a fall @ Fred Meyer, 560 W. Kathleen, CdA.
  • 3:50 p.m. Male in custody dispute grabbed son & dragged wife for few feet before hitting another vehicle in CdA lot.
  • 3:47 p.m. Male is holding sign @ n/b H95/MP 434.5, near Honeysuckle Avenue intersection.
  • 3:38 p.m. Elderly couple injured by airbag deployment in 2-vehicle crash @12727 Elder/Fighting Creek.
  • 3:11 p.m. CPD en route to domestic involving male slamming fist & breaking female's car window.
  • 3:06 p.m. Panhandler reported @ Exxon gas station, H95/Davidson, CdA.
  • 3:05 p.m. Older teen/early 20s male has strobe light in white sedan, may be mimicking cop.
  • 2:56 p.m. Heavy-set 15YO blond boy, w/red shirt & shorts, is Tasering himself, others @ Post Falls park.
  • 2:46 p.m. Boundary County reports male wanted on 2 warrants staying @ Maple/Wyoming, Hayden.
  • 2:31 p.m. Logging truck w/a flat tire on each side of trailer is w/b on I-90/MP 18 (Veterans Bridge).
  • 2:20 p.m. Someone is suffering stomach pain @ 200 block of Anton Avenue/CdA.
  • 2:17 p.m. 4YO boy has suffered groin injury after bike-trick crash @ Spirit Lake skate park, 32352 Park Ave.
  • 2:16 p.m. Driver of burnt-orange Camero tail-gating, erratic on H95/Coeur d'Alene area.
  • 1:46 p.m. Small grass fire reported @ 15th Street/Woodland Drive, Hayden.
  • 12:35 p.m. Post Falls man tells PFPD that someone is shooting pickup w/Airsoft gun pellets.
  • 12:33 p.m. 3-vehicle accident reported @ Govt Way/Ironwood, CdA, possible injury.
  • 12:30 p.m. Possible prowler reported @ 4500 block of Woodland/Cedar, Post Falls.
  • 12:16 p.m. Suicide threat reported in downtown Coeur d'Alene.
  • 12:15 p.m. PFPD officer can't find panhandler reported @ Post Falls 7-Eleven.
  • 12:03 p.m. PFPD officer reports radio, battery, engine wires, inside door cover taken from located stolen vehicle.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

HBO Blogos: Pickleball Catching On

It’s said to be the fastest growing sport in the U.S. and it’s finally catching on in Coeur d’Alene. Pickleball—a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong—made its Lake City debut recently with the opening of McEuen Park and courts will soon be striped for the game at Northshire Park in western Coeur d’Alene. More here. (Photo: Coeur d'Alene Today)

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, July 17): 8405 page-views/5180 unique views

Quotable Quote

The media often tells us this lie: if your appearance deviates in any way from cover girls, movie stars, super models, etc., it is a flaw and something is wrong with you. Well, guess what? Miss America 1999 has an insulin pump, and it doesn’t make her any less beautiful. In fact, in my mind, it enhances her beauty! So, a year after I was diagnosed, I got a pump. It helped me get even better control of my diabetes, and made my life SO much easier. Working up the confidence to compete with it was an entirely different journey, but this summer at Miss Idaho 2014, I finally did it — Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison. More here.

BikeCDA: Transit Center Is Big Plus

John Kelly/BikeCDA tells Huckleberries Online why he's interested in the Coeur d'Alene/CityLink transit center at Riverbend: “A bus (depot) center acts as a hub where all arms of a well designed network should come together and meet; sidewalks for pedestrians and ADA, mass transit, trails and (in-street) bike lanes. It's critical for representatives from each group to be involved in this process; from concept to creation.


What In The Name Of Nelson Mandela

Wayne Hoffman of Idaho Freedom Foundation reacts to a comment from the audience at the North Idaho Pachyderm Club breakfast in Coeur d'Alene today. Hoffman also spoke at the Panhandle Pachyderm Club luncheon in Post Falls today. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

At least a few times each year, I get to write about some proposal to limit the ability of Idahoans to earn a living in our state. This is one such occasion. And it is especially fun this time, because there is a standard two-word retort for my complaint that this idea goes too far: Nelson Mandela. Yes, that Nelson Mandela. You see, apparently, a task force advocating for the deaf wants the state Legislature to require sign language interpreters to be licensed. Supporters of this proposal say it will protect consumers. And when I pry deeper and question how in the world consumers would benefit, out come the words: Nelson Mandela. You may recall the Mandela funeral, wherein a sign language interpreter did very little interpreting and a whole lot for nonsensical arm flailing instead. That sort of sign language mishap could be avoided, say supporters, if only practitioners were licensed/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.

Question: Do you support/oppose laws that would require that sign language interpreters be licensed?

Miss Idaho Wows With Insulin Pump

Sierra Sandison, the new Miss Idaho, is shown wearing her insulin pump at Saturday's swimsuit competition at Nampa on Saturday. She has become an online hero to diabetic sufferers by wearing an insulin pump on her bikini bottom during a swimsuit competition. She will compete in the Miss America Pageant Sept. 9-14 in Atlantic City. (Photo: Miss Idaho blog page)

There she is, Miss Idaho. And there it is, the insulin pump attached to her bikini bottom during the swimsuit competition. Since posting the photo on social media on Monday, Sierra Sandison has become a new hero to the Type 1 diabetes community. One mother , “You changed my 11-year-old daughter's summer! She's been so self-conscious, but since she read about you and saw this photo, she cannot wait to wear a bathing suit tomorrow and show off her insulin [pump] and have me post a photo here!” And that woman is not alone. As of Thursday afternoon, the photo has received more than 4,000 “likes” and over 2,500 “shares” on . Twitter users are responding to the she created, #showmeyourpump, with their own pump photos/Miriam E. Tucker, NPR. More, including photo with insulin pump on swimsuit, here.

Question: Dunno about you, but I appreciate the courage this young woman had in wearing the insulin pump. I may have to tune into the Miss America Pageant for the first time in years to watch her compete. How about you?

BSU To Return Gun-Rights Event Fee

Boise State University officials say they will rescind the security fees they charged a student group for bringing a guns right advocate earlier this year to speak at the campus. However, university attorney Kevin Satterlee says BSU will not change its event policies as requested by the Idaho Freedom Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho. Satterlee says the university charged Young Americans for Liberty $465 for the May event after seeing a community member encourage attendees to bring weapons on campus. Not providing extra security, Satterlee says, would be considered negligence/AP via Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Is Boise State doing the right thing by returning the $465 security fee charged to Young Americans for Liberty?

Bjorn: Nutrition Program Important

I discovered a column last month by Dean Haagenson. One bizarre idea he expressed was withholding citizenship until a person completes some kind of term of service. The message he presented that I really want to counter, however, was his attack on the school’s summer nutrition program. During my remarkably unsuccessful campaign for a seat on the Coeur d’Alene school board, I researched this issue thoroughly, and found that there are several conservative reasons to support this program. What I found most compelling is this: As conservatives, we should be concerned about upholding traditions that reinforce family ideals. Many children these days aren’t taught that meals are to be a scheduled, social gathering. Instead, many homes have an “open fridge” policy, where children graze, at will, alone, with no conception that breaking bread socially is one tradition that holds our culture together. Anything we can do to counter this trend is an essentially conservative initiative/Bjorn Handeen, Coeur d'Alene. More here.

Question: I appreciate that the GOPrecinct committeeman in my Borah Triangle hood is willing to think outside the conservative box re: an issue like this. Thoughts?

Israeli Ground Forces Invade Gaza

Israeli ground forces invaded the Gaza Strip because all other means to stop rocket fire from Palestinian militants had failed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday. Hours after Israeli soldiers were ordered into Gaza to destroy tunnels used to smuggle arms into the coastal enclave, the Israeli premier said there was no guarantee of 100% success. But, he added, “We are doing all we can to achieve the utmost.” After 10 days of aerial bombardment and a failed Egyptian-sponsored cease-fire, Israel's widening military operation to establish what it described as a new “reality” with the Islamist movement Hamas began at about 10 p.m. local time Thursday/Wall Street Journal. More here. (AP Photo: A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to shoot a stone towards Israeli soldiers during a demonstration against the Israeli military action in Gaza earlier today)

Question: Do you support/oppose what Israel is doing?

Hazy Daze

Linda Lantzy/Idaho Scenic Images says of this photo: “I went to the lake a few nights ago when the sky started glowing pink. This is all caused by the wildfires burning in central WA. The novelty of it has since worn off as we are under day three of thick choking smoke. They estimate 80-100 homes have burned so far. So sad. Hope they get the fires under control soon.” You can see more of Linda's terrific outdoor photographs on her Facebook page.

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.18.14

  • 11:48 a.m. 59YO male in boat @ Kidd Island Bay lost consciousness after being stung by a bee in the ear.
  • 11:46 a.m. A gun was stolen from a vehicle @ 700 block of River Avenue/CdA.
  • 11:38 a.m. Caller reports dog theft to Coeur d'Alene PD.
  • 11:18 a.m. Caller wants welfare check on 1YO baby after noticing drug dealer leave CdA motel room.
  • 11:08 a.m. Female is suffering breathing problems @ 500 block of Railroad Avenue/Post Falls.
  • 10:31 a.m. Driver of older brown sedan is weaving, speeding @ s/b H95/MP 417 (Bellgrove Creek).
  • 10:27 a.m. 2 coolers were left @ turnout @ Holland/Stateline roads.
  • 10:14 a.m. Vacationing caller tells KCSD that neighbor reports something amiss @ his Hayden Lake home.
  • 10:01 a.m. Male is conscious but not alert in billiards room @ 545 Garden Plaza Center.
  • 9:44 a.m. Male is bleeding from head cut @ Pacific Steel on Aqua Avenue/CdA.
  • 9:23 a.m. PFPD officer en route to upset 24YO autistic male who needs help calming down.
  • 9:12 a.m. 80ish male is missing from Rose Terrace Cottages, may be en route to Miller's, Sherman/CdA..
  • 8:36 a.m. Patrol officer en route to check abandoned 2003 Yukon @ H41/H54, Twin Lakes.
  • 8:32 a.m. Semi pulling 53-foot trailer weaving, driving on shoulder @ e/b I-90/Spokane Street, Post Falls.
  • 8:26 a.m. Jessica is walking down road, crying & screaming for help.
  • 8:22 a.m. Caller from Silverwood reports injured dog on grounds.
  • 8:22 a.m. Caller reports neighbor put nails under his tires following dispute that started last night.
  • 8:13 a.m. ISPer stopped vehicle w/Washington vanity plate, “BOOHOO,” !@ e/b I-90/Spokane Street, Post Falls.

PFPD: Drug House Visit Loses Appeal

Facebook post from Post Falls PD Graveyard Shift: “While driving by White Pines Park an officer noticed a suspicious vehicle stalling in the park. The driver told the officer that she was lost and was looking for a residence on West 20th. After explaining that the house she was looking for was the home of a recent drug arrest, the female changed her mind quickly and decided she didn’t want to go there anymore. The driver was not licensed, and the car did not belong to her, so the officer gave her a courtesy ride to a local convenience store. The registered owner for the vehicle was advise — he reports the vehicle was stolen.” (Responding to a Facebook question/comment, the PFPD said the woman wasn't arrested: “There is question if the car is stolen or not. The owner states she purchased the car from him and did not pay for it. So it is not clear yet if the vehicle is actually stolen.”) Full Graveyard Shift report here.


The Tour Must Go On

Australia's Richie Porte gets medication from a doctor, left, as he follows teammate Mikel Nieve Iturralde of Spain, after he got distanced by the pack during the thirteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 197.5 kilometers (122.7 miles) with start in Saint-Etienne and finish in Chamrousse, France, earlier today. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

Question: What do you suppose is the back story re: that runner on the right?

TeeHee Shirt Message

“Don't rush me — I'm paid by the hour” (in Spokesman-Review building)

HMO: Return Hydros To City Docks

HMOffsuite (RE: Hydro races would help Coeur d'Alene): If the races had the support and cooperation of the City, they could be held with few problems and great benefit. Other venues like the Tri Cities and Seattle do well with them and have minimal problems. Beer gardens and better crowd control make things much different now than in the past. It could be a great event and considering the appeal of the lake, as well as the heritage of the races in Cda, would be something I would like to see the City entertain. I applaud the efforts of those that have attempted to bring the races back as they have had little cooperation or support on their behalf from the City. Tough challenge.

