Archive for May 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — The only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed and is back in U.S. custody after nearly five years of captivity, U.S. officials said Saturday.
The officials said the Taliban agreed to turn over Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The transfers happened after a week of intense negotiations mediated by the government of Qatar, which will take custody of the Afghans.
In a statement, President Barack Obama said Bergdahl’s recovery “is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.”
Officials said the Taliban turned the 28-year-old Bergdahl over Saturday evening, local time, in Afghanistan. Several dozen U.S. special forces were involved in the exchange, which took place in eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. Read more.
What wonderful news!
This weekend we say goodbye to May and hello to June. The weather should be warm and sunny, so I plan to spend every moment I can outside in our backyard with my family.
There's Art Fest and Skyfest going on this weekend in Spokane, but for once I plan to enjoy just staying home.
Here's your weekend Wild Card.
On her blog 'From a Simple Mind,' Cis Gors recalls her move from Rhode Island to Idaho in 1982. She writes: Our next fun, was going thru Montana. Another highway with huge hills. Some of them leveling off for a mile or two at the top, and other were barely a half block and down you go again.. Which was really like a roller coaster, as you are pushing it, trying to climb the hill… to the speed of 8 miles per hour for the bus.. floorboarding it all the way up, only to find out …it was straight down and at speeds of what seem like 80 mph… trying not to use the brake very much… for two reasons. One, not to wear it out. Two to keep the speed coming, so when you started toclimb the next one, you still has some momentum going, to keep going over the top of the next one…
On Wednesday, a guy pulled out of a parking space at Costco without looking behind him and almost nailed me. He finally noticed me after completeing his back up and yelled, “Sorry!”
Yesterday while on my afternoon walk I was almost smashed by a guy on a Segway delivering phone books. I am not even kidding. He cut in front of me so sharply, I could smell his lack of deoderant. Seriously, who delivers phone books on a Segway?
I wish I could sit safely at my desk all day, but I've got places to go and an author to interview. Hopefully, someone took the RUN ME OVER sign off my back.
Here's your Wild Card.
Lake City Development Corporation today introduces the schematic for the commercial and mixed-use affordable housing project slated for midtown.
“The Housing Company’s Midtown mix-use, affordable housing initiative will be the main element in LCDC’s Midtown redevelopment effort, providing quality affordable housing, new street level commercial space, and new public space to the Midtown community,” said Tony Berns, Executive Director, Lake City Development Corporation.
This project will help improve, modernize and develp a unique live/work district within Coeur d’Alene out of what was once an underutilized area. This project will consist of 38 total units with a building footprint of 12,000 sq ft, 3 stories and 40’ tall.
“The Housing Company has worked with LCDC for 2 years now; We are happy to be involved,” said Douglas Peterson, Director, The Housing Company. “We will continue to work together to bring this project to fruition, while also fulfilling a need to create quality affordable housing in the Midtown neighborhood.”
Well? What do you think?
The Senate Education Committee will look a lot different when the 2015 Legislature convenes — with a new chairperson and at least two other new members.
And the committee’s vice chairman, Idaho Falls Republican Dean Mortimer, says he is interested in succeeding Chairman John Goedde, one of six incumbent lawmakers to lose in the May 20 GOP primary.
“(It’s) not a job for the lighthearted,” Mortimer said of the chairperson’s spot. “(But) I think there’s an opportunity to make a significant difference in the educational community.”
Committee chairs drive much of the agenda at the Statehouse. They have almost unfettered authority to decide which bills get a hearing — and which bills get scuttled. Goedde was one of the Legislature’s most high-profile committee chairs. More here. Kevin Richert, IdahoEd News
Are you hopeful that the new members will be a postive change? (Also, what would be “a job for the lighthearted”).
CALDWELL, Idaho — Canyon County Commissioner Craig Hanson has apologized in a letter to members of the Caldwell mayor's staff and others who “were unintentionally offended” during a May 19 incident that has been reported to the police.
Mayor Garret Nancolas asked for the apology for what the mayor describes as Hanson's red-faced and threatening outburst directed at the mayor's secretary and others.
The Idaho Press-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1mReKMC) that Hanson was displeased with a Caldwell Chamber of Commerce political ad on May 18 criticizing county commissioners for relocating the Canyon County Fair. Commissioners called the ad a “political attack” just ahead of the May 20 election.
Caldwell Police Department Chief Chris Allgood says police are investigating the events of May 19.
“Commissioner Hanson had contact with (Chamber of Commerce Executive Director) Theresa Hardin and then he came over and spoke with the mayor's secretary,” Allgood said.
Nancolas heard about the event from his staff and requested in a letter that Hanson not return to City Hall unless he first apologized. Read more.
Thank goodness nothing like that would ever happen in the Lake City, right?
Hollywood’s studios have some good news as the summer movie season kicks into high gear: Business is up.
The movie industry is on track to beat last year’s box-office record. The Memorial Day weekend’s blockbuster opening of “X-Men: Days of Future Past” grossed an impressive $111 million, and studios hope upcoming flicks on giant fighting robots, animated dragons and hyper-intelligent apes can keep that momentum going.
Box office revenue is up 3.3 percent so far this year compared with the same period in 2013, and that’s a strong sign given that ticket sales have generally been trending lower for the last decade. Audiences have thinned out amid heightened competition from video games, TV and other forms of entertainment.
What's the last movie you saw in a theater?
Federal budget cuts not only grounded the return of SkyFest in 2013, they also put the kibosh on what was to be Maj. Joshua Boudreaux’s first of two years with the Air Force’s Thunderbirds demonstration team.
“Any pilot who’s grounded feels like a little part of them dies,” said Boudreaux at Fairchild Air Force Base on Thursday, standing in front of the F-16 jet he’ll fly this weekend during the return of Spokane’s once-annual air show.
Fairchild officials canceled the expected return of SkyFest last year when the Defense Department announced the Thunderbirds would not be traveling as a result of sequestration. On Thursday, members of “America’s Ambassadors in Blue,” as they’re known internationally, arrived in Spokane after a year’s delay, with the assist of Fairchild’s signature aircraft. Kip Hill, SR
Have you ever attended Skyfest or other air shows?
Three little boys lay in the dark, confused and uncertain what was happening.
The bedroom window slid open, and a policeman climbed into their bedroom. “We're going to get you out of here, boys, don't be afraid.” One by one he lifted them out, put them in his patrol car, gave them some Teddy bears to hold, and drove them to shelter. They didn't know it then, but that was the night their parents died and their world was turned upside down.
For many policemen, that would have been the end of the story - not so for ISP Officer Sean Daly. Every night during their weeks at Children's Village, on his own time Sean would go spend time with them, playing with them, reading to them, helping them settle for the night. Sometimes in the middle of the night there would be a call, and he would go, just to hold them, to reassure and comfort them. He was their guy as long as they needed him.
His affection and attention created a bridge for them, between the lives they had known, and their uncertain future. And they never forgot.
Officer Daly served the public in North Idaho for 30 years before illness forced an early retirement. During that time he helped thousands of people, told many more thousands of entertaining stories, and performed innumerable acts above and beyond the call of duty. “He had such tremendous respect for the public,” says his wife, Jackie, “and he just had a big heart. Sean never saw the work he did as just a traffic stop or just another accident, he saw the people: moms and dads, sons and daughters. It wasn't just his job, something he had to do every day; he respected them as people.” Read more. Connie Godak, Special to the CdA Press
Today's CdA Press poll asks which local event you are most looking forward to: Car d' Lane, Ironman or 4th of July celebrations?
Ansun Sujoe, left, and Sriram Hathwar raise the championship trophy after being named co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Oxon Hill, Md., on Thursday.
OXON HILL, Md. – For the first time in 52 years, two spellers were declared co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday.
Sriram Hathwar, of Painted Post, New York, and Ansun Sujoe, of Fort Worth, Texas, shared the title after a riveting final-round duel in which they nearly exhausted the 25 designated championship words. After they spelled a dozen words correctly in a row, they both were named champions.
Earlier, 14-year-old Sriram opened the door to an upset by 13-year-old Ansun after he misspelled “corpsbruder,” a close comrade. But Ansun was unable to take the title because he got “antigropelos,” which means waterproof leggings, wrong. More.
Are you good at spelling? Have you ever won a spelling bee?
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring states to look beyond intelligence scores in cases of mental disability to determine whether a death row inmate is eligible for execution could have ramifications for at least one Idaho prisoner, KTVB-TV reports. The justices ruled Tuesday that Florida and a handful of other states, including Idaho, cannot rely solely on an IQ score above 70 to bar an inmate from claiming mental disability. Gerald Pizzuto Jr. has been on Idaho's death row since 1986. He appealed, saying that his IQ was below 70, making it illegal for the state to execute him; Pizzuto's IQ was measured at 72 when he was 29. A score of 70 is widely accepted as a marker of mental disability, but medical professionals say people who score as high as 75 can be considered intellectually disabled because of the test's margin of error. “The ruling is of great constitutional and practical significance,” said Sacramento-based attorney Joan Fisher, Pizzuto's attorney.
What are your feelings about capital punishment?
SAN FRANCISCO - Transgender people receiving Medicare may no longer be automatically denied coverage for sex reassignment surgeries, a U.S. Department of Health and Services review board ruled Friday in a groundbreaking decision that recognizes the procedures as a medically necessary and effective treatment for individuals who do not identify with their biological sex.
Ruling in favor of a 74-year-old Army veteran whose request to have Medicare pay for her genital reconstruction was denied two years ago, the agency’s Departmental Appeals Board ruled that a three-decade-old HHS rule excluding such surgeries from the procedures covered by the national health program for the elderly and disabled was unjustified.
“Sometimes I am asked aren’t I too old to have surgery. My answer is how old is too old?” the veteran, Denee Mallon, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, said in an email interview before the board issued its decision. “When people ask if I am too old, it feels like they are implying that it’s a ‘waste of money’ to operate at my age. But I could have an active life ahead of me for another 20 years. And I want to spend those years in congruence and not distress.” More here.
Agree or disagree with this decision?
(CNN) — Your spouse “had to stay late at work” — are you skeptical? Do you think your friend doesn't like you if he cancels dinner plans? Do you suspect that your co-worker is putting her ambitions ahead of the team?
Curmudgeons of the world, listen up: This line of negative thinking might actually hurt your health.
“There have been previous studies that showed that people who were cynical were more likely to die earlier and have other poor health outcomes, but no one that we could tell ever looked at dementia,” said Anna-Maija Tolppanen, one of the study's authors and a professor at the University of Eastern Finland. “We have seen some studies that show people who are more open and optimistic have a lower risk for dementia so we thought this was a good question to ask.” Read more.
Are you a cynical person?
LOS ANGELES – Shelly Sterling reached an agreement Thursday night to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion in what would be a record deal if approved by the NBA, according to an individual with knowledge of the negotiations.
The individual, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, said Ballmer and the Sterling Family Trust now have a binding agreement. The deal now must be presented to the NBA.
Shelly Sterling negotiated the sale after her husband, Donald Sterling, made racist remarks that were made public. The remarks included Sterling telling girlfriend V. Stiviano not to bring blacks to Clippers games, specifically mentioning Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. Donald Sterling must also approve the final agreement as a 50 percent owner.
Ballmer beat out bids by Guggenheim Partners and a group including former NBA All-Star Grant Hill after presenting an “all-around superior bid,” the individual said. Ballmer made more than an hourlong personal visit to Shelly Sterling’s Malibu home Sunday and laid out his plan.
Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, is interested in taking over as chairman of the Senate Education Committee, Idaho Education News reports today, now that longtime Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, has been defeated in the GOP primary. EdNews reporter Kevin Richert reports that Mortimer, who was unopposed in the primary and also faces no opponent in November, is already thinking about how he’d head the panel; you can read Richert’s full report here. Decisions on committee chairmanships and assignments won’t come ‘til the Legislature’s organizational session in December. Betsy Russell, EOB
More than five months after three megaloads were proposed to move through this area, the oil refinery equipment en route to Montana remains stuck at the Port of Wilma near Clarkston, Wash.
Bigge Crane and Rigging of San Leandro, Calif., has entered the picture as a second hauler to vie for a permit through the Idaho Transportation Department, said Jason Minzghor, operations manager for ITD in Coeur d'Alene.
However, Mammoet later eyed U.S. 95 to Sandpoint and to Highway 200 as a possible route because the I-90 option triggered a review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Mammoet temporarily suspended its permit request a few weeks ago, but has since decided to forge ahead with the request, Minzghor said. More here. Brian Walker, CdA Press
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned Friday after publicly apologizing for systemic problems plaguing the agency’s health care system.
President Barack Obama said he accepted the retired four-star general’s resignation “with considerable regret” during an Oval Office meeting. Shinseki had been facing mounting calls to step down from lawmakers in both parties since a scathing internal report out Wednesday found broad and deep-seated problems in the sprawling health care system, which provides medical care to about 6.5 million veterans annually.
What can be done to fix the terribly troubled VA system?
This commentary from the Moscow-Pullman Daily News does not necessarily reflect the view of The Spokesman-Review’s editorial board.
The friend of my enemy is my enemy.
Is that how it goes?
It is if you tea party the way C.T. “Chris” Troupis tea parties.
Troupis was defeated soundly in the recent Republican primary by incumbent Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.
So were most of his compatriots in statewide races. Nonetheless, immediately after the election, Troupis and the other losers in the Republican primary promised to support their party’s nominees in November.
Then, the Democrats’ nominee for Idaho attorney general, Bruce Bistline, announced he won’t be campaigning against Wasden in the November general election. Bistline said the main reason he was running was to provide opposition to Troupis, in case he won the Republican primary. But, all things considered, he doesn’t disagree much with the way Wasden has handled the office of attorney general the past 12 years.
Quite a display of bipartisanship.
But hold on. Now Troupis says that means Wasden, who has always run as a Republican, must be a Democrat. Read more.
Izzit just me or are some folks in Idaho confused about the differences between a Republican and a Democrat?
Two high-rollers who have fought over a sprawling lakefront compound in North Idaho are back in court, trying to determine who can keep hundreds of fixtures, appliances and other items removed from that home just before a foreclosure sale last month.
The latest contention erupted shortly after the 11,000-square-foot home on Mica Bay changed hands during a foreclosure proceeding on April 14-15.
Dana Martin, owner of a Los Angeles-based car dealership, is now the owner of the home and two adjacent lots on the west shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Losing the home through foreclosure was Arizona developer Denny Ryerson, a 69-year-old Gonzaga University regent who had built the house as his and his wife’s dream retirement home. Tom Sowa, SR
Among the missing furnishings: a French-made gas cooking range valued at $45,000, a 20-foot-long iron chandelier worth about $40,000 – and of course the bathroom sink. Do you think Ryerson should return the items?
Ballet Coeur d’Alene student Klaire Mitchell dances during a rehearsal for the studio’s performance of “Carnival of the Animals” on Saturday. The students also will perform in “Adalia,” an original ballet.
The new ballet “Adalia,” to be performed Saturday by the students at Ballet Coeur d’Alene, has a fairy godmother and a palace in the clouds.
But it strays from the princess stories told and retold on stage and screen.
Brooke Nicholson – the studio’s artistic director and a former dancer for San Francisco’s Smuin Ballet, the New York City Opera, the Boston Ballet and other companies – adapted an “obscure little story” by the Brothers Grimm to write the ballet.
The result is “kid-friendly,” Nicholson said, “but not exactly pink sparkles.”
“Adalia” makes its premiere Saturday in Coeur d’Alene, in a program featuring the studio’s students that also includes a contemporary spin on Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals” and a series of variations, or solo performances. Adrian Rogers, SR
Okay, I admit it. I've never attended a ballet performance. Have you?
Mike Hollingworth photo
It’s a bird, it’s a plane: WestCoast Window Cleaning owner Eric Katzer, dressed as Superman, looks through the window at Hazelle Twichell, 4, during Superhero Day on Friday at Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital. Window washers wore superhero costumes and rappelled down the sides of the hospital, surprising patients. The window washers also donated to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which raises money for Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital.
COEUR d'ALENE - Six. That's how many fake Democrats the Kootenai County Democratic Central Committee is being forced to deal with as newly elected precinct captains.
The half-dozen dummy Democrats will be politely asked to resign, said Paula Neils, executive committee chair of the central committee.
Neils identified Tamra D. Dale II, Bob McBride, Karen Sullivan, Thomas Macy, Richard Teich and Dale Herboldt as either Independents or Republicans. All won primary elections last week. Neils said because the six are elected they can't be forced out.
“They can't even get kicked out if they don't show up,” Neils said. “But we can appoint vice-chairs who can vote in their stead. And that's what we'll do in as many cases as we can.” More here. David Cole, CdA Press
How do you think the KCDCC should deal with the fake dems?
In yesterday's Wild Card, Cis told DFO, “You keep this up, it will be Cindy's blog, Cindy's rules with Dave Oliveria subbing occasional.”
I'll let you in on a little secret. The first few days of blog subbing are like a delightful romp through the grassy greens of McEuen Park. The final few days are more like standing in front of the S.S. Kiwanis and getting repeatedly shot in the eye by streams of recycled water.
I don't know how Dave does this for 150 days or so days a year;-)
But Cis raises an intriguing point. What would Cindy's blog rules be?
Feel free to weigh in and I'll consider your suggestions. If there's any breaking news you think I may miss you can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunrise Rotary Club of Coeur d’Alene awarded $5000 in scholarships to 6 local students during their weekly meeting last Tuesday.
The students are (L-R): Anna Waltar, CCA ($1000), Kari Livingston ($1000) CCA, Melonie Wright CCA ($500), Ariel Mesenbrink CCA ($500), Elizabeth McCormick Venture HS ($1000 ) & Shay Neely CCA ($1000).
Each month, Sunrise Rotary honors a student from Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy and from Venture High School (formerly Project CDA). Students from those schools are invited to apply for the annual scholarships.
Spokane police have arrested and charged three people with first-degree murder in relation to the death of a man whose body was found recently in Kootenai County.
Courts documents identify the murder victim as Mark Broadwater, 32, who was reported missing in April 2013.
Arrested were: Jeffery B. Sankey, 47, Judy L. Diamond, 40, and Peter E. O’Brien, 44. All three have been booked into Spokane County Jail.
Broadwater’s body was found near Fernan Lake earlier this month. His family has been notified. More here.
The state’s largest teachers’ association is pushing back against a reworked teacher licensure system — a recommendation that received unanimous support from an education reform task force last August. Idaho Education Association President Penni Cyr said her organization opposes tying a teacher’s statewide license to evaluations performed at the school district level.
Gov. Butch Otter’s Task Force for Improving Education unanimously approved recommendations for a tiered teacher licensure system. A related proposal would increase educators’ salaries to $40,000, $50,000 or $60,000 based on movement between the three-tiered licensure system.
Cyr and IEA representatives from Meridian, Sandpoint and Pocatello all voted for the tiered licensure and career ladder when the task force recommendations were approved Aug. 23.
While the IEA opposes tying licensure to local evaluations, Cyr said her group has not changed its position.
“The IEA strongly supports the concept of a career ladder and tiered licensure, but the devil is in the details,” Cyr said. More here. Clark Corbin, Idaho Ed News
Should licensure be tied to evaluations performed at the school district level?
The South Korean government has said it is adding “a female touch” for car users in the capital Seoul – by creating women-only parking spaces which are longer, wider and marked with pink outlines.
Though it seems they will only promote further the stereotype that women are worse drivers, the so-called “she-spots” come as part of an estimated AUS$100 million (£55 million) programme to make the city more female-friendly, according to reports on the website motoring.com.au.
The scheme will also see pavements resurfaced with a “slightly spongy material” that makes them easier to walk on in high heels. Read more.
Practical or patronizing?
A Utah high school has retouched yearbook photographs of some female students whose pictures may have been too revealing for some adults.
Wasatch High School in Heber City, about 50 miles from Salt Lake City, is under fire after it altered the images of some students to show less skin. The school never notified the students before resorting to Photoshop.
According to local media reports, some photos were edited to apparently protect the girls’ modesty: sleeves were added and in another, a neckline was strategically raised. For some students, it was the arbitrary nature of the adjustments that rankled.
“‘I feel like they put names in a hat and pick and choose who,” sophomore Rachel Russel told WGHP. Russel’s original picture showed her in a sleeveless top, but in the yearbook version, she has black sleeves. Full story.
How would you respond if this was your daughter's school?
Coeur d'Alene police detectives have arrested an 18-year-old Coeur d'Alene man for his role in a May 4 robbery alleged to have occurred at Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches in Coeur d'Alene.
Joshua Reed, a Jimmy John's employee, is now facing a burglary charge for the robbery he reported to police.
Reed, according to police investigators, reported that he was forced by a male suspect back into the Government Way business while taking out the garbage. Reed said the man displayed a handgun and pointed it at him and demanded cash. Reed allegedly told police he complied with the demand, and the suspect then fled the area on foot.
The investigators determined Reed planned the phony robbery and three other individuals assisted him. Those individuals have not been arrested at this time so their names will not be released. Detectives recovered an air soft pistol used in the fake robbery and a bank bag that was taken from the business. Reed was charged with burglary for his role in this theft. CdA Press
WASHINGTON – Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday called National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden a fugitive and challenged him to “man up and come back to the United States.” Snowden says in an interview that he would like to go home.
The former NSA contract systems analyst is living in Russia on a temporary grant of asylum after leaking a massive volume of NSA documents to the media. He told NBC News anchor Brian Williams that he had taken action in the belief that he was serving his country in exposing the surveillance programs of the NSA.
