Archive for September 2014
I received my annual flu shot this morning. I always get them, sometimes later than earlier. I generally get through the winter without flu or even a bad cold, on flu shot years. Knock on wood. Am I the first in the Huckleberries Online crowd to get a flu shot this year? Do you get them, too? You can answer that question — or start your own thread with this Wild Card …
JPinkman (RE: California bans plastic grocery bags): It's not so much the ban on plastic bags but being allowed to charge for a paper bag? This is a scary slippery slope we are entering. Charges for checked bags on planes, attempted charges for carry on luggage. This crap needs to stop. What next, a charge for wearing a coat on board or perhaps having underwear on under our clothing? Seriously, we need to rise up against this stupidity. Yes bring re-useable bags with you. Great idea. Except what if you do not bring enough of these because of a meat sale? I for one would leave it all in the cart if the store attempted to extort $0.10 from me for an extra bag. Ridiculous!
Time 2 Vote …
Facts: Organizer Jonathan Ferrara oversees the installation of the upcoming “Guns in the Hands of Artists” show at his gallery in New Orleans. You write the cutline. (AP photo)
Monday Winner — Lost in Boise, with 11 likes: “My Mom can whip your Dad!” You can see Monday photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.
Politico, a national political news magazine and web site says the Idaho race for governor is in play. Polls have shown Gov. Butch Otter up earlier this month by as much as 18 points over Boise businessman and philanthropist A.J. Balukoff. But Balukoff has spent heavily on television and digital advertising and Politico reporter James Hohmann said Otter is one of two incumbent Republicans who are most vulnerable. Hohmann said the reason is the tough budget decisions Otter, running for a third term has made. After eight years of leading the state through the deepest recession since the Great Depression, Otter has disappointed many Idahoans on the right and the center with decisions he has made - from education cuts to pushing through a state health exchange/Rocky Barker, Statesman. More here.
Question: Are you surprised that two-term Gov. Otter has been unable to shake off Balukoff challenge?
Shadle Park's Brett Rypien, left, and Coeur d'Alene's Drew Berger for the cover of the 2014 SR Prep football special section. Rypien, who lost to Lake City this season, has announced that he will play for Boise State after he graduates. See story below. (SR file photo: Colin Mulvany)
Former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig has been ordered to pay nearly $242,000 to the U.S. Treasury for improperly using campaign funds to cover legal expenses incurred after his arrest in a 2007 airport bathroom sex sting. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled Tuesday in Washington, D.C. that Craig illegally converted campaign money as personal expenses while attempting to withdraw his guilty plea to one count of disorderly conduct. Jackson found that Craig’s effort was personal and not connected to his duties representing Idahoans in Congress. Craig, meanwhile, argued that Senate rules allow reimbursements for any official travel costs. He says he was traveling between Idaho and Washington D.C. for work/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo, of Larry Craig)
Question: Justice accomplished?
In his Topic Tuesday video discussion, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter discusses the purpose of his Education Task Force.
A new survey finds Idaho to be the 12th best state for teachers. WalletHub analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia utilizing 18 metrics including median starting salaries and annual salaries for teachers, job openings per capita and the number of elementary and secondary schools per capita. “I appreciate the results of this survey because I want our teachers to know we value them. That being said, I want Idaho to be an even better state for teachers. That’s why I put together the Task force for Improving Education with the goal of removing the politics and angst from the conversation in order to get to the heart of what is right for Idaho students, teachers and our communities. The task force developed a five-year, $350 million plan with 20 recommendations that I support”/Otter for Idaho news release. More here.
Question: Are you surprised by the WalletHub analysis that Idaho is the 12th best state for teachers?
During the past month of September, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office has taken six residential burglaries with numerous firearms stolen. All but one of the burglaries was a forced entry into the home, with the weapons being taken from a bedroom. Only half of the reported firearms listed on the crime reports were listed with their serial numbers. Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public to please do the following:
Believe it or not, there are people out there who don't believe the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre actually took place. The deniers say that the shooting never occured and that we’ve been told a cover story for an elaborately staged government hoax. One of those who raised questions about the massacre is an individual who used AP photos of bullet holes in school glass as his basis. Wealthy entrepreneur George Mason told the Newton Post-Register that the glass pictured in crime scene photographs was not “correct glass for a school or public building.” Which brings in Matt Roetter, of Hayden, “the nation’s leading forensic expert on the analysis of fenestration components, such as doors and windows, and has been retained on more class-action cases than any other fenestration expert witness or consultant in the country.” You can read what Matt said about Mason's theory here.
Question: Are you amazed that anyone would question the veracity of the Sandy Hook massacre?
In The Slice blog, Paul Turner wonders if anyone remembers Larry Scott, “the skinny kid from Idaho”? More here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, Sept. 29): 6302 page-views/3983 unique views
Huckleberries are sometimes referred to as mountain blueberries. In North Idaho, they are also known as purple gold. There was a bumper crop this year and we we did really well, stocking our freezer with a haul that should easily last us until next year’s crop comes on. This Dairy-Free and Lemon-Glazed Huckleberry Coconut Cake perfectly plays the tartness of the lemon and huckleberries against the sweetness of coconut in an incredibly moist cake. If you don’t have huckleberries on hand, substitute blueberries. Either way, it’s a winner/Allergy Reporter. More here.
Question: It almost makes you want to give up dairy, doesn't it?
Jud Turner covers his heron sculpture near the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, Ore., Monday with a knitted fig leaf in protest over the canceling of figure drawing class at the university. The School of Architecture and Allied Arts' art department has taken a lot of heat since deciding last week to cancel the free three-hour sessions. The department cited concerns about safety for the nude models, and a lack of funding to keep the sessions going. Story here. (AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Chris Pietsch)
Question: Should this class be part of the offerings of a major university like UO?
Work will begin this fall on Coeur d’Alene’s newest midrise, One Lakeside, a 64-unit luxury apartment building with prime views of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Austin Lawrence Partners, a development firm in Aspen, Colorado, will erect the 15-story tower at North First Street and East Lakeside Avenue, near Independence Point and City Park. “We expect to complete the project the summer of 2016,” Greg Hills, a principal with the firm, said. The $20 million project is at the site of a 60-year-old apartment building that will be torn down. The new, 125,000-square-foot building will have three levels of parking, 11 levels of residential units and a rooftop club level with outdoor pool/Scott Maben, The Dirt blog. More here.
Question: Are you ready for another downtown Coeur d'Alene high rise?
Huckleberries published a flyer by state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, last week. So it's only fair to publish one by her Democratic opponent Anne Nesse, a leader in the crusade to increase Idaho's minimum wage from a paltry $7.25. On the back of the card, Nesse has printed: “On the back of card: I will work full time to solve problems. Sims does not work to solve problems.”
Question: Sims or Nesse?
DFO: I spent the best two years of my newspaper career in the newsroom of the Lewiston Tribune, rubbing shoulders with terrific Idaho journalists like Paul Emerson, Bill Hall, Ladd Hamilton, Jim Fisher, David Johnson and so many others. I consider Publisher Butch Alford to be the patron saint of all heart-weary journalists who entered the profession full of idealism, only to be discouraged by the commercial reality of newspapers that put advertising ahead of content. Butch & the Trib restored my faith in this profession in the two years (1982-84) that I worked in Lewiston. I'm glad I joined the SR and have spent the last 30 years in Coeur d'Alene. But it was so hard to leave Lewiston. The Trib is an oasis in the middle of a desert of under-performing newspapers. It will continue to be as long as an Alford is running the show.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores, driven to action by pollution in streets and waterways. A national coalition of plastic bag manufacturers immediately said it would seek a voter referendum to repeal the law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2015. Under SB270, plastic bags will be phased out of checkout counters at large grocery stores and supermarkets such as Wal-Mart and Target starting next summer, and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016. The law does not apply to bags used for fruits, vegetables or meats, or to shopping bags used at other retailers. It allows grocers to charge a fee of at least 10 cents for using paper bags/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes: Customers carry goods in plastic bags)
Question: Paper? Or plastic?
A long-time blurker called to object to the run-around she received when she called Waste Management to ask about the difference in cost for a bigger garbage can. She was bounced around to two different states and four transfers before getting the information 26 minutes later — a few bucks. She was miffed that someone beyond the Coeur d'Alene area has the job of answering her question about such a routine matter when jobs are needed here — not in Texas or Arizona, where she was transferred. “Every job we get here is precious,” she told Huckleberries Online. Now, she wonders whether she'll save herself the convenience of paying for a bigger garbage can. She may simply continue to go to the Ramsey Road transfer station in protest. (PRNews photo/Tropicana)
Question: Have you tried to contact a company that operates locally but has phone contact in another state?
President Barack Obama escorts Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington today. President Barack Obama lauded India's new prime minister for focusing on economic growth and addressing the needs of the “poorest of the poor.” (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Question: Have you ever visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington? Thoughts?
Jake at Skyline-Productions.com provides this eye opener of downtown Coeur d'Alene in the early morning. I'm a night owl. I don't do mornings. But the few times I have, I've enjoyed seeing what downtown Coeur d'Alene looks like before people and cars arrive. How about you?
Question: When is your favorite time of day to be in downtown Coeur d'Alene?
Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane left an erroneous impression on his audience Thursday at the University of Idaho during a press conference touting the benefits of the state's higher education savings plan, IDeal. Crane was in Moscow with Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and first lady Lori Otter to share thoughts on the plan, as well as to introduce UI junior Kim Davenport, who was able to finance her four-year degree with the help of the plan and remain, as she said, “debt free.” In introducing Davenport, Crane showed his apparent confusion at her presence on the stage. “The first person we are going to ask to talk is Kim Davenport. She, what was it? She won some award? She was selected as … oh, we haven't given it to her yet,” he said/Shannon Quinn, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.
Question: You need to open the pdf to understand the full extent of the confusion. After you do, please tell us your thoughts?
Four candidates for governor have confirmed that they’ll debate this Friday in Coeur d’Alene – GOP Gov. Butch Otter, Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff, Libertarian candidate John Bujak and independent candidate “Pro-Life.” Jimmy McAndrew of the Coeur Group, which is organizing the noon Friday debate at the Coeur d’Alene Library’s downstairs community room, said the group invited all the candidates on the ballot; all but two, independent Jill Humble and Constitution Party candidate Steve Pankey, accepted. “So we’ve got four,” he said. “Humble declined, I just don’t think she could make it work. We never heard back from Pankey”/Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: I don't think fringe candidates should be invited to debates for major offices like governor (think: Harley Brown, Walt Bayes). They gum up the debate. What do you think?
“I noticed something this morning on my walk to work that some of my liberal friends find it hard to understand. Just about every other pickup that went by had an arsenal of weapons hanging on the gun racks in their back windows. Young adults, high school students, business men and farmers. All armed to the teeth. It made me smile and thankful this is where I live. The seasons are changing and hunting season is coming upon us. This is classic, beautiful North Idaho and its very hard to beat” — former Bonners Ferry mayor Darrell Kerby, via Facebook.
On Thursday, Spokane’s “best and the brightest” – and I use that term very loosely – will converge at the Bing Crosby Theater to reveal just how much useless knowledge is rattling around the old noggin. That’s right. It’s the first Spokane Trivia Championship, to benefit STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs at the Spokane Public Library. The event, sponsored by the Spokane Public Library Foundation, will feature teams showing off their cultural, historical and geographical knowledge. The teams represent such august organizations as Witherspoon Kelley attorneys at law, Avista, the Inlander, Lewis & Clark High School and The Spokesman-Review/Carolyn Lamberson, SR. More here.
Also: For those keeping score at home, Super Blog Sub Cindy will be keeping score for this event.
Question: Are you good at trivia?
Hayden resident Aubrey Hegreberg walked with her children Brody Raynor,6, left and Bailey Hegreberg, 2, after fishing at Falls Park in Post Falls Monday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Question: Do you rely on an alarm clock to wake you up?
Spokane writer Shawn Vestal won the $25,000 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction on Monday evening for his collection of short stories “Godforsaken Idaho.” Vestal’s stories, printed by Amazon’s publishing unit Little A/New Harvest, “dare to charge into the well-trodden arena of the hapless male and make that subject fresh again,” according to judges. Vestal’s column is published three times a week in The Spokesman-Review. On his way to a reception in New York after winning, Vestal said he was shocked. “I was very certain, and I didn’t feel that I was going to win,” he said. “I didn’t prepare a speech”/SR. More here.
Question: Have you read Shawn's “Godforsaken Idaho”?
The New York Times reported recently on a little noted aspect of Barack Obama’s legacy that will have lasting impact for the country. As the paper’s Jeremy Peters wrote earlier this month, “For the first time in more than a decade, judges appointed by Democratic presidents considerably outnumber judges appointed by Republican presidents. The Democrats’ advantage has only grown since late last year when they stripped Republicans of their ability to filibuster the president’s nominees.” Peters was writing about Obama’s appointments at the the federal Court of Appeals level, but the same impact applies more broadly to federal District Courts. In fact, the U.S. Senate has virtually eliminated the old back log of judicial nominations, so much so that earlier this summer there were few pending judicial nominations in the confirmation pipeline/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here.
Question: Do you consider federal judicial appointments important?
The NFL said Tuesday that Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct when he dropped to his knees in prayer after an interception. The league's rule book prohibits players from celebrating while on the ground, but spokesman Michael Signora wrote in an email Tuesday that “the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play.” The flag thrown in the fourth quarter of Kansas City's 41-14 victory over the New England Patriots on Monday night led to criticism on social media, with many wondering how it was different from players such as former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow dropping to one knee in Christian prayer/AP. More here. (AP photo: Husain Abdullah returns a Tom Brady interception for a touchdown Monday night)
Question: Should the NFL penalize end zone celebrations at all?
“If we had a time-machine, we'd go back to the swingin' 60's. What about you?” — Dave, Ken & Molly (92.9 KZZU) tweet:
Six out of 10 people polled thought there was an optimism then that is missing today. And a third believed the standard of living was higher, despite the huge technological advances that have taken place since. The first manned moon landing in 1969 was named by 63 per cent of people to be the major milestone of the decade. But other key moments mentioned included the first single by The Beatles in 1962, the assassinations of President John F Kennedy in 1963 and civil rights leader Martin Luther King in 1968, England’s 1966 World Cup win and approval of the contraceptive pill in 1960. The period was also remembered for Marilyn Monroe’s death in 1962, the arrival of the miniskirt in 1965, the fi rst Bond movie Dr No in 1962 and the fi rst Doctor Who in 1963/Sunday Express. More here. (AP file photo: Front cover of the Nov. 19, 1968, edition of Newsweek)
DFO: I enjoyed coming to age in the '60s. But there is a down side. If you came to age in the 60s, you're old now.
Question: Would you want to live back in the '60s if you could?
Heather Riviere, who owns Coeur de Breizh, sees the possibility of an ordinance regulating businesses like hers as a positive, as evidence that the city is embracing the burgeoning industry. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)
Concerns about safety, public health and business competition have city officials considering the creation of an ordinance to regulate the growing food truck industry in Coeur d'Alene. The city is hosting a public workshop on the issue Wednesday morning from 8:30-9:30 in the Old Council Chambers at City Hall, 710 Mullan Ave. A new ordinance would apply to all food vendors doing business in the city, regardless of where they are parked. The city's existing law applies to mobile concessions doing business on city property only, mainly ice cream trucks which sell their wares on public streets. Councilman Dan Gookin said since he took office, he has received many calls from citizens who are concerned about the proliferation of mobile businesses in the Lake City/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
DFO: My son-in-law Okie Doke is a connisseur of food trucks in the Portland area. We inevitably eat at a food truck at least once when we visit the Rose City. They add to Portland's cultural ambience. I hope Coeur d'Alene doesn't do anything to discourage food trucks.
Question: When did you last eat at a Coeur d'Alene food truck? Which one?
Kootenai County cut the ribbon on a new rural solid waste collection site near Rathdrum on Monday, but not everyone is happy about it. The new facility was built to consolidate two collection sites located on property the county did not own: the Garwood and Twin Lakes collection sites. … The new site near the intersection of Chilco Road and Ramsey Road will open 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, and be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. The Garwood and Twin Lakes sites will permanently close at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Mayer said. … Garwood resident Don Bradway isn't happy about the move. He said his neighbors aren't happy either. “We've been using this site for decades and now they just decide to move it five to six miles up the road,” he said. “It's not as accessible for us”/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: How often do you visit the dump in a year?
By the end of the week, teachers in Coeur d'Alene will likely be working with a contract in place for the first time this school year. Members of the Coeur d'Alene Education Association met after school Monday at Lake City High School to consider a tentative agreement reached last week - with the help of a federal mediator - between the negotiating teams for the teachers union and the school board. The teachers ratified the agreement. Now, the school board must do the same. A school district spokeswoman, Laura Rumpler, said the trustees plan to meet late Thursday afternoon to consider ratification of the mediated agreement. (Among other things) the new contract includes a 0.5 percent base salary increase (and) no change to the health insurance co-payment amount or the co-insurance responsibility/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you consider the agreement fair/unfair?
Henry David Thoreau said: “The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation.” I hope that doesn't describe you this Monday morning. If it does, I hope you can find some relief from your condition by reading Huckleberries Online this week. My goal is to bring at least one smile to your face this week. Now for the work week's first Wild Card …
Zachary Bozann, 9, of Okemos smiles as he looks at countless reflections of himself, appearing to the camera as nine heads joined together in an three-dimensional interactive art display called “The Infinity Boxes” by Los Angeles artist Matt Elson Sunday at ArtPrize in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., at the Devos Place Convention Center. (AP Photo/The Flint Journal, Jake May)
John T. Bujak, Libertarian candidate for Idaho governor (RE: Idaho Chooses Life Backs Otter): Idaho Chooses Life came out against the Obama/Otter Care healthcare exchange saying, “ObamaCare is loaded with subsidies for the abortion industry, which is why Planned Parenthood is pushing so hard for its enactment. We are very worried about the move to voluntarily assist in the federal take-over of health care inIdaho. It jeopardizes conscience rights of employers, contains massive subsidies for the abortion industry and will lead to rationed care for the elderly and disabled.” Otter brought us Obama/Otter Care. How can ICL now endorse Otter?