Question: Would you support the hydroplane races, if they returned to city docks in Coeur d'Alene?

Riverstone To Get CityLink Center

Citylink will soon have a permanent presence in Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone development. Citylink began services with three buses in November 2005. The bus service has been operating out of a gravel lot in Riverstone since 2005. Over the past couple of years, Citylink has paid rent to Riverstone for use of the lot, but the transit service has been overdue for a permanent home. At the beginning of this month, Kootenai County and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe completed their purchase of two lots in Riverstone for a Citylink transit center. The lots are located at 2548 and 2476 West John Loop and bounded by Riverstone Drive and Seltice Way/Heather Keen, Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe. More here.


Spokane Saves 48 Dogs In Hot Cars

Animal Control officers with SCRAPS said they responded to 48 calls in four days of dogs left in hot cars. Officers said cars could quickly exceed the outside temperature by 50 degrees. They said they were responding to 12 calls a day on average of dogs abandoned inside hot cars. “Just today we responded to a dog in a car that was 120 degrees inside,” said SCRAPS officer Nicole Montano. SCRAPS also received a call on Wednesday about two dogs stuck inside a truck at Fred Meyer. Officials said the windows of the truck were rolled up and the dogs were panting inside and looked exhausted/Hayley Guenthner, KREM2. More here.

Question: What should be the penalty for a nitwit who leaves his dog(s) in a vehicle on a hot summer day?

Gettin’ Dirty For A Good Cause

Youth racers at the Muddy Miles obstacle course and fund raiser for the Dirne Community Health Center play in the mud pits even after they have finished the race in 2012 at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. This year's event is Saturday afternoon. (Coeur d'Alene Press: Gabe Green)

Good, clean fun while covered in mud? Yep, that's the fourth annual Muddy Miles, and it's taking place at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds Saturday from 3:30-7 p.m. An arena will be set up with a two-mile, mud-soaked course including a multitude of obstacles: a Slip 'n Slide, tire balance beam, Lake Mukamuka, a “concrete wall of terror,” spectators spraying Silly String, throwing Wiffle balls and water balloons and much more. About 400 yards of extra dirt and gallons upon gallons of water have been brought into the arena, with fire hoses and sprinklers that will continue to flood the area for 12 hours before the race. “We've got water for folks, we've got sticky mud, we've got friendly mud that reminds you of a mud puddle,” said Heritage Health volunteer Alan Brockway. “The sticky mud is so sticky it will pull the shoes right off your feet.” The event is a collaborative effort to raise funds for Heritage Health and the Salvation Army Kroc Center/Devin Heilman, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Is this something you're interested in?

GOP Incumbents Have Huge $$$ Edge

Former Idaho Democratic Congressman Richard Stallings reports raising just over 1 percent of the campaign war chest accumulated by eight-term incumbent 2nd District Republican Rep. Mike Simpson. In the 1st District, Democratic state Rep. Shirley Ringo fares considerably better, having raised over one-third of the amount garnered by GOP Congressman Raul Labrador through June 30. Reports for the Senate race aren't yet available on the Federal Election Commission database, but as of April 30 Democrat Nels Mitchell had raised about 11 percent of the total accumulated for the 2014 election by incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Risch/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: How can Dems compete in congressional races without money?

Read more here:

Obama Outraged By Plane Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama says the deaths of the 298 people aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane that went down over eastern Ukraine are an “outrage of unspeakable proportions.” Speaking at the White House Friday, Obama said evidence indicates the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile launched from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists. He called for an international investigation into the incident saying Russia and the separatists must adhere to an immediate cease-fire. The U.S. leader said the event underscores ” it is time for peace and security to be restored in Ukraine”/Voice of America. More here.

Question: What should President Obama do at this poinit?

David: Cop Haters Out In Force

David (RE: Dog shooting attracts nasty remarks): there is a movement afoot to hate all government, police agencies, etc. It is all right to love the soldiers, except those from Viet Nam of course. Most of the people calling for the police officer to be shot or physically harmed suffer from too many anti-government movies and magazines. Most are not law enforcement and have absolutely no idea of what the officer went through. The officer may be held accountable and if that is what the investigation shows, fine.

Question: Do you think some of the more heated reaction to the police shooting of a 2YO black lab coming from people who oppose police and government?

Op-Ed: Hydro Races Would Help CdA

As a native North Idaho resident, and columnist/manager for a national veterans group, I attended a recent Kootenai County Commission hearing on permitting for special events to see if I could determine the hold-up on the Veterans Diamond Cup Race for 2014. The race would greatly benefit veterans groups that work with our military heroes all across America. But the evening raised more questions than answers. There were 30 people in attendance who marked themselves FOR a smooth permit process, one “neutral” and one opposed. It appears that the majority of citizens are being railroaded by a minority. Local businesses stand to benefit to the tune of at minimum $5 million from the Diamond Cup Race. As one of the speakers in favor of a quick and smooth permit process said, “We want to show our community in a positive light.” Sorry, it's anything but at this point/Fay Higbee, op-ed column, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: How much would the Diamond Cup hydroplane races benefit the Coeur d'Alene area?

In Praise Of Lemonade Stands

At The Slice blog, Paul Turner points out one of the benefits that city dwellers enjoy that county dwellers don't:

We all know the list of pros and cons for each choice. To each, his own. But let me add one more in favor of living in the city — lemonade stands. I have a little experience with urging people to seek therapy, but I am not actually a counselor myself. However, if I were a therapist, I would urge my clients to patronize kids' lemonade stands at every opportunity. It never fails to lift my spirits, and I'll bet many others feel the same way. OK, it's not a long-term solution to chronic problems. But what would you expect for 50 cents?

Question: When did you last buy a drink at a lemonade stand?

‘Hawks, Young Fans At Center Stage

Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette and DeShawn Shead smile as 9-year-old Taylor Gilstrap reacts to joining them on stage to ask questions and try on Lockette's Superbowl Ring during a on Thursday at Fairchild AFB in Airway Heights, Wash. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)

The 12th Man turned out in force Thursday evening at Fairchild Air Force Base for a visit from the Super Bowl champions and the Lombardi Trophy. Seattle Seahawks players Ricardo Lockette and DeShawn Shead came to the base as part of the team’s “Heroes of 12” military appreciation tour, accompanied by several Sea Gals cheerleaders, the Blue Thunder drum corps and Taima the Hawk. The crowd, wearing a mix of military uniforms and Seahawks jerseys, packed into Miller Park to hear the players speak and answer a few questions. One man asked about Lockette’s catch during the Super Bowl game when he got up from the turf, brushed himself off and pretended to pick up a suitcase and walk off. “I just treated it like a regular day at the office,” Lockette said. “I just caught it”/Nina Culver, SR. More here.

Question: Will the Seahawks repeat as Super Bowl champions?

Letter: Don’t Stifle Robotics

These newly proposed laws regulating robotics are going to stifle growth in the robotics industry. Far from showing people that Coeur d’Alene is on the “cutting edge of robotics,” (as the Mayor said ), instead these dumb laws show everyone who actually knows anything about robotics (unlike the men who made up these laws) that Cd’A is going to regulate, license (charge money for) and use random laws to keep innovation down. Who would want to bring their robotics company to the one city in the USA that has these laws? There are already laws in place that say we can’t kill or harm or spy on other people. It doesn’t matter how you do it, by using a gun or a periscope or a robot. Why regulate the tool?/S. Brodsky, Kootenai County, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Which side are you on in the great robot debate in town — regulate? Or not?

Edit: 1 School Board, 5 Leaders

Three of them are liberals. Two, conservatives. One thing you should know about the Coeur d'Alene School Board is that both of those statements are false. Another thing you should know - perhaps the most important thing - is that no matter who's chair or vice chair of the board, every member has exactly one vote. All five are equal. When the board selected its leaders last week, politics got in the way. It's as if the race for two school board seats next spring began last Monday. Tom Hamilton, left, and Terri Seymour, right, the two board holdovers, are largely supported by people identifying themselves as conservative or staunchly conservative. Because the three newest board members - Christa Hazel, Dave Eubanks and Tom Hearn - were swept into office more than a year ago on a wave of voter dissatisfaction with challengers who were deemed too conservative, the trio has been lumped together under an umbrella of alleged liberalism. Last week's election of officers put titles in front of the names of two competent individuals, leaving three other competent individuals without titles but with everything else needed to lead/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: The editorial goes on to say: “We could identify traits considered both liberal and conservative in most school board members.” What liberal traits do you see in Hamilton and Seymour?

The Killing Of Innocents

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Thursday — 7.17.14

I notice some commenters that I've kicked off this blog in days gone by are beginning to creep back into the discussion. So here's a word of advice to them. Change your ways. Or you'll be tossed again. My tolerance for trolls and trouble makers is at an all-time low. If you want to comment here, you need to keep your elbows tucked in. Those who have been coolered before have little wiggle room. You've been warned. Now for today's Wild Card …

  • Today's Free Summer Concerts: County Line (country rock) at Hayden City Park & Ruth Pratt & Coeur d'Alene Big Band at Riverstone Park.

Parting Shot — 7.17.14

“They get wilder every year,” said Patty Larson as she tied back the Shasta daisies at her home in Coeur d'Alene today. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Top Comment: Joker RE: Mud Pit

Joker (RE: What's up — with McEuen Park mud pit?): Negative? This is great news. Obviously somebody didn't get the latest press release. McEuen's latest feature: outdoor spa mud baths. When you're feeling stressed or like you need a little “me” time, simply visit the Harbor House and ask for your complimentary LCDC bathrobe and a refreshing glass of champagne. Then slip your body gently into the mud and feel like $20 million bucks. Revive, refresh and reinvigorate your soul.


Peterson, 6 Others Sue GOP Officials

Embattled state GOP Chairman Barry Peterson (pictured in AP file photo) announced today that he and six backers have filed a lawsuit in state district court in Twin Falls County, challenging the state GOP central committee meeting that's been set for Aug. 2 by petition of several counties' delegations to pick new state party leaders. The lawsuit targets Mike Mathews and Cindy Siddoway, whom Peterson termed “the two party members who illegally issued a call for a special meeting of the State Central Committee while unilaterally declaring that all state party offices were vacant”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: If the Idaho GOP wants to come back together, someone needs to tell Barry Peterson to go away. Thoughts?