“I don’t think there’s ever been any question that I’d like to go home,” Snowden said in a segment of the interview broadcast Wednesday night. “Now, whether amnesty or clemency ever becomes a possibility is not for me to say. That’s a debate for the public and the government to decide. But, if I could go anywhere in the world, that place would be home.” More.
What do you think will eventually become of Edward Snowden?
Idaho's two most experienced lawmakers — Republican Sen. Mike Crapo and 2nd District GOP Rep. Mike Simpson — have been named to the inaugural class of 32 “Fiscal Heroes” in Congress by the Campaign to Fix the Debt.
The award was announced last week by the non-partisan group based in Washington, D.C. “Fiscal Heroes,” according to the group, take fiscally responsible votes, push their leaders to make debt a priority, lead bipartisan efforts and educate constituents by “advocating to keep tough choices on the table.”
Fix the Debt supports entitlement reform and tax reform to put the nation's $17 trillion debt “on a downward path in the long-term and allow the economy to thrive.” More here. Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesmen
Well? Are they your fiscal heroes?
According to the League of American Bicyclists, Idaho is now the twentieth most “Bicycle Friendly State,” up from number 26 in the 2013 rankings. Each May, for the past seven years, the LAB has released its latest “Bicycle Friendly States” Ranking during National Bike Month.
Idaho’s number 20 ranking was based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provides on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encouragement programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride. Read more.
How often do you ride and where?
The Idaho Republican Party has announced a second big-name speaker for its state convention in Moscow in June: Mike Huckabee. The former presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor will address the convention’s kickoff dinner on Thursday night, June 12; tickets are $50, or $200 including a VIP reception and photo-op. The convention also will feature Sen. Rand Paul as its keynote speaker during the Friday night banquet.
Too early to start predicting who will get the 2016 GOP nod?
(Newser) – “Dog people” and “cat people” may both fall into the animal lover category, but they're not exactly cut from the same cloth, a new study finds. Carroll University researcher Denise Guastello and her team surveyed 600 college students and found cat lovers to be more open-minded, sensitive, and non-conformist than the dog-fancying majority, which, besides being more outgoing, was more inclined to follow rules. Perhaps the most contentious finding of those presented on Saturday: Cat lovers emerged as more intelligent, LiveScience reports, without elaboration. Full story.
Of course, this comes as no surprise to me. How about you?
Vincent and Peggy Slatt, 94 and 93, respectively, celebrated their 70th anniversary at home on May 16. They married in 1944, when Vincent was a junior lieutenant in the Navy.Jesse Tinsley photo
Handball has played a pivotal role in Vince Slatt’s life. If not for his expertise at the game, he might never have married, Peggy, his wife of 70 years.
Vince Slatt and Peggy Hennessey grew up in Butte. He attended an all-boys high school; she went to an all-girls school. After graduation, Vince attended the University of Notre Dame and Peggy went to the University of St. Mary, in Leavenworth, Kansas.
In 1941, they were both home for the holidays. Several dances were held and Vince had his eye on Peggy. Unfortunately, so did his friend.
“We both wanted to take Peggy to a dance,” Vince recalled. “We didn’t want to flip a coin, so we played handball. I won, so I got to take her to the dance.”
One dance was all it took. Peggy laughed. “My mother said, ‘Oh, you would fall in love with a tango lizard,’ ” she said. She glanced at Vince and added, “He’s still a great dancer!” Read more. Cindy Hval, SR
Do you think it you'll make it to the 70 year mark with your spouse?
BOISE – Four couples who successfully sued Idaho Gov. Butch Otter over the state’s gay marriage ban are now asking to be reimbursed for nearly half a million dollars of attorney fees and other court costs.
The group filed a motion in Boise’s U.S. District Court on Tuesday asking that the state be ordered to pay more than $467,000 for the expenses associated with bringing the lawsuit.
U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale overturned Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage earlier this month, saying the ban unconstitutionally denies gay and lesbian residents of their constitutional right to marry. Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden have appealed that ruling; the case is still pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Until the appeal is decided, no same-sex marriages will be allowed or recognized in the state.
Should these couples be reimbursed?
Victoria Zvoncheck-Ferro, owner of Audrey’s, a Boutique, helps fit model Heather Moore with a dress and accessories for the June 7 Red Cross benefit fashion show Fire on the Runway. Colin Mulvaney photo
Trudy Raymond, 69, slipped on a shimmering dark blue evening dress at Audrey’s, a Boutique, on a recent afternoon, and slowly pivoted in front of a mirror.
Raymond will be a model at Fire on the Runway, an annual Inland Northwest Red Cross fundraiser featuring local firefighters and others.
Raymond is also a member of the fashion show’s planning committee. It’s a labor of love for her: She knows firsthand what the Red Cross can provide.
“We lost our home in the 1987 Hangman Hills fire,” she said. “My husband and I were able to get home, grab our two kitties and we ran for our lives through smoke and flames.” More here. Cindy Hval, SR
Have you ever attended a fashion show?
COEUR d'ALENE - North Idaho College trustees decided Wednesday to balance the college's budget for the next fiscal year by increasing tuition rather than levying more property taxes.
The trustees accepted the college administration's proposal to fill a budget shortfall of $352,182 for fiscal year 2015 by raising tuition by $2 per credit for Kootenai County students and $6 per credit for out-of-district students. Local students taking 12 credits will now pay $1,511 per semester, a 1.6 percent increase.
LONDON – Almost a third of the world is now fat, and no country has been able to curb obesity rates in the last three decades, according to a new global analysis.
Researchers found more than 2 billion people worldwide are now overweight or obese. The highest rates were in the Middle East and North Africa, where nearly 60 percent of men and 65 percent of women are heavy. The U.S. has about 13 percent of the world’s fat population, a greater percentage than any other country. China and India combined have about 15 percent.
Where does the fault lie— processed foods, overeating, lack of education about healthy food choices, other?
File photo: The Tap House Steak is the signature dish at Manito Tap House.
AMARILLO, Texas – A Nebraska woman celebrated breaking a Texas steakhouse’s speed record for eating a 41/2-pound slab of beef by polishing off another one.
The Amarillo Globe-News and the Big Texan Steak Ranch’s Twitter page said competitive eater Molly Schuyler finished her first steak in 4 minutes and 58 seconds. The previous record was 8 minutes and 52 seconds.
The 5-foot-7, 125-pound mother from Bellevue, Nebraska, ate her second 41/2-pound steak in 9 minutes and 59 seconds.
The restaurant foots the bill for anyone who can eat one of the steaks, a baked potato, shrimp, a salad and bread roll in under an hour, so Schuyler ate those side dishes as well.
I can't even imagine! What's the most you've ever eaten at one sitting?
BOISE – Texas Hold ’Em poker is no different than golf under Idaho law, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe contends as it fights a lawsuit filed by the state.
Poker is a game of skill, in which players can pay fees to enter tournaments and win prizes for how well they do, according to the tribe, which opened a card room in its casino.
The state of Idaho sued the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in federal court May 2.
The state argued that poker is illegal in Idaho, prohibited both by the state constitution and the law. But the tribe said the type of poker it’s offering – Texas Hold ’Em tournament play – is legal and is widely played in Idaho.
“As long as the state permits a single person, organization or entity to operate a game at any location in the state, whether for charity purposes or otherwise, the tribe is entitled to operate such games in its gaming facility,” the tribe argued. Betsy Russell, SR
Agree or disagree with the Tribe's contention that Texas Hold 'Em is no different than golf?
A Coeur d’Alene woman who was hospitalized with an E. coli infection earlier this month has sued a North Idaho sprouts producer and the restaurant she says served her the food that made her sick.
Honey Sayler, 33, filed suit Tuesday against Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, of Moyie Springs, and the Jimmy John’s restaurant in Hayden.
Sayler is one of eight Northwest residents who were confirmed to be infected with the strain of E. coli, and investigators believe all of them ate raw clover sprouts grown at Evergreen.
About six days after she ate a veggie sandwich at the restaurant, Sayler began to experience severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. Scott Maben, SR
Have you ever had food poisoning?
The local Republican Party reorganized its legislative district and county central committee structure Wednesday night, but not much changed. Neil Oliver will remain as the county central committee chairman after two of his challengers dropped out of the race for the sake of “peace and unity.” Because the party's executive leadership does not have to hold an elected committee seat, Brent Regan was nominated for chairman. Idaho State Rep. Luke Malek was also nominated. … “We have a Republican Party that is divided,” Regan said. “We have groups of individuals but we need a central committee that stands together.” He said if he is elected, he would mend the divide in the party and get people listening to each other again. “We could have peace or we could continue fighting while everything else goes to hell,” Regan said. … Just as Oliver was explaining that the chairman would have to secure a majority of the votes cast, which could involve several votes in a three-way race, Regan dropped out of the running. “In the interest of peace and unity, I am withdrawing my nomination,” Regan said, giving his endorsement to Oliver. Malek followed suit/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Is this the beginning of a new era of unity in the local Republican Party?
I know that the following announcement is going to cause the usual caterwauling out there, but … it's almost vacay time. Yep, your tireless Huckleberry Hound is spent after the recent primary election and in bad need of break. 2 weeks, 2 days this time. Per usual, Cindy and her Cat Photos are about to take center stage at Huckleberries Online, starting Thursday. I remain grateful that she has my back (although she tends to exaggerate the number of vacation days I take). We still have today, however. So let's sing in the sunshine. Hmm. It's overcast out there. So let's just blog. Here's your Hump Day Wild Card …
“We we're wondering why it was here,” said Kris Schenck as she took a picture of her friend Mary Salove in front of the replica Statue of Liberty at City Beach in Sandpoint on Wednesday. The two are visiting from Boise. The statue was donated in memory of Louis (lee) Turner in 2003. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
I'm minutes away from a two-week break from the blog. It'll take several days to get work out of my system. As much as I enjoy doing what I do, I'm looking forward to that. When I return to Huckleberries Central, we need to begin a conversation re: any tweaks the blog might need as we go forward. I'm kicking around the idea of having a series of brown bag lunches with 3-4 of you at a time — here at the SR's Coeur d'Alene office. I'll supply the meeting room. You'll have to BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag). Seems as though we've been covering elections year round since spring 2012 when Mary, Kathy & Co. launched their unsuccessful recall attempt against then Coeur d'Alene mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members. I'm not sure the general election this year will be as stirring. So we have a little less than a year before the next election that might ignite passions (Coeur d'Alene & Post Falls school boards in spring 2015). So we'll need to hobnob about features I/we can bring onto Huckleberries Online to keep things interesting. It'll be interesting to hear your thoughts/DFO.
Question: What tweaks would you like to see at Huckleberries Online?
Time 2 Vote …
Isabelle Marie Simmons, from 21st Century Education Foundation, in Annapolis, Md., reacts after misspelling her word during the preliminaries, round two of the Scripps National Spelling Bee this morning at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Tuesday Winner — Phaedrus, with 7 likes: “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.” You can see Tuesday Photo and all the Cutline Contest entries here.
PFPD Facebook: This past week, Post Falls Police has taken several reports of graffiti at Treaty Rock Park. If you have any information or tips, please contact Det. Putnam at 208-773-3517.
Porsche-driving Washington Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart singled out Idaho's Greg Casey for shocking his “political sensibilities during this time of heightened concern about money and the access it buys in politics” by parking his Bentley yards from the U.S. House last weekend. In his blog post Tuesday, “Money and access parked at the Capitol,” Capehart includes a photo of Casey's British sports car and an email from Casey, CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based Business Industry Political Action Committee. Known in his native Idaho as a bon vivant, Casey told Capehart he used his privileges as a former Senate sergeant at arms to snag the prime parking spot Saturday while his son worked at the rehearsal for the Memorial Day concert at the Capitol/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
If you happen to be a Twitter junkie, over the weekend you likely didn’t make it far before running into the #YesAllWomen hashtag. For those of you playing the home game, or are otherwise wise enough–at least in this instance–to forgo social media all together, a brief recap: Friday evening, Elliot Rodger, 22, killed six people in a rampage near the University of California at Santa Barbara campus after vowing “retribution” for women’s apparent lack of romantic interest in him. By the next day, before the bodies of the dead had even been given time to relax of their rigors, incensed feminists and others churned up the fires of outrage by way of #YesAllWomen, in which the mentally-addled evil of one socially-deprived man-child evolved somehow into an indictment on that ever-present though just-below-the-surface, nagging, brutish, ancient, misogynistic male hegemony. It’s not enough for murder to be the fault of the murderer. No, it’s has to be all of our fault. Don’t bother leaving your house tomorrow, ladies. We’re out to get you/Michael Haugen, Right Argument. More here.
Embattled Idaho Republican Chairman Barry Peterson's nemesis — Mountain Home City Councilman Geoff Schroeder — was elected Elmore County GOP vice chairman Tuesday. And the new county chair is Megan Blanksma of Hammett, who ousted former Chairman Jace Prow, Peterson's friend and business partner. “I think Barry's days are numbered,” Schroeder said Wednesday. “Many people are tired of his method of doing business and his handling of the party over the last two years.” Peterson blamed Blanksma's and Schroeder's victories — two in a series of 10-8 votes Tuesday night — on supporters of Gov. Butch Otter who aim to replace Peterson as party chairman at next month's state convention in Moscow/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (AP file photo: Idaho GOP chairman Barry Peterson and Gov. Butch Otter have kiss & make-up session after GOPrimary last week)
Question: Do you think Barry Peterson's days are numbered as state GOP chairman?
Edward Cairns sent us this picture of a cow moose with her newborn calf upstream from Twin Lakes, Idaho. He had a great 'critter-watching' experience in which he saw: nine moose (one calf), three rabbits, one elk and several deer. Watch is video here: http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2014/may/28/moose-palooza-twin-lakes/
Huckleberries numbers (for Tuesday, May 27): 7943 page-views/4284 unique views
On Facebook, OrangeTV points out that Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese, 1735 W. Kathleen Ave/CdA, is getting rave Yelp reviews. Example:
Question: Do you read Yelp ratings before deciding to go to a new restaurant?
… That the reorganization of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee tonight might be worth the price of admission. All three rings of the circus will be occupied and active. We almost saw an interesting contest for Legislative District 3 chairwoman between current chair Angela Cross, pictured, and state Sen. Bob Nonini's wife, Cathyanne. The two women represent what appears to be a new division in the local GOP between Brent Regan Republicans and Bob Pedersen's Rally Right/United Conservatives of North Idaho. However, Cathyanne Nonini, after talking about the race over the weekend, decided against challenging Cross. Which upset Rally Right/UCNI svengali Bob Pedersen. At a meeting of the Rally Right/UCNI at the Golden Spike/Rathdrum, Pedersen presided over a lively meeting of his ground troops to set up votes for tonight's meeting. But, Huckleberries hears, the troops weren't as easily whipped into line as they usually are. The votes could be unpredictable tonight. Another main event will be the election of the chairman. You'd suspect that Chairman Neil Oliver would continue. But one little birdie told me that the chairman doesn't have to be a precinct committee member. The election of other officers will take place, too. The two sides are braced for battle. It appears the old Reagan Republicans of Jeff Ward & Ron Lahr might be passe.
Herb Huseland/Bay Views discusses the dirty tricks he faced as he ran unsuccessfully for GOPrecinct committeeman this spring:
Although as a astute observer of the political wars, I just didn't think dirty tricks and lies, half truths and outright fabrications were issued against me recklessly and often, would happen in a neighborhood like ours. I was wrong. Mysterious e-mails, comments that came to my blog of which I didn't post, indicated that I was several things I hadn't thought I was. The town drunk. I would wager that in the last year I have visited bars about 8 times, always leaving after a self-imposed limit of three beers and often as not, just two. A leftist. I was brazenly told that I was left of Barack Obama and that I made Obama look like a tea party enthusiast. It seems that the big lie is fair game for out local Wackos. For the record, In other than local elections for mostly non-partisan offices, I have voted straight Republican since my first one which was for Barry Goldwater, 1964/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here.
Question: I give Herb props for running. How about you?
The Coeur d'Alene Tribe will officially unveil its Warrior of Hope statue at a dedication ceremony scheduled at the Coeur d'Alene Casino, near Worley, at 11 a.m. Thursday. The Warrior of Hope embodies the tribe's cultures and traditions as well as its ongoing struggle to achieve a better life for its members. You can read more about the statue and see the program for Thursday's ceremony here.
Did you know you could win two movie tickets or a $50 Davenport Hotel gift card simply by entering The Spokesman-Review News Quiz? Test your knowledge of current events and put yourself in the running for Friday's drawings. You can take the weekly quiz here.
Four couples who successfully sued Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter over the state's gay marriage ban are now asking to be reimbursed for nearly half a million dollars of attorney fees and other court costs. The group filed a motion in Boise's U.S. District Court on Tuesday asking that the state be ordered to pay more than $467,000 for the expenses associated with bringing the lawsuit. U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale overturned Idaho's ban on same-sex marriage earlier this month, saying the ban unconstitutionally denies gay and lesbian residents of their constitutional right to marry. Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden have appealed that ruling; the case is still pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals/AP via Eye on Boise. More here.
The Coeur d’Alene 2030 Visioning Project (CDA 2030) has received a generous grant to help create a vision and action plan for a vibrant future for Coeur d’Alene. The Inland Northwest Community Foundation (INWCF) has pledged up to $10,000 in matching funds to assist CDA 2030 in implementing a strategy to guide the community into the next decade and beyond. “Donations big and small can help us move forward,” said CDA 2030 project manager Nicole Kahler. “These dollar for dollar matching funds will go a long way to helping us continue our mission.” Donations to this visionary cause can be made online at www.CDA2030.org/donate or mailed to CDA 2030 at the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce, 105 N. 1st St #100/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today.
Curmudgeons have no trouble deriding today’s teenagers. But as the recent high school graduation coverage in this newspaper’s Voice sections has demonstrated, many of them are too busy to listen. The accomplishments left us exhausted. Immigrants overcoming daunting obstacles to excel. Students thriving in music, writing, technology, science and philanthropy. If the cynics took a break and thought about their own childhoods, they’d be properly humbled. Furthermore, today’s teens are better behaved as a whole than the generations judging them. What’s missing from superficial critiques that target clothes, music and video games is how much trouble teenagers used to get into. Comparatively speaking, previous generations committed more murder and mayhem, had more unwanted pregnancies and abortions, and were more apt to drink, smoke and use illegal drugs/SR. More here.
Question: Do you think your generation of teens was better behaved than today's?
Matthew Mayeaux, the 2014 class “goat” who had the lowest GPA, holds up a bundle of money from his classmates after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's, in West Point, N.Y., Wednesday. President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address and talked about his Afghanistan plan and answered critics who say he has surrendered America's global leadership. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
DFO: My doc son points out often: What do you call the medical school graduate with the worst grades? Doctor.
Question: How did you rank in your graduating class?
The Spokane Valley sheriff’s deputy involved in a collision with a bicyclist Friday night is Joseph Bodman. His name was released as an investigation into the incident continues. The 15-year-old boy, Ryan Holyk, remains hospitalized in critical condition. Bodman has 25 years of law enforcement experience, including the past 12 years with Spokane County. The collision happened at 10:30 p.m. at East Sprague Avenue and Vista Road. Bodman was responding to back up another deputy who had stopped a suspect with a domestic violence warrant when the accident happened, according to a news release from the Spokane Investigative Regional Response Team, which is investigating. He was not using his flashing lights, witnesses have said/SR. More here.
Also: Joe Bodman, 54, served on the Post Falls City Council from 1998 to 2010 and ran unsuccessfully for Kootenai County sheriff in 2012 and for a return to the Post Falls council in 2013.
A school facilities planning expert told North Idaho College trustees Tuesday that the best sites for a new, larger technical education facility are on the Coeur d'Alene campus or in Post Falls. Dave Teater, whom the trustees hired in January to prepare a recommendation for a new building, presented his findings to the trustees during a workshop on where to expand the college's professional technical education, or career technical education, facilities. Teater presented several site options that were studied with NIC's administration. “Our costs are based on building size and the function of the site,” Teater said. The most viable options, according to Teater, include building out the facility in the old Jacklin Seed complex adjacent to NIC's Riverbend facility, in the parking lot behind NIC's Molstead Library on campus, or on the old mill site now owned by NIC/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Where should a larger tech-ed facility be located?
Tom Knorr, chairman of the Measure A campaign in Tehama County, holds a State of Jefferson flag as he poses for photographs at his ranch house in Corning, Calif., Tuesday. The idea of forming their own state has been a topic among local secession dreamers for more than a century in California’s largely rural, agrarian and politically conservative far northern counties. Residents in two counties, Del Norte and Tehama, will decide June 3, 2014, on an advisory measure that asks each county’s board of supervisors to join a wider effort to form a 51st state named Jefferson. (AP Photo/Terry Chea)
Question: Would you like to see North Idaho secede from southern Idaho?
Rather than commemorate the current City Council with many other notables on a plaque honoring those who participated in development and construction of McEuen Park, Joker has suggested that we erect statues of the council. Here is where he'd place them:
Pastor Craig Goodwin of Millwood Community Presbyterian Church stands in front of the graffiti-sprayed building Tuesday after it was painted with an anti-Christ symbol, left, and the phrase “skate or die.” A construction sign in the back of the church also was vandalized. More here. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)
To the 78 percent of people who didn’t vote, thanks for nothing. Next time you are in a conversation about anything concerning government, make sure you start your remarks with “I didn’t vote,” so we’ll know to disregard whatever you say. Don’t miss it in November. To all the people who railed against McEuen and especially those who tried to use it as a means to take over a city; when you take your children and grandchildren there (and you will), and you see the delight on their faces, I want you to look them right in the eye and say, “You know, if I had it my way none of this would be here”/Dave Walker, Coeur d'Alene, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Why don't more people vote?