Time 2 Vote …
Facts: Children play back stage during the Arnold Classic Europe bodybuilding event in Madrid, Spain, Friday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Weekend Winner — Psalm 37, with 13 likes: “Amal realizes she shouldn't have swam the canals in Venice after discovering a dog's face growing out of her head.” You can seek Weekend photo plus all Cutline Contest entries here.
A new public access on the Kootenai River at the Montana-Idaho border opens the door for anglers to sample recent trout fishery improvements. Meanwhile, a new Kootenai Tribe hatchery being dedicated in October at the confluence of the Kootenai and Moyie rivers aims to revive the native burbot – a freshwater ling prized by winter fishermen. Rich Landers' SR report here. (SR photo)
HDG Hissong/Hurtado Design Group has posted this intriguing message on its Facebook page: “Get ready, Post Falls, ID. HDG is going to bring the heat in your backyard…Though we are not yet announcing all of the details; we can assure you that 'Badass' is on it's way. The same love that went into Fire Artisan pizza, Crafted Taphouse, The Cellar, NUDO, Volstead act, the Boiler Room, Borracho, the Vault and 50 other places that we have poured our souls into, will be going into this massive renovation!! The original 'Hot Rod Cafe' is going to become exactly what we have needed in this town for the last 20 years. Our marketing and branding studio, “Propaganda Creative” is going to finish this massive remodel off with the perfect branding and attention to detail that you would expect in a Vegas restaurant. More here.
Question: Anyone know what's going on here?
Coeur d'Alene Today photo of expanded Prairie Trail. (Photo: Keith Erickson)
From spokesman Keith Erickson/city of Coeur d'Alene: “Coeur d’Alene continues to make great strides toward expanding and improving its trail system with an energetic focus on connecting neighborhoods with schools, parks, business districts and downtown. Recently, through a cooperative effort involving Greenstone Homes and the city’s parks and street departments, a new section of trail was built in northwestern Coeur d’Alene near Skyway Elementary School that connects neighborhoods in that rapidly growing part of the city to a vast and ever-expanding citywide trail network. Further west, a new section of trail runs along Atlas Road south to Seltice Way and will soon extend east on Seltice Way and connect to both the Centennial Trail and Prairie Trail.” More here.
Question: Cool, hunh?
On her Facebook page, Kerri Thoreson snapped this photo of Joe & Cindy Doellefeld after dining at the new Tilly's cafe in Post Falls.
An old farmhouse setting has become the home of a cafe with an old Irish name. Tilly's on Seventh opened last week at 212 E. Seventh Ave. in Post Falls. With table seating for 30, Tilly's offers a general menu with daily specials, sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts, kids meals, beer and wine. Owners Joe and Cindy Doellefeld plan a “soft” opening for a couple of weeks with phone, Internet, credit card options, a website and Facebook available soon. They formerly owned Stateline Speedway in Post Falls for 24 years. Tilly's opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The location is a former optical office at Seventh and William Street behind Les Schwab Tires/Nils Rosdahl, Business Bits, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Have you ever wanted to run a restaurant?
North Idaho College has been awarded a $6.4 million federal grant in order to partner with three other Idaho colleges to meet workforce demand in the healthcare industry through a collaborative network of training programs. The $6,438,050, four-year grant eclipses the $2.97 million grant that NIC received in 2012 to build the NIC Aerospace Center for Excellence, making it the largest grant in NIC’s history. NIC was the only college in Idaho to be awarded funding from the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) competitive grant program, which is co-administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education. “This is incredible news for our community and for the state of Idaho,” said NIC President Joe Dunlap. “It will, in essence, revolutionize the delivery of education and training for healthcare career ladders in the state of Idaho”/Tom Greene, North Idaho College. More here.
Tree of Life Organic Deli-Bakery in Post Falls is seeking $50,000 in community contributions to stay open. Here's GoFundMe SOS:
It is our hope to expand Tree of Life into the wholesale business because of this unique niche in organic deli/bakery foods; however, we are confronted with a significant financial challenge that may require closing the business. My family invested all of our personal finances in developing the business, which is the reason why we never sought out a small business loan; however, this has resulted in financial implications that we did not anticipate. At this point, we realize the only way to remain open is to seek support from the community. All of the profits that come in from sales are used to purchase the finest organic ingredients and associated bills to lease the building and equipment. It is a struggle to make these payments and cannot afford to pay ourselves for managing the business on a daily basis because of the overhead costs. As difficult as it is, we are humbly reaching out for financial support; we cannot continue otherwise. More here.
Question: Is it possible that there isn't a big enough market in the area to support this store?
Carmen Lehman of Coeur d'Alene holds a blue flower as she stands with her daughter, Karen Hanks of Coeur d'Alene, on Sunday morning at the Walk to End Alzheimer's. Lehman has early-stage Alzheimer's disease. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Devin Heilman)
Karen Hanks held a yellow Promise Garden flower in her hand, representing her role as a caregiver. She stood close to her mother, Carmen Lehman, who held a blue one, representing her battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Hanks, of Coeur d’Alene, would sometimes drape an arm around her mom and give her a gentle squeeze as they listened to the opening remarks of the 25th annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sunday morning in McEuen Park. “It’s close to my heart because it’s something my mom has,” Hanks said. “And you never know, I might end up getting it too.” “Mine just came up out of nowhere,” Lehman said. Hanks and Lehman were among about 400 who attended the walk. The yearly fundraiser supports the Alzheimer’s Association/Devin Heilman, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Does a loved one of yours suffer from Alzheimers?
Question: Do you agree/disagree?
The anti-abortion group Idaho Chooses Life has backed Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter in his re-election bid. The group's board voted unanimously to back the incumbent Republican, ICL said in a news release. “The simple fact is, Gov. Otter has signed more pro-life legislation into law than any previous governor in Idaho history,” said Executive Director David Ripley. “Seven major pieces of pro-life legislation have become law with his help, and that is a legacy of which all Idahoans can be proud”/Dan Brown, On the Agenda blog. A list of pro-life legislation signed by Otter here.
There's been some talk recently about the city of Coeur d'Alene developing stronger regulations regarding food trucks and mobile kitchens. I perused the list of eateries who have received marks against them in the last three years while undergoing inspections from Panhandle Health District health and safety inspectors. As far as food trucks, the violations were extremely minimal, with just a few of them listed as having one violation, but nothing more dramatic than that. However, there were plenty of brink-and-mortar restaurants with three or more violations/Patrick Jacobs, Get Out! North Idaho. More here.
Question: Do you ever check to see whether a restaurant has violated health district code, before you eat there?
Idaho Falls Post Register editorial: “State Treasurer Ron Crane, Idaho’s craftiest politician, recently issued a news release celebrating that a few of the open sores accumulated during his 16 years in office have been “satisfactorily closed.” Those issues — charging taxpayers for fuel burned on his work commute, diverting state funds without legislative approval to a conference run by his nonprofit and squiring lawmakers and their spouses through Manhattan in limos — were unnecessary and entirely of Crane’s creation. So yes, congratulations Mr. Crane, three of the skeletons in your closet finally have been ground into dust. Which brings us to a fourth issue: The small matter of legislative auditors telling us Crane overrode internal controls and lost millions of taxpayer dollars through “inappropriately transferred investments … resulting in a disproportionate share of investment losses incurred by the state.” More here.
Question: Are you paying attention to the state treasurer's race, where the Republican incumbent has a lot of explaining to do?
Federal agencies heavily involved in regulation and rule making aggravate enough people in the normal and proper course of their work that the last thing they need is to go out of their way, in an incompetent fashion at that, to aggravate even more. Meet the U.S. Forest Service, and its rules on photography in wilderness areas. The Forest Services regulates wilderness areas around the country – many of them in the Northwest – and are supposed to do that with the purpose of wilderness in mind: Preservation of lands in a natural state, where people can visit but not stay and not leave behind traces of their visits. That means no human goods left behind, and no damage done to the areas. The USFS has managed this job in many ways, some sound and some questionable. But restricting photography – the taking of still or video pictures with the use of hand-held camera equipment – in those areas wouldn’t realistically occur to most people as damaging to the wild character of wilderness/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.
Question: Anyone out there ready to defend the USFS restrict wilderness photography?
Rep. Raul Labrador's style in Congress is an acquired taste for some, a bitter bite for others and a banquet for those who believe the federal government needs to go on a life-changing diet. The Eagle Republican's challenge as he runs for a third term is to give more consideration to the diversity of his constituency at home and his colleagues in Washington — while remaining true to his core beliefs. He's got that second part down. We admire Labrador's candid, consistent and transparent approach to his job. He is a champion when it comes to casework on behalf of his constituents and engaging his district with frequent no-holds-barred Town Halls. We prefer to see less of that shut-down-the government swagger and more of Labrador-The-Leader, who this past year has gotten behind bipartisan bills and negotiated with factions in his Republican Conference to allow Speaker John Boehner and his party to unite on some immigration matters/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Labrador gets points for “remaining true to his core beliefs”?
A young member of the “King's Court,” the rooting session for “King” Felix Hernandez, were awarded with another fine performance from the star Seattle Mariners pitcher Sunday afternoon. But M's fans were disappointed that they fell one game short of the playoffs, in a seasion that holds much promise for the future. Marianne Love/Slight Detour & fam were on hand for the final game. You can read all about it and see more photos here.
HucksOnline numbers (for week of Sept 21-27): 35,297 page-views/22,488 unique views
Here's what the scene looked like in downtown Coeur d'Alene Saturday night. Don Sausser and his handy camera were on hand to document another Oktoberfest. This photo was taken at 2nd & Sherman. You can see more of Don's Oktoberfest photos on his Facebook site here.
Question: Did you attend Oktoberfest?
The 2014 season felt like a breakthrough in a long rebuilding process for the Mariners, who have wiggled back into the hearts of many who have abandoned them during their 13-year playoff drought. For a franchise that came so close this time, it should fuel their passion to finish the task. The consolation arrived within seconds of the disappointment. After a Safeco Field scoreboard changed to show Oakland’s 4-0 victory over Texas — an outcome that eliminated the Mariners from playoff contention — a crowd of 40,823 groaned. Then a most amazing thing happened. The fans stood and cheered, long and loud. The Mariners were halfway through their season finale, and hope had expired in the 11th hour, but there was a celebration anyway/Jerry Brewer, Seattle Times. More here. (AP photo: Felix Hernandez raises his cap to fans during a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday)
Question: Are you back on board the Seattle Mariners bandwagon after a season in which they missed the playoffs in the final game of the season?
When little-known candidate Sherri Ybarra won a four-way GOP primary race for state superintendent of public instruction in May, some speculation focused on her Basque-sounding last name as an advantage in the race. Basques are one of Idaho’s more colorful longtime ethnic minorities; they're also known for winning Idaho elections, as Basques have held the Idaho Secretary of State’s office for the last half-century, in the form of current Secretary Ben Ysursa and predecessor Pete Cenarrusa. Asked about it, Ybarra said she’s not Basque, but her husband’s ancestors were, way back/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Do you have a surname that identifies your nationality?
From Lt. Stu Miller/Kootenai County Sheriff's Office: “This October, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is proud to participate in the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it is found and treated early. To show our support, Sheriff Ben Wolfinger has authorized his staff to wear pink. Specifically, deputies and civilian staff are authorized to wear pink t-shirts, ribbons and wristbands throughout the month of October to not only raise awareness about the early detection of breast cancer, but to also encourage our community partners, organizations, families and individuals to get involved.” (Photo: KCSO)
Question: Good for Ben & Co. Thoughts?
The bill for outside legal fees for the Idaho Legislature’s Federal Lands Interim Committee has now swelled to $61,375, according to documents obtained by The Spokesman-Review under the Idaho Public Records Act. The law firm Holland & Hart has submitted invoices to the Legislature for work from April to August totaling $19,613; that’s on top of the $41,762 the firm already had been paid before then. The joint interim committee, which is looking into how Idaho could demand to take over federal public land within the state, hired Holland & Hart lawyer Bill Myers, former solicitor for the U.S. Department of Interior, to advise it. Myers’ most recent charges to the state, at $420 an hour, include charges for a phone conversation and email with Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood in July/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (Idaho Legislature photo: state Rep. Lawerence Denney is co-chair of the federal lands interim commission)
Question: I guess it's OK to waste money in a futile cause as long as the futile cause is supported by the state's noisy/angry Tea-Publicans, right?
The HUB Sports Center hosted a Bubble Ball Jam event Sunday, at Liberty Lake, where people, encased in a blow- up clear plastic bubble, played a game of soccer while bouncing off each other. Story here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)
The public is less interested in buying health insurance from ObamaCare's exchanges in their second year, according to a new poll. Forty-seven percent of voters told the Morning Consult that they are “not at all likely” to purchase coverage in the marketplaces this year, up from 28 percent last year. The decline in interest, seen across the board, could present challenges to the White House and insurance companies if exchange enrollment stagnates. It also points to complicated public perception of the ObamaCare marketplaces, which stumbled out of the gate last fall but rallied to register more than 8 million people by May 1/The Hill. More here.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance to Idaho of the various political and judicial decisions that will be made over the next few months at the White House, at the Justice Department, and in the United States Senate. These decisions will be made almost entirely behind closed doors. We’ll likely have to speculate about why the decisions that we eventually hear about were made and who influenced them. Lots of politics, partisan and personal, will be involved. Chances are some deals will be cut. In the end, the decisions will impact the state – and arguably all of its residents – for a generation. As Joe Biden might say – nominating and confirming a federal judge is a pretty big deal/Marc Johnson, Johnson Post. More here.
Now that Banned Book Week 2014 has concluded, we've got something to say. Thanks. Thanks to all the parents who have communicated openly and effectively with their reading children. Rather than be scared by controversy or difficult subjects presented in books, these parents have taken the time and demonstrated the love to ensure their children understand what they're reading. That's no small feat for small feet. Or bigger ones. Thanks to all the librarians and other library employees who ensure that the whole wide world is open to anybody willing to come in and check out books. We suspect that there remains some pressure, subtle or overt, to get “disgusting” or “inappropriate” materials off the book shelves. Thank you, library staff, for standing guard at the gates of intellectual freedom/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Are/were there times when you guided a child away from a book because you thought it was inappropriate for his/her age?
Welch Comer engineers detailed new ideas and concepts for the “Four Corners” master planning process Friday morning at Coeur d'Alene City Hall. Dell Hatch and Phil Boyd, of Welch Comer Engineers, briefed the steering committee with a list of ideas they have gathered after meeting with several stakeholders who will eventually be affected by the project. The master plan is part of a federal process the city is going through in order to lease and eventually acquire a two-mile piece of old railroad right of way owned by the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM parcel starts at Memorial Field and goes all the way into Riverstone, ending just before the Hampton Inn. In order to lease 29 acres of railbed, the city must provide BLM with a master plan for the area/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you expect any controversies to surface for the Four Corners project?
University of Idaho President Chuck Staben put himself and his institution on the right path last week. Formally taking over as the 18th president of Idaho's land grant university, Staben challenged the state to judge his success or failure by two quantifiable benchmarks:
“We could be better than we ever could have imagined,” Staben told the audience gathered for his inauguration. No goal could better serve the needs of Idaho's young people. The difference between a high school diploma and something more could not be more stark/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Are you optimistic re: future of the University of Idaho?
Racers in the 2014 Coeur d’Fondo mount their bikes at the start on 2nd Street and Sherman Avenue on Saturday morning. Racers had the option of participating in five different races ranging from 108 miles to 15 miles. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Tess Freeman)
Brandy Anderson anxiously waited at the finish line Saturday afternoon, her 4-month-old daughter, McKinley, strapped to her chest. She knew her husband, James, would be whirring through on his bike any moment, making him one of the early finishers of the third annual Coeur d’Fondo. “My husband has a group of guys that rides together all summer long at like 4:30 in the morning, all summer,” she said. “This is the culminating event of the year.” More than 1,200 people hopped on their bikes in the early morning to ride the gran, centro, medio, piccolo or family fondo in the fresh, early-autumn air around Lake Coeur d’Alene, beginning at Second Street and Sherman Avenue/Devin Heilman, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Are you amazed how many downtown events Coeur d'Alene has during the summer/fall?
Jeremy Gerhardt, a sophomore at North Idaho College, said he often uses a quote commonly attributed to Pericles, a leader of ancient Greece, when attempting to get his colleagues at the college involved in the voting process. The quote, “just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you,” is one that Gerhardt, 20, and other students are hoping will make an impact on their peers. But the historical lack of youth involvement when it comes to voting and the political process makes it an uphill battle. “I don't find a lot of young people that are interested in it (politics) in order to help their community,” said Reina Rodriguez, 18, president of the North Idaho College Young Republicans/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Who was the first president that you voting for, when you reached voting age?
Talk about stealing your thunder. A 100-pound black bear upstaged Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger’s big reveal for his $335,000 BearCat military vehicle Wednesday morning. Spokesman-Review photographer Kathy Plonka was en route to the BearCat unveiling when she got word that BooBoo Bear had climbed 60 to 70 feet up a tree at Woodland Middle School. Real bear? BearCat? Easy call. Kathy and her camera veered off to the Coeur d’Alene middle school, where she witnessed BooBoo climb down the tree. Get tranquilized. And get whisked off to Idaho Fish and Game HQ to sleep it off. Meanwhile, Coeur d’Alene city spokesman Keith Erickson literally ran into the commotion during his daily jog. Keith considered the near encounter with BooBoo “even more impressive than the big moose (he) encountered a couple months ago at nearby Bluegrass Park.” Bear? Moose? Just another day in viewtiful CdA/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries. More here.