PM: Vik Coach To Mentor Team USA

Linda Lanker, head coach of Coeur d’Alene High School’s track and field program, was recently selected as a mentor for the Team USA coaching staff at the Junior World Championships in Eugene, Oregon next week. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.17.14

  • 5:19 p.m. Spokane Co deputy on scene reports 3-vehicle, injury crash @ H53/Prairie Avenue, Rathdrum.
  • 5:17 p.m. CPD officer tells drunk male @ Appleway business to find somewhere else to rest in shade.
  • 5:15 p.m. Father reports possible sexual assault of daughter and injury to her dog @ Corbin Park/Post Falls.
  • 4:50 p.m. PFPD Day Shift report: Officers also responded to an assault with a knife, a shed burglary, numerous medical calls, abandoned vehicles and an ex-employee spending a large amount of time watching the business that let him go.
  • 4:35 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 16-17 here.
  • 4:26 p.m. 7 juveniles are running across traffic @ 1st/Spokane Street & jumping off bridge.
  • 4:19 p.m. Deputies are trying to catch shoplifter in camo shorts running out Hayden WalMart garden center.
  • 4:16 p.m. Someone has fallen in Bestland assisted living center, 606 Best/CdA.
  • 3:51 p.m. 80ish female @ 515 Garden Plaza Center/Post Falls is suffering back pain.
  • 3:43 p.m. Drunk 50ish female in red vehicle w/Bonner Co plates is leaving Rathdrum Super 1 lot.
  • 3:38 p.m. Post Falls resident reports 2 men in red van are stipping metal from signs on his property.
  • 3:12 p.m. Rider w/black shirt, orange harness speeding @ 100 mph on black motorcycle in I-90, near NW Blvd/CdA.
  • 3:04 p.m. Female was yelling @ male to get out of vehicle @ Arby's on Appleway/CdA.
  • 2:28 p.m. Caller on land line wants to speak to county animal control about a lost cat.
  • 2:10 p.m. Fully engulfed structure fire @ E 12th Avenue & N Cecil Rd (Townsend Loop)/Post Falls.
  • 1:59 p.m. Someone is unconscious @ 3600 block of Fernan Hill Road/Fernan.
  • 1:33 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Today notice: Front Avenue between Eight and Ninth streets will be closed between 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesday, while Coeur d'Alene street crews perform paving work.
  • 1:21 p.m. Driver of pickup on I-90/Coeur d'Alene area weaving, while 2 passengers appear to be passed out.
  • 1:09 p.m. A large, metal sign is lying on freeway @ I-90/MP 5 (Spokane Street/Post Falls).
  • 1:02 p.m. Coeur d'Alene police Facebook: Wanted subject Nicole McMillan, 23, of Post Falls, was arrested on 7-16-2014 in Post Falls. She was wanted on felony warrant charging her w/failure to appear on drug possession charges.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

About Those Smoky Skies Out There

Air quality has worsened dramatically this afternoon after the National Weather Service issued an air quality alert for much of the Inland Northwest as winds drive Central Washington wildfire smoke eastward. The air quality index in Spokane went from good this morning to moderate early this afternoon to unhealthy for persons with health problems by 3:30 p.m. The index stood at 145 with 150 being unhealthy for the general population. Local agencies also issued burn bans for most recreational fires. Spokane County, the city of Spokane and the Spokane Valley Fire Department announced burn bans, including the cities of Liberty Lake and Millwood/Mike Prager, SR. More here. (Mike Siegal photo: Plumes of smoke from the Leavenworth wildfire arc in the sky as seen from Highway 2 at Highway 207, west of Leavenworth, Wash., today)

Question: Are you having any trouble breathing today?

McEuen Swale Problem Under Review

Here's an updated photo of the swampy area at the southwest corner of McEuen Park, taken by city spokesman Keith Erickson this afternoon.

The swale area that remains to be hydroseeded unexpectedly started to fill with water earlier this year. What happened was the water recycling system (the 60,000 gallon holding tank below the Harbor House used to irrigate the park) was overflowing into the swale area. Basically, there is a lake pump that would turn on in the morning to fill the tank, then the splash pad would kick on and water from that would also go to the tank. The tank overloaded, resulting in water flowing into the swale area. Those pumps are being adjusted to alleviate the problem. Additionally, we are working to improve soil permeability. We hope to have the situation resolved soon/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today.


Wellness Bar Opens In Downtown CdA

At Get Out! North Idaho Facebook page, OrangeTV gives 2 thumbs up to new Wellness Bar in downtown Coeur d'Alene area: “The Wellness Bar is now open at 312 4th St in Cd'A. Serving healthful juices and smoothies, infused waters, and soon to be serving organic foodstuffs. A friend popped in yesterday (opening day) and brought me an orange-carrot-ginger concoction that was just the refreshing thing I needed on a hot summer's day.” (Photo: Get Out! North Idaho)

Question: Is this something that interests you?

Bjorn Mulls Dog Protection Resolution

Bjorn Handeen, the GOPrecinct committeeman for my Precinct 52, is planning to present this resolution to the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee Tuesday evening (patterned after Colorado Dog Protection Act):

  • Whereas, there are multiple instances every year of dogs being shot by law enforcement officers, and;
  • Whereas, these shooting tragedies cause profound grief to the dogs' owners, trauma to families and neighbors witnessing the incidents, great physical suffering to the dogs, and undermine the confidence that communities have in their law enforcement to protect and serve in an appropriate and humane manner, and;
  • Whereas, increasing such officers' knowledge of, and comfort with, interactions with dogs will better protect the local law enforcement officers in the course of performing their duties; and
  • Whereas, the State of Colorado recognized the need for further training, and last year signed into law Colorado’s Senate Bill 13-226, known as the Dog Protection Act, and;
  • Be it resolved, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee urges our state legislators to examine Colorado’s Senate Bill 13-226, known as the Dog Protection Act, and;
  • Be it resolved, the KCRCC urges our state legislators to develop similar legislation.

Question: Do you have any constructive criticism of the resolution for Bjorn? He still has time to make some changes before Tuesday.

HBO Blogosphere — 7.17.14

At Slight Detour, Marianne Love calls this photo, “Dancing with the Garlic.” More photos here. And: here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, July 16): 8367 page-views/5181 unique views

What’s Up — With McEuen Mud Pit?

Here's what the backed-up water at McEuen Park looked like earlier this year, before the park opened. (File photo: Duane Rasmussen)

I don't want to give Joker & Right Girl fodder for another day of comment bombing runs, but … what's up with that mess in the southwest corner of the green space at McEuen Park — the one nearest the Harbor House. It's a mud pit with water pooling in the ruts today, after several days of intense sun. Did someone miscalculate the runoff from the grassy area? Was there some sort of engineering miscue involving the splash pad and holding tank? Inquiring minds want to know.

Update: City working on McEuen Park swale problem/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today

Question: What should we name the McEuen Park “lake”?

A Sampling Of NIdaho Happy Hours

Crab cakes at the Seasons in downtown Coeur d'Alene. (Photo: Inlander)

Happy hour in the panhandle doesn't have to mean all-fried or totally unhealthy (not that we don't love a good basket of crispy chicken strips and jo-jo's with a heaping helping of ranch dressing). Asian duck, salmon satay, hummus and veggies… for under $5? Totally doable. And once you've sampled some of what the area's restaurants have to offer, we think you'll be back for more. (Carrie Scozzaro of the Inlander goes on to give quick reviews of happy hour offerings at Oval Office, Bardnay, Bonsai Bistro, Seasons of Coeur d'Alene, and Capones.) More here.

Question: Which North Idaho happy hour appeals to you most?

Why Ask Why?

Here's one for retired Seasoned Citizens who are received Social Security/Medicare benefits. As I approach Birthday No. 65 (in November), I've been receiving letters and postcards from various insurance companies who want to provide Medicare coverage. Only thing is … I don't plan to retire at 65. Hey, as long as I'm having fun here, why should I? So here's the question:

Question: Should I be paying attention to such notices?

Microsoft To Lay Off 18,000

Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history Thursday, saying it will cut up to 18,000 jobs or 14 percent of its staff as it works to cut down on management layers and integrate the Nokia cellphone business it bought in April. The news sent Microsoft’s stock up 2 percent in morning trading. Although the job cuts had been expected, the extent of them was a surprise. It’s the boldest move by CEO Satya Nadella since he took the reins from Steve Ballmer in February. In a public email to employees Thursday, he said the changes were needed for the company to “become more agile and move faster”/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Is the bloom off the rose in the high-tech industry?

Marc: Harmed Pets Get Attention

Marc Stewart (RE: dog shooting attracts nasty remarks): People are mad at the police. Real mad. This stuff is a reflection of that pent up anger toward law enforcement and authority figures. Is right? Of course not. This dog shooting is still the talk of the town. There's also a strange societal regarding pets. In my journalism days, we'd call it animal porn. You could write about important budget issues and nobody cared. The stories got little play in the community. However, if you wrote about cat or dog being harmed, people would come unglued and want to do something.

Question: Why do we, as a community, go bonkers hen a pet cat or dog is harmed?

It’s Mine, No It’s Mine

In the good ol' days, this would have been a candidate for the Cutline Contest: Two feral monk parakeets fight over a blade of grass after a thunderstorm on Tuesday in Cooper City, Fla. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Former Solon To Lead Parks & Rec

Current Idaho state tax commissioner and former state Sen. David Langhorst, D-Boise, has been named the new director of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. Charles Correll, state parks board chairman, said, “The Board selected David Langhorst based on his experience, management skills, and proven ability to lead through times of change.  He also has a strong desire to ensure access to Idaho’s many outdoor parks and recreational opportunities for future generations.” Langhorst will start Aug. 4, replacing Nancy Merrill, who has served as director since 2009. Idaho has 30 state parks, in addition to numerous recreational programs and trails/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: What? A Democrat named to oversee a significant Idaho state department. Is that constitutional?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.17.14

  • 11:46 a.m. Hydrant test sets off fire alarm @ Seltice Elementary, 1101 N. Chase/Post Falls.
  • 11:16 a.m. Female driver weaving into traffic @ n/b H95/MP 423 (Kidd Island Road) is texting “aggressively.”
  • 11:11 a.m. Undisclosed Coeur d'Alene bank wants officer to confront customer involved in possible fraud.
  • 11:05 a.m. 22YO female on N. State Street/Rathdrum hit head in fall from bed during lengthy seizure.
  • 9:49 a.m. Someone suffered injury in fall @ 1800 block of W. Legends Parkway/CdA.
  • 9:26 a.m. Owner of business on 3rd Avenue/Post Falls reports a man pulled a knife on him during a dispute.
  • 9:05 a.m. PFPD report for swing/graveyard shift July 16-17: “We handled 53 calls for service with nothing major to report.
  • 8:18 a.m. Drunk female has been sitting in white Ford Focus outside Cornerstone/Hayden gas station for 15 minutes.
  • 8:15 a.m. Caretaker at undisclosed campground reports argumentative camper won't pay for site.
  • 8:12 a.m. Officer is checking on driver sitting in vehicle at east end of Corbin Park/Post Falls.
  • 8:05 a.m. A “rabbit issue” is reported on W15th Avenue/Post Falls.

Dog Shooting Attracts Nasty Remarks

The Spokesman-Review has obtained copies of emails and phone messages sent to the city of Coeur d'Alene in wake of the dog shooting by a police officer at Java on Sherman parking lot. Some are nasty. Some even threaten police. Here's an example:

  • “Ron H. Clark looks like a 'Dog.' We all know what happens to Dogs in Coeur d'Alene. Watch out Ron, Obama hasn't taken our guns yet!”
  • “Here's a tip, don't murder innocent dogs. Congratulations in joining an ever growing list of police departments in this country that fee it's perfectly fine for their officers to murder dogs with no justification.”
  • “A man with a receding hairline and no morals known as Chief Clark is currently aiding aqnd abetting the murderer, hiding him from the public. Pathetic, and the citizens are not going to continue allowing violent trigger happy goons to continue these abuses any more.”
  • “Nothing would make me happier tonight than to hear that your 'distraught' officer, who will undoubtedly be cleared because he reasonable feared the dog would jump through car glass, was gunned down in the line of duty in the same cowardly way he treated that dog.”
  • Why do you shoot innocent dogs? You should be disgusted with yourselves. That (expletive deleted) needs to be fired immediately and charges should be fired. The scum needs to go to prison for such sadistic behavior.
  • Fire the cowardly, untrained, officer that shot the '(NOT PitBull). Pathetic police work, I hope all the worst for your department.”
  • I hope your cop friend rots in jail an loses his job, but we both know a promotion is in order. If he had actually killed an unarmed human, he would be promoted to Chief of Police tomorrow.
  • How can some idiot be trusted with a gun if they go around killing a family member?
  • A barking dog is generally no threat to anyone but a (expletive deleted) pig.

Question: Many, many emails have this same tone. I can understand the public anger over this shooting. But the response in some of the emails is way over the top. Why do you think that is?

Whitecaps & A Sail

A sailboarder works his way through 18 mph winds and whitecaps along the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene this morning (Photo: Don Sausser)

Lake City Teacher Wins Award

Tracy Obermayer, an advanced learning teacher at Skyway Elementary School was honored as the 2014 American Legion Idaho Educator of the Year.  Obermayer received the award at the American Legion, Department of Idaho’s annual convention held this past week in Fort Hall, Idaho. Obermayer gave a speech at the American Legion convention outlining the role of educators teaching children the importance of respect and appreciation of the freedoms they have as Americans. Obermayer is a veteran of the United States Air National Guard and her father served in WWII.  Educators were nominated through an application process. Obermayer was chosen, in part, by her application that explained how she integrates American History, pride in her country and integrity into her school day/Laura Rumpler, Coeur d'Alene School District. (Courtesy photo: Coeur d'Alene School District)

Question: Do you enjoy reading about American history?