It's no secret the U.S. Postal Service is a money pit. It has been losing billions of dollars annually for years. For the first three months of this year, it has lost a reported $1.9 billion. There are many factors contributing to the growing debt: competition from other delivery services; emails are instantaneous and can be received and sent from all manner of devices; a cumbersome bureaucracy; a mandate to fill a pension fund; smaller, unnecessary post offices; and delivery procedures that no longer make sense. Various solutions have been suggested, debated, amended, studied and, in most cases, rejected or shelved until later. A few years ago, a good case was made to phase out Saturday deliveries, a move that would have saved hundreds of millions of dollars. Saturday deliveries continue, however, and Congress seems reluctant to budge/Murf Raquet, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.
Question: Our government wastes billions and billions of dollars per day. If nothing else, we get mail on Saturdays — and I'm OK with the cost for it. How about you?
When the helmsman of the USS Enterprise likes your invention, you know you’re on the road to success. George Takei, who portrayed Sulu on “Star Trek” and has more than 8 million followers on social media, plugged a North Idaho couple’s idea for transforming roads, sidewalks and parking lots into solar surfaces. The next day, Scott and Julie Brusaw saw their crowdfunding campaign pass the $1 million goal. Takei learned about Solar Roadways of Sagle, Idaho, and tweeted Saturday: “I like the sound of that. Worth a look. Dare to dream, I say.” The Brusaws launched their Indiegogo online campaign April 21 to move their product toward manufacturing. They’ve received a flood of attention from news media, technology blogs and social media in the weeks since, and on Tuesday had raised more than $1.4 million from more than 33,000 contributors. That includes 73 who gave $1,000 each and seven who gave $10,000 each/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
… That some people are very unhappy that the names of Councilman Dan Gookin and Steve Adams will be included on a plaque at the new McEuen Park, honoring council members and others responsible for the park's development. Gookin and Adams, of course, opposed every phase of the park (often joined by Councilman Ron Edinger). The plaque is scheduled to be placed near the Donor Wall at the park sometime in early July. Along with Gookin and Adams, it will feature the names of all members who served on councils that were directly involved with the McEuen makeover. Other names will include the LCDC officials involved, former administrator Wendy Gabriel and former Parks Director Doug Eastwood.
DFO: For those keeping score at home, Gookin will be speaking the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans Thursday re: “McEuen Field: How We Got Here.”
Question: Should the names of Gookin and Adams be included on the plaque at McEuen Park, honoring those who made the new park possible?
Marc Johnson of The Johnson Post offers three take-aways from the GOPrimary last week:
To me the lesson is clear: Democrats in Idaho often only get a chance to shine because the state’s Republicans put forward a weak, flawed or otherwise damaged candidate. The Idaho GOP would appear to have at least three less-than-secure candidates in November – a third term seeking governor badly in need of uniting his splintered party, a secretary of state candidate who couldn’t hold his own leadership position in the state legislature and has been dogged by other controversy, and a candidate for school superintendent who no one seems to know. No predictions, but rather the observation that historically Idaho Democrats need Republicans to misfire if they are to have a chance to win an election. We’ll see if any of the current Democrats are positioned to take advantage of that history lesson. More here.
Question: Which statewide candidate is most vulnerable to an upset by a Democrat this year — Gov. Butch Otter, secretary of state candidate Lawerence Denney or secretary of state candidate Sherri Ybarra?
JimmyMAC (Anti-McEuenite Gookin attends dedication): My wife overheard the following conversation between a husband and wife in I'm guessing their early to mid 30's who were also sitting on benches next to splash pad at McEuen Park on Saturday afternoon. It might not be word for word EXACTLY but this is pretty much on point with what my very honest and very beautiful wife indicated she heard while I was chasing my ear-to-ear smiling Gracie:
That's the extent of what Mrs. Mac picked up on but if the old adage of “happy wife = happy life” is a reality in that household, I'd bet that the Kootenai County population grows by four before fall registration.
Maya Angelou, a modern Renaissance woman who survived the harshest of childhoods to become a force on stage, screen, the printed page and the inaugural dais, has died. She was 86. Her death was confirmed in a statement issued by Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she had served as a professor of American Studies since 1982. Tall and regal, with a deep, majestic voice, Angelou defied all probability and category, becoming one of the first black women to enjoy mainstream success as an author and thriving in virtually every artistic medium. The young single mother who performed at strip clubs to earn a living later wrote and recited the most popular presidential inaugural poem in history. The childhood victim of rape wrote a million-selling memoir, befriended Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and performed on stages around the world/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo: President Barack Obama kisses author and poet Maya Angelou after awarding her the 2010 Medal of Freedom)
Question: Have you read Maya Angelou's poetry?
I enjoyed The Day We Thought Would Never Come — the dedication of McEuen Park — at the Veterans Memorial Plaza Saturday morning. So many of the individuals who made the park happen were there to receive their well-deserved applause. Former councilman Mike Kennedy performed superbly as emcee. Even the wind did a swell job blowing northerly off Lake Coeur d'Alene to make the flags flap above the plaza. Elsewhere, the kids playground and splash pad were packed with children and watchful parents. It was a good day to be a Coeur d'Alene resident who supported the park from concept through the recall turmoil until now. Just sayin'. Here's your Tuesday Wild Card …
At the McEuen Park dedication Saturday, dignitaries listened to one of the many speeches given at Veterans Memorial Plaza (from bottom): Mayor Steve Widmyer, former mayor Sandi Bloem, interim Parks Director Bill Greenwood, LCDC chairman Denny Davis, former councilman Mike Kennedy, and former parks director Doug Eastwood. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Despite how well Kootenai County honors its veterans, Lew Allert still sees complacency eroding the foundations of our country. Allert, a Vietnam veteran who was named Veteran of the Year by American Legion Post 143, was the feature speaker during Monday's Memorial Day ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery in Post Falls. “This is a wonderful place to live for our veterans,” Allert told the crowd of about 250. “But I fear that we are becoming complacent, and complacency comes from within.” Allert said the local voter turnout of only 22 percent for last Tuesday's primary election, challenges to Second Amendment rights and the Veterans Administration administrative crisis are disturbing. He called on people to act and speak out. “Our Constitution and the Bill of Rights are being pushed into the trash can of history,” Allert said/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo by Shawn Gust: Post Falls Mayor Ron Jacobson addresses large, Memorial Day crowd)
Question: Do you think America has become complacent?
SR buddy Jesse Tinsley explains this photo of his: “During a game a few weeks ago, Freeman outfielder Isaiah Crane backpedaled and made a spectacular falling catch that no one expected, then fired it in to second, then first to complete the triple play, a rarity in high school ball. I showed him this photo and he said 'Oh man! That should go in the yearbook!' I said 'sorry, but it would only be in the newspaper.' He looked at me like he didn't know what I was talking about.”
Spanish bullfighter Roman grabs the horn of a Guadaira ranch fighting bull after being tossed during a bullfight of the San Isidro fair in Madrid, Spain, on Monday. The lucky bull fighter Roman was tossed by the bull but was not gored, so was able to continue the fight. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Weekend Winner — Fort Boise, with 4 likes: The adventure of Nathan's and Mickella's honeymoon took on an unexpected degree of difficulty: cots. You can see Weekend Photo plus all Cutline Contest entries here.
Randy Stapilus, the long-time political observer, points out in a recent Ridenbaugh Press post that the dividing line in Idaho GOP politics can be traced along the time zone — south an east belong to establish, northern to Tea Party: “Travelers around Idaho through primary season, watching signage and picking up on locally-produced political literature, sometimes remarked about how different the north seemed to be from the south. Those observations have been borne out. The biggest divide in Idaho politics today lies along the line between the Mountain and Pacific time zones.” You can read Stapilus report here.
Question: What do you make of Stapilus' contention that the GOPolitical fault line in Idaho is the time zone that splits it?
After 156 voicemails, countless emails — and one nomination that surprised many political observers — Sherri Ybarra is turning her attention to her next campaign. The Republican nominee for state schools superintendent is sorting through offers to help with her general election campaign. After winning her party’s nomination on a shoestring budget, she sounds prepared to engage more aggressively in campaign fundraising the second time around. But the Mountain Home school administrator says she will maintain the grassroots focus and independent approach that she says was key to her May 20 primary victory. “I took a different approach and I got a different result,” Ybarra said in an interview with Idaho Education News on Tuesday. Ybarra collected 28.5 percent of the vote in the open four-way superintendent’s primary, enough to outpace runnerup Randy Jensen by more than 5,600 votes/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.
Question: Do you consider Sherri Ybarra to be a shoo-in to win the general election race for superintendent of schools because she'll have an 'R' after her name?
DFO, left, chats with former finance director John Austin, former councilman Mike Kennedy (back to camera) and Mayor Steve Widmyer after the dedication of the new McEuen Park Saturday. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
When celebrities as politically dissimilar as Sean Hannity and George Takei show interest in your invention, you know you’re on to something. Plugs from the conservative Fox News commentator and the liberal “Star Trek” actor, plus a flood of media attention, have lit up the online crowd-sourcing campaign of a North Idaho couple developing reinforced solar panels for road, sidewalk and parking lot surfaces. Scott and Julie Brusaw, owners of Solar Roadways in Sagle, have breezed past the $1 million fundraising mark needed to move their product closer to manufacturing/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Plans to locate a staffed police substation on East Sherman Avenue are moving forward, with a City Council subcommittee on Tuesday supporting the proposal. The full council, which has previously deemed a substation in that neighborhood a high priority, will consider the matter at its next meeting June 3. Acting police Chief Ron Clark said if the council supports the concept, the police department could move in by July. Clark told the General Services Committee it would be a “fully functional” substation manned by officers and other support staff. Plans are to staff the building from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Officers would have access to the substation 24/7 to file reports and conduct other police business. In a report to the committee, Clark said opening a substation in that part of town is not a new concept/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.
Question: Is this a good move on CPD's part?
Students at the University of California at Santa Barbara returned to campus for a “day of mourning” on Tuesday, four days after the son of a Hollywood film director killed six students in a stabbing and shooting rampage across the seaside community. The university canceled classes for Tuesday, the first day since the killings on Friday that the campus would have been open, but faculty were asked to be on hand to meet with distraught students. A memorial service for the six students who were slain on Friday night was scheduled for afternoon and eight large blackboards were erected on a street corner in the community of Isla Vista, near the campus, where students were encouraged to write messages in chalk. “All of my friends are very strongly affected by this,” said William Tobolowsky, a 20-year-old microbiology major at UCSB. “Isla Vista is a close-knit community where everyone knows everyone to a certain extent”/Chicago Tribune wire report. More here. (AP photo: Mourners hug in front of the IV Deli Mart, where part of Friday night's mass shooting took place, on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 in the Isla Vista area near Goleta, Calif.)
Question: I read the original story and saw some brief TV clips of this latest horrific act by some nut acting on his inner demons. I'm becoming numb to these kinds of stories. And don't submerge myself in the media coverage of them. Do you?
Kootenai County Commissioner Dan Green, Sheriff Ben Wolfinger, Chantell White and Coeur d'Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer at the Union Gospel Mission. White will graduate from the UGM's residential recovery program in June. (Coeur d'Alene Today photo: Keith Erickson)
The Union Gospel Mission (UGM) in Coeur d’Alene invites the community to its second annual Afternoon of Hope luncheon at the organization’s Center for Women and Children, 196 W. Haycraft Ave. The luncheon is Thursday, June 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Seating is limited. This year’s Afternoon of Hope luncheon will focus on friend-raising—increasing awareness within the community of what’s happening at the UGM’s Center for Women and Children and inspiring more people to get involved. Towards that end, seats to the luncheon are being sold in pairs. If you’ve been inspired by the life transformation you’ve witnessed at the Center for Women and Children, UGM invites you to attend this luncheon with a friend. UGM is funded entirely through donations and operates on an annual budget of $750,000 in Kootenai County/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.
Question: Have you witnessed the impact of the Union Gospel Mission in Coeur d'Alene since it opened?
OrangeTV (RE: Anti-McEuenite Gookin attends event): I'm going to step out and say that I think it is inarguably a destination park. Destination (adjective) - 1.being a place that people will make a special trip to visit. I'm always looking at facebook comments on links to stories about McEuen on KREM, KHQ etc. There are many MANY comments from people in places like Colville, Bonners Ferry, wherever, that read like this: “Wow! This park looks amazing! I can't wait to have an open Saturday when we can pack the kids on the mini-van and head to Coeur d'Alene to check it out.”
Question: We've been having a bit of a debate in comments section re: nature of McEuen Park. Do you think it'll become a destination park? Part of a destination waterfront? Or what?
Idaho Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter nearly played out his string in Tuesday's GOP primary election. Idahoans are simply getting tired of him. His scandals. His corporate cronyism. His stalled economy. His failed highway funding package. His support of state schools Superintendent Tom Luna's heavy-handed public education overhaul package, which voters repealed at the polls two years ago. Still, the incumbent had everything going for him in his quest for a third term: Confidence, organization, experience, poise and resources. His opponent, state Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, had little money and a message that seemingly failed to resonate beyond his own narrow ideological band. Yet, Otter's base - Ada, Canyon and Kootenai counties — deserted him. Clearly the people who knew Otter best — those who have been voting for him nonstop since 1986 as lieutenant governor, 1st District congressman and governor — liked him least/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: What do you think the closed primary accomplished last week?
Ada County Republican Chairman Greg Ferch lost his post as a precinct committeeman in Tuesday's GOP primary by a six-vote margin, but remains eligible to run for re-election as chairman when the winners from Ada County's 145 precincts meet Thursday to organize. Ferch lost 78-72 to Travis Vanderlinden in Precinct 2113, one of 16 precincts in Legislative District 21, which is dominated by Meridian. Ferch was among a number of big names to lose as GOP factions battle for control of the party at the state convention in Moscow, June 12-14. Ada County Republicans meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Capitol's Lincoln Auditorium, where they will elect officers and more than 100 delegates to the state convention. Ferch was a fierce opponent of Gov. Butch Otter's state-run health insurance exchange, alleging that the law passed because of “vote buying” by corporations/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you think the state GOP will remain in Tea Party hands when the dust settles?
Believe it or not, I was photographed with that furry individual on the right who was at McEuen Park dedication ceremonies Saturday morning to promote Coeur d'Alene Library features. Dunno if he's a Mad Scientist. A Seuss critter. Or what. He bore some resemblance to David Townsend of the city library. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
From City Council draft minutes of May 20: Mayor Widmyer stated that he wanted to bring this item forward to discuss recruitment options for the City Administrator position with the City Council. He stated that the City could begin an open recruitment in July with the intent to fill the position by October 1, 2014. Mayor Widmyer stated that the Interim City Administrator (Troy Tymesen, pictured) is amenable to an open recruitment and would throw his hat into the ring. Councilmember Gookin stated that he thinks that an open recruitment is a good idea and that if an internal candidate gets the job it would confirm they are the best fit for the job. Full City Council minutes from May 20 meeting here.
Question: Do you think the city should look internally to hire a new city administrator?
Less than a week after the Idaho Republican Party gathered for a “unity” rally on the steps of the state Capitol, where vanquished challengers pledged to support the primary election victors and move forward as a united party, that proclaimed unity already is splintering. Christ Troupis, pictured, said today that he’s withdrawing his endorsement of GOP Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, to whom he lost the primary, 59 percent to 40 percent – an endorsement Troupis announced at the unity rally. Troupis said he changed his mind about the endorsement after learning that Democratic nominee Bruce Bistline said he won’t actively campaign, because his differences with Wasden are “fairly nominal,” but that he would have actively campaigned if the GOP nominee had been Troupis, with whom he said his differences are “legion.” Troupis said, “I’d really like some assurances from Mr. Wasden that he’s not in line with the Democratic candidate for Attorney General/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (Facebook photo: Christ Troupis)
Question: Despite the kumbaya moment in the GOP last week, do you expect the Liberty Caucus and mainstream Republicans to support each other in the November general election?
Bob Bjelland is big on boater education. He spent 34 years serving in the Navy before he retired and went to work as a Kootenai County sheriff’s deputy. It isn’t memories of war zones that keep him awake at night. It’s the memories of children pulled from local lakes and rivers after a boating accident. “As a dive rescue team member, I’m tired of pulling kids off the bottom,” he said. So he teaches a session on boater safety on the third Saturday of every month. It’s not required in Idaho, but Bjelland urges people to take it anyway. In Washington, anyone operating boats with more than 15 horsepower must take a boater education safety course. Bjelland is one of eight deputies who patrol Kootenai County’s 18 lakes and 56 miles of river looking for safety violations, assisting boaters and making arrests. “We’ve got some turf to cover,” he said/Nina Culver, SR. More here. (SR photo by Tyler Tjomsland: Kootenai County sheriff’s Deputy Bob Bjelland patrols Lake Coeur d’Alene on Monday. He teaches monthly sessions on boater safety)
Question: What is the dumbest thing that you've seen on Kootenai County waters?
Ruben Marcilla started painting the signs on Avista Stadium’s outfield fence when the plywood was new, marking off sections that would become insurance and grocery ads so big and bold the farthest-back fan could see them. Adrian Rogers/SR tells you can read more about this local talent here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
Heather “Anish” Anderson smells the flowers on a North Idaho hike last week, a pleasure she forfeited during her speed-record trek on the Pacific Crest Trail. (SR photo: Rich Landers)
“I ’m not a particularly fast walker,” Heather Anderson said – much to the relief of her interviewer – as she hiked a North Idaho trail last week. “The difference between me and the thru-hikers who have a fast pace is that I walked 3 mph all day and into every night, averaging 5 hours of sleep, without a rest day.” For two months! That’s how Anderson, 32, beat the unsupported backpacking speed record on the Pacific Crest Trail by four days. Starting June 8, 2013, at the U.S-Mexico border, the Bellingham hiker averaged nearly 44 miles a day gobbling up nearly 2,700 miles along the PCT to arrive at the Canada border in 60 days, 17 hours and 12 minutes. “Once I realized this was not a backpacking trip – that it was all about pain and suffering – it was easier to cope,” she said/Rich Landers, SR. More here.
Question: How far is the longest hike that you've ever taken?
The Lewiston City Council gay rights debate should focus more on delineating the appropriate limits on the exercise of government authority, rather than on the morality of bedroom behavior. Any government's position on sexual behavior should be one of neutrality. It's nobody's business and government should not insert itself into private transactions between individuals. Thomas Jefferson once pithily explained his indifference toward other people's religious faith: “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” The same test should be applied to sexual orientation. On the other hand, a government that grants itself the authority to insert itself into private transactions can pick my pocket and break my leg. The proposed gay rights law before the Lewiston City Council would punish unapproved opinions on homosexuality with fines of up to $1,000 and jail time up to six months. I have a rule. Government authority should never be exercised to engineer society/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Lewiston Tribune editorial: Idaho's federal lands task force has gone rogue. What was your first clue? When it ignored the costs of acquiring U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and other federal holdings within the Gem State? At Congressman Mike Simpson's request, the impartial Congressional Research Service looked into the issue and concluded the state would spend anywhere from $392 million to $500 million managing those lands and putting out fires. When this group of legislative fact-finders disregarded the opposition of Idaho's Indian tribal leaders, whose treaties with the federal government could easily block any transfer? Was it when the panel plugged its ears at the advice of timber business leaders, who said the solution to their problems was on Capitol Hill, not the courts? Not necessarily/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Do you suppose Vito, Vick, Mendive & the rest of the neo-Sagebrush radicals wishin/hopin/prayin to take over federal lands within Idaho have counted the cost of putting out wildland fires on that land?
GRAND COULEE – By most accounts, the last life claimed by the Grand Coulee Dam was that of Howard Gumm. The day he died, July 27, 1984, the Teamster was hauling dirt along Lake Roosevelt in an effort to stabilize shores near the dam when the slope Gumm was working on gave out. He, along with his massive truck and 1.3 million cubic yards of dirt, sloughed into the lake. At his memorial, his son Randy said, his father’s Thermos, hardhat and lunchbox stood in proxy of the body. Those possessions had floated to the surface of the lake following the disaster, but his body has never been found. Before Gumm, there had been 81 men killed while working on one of the most massive public works projects this nation has ever seen, which began in New Deal earnest in 1933. Heralded as the Eighth Wonder of the World, the dam turned 670,000 acres of desert shrub-steppe into fertile farmland and provided the electricity that turned the state of Washington into a vital industrial center during World War II/Daniel Person, special to the SR. More here. (Photo: Grand Coulee Dam archives)
Question: Are you related to someone who worked on the Grand Coulee Dam?
After contested precinct committee races across the state in last week’s primary election, the impact on the Idaho Republican Party will begin to become clear as county central committees hold their organizational meetings, most of them later this week, and then the state party convention comes up June 12-14 in Moscow. For now, Idaho Statesman political columnist Dan Popkey dug into the Ada County GOP precinct results and has a report here; it includes these tidbits: GOP activist Rod Beck lost his precinct post by three votes to Lori Rouse, daughter of former Sen. John Andreason, R-Boise; Eva Gay Yost, aide to former Gov. Phil Batt, lost hers to KIDO radio personality “Tea Party Bob” Neugebauer; Gem State Tea Party founder Chad Inman defeated state Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna; and former Otter campaign chief and lawmaker Debbie Field easily kept her seat over a candidate who is in jail for sex crimes/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Do you expect much of a change in the Kootenai County GOP CC, which is still controlled by the Tea Party wing, which holds an approximate 40-29 edge in percinct committee members?