Other SR weekend columns:
Question: Have you ever encountered a bear?
I have a busy honey-do list this weekend, including ordering wood for the winter. My summer officially ends when I begin stacking wood behind the garage. One of these days, I'm going to dump the wood stove and convert to natural gas. But I've enjoyed the feel of wood heat since the first winter that Mrs. O & I spent in Kalispell, Mont, 1977-78. The only two years since then that we didn't use it were the ones in Lewiston, 1982-84. I enjoy chopping rounds after a tough day on the blog. Yeah, they occasionally occur (even though all of you guys are so cuddly & lovable). Now for your Weekend Wild Card …
If I'd caught these people leaving this mess, they'd be carrying the cans to the trash in an orifice that wasn't meant to hold cans, if you know what I mean — Patrick Jacobs (RE: No respect for Tubbs Hill).
I enjoy Fantasy Football. But it does have a down side. As I pay closer attention to the various players and teams — and not just the 49ers, as I did in the past — I'm more aware how brutal the sport is. Two weeks ago, two of my starters were knocked out of the game within the first minutes. Last night, my starting TE was knocked unconscious on a brutal hit in the middle of the field. Sometimes, I wonder, is the NFL our modern-day Roman Colisseum? We cheer from the stands while the gladiators tear one another up? Then, we scurry to the Fantasy Football waiver wire when one goes down? Are we the modern day Romans in a declining country? Just a thought. Here's your Wild Card …
Time 2 Vote …
Facts: George Clooney left, and his fiancee Amal Alamuddin arrive in Venice, Italy, today. Clooney, 53, and Alamuddin, 36, are expected to get married this weekend in Venice. You write the cutline. (AP photo)
Thursday Winner — Cindy, with 10 likes: “Valero went from baritone to soprano when a misplaced kick reminded him he hadn't worn his cup.” You can see Thursday photo and read all the Cutline Contest entries here.
A semitrailer carrying 35,000 pounds of frozen chicken is abandoned at a western Montana truck, Wednesday, in Missoula, Mont. An employee of an Idaho trucking company abandoned the trailer load of frozen chicken after the company reportedly refused a ransom demand, Missoula County officials said. Story here. (AP photo)
Item: Fired man beheads co-worker at Oklahoma plant/New York Times
OMG! I came to my office to write about our pending leniency with Iran when I saw the headline that a woman has been beheaded in Oklahoma! I'm horrified. My brother lives in Oklahoma! I wish I could say I'm surprised but in a very twisted way I'm not. And the irony, remember the Oklahoma City bombing which took the lives of so many and was perpetrated by a former GI? If terror is beyond our grasp, we had better get a grip! It doesn't even have to be a Muslim terrorist. Just some deranged individual who has seen the reaction of the others who have been beheaded and sees an opportunity for attention. Now is a good time to address the Iran situation because it surely ties together/Dogwalk Musings. More here. (AP photo: Employees and friends wait behind a tape for word of loved ones as police investigate an incident at Vaughn Foods on Thursday)
On her Slight Detour blog, Marianne Love took a “picture walk” this morning — and this is just one of the viewtiful views that she posted afterward. More here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Sept. 25): 6431 page-views/4003 unique views
With the number of mobile food vendors on the rise in recent years, the city of Coeur d’Alene is considering an ordinance to regulate health and safety issues related to the popular businesses. If adopted, the ordinance would apply to all mobile concessions whether on public or private property. Currently, there are no city ordinances regulating mobile businesses on private property. A public workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 1, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. to consider adopting laws. The meeting will be held in the Old Council Chambers at City Hall, 710 Mullan Avenue. For information, contact deputy city clerk Kathy Lewis at 769-2229/Coeur d'Alene Today.
Question: Did you know that food carts on private property aren't regulated? Do you think they need to be?
Gov. C.L. “Butch,” right, and his wife, Lori, dance followed by Carolyn Holley during a warm-up routine for the Smart Women, Smart Money conference in Moscow, Idaho Thursday. (Lewiston Tribune photo: Barry Kough)
The latest SOS from Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, asking for money: “Our Democrat opponent, A.J. Bukaloff, has thrown his campaign into high gear by once again triple matching all campaign contributions! Make no mistake, he’ll do anything to buy this election. By continuing to stand by President Barack Obama and Washington, D.C.’s failed big government agenda, he already knows he’ll need to spend millions of his own personal wealth to attack and distort my record. With a critical campaign report fundraising deadline coming up on Tuesday, September 30th, we cannot afford to allow my opponent to have any extra fundraising advantage. … To remain competitive on the airwaves… and to counter A.J. Balukoff trying to buy Idaho… our campaign must raise an additional $20,000 before Tuesday!
Question: Sorta seems like political panhandling to me. Thoughts?
Democrat Cheryl Stransky, who opposes state Rep. Vito Barbieri in a House District 2 race, responds to “the August 21st, Nickels Worth article signed onto by a group of local legislators who voted NO on funding the establishment of a Mental Health Crisis Center, let’s get the facts straight. Many professionals in our community weighed in with commentary and recommendations on the need for a Mental Health Crisis Center for our area. Kootenai County, which pays for indigent holds with our tax dollars pointed out that the contract they have with Kootenai Health, will double in the next year to over a million dollars. Emergency medical services and law enforcement pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime pay and travel costs to transport people in crisis to facilities outside the area because we lack the space to house and treat them locally. Idaho has the 6th highest suicide rate in the nation. North Idaho’s is the highest in the state. More here.
Question: Who better reflects your position on a mental health center for Kootenai County — Rep. Barbieri (who's opposed) or Democrat Stransky?
British lawmakers voted Friday to join the U.S.-led coalition and launch airstrikes on Islamic State group militants as early as this weekend in northern Iraq, but the motion did not endorse airstrikes in Syria. Prime Minister David Cameron described the moves as critical to national security, arguing that facing down terrorists has become a matter of urgency. “There isn't a walk-on-by option; there isn't an option hoping it will all go away,” he said. He made a passionate plea that spelled out the consequences of inaction in drastic terms — noting that the militants had beheaded their victims, gouged out eyes and carried out crucifixions to promote goals from the “Dark Ages”/Fox News. More here.
Question: Are you feeling better re: air strikes against ISIS, now that other countries are supporting them?
And now for a PSA from the Post Falls Police Department: “The Post Falls PD is presently recruiting reserve police officers. This volunteer position assists our patrol and detective divisions in its duties by serving as an unpaid police officer for special events, details, and on shift. To be considered for this position, you must be 21 years of age and have two years of work experience. You must be legally allowed to carry a firearm. Reserve Officers are required to put in 20 hours of volunteer time a month once they receive their police certification from the State of Idaho. We also require that reserve officers agree to volunteer with the agency for a minimum of two years.” More here.
Question: Big Earl, a buddy of mine, served as a reserve officer for years. He liked the job. And often has said that he would have become a police officer in another life. How about you? Is there any appeal for you re: becoming a reserve police officer?
Most everything you need to know about the political beliefs of “We Believe – We Vote” can be found in the graphic at the top of their website. The “T” in “vote” is a Christian cross, right next to an American flag superimposed upon a bald eagle. We Believe – We Vote has for the past five years made it their mission to use “biblical and traditional values to make informed voter recommendations to the faith-based community.” WBWV sits down with candidates, asking them to weigh in on issues ranging from the U.N.'s “Agenda 21” to whether “the state should ban licensed therapists from using their clinical judgment to help a minor turn away from unwanted same-sex attraction,” and ends up producing one of the more unusual, more in-depth local voter guides out there, one they’ve encouraged pastors to send their flock flocking to. This week, We Believe – We Vote published its candidate evaluations. The interesting part isn’t who the group loved more (Hint: Republicans), it’s the details/Daniel Walters, Inlander. More here. (Illustration: Inlander)
Question: Do you think Jesus would be more inclined to vote for Republicans or Democrats? Or would He vote at all?
In the comments section, Walkabout posts about this photo that she snapped Thursday: “I hope these young ones learn to take care of Tubbs Hill because many people do not respect it or appreciate the Treasure that is Tubbs Hill.” In the comments section. Walkabout tells Huckleberries Online readers that all the cans came from one spot near Trail Marker #4 (on the west side of the hill, I presume). I doubt that you'll find this kind of a photo in any Coeur d'Alene tourism travel brochures.
Steve Matheson, the Kootenai County GOP treasurer candidate, and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden spoke this morning at the North Idaho Pachyderm Club. Each was given a Pachyderm Cup filled with chocolate kisses and asked to read the inscription which says, “Free Government Requires Active Citizens.” (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
… That Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and his wife dropped by a literature stuffing session at the Orthodox Church on Horse Haven Avenue in Post Falls Thursday evening. They left early, saying they were going out to dinner because it was their anniversary. Wasden has had shoulder surgery so his right arm is in a sling. He said it was caused by his shoulder ripping out when he picked up a grand child. Both Wasden and GOP county treasurer nominee Steve Matheson spoke this morning at the North Idaho Pachyderm Club.
Don't bother completing the 401k worksheet your new job gives you that shows how much money you'll need to retire. The number will be so giant, scary, and awful that it will just give you a heart attack and you'll die right there on the spot, rendering all retirement planning moot anyway — Nathan Empsall, via Facebook.
Question: What advice would you give millennial Nathan re: planning and saving for retirement?
Jana Jones is the only candidate in the race for state Superintendent of Public Instruction capable of adequately advocating for Idaho’s foundering schools. And that’s why we urge voters throughout the state to overcome entrenched party prejudice and do right by Idaho’s students by electing the Democrat. Idaho’s per-capita student spending is the lowest in the United States. Its teachers are some of the lowest paid. Its students are some of the most unprepared for college. And, not surprisingly, its people are some of the nation’s poorest. The schools are getting choked by tight-wad state politics in Boise and, quite frankly, an ill-prepared, less-than-inspiring alternative, such as Republican Sherri Ybarra, would assuredly mean more poverty, more supplemental levies and more failing test scores. Ybarra isn’t the answer come Nov. 4/Twin Falls Times-News Editorial Board. More here.
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune offers Jeers … to state Rep. Lawerence (Boss) Denney, R-Midvale (pictured): “The Republican nominee for secretary of state — Idaho's chief election officer — thinks it would be a swell idea to subject voters to fingerprinting. “One of my priorities is to work on measures to enhance the security of the election process, such as new technology that scans either signatures or fingerprints,” Denney wrote in Sunday's Idaho Statesman. “There is a cost for increased security, and I hope to work with the Legislature to start the appropriate process for implementation as soon as possible. During my campaign, I have emphasized the importance of ensuring the security of the ballot, and the integrity of the process.” What's next? Peeing into a cup? Passing a breath test? Drawing blood? Swabbing your cheek for DNA? Paying a poll tax? Is Denney blind to the extensive steps Idaho already takes to counter voter fraud? Full Cheers & Jeers column here.
Question: Do you think Idaho voters should be subject to fingerprinting?
Chris Golden, a Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife scientific technician, inserts a tule chinook salmon into a vacuum-powered transport system Tuesday in Washougal, Wash. Story here. (AP photo)
It's been two years to the day since Pastor Saeed Abedini of Boise was imprisoned in Iran. But his supporters in Idaho and across the world are determined to show he is not forgotten. Vigils for Abedini will be held in more than 400 cities and 30 countries Friday. The local vigil will begin at noon at the New Hope Church of the Nazerene, located at 8585 West Overland Road. Attendees plan to pray for Abedini's release. Supporters will gather again at the State Capitol at 6 p.m. The pastor is being held in an Iranian prison for what the Iranian government says is a threat to national security. But his family has insisted Abedini was targeted because of his Christian faith/KTVB. More here.
Question: Do you think Iran responds to world opinion in a situation like this?
With a pencil in his hand and a clipboard on his lap, 9-year-old Miles Taylor gazed at Lake Coeur d'Alene Thursday afternoon. He jotted down observations about his surroundings as he sat on the beach at Corbin Point on Tubbs Hill. “I think natural science is interesting because it shows what humans can do to the world,” he said. Miles and dozens of other Ramsey Magnet School of Science fourth-graders were field researchers for the day as they studied natural science and human impact on the environment during a field trip to Tubbs and McEuen Park/Devin Heilman, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: On Tubbs Hill looking out toward Corbin Point)
Question: When did you last hike Tubbs Hill?
In an editorial today, the Idaho Statesman endorses Congressman Mike Simpson for another term because “Simpson has plugged away and been so plugged in on so many issues — immigration, the budget and deficits, stewardship of Idaho's natural resources — this is no time for Idaho to bail out on the dividends it can reap from his seniority and horse-whispering skills to cajole colleagues to choose progress over partisanship. We endorse Simpson for a 9th term because he is a career politician. He has paid his dues. He is more than willing to compromise. He knows the way. He has earned the respect of peers from both political parties, and we suspect he will cash in on that political capital should the House and Senate come out of the Nov. 4 elections with Republican majorities.” Full endorsement editorial here. (AP file photo: Mike Simpson during debate before GOPrimary this spring)
Question: We sneer at the term “career politician.” But, in reality, doesn't a career politician, like Simpson, who has accrued seniority and influence, offer much for a rural state like Idaho?
Fast forward 45 minutes into Thursday’s state superintendent debate, and things started to really get interesting. Republican Sherri Ybarra and Democrat Jana Jones spent the first three-fourths of the debate going over stump speeches and rehearsed answers.
In the second debate in three days (click here to read our coverage of Tuesday’s debate in Twin Falls), a pattern of agreement and familiarity tempered by nuanced distinctions threatened to emerge/Clark Corbin, IdahoED NEWS. More here.
Question: If you had to vote in this race today, whom would you vote for?
In a letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press editor this morning, Scott Stephens, of Coeur d'Alene, writes: “My wife and I have lived on the east side of town for more than 20 years, and have always enjoyed the close in location that it has offered. What has taken place over the last couple of years is somewhat disturbing; the influx of transients and or possibly the homeless has changed the complexion of East Sherman. Supposedly, Spokane doesn’t allow transients or the homeless, and suggest that they visit Coeur d’Alene. I don’t know if this is fact or fiction. I have always donated to Fresh Start and St. Vinny’s knowing that with a few bad decisions one could find himself in a similar position. Having said that, if not daily, at least weekly, new faces show up for the free stuff that East Sherman has to offer. Not unlike my bird feeders, if I have free bird food I’ve always got new birds dropping in for a meal. More here.
DFO: Mrs. O & her mother dined at Moon Time Thursday. At one point, my mother-in-law stepped outside for a moment, only to have a drunk staggering on the sidewalk grab her shoulder to steady himself. Nearby, two men were lying on the sidewalk, either passed out or asleep.
Question: What's happening on East Sherman?
Standing at Java on Sherman, Kathy Kelly points to info re: next BikeCDA event in Coeur d'Alene. Here's the info for Biketoberfest: “Don't miss the Cruiser Ride associated with this event. Meet at Bardenay Coeur D'alene LLC at 5 (Saturday). We'll cruise down Sherman to pick up the Fondo riders and head to the party!” The downtown will be hopping again this weekend. Oktoberfest & something involving bicycles, called Coeur d'Fondo, are scheduled. More information here.
Question: What is Coeur d'Fondo … and should we try to steer clear of titles of events that don't meld well with “Coeur d'”?
With the help of a federal mediator, negotiating teams representing the Coeur d'Alene School District Board of Trustees and the local teachers union reached a tentative agreement on Thursday. “Terms of the agreement are still being compiled and finalized,” said district spokeswoman Laura Rumpler, in a message to The Press. “A contract is close to completion and both teams are pleased that district employees continue to focus on the great teaching and learning that is occurring daily throughout our schools.” No additional information was provided regarding the details of the tentative contract settlement. The next step for the school board and the Coeur d'Alene Education Association - the local chapter of the state teachers union - is to ratify the agreement, Rumpler said/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Did you ever think they wouldn't reach agreement?
The Coeur Group has slated its gubernatorial debate for noon on Oct. 3 in the Coeur d'Alene Public Library's Community Room. According to co-founder Jimmy McAndrew, the young professional group has confirmed at least four of the six candidates will debate. “Today is the deadline for the candidates to confirm,” he said, adding that independent candidate Jill Humble declined to participate. McAndrew was still waiting to hear from constitution party challenger Steve Panky. So far, McAndrew said those who have confirmed their attendance are Republican incumbent Gov. Butch Otter, Democrat challenger A.J. Balukoff, libertarian challenger John Bujak and an independent candidate who changed his name to Pro Life. “I think this is going to be an interesting election,” McAndrew said/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Should Pro Life have been invited to the debate?
This just in from Coeur d'Alene School District:
“The School Board and CEA negotiating teams spent today working with a federal mediator on a salary and benefits package that has been tentatively agreed upon by each team. The next step is for the CEA and the Board to ratify the agreement. Terms of the agreement are still being compiled and finalized. A contract is close to completion and both teams are pleased that district employees continue to focus on the great teaching and learning that is occurring daily throughout our schools”/Director of Communications Laura Rumpler.