Official: Malaysian Plane Shot Down

A Ukrainian official said a passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down Thursday over a town in the east of the country, and Malaysian Airlines tweeted that it lost contact with one of its flights over Ukrainian airspace. The “Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets,” Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko said Thursday. Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters (33,000 feet) when it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher. A similar launcher was seen by Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne earlier Thursday. The Buk missile system can fire missiles up to an altitude of 22,000 meters (72,000 feet)/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo shows exact Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 that was shot down)


Huckleberry Fests Mark Fruit Ripening

The huckleberry harvest season is underway at lower elevations and the pleasure is working its way up the region’s mountainsides as the berries ripen. People and communities have taken note:

The berries are ripening at higher elevations this week, but the peak rage of ripe berries occurs in August/Rich Landers, Outdoors. More here.

Question: Do you pick huckleberries every year?

AM: Missing Boy Found Safe

Andrea Watson and her daughter Amanda, 8, hug 9-year-old Brian Watson after being reunited following a search for the boy Wednesday at the beach near North Idaho College. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Poll: No Leadership Crisis In CdA

  • Wednesday Poll: A near supermajority of Hucks Nation doesn't think the city of Coeur d'Alene has a leadership crisis. 126 of 198 respondents (63.64%) said the Lake City doesn't have a leadership crisis. 59 of 198 respondents (29.8%) said it does. 13 (6.57%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Did responding police officers conduct themselves professionally in the June 22 shootout on I-90 at Post Falls?

Catalogue Uses Disabled Models

This undated image provided by Nordstrom shows a model in a wheelchair advertising boots in the company’s annual July anniversary catalog, which is its biggest sale event of the year with preview discounts on new fashions for fall. Nordstrom has been using professional models with disabilities in ads and catalogs since 1997. A consulting firm called Global Disability Inclusion says only a few companies use models with disabilities — though there are more now than in the past — and calls Nordstrom “an industry leader” in that regard. Story here. (AP Photo/Nordstrom)

Question: Are you more/less/same likely to shop at a store that uses disabled models in its catalogues?

Edit: Trapping Animals Barbaric

Trapping animals for “hunting” purposes is simply a disgusting, barbaric and cruel practice. There’s no other way to put it. As revolting as the practice is when it actually achieves its intended goal, it’s even more vile when domestic pets are added to the equation. In 2013 alone, more than 30 dogs — and 24 house cats — were caught in traps set for hunting in Idaho, according to Idaho Fish and Game data. While most of the dogs survived, some weren’t so lucky. Back in December and January, two dogs were caught in conibear traps, which are designed to snap on an animal’s neck, closing the trachea and the blood vessels to the brain. It often fractures the spinal column and the animal loses consciousness within a few minutes and dies soon after. The owners of the dogs, unable to free their beloved family members, could do little more than watch as their dogs suffered and died/Devin Rokyta, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.


Don’t Sweat Summer’s Hot Flashes

In Spokane we have two seasons: Complaining About the Cold and Complaining About the Heat. We’re smack in the middle of “It’s too hot!” season, but for once I’m not whining about the soaring temperature. My family is shocked by this development. Usually, once the thermometer hits 80, I crank up the air conditioning, brew gallons of iced tea, and use the phrase “I’m melting!” repeatedly. I actually have a medical diagnosis to explain my aversion to the heat. My family moved to Guam when I was a year old. According to my mother, I promptly broke out in an awful rash. She took me to the doctor and he said, “She’s allergic to the sun.” Who knew you could be allergic to a star? I think I’m also allergic to James Franco, but that’s another column/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Question: Have you complained about the heat in the last 24 hours?

IRS Phone Scam Hits INorthwest

A scam in which an aggressive caller masquerades as an IRS agent demanding immediate payment has spread into Idaho and the Northwest. Officials want folks to just hang up. Police in Moses Lake intercepted a payment a victim sent in response to one of the calls three weeks ago at the post office and got the victim’s money back, according to the Associated Press. Two Idaho women who got the calls termed them “scary.” The scams particularly target seniors and immigrants. Brett DeLange, head of the Idaho Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, said, “The IRS is not going to call you and say you owe money. … That’s just not how they do business. You’re going to get a notice in the mail”/Betsy Russell, SR. More here. (SR photo: Jennifer Pedregon of Boise received one of the “IRS agent” scam phone calls; so did her parents)

Question: When did you last encounter a scammer?

Arcade To Benefit Burned Children

Students, their families and staff at Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts & Humanities are pulling together to raise money to help the families of two local children who were seriously burned during a recent backyard accident in Coeur d'Alene. The Sorensen crowd will host a backyard “cardboard arcade” fundraiser Friday from 5-7 p.m. at 614 E. Foster Ave., Coeur d'Alene. “We are family. We stick together. This is a horrible situation, and we want to do what we can to help the family, our family,” said Sorensen parent and staff member Lisa Thompson. The injured children - Brooklynne White, 4, and Joshua Emerson, 8 - were airlifted to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, after a man poured gasoline onto a backyard fire pit and the gas can exploded. Both children are expected to remain at Harborview for weeks for skin grafts and other medical treatment/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Courtesy photo via Coeur d'Alene Press)


Officers’ Help Saved Shootout Suspect

An FN 5.7 carbine rifle with a 50-round magazine, left and an AK-47 with a high-capacity drum magazine were found in Marcus A. Rael's possession after the Arizona man was injured during a gun battle with North Idaho police on Interstate 90 last month. Rael fired first with one of the two semi-automatic weapons in his possession. He is being held at the Kootenai County jail on $1 million bond. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

A North Idaho sheriff says a gunman who opened fire on police last month and was shot in return is probably alive thanks to the quick aid provided by officers on the scene. “Officers involved on that Sunday night showed great resolve and are a testament to their professionalism,” Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler said Wednesday. “An example of that professionalism was when officers immediately provided life-saving measures to the suspect who minutes earlier was trying to kill them.” Wheeler, whose office is leading the investigation of the June 22 shootout in Post Falls, revealed more details about the confrontation with Marcus Rael, who’s from Glendale, Arizona/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Anyone out there see any fault in the officers' conduct before/during/after the shoutout with suspect Rael?

Public Forum Set For Chief Finalists

The public will have an opportunity next week to meet the two finalists for Coeur d’Alene police chief. The community forum is Tuesday, July 22, 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 (left), 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: What question would you want to ask the police chief finalists?

Sheriff IDs ‘Nickelback’ Flap Deputies

An internal investigation of the Kootenai County Sheriff's deputies who detained two men in June over a potential misunderstanding between the words “nickel sack” and “Nickelback” is complete. Dylan Swinford, 23; and Riker Morrow, 22; both of Coeur d'Alene, were detained in the parking lot of Maverik gas station on June 20. A video of the incident, recorded by Morrow, shows the deputies confronting the duo, accusing them of discussing a drug deal involving a “nickel sack” of marijuana when the men say they were actually talking about a rock band. “That guy over there was blasting Nickelback,” Swinford told the deputies at the scene. Discussion between the officers, who frequently use profanity, and the two suspects continues. At one point a deputy allegedly draws his weapon on the passenger/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Wikipedia photo: 2012 Nickelback in concert in Brisbane)

  • Also: In a response to a public records request from The Press, Miller released the names of the two deputies involved: Deputy Harvey Ballman and Deputy J. Hyle.


Ticker Tape Parade — 2014

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

Hump Day Wild Card — 7.16.14

Quite a day at Hucks Central today, launched by Coeur d'Alene City Council discussion and action last night re: the shooting of black labrador Arfee and the BNSF land purchase deal. The report by the Bonner County Sheriff's Department added to the news coverage in the later part of the morning. For a dead time of the summer, news continues to happen. I appreciate that you tune in here every day. Now, as I head out the door, I'll re-post the Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.16.14

In this July 24, 1969, file photo, President Richard Nixon, right, greets the Apollo 11 astronauts in the quarantine van on board the U.S.S. Hornet after splashdown and recovery. The Apollo 11 crew from left are Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. Armstrong and Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon after blastoff from Cape Kennedy, Fla., on July 16, 1969. (AP Photo, File)

2013-14 Idaho Surplus: $44.7M

Year-end state tax revenue figures announced yesterday showed that Idaho ended up with $7.2 million more than expected at the end of the fiscal year June 30, but the state actually has a significantly larger budget surplus than that. Here’s why: This year’s state budget didn’t call for spending all the tax revenue the state expected to collect. Instead, $36 million was transferred to various budget stabilization funds, and another $44.4 million was left unspent, creating a year-end balance or surplus/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Idaho collected $45M more than it spent?

GOP Blocks Anti-Hobby Lobby Bill

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a bill that would have reversed the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hobby Lobby and required companies to offer birth control coverage to employees. Democrats pushed the legislation in response to the high court ruling allowing employers to decline to offer birth control coverage in health plans if it conflicted with their religious beliefs. Three Republicans, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine) and Mark Kirk (Ill.), voted with Democrats, but the bill fell short of the 60-vote threshold, by 56-43. Democrats have jumped on the birth control issue, believing it will help turn out female voters in November’s midterms/The Hill. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Are Democrats right in believing that their opposition to the Hobby Lobby ruling by the Supreme Court will help them at the polls in November?

PM Headlines — 7.16.14

Coeur d'Alene's interim Chief Ron Clark called the controversial police shooting of a dog inside a parked van last week “a regrettable tragedy” and said the matter is being fully investigated during the start of Tuesday night's City Council meeting in Coeur d'Alene. Story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.16.14

Coeur d'Alene police have released this photo of the man wanted in the armed robbery of Jitterz coffee stand, 2800 block of Government Way, between 5:55-6 p.m. last Friday. The suspect is described as a white male, early 20’s, 5’08”-5’09”, very skinny build, white T-shirt, blue jean shorts. More photos & video of robbery on Coeur d'Alene police Facebook page here. (Courtesy photo: Coeur d'Alene police)

  • 4:51 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ Candlelight Fellowship, 5725 Pioneer Drive/CdA.
  • 4:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 15-16 here.
  • 4:31 p.m. CPD establishing command post & blocking Rosenberry Drive/Dike Road, unknown reason.
  • 3:47 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 901 W. LaCrosse Ave/CdA.
  • 3:40 p.m. Worley Ambulance called for medial evaluation @ 1-vehicle rollover @ Cottonwood/Lilliwitz roads.
  • 3:39 p.m. Neighbor reports male on bicycle looked into trashcan & then entered unoccupied home w/lockbox.
  • 3:34 p.m. 5 vehicles are parked in no-parking zone @ Johnson Park, Mill River subdivision/CdA.
  • 3:33 p.m. A transformer has blown @ Greensferry/Hayden Avenue, Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 3:28 p.m. Citizen dispute reported @ 3016 Government Way/CdA.
  • 3:20 p.m. ISP officer stopping vehicle with “MYIDAHO” vanity plate on H95, unknown reason.
  • 3:05 p.m. Post Falls Police Department Graveyard Shift activities report here.
  • 2:54 p.m. 91YO female suffering upper stomach pain @ Living Springs assisted living, 1603 N. Catherine/Post Falls.
  • 2:40 p.m. Female driver of gray VW Beetle remains at scene of hit-and-run crash, 16th/Elm, CdA.
  • 2:39 p.m. CPR being performed on unconscious male who isn't breathing. Unknown location.
  • 2:32 p.m. Fire in outbuilding @ Interstate Concrete, 8849 Wyoming (cross of H41/Rathdrum), spreading to grass.
  • 2:12 p.m. 35YO male is sitting semi-conscious in chair @ laudromat @ 1714 Sherman Ave/CdA.
  • 2:03 p.m. ISP officer reports disabled Subaru Outback w/Washington plates @ w/b I-90/MP 8 (Huetter rest stop area).
  • 1:41 p.m. ITD tweet: Union Pacific Railroad workers will close track crossing on Garwood Road to make needed repairs from 5 p.m. today to 7 p.m. Thursday.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Bergdahl: Obama Saved My Life

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has a new lawyer to defend him as the Army investigates the circumstances surrounding his kidnapping by the Taliban in 2009. And the former hostage wants President Obama to know that he is grateful the U.S. government traded five Taliban commanders in exchange for his release in May. “Sergeant Bergdahl is deeply grateful to President Obama for saving his life,” Bergdahl’s new lead counsel Eugene Fidell told The Daily Beast in an interview Wednesday, adding that the former Taliban prisoner had personally authorized him to say that/Daily Beast. More here.