Sen. John Goedde says in the Coeur d’Alene Press that I “absolutely hate” him, blaming some perceived discord between us as the reason for performing badly three years running in the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Freedom Index. I don’t hate anyone, Sen. Goedde included. We have disagreed on issues — his support for corporate welfare programs and the state insurance exchange come to mind — and we have agreed on issues, such as the decision to oppose the 2013 education budget and the need to reform labor union laws. The Freedom Index itself is all about numbers, not personalities. It looks at growth of government bill by bill during the course of an entire legislative session, and then accounts for that growth numerically. A legislator’s support for new government programs, boards, wealth redistribution, fee increases and regulations can then be visualized in our Index. Positive numbers show legislators who tend to vote against bigger government, at least in floor votes. Negative numbers, like Goedde’s, show a voting disposition toward bigger government/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you look to IFF's Freedom Index as a voting guide?
Councilman Dan Gookin, who with Councilman Steve Adams and Ron Edinger fought the makeover of McEuen Field at every phase, was on hand for the dedication ceremonies Saturday morning. In this Duane Rasmussen photo, Gookin is being interviewed by a Spokane television crew. In a letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press editor Sunday, Gookin took issue with a recent Press editorial that used the phrase anti-McEuenites. Seems his new spin — and one that apparently will carry him into a possible run for a new term next year — is that he didn't oppose the reconstruction, he simply wanted a public vote. See his letter below.
In your May 23 editorial, you wrote, “Wonder what the anti-McEuenites think now?” This is a cheap shot, unworthy of your publication. It’s my understanding that the people who voted Mr. Edinger, Mr. Adams, and me into office in 2011 — and by great margins — were not “anti-McEuenites.” While a handful of people did express a desire for nothing to happen at McEuen, we represented a majority who simply wanted a public advisory vote. We represented people who would have preferred a more open, honest process to redevelopment of McEuen Field. We represented people who felt that the total cost — a number that constantly fluctuated — should be more reasonable. The new park will be enjoyed by everyone. Although it didn’t happen the way I would have preferred, I welcome its success/Councilman Dan Gookin, Coeur d'Alene, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Would we have a destination park on the waterfront today if the Gookin faction of the City Council had one more vote — say, Jim Brannon had beaten Mike Kennedy in the 2009 City Council election?
Now that Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has handily defeated GOP primary challenger C.T. “Chris” Troupis, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, Boise attorney Bruce Bistline, says he no longer plans to campaign for the post. “I filed on the last day,” Bistline told Eye on Boise. “I detest the fact that that kind of a decision, between Troupis and Wasden, could be made during the Republican primary with no alternative for the voters who are not part of the closed Republican primary. And while I would probably never have bothered to run against Wasden, because my differences with him are fairly nominal, my differences with Troupis are legion. I saw no alternative but to file to provide a choice in the general election, in the event that Troupis won the primary.” Bistline said he doesn’t plan to withdraw, but won’t actively campaign unless something dramatic happens/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
First, you need to know that Kootenai High (Harrison, Idaho) instructor Andrew Whipple served as an Idaho National Guard captain in Iraq from November 2004 until November 2005. Now, onward. Whipple, who ran successfully for Kootenai County GOP Central Committee member from Precinct 70, was listed as a RINO (Republican in Name Only) in a list of recommended GOPrecinct candidates circulated at a local Coeur d’Alene church last Sunday. GOParty purity is next to godliness among the tin gods who control the Kootenai County GOP machine. Whipple told Huckleberries that he suspects he got the bum’s rush from the small-tent politician circulating the list because he’s a public school teacher (an anathema among the county’s tea party wing) and he opposes the state GOParty platform plank calling for repeal of the 17th amendment (which allows state residents to choose their U.S. senators rather than the Legislature)/DFO, SR Sunday Huckleberries. More here.
Question: Do you think mainstream Republican precinct committee members will continue to fight to get their ideas heard at Kootenai County GOP Central Committee meetings? Or will they give up in the face of an organized, fixated majority?
For the first time, local veterans will use the Veterans Memorial Plaza at the new McEuen Park for their annual observance of Memorial Day this morning. The activities are planned for 9 o'clock at the Veterans Plaza. You can find out where the various veterans' observances are scheduled today by clicking here. I'll be back at Huckleberres HQ at 8 o'clock Tuesday morning. See you then. Now for the Memorial Day Wild Card …
On honor guard from the Coeur d'Alene Fire Department raises the U.S flag over the Veterans Memorial Plaza at the dedication of McEuen Park Saturday morning. The Veterans Plaza will be the scene of a Memorial Day ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday. (Photo: Don Sausser)
On May 5th, 1868 Union Army Maj. General John A. Logan established Decoration Day (later to be renamed Memorial Day). His order stated that Civil War graves be decorated “with the choicest flowers of springtime” to honor the many young men who died in the bloom of their youth – who gave up their tender lives so their loved ones could live long. On May 12, 1962 retired General Douglas MacArthur, (West Point, Class of 1903) gave his final address at the United States Military Academy. He spoke to those who would soon face Vietnam – the choicest young men of that generation: “Duty, Honor, Country…they build your basic character. They make you strong enough to know when you are weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid.” He died just two years later and was buried with honors in Virginia. Many cadets who heard his final address, shortly joined him in death as young US Army officers. Yet, the Long Gray Line continued/Dennis Mansfield, special to Huckleberries Online. More here.
Question: Has you family lost someone in war?
We've finally reached the day for the reopening of McEuen Park. Twenty-five years from now, newcomers to the area will shake their heads when they learn that a battle royal was fought over this magnificent park. And that a 4-3 City Council majority is the only thing that kept it on track to become a reality. Mayor Steve Widmyer and former mayor Sandi Bloem will be on hand to dedicate the park at 11 o'clock Saturday morning. They deserve a bow, as does Councilman Woody McEvers and former council members Mike Kennedy and Deanna Goodlander for helping make today a reality. See you down there? Here's your weekend Wild Card …
Former Coeur d'Alene mayor Sandi Bloem received the longest and loudest applause of the day at McEuen Park dedication ceremonies this morning. Bloem wielding the tie-breaking vote again and again to make the $20 million McEuen Park makeover happen. In her remarks, Bloem gave the audience some idea what McEuen Park would say today if it could talk. (Photo: Don Sausser)
Coeur d'Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer addresses a crowd of 200-250 this morning in dedicating the reopened McEuen Park at the park's Veterans Memorial Plaza. (Coeur d'Alene Today photo: Keith Erickson)
It was a day has that been decades in the making. McEuen Park in downtown Coeur d’Alene officially opened to the public on Saturday, with all of its attractions ready for the first time to be enjoyed by a community thrilled with its newest gem. “It really is a wonderful day to be a resident of Coeur d’Alene,” Mayor Steve Widmyer told a large gathering at the Grand Plaza overlooking Lake Coeur d’Alene. Numerous officials—including engineers, architects, planners and landscapers—applauded the efforts of all those involved with the 20-acre park transformation. But the day belonged to the community; to those who will enjoy the park for generations thanks to the vision, determination and commitment of so many. “It’s absolutely awesome; the change is excellent,” said Jennifer Snyder of Coeur d’Alene as she watched dozens of kids splashing and smiling on the colorful water features of the splash pad. “What an awesome place for people of all ages”/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.
Question: Did you attend the dedication ceremonies this morning? Thoughts?
Mayor Steve Widmyer and former mayor Sandi Bloem handled the ceremonial scissors at the dedication of McEuen Field at the Veterans Plaza this morning in front of a crowd of 200-250. At the far right is Dean Haagenson of Contractors Northwest, the general contractor for the project. Second from the right is former Parks Director Doug Eastwood, one of the guiding lights of the project and the single person most responsible for Coeur d'Alene's incredible parks system. The Veterans Plaza will be used for the first time officially at 9 o'clock Monday by local veterans to commemorate Memorial Day. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Time 2 Vote …
Nathan Westerfield, 22, kisses his new bride, Mickella, 20, at the Red Cross shelter set up at Sinagua Middle School in Flagstaff, Ariz., Tuesday. The couple, from Phoenix got married Sunday, were celebrating their honeymoon by camping out at Cave Springs campground in Oak Creek Canyon with equipment purchased with their wedding money. They went into Sedona and were told they couldn't return after the Slide Fire broke out Tuesday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle)
Wednesday Winner — Turnipseed, with 3 likes: Marco wins by more than a hare! You can see Wednesday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.
With McEuen Park ready to fling open its arms in official fashion Saturday, be prepared to utter the following three statements:
We've talked to dozens of park visitors in the past couple weeks and these are versions of what we've heard from almost every one of them. Considering that the park isn't even complete - and in fact, that a number of the features initially included in the design had to be dropped because of cost considerations - visitors have been blown away with what they've seen there. As opposed to its chain-link-fence-segmented and virtually inaccessible predecessor, this McEuen looks better and a whole lot bigger than the former fields. When people say it's bound to become the central outdoor gathering place for visitors and residents alike, we can't argue with them. Other than City Beach on hot summer afternoons, McEuen likely will have no rivals in popularity/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Do you know of any individuals who now support the new park after vehemently opposing it before?
A baby robin lifts its head out of its nest with hopes for food Thursday in a tree in a Coeur d’Alene neighborhood. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)
The wild ride this week isn't over yet. The primary elections are over. But Saturday morning we will dedicate the Park That Couldn't Be Stopped on the Coeur d'Alene waterfront. I was part of a walking tour of McEuen Park last fall when workers were about halfway through reconstruction. My overall impression was … it feels way bigger than it used to feel. I'll be interested to hear your impressions Monday. See you there? Now for your Wild Card …
I missed my anniversary! But I’m not in trouble with the wife, because I never forget THAT anniversary. No, this blog celebrated its 10-year anniversary two days ago, and I left the thing sitting alone in a restaurant with a red rose and an empty chair. Sorry about that, A Family Runs Through It. I’ve been distracted with raising teenagers, and planning Scout trips to England. Ten years is a long, long time in the world of parent blogging. Most of the moms and dads I first met online back in 2004 have moved their lives offline, or to Facebook. A few are still around, but post infrequently. The passion in dad blogging these days is with the new guys, with young children, who are making new discoveries and insights about their kids, just as I did at first/Idaho Dad, A Family Runs Through It. More here.
Question: If you think keeping a blog alive for 10 years, you don't know what you're talking about. Anyone want to join mean in a ha-huge H/T for Idaho Dad?
On her Slight Detour blog, Marianne Love posts: “Bill's sister sent me this horse planter a few years ago, and I'm thinking this year's display has finally done the planter justice.” Marianne offers 4 more photos of viewtiful flowers here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, May 22): 7829 page-views/4508 unique views
I consider the results — the excruciatingly slow results — of the GOPrimary to be a disaster here in Coeur d'Alene. Instead of one legislator who seemingly fights every visionary move of the city, we now are on the brink of having two. Why? Mary Souza and Kathy Sims are fixated on forcing their vision of local government onto this community. They kept their eye on the ball and rallied their troops (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) to provide enough votes in a voter-depressed closed primary to pull this off. I suspect the many of us were bone tired from successfully fighting them on the 2012 recall attempt and then turning around last year to depose the uber-conservative Coeur d'Alene School Board and protect the centrist majority on the Coeur d'Alene City Council. Mary Souza's election to the state Senate should be a wake-up call that it's time to form a year-round coalition that will elect good officials to represent Coeur d'Alene in the partisan legislative races as well as protect nonpartisan seats on our school board, city council, North Idaho College and hospital elections. I suspect Balance North Idaho was spooked by the scolds who wondered if the successful organization was going to drop its nonpartisanship to get involved in partisan races during this year's primaries. NIPAC tried but found itself enmeshed in a closed primary that favored the other side of the local GOP divide. The Reagan Republicans, who generally endorse wisely in GOP legislative races, were a non-factor this year. We have six months until the general election. The chances aren't good that centrist Republicans, Democrats and majority Unaffiliateds can deny Tea Party Republicans seats in the courthouse. But Democrats have candidates in all races but the coroner's. Also, there's two seats to protect on the North Idaho College Board of Trustees. Those who worked so hard to deny the Tea Party sweep should take a breather — and then consider how they can expand their group to have a year-in, year-out impact on Coeur d'Alene elections. The losses sting. But there are two examples to consider in bouncing back — the terrific success of the school board and council elections last year. And Mary Souza's return from the political dead to senator-elect in six months. If she can do it, those who won the battles over the last two years can too/DFO.
A new beer will hit Boise soon. Crooked Fence Brewery says it will put out Little B**** Otter India Brown Ale next week. Crooked Fence says its beer just so happens to be called Otter beer. “It's not necessarily named after the governor. It is an otter with a cowboy hat, so we're leaving that up to people's interpretations,” said Kelly Knopp, Crooked Fence owner. Knopp also say it's a coincidence that their beer supports equality during the recent same-sex marriage court rulings. “Crooked Fence will always stand for equality and we're always against anyone trying to take away freedoms or rights of individuals,” Knopp said. Customers at Barrel House Pub haven't tried a drop but they say they like the name/Eric Gonzales, KBOI. More here.
DFO: See if you recognize anyone in the video — about the 00:58 second mark.
Question: Do you think the name for this India Brown Ale is disrespectful?
Robert Kobrick of San Francisco Sourdough Eatery wipes down the new bike corral in front of his downtown Coeur d'Alene business. (Photo: John Kelly/BikeCDA)
John Kelly of BikeCDA snapped this photo Thursday while checking out new bike corral in front of San Francisco Sourdough Eatery at 4th & Sherman Avenue. Facebooks John: “This is the owner of San Francisco Sourdough Eatery — Sherman, Robert Kobrick. I caught him out with a bucket of soapy water washing and caring for the City's newest bike corral. Before the day was over, Mr Kobrick was so excited about this that he even purchased a bicycle. But it didn't end there. Mr Kobrick wanted to keep the biking energy flowing, so he offered this. If you come into San Fransisco Sourdough anytime over this Memorial Day Weekend wearing a bike helmet, or just simply mention the word “Bike,” you'll get a FREE drink with any sandwich you purchase! So come down (on your bike), check out our newest bike corral, grab a sandwich and a drink, and wander down and check out our new park!!! This is going to be an amazing weekend in Coeur d'Alene!!!”
Question: How do you think the new McEuen Park will affect other areas of the downtown?
Councilwoman KerriT: My father (Ron Rankin) was forever changed when he came home from the Korean War in 1951. He never forgot his fellow Marines who fell at the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, living his life in a way that would honor all who didn't return home. It was at the core of his being to make sure that every soldier, sailor, corpsman and airman who paid the ultimate price for our freedom were remembered. My father was blessed with a long life well-lived and I honor his memory by remembering on this Memorial Day and every day those fallen heroes of today and yesteryear.
Question: Do you attend any of the cemetery remembrances for veterans on Memorial Day?
Backers of cooperation on Idaho's environmental issues and continued federal ownership of public lands in the state were among the winners in Tuesday's election. Two of Idaho environmental groups' biggest opponents — Sen. Monty Pearce and Rep. Lenore Hardy Barrett — were defeated in the closed GOP primary by candidates who say they want collaborative conservation efforts. New Plymouth's Pearce represents District 9, the border counties of Adams, Washington, Canyon and Payette counties. He was defeated by Abby Lee, 42, of Fruitland, pictured, the public information director at Treasure Valley Community College. Merrill Beyeler, 69, a Leadore cattle rancher, beat Barrett, of Challis. The 22-year House veteran and chairwoman of the House Local Government Committee has been an outspoken critic of nearly every environmental initiative/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Except in Kootenai County, do you sense that the Idaho GOP rejected Tea Party politics?
Jack Bannon and Ellen Travolta have appeared on stage together in “Love Lotters,” A.R. Gurney’s beloved two-character play, close to a couple dozen times. For Bannon, the play’s appeal lies in how it harkens back to a simpler time. “It’s a sweet play. It’s about a friendship,” he said. “It’s before computers and iPads, when people actually wrote letters and talked to each other rather than looking at the palm of our hand.” The play centers on Andrew and Melissa, friends since childhood who continue to correspond even as their lives go in different directions. It’s the simplicity of the story that keeps bringing Bannon and Travolta back to it. “It’s what A.R. Gurney wrote,” Bannon said. “You just read what he wrote and get out of the way”/Carolyn Lamberson, SR Spokane7. More here.
Question: Have you enjoyed the local theatrical performances by Ellen Travolta and Jack Bannon?
Coordination among law enforcement agencies helped Idaho State Police prevent a “senior kegger” party in the Coeur d'Alene National Forest this week. Coeur d'Alene School District school resource officers learned of plans for a large party with 300 students, and reported the information to state police earlier this week. The anticipated location of the party was discovered near the intersection of Forest Service Road 413 and Murray Draw Road, a remote area in eastern Kootenai County, northwest of the Bumblebee Campground area, state police reported/SR. More here.
Question: Did you ever participate in a large kegger while in high school?
Rep. John Rusche, Idaho House Democratic Minority Leader: As long as 12-15% can dictate a party candidate (50% of the 25% turnout) can decide the outcome, dedicated and organized minority can succeed. As long as the national democratic brand is so unpopular in idaho it will be hard to get “Idaho Democrats” identified as a good choice. Unless there is a similar organization and dedication by “moderates” in the GOP, there is no path forward for them with a closed primary. It seems to me that moderates—democrats, republicans, independents—have more in common here in idaho. Successful response to the educational, economic and community issues facing idaho families and businesses almost requires finding a way around the closed primary. I expect to either see an initiative to change it or the development of a more community centered, progressive concensus party.
DFO: Minority Leader John Rusche is correct. Unless the Coeur d'Alene area finds a way around the closed GOP primary, it will continue to deal with legislative leadership that doesn't reflect the community. Balance North Idaho was instrumental in soundly defeating Tea Party candidates in the Coeur d'Alene School Board and City Council elections. Reasonable Republicans, Democrats and the majority of voters who are Unaffiliated have more in common with one another than the radicals in the Tea Party.
Question: Is it time to form a standing, unaffiliated political group in Coeur d'Alene that puts community before ideology?
Java on Sherman had a soft re-opening in the old Jonesy's restaurant at 819 Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene, Thursday. Here, two customers enjoy the sunshine, as the owners work out the kinks of moving four blocks to the east. The popular coffee shop attracted standing-room-only customers at its former location at 4th & Sherman in downtown Coeur d'Alene. It'll be interesting to see if those customers follow the business east.
Question: How will other coffee shops be affected to Java on Sherman's move?
Bruce Noble (RE: NIC: the next battleground): I think you are premature that NIC is the next battlefield. Several of the Tea Party affiliated candidates have opponents in the General Election. The control of the Kootenai County BOCC will fall to the Tea Party if moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats cannot find common ground and vote for the candidate that will better represent the interests of all Kootenai County residents and provide better solutions to the problems that plague Kootenai County government; lack of leadership and management.
DFO: Good point, Bruce. Democrats have a candidate in all of the county courthouse races except for coroner. You and Jerry Shriner will compete against Dave Stewart and Marc Eberlein for county commissioner. Write-in Democrat Shirley McFadden beat Larry Spencer for the assessor nomination. Former Panhandle Health District director will run against Jim Brannon for clerk. And Janet Callen will face Steve Matheson for county treasurer. Democratic candidates face a long-shot against Tea Party candidates with an R after their name. But they still have provided centrist, Democratic and the majority Unaffiliated voters with a choice.
Seattle Seahawks mascot Blitz celebrates with students on the Wilson Elementary School playground after sinking a 3/4 length court shot during recess in Spokane. The Seahawks made a visit the to school, renamed Russell Wllson Elementary, in honor of the team's quarterback. Story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)
The minority rules. Tuesday’s Idaho primary was but the latest reminder that a relatively small share of citizens will cast a ballot even with the state’s most important offices up for grabs, with little polling to discourage supporters of a candidate with better odds of drawing a bighorn ram hunting permit. The statewide turnout was about 25 percent, which is consistent with figures for the last decade. In Kootenai County, with the third largest total of registered voters – 69,000 – less than 22 percent trooped to the polls despite some sharply contested races. And, with the exception of a very few races, the primaries will determine who will hold office in 2015/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.
Question: The ideologues in the Idaho GOP aren't about to jettison their closed-primary system, now that they've seen its effect in depressing the vote and increasing their clout. How do mainstream Republicans overcome this decided advantage?
Eleven-year-old Jasper Blessing was ecstatic during a recent visit to McEuen Park because he was able to actively enjoy all of the colorful features at the city’s largest playground. It was a scenario the Coeur d’Alene boy is not accustomed to, said his grandfather, Terry Blessing. “Jasper is handicapped and in a wheelchair, so normally when we take him with us to the different parks he sits in his wheelchair and watches all of the other children play,” Terry Blessing said. “At this park he was able to play all of the musical instruments that were installed and I was able to take him up into the playground equipment so he could use the slides.” Making sure the new playground was able to accommodate children of all ages and those with disabilities was a priority during the planning stages of McEuen Park, said Bill Greenwood, interim parks director for Coeur d’Alene/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.