New York Yankees' Derek Jeter is greeted by teammates and applauded by fans as he enters the dugout after scoring against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning a baseball game in New York tonight. Jeter, the New York captain, is playing his final home game as a Yankee. He will retire after weekend games on the road. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Am I the only one bored with Kootenai County politics this fall, as we wait for the Tea-publicans to take over the courthouse and legislative seats? The handlers must have muzzled all their candidates this autumn to make sure that their loose lips won't sink there ships. Nary a peep is heard from Marc Eberlein and Dave Stewart, the pair that will likely control the commissioners office for the next two years, beginning in January — not that the public would pay attention any way. We're fat, dumb & happy as we head toward the abyss. Just a thought. Now for your Wild Card …
DTSinIdaho (RE: DanG doesn't do BearCat): It is the cops new hammer. We all know how everything looks like a nail after getting a NEW shiney hammer. I am pretty sure that the gunports on the side are evidence this is an armed military vehicle. It should be in the hands of the the Idaho National Guard and NOT the KCSO. It is just not needed, at any price. It is called escalation. You have put a weapons platform for crowd control way too far up in the chain of action against foes, domestic or foreign. This is a mistake. This will end up killing someone through gun holes in a bulletproof minitank. This is not good people. What are the protocols for using it. Who can authorize its use? As sung by Pink Floyd. All in all it's just another brick in the wall (of separation.)
Question: Should the public know the protocol for using BearCat?
Time 2 Vote …
Facts: Fiorentina's Borja Valero is shown during match with Sassuolo in Florence, Italy, Wednesday. You write the cutline. (AP photo: Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Wednesday Winner — SLFisher, with 6 likes: “Make a wish!” You can see Wednesday photo and read all the Cutline Contest entries here.
DFO: I think I have the scanner working again.
A U.S. Forest Service rule requiring permits to take photos or videos in federal wilderness areas attracted a wave of criticism on Thursday. The “Proposed directive for commercial filming in wilderness” posted on Sept. 9 would require special-use permits for projects that use models, actors or props, and involve groups of commercial workers, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said in a statement on Thursday. Fees range from $30 a day for groups of up to three people to $800 for large productions with 70 or more crew members. The fact is, the directive pertains to commercial photography and filming only – if you’re there to gather news or take recreational photographs, no permit would be required,” Tidwell said in the statement. “We take your First Amendment rights very seriously. We’re looking forward to talking with journalists and concerned citizens to help allay some of the concerns we’ve been hearing and clarify what’s covered by this proposed directive.” But Tidwell added the public comment period on the directive had been extended from an original deadline of Nov. 3 to a new date of Dec. 3/Rob Chaney, Missoulian. More here.
Question: What do you think of this policy proposal?
Artist David Prince earthenware will be on display as part of his “The Novelty of the Natural” exhibit, from Sept. 29 – Oct. 31 at NIC’s Corner Gallery in Boswell Hall. An artist presentation will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29, in Boswell Hall Room 156, followed by a gallery walk at 4 p.m. and an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. More here.
Steve Matheson, the Republican candidate for Kootenai County treasurer, speaks to two Reagan Republicans after the organization's weekly luncheon at Fedora's, off Kathleen Avenue. According to photographer/reporter Duane Rasmussen, Matheson spoke of policy reforms he would like to make in the treasurer's office. Matheson claimed 52% of the vote in the GOPrimary to defeat Chief Deputy Treasurer Laurie Thomas. He will be opposed by Democrat Janet Callen in November's general election. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
An 18-year-old Spokane woman was charged with several felony counts after she got into a fight with a 20-year-old woman in the north parking lot of Lake City High. Margan Wozniak was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, weapon on a school ground, and malicious injury to property. Neither Wozniak nor her victim attend the Coeur d'Alene high school. Accompanied by her father, Wozniak had gone to the school to exchange property with the victim, according to police reports. Officers were told a fight broke out between the two girls while the victim was seated in her car. She alleged that Wozniak held a steak knife to threaten her and then in a separate motion stabbed the seat of her car causing damage to it. A witness stated Wozniak’s father stopped the fight and also grabbed the knife. Wozniak was transported to the county jail.
At 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Coeur d’Alene officers contacted burglary suspect Theodore Waterman in the parking lot at the 11th St. entrance to Tubbs Hill. Officers were aware Waterman had three felony warrants for previous burglary charges and was a suspect in multiple other cases. Waterman was taken into custody without incident on burglary charges, and additional burglary charges are forthcoming. Detectives in Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Kootenai County have been investigating several auto and residential burglaries in which victims returned to their vehicles and discovered their windows smashed, or the trunk lock popped and their belongings missing. Several of the vehicles in the reported auto burglaries had been parked at the base of Tubbs Hill. Many of the items taken in these crimes were debit cards or credit cards/Sgt. Christie Wood, Coeur d'Alene Police Department.
On her blog today, Cis/From A Simple Mind wonders if it's time to give up blogging after almost 10 years: “The numbers are down… but then they usually are in the summer time. Winter is when most don't have anything else to do … so they tend to check in from time to time. I am not a big time blogger. I am a drop on the floor from the pail of water … spilt when others advertise or suggest my blog for reading. So I average about 22 (page-views) a day. about 150 a week…(when I have a local event on I can get up to 70). Mine is not like friends who I know. who blog and get numbers like 150 per day. Some are still going strong, while others blog once a week, unless they have fuel for the fire and do a series on what is upsetting the apple cart of life. I am talking about the non-paying blogs. More here.
Question: Cis/Simple Mind has been part of HucksOnline since the beginning, way back on Feb. 16, 2004. She encouraged me a lot that first year, as I considered whether all the extra work was worth it. She told me to stick it out for a year before deciding what to do. I wonder whether I'd still be blogging if she hadn't provided the encouragement. Blogging is hard work — and I get strokes simply because this blog has grown into something far bigger than I expected. Many have tried blogging and quit. Cis deserves a pat on the back as she pushes toward her 10th blogiversary next year. Thoughts?
On her blog, As the Lake Churns, Pecky Cox has posted a number of photos of mushrooms that she's taken in the Priest Lake area, including the one above. See more here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, Sept. 24): 6574 page-views/4336 unique views
“Baby Ben, ” a calf born on Saturday, with a marking of a No. 7 on its head, is shown Vale Wood Farms Thursday, in Loretto, Pa. The folks at the farm are calling the calf “Baby Ben” in honor of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who wears the No. 7 when he plays. (AP Photo/The Tribune-Democrat, Todd Berkey)
Question: Do you think “7” is a lucky number?
When the police start to become the military, who is the enemy they're fighting? How many times a year are they going to use this to justify its ongoing maintenance and training expenses? This is overkill. Literally — Councilman Dan Gookin re: BearCat (Coeur d'Alene Press comments).
During my noon walk On The Waterfront today, I …
The North Shore is a viewtiful as you'll see today, give or take a few aphids.
Espy (RE: Say, Didn't You Used To Be OpenCDA.com?): Funny enough, Mary posted something there recently. Someone had claimed that LCDC had played a major part in getting the Kroc here and she shot that down by providing the sources of funding. LCDC had a much smaller impact than the city according to Mary. Of course, she didn't say that some people had tried to stop the city from providing that funding and that, had they been successful, the Kroc may not have happened. I wonder why she was quiet about that part.
DFO: Yes, LCDC played a key role in a land swap that provided the site for the Kroc Center. Yes, the usual suspects fought tooth & nail to stop the Kroc center. Spencer entertained us for months with his bogus Dirtgate fight (re: the filler needed to plug the hole at the old landfill site. A secretive group sent a letter to a national church-state separation group, trying to stop the center because it was affiliated with the Salvation Army. And there was a group that griped that the city paid too much for the land for the new library parking lot. And on and on. But people forget & even elect some of these birds to responsible positions. Thoughts?
Former State Sen. Mike Blackbird has written a book about his brother, Jerry, also a state senator, who emerged bitter from war toward politicians who sent young men into the Vietnam War meat grinder. Mike emails Huckleberries a press release for his book, “One Flaming Hour.” It begins: “In One Flaming Hour, former Idaho State Senator Mike Blackbird has written of how his brother Jerry came out of a heroic military career bitter and depressed, and then found perspective and purpose in a renewed life of public service. During the peak of the Vietnam War Jerry flew more than 1400 medivac helicopter missions. He sent home a searing set of letters describing the horrors of war, the failing leadership, and the politics surrounding exaggerated body counts. His heroics resulted in numerous medals and honors but masked a growing doubt about the war and its purpose. More here.
Question: I had the pleasure of knowing Mike Blackbird during his tenure as a state senator. But I never knew his brother. Did you?
Republican Gov. Butch Otter and Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff are scheduled to debate in Coeur d'Alene Friday, Oct. 3 — in the Coeur d'Alene Public Library Community Room. Jimmy McAndrew and the Coeur Group are moderating the debate.
Question: Some have expressed concern that the library community room isn't big enough to hold the debate, due to an expected large crowd. What do you think? Should it be moved — to North Idaho College, for example?
I hadn’t been in Sandpoint for more than three years in late August and the topic came up. The dead fish. Shoot, it’s been nearly two decades since it happened. It was 1995 and in my weekly Panhandle Picks – I was covering North Idaho schools exclusively at the time – I tabbed winless Lake City to beat Sandpoint. Well, Sandpoint handled Lake City 29-12. After the game, Sandpoint coach Satini Puailoa, then in his second season in his first stint, asked if I had a sense of humor. I assured him I did and he said I’d receive something special in the mail that week. When I arrived at work the following Monday, the joke was waiting for me. Actually, the priority mail package containing the joke carried such an unpleasant stench that co-workers put the package in the emergency exit stairwell. Upon opening the package I found a dead 12-inch fish, either a perch or blueback, in a sealed plastic bag. It’s one of the strangest things to happen to me in my now 30 years of covering prep sports here/Greg Lee, SR. More here.
Question: What was the worst prediction you ever made?
Red Hot Mamas strut their stuff in downtown Coeur d'Alene. (Facebook photo).
And now a word from Mikki Stevens, founder of the Red Hot Mamas: “Be Part of the Audience for The Red Hot Mamas New York Video! Silver Lake Mall, Cd'A, Idaho Saturday, September 27, 20 minute shows at noon, 12:30, 1:00, and 1:30 in the center of the Mall, with the BIG recording at the 1:00 show! Having glued 27,124 Rhinestones, Rehearsed 320 hours, Danced 400 miles, and lost 230 pounds, we are ready to present the preview of our new show.The more cheering audience members the better! Performances will include our parade routine and the Herald Square televised routine. Everyone eager to be part of the joyful audience is invited to bring their cheering voices, posters, and neon anything; and to wear RHM logowear, tutus, boas, sparkle and glitz for a whacky good time! ALWAYS REMEMBER: MAMA LUVS U BEST!”
Question: Are you now or have you ever been a Red Hot Mama?
DFO: Just checked OpenCdA.com, for the first time in quite awhile. No posts since Sept. 17. Only two comments since Sept. 12, besides Moderator Bill's — and that was by his former sidekick Mary Souza. A moment of silence, puh-LEEZ.
Steve Yates doesn't talk about his opinions much. He doesn't see that as the party chairman's job. Instead, the recently elected state Republican chairman said, his job is to work to build the party and help its candidates win election. “It's not a think tank,” he told the Times-News editorial board Wednesday. “It's not a shadow government. It's really an impressive gathering of volunteers.” Yates was elected head of Idaho's GOP in early August, capping a contentious period that started with primary battles between mainline and tea party-backed Republicans, followed by a convention that collapsed in discord and led to more than a month of argument over who the party chairman was. The upheaval resulted in the ouster of tea party-aligned Barry Peterson. Yates doesn't have a typical background for someone in Idaho politics/Nathan Brown, Twin Falls Times News. More here.
Question: How can you build a party that already holds all the executive branches of state government and a supermajority of the Legislature?
Libertarian candidate John Bujak, left, and Democratic candidate A.J. Balukoff face off during the gubernatorial debate at Canyon Ridge Auditorium Wednesday evening in Twin Falls. Story here. (AP Photo/The Times-News, Drew Nash)
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is resigning from his post, the Justice Department said Thursday. Mr. Holder will remain in office until a successor is nominated and confirmed. Mr. Holder, the 82nd attorney general and the first African-American to serve in that position, had previously said he planned to leave office by the end of this year. Particularly in President Obama’s second term, Mr. Holder has been the most prominent liberal voice of the administration, leading its push for same-sex marriage and voting rights. After the recent shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer, Mr. Holder volunteered to go to Ferguson, Mo., as the administration’s emissary/New York Times. More here. (AP file photo)
The city of Coeur d’Alene’s Arts Commission recently announced winners of the 19th Annual Mayor’s Awards in the Arts:
Mayor Steve Widmyer will present the awards on Wednesday, October 8th, 6 p.m., at the Hagadone Event Center, 900 S. Floating Green Drive, just off Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.
The faint snuffling sound gave me pause. I stopped, turned off my MP3 player and listened. But all I heard was the distant drone of traffic and the light pattering of a sprinkler hitting the pavement. Puzzled, I resumed my walk. A quarter mile into my daily stroll, my thoughts were full of deadlines, dinner and dogs. Dogs? That’s what I’d heard! The snuffling sound a dog makes while exploring the wonderful world of fire hydrants, trees, light posts and my ankles. Sure enough, as I slowed my stride, I felt hot breath and a cold nose in the vicinity of my ankle. I looked down to see a medium-size charcoal gray dog with a white stripe down his overly-curious snout. “Well, hey there, buddy,” I said. “Where do you belong?”/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.
Also by Cindy:
Question: Have you ever had a dog (or cat) follow you home? What did you do with it?
The only candidate to be called a liberal in Idaho's first gubernatorial debate (in Twin Falls) Wednesday was GOP Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter. But even though the incumbent didn't attend the event, he was the main target of criticism. Democratic candidate A.J. Balukoff faced off against Libertarian candidate John Bujak in Twin Falls. Otter, who is running for this third term, declined to participate. All three candidates, however, have accepted debates together in other events throughout the state in the upcoming weeks. Both Balukoff and Bujak spent most of their time criticizing what they see as Otter's failure to improve Idaho's education system and the economy. They also vowed to remove the “good old boys” system they say Otter has created/Associated Press. More here.
Question: Do you consider Gov. Butch Otter to be a “liberal”?
I never bought that old argument about marijuana being a gateway to harder drugs. I thought it was just a scare tactic. Until now, that is. The brainiacs who want to test the Spokane loo-stream for THC levels must be huffing heroin or mainlining airplane glue. Let me make something perfectly clear. I don’t smoke marijuana. Nor do I condone use of the sticky or, for that matter, even the icky. That said, I’m also a strong believer in a citizen’s constitutional right to commode confidentiality. Or to put into legal parlance: What goes into your pot should stay in your pot even if it contains traces of pot/Doug Clark, SR. More here.
Question: Should a city check the waste stream to see how much pot its residents are smoking?
To win their support, Democrat A.J. Balukoff first must persuade Idaho voters to fire Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter. So far, Balukoff has refused to take that step. And until he does, he'll be forfeiting whatever chance he has of winning. A challenger's path is well-worn:
The independently wealthy Balukoff has taken the first step in spades. The Center for Public Integrity says he has spent more than $500,000 on TV ads compared to nearly $121,000 for Otter.But Otter remains poised to win a third term in a state that reflexively votes for Republican incumbents. Earlier this month, a poll conducted by YouGov, the New York Times and CBS News put Otter at 51 percent to Balukoff's 33 percent/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Is it time to fire Butch Otter?
Kootenai County has a jail problem. Everyone agrees there are currently too many inmates and too few beds for the 27-year-old building to continue to meet the county's need for correctional space. I'm currently viewing the jail situation while coming down off a musical high acquired from an amazing performance of Les Misérables at the Coeur d'Alene Community Theater. On the tiny stage in that small building, the wickedly smart George Green, with his clever troupe, manages to deliver a mesmerizing punch — as powerful as any on a big city stage. … No, I'm not going to suggest that we return to the torturous prisons of 1862, when Victor Hugo penned the story of Jean Valjean, to cram more bodies into the already overcrowded jail on the outskirts of Coeur d'Alene. But I am going to suggest that Kootenai County should look for new, creative solutions to its overcrowding problem. Les Misérables on a tiny stage is a lesson in the importance of thinking creatively when a problem begs a solution/Mary Lou Reed, Inlander. More here.
Question: How can we re-think jail in a way that deals with the crowding problem without requiring more space?
Lieutenant Stuart Miller walks by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s office recently purchased 2014 Lenco BearCat at a media information session on Wednesday morning. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Tess Freeman)
The one thing missing from the armored vehicle now owned by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office is a logo that says “paid for by drug dealers,” said Undersheriff Dan Mattos. Mattos spoke Wednesday, during a media tour the sheriff's office held to show off the county's new BearCat - an acronym for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter-Attack Truck - purchased with drug forfeiture funds. Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said the $335,000 vehicle will primarily be used by the multi-agency, Kootenai County SWAT team. “It's going to be a shared resource, ” Wolfinger said. “My goal here is to keep our people safe. If we keep our people safe, then they can keep the public safe”/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
A new requirement that first-year students live on campus at Eastern Washington University has put a record 2,100 students in the dorms there. The first day of classes began Wednesday at EWU, making it the last local college to start the 2014-15 school year. For a university that sits just 15 miles outside Spokane, there are still many students who travel to class every day from the city. And certain students are exempt from the new “live-on requirement,” which every other university in the region already has in place. But the idea behind the requirement is to increase retention rates and student success/Wilson Criscione, SR. More here. (SR photo by Colin Mulvany: EWU visual communication design student Joe Figg buys his textbooks at the campus bookstore)
Question: Did you live on campus as a college student? Was it a good experience?
Four weeks into the school year, Coeur d’Alene teachers are working without a new contract and will head into mediation with school district leaders today to try to end a deadlock. Negotiations stalled in late August over the Coeur d’Alene School District’s proposal to keep base pay the same while shifting a greater share of rising health insurance costs to employees. The district’s health insurance plan is increasing 7.5 percent this year, or about $500,000. The school district now pays 69 percent of the premium for family health coverage, which is “very high compared to the rest of the state,” Superintendent Matt Handelman said. The district proposes reducing its share to 67 percent, leaving employees to cover the rest. The district also wants employees to pick up more out-of-pocket expenses, including co-insurance and co-pays/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: Is the district's offer fair?