Question: Do you think the Tea Party will appreciate Bergdahl for giving President Obama credit for saving his life?

Pot Rules: Brownies Yes, Lollipops No

Legal marijuana stores won't be able to sell lollipops, gummy bears or other candies infused with the drug, but will be able to sell properly labelled brownies and cookies, a state agency decided today. The Liquor Control Board approved rules for marijuana-infused food products, also known as edibles, designed to limit items that may appeal strongly to children. Banned will be products that could easily be mistaken for candies commonly sold to children. Lollipops, gummy bears and cotton candy can sometimes be found in medical marijuana dispensaries not regulated by the board, but won't be allowed in state-licensed recreational marijuana stores/Jim Camden, Spin Control. More here. (AP File photo: A ladybug crawls on a marijuana plant)

Question: Have you ever eaten a brownie with marijuana in it?

CST Excels With ‘My Fair Lady’

The big question when watching a new production of “My Fair Lady” is always: Are the actors up for it? All those famous songs. The classic story. The pedigree that includes George Bernard Shaw, Lerner and Loewe, Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, Audrey Hepburn. Happily for fans of this famous musical and theater in general, the cast of Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s production that launched Thursday night are more than up for the task. The strong leads – Greg Stone as Henry Higgins and Allison Standley as Eliza Doolittle – get ample help from a talented supporting cast of local favorites, including Jerry Sciarrio as Eliza’s drunkard father, Alfred; Lanz Edwin Babbitt as the urbane and kind Colonel Pickering; Cody Bray as Freddy Eynsford-Hill; and Tamara Schupman as Mrs. Higgins. Another question, at least for this production, is: How is CST going to fit in its new home, the more intimate Kroc Center theater? The answer? Pretty darn nicely/Caroline Lamberson, SR. More here. (SR photo by Kathy Plonka: Allison Standley rehearses during the Kroc Center Theater's production of “My Fair Lady” on Monday)

Question: Do you plan to see a Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre production this year?

Harley Brown To Be Reality TV Star?

At the infamous May 15 Idaho GOP gubernatorial debate, Harley Brown, far left, Walt Byers, center, and Gov. Butch Otter listen to a question posed by a panelist. (File photo: Idaho Public Television)

Harley Brown, the crazy-as-a-fox candidate who stunned a global television audience with his antics during May's Idaho Republican gubernatorial debate, may well become Idaho's own Honey Boo Boo. He's about to be a reality TV star—and we mean that with all the sincerity it warrants. “We politicians crave publicity like an alcoholic craves his next drink,” Brown told Boise Weekly. “This is essentially giving me my own liquor store.” Brown has just inked an exclusive talent agreement with Los Angeles-based Mad Jack Entertainment—producers of A&E's Intervention and MSNBC's Chained to My Ex—to star in his own reality show. But running for governor of Idaho is small potatoes. Brown has his eye on the White House/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here.

Question: Which reality show would you be more likely to watch — one starring Honey Boo Boo or one with Harley Brown?

Izzit Just Me, Or …

… Is the boat launch at Third Street used far less since McEuen Park reopened? Seems to me, as one who walks through McEuen Park 3-4 times a week that there's little launch activity at the end of 3rd Street. Anyone?

Ex-Trustee Regan Rips Common Core

With all the rhetoric touting the imagined benefits of the looming Common Core Standards, perhaps it is time to apply a little critical thinking and examine some of the claims made about Common Core. 'Idaho Core Standards are better than Common Core Standards.' No, Idaho Core Standards are Common Core Standards with the word “Common” scratched out and “Idaho” written in its place. This makes them easier to market to Idahoans but functionally, there is no difference. In fact there is a legal requirement that the state standards cannot vary more than 15 percent from the national standards. 'Common Core Standards were developed by the state governors using a 'grass roots,' bottom-up effort.' No. Imagine Butch and Bobby, Gary and 47 other governors sitting down with their crayons and crafting the new standards. Ridiculous. Furthermore, if it was a communal effort by government employees (politicians and teachers) then the standards produced would be the property of the taxpayers who paid for the effort and the standards as written would be in the public domain. But they aren't. The copyright for the standards is owned by a private company; the company that wrote them/Brent Regan, Coeur d'Alene Press op-ed column. More here.


HBO Blogos: Truckin’ Art

“It's not every day you happen to be driving behind David Govedare at Priest Lake,” writes Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns to Huckleberries Online. “He was driving his truck and Art to Entree Gallery at Priest Lake.” Govedare is the sculptor of the famous horses on the ridge above the Columbia River near Vantage, Wash. And the feathers on Northwest Boulevard at the western entrance to Coeur d'Alene. And the runners at Riverfront Park in Spokane. (Photo: Pecky Cox)

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, July 15): 8087 page-views/5277 unique views

SR News Quiz — 7.13-18.2014

How much do you know about Idaho politics, beer gardens at Spokane community events, marijuana sales in Washington  and other news of note? Find out in the weekly Spokesman-Review News Quiz, where you could win two movie tickets or a $50 Davenport Hotel gift card simply by entering. You can take SR News Quiz here.

  • Answer to Question No. 2: All of the above
  • Leaderboard: SFredrickson & RaynTim are the only HBO readers among the 19 current finalists this week.

Johnson: Onboard The Orient Express

I understand perfectly what Proust meant when he referred to ‘‘the most intoxicating of romance novels, the railway timetable.’’ And what more exotic destination than Istanbul or, better yet, Constantinople. From the 1880′s until the 1970′s you could head for the exotic city that straddles Europe and Asia onboard a train, perhaps the most famous train of all, the Orient Express. From its earliest days until after World War II the Orient Express was a gleaming luxury train, all cut glass and mahogany. For a few weeks this summer the Orient Express, at least four cars and one of the original locomotives, is back on rails in Paris. Because I love trains and figuring this might be my one chance to actually be onboard the train that sparked a thousand stories I trotted down to the World Arab Institute in Paris one recent rainy day to have a look. It was stunning/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here. (Wikipedia photo: Poster advertising the Winter 1888-89 timetable for the Orient Express)

Question: Have you ever taken a long train trip?

Mom’s Surveillance Fight Gets Boost

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho have joined Anna Smith’s legal team in her challenge of the government’s bulk collection of the telephone records. Smith, an emergency neonatal nurse and pregnant mother of two, filed her suit against President Barack Obama and several U.S. intelligence agencies shortly after the government confirmed revelations that the National Security Agency was conducting bulk collection of telephone records under a section of the Patriot Act. Smith, a customer of Verizon wireless, one of the companies that was ordered to disclose records to the NSA, argued the program violated her First and Fourth Amendment rights by collecting a wealth of detail about her personal and professional associations. “When I found out that the NSA was collecting records of my phone calls, I was shocked,” said Smith, who is represented by her husband, Coeur d’Alene attorney Peter J. Smith, and Idaho state Rep. Luke Malek, of Coeur d’Alene/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Glad to see Rep. Luke Malek involved in this. Thoughts?

Suspect In I-90 Shootout Fired First

Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler, center said the Arizona man injured during a gun battle with North Idaho police on Interstate 90 last month fired first with one of the two semi-automatic weapons in his possession. Marcus A. Rael of Glendale is being held at the Kootenai County jail on $1 million bond. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

An Arizona man injured during a gun battle with North Idaho police on Interstate 90 last month fired first with one of the two semi-automatic weapons in his possession, Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler said Wednesday. Marcus A. Rael of Glendale, Arizona, is being held at the Kootenai County jail on $1 million bond. Police began pursuing Rael in the early morning hours of June 22 when he fled police’s attempt to pull him over in Coeur d’Alene on suspicion of driving under the influence. Police pursued him west on I-90. When Rael saw a police spike strip near the Spokane Street exit in Post Falls, he began to pull off at the exit and simultaneously began firing on police, Wheeler said. An FN 5.7 carbine rifle with a 50-round magazine and an AK-47 with a high-capacity drum magazine were later found in Rael’s possession, Wheeler said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.


CPD Investigate Child Enticement

Coeur d'Alene police are investigating a possible child-enticing incident that occurred at about 3:15 p.m Tuesday in the 100 block of East Appleway. A heavy-built white male in his late 50s or early 60s attempted to lure a 16YO female pedestrian into his vehicle by trying to give her a ride home. The suspect pulled his late-1990s/early 2000s red/maroon four-door sedan in front of the girl, insisting that she get in. The suspect had medium length, gray-born hair and was wearing a blue shirt and sunglasses. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Coeur d'Alene police.

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.16.14

Here's a Post Falls Police Department video of a punk spray-painting graffiti on equipment located at 317 E. Seltice Way Tuesday eveing. You can view a photo of the graffiti in the comments section.

  • 11:52 a.m. Idaho employee reports driver of black Ford Ranger possibly DUI @ n/b H95/MP 381 (DeSmet Road/Tensed).
  • 11:30 a.m. Stolen bike (10:38 item) recovered from pawn shop.
  • 11:24 a.m. Stolen bike (10:38 item) located @ pawn shop, near Corner Bar, on 4th; it'd already been pawned.
  • 11:21 a.m. 56YO female has swallowed half bottle of pills; she threatened suicide by firearm last week.
  • 11:07 a.m. CPD officer spots possible bike thieves, w/red bike, s/b on 4th Street/CdA.
  • 10:50 a.m. CPD officer searching 4th/Sherman for stolen red bike w/pearly handles (10:38 item).
  • 10:38 a.m. Resident reports 2 males stole a bike from a neighbor's place @ 1700 block of Lakeside Avenue/CdA & are heading toward Peterson's grocery on Sherman Avenue. One male is bald, the other has on white tank top, ballcap.
  • 10:22 a.m. Someone has been hurt in fall @ Ivy Court, 2200 Ironwood Place/CdA.
  • 10:21 a.m. AutoZone, 317 Seltice Way/Post Falls, reports female shoplifter left in black Honda Accord.
  • 10:09 a.m. Female caller has photos re: possible Coeur d'Alene child enticement incident from Tuesday.
  • 10:02 a.m. A tree branch is obstructing stop sign @ 4th Street/Miller Avenue, CdA.
  • 9:47 a.m. Silverwood Theme Park has no knowledge of 911 call hangup from premises.
  • 9:08 a.m. Life Care/Post Falls reports patient w/fire extinguisher set off fire alarm.
  • 8:38 a.m. EMTs from St. Maries en route to one-car rollover @ H3/MP 75 (Soldier Creek Hill grade).
  • 8:20 a.m. Patrol officer finds possible stolen Ford Explorer, w/Texas plates, in alley @ 1400 block of Govt Way/CdA.

AM Headlines — 7.16.14

Nancy Benton, associate director patient care services at the Spokane VA Medical Center, explains the patient waiting time issues, on Tuesday. See Shawn Vestal's column here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Is Spokane Driving Crooks To Idaho?

Certain crimes like theft and burglaries are on the rise in the Idaho panhandle and the Kootenai County sheriff thinks the people behind some of those crimes are making a run across the border from Spokane to commit crimes. The Idaho State Police reports that last year North Idaho posted a crime victim rate of 6,300 people for every 100,000 residents, more burglaries and thefts than were reported in more densely populated Boise. The migration of crime across the state line started about a dozen years ago when Spokane made it harder for thieves to pawn their stolen goods, but these days North Idaho just represents a new and fertile hunting ground for crooks who don't mind doing a little commuting. … The sheriff estimates at any given time, 20 to 30 percent of the inmates inside his jail are not from Kootenai County but rather people who have previous arrests in place like Spokane/Jeff Humphrey, KXLY. More here. (SR file photo, of Sheriff Ben Wolfinger)

Question: Is Spokane County a good/bad influence on Kootenai County?