The defeat of Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, could produce a needed leverage point on the issue of Common Core which, until now, didn't exist. I'm not saying that the Legislature quite has the nerve to stop Common Core. What I am saying is that there is at least a chance to attack the issue that didn't previously exist. Up to now, Goedde and his House counterpart, Reed DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, Gov. Butch Otter, his November rival A.J. Balukoff and both party nominees for superintendent of public instruction have been supportive of Common Core. Very supportive. While other states are rethinking the national march toward uniform mediocrity in education, our state officials have stayed loyal to this odious education fad. And as sweeping as these standards are, I again point out that there has yet to be a single debate on the floor of the House or the Senate regarding them/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
Question: What will be the repercussions for Coeur d'Alene and public education, of state Sen. John Goedde's GOPrimary loss?
Following the recent Idaho gubernatorial debate, I made a quick check on the Internet to see whether Dick Tuck had moved to Idaho. Tuck was the legendary political prankster who plagued Richard Nixon through much of his career. For example, when Nixon ran for California governor, he did a whistle-stop trip through the state on a train. At one stop, when he was speaking to a large crowd from the rear car, the train departed in mid-speech. About the same time, Tuck was spotted wearing a train conductor's uniform and cap. Tuck is 90 years old and now lives in Arizona. And he is the kind of person who would have gladly shelled out the $300-per- person filing fee for Walt Bayes and Harley Brown to make them part of the 2014 primary debate for Republican gubernatorial candidates. The debate looked as though it had been infiltrated by a combination of Duck Dynasty and ZZ Top/Marty Peterson, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Peterson advocates for changing the filing rules to require candidates to produce 1,000 signatures of supporters and setting up a formal debate commission — to ensure that Idaho has no more silly high-profile debates like last week. Do you agree?
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune Jeers … former Idaho state Sen. Mitch Toryanski, R-Boise: “Because of him, you're about to risk entrusting the integrity of Idaho's elections and campaign finance reform laws to former House Speaker Lawerence (Boss) Denney - a man known for extreme partisanship and ethical lapses. Only 37 percent of Idaho Republicans thought Denney fit for higher office. But in a four-way race for secretary of state, it was good enough to win the GOP nomination. Everyone could see this train wreck coming. Unable to win, Toryanski could bleed off enough Treasure Valley votes from deputy Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane to hand the nomination to Denney. Yet Toryanski waved off every entreaty to quit. As predicted, Toryanski came in last Tuesday, but his nearly 21,600 votes came at McGrane's expense. Now all that stands between Denney and the keys to Secretary of State Ben Ysursa's office is the Democratic nominee - freshman Rep. Holli Woodings of Boise”/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: She may be a long shot by Rep. Woodings already has my vote. How about you?
North Idaho College security officer Kelly Hopkins patrols NIC Beach on Wednesday. Concealed weapons will be legal to carry on college campuses in Idaho starting July 1. North Idaho College is equipping its security officers with bulletproof vests and is considering arming them for the first time — unforeseen expenses at a time of dramatically falling enrollment and budget cuts. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Public colleges and universities in Idaho are getting ready to comply with a new state law they strongly opposed: allowing concealed weapons to be carried on campus. The law takes effect July 1 and applies to people with an enhanced license to carry concealed weapons, along with retired law enforcement officers. College leaders universally opposed the law, but pro-gun rights lawmakers pushed it through the Legislature this year. Now college administrators and campus security departments are preparing for the new reality: guns in lecture halls, labs, offices, cafeterias – everywhere but dormitories and entertainment venues with seating for more than 1,000, like stadiums and auditoriums. “We intend to follow the law. Really we don’t discuss the merits of the law. That was done, the law passed. We’re talking about implementation,” said Matt Dorschel, executive director of public safety and security at the University of Idaho in Moscow/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: Are you ready for guns on college campuses in Idaho?
Kootenai County is accused of breaching terms of two confidential settlement agreements involving a former deputy prosecutor. Kenneth D. Stone and his wife filed a tort and breach of contract claim Thursday accusing the Board of County Commissioners of disclosing information they agreed to keep confidential. Stone is seeking more than $10,000 in attorney fees and damages exceeding $25,000. Stone was fired from the Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office in March 2011 and filed a federal lawsuit against the county for wrongful termination and age discrimination. The county released a press release in December stating Stone had been paid a confidential amount and was being rehired until he was eligible for a lifetime, taxpayer-funded pension/Taryn Thompson, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Post Falls led local cities in population growth from 2012 to 2013, according to a report released on Thursday by the Idaho Department of Labor. Post Falls grew 2.5 percent — from 28,650 residents in 2012 to 29,357 in 2013. “From a city and bank perspective, we're seeing the economy firm up,” said Post Falls Mayor Ron Jacobson, who is also a senior vice president of Inland Northwest Bank. “It's still not as strong as we'd like to see, but at the same token you don't want to see rampant growth because that's difficult keeping up with.” Jacobson said he's not surprised at the growth rate because Post Falls, the state's 10th-largest city, has affordable housing and the city has the room to grow onto the Rathdrum Prairie. Post Falls' population growth was the ninth-largest among all cities in the state. Star grew 6.7 percent, topping all cities. Coeur d'Alene grew 1.8 percent from 45,592 to 46,402. It is the state's seventh-largest city/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Are you happy with the way Kootenai County is growing?
Well, the GOPrimary election is behind us, and the sun is still shining in the Shire. Dead ahead? The long-awaited re-opening of McEuen Park. The park will be dedicated and fully operational at 11 o'clock Saturday morning. City spokesman Keith Erickson has promised Huckleberries more details today. Now for your Thursday Wild Card …
Torrin Crosen, 22, helps set some of the 803 flag at Greenwood Memorial Terrace in Spokane in honor of Memorial Day. Says Crosen “We remember the people who served and gave their lives for this country. They deserve at least this much.” Another 438 flags will be placed across the street in Riverside Memorial Park. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)
Nic: (RE: Tom: Churches wrong to be political) Ignore the politics or the law for a moment. Even if pastors had the legal right and freedom to endorse from the pulpit, why would they? The church should be about preaching the Bible, not the ballot. Churches exist to minister to all people, not just those of a specific political party. The church's focus should be on Jesus, not candidates. Once you step over that line, not only do you risk alienating the people who you should be ministering to, but you also defy what the bible instructs.
Question: Would you attend a church in which the pastor advocated for certain candidates or a political party (even if you agreed with him/her)?
I hate to bring this up, after the near sweep of the legislative and courthouse offices by the Tea Party in Tuesday's primary elections, but there will be another office to defend in November — the two North Idaho College positions now held by Sgt. Christie Wood of the Coeur d'Alene Police Department and Coeur d'Alene attorney Ken Howard. Wood, Howard & Judy Meyer have brought sound leadership to the NIC board, along with Trustee Ron Nilson, who has been a pleasant surprise. But the presence of Tea Party Trustee Todd Banducci on the board provides an opportunity for the local Tea Party to snag the seats now held by Wood and Howard and form a board majority that could affect the future of higher-education in Coeur d'Alene as well as the Education Corridor. It's time for Balance North Idaho to regroup to protect the community from another low-voter turnout and take over of another valuable local government entity/DFO.
A pair of boaters try their luck at catching some bass near Swallows Park boat launch Wednesday afternoon in Clarkston. Expect more great weather today in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley before a chance of rain Friday. (Lewiston Tribune photo: Steve Hanks)
Spokane Bomb Squad robot leaves ISP headquarters in Coeur d'Alene after a suspicious package was reported. See below. (KHQ photo: Gabe Cohen)
Time 2 Vote (only 2 entries today?) …
And the winner is … Marco, front, who prepares to feast on a tasty dish of fresh fruit after outpacing the field of four other radiated tortoises at the Indianapolis Zoo's annual Zoopolis race on Wednesday. The competition included Helio, Pippa, Ed and Alex. Driver Tony Kanaan was on hand to wave the green and checkered flags for the event and talk to zoo visitors about the upcoming Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Charlie Nye)
Tuesday Winner — CaverHater, with 14 likes: Upon learning that the pirate ship “Queen Mary” is coming to plunder and end all the joy and happiness that the shire has to offer, the goats are fleeing Tubbs any way they can. You can see Wednesday Photo and all the Cutline Contest entries here.
Workers and volunteers are installing a bike corral in front of the San Francisco Sourdough Eatery at 4th & Sherman in downtown Coeur d'Alene. Another one is going in at 1st & Lakeside/CdA, in front of Calypso's. I'll post Don Sausser's photo of that one in the comments section. A Facebook commenter gives a Big Hat Tip “to John Kelly for his community activism/vision/implementation of BIKECDA and the bike corrals, the crew who has been showing up to BIKECDA meetings, and those on the Coeur d' Alene Bike/Ped Committee for all their work!”
HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, May 21): 12,274 page-views/6536 unique views
The Spokane Bomb Squad was able to examine the suspicious device left at ISP Headquarters. The contents of a plastic grocery bag were two cell phones, some hand written statements that are gibberish, and misc. garbage. No threat was determined. Officers are opening up the roads around ISP Headquarters. The male who left the items is still of interest to the police. If anyone knows his identity or whereabouts they are asked to call Coeur d’Alene Police at 769-2320. His description is as follows: Late 20's to early 30's, dark hair, 5'9, medium build, possibly Hispanic, wearing a black T-shirt (possibly tank top), tan shorts, black baseball cap, black bandana, small frame dark sunglasses. He was last seen getting off a City Link bus in Riverstone/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department.
Sherri Ybarra ran in the Republican primary — and scored a surprising victory Tuesday — as an unabashed non-politician. In order to win in the Nov. 4 general election, the state superintendent’s candidate may need to do some of the dirty work of politics: raising money and building coalitions within the GOP. Ybarra, a Mountain Home school administrator, earned the opportunity by defeating three other educators and first-time candidates in the Republican primary. She captured 38,603 votes — just 28.5 percent of the total vote, but enough to secure a comfortable 5,663-vote win over runnerup Randy Jensen, an American Falls principal. Now Ybarra moves on to face Democrat Jana Jones, who comes into the general election with two tangible advantages: She has run a statewide election before, and she has a decided early edge in fundraising/Kevin Richert, The EDge. More here.
Question: One way or another, a female will be part of the good-ol'-boy network in Boise next year — Sherri Ybarra or Jana Jones. And that's a very good thing, right?
I encountered Walkabout during my regular noon walk/litter pickup along the Coeur d'Alene waterfront today. We walked together for about a quarter of a mile, discussing the type of people today who simply don't know it's wrong to litter, legally and ethically. She told me Stickman is busy cleaning out his inventory of sticks, rocks and other giveaway items that have been central to his labor of love for all these years. My daily litter haul today included 20 cards of a deck advertising The Kraken Black Spiced Room that were scattered in front of the SR building north to North Idaho Title building. Also picked up a crumpled-up note on yellow lined paper at Garden & Northwest Boulevard that read: “If you don't live here please do not park here. This is a residential parking space we pay ! And you will get towed. Thank you!” I supposed the crumpled nature of the note was the violator's answer to the request. BTW, I also found a freshly dead squirrel by the n/b CityLink bus stop along NW Blvd, west of the courtroom annex.
Coeur d'Alene police are looking for a male matching the following description in connection with suspicious package dropped off at ISP headquarters of West Wilbur late this morning:
Officers were provided a description of a suspicious male that dropped of the device at ISP Headquarters. He is described as late 20's to early 30's, dark hair, 5'9, medium build, possibly Hispanic, wearing a black T-shirt(possibly tank top), tan shorts, black baseball cap, black bandana,small frame dark sunglasses. The male acted strangely to front desk personnel at ISP. He left the device on the counter and s would not respond to questions from employees. He left on foot east from the building toward US Hwy 95. He was later seen on a City Link Bus and got off the bus at Riverstone. Anyone with information on this male subject is asked to call Coeur d'Alene Police at 769-2320/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department.
Workers re-paint the old Rutledge Mill steam engine near the entrance to the North Idaho Museum. (Coeur d'Alene Today photo: Keith Erickson)
The 75-ton Corliss steam engine in front of the Museum of North Idaho recently received a fresh coat of paint thanks in part to a matching grant from the Idaho Heritage Trust. This engine represents the history of the timber industry in our region, according the Museum Director Dorothy Dahlgren. For close to 50 years it was the heart of the Edward Rutledge Timber Company. In 1910 Kootenai, Benewah and Shoshone counties had 77 mills operating. In 1961 there were 70 sawmills and by 1965 there were 46 and today there are about eight mills operating in the 3 counties.Selecting the color to paint the engine was not an easy task, according to Dahlgren. Museum volunteer Dick Whitney contacted several museums and visited engine sites. In his research he found the Allis-Chalmers Company, the builder of Corliss steam engines, painted the engines a variety of colors such as blue-gray, red, green, black and yellow. The Museum chose to use green and a rust color for the accents/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.
Question: Did anyone in your family used to work at the old Rutledge Mill?
How much do you know about WSU's track and field coach, the giving spirit of Coeur d'Alene's Norman Oss (Stickman) and other names in the news? Take our weekly quiz and find out. You could win movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel simply by entering. Click here to access the News Quiz.
Montana wildlife commissioners have initially approved a proposal allowing landowners to kill up to 100 gray wolves annually if the predators pose a perceived threat. Thursday’s action significantly expands the circumstances under which wolves can be killed without a hunting license. In the past, that was largely limited to instances in which wolves attacked livestock. Under the new rule, shooting wolves would be permitted whenever they pose a potential threat to human safety, livestock or domestic dogs. State lawmakers last year passed a law requiring the expansion. Critics say the proposal is excessive and equates to a year-round wolf hunting season/AP. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Isn't that a bit overboard?
A suspicious package left today inside the Idaho State Police regional office in Coeur d’Alene prompted an evacuation of the building and several surrounding streets. The Spokane bomb squad was sent to assess and dispose of the device. An ISP officer around noon had reported the package was a paper grocery bag that has a cell phone and remote with blinking lights. Someone also had left a handwritten note on the front counter at the office, which is at 615 West Wilbur Ave. on the city’s north end. Coeur d’Alene Police officers ask that people avoid the area and take alternate routes. Wilbur is closed at U.S. Highway 95 west to N. Wheatfield Drive. Mineral Drive is closed north of Wilbur. All parking lots serving neighboring retail businesses are closed as well/Scott Maben, SR.
Monsters can scare us, make us feel weak and helpless, make us sympathetic to their tragic story and even cheer us up. This makes defining a monster a difficult task. A creature of the night, like a vampire, can now be seen as both good, like in the recent Twilight series, and evil with the classic Dracula tales. There are so many ways to interpret a monster that the meaning is often lost. With Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, these creatures cease to be legends and myths and become true nightmares. It's this fear and intrigue that has kept us watching Godzilla on the big screen for 60 years. Monsters are abominations of life. These are things that should not exist, yet, at least in the realm of fiction, find a way to crawl into our fears and terrify us. Perhaps they scare audiences because monsters defy all the laws of logic, nature and reality, and are still alive/Paul Sell, Inlander. More here. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures: A scene from latest “Godzilla”)
Question: Which monster scares you most?
This information flyer was circulated by a Coeur d'Alene pastor who emphasized that the primary election was “important!” — and was careful to point out: “I need to remind you that this is not a political campaign for any particular candidate but is sent as a help to each of you as you make your decision and vote.” You can see the other side of the flyer — for the governor and other statewide races in the comments section.
Chairman Tom Hearn/Coeur d'Alene School Board: I just finished reading the Press articles summarizing the election results. Three things struck me. Did you ever notice how many of the far right people who ran for office, and some of whom won, are newcomers to the area? Most native Idahoans I know are very independent but not far right in their politics. Secondly the far right is organized and disciplined and gets out their votes. Voter apathy and lack of a disciplined organization is killing the moderate Republicans and Democrats. Third, when is somebody going to challenge the practices of certain churches and pastors who repeatedly get involved in partisan and non partisan political issues? I attend church myself and I have no problem with people who attend church having political views and being involved in community issues. In fact we have a moral obligation as individuals to do so. But churches sending out voter guides? I think pastors should not use their pulpits for partisan politics and people, particularly from the religious community, should challenge pastors who persist in such behavior.
Question: I know of 2 churches in which the pastors directly or indirectly let members know whom they favored in the Tuesday elections. Is that right or wrong?
The remainder of McEuen Park will be open to the public and dedicated at an official ceremony at 11 o'clock Saturday. (Photo: Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today)
Community leaders will dedicate McEuen Park on Saturday during a celebration that will include comments from dignitaries, a free lunch, live music, a ribbon-cutting and plenty of time to enjoy the world-class lakeside park. It all kicks off at 11 a.m. at the Grand Staircase near the main entrance to the park at Fourth Street and Front Avenue. Officials are anticipating hundreds of people to attend and the forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with highs in the low- to mid-70s. Plans are to activate the expansive and colorful splash pad for the dedication. “This will be a wonderful day for the entire community to come together and celebrate an amazing public gathering spot that will showcase our beautiful downtown for generations to come,” said Bill Greenwood, acting city parks director. The east end of the park has been open since May 2/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today.
Question: Overall impression of the new park at this point?
Activist Greg Gower performs a satirical song called “Everybody gets an Oil Train” at the rally. About 50 people rallied at Riverfront Park in Spokane against increased oil train traffic. Story here. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)
Jessica Robinson, the Inland Northwest correspondent for National Public Radio, interviewed me for a post-election wrap-up Wednesday. She wondered why numbers in Kootenai County favored the Tea Party wing of the local GOP. I told her there were a number of reasons but the overwhelming one was the poor turnout, which can be tied directly to the closed primary. The race I used as an example — thanks to Merica for pointing this out — was Mary Souza's upset victory over veteran state Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, in their GOPrimary race. The number that shouts loudest from that race is 4,967. That's how many fewer voters cast ballots in the Senate District 4 race than did in the Coeur d'Alene mayor's race (featuring Souza and winner Steve Widmyer) only 6 months ago. The Senate District boundaries and the city of Coeur d'Alene are nearly the same. Mary attracted 3,556 votes (42.30) in losing the mayor's race. Only 3,440 votes total were cast in her SD4 primary win, which she won with 1,853 votes. So why did 5,000 fewer voters go to the polls Tuesday? The GOP Tea Party wing intentionally depressed the vote by forcing closed primaries on us. Smaller poll of voters, more clout for a dedicated minority. I would be very surprised if Souza could beat Goedde in general election involving the city of Coeur d'Alene. But that doesn't matter now. Souza, to her credit, has finally won office. There is not Democratic challenger. It'll be interesting watching her legislate/DFO. (SR photo, left to right: Mary Souza, Joe Kunka and Steve Widmyer at mayor's debate last fall)
Question: Did Mary Souza's unsuccessful run for mayor 6 months ago help her in her successful GOPrimary campaign against Sen. Goedde?
Idaho Republican Chairman Barry Peterson talks with Gov. Butch Otter before a GOP Unity Rally on the steps of the Statehouse, Wednesday, following the primary election. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Darin Oswald)
Question: Do you think Idaho mainstream Republicans will try to oust Peterson this year?
Councilwoman KerriT: Dad (Ron Rankin) was a happy warrior and after his election to the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners served well in his two terms. He far exceeded the expectations of his detractors with his dedication and leadership. To this day when I'm at the county admin building someone from county staff (of any department) will stop to tell me how much he's missed there at the courthouse. Perhaps Mary will also exceed many people's expectations as a legislator.
DFO: Kerri's correct. Ron Rankin, her anti-property tax activist father, scared the daylights out of the Kootenai County staff when he won his first election as commissioner. But he was well-loved at the courthouse by the time his two terms ended six years later.
Question: What would Mary Souza have to do as a state senator to surprise you?
Make no mistake about it, while Otter won on Tuesday, he was still the biggest loser. While voter turnout was abysmally low, something the Tea Party purists wanted (Only the pure of heart and only 100% God-fearing, gun-toting, government-hating, education-bashing, ObamaCare haters) were meant to vote in the GOP’s closed primary. They got their wish, so to speak, by holding the primary vote totals statewide to between 20% and 25% of eligible voters. This enabled their favored candidates, especially gubernatorial challenger State Senator Russ Fulcher of Meridian, to mount a more effective challenge because the universe of votes needed to win was suddenly much, much smaller/Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here. (SR file photo)
DFO: Must read.
Question: Is Gov. Butch Otter vulnerable to a challenge from Democrat A.J. Balukoff this fall?
For at least a year, maybe two, Idaho's governing party has been engaged in the political equivalent of navel gazing. Can a real Republican vote for a state-based health insurance exchange? Must he insist that the Common Core curriculum revamp will trigger the next educational apocalypse? Must a real Republican get an ulcer about investing Idaho's endowment dollars in downtown Boise commercial real estate? Are the only true Republicans those who believe the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - which brought direct election of U.S. senators - as well as every innovation since William McKinley was assassinated including the Federal Reserve, the Square Deal, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, New Frontier and the Great Society were mistakes? Now we know. Tuesday's primary election settled the skirmish - at least for now. But the debris field of the war for the “heart and soul” of the Idaho GOP is strewn with the signs of neglect/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Does the definition of “real Republicans” differ depending on the part of Idaho that you're in?