I need to head to Riverstone to check out that new utility box art by Christina Oss LaBang that honors Stickman. I also have a greeting card on my desk by Christina that shows her original painting of Stick. On the back, the card introduces us to Stick's sister: 'Christina Oss LaBang is a Hospice Nurse who captures Light, sometimes in the darkest places, bringing the brilliance of her vision into our world.” She has brought a little light into our world with her utility box painting. Now for today's Wild Card …
Sasquatch (RE: Fox under fire for 'rape' joke): Yes, this is too far. It's just as offensive as that daiquiri bar serving that Grape drink. It perpetuates Rape Culture. Any joke about rape adds to the idea that rape is ok. Rape jokes are usually made by us males. We've never had to live in fear of, or even think about being raped. Sadly 1 in 4 women have been the victim of some form of sexual assault or attempted assault. Many live with that fear daily. We need to stop joking about it and start having real discussions. This episode / joke would be acceptable if Stewie went on to learn why his joke was in poor taste. Sadly, this isn't some 90's after school special, just low brow commercial selling “humor.”
Time 2 Vote …
Facts: Indonesia's Nofrizal, right, returns a ball against Laos during their Men's Doubles Group B sepak takraw match at Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, Saturday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, File)
Tuesday Winner — Sherlock, with 9 likes: “In an ironic twist, at that very moment, Derek Jeter was standing on a street corner in Fruitland, Idaho, holding a sign that read, 'All the way from New York to get a kiss from Lopez #1'” You can see Tuesday photo & all Cutline Contest entries here.
Here's a final photo of the 100-pound black bear that climbed a tree at Woodland Middle School this morning. Idaho Fish & Game tranquilized the bear near the bottom of the tree, as it climbed back down. The animal was transported from the schoolyard to the Idaho Fish and Game office for observation. It will be released back into the wilderness. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office officially introduced its new $319,739 BearCat vehicle to the media at the KCSO office this morning. (Photo: Kootenai County Sheriff's Office)
KCSO news release: On Aug. 25, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office took delivery of its newest piece of safety equipment; a Lenco BearCat multi-use vehicle. This vehicle is built on a Ford F550 4WD chassis powered by a 6.7 liter diesel engine. It is designed and constructed to provide its occupants and users with a high level of ballistic protection. It will be used to provide safety and cover for deputies and officers when responding to calls involving active shooters, barricaded suspects who are armed and dangerous and high risk warrant services. It can also be used to rescue victims and evacuate citizens from harm’s way. This vehicle is equipped with a digital and infrared camera which can be used by Search and Rescue to locate missing children and adults. More here.
Question: Are you warming up to the BearCat?
On the Get Out! North Idaho Facebook wall, Patrick posts: “Purchased this curious product today and I'm bringing it to happy hour at Mik's for courageous eaters to experience. Also, let's do an end of season mini-blowout of Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy for $1.50/pint!”
Question: Are you (wo)man enough to eat spicy Willy's Pickled Eggs?
A comparison of spending on statewide political TV commercials shows Idaho Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff has outspent Gov. Butch Otter, the AP reports today. An analysis released Wednesday by the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity found that Balukoff spent more than $500,000 to air nearly 2,800 state-level advertisements as of Sept. 8, writes AP reporter Kimberlee Kruesi. Otter, meanwhile, has spent nearly $121,000 on little more than 500 political television ads in the same time period. The analysis doesn’t include spending on cable TV advertising or production costs, so the candidates’ total spending could be much higher/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Are you surprised that Democrat Balukoff is outspending Otter on campaign ads?
In 2012-13, Idaho’s high school graduation rate dropped to its lowest point in a decade. The numbers — the most recent available — largely reflect a bookkeeping change. The federal government wants schools to do a better job of tracking students who leave the education system, even if they just transfer to another school; any students who fall through the cracks will be listed as dropouts. The tougher reporting requirements present a long-term challenge to Idaho — a state that has long taken pride in its high graduation rates. It will be all the more difficult for Idaho to meet aggressive federal graduation benchmarks/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.
You don't have to be an expert in current events to win our weekly quiz, but it can't hurt. All entrants in the weekly Spokesman-Review News Quiz are eligible to win two movie tickets, and our overall champ — drawn from among the top scores — will score a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. You can take the News Quiz here.
Every year around this time, Grandpa would show up with a grocery bag filled with cream cheese and graham crackers and maybe some butter and eggs. He had a deal with Mom, the oldest of his four children and the one who lived closest: If he would supply the ingredients, she would make him a couple of cheesecakes for his birthday. I’m still struck by the sweet and simple request. I don’t remember Grandpa, a humble and quiet man, ever asking for anything else. I asked plenty of him – mostly for rides. From school. To practice. To and from work. When I was older and his eyesight worsened and reflexes slowed, I was able to return the favor by taking him to and from bingo some Sunday nights. But I never came close to chauffeuring him as many times as he chauffeured me/Adriana Janovich, SR. More here. (Photo courtesy of Adriana Janovich: One of Jozef Kochel’s favorite desserts was Grandpa’s Birthday Cheesecake)
Question: Did you have a good relationship with your grandfather(s)?
Ritual is these days pretty much ignored or even despised, unless you're a gangsta wannabe who has to shoot a school-aged child to get yourself into the inner circle. Ritual – the rite of initiation – used to be of great value to this country, at least to its male component. The rite of initiation used to humble us and make us human beings. I can't claim to surviving Marine Corps boot camp training, as my father can. Nor did I attend the Air Force Academy, as my great kid brother did. But between initiation into Phi Delta Theta and a summer camp doing officer's boot with the USAF, I learned the lesson. Trouble is, the lesson has to be beaten into you. One purpose of the rite of initiation is to grind you down and humiliate you beyond belief. In this age of artificially pumped up self-esteem, the “attaboy” for showing up for school once or twice a week even as you drool in a stoned stupor on your textbook, it's outright archaic/David Bond, Wallace Street Journal. More here.
Question: Did you ever endure an initiation ritual of any sort?
When Terry Werner listened to a forecaster 25 years ago say Post Falls would someday be larger than Coeur d'Alene, he thought the prediction was outlandish. “I thought, 'What is he talking about?'” Werner said. “But when he explained that Post Falls has more vacant land, it started to make sense.” Watching Post Falls grow during his 23 years as a city employee and six as a city councilman has further substantiated that prediction for Werner. When he retires Oct. 3 as the city's public services director overseeing the planning, building, engineering, street, water, wastewater, fleet and facility maintenance departments, Post Falls won't be quite as large as Coeur d'Alene. Coeur d'Alene had 46,402 residents in 2013 (No. 7 in the state), according to the U.S. Census Bureau, while Post Falls had 29,357 (No. 10)/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Terry Werner at Post Falls wastewater treatment plant)
Question: How long will it be before Post Falls is bigger than Coeur d'Alene?
This black bear clings to a tree after being tranquilized by Idaho Fish and Game above the soccer field at Woodland Middle School in Coeur d'Alene this morning. The animal was then retrieved from the schoolyard and brought in to Idaho Fish and Game office for observation. It will be released back into the wilderness. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Update: F&G and school officials waited for the black bear to climb down the tree, which it did. When it was near the ground, the F&G officials shot the bear with a tranquilizer. They are transporting the bear to the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River.
SR photographer Kathy Plonka was en route to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office to snap photos of the sheriff's new BearCat military vehicle, when the SR received word that there's a 100-pound black bear in a tree near the softball fields at Woodland Middle School, off Kathleen Avenue. School resource officer Tom Sparks saw the bear take to the trees this morning. The bear climbed about 60 to 70 feet up the tree. The resource officer has called Fish & Game. We should have photos this afternoon, of the bear. And maybe the BearCat.
Stewie Griffin, left, learns to skateboard from his new friend, Bart Simpson in a scene from “The Simpsons Guy,” the one-hour season premiere episode of “Family Guy,” airing Sunday. The Fox network isn't responding to suggestions that it edit the upcoming crossover episode of “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” to remove a joke where the punch line is “your sister's being raped.” (AP Photo/Fox)
(The rape reference) punctuates a scene in which the incorrigible Bart is instructing Stewie Griffin in the art of the prank phone call. Bart dials the owner of Moe's Tavern and asks whether there is anyone there with the last name Keybum, first name Lee. When Moe calls out to his patrons, asking for a “leaky bum,” everyone gets a laugh. Stewie thinks that's cool, and asks to make his own prank call. “Hello, Moe?” he says. “Your sister's being raped”/CBS News. More here.
Question: Has “Simpsons”/”Family Guy” gone too far this time?
Firefighter Tom Hiltenbrand of the Coeur d'Alene Fire Department collected money for Muscular Dystrophy in the 2013 Fill-the-Boot drive. Coeur d’Alene firefighters will be filling their boots this Saturday, from 9 to 5 to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Today photo)
HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, Sept 23): 6955 page-views/4309 unique views
DFO: BITA brings up an interesting point: Are chicken wings edible? I've wondered about Buffalo wild wings. Dunno if I've ever eaten one. But I know that chicken wings provide little meat for the effort. Can anyone explain what's the big deal about Wild Wings?
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public a chance to dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs — for the ninth time in four years. KCSO officials are asking the public to bring pills for disposal to the Hayden Albertson’s, 161 W. Prairie Ave. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. More here.
Question: What do you usually do with your expired/unwanted prescription drugs? Trashcan? Toilet? What?
Question: Are the birthday cakes in your family baked at home or bought at a strore? And/or: What kind of birthday cake is your favorite?
Experts gather Friday at the U.S. Forest Service nursery in Coeur d’Alene, which has been working on a rust-resistant strain of whitebark pine. The high-elevation tree is critical to alpine ecosystems, providing food for grizzly bears and other animals. Becky Kramer's SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Hundreds of students walked out of classrooms around suburban Denver on Tuesday in protest over a conservative-led school board proposal to focus history education on topics that promote citizenship, patriotism and respect for authority, in a show of civil disobedience that the new standards would aim to downplay. The youth protest involving six high schools in the state’s second-largest school district follows a sick-out from teachers that shut down two high schools in the politically and economically diverse area that has become a key political battleground. Student participants said their demonstration was organized by word of mouth and social media. Many waved American flags and carried signs, including messages that read “There is nothing more patriotic than protest”/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Students protest outside of Ralston Valley High School Tuesday in Arvada, Colo.)
Question: Do you think our public schools teach history properly?
Seattle residents who fail to separate food waste from trash will be fined under an ordinance approved Monday by the City Council. When the ordinance goes into effect next year, homeowners found with food scraps in their trash will be fined $1 for each violation, KING reported Tuesday. The fine is up to $50 for a business or apartment complex. Seattle Public Utilities estimates that about one-third to one-half of what now goes in the trash should be recycled or put in compost bins. The new law is aimed at helping Seattle reach its goal of having a recycling rate of 60 percent by 2015/Associated Press. More here.
Question: Would you like to see your North Idaho town fining residents for putting food in the trash?
Uncle Bob (RE: Idaho Won't Secede Either): The concept of Idaho seceding is, IMHO, much like the silliness of the new federal land grab fantasy. Both are dumb ideas being pedaled by sneaky politicians mostly to provide a distraction while they embark on other silly quests which might actually work out for them (concealed carry in ALL classrooms, anyone? Where Utah goes, so goes Idaho). I have yet to encounter a single rational individual who thinks that Idaho could survive as an independent nation nor effectively manage federal lands. Since our alleged leaders can't even manage to successfully hold a political convention, it's a pretty safe bet they can't manage much of anything else of consequence.
Question: This could be the comment of the day. But I can't wait until 5 p.m. (Sorry, Uncle Bob). Bob brings this question to mind: What absurd thing will the “sneaky” Idaho legislators conjure to amuse/shock us in 2015. Feel free to use your imaginations.
Lidwin “Lidwina” Dirne (pictured in 2009) and Dick Smart would hate that there are now two signs bearing their names at Heritage Health. During their time in Kootenai County it was never about them and always about the patients. But it's because of their humility and dedication to providing compassionate health care to those in need that Heritage Health is what it is today, Heritage CEO Michael Baker said. On Tuesday night, Baker and many others honored Dirne and Smart at the facility by dedicating wings of the building to them. According to Baker, it is through the efforts of individuals like Dirne and Smart that Heritage Health is able to provide access to health care to those in the county who either do not have insurance or cannot afford it/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: What would you want to be named after you when you're gone?
In their first debate last night in Twin Falls, state school superintendent candidates Jana Jones and Sherri Ybarra took mostly similar positions on issues, but diverged on the 20 recommendations from a state task force for improving schools and clashed on whose background better fits the job, Idaho Education News reports. Asked to prioritize the recommendations, Ybarra said her top priorities were reading proficiency, professional development on the Idaho Core Standards and accountability systems. “These are the easiest to implement and get down to the classrooms.” Jones said her No. 1 priority is to restore the investment in the public schools system. “Over this last year we’ve lost so many good teachers. We need to take a good look at what we can do to recruit and retain high quality teachers”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Which candidate has priorities that line up with yours?
Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter's latest snapshot on Idaho's economy reads like an account of a football game. The sky was blue. The temperature was pleasant. The crowd was brimming with enthusiasm. The hometown team scored a touchdown. Located in the fourth paragraph was the score - with the visiting team winning the game. Otter's Labor Department highlighted how Census data shows an uptick in incomes - median household incomes were up 2.8 percent vs. a 1.7 percent national average. Poverty rates also fell about 0.3 percent to 15.6 percent. All to the good - but Otter's administration buried the real news:
Question: This is the editorial I've been waiting to read, one that spotlights all those last-place-in-rankings that Idaho has been piling up. In journalism-speak, Gov. Otter “buried the lead.” Thoughts?
Lash Laker holds up his invention: Seedboard, an agricultural product that imbeds fertilized seeds in recycled cardboard strips that then can be planted on Tuesday at Ramsey Elementary in Coeur d'Alene. Laker's invention took first place in a national invention competition called I-Cubed Challenge. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Lash Laker gathered up some materials from around his Coeur d’Alene home – cardboard, coffee grounds, wood ash and eggshells – and made a horticultural product he calls Seedboard. The idea is to nurture seedlings in the ground, locking in moisture, supplying nutrients and fortifying against insects. “It protects from many things,” the loquacious 8-year-old explained. “It’s protection from pests, keeps seeds safe from the elements and dry climate.” Laker has done pretty well with his invention, winning the Invent Idaho school competition, then advancing to the district, regional and state levels. Now he has won the national I Cubed Challenge, which this year had students explore innovations in sustainability. “This young man is going places, very definitely,” said Beth Brubaker, co-founder of I Cubed Inventions, a nationwide student invention curriculum and contest for students in grades 1-8. I Cubed, or I³, stands for “inspire, ignite, invent”/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: Have you ever invented anything?
I went to take my son into the new Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant and on our way into the door I saw a big white sign that said, “Buffalo Wild Wings BANS GUNS ON THESE PREMISES.” When I was 4 years old, 1991, we lived in Killeen, Texas. I remember hearing the sirens after an estranged man by the name of George Pierre drove his 1987 Ford Ranger into the front windows of Luby’s Restaurant. He then started shooting all the customers. Suzana Hupp, whom is now a State Representative of Texas, left her gun she always carried in her car because of the recently passed gun law prohibiting her to carry. She was being a law-abiding citizen. She watched her parents get shot by George Pierre/Bruce Berry, of Coeur d'Alene, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Are you more/less likely to visit the new Buffalo Wild Wings as a result of their no-guns policy?
They poison deer, don't they? OK, so it's not going to rival “They Shoot Horses, Don't They?” for catchy Hollywood titles. But the fact that deer in Dalton Gardens have been shot and, now, perhaps poisoned, makes for a compelling story. Instead of the tale of a dance marathon with deeper plot lines and implications, the dropping of Dalton deer is headed toward a truly tragic ending. We sympathize with city officials in grappling with this difficult issue. For the past several years, the What to Do with All These Does debate has raged without resolution. In the view of some residents, there are simply too many deer in Dalton. In the view of others, humans encroached on the doorsteps of deer so homeowners should either ignore the critters or defend their property with non-lethal solutions like higher fence and less enticing vegetation/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Do you consider deer to be lovely when they visit your street? Or a nuisance?
Here it is late September … and nothing seems to be happening at the local level, politics wise. The odds-on favorite Republican candidates are keeping their heads down, to avoid saying anything that might cause sleepy voters in our burg to pay attention to some of their over-the-top views, like taking over federal lands and opposing the need for a mental health center. Even future state senator Mary seems to be quieter than usual. But they'll all by spouting at full volume come January. So we can look forward to that. Now for today's Wild Card …
Time 2 Vote …
Facts: Tanya Lopez of Fruitland, Idaho, tries to get the attention of Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium Monday. You write the cutline. (AP photo: Kathy Willens)
Monday Winner — Flatlander, with 6 likes: “New spy satellite photos show North Korea missile technology is further behind then first thought.” You can see Monday photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.
Ammi Midstokke, right, is comforted by climbing partner Jason Luthy below Chimney Rock east of Priest Lake as she was being rescued from and all night ordeal after being pinned by a shifting 1.5-ton boulder as they hiked off the mountain. More here. (Photo: Jason Luthy)
A North Idaho woman arrested on several felony charges chewed through the seat of a sheriff's patrol vehicle while en route to the Bonner County Jail. According to court records, Staci Anne Spence was arrested Thursday morning at her home after she pepper sprayed a couple as they slept in their van. When deputies arrived at Spence's home, she was immediately combative. Court records show she kicked at the two deputies, striking one of them in the groin. Deputies finally got Spence under control and in handcuffs and put her on her stomach in the back of of the deputy's 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe. According to court records, “while en route to the Bonner County Jail, Spence, using her mouth and teeth, tore through the back seat cover and into the seat foam, removing large chunks of seat foam and spitting them onto the floor to the car.” Sheriff's deputies estimate the damage at $2,137/Melissa Luck, KXLY. More here.