Stolen Tillamook Cheese Vans Found

In this undated photo provided by the Manteca (Calif.) Police Department are three Tillamook Cheese vans that were stolen Saturday, July 12. Police in Central California are searching for three bright orange Tillamook cheese vans that were stolen over the weekend. Manteca police say the restored Volkswagen minibuses, worth $100,000 each, vanished early Saturday from a hotel parking lot. They were secured in a trailer pulled by a Ford F-350 pickup that also painted orange. Police say the minivans had stopped in Manteca on a tour promoting the Oregon-based Tillamook County Creamery Association’s dairy products. Story here. (AP Photo/Manteca Police Dept.)

Question: I visit the Oregon Coast at least once a year. But I've never stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory on H101. Have you?

Poll: Ban Trapping Near Urban Areas

  • Tuesday Poll: A plurality of Hucks Nation says the state of Idaho should tighten trapping regulations to ban the activity near urban areas. Two dogs were killed by traps near Coeur d'Alene in the last year. 67 of 143 respondents (46.85%) want trapping banned near urban areas. An additional 47 of 143 respondents (32.87%) want trapping banned altogether in the state of Idaho. 28 of 143 respondents (19.58%) support the current regulations. 1 respondent (0.7%) was undecided.
  • Today's Question: Does the city of Coeur d'Alene have a leadership crisis?

Cop Who Shot Arfee On Desk Duty

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department officer who shot and killed a 2-year-old Labrador last week at Java on Sherman has been reassigned to office duty, Chief Ron Clark said. Clark addressed the Coeur d’Alene City Council (Tuesday night), calling the shooting of Craig Jones’ dog, Arfee, a “tragedy.” On July 9, an officer responding to a non-emergency report of a suspicious vehicle potentially connected to child enticement fired once through the window of Jones’ white van, killing Arfee. … “People have inquired about getting personnel discipline information about our personnel, about this incident and other incidents as well,” Clark said. “State law, unfortunately, does not allow us to release personnel discipline matters or information”/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Ailing Justice Plans To Return To Boise

Seven weeks after he was taken by air ambulance to Salt Lake City, Idaho Supreme Court Justice Warren Jones plans to return to Boise on July 25. But when he'll resume his place on the five-member court is unclear. “No date has been set yet to return to work,” Administrative Director of the Courts Patti Tobias said on Tuesday. “We all expect a full recovery and we expect him back on the court.” Jones, 70, was stricken ill June 6, just as the court was to hear oral arguments in Twin Falls. He's been treated in the University of Utah Hospital system for an unspecified illness. His family “has not given us all the details” of his diagnosis, Tobias said. “There was a medical incident.” Jones, appointed by Gov. Butch Otter in 2007, was elected in 2008 and re-elected in May to a six-year term ending in 2020/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Photo: Idaho Supreme Court Web site)


Read more here:

Stone Fruits Rock

When it comes right down to it, stone fruits rock. The soft, sun-ripened fruits epitomize summer, when children can rinse off sticky fruit juice from their faces and limbs or wherever else the sweet liquid has landed – in their hair, on their bellies, between their toes – by taking a few passes through the sprinkler. Stone fruit season peaks in July and August, when Spokane’s average temperature is at its highest. The bounty includes plums, peaches, apricots, cherries, nectarines and other fleshy fruits – including hybrids – that grow around a hard pit, or stone, instead of numerous seeds. One of my favorite ways to spotlight stone fruits is to arrange slices on free-formed and opened-faced galettes/Adriana Janovich, SR. More here. (SR photo: Highlight the bright, almost lemony flavor of nectarines in this open-faced tart from Smitten Kitchen)

Question: What's your favorite stone fruit?

Sims & Co Killed Mental Health Center

North Idaho won, yet lost. Coeur d'Alene was frontrunner — by a slight margin — for a mental health crisis center, according to committee evaluations obtained by The Press through a public records request. But despite the overall high score, a lack of legislative support killed Coeur d'Alene's chance to land the first state-funded mental health crisis center, Gov. Butch Otter's office confirmed Tuesday. North Idaho supporters have maintained Coeur d'Alene stood above the competition for the center, but that politics ultimately led to Idaho Falls being chosen instead. There's still some hope for the future, however. “The placement of additional centers depends on the success of this initial effort,” Otter's press secretary, Jon Hanian, said. “'Success' will include receiving continued financial support, which in turn will require having local legislative champions.” With North Idaho legislators Kathy Sims (pictured), Vito Barbieri, Bob Nonini and Ron Mendive voting nay, a bill to fund three mental health crisis centers was approved last session/Taryn Thompson, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: And you wonder why Kootenai County shouldn't send Far Right ideologues to Boise to legislate against our best interests?

Acting Chief Apologizes To Dog Owner

Clark promises full investigation, with 3rd party review; officer who shot Arfee taken off patrol

Coeur d’Alene’s police chief called the controversial police shooting of a dog inside a parked van last week “a regrettable tragedy” and said the matter is being fully investigated. At the start of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, interim Chief Ron Clark and Mayor Steve Widmyer addressed last Wednesday’s fatal shooting of the 2-year-old black Labrador named Arfee. The incident sparked a storm of criticism of the patrol officer’s actions. “We as a city again want to offer our complete apology to Mr. (Craig) Jones,” the dog’s owner, Widmyer said. The city also will “take full responsibility” for the dog’s death if the investigation determines mistakes were made, the mayor said. Clark said he reached out to Jones, a former Coeur d’Alene resident now living in Colorado/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Facebook photo: Craig Jones)

Question: Acting Chief Clerk has apologized to Arfee's owner. The officer who shot Arfee is no longer on patrol. The department will have a citizen panel review the internal report of the shooting. Are you satisfied that the police department is handling this incident properly now?

Tube To Work Day

Co-Founder Jeff Kagan laughs after crashing through rough water during the 7th Annual Tube to Work Day in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday. (AP Photo/Boulder Daily Camera, Mark Leffingwell)

Question: Does this look like fun?

CdA To Pursue BNSF Land Purchase

The Coeur d'Alene City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday night to pursue the purchase of another 2-mile stretch of old railroad right-of-way along the Spokane River. If the city can successfully close on the deal, the city would then own all of the abandoned railroad bed from roughly City Park to Huetter Road at the western edge of the city limits. The deal is far from done because the council still must decide on a funding mechanism to pay for the $2.5 million property. City attorney Mike Gridley, pictured, presented the proposal to the council Tuesday night, saying he has been in active negotiations with Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad since January. The railroad and the city finally settled on a price for the property last week, and the city now has 60 days to finalize a purchase and sales agreement. They want to close on the property by December of this year or January 2015/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Last night, Councilmen Dan Gookin and Steve Adams proposed that the city expand their vision by adding about $10 million worth of land to the BNSF property, including the old Stimson mill site. Would you like to see Coeur d'Alene sew up that entire stretch of the Spokane River by buying that much property?

Press: CdA Faces Leadership Void

Leadership matters. For anyone who believes that great leaders aren't worth their weight in gold - or six-figure salaries, anyway - consider the current plight of the city of Coeur d'Alene. Since last September, when Police Chief Wayne Longo retired, all hell has broken loose. The interim chief, Capt. Ron Clark, sure didn't open those gates. As his nearly 30-year distinguished career attests, Clark has been an exemplary peace officer and supervisor. But interim isn't really leadership. Interim is a cousin to placeholder or, more harshly, lame duck, which describes the last couple months of leadership from former Coeur d'Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem. In fact, Mayor Bloem had announced in April 2013 that she wasn't going to seek a fourth term, so essentially, city government was on hold for the last two-thirds of the year waiting for new leadership. Arguably the second most powerful person in city government, the city administrator, wasn't up for re-election and wasn't on the path of retirement. But Wendy Gabriel appeared to fade more and more into the background until abruptly resigning on May 7 after 25 years of service to the city. That made three high-profile, experienced leaders leaving in a short period of time. Other city managers - parks, human resources and assistant city administrator - also retired last fall, creating even more of a leadership void. Was implosion inevitable?/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree that the city of Coeur d'Alene has a leadership crisis?


Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Tuesday — 7.15.14

The Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting this evening is must-see TV. The council is scheduled to discuss the $2.5M purchase of BNSF land along the Spokane River and rules for robots in public places. In the public comments section, it's highly likely that the council will hear from constituents who are angry with the recent police shooting of a black labrador named Arfee. Meanwhile, at Fort Sherman Square, Barry Aiken & North Point will be providing Latin rhythms & salsa music as part of the ongoing, free Coeur d'Alene Summer Concert series. Now for your replayed Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.15.14

Bob Grutza rides on horseback through a field of sunflowers today near Maysville, Ky. (AP Photo/The Ledger Independent, Terry Prather)

Raul: No One Wants President Biden

Conservative Congress members said during a luncheon Tuesday that there’s no chance they will take up Sarah Palin’s call to impeach President Obama, with one joking that “nobody wants a President Joe Biden.” At their monthly “Conversations with Conservatives” luncheon, six of the House Republican conference’s leading conservatives completely rejected the possibility of impeachment, National Journal reported. Rep. Raul Labrador said he didn’t believe that the president’s actions were yet worthy of impeachment and joked that “nobody wants a President Joe Biden,” the magazine reported/Washington Times. More here. (AP file photo of Vice President Joe Biden)

Question: Does Congressman Raul Labrador share your sentiments about an impeachment attempt when he says that “nobody wants a President Joe Biden”?

IFF Opposes CdA Robot Rules

We’ve all probably heard the phrase, “If you build it, they will come.” Unfortunately, the city of Coeur d’Alene seems to have misinterpreted that line as “if you regulate it, they will come.” The City Council is considering new restrictions and regulations on … wait for it … robots! The driving force behind this idea seems to be city attorney Mike Gridley who says that if new regulations help “recruit more jobs to the area, then why not?” Mayor Steve Widmyer is on board as well claiming that the “timing is great for the city to pass an ordinance” regulating robots. What these gentlemen seem to be forgetting (or perhaps ignoring) is that it is freedom—not regulation—that serves to create the most fertile breeding ground for innovation/Parrish Miller, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here. (AP file photo: robot from old “Lost in Space” TV program)

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.15.14s

From Coeur d'Alene Ped Bike Facebook: “Please keep an eye out for a bike just like this one…only silver. It was stolen from the Coeur d'Alene library today (Tuesday July 15) between 10:20 and noon. If you see it call the police and then contact me here on Facebook.”

  • 4:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 14-15 here.
  • 4:26 p.m. Someone is suffered back pain @ 606 Best Ave/CdA.
  • 4:21 p.m. Disorderly female is walking along road after leaving Winco, 1485 W. Appleway/CdA.
  • 4:18 p.m. Road rager in silver Ford is tailgating, flipping off female driver @ H41/Seltice Way, Post Falls.
  • 4:12 p.m. 2 dogs have been left in hot vehicle @ 3rd Shreet/Sherman Avenue, CdA.
  • 3:50 p.m. Resident @ 2700 block of N11th Street/CdA reports suspicious person in area.
  • 3:37 p.m. A wanted juvenile is at juvenile detention to turn himself in.
  • 3:27 p.m. 3-vehicle, T-bone accident is blocking H53/Ramsey Road, Rathdrum.
  • 2:57 p.m. Fire alarm is sounding @ Lakeland Middle School, 15601 H41/Garwood area.
  • 2:53 p.m. Power lines from fallen pole have been neutralized (2:39 item).
  • 2:44 p.m. Power outage may be caused by hit-and-run crash (2:39 item).
  • 2:43 p.m. Traffic lights are out in all four directions @ 4th/Neider, CdA.
  • 2:39 p.m. Hit-and-Run: Driver of blue 1980s GMC pickup hit power pole in exiting state liquor store, Govt Way/Appleway, CdA, and kept driving.
  • 2:28 p.m. 74YO female diabetic passed out at hair salon on Hess Street/Hayden as result of low blood sugar.
  • 2:07 p.m. Someone is having trouble breathing on Inverness Drive/Post Falls.
  • 1:56 p.m. Citizens engaged in heated dispute on Senequoteen Trail/Spirit Lake.
  • 1:45 p.m. Firefighters en route to check on smoke sighting Riverview/Carpenter Loop, Post Falls.
  • 1:30 p.m. Possible animal abuse reported in parking lot of Center Partners.
  • 1:03 p.m. 55YO female has triggered medical bracelet @ Santa Maria/Westminster, CdA.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Will California Become 6 States?