Kootenai County Clerk Jim Brannon won a decisive victory Tuesday night, capturing nearly 65 percent of the vote, according to final totals released by his office. Brannon received 7,304 votes, and Republican primary opponent Don Pischner got 3,976 votes. “Clearly, there are two factions in the Republican Party,” Pischner said Wednesday. “One faction was able to get out the vote and one was not.” Pischner thanked his supporters. “I'm proud for that support I got,” Pischner said. “I congratulate Jim Brannon.” Brannon didn't return calls seeking comment. Democratic county clerk candidate Larry Belmont said getting the vote out will make the difference in the Nov. 4 general election. “Too many people stayed home (Tuesday),” said Belmont, who easily won his primary race Tuesday. “When just a few people set a sense of direction for a community you put too much power in the hands of too few people”/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Does the big primary win by County Clerk Jim Brannon finally put a fork in his City Council election loss to Mike Kennedy and subsequent legal action?
Incumbent Gov. Butch Otter speaks with his Republican primary challenger Russ Fulcher prior to an Idaho GOP Unity Rally on the steps of the Statehouse on Wednesday in Boise. On the day after the primary election Republicans wanted to reaffirm support for their candidates in the general election in November. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman: Darin Oswald)
Question: What do you make of Gov. Otter losing Ada, Canyon and Kootenai counties?
Don Cheatham believes his lack of political experience and being relatively new here actually helped him earn the Republican nomination for Frank Henderson's seat at the Legislature. “I think door-knocking was the biggest factor, and being a newcomer appealed to residents,” said Cheatham, who defeated Jeff Ward and Greg Gfeller in the run for 3rd Legislative District House Seat B during Tuesday's primary. “I believe being a first-time candidate helped me. I never got questioned about being new here.” Cheatham, a former Los Angeles police officer and recently retired from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, moved to Post Falls two years ago/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Photo: Donald Cheatham campaign site)
Question: How much did Cheatham benefit from being involved in a three-way race?
A strong grassroots campaign and “a lot of prayer” helped Eric Redman defeat incumbent Rep. Ed Morse in Tuesday's Republican primary, according to the political newcomer. “If you look at northern Idaho, God is really in charge,” said Redman, who will be unopposed in the Nov. 4 general election for District 2, Seat B in Idaho's House of Representatives. “I'm not saying our opponents weren't believers, but I just feel it's a God thing.” The retiree from Rathdrum had a solid win with 61 percent of the vote — 2,897 votes compared to 1,849 cast for Morse. His conservative running mate, incumbent Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, soundly won his own race against Fritz Wiedenhoff for District 2, Seat A with 67 percent of the votes cast in his favor. Barbieri received 3,253 votes while Wiedenhoff - in his third run for public office - received 1,568 votes/Taryn Thompson, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Facebook photo)
Question: How much of a role do you think religion played in the local elections?
State Sen. Mary Souza. State Sen. Mary Souza. State Sen. Mary Souza. I'm trying to get the hang of saying the name with the title. Like Ron Rankin in the days of old, Mary kept coming back loss after loss until she pulled a stunner, unseating veteran state Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene. I'm sure she'll team with state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, to continue to fight urban renewal and other progress here in the shire. On the positive side, Mary is relevant again. And that's always good for blog fodder. Here's the Hump Day Wild Card for your post-primary election hangover …
Caps are tossed into the air as newly commissioned Coast Guard ensigns divest themselves of all symbols of cadet life at the conclusion of their commencement exercises at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday in New London, Conn. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who assumed command of the coast guard during a ceremony at the start of the exercises, delivered the commencement address to the cadets. (AP Photo/The Day, Sean D. Elliot)
Having met and worked with some fine people in NIPAC, I am more upset about their repudiation than my own loss. I lost with a 40 % margin to a little known person that apparently fit the mold for the new age in Kootenai County Politics. The moral here is, if you have momentum on your side, and you work harder and spend more than your opposition, you are likely to win. It will be an interesting few years ahead. but sometimes the pendulum swings abruptly as it has this year. We could see coming from this, a rejuvenated Democratic Party. But not just yet. If the Rally Right people don't govern well, it will open the door for liberal causes to fill the vacuum/Herb Huseland, Bay Views. More here.
Question: So what do you make of Herb's point, that a rival political movement could emerge (as it did in the Coeur d'Alene School Board and trustee elections last year) if elected Tea Party officials say and do outrageous things in the next two years?
Even as a push from the right to take over the Idaho Republican Party was falling short at the state level, it was succeeding beyond expectations in North Idaho, where two longtime state lawmakers were unceremoniously dumped in Tuesday’s GOP primary. A third was turned out after just one term, and four arch-conservative incumbents whose challengers were endorsed by GOP Gov. Butch Otter cruised to victory in a low-turnout election that saw barely over one in five registered voters cast a ballot. Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, lost in the primary to city hall critic Mary Souza, after serving eight terms in the Senate. “I was shocked,” said Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene. “He’s served for 14 years now, he’s been the tip of the spear on some really, really difficult issues that have made Idaho a better place to live and raise families, educate our kids. And he was just dismissed,” Malek said. “It was very shocking.” Kootenai County’s voter turnout was just 21.7 percent of registered voters; statewide, turnout was 25 percent/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Has the Shire fallen?
Time 2 Vote …
Dana McGregor's pet goats Pismo, left, and Goatee surf at San Onofre State Beach in San Clemente, Calif. McGregor’s hometown of Pismo Beach, Calif., is considering changes to city codes that would allow him to legally keep the goats at his home and let them graze on city land. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Rod Veal, File)
Tuesday Winner: Psalm 37, with 7 likes: And the number one reason Geico Insurance no longer does outdoor commercial photo shoots. You can see the Tuesday Photo and all Cutline Contest winners here.
Chairwoman Eden Irgens, center, is honored for her nine years of service for the Coeur d'Alene Arts Commission and promotion of public art, by Mayor Steve Widmyer and Councilwoman Amy Evans. Irgens is stepping down as chairwoman, to be replaced by board member Joe Sharnetsky. Jennifer Drake will serve as vice chairwoman.
HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, May 20): 13,397 page-views/6089 unique views
Challenger Toby Schindelbeck, left, and incumbent Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene, listen to a question at their Chamber of Commerce debate at North Idaho College earlier this spring. Although Malek defeated Schindelbeck in the House District 3A GOPrimary race, Schindelbeck won't be going anywhere. Schindelbeck, who ran for a Chico, Calif., City Council post two years ago, won the Precinct 47 committee member post and almost upset Malek. Here's predicting that Schindelbeck will be back to challenge Malek in two years — and that the Sword of Toby hanging over Luke's head will keep Luke voting further to the right than he would normally do.
Otter emerged the winner but was nowhere to be seen at the Republican bash on election night Tuesday. “I just didn't want to jinx myself,” the governor said, about not making a public appearance. “I was concerned it was so close.” But Republican unity in Idaho was the theme the day after as winners and losers in the GOP primary gathered in a show of solidarity on the steps of the statehouse. “We're going to work in lockstep to try and make things better,” said Fulcher, of Meridian, who gave up his leadership position in the Senate to run against Otter in the primary. “Some of the points I was trying to make during the campaign resonated with the governor and with the people”/KBOI. More here.
Question: Ron Rankin used to say that he didn't mind losing elections — until he won two of them — as long as you pushed your party closer to your position. Has Russ Fulcher and the Liberty Caucus pushed the Idaho GOP closer to their position as a result of the hard-fought GOPrimary?
Seventeen applicants have filed for the 1st District magistrate seat now held by Magistrate Penny Friedlander, who will retire Aug. 31, including former Coeur d'Alene City Administrator Wendy Gabriel. Others are: Jerri Lynn Brooks of Hayden, Deputy Prosecutor Kenneth Brooks of Kootenai County, James Combo of Coeur d'Alene, James Craig of Orlando, Fla., Deputy City Attorney Anna Eckhard of Coeur d'Alene, Deputy Prosecutor Donna Gardner of Kootenai County, Shawn Glen of Hagadone Directories/Coeur d'Alene, Tera Harden of Riverside, Calif., George Patterson of Boise, Denise Rosen of Coeur d'Alene, City Prosecutor Timothy Van Valin of Rathdrum, Kacey Wall of Coeur d'Alene, Anne Taylor of Blackfoot, Deputy Prosecutor Barbara Duggan of Boise, Deputy AG Michael Felton of Buhl, and Assistance Officer Jay Sturgell of 1st District Court/Coeur d'Alene.
Powder Farmer: Went down to the county election office today to get back to unaffiliated. Due to a large volume of cards being turned in, apparently I will be a Republican for 72 hours instead of 24 hours.
Question: Anyone else changing political affiliation today?
Washington and Idaho health officials are warning consumers not to eat raw clover sprouts from an Idaho producer after the sprouts were linked to seven confirmed and three probable cases of E. coli illnesses in the region. Five of those patients were hospitalized; there have been no deaths. Five cases were reported in Spokane County, three in Kootenai County and two in King County. Results from initial investigations indicate a strong link to eating raw clover spouts produced by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts of Moyie Springs, Idaho, near Bonners Ferry/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: How often do you eat sprouts?
Kootenai County Chief Deputy Clerk Pat Raffee announced that Elections staff has posted by-precinct as well as write-in vote results to the website today. Click here and follow the links: http://www.kcgov.us/elections/ As for the Elections results reporting delay that occurred Tuesday night, Raffee said “our ballot tabulator worked fine. The reporting software program seems to have a glitch about how many precincts were in the tally – it kept showing all 70 Election-day precincts reporting, even though about 10 precincts’ results were being uploaded at a time.” Just before midnight Elections management saw those incremental results contained accurate vote totals but inaccurate precinct counts. “Knowing most people were expecting the total results by midnight, we decided not to post until all 70 Election-day precincts were in fact contained in the total results,” Raffee continued/Kootenai County Clerk's Office. More here.
DFO: Actually, I prefer accuracy — and speed — you know, the way it used to be.
Merica: There is a glaring comparison that illustrates why closed primaries are wrong for voters. District 4 mostly covers CdA. The same voters more or less participate. In November's GENERAL election, 8,407 voters participated in the mayoral race. Mary Souza received 42% of the vote or 3,556 votes. Six months later, in a closed primary between Goedde and Souza, a total of 3,440 votes were cast. (Goedde and Souza *combined* could not reach Mary's level of votes received in the November general.) Mary received almost 54% of the vote or 1,853 votes. The turnout was only 40% of what we saw just six months ago with the same pool of electors. Not only did voters not turn out for Goedde, they didn't turn out for Souza either. Senator Souza won with 46% less support than she received in November race where she lost.
Question: This is the best explanation I've seen re: impact of closed primary — and ongoing prospect that The Shire (Coeur d'Alene) will escape the lengthening shadow of Mordor. Thoughts?
How much difference does money make in an Idaho election? Judging by the two four-way races in yesterday’s GOP primary, not a heck of a lot. Sherri Ybarra, the candidate who won the four-way race for state superintendent of schools, raised and spent by far the least of the four GOP candidates, just $2,850. Second-place finisher Randy Jensen raised $7,124; third-place Andy Grover raised $41,854 including $5,000 from Melaleuca Inc. and $5,500 of his own money; and fourth-place finisher John Eynon raised $16,284. “Sherri spent about 3 cents per vote for her win last night,” current state Superitendent Tom Luna said at today’s GOP unity rally, “and I think some of us on the stand here wonder how that is possible and how we can duplicate that”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: What do you make of candidates with large warchests who lost elections last night?
Sharon Culbreth, shown above in 2012 trying to attract signers for the failed recall petition drive against former mayor Sandi Bloem & three council members, also won a GOP precinct committee post last night.
Question: Do you think Coeur d'Alene will return to its divisive ways now that former recallers Rep. Kathy Sims & Mary Souza are on the bring of winning 2 or 3 Legislative District 4 seats? Or will they try to cooperate with the Widmyer administration?
How far right has Kootenai County swung? State Sen. Russ Fulcher beat two-term Gov. Butch Otter by 1,000 votes here:
GOVERNOR Walt Bayes . . . . . . . . . . 147 1.19 Harley D. Brown . . . . . . . . 271 2.20 Russell M. Fulcher . . . . . . . 6,474 52.48 C.L. "Butch" Otter . . . . . . . 5,445 44.14 Total . . . . . . . . . 12,337
DFO: In fact, Chmelik, Denney, Troupis, Hatfield & Eynon all won in Kootenai County, too. Results here.
Question: Is Kootenai County now the reddest of the red?
Idaho Secretary of State candidate Lawerence Denney, with his wife Donna on the left and daughter Jennifer on the right, gives a speech before all votes are counted but after he's comfortable with his lead during the Idaho GOP Primary election night event at the Riverside Hotel in Boise on Tuesday. Denney won his four-way GOPrimary race to become the odds-on favorite to succeed Ben Ysursa as secretary of state. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)
Photographer Duane Rasmussen provides this nice portrait shot of Gov. Butch Otter during a Coeur d'Alene visit.
Here’s a link to the results as they stand now. Top-of-ticket results haven’t changed; Gov. Butch Otter is still defeating challenger Russ Fulcher, and the tea party challengers to all top state GOP officials have fallen short, with Todd Hatfield’s challenge of state Controller Brandon Woolf coming closest, at 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent. Sherri Ybarra is winning the GOP race for state superintendent of schools, to face Jana Jones in November; and Lawrence Denney is leading the four-way GOP race for Idaho Secretary of State, to face Democrat Holli Woodings in November. More here.
Question: The Tea Party may be strong in Kootenai County/North Idaho, but it appears its influence is waning at the state level. Thoughts?
When final results were tallied in the early hours of the morning, it was a mix of incumbents and challengers who claimed the win in unofficial results. In the Senate race, Sen. Shawn Keough held a 487-vote lead of 3,484 votes over challenger Dannielle Ahrens’ 2,997 votes for the GOP ticket. As for representative candidates, challenger Sage Dixon defeated longtime Rep. George Eskridge for legislative District 1 Seat B with 3,444 votes versus his challenger’s 2,995 votes. In the race for retiring Rep. Eric Anderson’s Seat A, Heather Scott took an early lead for the seat and ended the night with 4,128 votes to 2,343 for Stephen Snedden/Cameron Rasmusson, Bonner County Bee. More here.
Larry Spencer: The people I brought into the Democrat election were Democrats defending their flag. This year, 366 more votes were cast for Anne Nesse than were cast for her two years ago, with both races uncontested. Mary Souza beat Goedde by 266 votes. If I had not done what I did, the Anne Nesse votes would have been cast in the Republican primary and they wouldn't have gone to Mary.
DFO: Whether or not Spencer helped Souza win, I'll say this … he certainly lit a fire under the local Democrats that needed to be lit.
I haven't broken down the winners & losers in the Liberty Caucus/Rally Right vs. Reasonable Republican struggle for the GOPrecinct committee posts. But I see that Jim Hollingsworth beat Rally Right nemesis Matt Roetter in one precinct race, and Ruthie Johnson fell to a Reasonable Republican challenger. I also see that Tina Jacobson and John Cross survived challenges on the Tea Party side, while Duane Rasmussen and Kellie Palm did the same on the Reasonable Republican side. In other words, the Tea-publicans should maintain control but they'll still have to deal with critics within the Central Committee.
Again, Joker: (RE: Malek survives, Tea Party triumphs): It's really not stunning. If you're living in the bubble of Huckleberries online, your world just got rocked. The truth is that right wing conservatives have been busy for some time creating the infrastructure to win elections. Despite DFO's breathless warnings and clarion calls, people didn't switch parties in large numbers and reasonable republicans didn't get out to vote. The influence of this blog is clearly declining from its peak of the recall and 2013 school board elections.
DFO: I can point people to the voting booth. But I can't make them vote.
Question: So what do we do for fun now?
Joker contends that state Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Post Falls, is North Idaho's Teflon Man. (File Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
North Idaho remains a hotbed of ultraconservatism. It shows how hard the “patriot” groups have been working to establish a stranglehold on the political machine. While these groups are prone to internal revolutions, they rally at the polls and elect candidates who reflect their views. Here are some other takeaways:
COUNTY ASSESSOR (Democrat) Larry Spencer . . . . . . . . . 875 46.74 Shirley McFadden (WRITE-IN) . . . . 997 53.26 Total . . . . . . . . . 1,872
So how do you explain the fact that the state of Idaho rejected the Liberty Caucus/Tea Party candidates, with the exception of Boss Denney for secretary of state, but Kootenai County embraced it fully? Turnout? Anyone?
STATE SENATOR LEG DIST 4 John W. Goedde. . . . . . . . . 1,587 46.13 Mary Souza . . . . . . . . . . 1,853 53.87 Total . . . . . . . . . 3,440 STATE REP LEG DIST 4 POS A Lucas "Luke" Malek . . . . . . . 1,751 52.71 Toby Schindelbeck. . . . . . . . 1,571 47.29 Total . . . . . . . . . 3,322 STATE REP LEG DIST 4 POS B Elmer "Rick" Currie . . . . . . . 1,318 38.82 Kathleen Sims . . . . . . . . . 2,077 61.18 Total . . . . . . . . . 3,395
COUNTY COMMISSIONER FIRST DIST Marc Eberlein . . . . . . . . . 6,038 51.97 Todd Tondee. . . . . . . . . . 3,813 32.82 Tim Herzog . . . . . . . . . . 1,767 15.21 Total . . . . . . . . . 11,618 COUNTY COMMISSIONER SECOND DIST David Stewart . . . . . . . . . 9,747 100.00 Total . . . . . . . . . 9,747 CLERK OF DISTRICT COURT Jim Brannon. . . . . . . . . . 7,304 64.75 Don Pischner . . . . . . . . . 3,976 35.25 Total . . . . . . . . . 11,280 COUNTY TREASURER Laurie Thomas . . . . . . . . . 5,274 47.78 Steven D. Matheson . . . . . . . 5,765 52.22 Total . . . . . . . . . 11,039 COUNTY ASSESSOR Patrick Galles. . . . . . . . . 1,745 15.27 Michael (Mike) G. McDowell. . . . . 9,680 84.73 Total . . . . . . . . . 11,425 COUNTY CORONER Warren C. Keene . . . . . . . . 6,388 58.25 Debbie Wilkey . . . . . . . . . 4,579 41.75 Total . . . . . . . . . 10,967
Luke Malek, shown here giving thumbs up to passing motorists Tuesday morning in Coeur d'Alene, is the only one of the mainstream Republicans who survived the Liberty Caucus/Tea Party onslaught among legislative candidates on Election Day. State Sen. Bob Nonini easily won re-election in a hard-fought battle with Pat Whalen, and City Hall critic Mary Souza pulled the upset of the night by defeating veteran state Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
Two of the three seats on the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners will be in new hands next year after one incumbent was defeated in Tuesday’s primary election and another chose not to run again. Commissioner Todd Tondee was seeking a fourth term on the board but was soundly defeated in the Republican primary by Marc Eberlein, who took 52 percent of the vote in a three-way race. Tondee received just 33 percent of the vote, while Tim Herzog took 15 percent. Eberlein will face Democratic nominee Bruce Noble in November’s election. Noble won Tuesday’s primary with 78 percent of the vote, with Tamra Dale II claiming 22 percent/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: What do you make of the stunning victory by the Liberty Caucus/Tea Party wing of the local GOP last night?
STATE SENATOR LEG DIST 2 Steve Vick . . . . . . . . . . 4,173 100.00 Total . . . . . . . . . 4,173 STATE REP LEG DIST 2 POS A Vito Barbieri . . . . . . . . . 3,253 67.48 Fritz Wiedenhoff . . . . . . . . 1,568 32.52 Total . . . . . . . . . 4,821 STATE REP LEG DIST 2 POS B Ed Morse. . . . . . . . . . . 1,849 38.96 Eric Redman. . . . . . . . . . 2,897 61.04 Total . . . . . . . . . 4,746
STATE SENATOR LEG DIST 3 Bob Nonini . . . . . . . . . . 2,461 64.66 Patrick Whalen. . . . . . . . . 1,345 35.34 Total . . . . . . . . . 3,806 STATE REP LEG DIST 3 POS A Ron Mendive. . . . . . . . . . 2,408 65.65 Terry C. Werner . . . . . . . . 1,260 34.35 Total . . . . . . . . . 3,668 STATE REP LEG DIST 3 POS B Don Cheatham . . . . . . . . . 1,450 41.58 Greg Gfeller . . . . . . . . . 1,000 28.68 Jeff Ward . . . . . . . . . . 1,037 29.74 Total . . . . . . . . . 3,487
I'm crying “UNCLE!” I simply can't wait for the County Clerk Jim Brannon's Election Department to finish tabulating ballots tonight. Let's hope Brannon & Co. can get the ballots counted before the three-day Memorial Day Weekend arrives. It'll be interesting to know who wins all these local elections. After all, we've all experienced 3 months of intensive campaigning. You'd think we had some right to expect final numbers by 1 in the AM Wednesday. But it looks like we'll be stuck at 16% (since 10:41 p.m.) of the vote until the cows come in. I hope Brannon has a good explanation for this fiasco in his first major election as clerk. Bad form, Jim. Bad form.
Idaho Gov. candidate Harley Brown poses for a photo while awaiting vote counts during the IdahoGOP Primary election night event at the Riverside Hotel in Boise on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)
With more than half of Idaho voters telling pollsters that the Gem State is on the “right track,” chances were Tuesday would be a good night for incumbents. That conventional wisdom held, as GOP Gov. Butch Otter won his party's nomination to become the first governor to win three consecutive terms since 1962. “The Idaho GOP establishment seems to be the big winner,” said Steve Shaw, a political scientist at Northwest Nazarene University, noting that strong wins by Otter allies U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, Lt. Gov. Brad Little and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden showed that most voters were satisfied with the status quo. Though Otter will be a favorite over Democrat A.J. Balukoff in November, Shaw said, his loyalists “should be concerned at the relative weakness” of the governor's victory/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Any surprises in the statewide elections?