In his weekly Topic Tuesday message, Gov. Butch Otter discusses the difference between state and federal management of public lands, coming down on the side of state management. Of course.
Bryan Shaw is a chemist, not a software developer. He’s a parent, not a doctor. But he’s receiving national attention for his effort to create a free smartphone app to warn shutterbug parents of a glow in young children’s eyes – a white reflection from a camera’s flash – that could signal a rare cancer. The iPhone app, called CRADLE, is still under review by Apple. But Shaw, a Mead High School graduate, sees its potential as huge: saving children’s vision in the U.S. and their lives in poor countries, where retinoblastoma is more likely to be identified only after the cancer has spread to their brains. Shaw thinks big, and his project has been the subject of stories by National Public Radio and Popular Science/Adrian Rogers, SR. More here. (SR photo: From left, Elizabeth, Samuel, Bryan and Noah Shaw are shown in a family photo from Easter)
Question: Has your family had to deal with rare disease?
Ruthie Johnson, state committeewoman for Kootenai County GOP, wrote a letter to Idaho Statesman re: U.S. Sen. Jim Risch that caught the eye of Fort Boise. Here's a key part of the letter:
Risch worked his way through college and then went to law school. He and his wife, Vicki, started out as two broke college graduates with the American dream. They have worked rigorously, not only on their own ranch, but in serving others throughout their life. It's easy to spend other people's money for good-sounding projects. It takes more courage to look at how the money is being spent and to hold the line and not pass on all the debt to our children and grandchildren. More here.
Fort Boise responds: “It's kind of a sweet letter, but the implication that Jim Risch is a hard-working rancher who goes to Washington to sacrifice himself for the good of the country is either remarkably credulous, remarkably ignorant, or just a run of the mill tout. There are some ranchers in the state, you know, and I dare say they would not recognize the good Senator out on the range. Whatever hard work he may have done is not in evidence in his current U.S. Senate job by any account, least of all his own.” Full response here.
Jana Jones, left, and Sherri Ybarra both urge a cautious approach to a teacher licensing proposal that has drawn fire from the state’s teachers union. Jones, a Democrat, and Ybarra, a Republican, both labeled the issue “complex” and called for a slow, deliberate process to consider the proposal and public reaction. In August, the State Board of Education gave preliminary approval to the new system of certification and licensure. The proposed rule, available to review online, essentially creates two tiers of teacher certification – as well as other subgroups including professional, master and contingent designations. A teacher’s ability to obtain and renew certification would hinge on several factors, including teacher evaluations performed locally; student growth; and the teacher’s ability to meet performance standards. Since May, the Idaho Education Association has opposed tying teacher licenses to local evaluations. Ybarra and Jones took slightly different stances on the proposal/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.
Question: We haven't talked much about the teacher licensing proposal. Thoughts?
… That there was grumbling going on during the lunch hour when only two of Idaho's 9 legislators showed up for the annual chamber legislative/education luncheon in the Coeur d'Alene Room of North Idaho College's SUB. And both of the legislators who appeared will give up their seats in January: state Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, and state Rep. Ed Morse, R-Hayden. Sponsored by the chambers of Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls, the lunch gives legislators an opportunity to discuss education issues with local business and education leaders. U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Congressman Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, were represented by members of his staff.
Update: Reps. Luke Malek and Kathy Sims and Republican nominee Mary Souza were also at the legislative event. Mallek & Sims arrived after it started.
Question: Isn't this something our legislators should attend?
The quest for state control of Idaho’s otherwise federally controlled lands has received additional momentum, this time coming from one of the state’s top elected officials. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has begun speaking publicly about the issue across the state, and while supportive of the idea, has also cautioned that the task will be difficult. “There are two significant legal hurdles to overcome,” Wasden explained when contacted by IdahoReporter.com. “One is the fact that Idaho’s founders, in drafting the state’s constitution, forever disclaimed all rights and title to those federal lands. The second point is the fact that Idaho lawmakers told the federal government in 1947, in the form of a joint resolution, to continue to keep control of those lands”/Austin Hill, Idaho Reporter. More here.
Question: I wonder what Attorney General Lawrence Wasden really thinks of Idaho attempting to gain control of federal lands, deep down?
The people of Scotland last week took only 15 hours to answer the same question over which Americans spent four years killing each other. Scotland will remain in the United Kingdom, a decision made by 55 percent of the nation’s voting public. And, after significant bombast and federalist rhetoric, Idaho would do the exact same thing, given the opportunity. More than 4 million Scots voted Thursday in the simple “yes or no” referendum. The question was simple enough: Should Scotland secede from the United Kingdom after 307 years? Pretty heavy stuff. Imagine if such a question was posed to Idahoans. The pro-secession crowd would be full of bluster and “we’re getting screwed by Washington” rhetoric. They’d yell and scream and appear to be winning the popularity contest. But, when the day came, Idaho would remain a member of the United States. And that’s because Idaho, like Scotland, probably wouldn’t do well on it’s own/Jon Alexander, Twin Falls Times-News. More here.
Question: Opinion Editor Alexander is dead on. For all the bluster in Idaho about seceding from union, I doubt that many Idahoans would actually vote for such a silly move. What do you think?
A man who claims he was pushing his shopping cart out of a Portland Costco Wholesale warehouse when he was detained because he wouldn’t stop and show his receipt is suing the store for $670,000. Timothy Walls emerged from the Jan. 28, 2013, encounter with a leg broken in multiple places, according to his lawsuit, filed last week in Multnomah County Circuit Court. According to one of Walls’ attorneys, Walls didn’t believe the store had a right to detain him based upon their practice of checking receipts at the door. The policy states: “To ensure that all members are correctly charged for the merchandise purchased, all receipts and merchandise will be inspected as you leave the warehouse”/Oregonian. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Why would anyone mind whether his/her sales slip is checked on way out of Costco?
Workers prepare to lift a piece of “Unconditional Surrender,” an 8-meter (25-foot) cast-bronze sculpture in color of a sailor and a nurse in lip-locked embrace, outside the Caen Memorial in Normandy, France, today. The sculpture by Seward Johnson is based on a U.S. Navy photographer’s black-and-white snapshot taken on Aug. 15, 1945, according to the Sculpture Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit that owns the work. It also resembles a famous photograph taken by Life magazine Alfred Eisenstaedt on that day. The sculpture is to spend a year outside the Caen Memorial, a museum focusing on World War II. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
Question: Do people really kiss like this?
A North Idaho bicycle thief made a surprising move on Saturday. He returned the bicycle to a Coeur d’Alene restaurant and apologized.
Earlier in the week, managers at The Cellar released security video of the theft. Police hoped the video would lead to the identification and arrest of the suspects. The theft came as bicycles were vanishing around Coeur d’Alene. According to authorities, 24 bicycles had been stolen since August 1st. Police said the total value of the stolen bicycles totaled $23,000. The bicycle stolen from The Cellar belonged to the restaurant’s cook/Taylor Viydo, KREM2. More here. (Surveillance video from The Cellar via KREM2)
On his Slice blog today, SR colleague Paul Turner posts the cover of the Sept. 23, 1967, Saturday Evening Post. Did your family subscribe to the Post? Were you or any of them hippies?
HucksOnline numbers (for Monday, Sept. 22): 6674 page-views/4060 unique views
Democratic gubernatorial candidate, A.J. Balukoff released his official debate schedule. “I look forward to these debates with Gov. Otter and the opportunity to lay out my vision for a better Idaho. While he may try to distract the debates away from his eight year record, I intend to focus on the issues critical to moving our state forward: better schools, creating good-paying jobs, and restoring trust and accountability to state government,” said Balukoff. Balukoff will participate in the following debates:
Question: This race must be tighter than people think, for Gov. Otter to agree to five debates. Thoughts?
In the Domestic Battery Isn't Just AN NFL Thing category, the night shift of the Post Falls Police Department reports about a domestic battery at the Falls Club last night: “An officer out on patrol observed a female lying on the ground by a vehicle with a male standing over her. He then observed the male kick the female while she was still on the ground. The officer made contact where a witness stated the male had kicked the female in the face. Both parties were highly intoxicated and the male was taken into custody for domestic battery.”
The United States and its Arab allies bombed Syria for the first time on Tuesday, killing scores of Islamic State fighters and members of a separate al Qaeda-linked group, opening a new front against militants by joining Syria's three-year-old civil war. In a remarkable sign of shifting Middle East alliances, the attacks encountered no objection - and even signs of tacit approval - from President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian government, which said Washington had notified it in advance/Reuters. More here.
Question: Do you support expanding the fight against terrorism into the civil war in Syria?
Rescue team members sit with a 36-year-old Ammi Midstokke after they had extricated her from beneath a two-ton boulder that had rolled onto her leg Saturday, on a trail leading from Chimney Rock, a prominent outcropping in the Selkirks, east of Priest Lake. The Coeur d'Alene Press reports the woman was hiking with a man and became stuck Friday afternoon after the large boulder on the side of the mountain shifted under her weight. Priest Lake Search and Rescue team members and the Bonner County EMS Wilderness Response Team reached her Friday evening around midnight, freed her and tended to her injuries, but had to wait for daybreak before she could be taken out by helicopter. Story here. (AP Photo/Priest Lake Search & Rescue, Mike Nielsen)
Question: Joker raises an interesting point in his response to a comment about state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, who owns the Coeur d'Alene Honda dealership. I know of car dealers who contribute a lot of money to community and civic programs. I firmly believe there are a lot of good car dealers out there. How about you?
DFO: Idaho: First in beauty, first in hyperconservatism, and last in so many other categories.
Question: Idaho's state motto is Esto Perpetua (“Mayest thou endure forever”). Can you think of something more appropriate for 21st Century Idaho?
In his Business Bits column for the Coeur d'Alene Press, Nils Rosdahl tells of Anytime Fitness opening a 66,770-square-foot Coeur d'Alene exercise club at 370 Kathleen Ave. Seems Anytime Fitness is the largest exercise club in the world with 2,500 outlets & is open 24 hours a day. More here. I've belonged to four fitness clubs in three towns in the Inland Northwest. But haven't been a member of a fitness club for two decades. I exercise on my own — walking, bicycling and lifting weights. How about you?
Question: Do you belong to a fitness club? How often do you go?
Nearly three-quarters of the US. believes religious influence on American life is waning and nearly half think that churches and other houses of worship should play a greater role in the national discourse on social and political matters, according to a new Pew study. The findings by Pew's Religion & Public Life Project show that 72 percent of those surveyed think religion's hold on America is in decline, as opposed to 22 percent who believe that influence is on the rise. Most of those surveyed who said religion was losing influence also viewed that decline as a bad thing/NPR. More here.
Question: Do you believe the influence of religion in American life is in decline? If so, do you consider that a good/bad thing?
Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say they are investigating a Missoula man's anti-wolf claim that he purposefully ran down a pair of wolves near the Idaho-Montana border. Toby Bridges posted on Facebook last week, bragging that he killed two wolves in his wife's van. Capt. Joseph Jaquith said he is trying to determine if the Montana's wildlife law enforcement can do anything since Bridges used social media and he doesn't have any physical evidence. Bridges did not respond to an email seeking comment. “It's very unsporting, regardless of how you feel about wolves or lawful means for harvest of wolves, certainly running them down on the highway is not what we would accept,” Jaquith said. Jaquith added that it is illegal to intentionally run over animals in a vehicle in Montana/Associated Press. More here.
Question: This guy is not only unsportsmanlike. But he isn't very bright either (using social media to brag about his actions). Thoughts?
From Lewiston Tribune editorial: (Secretary of State Ben) Ysursa is retiring at the end of this year. So the major question in the campaign to succeed him is which candidate - Rep. Lawerence (Boss) Denney, R-Midvale, or Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise - would most closely follow his example? Here's one clue: This week Woodings stepped forward and promised to retain the staff that has worked under Republican secretaries of state. Actually, the Democratic candidate is merely continuing a precedent first set in 1967 by Edson Deal. Deal was Idaho's first Republican secretary of state in eight years. He maintained the Democratic staff he inherited - sending the message that he expected his office and staff to stand apart from petty politics. What about Denney? When told about Hollings' idea, he said, me too. “I think for the continuity of the office, I think you should keep the staff intact,” he told the Idaho Statesman. Keep Denney's record in mind/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Kootenai High School senior Lacy Goodson shares a laugh during class at the school in Harrison Wednesday, Sept. 10. The school is ranked 10th in SAT scores for the state of Idaho. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
Strong performances on the SAT college entrance exam tend to be dominated these days by charter school students. But a small public school at the south end of Lake Coeur d’Alene is among the SAT standouts in Idaho this year. Nestled in the rolling hills south of Harrison, Kootenai High School is proving it can hold its own among the strongest academic environments in the Gem State, even as it confronts steep enrollment declines and limited resources. Of the Idaho schools that had 10 or more juniors tackle the SAT in mid-April, Kootenai had the largest year-over-year improvement. The average score of 1,526 was up 191 points over 2013. “That just blew me out of the water,” Principal Tim Schultz said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
Question: How many kids were there in your graduating class at high school?
Organ samples from a yearling doe have been collected for testing to determine if the animal was possibly poisoned. The organ samples will be taken to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game wildlife health lab in Caldwell for analysis, said Laura Wolf, a regional wildlife biologist for Fish and Game in Coeur d'Alene. “We have received reports of several dead does in Dalton Gardens over the past week,” Wolf said Monday. “The wildlife health lab may be able to determine if this death was due to poison, disease, or other potential causes of death.” She expects to have results sometime next week, but possibly by the end of this week. Lt. Stu Miller of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office said the deer being tested was shot by a deputy Sunday afternoon/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you live in an area overrun by deer?
The man who carried a concealed weapon onto the North Idaho College campus without a permit has been sentenced to jail time. Michael Dan was sentenced last week in Kootenai County District Court to serve nine days in jail for charges stemming from the February incident on the NIC campus. Dan, 38, pleaded guilty on July 18 to two misdemeanor counts of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and possession of paraphernalia. After serving his time in jail, the Rathdrum man will serve two years of supervised parole. On Feb. 10, a witness contacted college administrators and told them he thought Dan would come to class with a gun. Police were contacted and took Dan into custody without incident/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Some people would want to give Dan a medal rather than jail time. Thoughts?
I don't know how many more fantastic weekends that we have before the chill sets in. But the waterfront was fabulous Saturday morning and Sunday evening when Mrs. O & I took Huckleberry for a walk. Seems as though more & more bicyclists are out. All ages. I enjoy the development. Who knows? Maybe one day we'll be as bike-friendly as Portland. Now for today's Wild Card …
JBelle (RE: Final tab on McEuen: $20.2M): I went to the park yesterday, again, and remain sadly disappointed. I think the design by committee diluted the entire project. The parking garage is an eyesore; the boats create great confusion; and in the end, everybody got a little bit of what they want which all adds up to just about nothing. So I think the one line item where Coeur d'Alene got hosed is Professional Services; the design is just flat awful. And apparently, the engineering needs a nip and tuck to get the water out of “the basement”?
Time 2 Vote …
Facts: North Korea's synchronized swim team performs at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, earlier today. You write the cutline.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Weekend Winner — Psalm 37, with 7 likes: Seattle is dumping the wave for the 'Fernando Shuffle. You can see Weekend Photo with all Cutline Contest entries here.
“A community project that has been a long time in the making came to fruition last weekend when a new playground was dedicated at Person Field off 15th Street,” reports Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. “Dozens of people attended the event, many lending a hand to shovel wood chips onto the playground.” More here.
A Bonner County woman arrested on a host of misdemeanor charges on Thursday added a felony to the pile after allegedly gnawing through the upholstery of a sheriff’s patrol vehicle while being taken to jail. Staci Anne Spence is charged with malicious injury to property at the felony level because replacing the seat exceeded $1,000, according to court documents. Spence is also charged with battery, battery on a law officer, driving under the influence and resisting arrest. Judge Debra Heise set Spence’s bail at $32,000 and appointed a public defender to represent her, court records show. Spence, 42, was arrested Thursday morning at her north-side home after allegedly dousing a couple with pepper spray as they slept in a van parked off Grouse Creek Cutoff Road/Keith Kinnaird, Bonner County Bee. More here.
Idaho women and individuals have the lowest median incomes in the country, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Women's median income in Idaho — or the income at which half of women earn more and half earn less — was $21,908 in 2013, 51st among the 50 states and Washington D.C. Idaho women's median income rose 2.9 percent from 2012. Delaware women had the highest median income at $49,563. Idaho individual median income was $27,932, also ranked 51st. Washington, D.C. had the highest individual median income at $56,619/Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Anyone keeping count re: how many times Idaho comes in last in national rankings? Motto: Idaho: the Mississippi of the West — and proud of it. Thoughts?
Mailers from state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, arrived in mailboxes in my neighborhood over the weekend. Rep. Sims has the red-white-and-blue working for her campaign literature. I consider everything on her list of accomplishments fairly boilerplate. But I did pause when she described herself as a community supporter and an “urban renewal watchdog.” As a leader of the failed movement to recall former Coeur d'Alene mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members, I wouldn't call Rep. Sims a “community supporter.” And I'm not sure I would use the term “watchdog” to describe her eyes-rolled-back-in-her-head opposition to urban renewal. Other than that? No problems.
Right now in the United States, there are more 23-year-olds than people of any other age. This seemingly trivial fact of demographics is an anomaly more than 50 years in the making. According to U.S. Census data, since 1947, the most represented age in the United States has always been a member of the group born in the 20 years after World War II, the baby boomers. In 1950, it was age 3. In 1990, it was 29. In 2010, it was 50. The rise of the boomers, a group forged into adulthood during the social and political upheaval of the 1960s and ’70s, has been chronicled and teased apart since their conceptions. Boomers collectively were named Time’s Man of the Year in 1966. … But, as the Bob Dylan song goes, “The times, they are a-changin’”/Alexis Wilkinson, McClatchy-Tribune. More here.