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper presents his drivers license for identification purposes to Heather Ditty, elections manager for the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters, as he turns in boxes of petitions for a ballot initiative that would ask voters to split California into six separate states Tuesday in Sacramento, Calif. Draper delivered what he said were 44,000 signatures, of the 1.3 million the Six California's campaign plans to submit statewide this week. (AP photo)

Backers of a plan to cut California into six states say they now have enough signatures from supporters to get their proposal on a general-election ballot in the state. The plan would create new states with names like Jefferson, Silicon Valley and South California. The initiative's main backer is tech industry investor Timothy Draper, who plans to hold a news conference today to officially announce that his group has enough petition signatures to move the plan forward. The constitutional amendment would need more than 807,000 valid signatures to qualify, SFGate reports. If the Six Californias petition is verified, the ballot proposal wouldn't come up for a vote until 2016; to be enacted, the plan would require the approval not only of California's Legislature, but also of the U.S. Congress/Bill Chappell, KBSX 91.5. More here.

Question (for all you ex-Californians out there): What do you think of the plan to carve California into six states?

Simple Mind: We Love/Hate Summer

We all have a love/hate of summer time. We love the weather, we love the bar-b-ques. We love heading to the water. be it fishing or swimming. The sports are alive and well. The cook outs, visiting, vacationing, yep. it is all good with us. But we HATE road construction. The waiting in a hot car if you aren't lucky enough to have A/C. Or just waiting. Or if you didn't allow enough time. You are late and not happy. It doesn't matter if it is city, state or federal. It all is the pits. Here at our place, we have the state tearing up the roads. Last week for 2 or was it 3 days of waiting 25 minutes to get 3 miles. Getting from the city of Hope to the City of Sandpoint took a lot of patience/Cis Gors, Simple Mind. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: Does road construction bug you much during Inland Northwest summers?

Avista To Keep Same Idaho Rate

Avista Utilities has reached a settlement to keep its base rates for Idaho customers unchanged through the end of 2015. The settlement, which still requires approval by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, was worked out after Avista announced in March that it would seek a rate hike for its electric and natural gas customers in Idaho. After informal talks, the Spokane-based utility proposed a one-year extension of the rate plan. As part of the settlement, Avista agreed not to file a general rate case before May 31, 2015, for higher rates that would become effective on or after Jan. 1, 2016/Becky Kramer, SR. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: Anyone want to sing praises of Avista for keeping Idaho base rate the same for next 24 months?

One Thing Congress Does Well

Congress is doing a great job, and this is not a joke. Sure, there’s a lot of gridlock in Washington and on many issues, Congress can’t seem to agree on the color of the sky, let alone reach agreement on anything of substance. But when it comes to diabetes awareness, and appropriating funds to cover research and prevention programs, it’s a different story. Funding for diabetes research, which was about $320 million in 1997, is now in the billions of dollars. Support of this nature is significant to me, because I’ve had diabetes for more than 15 years and have experienced many of the complications. If we do nothing, it’s projected that one in three people will have diabetes by 2050. For a society, that is unacceptable/Chuck Malloy, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Do you or any of your loved ones have diabetes?

HBO Blogosphere — 7.15.14

A father was showing his two sons how to shoot firearms at the Fernan Gun & Rod Club, near Fernan Lake, Sunday. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, July 14): 7455 page-views/4556 unique views

Idaho: ‘An Aerial Experience’

Here's a video for anyone who still can't tell the difference between Idaho and Iowa. Andrew Garcia calls this aerial view of the Gem State: “An Aerial Experience.” You'll find three or four segments from the Coeur d'Alene area, including an aerial view of Fort Sherman Playground in City Park and the Coeur d'Alene Resort.

Errant Pingpong Balls Cancel Event

Organizers of a (Blackfoot) southeastern Idaho aerial drop of 3,000 pingpong balls worth prizes immediately called off the event when the pilot missed the crowd and hit instead a nearby interstate highway. Aaron Moon and helpers on Saturday told revelers at Blackfoot Pride Days not to risk retrieving the pingpong balls amid high-speed traffic because organizes still planned to pass out prizes. Most of the pingpong balls can be exchanged for candy, but some are worth gift certificates up to $100. Moon says a new pilot attempted the drop this year but apparently didn't understand that pingpong balls lose speed quickly and drop straight down/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Would you risk highway traffic for a chance at a $100 pingpong ball?

AC Going, Going, Gone

Seems like basically everyone is sold out of AC units. Home Depot has a few but said they expect to sell out today… So move quickly! — Gabe Cohen, KHQ

Question: Do you have AC in your home?

Did Deputy Work 2nd Job On Duty?

The Spokane County Sheriff’s deputy fired Monday double-billed a retailer he was providing extra security for while working patrol, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said. “I talked to him that night,” Knezovich said of Deputy Charles “Chuck” Sciortino, who the sheriff said left his post at an area electronics store on Black Friday to work patrol, but billed the store for a full 12-hour shift. “He could have said, ‘I have a conflict. I signed up for this.’” Sciortino was fired Monday after an internal investigation revealed multiple incidents similar to the Black Friday abandonment of his post, Knezovich said. Sciortino was in full uniform while providing security at the electronics store, he added. “This was conduct unbecoming of a deputy,” the sheriff said/Kip Hill, SR. More here.

Question: Does a fired Spokane County deputy ever stay fired?

Camden: Covering Pot Not That Hot

During of quarter century-plus of living in Spokane, I regularly had to explain to friends and relatives elsewhere that it was not a suburb of Seattle and thus did not get rain all the time. Now in Olympia, I battle a new misconception, that being the newspaper’s marijuana reporter is not like being its wine critic or beer columnist. It’s interesting on many levels – government policy, changing social standards, complicated chemistry – but there’s no sampling of the subject matter and it has about as many laughs as sitting through a legislative budget hearing. Which is to say, almost none/Jim Camden, SR. More here.

Question: Would you like to be a newspaper marijuana reporter?

BikeCDA Alert

And now a message from John Kelly of BikeCDA: “Really, no one knows our in-street bike lanes better than the people that use them. BikeCDA is in the process of assessing the condition of our CDA bike lanes. Our goal is not only to assess, but also to bring awareness to a potential problem that exists. According to the AASHTO (design) guide, “The recommended width of a bike lane is 5 feet from the face of a curb to the bike lane stripe.” We're asking for your help to find bike lanes within the City that do not meet this mark. We are particularly interested in identifying lanes such as these (2'10”) that endanger our cyclists the most. As you find these problem areas, please let us know by e-mail ( or send a message to John Kelly or If you would really like to help protect our bicyclist's in the street, please “share” this so this word gets out. Thank you!”

Question: Do you know any bike lanes that don't meet the 5-foot standard from curb to stripe?

Mitchell Rips Risch In Statesman Ad

Democratic Nels Mitchell, pictured, is using a column I wrote in May 2013 to make the case that Republican Sen. Jim Risch “sees the U.S. Senate as a place to relax, a perch from which to watch dysfunction and gridlock.” “Idaho can't afford a senator who thinks the job is easy,” Mitchell says in the ad. “Our country needs a working senate, and Idaho needs a working senator. Unlike Jim Risch, I won't simply be a senator from Idaho; I will be a senator for Idaho.” Mitchell's ad reproduces excerpts from my May 6, 2013 column. When Mitchell announced for the job in January, he mentioned the article to me as evidence of Risch's vulnerability despite the GOP's strength/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Are you satisfied/dissatisfied with job U.S. Sen. Jim Risch is doing on behalf of state of Idaho?

House GOP Slashes IRS Budget

The GOP-controlled House has slashed the budget for the Internal Revenue Service's tax enforcement division by $1.2 billion, a 25 percent cut that would mean fewer audits of taxpayers and make it more likely that people who cheat on their taxes will get away with it. The House approved the cuts by voice vote after little debate Monday night as it took up a $21 billion spending bill that sets the IRS budget. The cuts reflect GOP outrage over the agency's scrutiny of tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status and frustration over the agency's failure to produce thousands of emails by Lois Lerner, the official formerly in charge of the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Do you approve/disapprove of this action?

AM Scanner Traffic — 7.15.14

  • 11:25 a.m. Post Falls Police Department graveyard shift report here.
  • 11:06 a.m. 81YO male suffered medical emergency tells EMTs to ignore barking dog in front yard b/c leash not long enough to reach them at front door.
  • 10:37 a.m. Injury crash reported @ s/b H95/MP 426.3 (Horned Owl Road/CdA).
  • 10:23 a.m. Undisclosed psychological problem reported @ 300 block of Grand Tour Drive/Hayden.
  • 10:20 a.m. Female driver reports she may have fallen asleep and hit her head in crash with telephone pole @ Poleline/Greensferry, Post Falls. She can't remember anything else.
  • 10:11 a.m. Brothers have subdued teen female who was threatening family w/knife.
  • 10:01 a.m. 58YO female on Elmore/Rathdrum w/history of cancer/stroke is complaining of intense headache.
  • 9:59 a.m. A truck is leaking diesel from punctured fuel tank on Cederbloom/CdA.
  • 9:52 a.m. Female driver of disabled Honda Accord w/Washington plates @ H95/Canfield, CdA, tells officer she's having fuel-pump problems — and that the car will start in a few minutes.
  • 9:48 a.m. 33YO male is hallucinating and going through withdrawals @ 600 block of W. Wilbur/CdA.
  • 9:25 a.m. ISPer plans to stop motorcyclist w/expired temporary plates when light changes @ H95/Canfield, CdA.
  • 9:04 a.m. Male is yelling from apartment balcony @ 300 block of W4th Avenue, Post Falls.

‘Anonymous’ Releases Arfee Video

Anonymous, a group of loosely associated international activists known for hacking government agencies in the United States as well as organizations like PayPal and Sony, has released video condemning the shooting of a 2-year-old black Labrador by the Coeur d'Alene Police Department. The video, which was posted July 12, details what is known about the incident and ends with a message to the police department. “To the Coeur d'Alene Police Department, to all enforcers of abuse, hear us clearly. We are free and independent citizens, we are anonymous. We do not forgive, we do not forget. You can expect us,” the video warns/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press.

Question: Should city of Coeur d'Alene/Coeur d'Alene police be worried about this video?

Poll: 76% Back CdA-BNSF Deal

  • Monday Poll: 103 of 136 respondents (75.74%) support a tentative $2.5M deal between the city of Coeur d'Alene and BNSF for 20 acres, including 2 miles of Spokane River shoreline. Only 18 of 136 respondents (13.24%) oppose the deal. 10 of 136 respondents (7.35%) voted “maybe.” And 5 (3.68%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you think Idaho should rein in trapping after 2 dogs were killed by traps near urban areas?

Germany Celebrates World Cup Win

Players of the German national soccer team celebrate on a truck during their return to Berlin earlier today. Germany's World Cup winners shared their fourth title with hundreds of thousands of fans by parading the trophy through cheering throngs to celebrate at the Brandenburg Gate on Tuesday. An estimated 400,000 people packed the “fan mile” in front of the Berlin landmark to welcome home coach Joachim Loew's team and the trophy — which returned to Germany for the first time in 24 years. (AP Photo/dpa,Jan Woitas)

Question: You realize that the World Cup continued after the United States was ousted and that Germany won, right?

Can You Tell Idaho From Iowa?

Americans have been getting Idaho and Iowa mixed up for some time — so much so that famed journalist Tim Woodward wrote a column — and later a book — about the ongoing mix-up. Yesterday, I posted a story about the Idaho-Iowa switcheroo, from Boise State Public Radio here. I suspect that most Idahoans can tell the difference between the Gem State and Iowa. And vice versa. But to test your knowledge about the two states … here's a little quiz.

Question: How well did you do?

Cop-Shooting-Dog Meditation

A Facebook friend posts: “The whole cop-shooting-dog thing has made me think … Here we have someone that is trained with arms, I would guess at least 10 times the number of hours of training with a sidearm than the average person, and the gun is (allegedly) used irresponsibly. Yet there are people that want no regulations on who can have guns? Let it be a free-for all? What could go wrong with that?”