I doubt that I can outlast the incredibly slow vote counting being conducted tonight by County Clerk Jim Brannon's election department. I'll hang in here another hour. But I'm not going to stay up all night waiting for the excruciatingly slow tabulation to conclude. I can't remember the last time that I pulled the plug before the last ballot was counted. But this is looking like the first time since.
In the 1st District, long-time state Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, has extended her lead over Tea Party candidate Danielle Ahrens 2413 votes to 2039 votes, with 89% of the precincts reporting. In the two House races, conservative hardliners Heather Scott leads Steve Snedden 63% to 37%, and Sage Dixon leads long-time state Rep. George Eskridge, 53% to 47%. Scott has been declared winner of her race with 80 percent of the vote counted. Eskridge has been cutting into Dixon's lead.
Wow! State Sen. Russ Fulcher leading Gov. Butch Otter with absentees and 16% of the vote in? Mary Souza leading state Sen. John Goedde. Newcomer Toby Schindelbeck narrowly trailing state Rep. Luke Malek. Marc Eberlein crushing Commissioner Todd Tondee in their race. And the three Tea-publicans candidates leading solidly in Legislative District 3, including state Sen. Bob Nonini. This may be the night that control of Kootenai County politics swings to the Tea Party. Still a lot of counting to do. But it looks like the treasurer's race at the county courthouse is the only one worth watching at this point.
15.71% of vote STATE REP LEG DIST 2 POS A Vito Barbieri . . . . . . . . . 1,147 67.19 Fritz Wiedenhoff . . . . . . . . 560 32.81 Total . . . . . . . . . 1,707 STATE REP LEG DIST 2 POS B Ed Morse. . . . . . . . . . . 745 44.40 Eric Redman. . . . . . . . . . 933 55.60 Total . . . . . . . . . 1,678 STATE SENATOR LEG DIST 3 Bob Nonini . . . . . . . . . . 975 64.70 Patrick Whalen. . . . . . . . . 532 35.30 Total . . . . . . . . . 1,507 STATE REP LEG DIST 3 POS A Ron Mendive. . . . . . . . . . 966 65.89 Terry C. Werner . . . . . . . . 500 34.11 Total . . . . . . . . . 1,466 STATE REP LEG DIST 3 POS B Don Cheatham . . . . . . . . . 562 39.89 Greg Gfeller . . . . . . . . . 398 28.25 Jeff Ward . . . . . . . . . . 449 31.87 Total . . . . . . . . . 1,409 STATE SENATOR LEG DIST 4 John W. Goedde. . . . . . . . . 818 47.31 Mary Souza . . . . . . . . . . 911 52.69 Total . . . . . . . . . 1,729 STATE REP LEG DIST 4 POS A Lucas "Luke" Malek . . . . . . . 871 51.88 Toby Schindelbeck. . . . . . . . 808 48.12 Total . . . . . . . . . 1,679 STATE REP LEG DIST 4 POS B Elmer "Rick" Currie . . . . . . . 652 38.29 Kathleen Sims . . . . . . . . . 1,051 61.71 Total . . . . . . . . . 1,703
I'm back at Hucks Central & rarin' to go until the last vote is counted. Let's use this thread for generic comments. The county clerk's office issued a news release earlier this week, saying that it expected the absentee ballots to be counted by 9 p.m. That's 15 minutes. So we may have an inkling re: which way the voting is going to go as soon as then.
COUNTY ASSESSOR Larry Spencer . . . . . . . . . 227 44.16 Shirley McFadden (WRITE-IN) . . . . 287 55.84 Total . . . . . . . . . 514
Here's the voting in Kootenai County for governor, where challenger Russ Fulcher is doing way better than the state as a whole:
GOVERNOR Walt Bayes . . . . . . . . . . 58 1.16 Harley D. Brown . . . . . . . . 104 2.08 Russell M. Fulcher . . . . . . . 2,481 49.67 C.L. "Butch" Otter . . . . . . . 2,352 47.09 Total . . . . . . . . . 4,995
COUNTY COMMISSIONER FIRST DIST Marc Eberlein . . . . . . . . . 2,580 53.74 Todd Tondee. . . . . . . . . . 1,586 33.03 Tim Herzog . . . . . . . . . . 635 13.23 Total . . . . . . . . . 4,801 CLERK OF DISTRICT COURT Jim Brannon. . . . . . . . . . 3,044 64.46 Don Pischner . . . . . . . . . 1,678 35.54 Total . . . . . . . . . 4,722 COUNTY TREASURER Laurie Thomas . . . . . . . . . 2,319 49.92 Steven D. Matheson . . . . . . . 2,326 50.08 Total . . . . . . . . . 4,645 COUNTY ASSESSOR Patrick Galles. . . . . . . . . 710 14.99 Michael (Mike) G. McDowell. . . . . 4,028 85.01 Total . . . . . . . . . 4,738 COUNTY CORONER Warren C. Keene . . . . . . . . 2,653 57.91 Debbie Wilkey . . . . . . . . . 1,928 42.09 Total . . . . . . . . . 4,581
In House District 7A, Rep. Shannon McMillan, R-Silverton, has been declared the winner with 97% of the vote counted. Mcmillan defeated Hillman 2705-1542 or 64% to 36%.
Duane Rasmussen and his trusty camera are out & about snapping pictures of candidates and supporters on street corners this morning. I'll post when Duane can take a break and email them to me. Meanwhile, I need to leave for lunch early today — about 11:15 a.m. — to tend to personal business & to vote. So I'll try to have plenty of items posted for your comments until I get back. Now for your Primary Election Day Wild Card …
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has stayed the federal court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in Idaho while the decision is appealed to higher courts. You can read the 9th Circuit's four-page order here. While granting Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden's motion for a stay - preventing the change from taking effect while the case wends its way up on appeal - the 9th Circuit panel also granted the request from the four couples who successfully sued, to “expedite” the case, speeding it up from the usual handling in the 9th Circuit/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
In his column this morning, Doug Clark of The Spokesman-Review writes: “I’m excited to announce that our neighbors to the east are planning to hold the first Coeur d’Alene Street Music Week during the noon hours of June 9-13. It’s all due to the tireless efforts of Jim Lyons, my street music amigo, who got Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Woody McEvers on board. “The staff thought it was a valid thing to do,” said McEvers. “I’m looking forward to it.” While talking to McEvers on Monday, a vivid memory came to mind of something that happened one night during the early 1980s at the Rustler’s Roost. That’s the restaurant McEvers and his brother, Daren, own. Originally in Coeur d’Alene, the Roost is now a fixture in Hayden. Back in the day, however, I was running The Spokesman-Review’s Coeur d’Alene bureau. And working for me was this just-out-of-college intern, a huge rubber-lipped lad who had the appetite of a pack of starving jackals. I told him I’d buy his dinner and took him to Rustler’s Roost for “All You Can Eat Ribs Night.” More here. (SR file photo: Woody McEvers at the old Rustler's Roost downtown)
Question: What do you think of the concept of a Coeur d'Alene Street Music Week?
Time 2 Vote …
A Montagu's Harrier has caught a lizard in a meadow near the river Oder in Mallnow, Germany, today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/dpa, Patrick Pleul)
Monday Winner — Fort Boise, with 5 likes: I can't believe I ate the whole thing! You can see Monday Photo & all Cutline Contest entries here.
“They call me geranium girl,” said Rachel Johns as she planted geraniums on the grounds of The Coeur d'Alene Resort in Coeur d'Alene on Tuesday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Here's a robo-call from state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, and Republican state Senate candidate Mary Souza …
Simon and Frankie Drake are shown outside polling place where parents Jennifer and Ben Drake vote today. (Facebook photo: Jennifer Drake)
HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, May 19): 10,524 page-views/5,324 unique views
Kootenai County sheriff’s detectives continue to work with Spokane Police Major Crimes Unit regarding the human remains found in the Fernan area last week. An initial autopsy has been performed and the individual has been identified. However, additional autopsy results are pending. The individual’s family has been notified. This case remains an active police investigation, therefore, no additional information will be released at this time by either KCSO or the Kootenai County Coroner’s Office. This investigation and autopsy results could take several weeks before additional information becomes available to the public.
A Berry Picker writes: “I voted early today and it was pretty quiet. This closed primary for the Republicans mad for the most confusing voting process I have seen in 40+ years I have been voting. Did I understand the flow chart thingee that as a registered Republican, I could have voted for any of the three tickets while no one else can? How can this possibly be legal under our Constitution? How do we change this? By court action or referendum?”
Question: Did anyone see that weird flow chart at the polling place that seemed to show 8 or 9 different scenarios for casting votes, depending on how your are registered, affiliated or neutral? I've never seen anything like that before. Have you?
|REP||C.L. “Butch” Otter||89,117||46,681||54.6%|
|REP||Ron “Pete” Peterson||8,402||5.2%|
|REP||Sharon Margaret Ullman||13,749||8.4%|
A Berry Picker posts: If the Reagan Republicans are having their party at Fedoras, and Rally Right is having its party at Nates in PF, and the factionless are having their party at Daanens, where are the Reasonables having their party? Where are the Spencerlings having their party?”
OK, I'll go first. I think Gov. Butch Otter will win the GOPrimary guv nomination with 55-58 percent of the vote. All the other statewide officials aligned with his ticket will win easily, too, except in the four-way races. John Eynon has a decent chance of winning the four-way race for Superintendent of Schools because he has the Tea Party is his corner against three others who support Common Core standards, to some extent. Former House Speaker Lawerence Denney could ride the Tea Party/Duck Dynasty wave to a tight win over Phil McGrane in the Secretary of State race. Locally, I think it's going to be a good day for Reasonable Republicans with the exception of the commissioners office, where Marc Eberlein ends Todd Tondee's tenure at 10 years and sets up the prospect that the Tea Party will control two of the three seats. In the legislative races, I expect Pat Whalen to retire state Sen. Bob Nonini. At long last.
Question: Anyone else want to make guesses?
The Route of the Hiawatha rail-trail near Lookout Pass is set to open for the 2014 summer season Saturday. The 15-mile route for mountain biking or hiking follows a portion of the abandoned Milwaukee Railroad on a mostly downhill grade between the old town site of Taft, Montana, (off Interstate 90) and the North Fork of the St. Joe River near Avery, Idaho. Top attractions include seven trestles towering up to 230 feet over the creeks and forest and 10 tunnels, including the 1.7-mile St. Paul Pass Tunnel (Taft Tunnel) at the Montana-Idaho border. Pedal the route down and back on your own for a 30-miler or ride the downhill route and board a shuttle bus for a lift back to the start/Rich Landers, SR. More here. (SR file photo: Bicyclists exit the Taft Tunnel and emerge into the surrounding beauty of the national forest)
Question: Have you ridden the Route of the Hiawatha? How many times?
Harley Brown says he’s been a candidate for office eight times before in his life, but the former Navy engineer and the current president of the Bombers Motorcycle Club has never gotten the kind of attention he’s received since he participated in Idaho’s GOP gubernatorial debate on May 14. The debate headliners, sitting governor Butch Otter and Tea Party challenger Russ Fulcher, traded barbs, but the leather-clad Brown’s performance — combined with that of the ancient-looking Bible-thumper and father of 16, Walt Bayes — stole the show. With trademark Brown lines like, “I’m about as politically correct as your proverbial turd in a punch bowl,” video of the event went viral. Since then, Brown has been fielding media appearances and teamed up with a PR consultant and fellow long-shot candidate who identified herself as Lisa Marie/Denver Nicks, Time. More here.
On her Facebook wall, Jennifer Locke posts: “We were second in line to vote. Bella was just 6 weeks old in my belly two years ago on Election Day. The last two years have been an amazing journey, filled with many lessons learned, gained experiences, and wonderful new friendships. I'm looking forward to the next two years. (Facebook photo: Jennifer Locke)
At my local polling place this morning, things seemed pretty slow. There were one or two other voters there when I arrived; none when I left. Poll workers said it’d been steady all morning, with a slow but near-constant trickle of voters showing up; there was no before-work rush. There certainly were no lines. Voter turnout in Idaho’s primary elections has been declining for years, even as general-election turnout has remained relatively strong. Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa is projecting a turnout of 27 percent today, which would be an improvement from the 24 percent of registered voters who cast ballots two years ago, but only back up to the 2010 level. In the 2012 general election, turnout was 74 percent of registered voters. Ten years ago, in 2004, primary turnout was 26.8 percent, general election was 76.8 percent. In 1994, primary turnout was 33.3 percent, general was 67 percent/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: You realize that the radicals want a poor voter turnout, right?
On his late-night show, Conan O'Brien devoted a segment to last week's Idaho gubernatorial debate. Enjoy.
A home just northwest of Billings was among those damaged by a hailstorm that moved through the city on Sunday evening. The storm, with hailstones up to the size of baseballs, caused property damage across southeastern Montana. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Larry Mayer)
And now the latest word from Java on Sherman via Facebook: “Opening day is coming! As the kitchen at 324 was emptied today, the kitchen at 819 was filled! We will be putting delicious food in your bellies again soon! This crew is anxious to open our new doors to you. Thank you all for being patient spectators of our metamorphosis.”
I always leave my calendar open this time of year, just in case I'm asked to deliver a commencement address to a university's graduating class. I'm not surprised that another year has passed with no invitation. My message isn't one that college administrations want their graduates to hear. For the most part, commencement addresses are reserved for communists, socialists and fascists. Conservatives and libertarians are rarely welcome. A survey of commencement speakers at graduation ceremonies found that Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-to-1 margin. I would wager that, even among those Republicans, self-indulgent appeals to pursue careers in public service will predominate. The poisonous implication is that those who enter the private sector and use their newly acquired skills to earn great wads of money are somehow morally inferior to those who seek careers in government. Nothing could be further from the truth/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: What is the best piece of advice that you received as you were about to venture out into the world on your own?
When rumors started fluttering around that Coeur d'Alene was next in line on Golden Corral's short list of places to build a restaurant, an oddly numerous amount of local folks started freaking out with excitement. Granted, our town hasn't had a corporate buffet style eatery since…um, I can't even remember. I think the last local entry into the World of Many Sneezeguards was Granny's up in the dog end of the Silver Lake Mall, which mercifully died at least a decade ago. So, it's been awhile since Coeur d'Aleneians have been able to give up on life via sweatpants and five hours taking gluttonous trips to the trough of bland, sub-cafeteria style foodstuffs. If you're one of these buffet queens yourself, I'm sure you're glowing bright with joy that the Cd'A Golden Corral has finally hung their “line starts here” sign and have flung open their doors for business. I'd been to the North Spokane Corral several years ago and I'd be lying if I said I walked out of there in fits of culinary bliss/OrangeTV, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.
Question: Do you enjoy all-you-can-eat buffets?
I received a copy of the Kootenai Weekly Conservative wherein you state: ” On behalf of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, I am writing to report the commission of various crimes in violation of both federal and state law including mail fraud, voter fraud, identity theft, criminal conspiracy, campaign reporting violations and witness intimidation. These violations appear to be a criminal conspiracy devising a scheme to defraud the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, its members and the voters of Kootenai County, Idaho utilizing the U.S. Mail.” The problem is that in this country people are innocent until PROVEN guilty, therefore any suspected legal action is just that “suspected” until proven otherwise. You would have been wise to characterized the event as “possible commission of various crimes” rather that the unqualified declarative. As such you have now potentially exposed KCRR to civil action should your assertions be themselves proven false. I appreciate the offensive nature of the mailer but that does not grant license to reply in kind, or worse. (SR file photo, of Brent Regan)
Question: Sound advice?
SUSPECT VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: 1989 GMC SAVANA VAN, WHITE, IDAHO PLATE K527792 SUSPECT DESCRIPTION: WHITE MALE, LONG BROWN “WAVEY” HAIR, APPROXIMATELY 5'06”,APPROXIMATELY 110 POUNDS, APPROXIMATELY 40 YOA, WEARING A BLUE BASE BALL CAP,WHITE TEE SHIRT, AND GRAY JEANS
At 6 p.m. Saturday, Coeur d’Alene officers responded to a call re: suspected child enticing. The reporting party explained a male has been hanging around the area of her residence and she thinks he may be enticing her son. She lives in the 1900 block of W. Fairway Drive. The witness said she recently noticed a white van parked in the vicinity of her home. The suspicious male drives the white van. She does not know who the male is and has not seen him in the area before. She said on May 12th at approximately noon she observed the male walking on her property. Her three year old son was playing outside at the time. The witness said the male asked her son to come to his van and help him with his dog. She noticed him engaged in conversation with her son and confronted him. Complete Facebook report here.
Robert Fitzgerald, president of CDA Junior Tackle, shares his concerns on the proposed rate increase for fees to use Coeur d’Alene School District facilities during a special board of trustees meeting Monday at Woodland Middle School. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)
Members of the youth athletics community called foul Monday on the idea of paying a heftier price to use sports fields owned by the Coeur d'Alene School District. School board members didn't seem excited about the idea either, during a board workshop that attracted about 60 people to Woodland Middle School. “For me, this whole issue comes down to one question. Are our schools corporate franchises, or are they community centers, paid for, built and to be used by all of us, especially our kids? That's my answer, and I'm basically done with all of this,” said Trustee Dave Eubanks, following nearly two hours of testimony from representatives of the various, nonprofit youth sports leagues and clubs that regularly use school district facilities/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: What would you do in this situation if you sat on the School Board?
Kootenai County sheriff's deputies drew some blank stares during their emphasis patrols on uncovered loads May 17 and 18. Twenty-three stops were made near the county's transfer station on Prairie Avenue and rural collection sites during the emphasis, targeting residents who didn't have their loads covered on material that could have blown out of their vehicles. Lt. Stu Miller of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office said many residents are unaware of the law requiring loads to be covered on anything that can blow out of the vehicle. He said strapping down the material isn't good enough. “About this time every year is when we see a lot of problems since it's spring cleaning time,” said Miller, adding that the county has received several complaints about the debris from homeowners who live near the transfer stations/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you always cover your loads when you run to the dump?
Beware the last-minute campaign message. On the eve of the Idaho primary that will determine many of the state’s top officeholders, the divisions in the Republican Party have led to recriminations of dirty tricks and deception. The quarreling factions are attempting to capitalize on the GOP faithful’s affinity for the late President Ronald Reagan. The result: a confusing jumble of similar names albeit with competing visions of who should lead the state. Because Idaho politics are dominated by the Republican Party, today’s primary is the election that matters most and all but determines who will win in the fall. Jeff Ward, who heads the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, wants a criminal investigation into another GOP group that he said copied his group’s name in a campaign mailer complete with a slate of endorsements he opposes/Betsy Russell, SR. More here.
Question: OK, we've reached Primary Election Day 2014. Which dirty trick do you think was the worst of all?
We're approaching the eve of primary election day 2014 for Idaho. Thirty hours from now we'll know which side of the GOP divide has gained the upper hand in their battle for the soul of the dominant political party — the Reasonable Republicans or the Liberty Caucus/Tea Party ones. Or we might see a re-shuffling of the deck chairs on this political Titanic, with neither side gaining a solid upper hand. We won't have any real idea until the results begin pouring in from MDT southern Idaho and the absentees are counted here. I'll be at my desk until the final ballot is counted. So be prepared to tune back in here throughout tomorrow. Here's your re-played Wild Card …
Will The Real Reagan Republican Please Stand Up? President Jeff Ward of the original Kootenai County Reagan Republicans appears pensive in this photo snapped at a Reagan Republican luncheon by Duane Rasmussen. Ward has spent a trying few days after the Jeff Alltus' group that has been vying for the Reagan Republican name circulated a controversial mailing endorsing candidates that would be more in line with the Rally Right/United Conservatives of North Idaho organizations. Ward is also running in a three-way GOPrimary race in House District 3 for the Republican nomination. Ward wasn't endorsed by the other Reagan Republican organization.
On his Facebook wall, Chairman Tom Hearn of the Coeur d'Alene School Board speaks of lessons learned during his first year in office: “Some personal things I have learned this past year includes being careful about emails and that written comments can easily be taken out of context and made to look bad by people who have that agenda in mind. I have also learned that I don't have as much of a private life as I used to and that things that I say or even post on Facebook can easily end up becoming “news” whether I like it or not. But it is small price to pay for the tremendous honor of serving in public office and working every day to help our children get the education they deserve.' You can read his full post here.
Question: I wonder why anyone in his/her right mind would want to serve in elective office, given the poisonous atmosphere of local politics. Would you?
Time 2 Vote …
Spanish paleontologist Jose Ignacio Canudo lies alongside a sauropod dinosaur femur, believed to be the largest in the world, in Trelew, Argentina. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Museo Paletontológico Egidio Feruglio)
Weekend Winner — JohnA, with 11 likes: A flight crew is forced to remove an unruly passenger after he consumed too much alcohol and made a pass at a Ling Cod. You can see Weekend Photo & all 10 Cutline Contest entries here.
Athol resident Lynn Taylor, 69, rides Makloud, his Tibetan yak, around his property on Tuesday. Taylor Ranch Yaks is the largest yak producer in North Idaho. Erica Curless SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
We've been running the Tea-publican lists for the various offices, down to precinct committee members. Here's the NIPAC (Reasonable Republican) list of candidates from Butch Otter for governor at the top to Iraqi war veteran Andrew Whipple (considered a RINO by Tea-publicans) all the way down at the bottom, running for GOPrecinct 70 committee member in Kootenai County. (BTW, I think this is the real NIPAC because Reasonable Republicans don't play games like trying to shanghai another organization's name.)
Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise, reports on the group that sent out a controversial mailer under the Kootenai County Reagan Republican name:
The new group also calls itself “Kootenai County Reagan Republicans,” along with “Idaho Reagan Republicans, PAC,” and is the same group that’s quarreled with Ward’s group over the past two years over the use of the “Kootenai County Reagan Republicans” name, even, at one point, filing state business papers to use the name and telling Ward’s group to stop. Jeff Alltus, vice president of the new group, said, “Our idea is just you can only besmirch the name of Ronald Reagan enough. … The Reagan Republicans, the old ones, they just sold out.” He said his group decided several years ago to “just take it all over.” “We have the name,” Alltus said. “He doesn’t have the name registered. As far as the Reagan Republicans, they’re a nobody. They’re just a group of people who get together.” Ward countered, “The issue is not so much the name, the issue is the fact that they’re trying to impersonate us and make people think that it’s us who endorsed those candidates.” More here.
DFO: I continue amazed that there isn't a dime's worth of difference between Alltus' Reagan Republicans and Ward's Reagan Republicans yet they seem to be arch enemies. Thoughts?
We now know that the end of the rainbow (where the pot of gold is suppose to exist) is somewhere in the Priest Lake area. Pecky Cox/As the Lake Churns provides another slice of her paradise for us. You can see Pecky's Facebook wall here.
HucksOnline numbers (for week of May 11-17): 44,826 page-views/25,316 unique views
A federal judge has struck down Oregon's same-sex marriage ban, saying it is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Michael McShane threw out the voter-approved ban Monday. State officials have said they'd be prepared to carry out same-sex marriages almost immediately, and couples lined up outside the county clerk's office in Portland in anticipation of the decision. Four gay and lesbian couples brought suit arguing Oregon's marriage laws unconstitutionally discriminate against same-sex couples and exclude them from a fundamental right/Associated Press via Eye on Boise. More here.
While enjoying a cup of coffee at the Rustler's Roost this morning, Republican Donna Montgomery looks at a last-minute hit piece she received informing her of Reagan Republican support for her precinct race opponent, Jennifer Locke (published as “Jennifer Lock”). Gubernatorial candidate Russ Fulcher is also promoted on the card. Montgomery is a member the Reagan Republican club and many other Republican organizations but supports Governor Otter for reelection.
DFO: Does anyone know why there were picketers outside of Woody McEvers' Rustler's Roost this AM?
Today, Kootenai County Reagan Republicans asked county, state and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute those responsible for a campaign mailer that fraudulently impersonated the group to induce voters to vote for a slate of candidates not endorsed by the prominent Kootenai County political club. The association’s President, Jeff Ward said “This is an unprecedented case of criminal voter and mail fraud, and the citizens of Kootenai County should be aware that this flyer is completely false and designed to intentionally deceive the voters on Election Day.” The letter sent to law enforcement on behalf of the organization by Ward said/Jeff Ward, Reagan Republican news release. More here.
The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) has endorsed Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter in the GOPrimary race for governor Tuesday. In a news release, the NRA said: “Otter has earned an 'A' rating from the NRA-PVF for his leadership on Second Amendment issues in Idaho. An 'A' is reserved for lawmakers who have supported NRA positions on key votes in elective office.” The NRA touted Otter's support and signature for legislation “that improved self-defense laws in the Gem State by enhancing the right of law-abiding Idahoans to defend themselves in more places and during state emergencies. Governor Otter also supported and signed a bill that removed unwarranted federal regulations from firearms and ammunition manufactured and kept in Idaho. He has also signed into law provisions to provide extra time for Idaho men and women serving in the military overseas to renew their concealed weapons permits.”
DFO: I notice that the NRA didn't mention the guns-on-campus legislation that Otter also signed.
Question: How key is this endorsement?
Army National Guard Capt. Andrew Whipple, left, with an Iraqi police officer on Election Day 2005 in Iraq. (Courtesy photo: Andrew Whipple)
Instructor Andrew Whipple of Kootenai High, a candidate for GOPrecinct 70 committeeman, was surprised to land on the RINO list circulated at The Altar on Best Avenue/CdA Sunday AM. He comments here: “Maybe I made the RINO list because of my love for the 17th Amendment. The 17th Amendment give citizens the right to vote for our U.S. Senators. Many of the GOP in our State want the 17th Amendment repealed and returning the right to vote for U.S. Senators to our State Reps and Senators. Maybe some of our GOP want the 13th and 19th Amendment repealed as well. I doubt many of my fellow GOP were on the ground in Iraq in 2005 when the Iraqi people enjoyed their first free election. Seeing the joy on their faces as they emerged from the voting centers with ink on their finger (signifying they voted) will always be etched in my mind and there is no way I want to take a step backwards when it comes to my freedoms and rights.”
DFO: Andrew Whipple was a captain with the 116th Engineer Battalion of the Idaho Army National Guard from November 2004 until November 2005. He also served as a company commander. He was deployed with fellow Kootenai High School teacher and Coeur d'Alene High alum Kevin Kincheloe, a platoon sergeant.
Question: Seems local Tea-publicans consider your position on the 17th amendment lunacy to be more important than your service to this country in the Middle East. Thoughts?
A Berry Picker writes, of this Jeff Ward flier that hit mailboxes this week: “This is very textbook on how to do 'negative' without trashing your opponents. Simply pointing out the differences. I thought this was very effective in highlighting the genuine lack of involvement and relatively brief time in the district of Ward's opponents.”
This flier from Pat Whalen's camp hit mailboxes in the Post Falls area during the weekend. It spotlights state Sen. Bob Nonini's 1983 arrest for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. The front of the flier shows 5 stones and says: “Bob Nonini threw rocks for political gain,” a reference to Cathyanne Nonini informing the local and national Boys & Girls Club earlier in the campaign re: an old DUI on Whalen's record. Whalen is president of the local Boys & Girls Club.
Question: Will this flier hurt Nonini?
Question: Are you a Stephen King fan? I am.
“This is really exciting for me to be here,” said Shirley Carter, Chief Operations Manager for Hayden Area Regional Sewer Board during the groundbreaking ceremony in Hayden on Friday. The $14.3 million project will get the utility closer to meeting its requirement to reduce phosphorus flower into the Spokane River. Becky Kramer SR story here. (SR photo by Kathy Plonka: Shirley Carter, chief operations manager for Hayden Area Regional Sewer Board, smiles during a groundbreaking ceremony at the Hayden sewage treatment plant on Friday)
One of the sleaziest fliers that hit my mailbox this weekend belonged to a faux Kootenai County Reagan Republicans organization. On the front, the flier asked “WWRD” (or What Would Ronald Reagan Do?) On the back, the flier recommended endorsements of the usual suspects in the Rally Right/UCNI/Liberty Caucus stable, including, curiously, Don Cheatham for the House District 3B seat. You and I both know that the real Reagan Republicans wouldn't endorse Cheatham over organization president Jeff Ward. I don't know for sure who these RRINO are. But I doubt that they'd pass the WWJD test.
Facebook message from Jeff Ward: Attention Reagan Republicans: A fraudulent flyer using KCRRs name and proprietary branding and common law trademarks hit mail boxes today in Kootenai County. None of the people endorsed in the piece are actually endorsed by Reagan Republicans. It is plain and simple statutory fraud. Fraud conducted via U.S. Mail is mail fraud, a federal felony. KCRR will pursue prosecution to the fullest extent of the law and will be filing requests for investigations with the U.S. Attorney, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Idaho Attorney General, Kootenai County Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney. Voter fraud and mail fraud are serious crimes and these criminals victimizing the voters of Kootenai County should be brought to swift and decisive justice. One would hope the candidates endorsed by this spurious mailer have enough character to publicly repudiate it and the criminals who sent it.
Question: Did you notice any candidates or individuals pulling dirty tricks over the weekend?
Idaho Democrats have sent out a Facebook SOS encouraging party members to contact their county clerk to get a list of write-in candidates for Tuesday's primary. The state party also provides an incomplete list of write-ins from around the state, including a significant number from Kootenai County, where uberconservative Larry Spencer is trying to take over the Democratic Central Committee. You can see the list of Kootenai County write-ins here.
Question: Are you planning to write in the name of a candidate this year?
Kootenai County's public defender filed a $1.5 million claim accusing the county of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Idaho Human Rights Act. County commissioners in March 2013 passed - and soon after rescinded - a resolution that would have ended John Adams' longtime career as the county's public defender. A tort claim filed in September by Adams and his wife, Teresa, alleges commissioners made the decision to fire Adams after he told Commissioner Todd Tondee he was battling cancer. Though the county's three commissioners voted unanimously not to renew Adams' contract that fall, Tondee later told The Press that he was the only one on the board who knew of Adams' medical condition. Their decision generated a groundswell of support for Adams and strong backlash from other attorneys in the community/Taryn Thompson, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you think Public Defender Adams has a good case?
Here of the SR's endorsements for governor, lieutenant governor and controller: Gov. Butch Otter says he’s seen as the enemy by people with whom he agrees on most issues. Governing brings out the pragmatist in politicians, and Otter has wisely chosen to pursue achievable goals, such as improving education and calling for transportation funding. His opponent, Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher, wants to revisit old issues, such as Idaho Core Standards for schools (which he voted for) and dumping the state’s very successful insurance exchange, which is cheaper than the federal one that would replace it. His plan to boost the economy is gaining more control of federal lands. That’s not a plan. Otter is the clear choice/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.
Also: In Legislative District 3, we support businessman Patrick Whalen against incumbent Sen. Bob Nonini, who has focused more on party infighting than getting things done in Boise, where he has alienated the party leadership, including Otter.
Here are the Spokesman-Review endorsements for attorney general, secretary of state and superintendent of schools: Idaho voters will go to the polls Tuesday to vote in their party primaries. The Spokesman-Review supports candidates who will focus their efforts on the numerous challenges facing the state and not waste the state’s energies on rolling back the Affordable Care Act or gaining control of federal lands. Idaho’s schools and universities need funding and its roads rebuilding. Idaho’s economy will not grow robustly until those fundamental responsibilities have been met, and prospective employers see a state with the workers and infrastructure they need to compete globally. So far, the candidates have not done a good job explaining to voters how they will move Idaho forward. Today, we submit our endorsements in the Republican races for attorney general, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, District 1 Senate and District 2 House/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. Endorsements here.
Also: Voters can express their support for pragmatic leadership by retaining veteran Rep. Shawn Keough of Sandpoint in a District 1 race and booting Rep. Vito Barbieri of Dalton Gardens in District 2. Keough supports more educational funding and doesn’t waste time on counterproductive issues. Barbieri wants to reduce educational funding and embraces other extreme positions.
A WSU sorority hired seven buses from Durham’s Spokane fleet to shuttle about 300 students to downtown Coeur d’Alene. Drivers said the students were drinking alcohol on the journey without a permit to do so. (SR file photo)
Those caravans of school buses headed down the highway may not be carrying elementary students on a field trip or a high school track team to a district meet. Sometimes those yellow buses – the same ones that deliver kids to and from school in Spokane – are full of college students sucking down beer and liquor on their way to party on Lake Coeur d’Alene. And some of the drivers say the mess they leave behind would make parents shudder at the thought of their kids riding those buses during the school week. “If I was an actual parent of a kid on these buses, I would be having a fit. And this is coming from a driver,” said an employee of Durham Student Services, a national company in its sixth year of a contract to operate buses for Spokane Public Schools/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Special to HucksOnline: WSU Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority members urinate along the back side of the North Idaho Museum during a recent visit to Coeur d'Alene)
Question: Would you want you children to ride to school on a bus that had chartered a WSU sorority or fraternity the day before?
I received 24 fliers from Republican candidates over the weekend, including this one from Mary Souza, questioning state Sen. John Goedde's conservative credentials. The Tea Party/Rally Right candidates are constantly spreading the silly notion that their opponents are liberals, based on their definition of conservatism. Now listen closely. There are few liberals in Idaho, including the Democrats. Your choices in this election are among conservative, very conservative and very, very conservative. If anyone tells you differently, they're trying to sell you snake oil.
GOP candidate for governor Russ Fulcher is decrying last week’s gubernatorial debate, saying incumbent Gov. Butch Otter’s insistence on including two marginal candidates created a “circus atmosphere.” The antics of Harley Brown and Walt Bayes drew national attention, and the debate footage went viral on social media. “As a result, the ‘debate’ turned from a serious discussion regarding the position for Idaho’s chief executive, to a mockery of the Republican Party and of Idaho,” Fulcher said. “Clearly, the governor wanted to take time away from me and minimize exposure to his failed record as governor.” Fulcher said, “When I am governor, I will not subject my party or my state to this type of public humiliation”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Now that all is said and almost done, do you think the cuh-razy gubernatorial debate last week will have an effect on the outcome of the governor's race?
Idaho and many people around the nation are still buzzing about that “Keystone Kops” routine that served as the only Republican debate in the gubernatorial primary race. Various national media have highlighted the ramblings of fringe candidates Harley Brown and Walt Bayes. Brown, of course, infamously dubbed the race as one among “a cowboy, a curmudgeon, a biker or a normal guy.” Between them, Brown and Bayes offered 10 quotes that made a Huffington Post list: “10 lessons we learned from Idaho’s incredibly dysfunctional GOP candidates.” As cuh-razy as that debate was – and we had Governor Otter insisting that Laurel and Hardy join in – it’s not half as loony as a position held by a majority of candidates running for legislative office in Kootenai County – the repeal of the 17th amendment. Indeed, these officeholders and wannabes would rather have the Idaho Legislature pick the state’s two U.S. senators than Gem State voters. You won’t see this lunacy on their campaign material. But all of the following signed a loyalty oath to follow such nutty planks in the GOP platform as repeal of the 17th Amendment: Sen. Steve Vick, Rep. Vito Barbieri, Eric Redman, Sen. Bob Nonini, Rep. Ron Mendive, Don Cheatham, Jeff Ward, Mary Souza, Rep. Kathy Sims and Toby Schindelbeck. Harley Brown and Walt Bayes may be more colorful, but they aren’t the only Republican politicians drinking the Kool-Aid/DFO, SR Sunday Huckleberries. More here.
Question: Do you plan to vote for any 17th amendment repealers?
We're down to the final weekend of the epic battle in Idaho between the mainstreamers and the Liberty Caucus for control of the Republican Party at the state and local levels. We've been entertained by gubernatorial debate for the ages. Now all that's left is to go to the polls Tuesday and deny the radicals the low turnout they desire to win nominations and likely elections. Judging by the number of post cards that have been hitting my mailbox this week — 19 just today — I'd say that both sides are in this one to win. Watch for the SR endorsements on the editorial page today and Sunday. We'll have a lot of fun Monday. I guarantee it. Now for the weekend Wild Card …
On his Facebook wall, Robin Loznak captures this couple of love-smitten bugs enjoying each other's company on a flower near his home in Kellogg, Ore. You can see more of Robin's outdoor photography on his Facebook page here.
A Huckleberries Online reader called moments ago to say she fielded a call by a hard-to-understand woman who urged her to vote for John “Gotti” and Luke “Ma-LEE” in the Legislative District 4 GOPrimary election. The call was from an actual person, not a robo-call. P'haps Reasonable Republicans are outsourcing their phone work?
I was busy last night with family things. But I intend to watch the entire Idaho gubernatorial debate tonight. I might invite friends and family over to join me. Idaho Public Television should offer videos of the debate to video stores like Hastings to expand the viewership. IPTV could package video of the “Village People” in concert to introduce the debate and an episode of “Duck Dynasty” afterward to continue the mood. As far as people laughing at Idaho as a result of the cuh-razy debate … hey, it ain't the first time the nation has laughed at us. Now for today's Wild Card …
Time 2 Vote …
Alaska Airlines Capt. David Boshell, right, and first officer Melissa Van Dyke, left, walk the red carpet as they carry a 48 lb. Copper River King Salmon out of the plane they flew Friday from Cordova, Alaska to the Alaska Airlines Cargo facility in Seatac, Wash., near Seattle. The cargo flight carried the first shipment of the year of Copper River salmon, which are highly prized for their oil content and flavor.You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Thursday Winner — Powder Farmer, w/5 likes: Hey diddle diddle that was straight up the middle! You can see Thursday photo and read all 10 Cutline Contest entries here.
Walmart and Portland, Oregon don't mix. Portland Business Journal reports that on Thursday, Portland city officials announced it will not be making any more investments in the world's largest retailer and that the first of the city's Walmart holdings had expired. Oregon's KOIN reports that the investment pullback came after Portland leaders determined the mega-retailer is “not a socially responsible company.” Portland had about $36 million invested in Walmart, or about 2.9 percent of the city's investment portfolio. The city announced Thursday that it would be free of all remaining holdings by 2016/Huffington Post. More here.
Question: Do you shop at one of the 3 Kootenai County WalMarts? Why? Why not?
It was standing room only on Christianson Gym today as about 400 graduates walked in the North Idaho College Commencement Ceremony. Approximately 1,000 students were eligible for graduation. (NIC Press Room photo: Tom Greene)
A flier hitting the mailboxes today from the Idaho Prosperity Fund (Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry) criticizes House District 4A challenger Toby Schindelbeck for a comment about education that he made in a recent Idaho Freedom Foundation survey. Schindelbeck is trying to unseat incumbent Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene.
Question: Izzit just me or are the gloves coming off as we approach the home stretch in this long Idaho GOPrimary election?
An editorial in today's Coeur d'Alene Press concludes with this warning: “Beware any last-minute political incendiary devices that have been timed to go off too late for the other side to respond. Be particularly wary of any campaign literature that lands in your mailbox between now and Tuesday. If it touts one candidate's strengths or offers a cogent comparison of the track records or political differences between opponents, great. But if it makes allegations that raise your eyebrows or give your stomach a queasy feeling, our suggestion is to relegate it immediately to the recycling bin. The stench it leaves in the bin could be overwhelming, but those who pick up the trash are experienced at dealing with such things.” More here.
Question: Do you expect to see hard-hitting attack fliers in your mailbox this weekend?
If you missed the Idaho Republican gubernatorial debate last night, it is probably because you are a very wise person with things to do. They had to have one, though, and thanks to the intense desire of Gov. Butch Otter to do as little actual talking as possible, they had one with all four contingents of the modern Republican party. There's Anarchist-Leaning Tea Party Guy, there's Old West Sovereign Citizenish guy, there's Ideological Party Purist Peeved At Establishment Guy and there's Establishment Guy Peeved At Ideological Guy. In Republican Party races we call that the sampler pack/Hunter, Daily Kos. More here.
Question: Do you suppose Gov. Otter regrets his insistence on Brown and Bayes being part of the debate?
Two goats pause from clearing brush from Tubbs Hill to post for Walkabout, who cleans litter from the natural area on Coeur d'Alene's north shore. Moments ago, Walkabout emailed Huckleberries Online several photos of the goats doing their thing on the hill. Story here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, May 15): 8844 pageviews/5080 unique views
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter sought to spread the playing field on Wednesday, insisting that two bearded perennial candidates join a televised debate between the incumbent governor and his serious Republican primary challenger State Sen. Russ Fulcher. The result was the Idaho’s biggest national political hit since then-U.S. Sen. Larry Craig explained a disorderly conduct arrest in a Minneapolis airport bathroom — he allegedly propositioned an undercover cop –by saying he takes a “wide stance” when relieving himself/Joel Connelly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Strange Bedfellows. More here.
Question: Do you think Harley Brown & his Merry Guv Band will be the biggest hit since Larry Craig & his Wide Stance?
Two men who caused serious bodily injuries to a black man in a Boise, Idaho, bar last fall were indicted today on federal hate crime charges. The case marks the first time federal hate crime charges have been filed in Idaho – a state that has a long history of hate group activity. Jonathan Lynn Henery, 28, and Beau Edward Hansen, 30, both of Boise, face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of what investigators describe as a “racially motivated assault of an African-American man.” U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced the indictments (PDF) at a press conference, but she and others involved with the investigation would not disclose the victim’s name or age, nor disclose if the suspects have ties with known racist groups. However, the Boise police chief suggested the crime was motivated by the suspects’ shared racist beliefs/Bill Morlin, SPLC HateWatch. More here. (SPLC photo taken from Google)
In a Sept. 20, 2012, column for the Chico (Calif.) News Review, Robert Speer wrote the following about City Council candidate Toby Schindelbeck, who's now running against state Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene, for the House District 3A seat from Coeur d'Alene:
To local journalists, Chico City Council candidate Toby Schindelbeck is good copy, as we say in the trade: He’s a conservative firebrand—passionate, controversial and not afraid to shake things up. But he also has a tendency, as President Obama so famously said of Mitt Romney, “to shoot first and aim later.” There have been several examples of this. First there was his insistence, at a Tea Party rally in April, that low-income housing draws crime—a charge not borne out by police data. Then, in May, he publicly blamed the City Council for the closure of Fire Station 5, when it was the fire chief’s decision. That charge—and the threatening emails council members received as a result—upset even the conservatives on the panel. Schindelbeck also charged that the city had spent $74,000—money that could have been used to keep the station open—to buy five paintings for City Hall. Turned out the paintings had been purchased years earlier. Full column here.
Question: Do you think Coeur d'Alene residents are aware that Schindelbeck has lived in the Lake City only a year or so?