Question: Isn't it about time a new group challenged the Boomers as most influential?
JohnA (RE: Pot smoker dials 911 for help): We have a friend with a license to grow medical pot near Clarkston. He says it's funny to look across the Snake River from his property to Idaho and realize the huge philosophical divide between the two states. I've only tried pot once so I'm certainly no expert but I agree with our friend that there can be no other neighboring states so diametrically opposed to each other on such a big issue. And, if anyone down south believes it is only a north Idaho issue, folks in Boise will soon begin to experience that divide, as Oregon voters are favored to approve the recreational use of pot in November. I'm guessing Montana won't be too far behind, virtually surrounding us with the legal use of marijuana. It should get interesting.
Question: Have you ever tried pot?
I noticed these three mini-buses on the waterfront, during my daily walk along the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene at noon. They all have the Tillamook brand. I wonder if any of these vehicles was part of the batch that was stolen in California earlier this summer? And found again. Dunno what's going on here. But Don Sausser snapped a few photos of the vehicles while parked near the Hagadone Corp HQ.
From Swing/Night shifts Saturday/Sunday at the Post Falls Police Department: “(Reporting Party) called 911 (from N. Adkins) to report he had smoked marijuana and was feeling really high and wanted to be checked by medical. Officers arrived on scene and after the male was checked by medical and cleared, his marijuana was found by officers. A citation was issued for Possession of Controlled Substance.
Question: Does the guy think he's in Washington, or something?
On Mental_Floss, you can find a list of each state's favorite/signature food, according to viewers of the Cooking Channel. Idaho's fave/signature food? Finger steaks. Washington's? Cedar-planked salmon. Montana's? Huckleberry pie. You can find a map with the entire list here. (Wikipedia photo of a finger steak)
Question: Do you agree that Idaho's fave/signature food is … finger steaks?
Question: Which Oddball “Day” do you like most?
The Kootenai County Solid Waste Department is pleased to announce the opening of the Chilco Rural Residential Solid Waste Collection Site on Oct. 1. A ribbon cutting ceremony with the Commissioners is planned for next Monday, Sept. 29, at 10 a.m., at the site. The Chilco Rural Collection site, located at 20835 N. Ramsey Road, Rathdrum, will open at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1. The site will be staffed seven days per week from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Garwood and Twin Lakes sites will close permanently at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30. The new site is on county-owned property and consolidates the existing Garwood and Twin Lakes collection sites/Kootenai County news release. More here.
Question: What do you think of this garbage consolidation move?
Some people just give their two weeks' notice when they quit their job. Others give a notice that will be remembered for much longer than two weeks. An Anchorage, Alaska, news reporter quit with a memorable sign-off Sunday night, announcing that she was the driving force behind the pro-pot organization she had just finished a segment on. Then she shrugged and said, “(Expletive) it, I quit.” Charlo Greene was reporting for KTVA 11 News about the Alaska Cannabis Club, a collective that aims to raise support for a November ballot initiative on legalizing recreational marijuana/NBC News. More here. (Photo: YouTube.com)
Question: Have you ever abruptly quit a job? Why?
Ron Crane (pictured) has been the Idaho State Treasurer for 16 years. Most voters don’t have a clue who he is or what he does. That’s a shame because his inexpertise at shifting investment accounts has cost the taxpayers at least $20 million dollars according to an independent audit. He is trying to cloud the picture by citing a legislative audit of office management that gives him a “clean” bill of health and included reviews of his questionable personal use of a state issued gas credit card and expense account reimbursements. However, he continues to refuse to disclose all the documents related to his inept management of the known $20 million loss. Fortunately, for Idaho voters, there’s a lady bulldog after him, a tough minded, no nonsense accountant from Twin Falls named Deborah Silver who knows numbers and can keep the books balanced/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicles. More here.
Question: Here's another Idaho race in which the best candidate doesn't have an R after his name. Thoughts?
About 2,000 people, including spectators and racers, attended the 15th annual Susan G. Komen Coeur d'Alene Race for the Cure on Sunday morning on the North Idaho College campus. (Press photo: Devin Heilman)
Michael Dobler and his wife, Hanna, stood at the start line on the North Idaho College campus and stretched their arms and legs. Michael wore a string of pink beads and Hanna rocked a pink tutu with a pink shirt that read, “Boobie brigade.” The Coeur d’Alene couple smiled and didn’t take themselves too seriously Sunday morning before the 15th annual Susan G. Komen Coeur d’Alene Race for the Cure, but the issue at the core of the race, fighting breast cancer, drummed up some serious support. “We’re running to find a cure, and for my grandma, Mary, who passed,” Hanna said. “My father’s running also, who had cancer as well,” Michael said. “My father’s a survivor”/Devin Heilman, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Have you ever participated in Komen Race for the Cure?
“Well, we made it to the Draft Horse Show on time (Friday) night, even though it looked for a while that the family members were going a few different directions,” posts Marianne Love/Slight Detour. More here.
HucksOnline numbers (for week of Sept 14-20): 36,528 page-views/22,624 unique views
Do poorer school districts have a tougher time passing supplemental school levies? Here’s some more evidence. To take one more look at Idaho’s growing reliance on supplemental school property tax levies, I work on one more math problem. I looked at the 115 districts’ 2013-14 market value — and their 2013-14 enrollment — to look at market value per student. The disparity, of course, is wide — but that’s no surprise. Critics of Idaho’s school funding model say the property tax places an unfair burden on poorer school districts, since residents have to pay a disproportionate share to float a levy. And this, according to critics, violates the state constitution — which mandates a thorough and uniform public school system. The richest district, per pupil, is North Idaho’s tiny Avery School District, with 16 students and $117.7 million in market value. That equates to more than $7.3 million per student. The poorest district, East Idaho’s Sugar-Salem district, has $250.6 million in market value, but 1,583 students. That comes out to $158,000 per student/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here.
I like Lawerence Denney. I worked four sessions as communication adviser with the House GOP caucus when Denney was speaker of the House and found him to be fair and supportive. “Boss Denney,” – a description often used by the Lewiston Tribune and Post Register – didn’t fit this soft-spoken man. In morning leadership meetings, he was anything but a “boss” or “bully.” Scott Bedke and Mike Moyle, the top leaders of the House today, were the strongest personalities in the room and often drove the discussions. Denney, with his friendly laid-back style, was the kind of guy who would lend you a ladder or a wrench if he were your next-door neighbor. That’s the side of Denney that I have known for seven years. But because of his actions as House speaker, I can’t dismiss the harsh comments from the Tribune, Post Register and other sources/Chuck Malloy, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.
Question: Do you think former House Speaker Lawerence Denney is fit to be secretary of state?
Eight years ago, Idaho's Republican leadership made you a promise. They would reduce your property taxes while taking care of your schools. Too bad it didn't work out that way. During his brief stint as Idaho's interim governor in 2006, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch ramrodded to passage a tax shift - repealing the property tax that then provided schools with $260 million and replacingit with a penny increase in the sales tax that generated only $210 million. Then his successor, Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter, cut school budgets even more to free up cash for tax cuts. The result, Idaho Education News' Kevin Richert reports, has been $1 billion worth of supplemental property taxes school patrons have implemented to backfill some - but far from all - of the schools' losses during the past eight years/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: If Idaho had a do-over, would you like to see property taxes, rather than the sales tax, used to pay for maintenance and operations of our public schools?
Sometimes the year seems to be zipping by so quickly you almost want to look for a referee and call “Time out!” But do not despair, 2014 still has plenty of ticks on the clock. In fact, there are 101 days left. Just think of all the things you could do before the buzzer sounds on this twelvemonth. For instance …
Question: Do you have anything on your list as must-do before year ends?
The write-in candidate filing deadline for North Idaho College Trustees and Supervisors of the Kootenai-Shoshone Soil and Water Conservation district was 5PM Friday. Kootenai County Chief Deputy Clerk Pat Raffee announced that while there were no filings for those races, the write-in candidate filing deadline for County offices is Tuesday, October 7, at 5 p.m. Kootenai County is mailing absentee ballots now, with return postage pre-paid. Voters who want a ballot mailed can click here http://www.kcgov.us/elections/ to download the Absentee Ballot Request form. The form can be returned to the Elections office by mail, fax, or email. The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is October 29/Pat Raffee, Kootenai County Clerk's Office. More here.
Question: Do you expect any write-in candidates for courthouse races?
Mt. Spokane High School students Olivia Prater and Lucas Morgan sing the school's fight song after they were announced as the Homecoming King and Queen during an assembly Friday in the school's gym. SR story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)
With the Senate up for grabs in November’s midterms, a new poll finds that only 4 in 10 say it matters a “great deal” to them which party controls Congress. The Gallup poll finds that 40 percent of the public say party control of Congress matters greatly to them. Republicans and Democrats who say they care a great deal are both at 43 percent. Enthusiasm has fallen sharply from 2010, when Tea Party opposition to President Obama helped drive major Republican gains. That year, a much-higher figure — 61 percent of Republicans — cared a great deal, along with 45 percent of Democrats and 49 percent of the public as a whole/The Hill. More here.
Question: Do you care which party controls Congress?
Two upcoming debates, one by KTVB-TV and Idaho Debates PBS only include about half of the candidates for governor. I am one of those being excluded. Each debate organizer, according to their own self-styled requirements, have not deemed me “a viable candidate.” One requirement is a minimum of $10K. Is this yet another campaign of the rich, by the rich and for the rich? How am I different? My husband and I went out for 32 days to get 1,000+ vetted signatures to place me on the ballot. Party candidates need only pay $200 to be on the ballot. That is how my fight for Idaho began. My only special interest is the average Idahoan regardless of your political party, not special interest groups, big business, lobbyist or the top 1 percent. My dollars are limited, my desire for change is not/Jill Humble, Boise, Independent candidate for governor. More here.
Question: Should all the candidates be invited to the gubernatorial debates?
Conventional wisdom is that the Democrats’ best chance of capturing a statewide office in Idaho this year is the state school superintendent’s post. It’s an open seat in which the Republican nominee is a political newcomer with no statewide experience and the Democratic nominee is the former chief deputy state superintendent who almost beat current GOP Superintendent Tom Luna eight years ago. So far, the race has been marked by a series of embarrassing revelations about Republican nominee Sherri Ybarra. Even Luna says Democrat Jana Jones could well win. He hasn’t endorsed either candidate in the race. Jones is running hard, but it’s an uphill climb for a Democrat in Idaho, as Republicans hold every statewide office, every seat in the congressional delegation and 80 percent of the state Legislature/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Is there anyone out there willing to argue that Republican Sherri Ybarra is a better candidate than Democrat Jana Jones?
Guess which 2 North Idaho towns place World Property Channel's top four of “Ten Top Mountain Towns of America”? Give up? OK, I'll tell you — Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint. Of Coeur d'Alene, World Property Channel sez: “Coeur D'Alene is cobbled sidewalks and gas-lit streetlamps and green awnings and red-brick storefronts, behind which lie attractive little shops, eateries, and galleries. It sits on an ice-blue alpine lake with 125 miles of shoreline, from which rise 7,000-foot mountains covered in deep-green forest. Jutting out into Lake Coeur D'Alene is Tubbs Hill, a rocky, forested peninsula offering stunning views around every turn. People come here to hike, rock-climb, picnic on ledges overlooking the lake, row, sail, canoe, or kayak, with bald eagles flying overhead. A half-hour from town is “The Route of the Hiawatha,” a long-abandoned railroad track through a series of tunnels and 1,000-foot high wooden trestles, now one of America's most unusual mountain-bike routes. Back in town, the Coeur D'Alene Resort sits at the foot of the lake. More here.
According to city spokesman Keith Erickson, the above chart represents the total cost of McEuen Field, with one exception. Erickson said, according to the Coeur d'Alene Press, that while these figures were distributed in September 2013, the figures remain accurate today. He also noted that additional rebar for the parking facility did not cost $600,000, as had been reported. The actual cost, he said, was $184,245.72.
Question: Let's forget about the overall price tag of the McEuen Park project for a minute. Do you think it was worth $6.5 million to replace the 3rd Street parking lot with the Front Avenue parking garage?
If not for the video of running back Ray Rice punching his fiancée, the National Football League would have moved on. Most of us already had. In fact, this editorial wouldn’t have been written. But the visual evidence galvanized the nation. It wasn’t the first incidence of domestic violence involving an NFL player. It wasn’t even the most violent. Two years ago, Jovan Belcher of the Kansas City Chiefs murdered his girlfriend and committed suicide, leaving behind a 3-month-old baby. But there was no video of the nine bullets pumped into Kasandra Perkins. No video of Belcher shooting himself. The day after this tragedy, the Chiefs played a home game. The public address announcer didn’t mention the incident, except to call for a moment of silence. The Chiefs vanquished their foe, and the issue of domestic violence receded. On Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the league intends to stop fumbling this issue. In football parlance, his back was against the wall. Nevertheless, the league has a loud megaphone, so it has the opportunity to do a lot of good/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here. (AP File Photo: Then Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice drags his fiancee, Janay Palmer, out of an elevator moments after knocking her off her feet)
Question: Do you think the NFL will follow through with a crackdown on domestic violence involving players & coaches?
Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority members carry bags up Tubbs Hill Saturday, Sept. 6, as part of community service to make amends for a rowdy trip to Coeur d'Alene in May. (Kappa Kappa Gamma courtesy photo provided to HucksOnline by advisory board chairwomen Susanne Vander Hayden, )
You probably heard about that splash the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority of Washington State University made May 3 at Coeur d’Alene City Park. Literally. Several of the young women were caught on camera urinating against the back wall of the North Idaho Museum. Four bus loads of young women and invited friends took part in a wasted weekend that included a cruise tour on Lake Coeur d’Alene and a whole lotta Jose Cuervo. But did you know that the sorority has made amends, in a big way? About 100 of the sorority sisters visited Coeur d’Alene on Sept. 6 to clean up the waterfront. A third of the sisters spruced up the greenhouse and community garden area behind the Jewett House on Sanders Beach. One third cleaned up the public part of Sanders Beach. And the final third joined Huckleberries blog favorite “Walkabout” to pick up litter on nearby Tubbs Hill/DFO, SR Sunday Huckleberries. More here.
Question: Does this day of community service balance the scales for the earlier, wilder first visit by Kappa Kappa Gamma to the Lake Coeur d'Alene waterfront in the spring?
Public employees should not be paid based on how long they’ve held a job. Certainly, experience is a factor. But as a key determinant of an employee’s value, longevity is lacking. Just because someone is a veteran staff member does not assure excellent results. Where unions go, rewards follow incongruously. Actual performance is too often an afterthought, lightly applauded if acknowledged at all. Taxpayers want accountability from the people who work for them. They want to reward for results, not for the length of time somebody has occupied a certain seat. They want the structure for remuneration to make sense, but too often, it does not. We offer for your consideration two real-life examples to support our thesis. They are only two, but they are two of many/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Would you want to have a public government job?
The Legacy Quarterback had just piloted his team on a drive for the ages – overtime, 80 yards, 13 textbook plays, using his feet when necessary, his arm when possible, his head every second. It was brilliant, and afterward in the visiting locker room, the victims took pause to acknowledge it. “Keep talking up Andrew Luck,” spat Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. “Russell Wilson is better.” Russell Wilson? What narrative is this, and from where had it come? Hadn’t Americans been riveted to their big screens Sunday afternoon for the last minute of Super Bowl XLVIII II.0 to witness the rechristening of Peyton Manning as all that is good and holy (maybe the only thing good and holy) about professional football? And, dammit, he’d delivered – highlight reel heroics with a bullet to No. 1 in the NFL Films Archival Top 10. Even the poor, stunned saps in the seats at CenturyLink Field had bowed a knee and offered the old Sydney Greenstreet salute to an impossibly Manning moment. Until Russell Wilson brought them to their feet again/John Blanchette, SR. More here.
Question: Why isn't Seattle's Russell Wilson considered among the best quarterbacks?
The tourists are gone but the waterfront is still busy. Mrs. O & I went for a walk along Rosenberry Drive (Dike Road) about 8 Saturday morning — and encountered packs of bicyclists, several people walking dogs, joggers and couples out for morning walks. The day, of course, beat anything that June tossed at us 3 months ago. I plan to enjoy another brilliant fall day today and then back to the grind stone on Monday. I'll see you back here then. Here's your weekend Wild Card …
Harry Mayhead, Pearly King of Bow Bells who served in Egypt and France for the Royal Army Service Corp. in WWII, plants poppies at the Tower of London earlier today. 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' is the evolving art installation at the tower, and 888,246 poppies will be planted in the moat by volunteers with the last poppy being planted on Nov. 11. Each poppy represents a British or Colonial fatality in the First World War. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
I quit being a wimp today — and road my bicycle to work again. It looked cold outside. But wasn't (especially since I had a sweat shirt on). I had to turn on my desk fan when I got to work because I was so warm. I love fall weather in Coeur d'Alene. Warm (but not too hot) days. Cool nights. Best weather of the year — and no visitors or tourists to share it with. I know. I know. Visitors and tourists are a necessary evil. We need the varmints to keep the money coming in. But it's also nice when they leave. Now for today's Wild Card …
Espy (RE: 24% want their state to secede): Of the 4 parts of the United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the most populous by far is England. Guess the only part not to have its own self-government. That means the Scots, Welsh and Irish have a say in what goes on in England, yet the English have little or no say what happens elsewhere. If one country needs independence, it's England. Not Scotland. Karma would see a referendum in England that threw the Scots out of the UK.
Time 2 Vote …
Facts: Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Fernando Rodney is shown moments after the M's beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 Thursday. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Thursday Winner — Fort Boise, with 6 likes: “A fool and his moto are soon parted.” You can see the Thursday photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.