Tax Protester: GOP Has Growing Pains

Hari Heath, a Benewah County delegate to the tumultuous Idaho State Republican Party convention in Moscow last month, opines in an op-ed piece today about the convention, which ended in disarray with no votes on leadership, resolution or a party platform: “These are the growing pains of a revitalized party worthy of the public’s participation.” Adds Heath, “The Otters, Clarks, Rischs and Loebs of the elite have lost the heart and soul of the Republican Party because corruption and cronyism is no longer assembled. The assembled body of the Republican people has spoken.” The full op-ed piece, published in the Idaho Statesman today, is online here/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Is that what's happening with the Idaho GOP? It is undergoing “growing pains” as it moves toward revitalization?

Corner Bakery Cafe Eyes CdA

Idaho's first location of fast-casual restaurant chain Corner Bakery Cafe will open in October at The Village at Meridian, on the northeast corner of Eagle Road and Fairview Avenue. The franchisee Feast Northwest Cafe LLC plans to open at least four more Corner Bakery Cafes in Idaho and Eastern Washington, with plans including stores in Twin Falls and Coeur d'Alene, according to a press release from real-estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. Feast also operates 170 Jack in the Box restaurants in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California under the name Feast Foods, the release said/Idaho Statesman. More here. (Facebook photo)

  • H/T: Get Out! North Idaho

Question: Anyone know anything about this restaurant chain?

Read more here:

Post Falls Shooting Update Set

The Bonner County Sheriff's Office is holding a press conference Wednesday to provide an update on an officer-involved shooting in Post Falls on June 22. It starts at 10 a.m. at the sheriff's office. The incident began as an attempted traffic stop in Coeur d'Alene, but Marcus Anthony Rael, fled the scene in his pickup truck. Rael's flight from the stop touched off a multi-agency pursuit from Sherman Avenue to Interstate 90. Rael, a 24-year-old from Glendale, Ariz., stopped on the Spokane Street on-ramp in Post Falls and allegedly opened fire on his pursuers. At least 40 shots were fired during the half-hour-long standoff and gun battle, according to a Coeur d'Alene Press report. Rael was injured during the exchange of gunfire and was treated at Kootenai Health/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Bee. More here.

Question: What are you expecting to hear?

ITD OKs Hydroplane Transport Plan

A transportation plan for the 2014 Diamond Cup received approval Monday and the Idaho Transportation Department issued organizers a permit for the Labor Day weekend event. The plan approved by ITD includes the bussing plan to and from the event, signage along the highway in the vicinity of Silver Beach, and the requirements expected of the group for organizing and supervising other aspects of traffic control. “Ironically, the ITD permit is one of the requirements for a marine-event permit set forth by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office,” a press release from Diamond Cup organizers said. “Sheriff Ben Wolfinger set a July 1 deadline for the submission of all necessary marine-event permit materials even though he knew that the ITD permit would not be issued until after his deadline.” In a letter Monday from Stephanie Hale at ITD to Diamond Cup president Doug Miller, she wrote that the permit is only conditionally approved/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: I must be missing something here. Didn't the sheriff say, no? Can anyone figure out what the Diamond Cup organizers are doing by continuing to seek other permits for Labor Day races?

North Idaho Crime Outpaces Boise

Sheriff Ben Wolfinger patrols the streets during recent Coeur d'Alene 4th of July activities. (SR file photo)

North Idaho has the highest crime rate in the state, eclipsing the Boise area, according to the state’s latest crime statistics. It’s a trend that’s been growing in recent years. The Boise area had a much higher crime rate than the Panhandle as recently as 2008, but since then, North Idaho’s rate has surged as the state’s overall crime rates have dropped. “Our guys are working hard and they’re doing a good job, but it’s just trying to keep up is the hard part,” said Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger. One factor: Kootenai County is becoming part of a Spokane-North Idaho metropolitan area, rather than an isolated, more rural area with a seasonal influx of visitors/Betsy Z. Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you feel less safe today in Kootenai County than you did 10 years ago?

Temperatures To Flirt w/100 Degrees

A July heat wave across the Inland Northwest is going to strengthen today through Thursday, keeping temperatures in the 90s and perhaps triple digits. A weak upper-level low pressure area that brought thunderstorms to the region Monday is moving to the east, allowing a persistent high pressure system to rebuild along the West Coast. Monday’s high hit 95 at Spokane International Airport before a thunderstorm cooled the temperature back to the 70s after 5 p.m. … The forecasted highs for the Spokane airport are 95 today, 98 on Wednesday and 95 on Thursday. … A high of 100 degrees is expected Wednesday in downtown Spokane. Coeur d’Alene will have highs of 90 today, 95 on Wednesday and 91 on Thursday/Mike Prager, SR. More here.

Question: What do you do to stay cool in heat like this?

Review: ‘Planet Of The Apes’ Sequel

You'd think that a movie franchise that was born in 1968, had four sequels and a television series, a 2001 reimagining and in 2011 a whole new reboot (featuring James Franco, no less), would have run out of energy by now. Or bananas. Or something. But I have to say, the latest movie version of French writer Pierre Boulle's 1963 novel “La planète des singes” — or, as we have come to know it, “Planet of the Apes” — just may the the best of all. I'll defer the top spot to Franklin J. Schaffner's 1968 original, which worked off a screenplay crafted by Michael Wilson and the great Rod Serling. Yeah, the movie is cheesy, but it has at least two striking moments of originality: when we first see the gorilla on horseback bursting from the thicket, and that finale with Charlton Heston on the beach/Dan Webster, 7 Blog. More here. (AP Photo/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp: Andy Serkis portrays Caesar in “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”)

Question: Are you a “Planet of the Apes” fan?

This Land Ain’t Your Land

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Monday — 7.14.14

I'm going to suspend the daily Cutline Contest. Seems not many are participating and few are voting for winners. I enjoy it. But I don't want to spend time looking for photos if there isn't much interest in the contest. I appreciate all who have participated. Now for today's Wild Card …

Parting Shot — 7.14.14

Two men take in a scenic overlook off Trail Ridge Road, above tree-line at Rocky Mountain National Park, west of Estes Park, Colo., earlier today. Lightning killed two people last weekend just miles apart in the popular park, where summer storms can close in quickly with deadly results. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Andrus Recovering From Lung Cancer

Malignant tumor removed, the former governor says there are no plans for chemotherapy or radiation. Former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus is recuperating at home in Boise after surgery but says he plans to make his annual elk hunt in October. “I’ll be strong enough by then,” Andrus told the Statesman on Monday. “I’m at home recovering, feeling fine. I’m going to be around for a long time.” Andrus said surgeons and a pathologist found no sign of any other cancer after a surgery that lasted over five hours on July 3. “They say it doesn’t look like it’s going to require any further treatment,” he said. Andrus will be 83 on Aug. 25/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: How would you compare Cecil Andrus as governor to Butch Otter?

Study: Biking Tied To Prostate Cancer

This study analyzed data on 5,282 male cyclists, 16 to 88 years old (average age, 48). All were described as habitual cyclists; some commuted to work on their bikes, some raced as amateurs and others cycled recreationally. About 8 percent reported having erectile dysfunction, 1 percent had an infertility diagnosis and 1 percent had prostate cancer. (The rate was 2 percent among men 50 and older). The more hours a week a man spent cycling, the more likely he was to have prostate cancer. Among men 50 and older, those who biked four to 8.5 hours a week were three times as likely to have prostate cancer as were those who biked less than four hours a week. They were six times as likely if they biked more than 8.5 hours a week. However, time spent cycling was not linked to erectile dysfunction or infertility/Washington Post. More here.

Question: Is this a bike deal breaker for the Men of HBO?

PM Headlines — 7.14.14

“She thinks she's a Labrador,” said Summer Eddings of Hayden, Iaho as she walks with Ellie, her Teacup Poodle in Hayden earlier today. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Kathy Plonka)

PM Scanner Traffic — 7.14.14

  • 4:56 p.m. Resident @ 1600 block of E16th Avenue/Post Falls wants individual trespassed.
  • 4:46 p.m. Post Falls female reports ex-boyfriend cut off power & is refusing to leave her home.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activties report for July 13-14 here.
  • 4:16 p.m. ISP officer is w/driver of semi that has overheated @ H95/Neider (near Holiday station).
  • 4:15 p.m. Clerk @ Exxon quick stop, 1720 NW Blvd, reports 6 young males in tank tops harassed him, using racist language, before leaving in silver vehicle s/b on NW Blvd toward downtown CdA.
  • 3:26 p.m. Road rager on H95/Coeur d'Alene area honking, flipping others off, passing in no-passing zone.
  • 3:18 p.m. Officer on scene on two-vehicle, non-injury accident @ Prairie/Atlas, Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 3:14 p.m. Female reports male in red pickup w/Arizona plates grab her in argument over CdA parking spot.
  • 3:07 p.m. Paul Bunyan's on Government Way/Hayden wants drunk male trespassed.
  • 2:45 p.m. 80ish female has been hurt in fall @ 5800 block of Harbor Drive/CdA.
  • 2:26 p.m. 3 injured in T-bone crash near Mountain West Bank, Idaho/Seltice Way, Post Falls; 1 needs ambulance.
  • 2:20 p.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 17200 block of North Shore Lane/Bayview.
  • 1:57 p.m. Juvenile on ATV is kicking up gravel @ Driftwood/Greensferry, Post Falls.
  • 1:55 p.m. Woman tells CPD that she spent night @ motel after male lover tried to strangle her.
  • 1:48 p.m. Officer asks dispatch to stop train on Rathdrum Prairie, reason unknown.
  • 1:45 p.m. Male @ apartments in 100 block of Miller/CdA reportedly pushed female.
  • 1:32 p.m. Vehicle w/2 flat passenger-side tires disabled near Tireorama/Post Falls after being forced off road.
  • 1:04 p.m. Caller has questions re: lights on boat for night piloting.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Treasurer Crane: Facts Matter

Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane wrote the following op-ed article for the Lewiston Tribune: “A recent editorial by the Tribune included making false accusations about my service in the Idaho treasurer's office. These claims by my Democrat opponent and the fact that the Tribune's editorial page editor didn't bother to check the facts before he put them in print give those charges no credibility at all. My opponent and her friends in the media keep repeating that the state treasurer lost $19 million of taxpayer money. Not true. Unrealized losses do not amount to realized losses. They only become realized losses when you sell the security/securities in question. A certified public accountant should know that, especially if she is running for office. A biased editorial writer may not know this, but he should at least seek the truth before making unfounded statements. Facts matter.” More here.

Question: Do you have misgivings re: performance of four-term Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane?

Task Force Denounces Hate Crime

Spokeswoman Heather Keen of the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe reports that the Idaho Department of Transportation has already replaced the historical market contaminated with racist graffiti. She encourages anyone with information about this incident to call the Idaho State Police or Crime Stoppers at 1800-222-8477. (Courtesy photo: Coeur d'Alene Tribe)

Tony Stewart of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations sent the following letter to the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe re: racist vandalism found on the DeSmet Mission historical marker over the weekend: “It is with great sadness and concern that we have learned about the hate message scrawled on the Coeur d’Alene Tribal historical sign. It is obvious that the perpetrator or perpetrators have engaged in the most hideous form of racism that has emerged from their deep seated bigotry and prejudice. This is clearly a hate crime with the intent to promote anger and hatred directed at the good people of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. It is unfortunately another example to remind us that we still have a challenge in eradicating racism from the world’s society. We condemn and denounce in the strongest terms this act of hatred.” Full letter here. (Courtesy photo of vandalism: Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe)

Question: Do you consider the vandalism to the DeSmet Mission historical marker to be a hate crime?

HBO Blogosphere — 7.14.14

Smokey Bear was on hand to pose for photos with participants in the 7th annual Coeur d'Alene Parks Day at the new McEuen Park Saturday. You can see more photos and read more about Parks Day here.

HucksOnline numbers (for week of July 6-12): 39,326 page-views/24,615 unique views

Edit: Solons Whiff On Mental Health

Kootenai County missed out once. If local legislators can briefly trade ideology for reality and follow through with practical solutions, maybe we won't miss out next time. Lack of strong legislative support was instrumental in the state overlooking Coeur d'Alene in funding its first mental health crisis center. The clear front-runner all along, Coeur d'Alene missed out; Idaho Falls will be home to the first such facility.