Rose Rhoades displays her copy of a check President George H. Bush wrote after having dinner with Tom Foley at Pasty Clark's in 1989. Rose was their server for the evening and Bush's personal check amounted to $140.00 dollars. Story here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)
Doug Schoene, left, of Rainier Steel calls for more reinforcing rod for one of the giant tanks under construction in the new advanced treatment facility at the Coeur d'Alene Wastewater Treatment Plant in June. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
From Renata McLeod's draft minutes of the City Council meeting Tuesday: In 1999, Coeur d’Alene wastewater utility superintendent Sid Fredrickson set out to write a brief 3 to 4 page history/profile on the sewage plant. The project evolved into significantly more than a summary. Nearly 15 years later, Fredrickson recently completed a Comprehensive History of the Wastewater Department for the City of Coeur d’Alene. Fredrickson spent countless hours over the years researching old newspaper articles, wastewater department archives, City Council minutes, and old photos and illustrations to compile an 89-page history of the 75-year-old treatment plant. The treatment plant history can be accessed online at cdaid.org/wastewater. There are also hard copies at City hall, the Wastewater Treatment Plant, Coeur d’Alene Public Library, and the Molstead Library on the North Idaho College campus.
Question: The only thing I've ever read about sewers is that long section toward the end of “Les Miserables,” in which Victor Hugo describes the sewers of Paris, France, in the early 1800s. How about you?
From the council comments section of Renata McLeod's draft minutes of the City Council meeting Tuesday: Councilmember Gookin also commented on the “Rainbow Arch” in McEuen Park. He said that he voted against it, but it went through the process and was approved. A lot of people worked on the committee and the art piece is doing what art does – causing people to talk. In that respect he likes the arch and thinks that it should be left alone.
Question: Is it possible that someday we'll embrace the Rainbow Arch at McEuen Field?
Households in Idaho with incomes above $50,000 are projected to decline over the next five years, economist Mike Ferguson told the Idaho chapter of the Association of Government Accountants in Boise on Thursday. He said Idaho’s declining support for education has had a direct impact on its ability to create and hold high-paying jobs. A recent study funded by the Albertson’s Foundation projected that Idaho would see only a 4 percent increase in households, but households with income from $50,000 to $75,000 are projected to decline by 1 percent and households with income above $75,000 are projected to decline by 2 percent/Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: And our race to the bottom continues. Thoughts?
In a news release, Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff announced that he's resuming his listening tour in “North Idaho” today and Saturday. He stopped at the Rotary Club in Orofino at noon, before heading to Spalding and then Lewiston this afternoon and tonight. Late Saturday afternoon, he'll meet with the Benewah County Democrats in Princeton. Why am I telling you all this? Balukoff doesn't seem to know “North Idaho” from “northern Idaho.” When I worked at the Lewiston Tribune 30 years ago, the editors called the 10 panhandle counties “northern Idaho” — and scoffed at the notion that many of the residents of the five northernmost counties refer to our region as “North Idaho.” What do you think?
Question: Do we live in North Idaho or northern Idaho?
At the Priest Lake Facebook site, cartoonist Samantha Gomez draws her concept of the proposed Lake Pend Oreille drawdown that's scheduled to begin Oct. 4. The water level at Priest Lake is expected to drop three feet to reach its winter level by early November.
BTW, here are some of the responses at PriestLaker.com, when someone asked: “Why do the draw the lake down?”:
OfCoffee (RE: 24% want their state to secede): How long do you have to live in a state (Idaho or any other) to call it “your” state and have a legitimate say in a matter like this? Idaho has quite a few people moving here for the politics, and many of them of the type to yell “Secede!” So, hypothetically (not literally due to law), when do we count their “vote?”
Question: How long did you live here before Idaho became “your state”?
Like all Americans, I am outraged and saddened by the murder of two Americans by the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) last month. After those barbaric acts, I called for President Obama to come to Congress, present a coherent plan to deal with ISIS, and – if he believed military action was necessary – request authorization for it. The president failed on all counts. Instead, he has simply asserted to the country that he already has power to commit the U.S. military to a prolonged conflict without Congress’s approval, while requesting our permission to provide weapons and assistance to “moderate” Syrian rebel groups whose primary interest is removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. I voted against the president’s request this week because it did not represent a coherent strategy. More here. (AP photo)
Question: Do you think President Obama has a coherent strategy for dealing with ISIS?
A friend sidled up to me the other day and said his daughter wanted to get a journalism degree and become a newspaper reporter. My response was that he should just loan her his Smith & Wesson. The consequences would be the same and she wouldn’t be stuck with all that college loan debt. Newspapering used to be robust fun. That’s because we used to be a two-newspaper-town country. One paper would be the calm, conservative, business-community oriented rag; the other would be the fire-breathing, liberal-bent, crusading rag. They went head-to-head every day with their coverage, and whether liberal or conservative, there would be an editor at each who said to his or her reporters, “Chill out and check your facts.” Get it first and get it right – that was the rule – because if you blew it the competition would clean your clock/David Bond, Wallace Street Journal (via Ridenbaugh Press). More here.
DFO: It's nice to see my old buddy Dave Bond join the stable of fine writer's at Randy Stapilus' Ridenbaugh Press.
Question: Do you miss old-time newspapering? (I do)
Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL wants to implement new personal conduct policies by the Super Bowl. At a news conference Friday, Goodell made his first public statements in more than a week about the rash of NFL players involved in domestic violence. He did not announce any specific changes, but said he has not considered resigning. “Unfortunately, over the past several weeks, we have seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong,” he said. “That starts with me.” The league has faced increasing criticism that it has not acted quickly or emphatically enough concerning the domestic abuse cases. The commissioner reiterated that he botched the handling of the Ray Rice case/Fox News. More here. (AP photo: Roger Goodell at press conference today)
Question: As horrible as the events were that led to the NFL's mea culpa, I see a big silver lining. The high-profile abuse cases have prompted soul-searching in a sports empire closely followed by a lot of people. These cases have shined a bright spotlight on domestic abuse. Maybe our society will become less tolerant of it. Thoughts?
On Sept. 15, Post Falls Parks Department employees discovered several areas of graffiti in the old irrigation canal in Falls Park. The graffiti appears to have been done in the last month and at this time, there are no suspects. Anyone with information about the individual(s) responsible are asked to contact Det. Moss at 449-2322.
At Slight Detour, Marianne Love offers several photos of horse washings at the Bonner County Fairgrounds, including the one above. More photos and story here.
HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Sept. 18): 7129 page-views/4415 unique views
Scotland voted on Thursday not to secede from the United Kingdom, but a Reuters poll finds that almost one in four Americans support their state seceding from the United States. The poll finds that 24 percent of Americans either strongly support or tend to support their state breaking away from the union. It was conducted Aug. 23 to Sept. 16, meaning it occurred before the Scotland vote. Republicans were more supportive of the idea than Democrats, at 30 percent to 21 percent. The Southwest, which for the purposes of the poll included Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona, was the most likely to support secession, at 34 percent/The Hill. More here.
Question: Would you like to see Idaho secede from the union? Why? Why not?
If you may recall, Kootenai County Republican Concerned Citizens, a mysterious organization who seemingly was trying to pass off as the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC), circulated this endorsement flyer during the county GOP primary. I suspect that the faux KCRCC had some support within the TeaPublican-dominated local Central Committee. Only one of the statewide candidates of the faux KCRCC succeeded, so far — Secretary of State candidate Lawerence Denney. The three Legislative District 3 candidates endorsed in the flyer above, of course, succeeded. Which goes to show that Kootenai County is far, far more conservative than the rest of this very conservative state.
Question: Anyone heard from Russ Fulcher or Jim Chmelik of late?
Over the years, the public’s expectations for government transparency and openness have increased while Idaho’s public records law has not kept up. It used to be that a government was considered sufficiently transparent if you could walk into your local city hall and look at the budget and city council meeting minutes, for example. It was considered transparent if you could request a record and receive a response in three working days, as is required under Idaho’s statute. Today, people expect more. The city that merely provides paper copies of information on demand is considered opaque in its interactions with residents. What do citizens want? They want to be able to look at government budgets—in detail that might even include the government’s check register and credit card expenses—in the comfort of their own homes via the Internet/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
Question: Which local government in North Idaho do you consider most transparent?
A Ford Bronco is shown after it crashed with five teenagers aboard, after authorities say one of the passengers lit the driver’s armpit hair on fire with a lighter in rural Ada County outside of Boise. All five were hurt in the crash Sunday and had to receive medical treatment. Story here. (AP Photo/Ada County Sheriff’s Office)
Encountered a rude person during the course of my work day yesterday. Rudeness takes me by surprise sometimes, but at 6 AM I thought of what I wanted to say to Mr. Jerk: “I can certainly be less accommodating.” There. I feel better now — Cindy.
Question: How do you deal with rude people?
In Spokane, the police department has changed the name of its SWAT team to “Emergency Response Unit,” as it seeks to broaden the skills of team members. Assistant Chief Rick Dobrow, who leads the department’s operations, said the switch reflects the increased training in medical rescue and crisis management former SWAT team members will receive in the coming months. But the change was met with skepticism by Councilman Mike Fagan, who told the SR: “My initial thought, when I saw the press release go out, was, ‘Oh my word, are we getting politically correct now?’”
Question: Do you see anything wrong with the name SWAT?
Fishwife (RE: Christie: Yes, We're Your Friend): My advice to my kids if stopped. Be polite. Never admit anything. Never allow a search of your car. Never allow a cop into your home. Never give cops a reason to stop you. If stopped for DUI, always take the test..you'll get a DUI if you refuse, even if sober. Never take our family dogs to downtown CDA.
Question: I have several friends who are police officers. Best of the best. How about you? Are you personal friends with a police officer?
Writing for the Moscow-Pullman Daily News Editorial Page, Lindsey Trefney says Facebook went too far “when it asked individuals operating personal profiles under pseudonyms, stage names or any name not matching the one on their driver's license, to change it to their legal moniker. As an everyday Joe, that doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is for a portion of the LGBTQA community, specifically transgender people, or drag queens or kings, who now face discrimination because of the forced switch.” Full editorial here.
Question: Do you think Facebook should grant the LGBTQA community an exemption from its new rule?
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune jeers Mike Gwartney, former Idaho Department of Administration director — and Otter BFF. Writes Marty: “Five years ago, he so screwed up the $60 million Idaho Education Network contract by changing the specs, steering it toward one bidder and triggering a lawsuit from the losing side - that you are still paying the bills.In March of 2013, the Federal Communication Commission - which covers 75 percent of the Idaho broadband project's costs - shut off funding. Ever since, Gwartney's successor, Teresa Luna, has issued one assurance after another that the FCC would relent. But the bills are piling up. It could get as high as $21 million by next year. Meanwhile, the FCC Office of the Inspector General just subpoenaed the state for documents related to the IEN. Full Cheers & Jeers column here.
Jennifer McNulty stands next to the 22 crosses she placed in her yard to bring awareness to soldier suicide in honor of her husband, Wyatt McNulty, who committed suicide in 2012 after 11 years as a Sergeant in the United States Army. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Tess Freeman)
The small American flags flying over the white crosses in Jennifer McNulty's front yard Thursday accompanied photos of 22 servicemen and women who have taken their own lives. She pointed to the picture of a handsome man in a green Army jacket in the front row. “This is my husband,” she said. “He died Oct. 31, 2012.” Jennifer's husband, Sgt. Wyatt McNulty, suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury. He was in the military for 11 years, serving in Kosovo and suffering the brain injury during training before being deployed to Iraq. He was out for seven years before his death. “Ever since he came home from Iraq he wasn't the same,” Jennifer said/Devin Heilman, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Do you know someone suffering PTSD?
A Coeur d’Alene man was arrested Thursday night after he allegedly fired a gun at a reckless driver. No one was injured. Daniel Montgomery was booked into the Kootenai County jail on suspicion of aggravated assault and unlawful discharge of a firearm, a news release from the Coeur d’Alene Police Department said. Coeur d’Alene police went to the 1300 block of North Kaleigh Court around 8 p.m. Thursday. They learned that Montgomery had attempted to stop a reckless driver in the neighborhood by pointing a gun at the vehicle, the release said. Montgomery fired multiple rounds at the vehicle as the driver attempted to flee, the release said/SR. CPD news release here.
City of Hayden building official Robert Wuest has more than ruffled the feathers of neighbors of a home he owns in Dalton Gardens. Wuest, who also happens to be the Dalton Gardens Irrigation District water master, might be abusing his power for financial gain, neighbors are complaining. He didn't return messages seeking comment for this story. For example, the neighbors cite a pole building he is having constructed. The building was being constructed taller than the 25-foot height limit allowed for accessory structures in Dalton Gardens. The building, which is still being finished, had to be lowered. But not without incident. It only dropped below the limit after being “red-tagged” by Kootenai County Fire and Rescue, which performs the duty of building inspections for the city of Dalton Gardens/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (CdA Press photo by Tess Freeman: neighbor Carlyn Dickerson believes Wuest has abuse of power)
Question: Do you see a problem here?
And so another work day dawns in “dangerous” Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, my home town, where the politicians are conservative, the waterfront is viewtiful, and dogs cower under cars when police are nearby. The weekend is rushing toward us. Here's today's Wild Card …
Susan Cuff (RE: Espy: Why was I pulled over?): Full disclosure for those who don’t know me: I’m married to a retired law enforcement officer. You might think that makes my opinion biased and no longer relevant. What it actually has been for me is an opportunity to know the human side of law enforcement officers. To know how they struggle with their choices, agonize over decisions, and bear the brunt of what is often - literally - a spat-upon job. They are not perfect but I believe in my heart that the majority of them are in it for the right reasons and do the right thing. I have never worked in a job in which every day that I go to work is a day that someone could potentially look down the barrel of a gun and take a shot at me. It would be hard to do that job for self-centered reasons.
Coeur d’Alene Fire Chief Kenny Gabriel said last weekend’s open house at Fire Station No. 3 was by far the best attended event the department has ever sponsored. The theme this year was “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives.” Kids especially liked the fire extinguisher demonstration and exploring the fire engines. It was all part of the department’s 125-year anniversary celebration. (Coeur d'Alene Today photo: Keith Erickson)
Time 2 Vote …
Facts: Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi, of Italy, crashes during practice for Sunday's San Marino Moto GOP grand prix in Misano Adriatico, Italy earlier today. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Wednesday Winner — Psalm 37, with 10 likes: “You're right Steve, your hair conditioner does make your beard softer and silkier than the brand I use.” You can see Wednesday photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.
The Senate on Thursday easily approved a $1 trillion government-funding bill that gives President Obama new authority to battle the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Lawmakers voted 78-22 in favor of the bill, with 9 Democrats and 12 Republicans voting “no,” along with one independent. The “no” votes included several senators seen as prospective presidential candidates in both parties, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The legislation, which has now been approved by both chambers of Congress, now heads to the White House for Obama’s signature/The Hill. More here.
Question: Idaho U.S. Sens. Crapo & Risch said they opposed this legislation because President Obama hasn't laid out a clear plan to fight the ISIS threat. Do you agree/disagree with their thinking/vote?
At her Allergy Reporter Web site, Taryn Thompson provides tips for anxious people with food allergies who are considering eating meals at a restaurant. She begins: “For those with a life-threatening food allergy, eating outside the home isn’t just dangerous, it can also be extremely stressful. A little pre-planning and research can ease some of the anxiety people with food allergies might experience when dining out.” You can read Taryn's tips here.
Question: I don't think I'm allergic to any food. And I'm grateful for that. Do you have food allergies?
There is a new question on CityPoll: “Have you hiked Tubbs Hill in the past year?” Each month, a CityPoll question is posed on the city’s website so the city can learn how the community feels about a particular issue. Responses will be reviewed by city staff and changes will be used in leadership strategic planning as guidance to assure we are offering the best possible services to our citizens.
North Idaho College Trustees Todd Banducci, right, and Ken Howard (checking cell phone) talk during Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce business lunch at Hagadone Events Center at the Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course Wednesday. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
From the Public Comments roundup in City Clerk Renata McLeod's draft minutes of the City Council meeting Tuesday: “Jim Player, Coeur d’Alene, said he is a very new resident of the community, a Vietnam veteran, and currently living in transitional housing. He received a parking ticket while trying to change his driver’s license and registration, because it took 2 ½ to 3 hours for him to be helped. He filed an appeal with the Parking Commission and it was ignored. He thinks that decency should prevail and that it was because of extenuating circumstances that he received the ticket. He can’t afford $10.00 for a ticket and hopes that someone will contact him. His address is 1516 E. Sherman Avenue, Apt. 9.”
Question: If you were the city parking czar, would you forgive this ticket?
The legislators behind stoking the embers of Idaho's perennial Sagebrush Rebellion have made a startling admission: They were wrong. Their idea of suing Uncle Sam into submission and acquiring 20 million acres of national forests and 15 million acres of federal range land? Ain't going to happen. “We're already pretty confident that from a legal perspective, we don't stand on very firm ground if it were a matter of litigating,” state Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, told the Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell last month. Winder and state Rep. (and GOP nominee for secretary of state) Lawerence (Boss) Denney are the co-chairmen of an interim committee created on just such a premise/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: And yet Winder and Lawerence Denney continue to take their dog-and-pony interim committee on the road …
Also from the Public Comments period of City Clerk Renata McLeod's draft minutes of the City Council meeting Tuesday: “Roy Wargi, 2022 E. Coeur d’Alene Ave., said that he thinks that bicycles should be licensed the same as other vehicles in the city. Mr. Tymesen said that the city has not had bicycle registration for probably the last 15 years, but he would suggest moving the request to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee for further study. Council member Adams said that he is on that committee and bicycle licensing has actually already been studied and they have come to the conclusion that the licensing of bicycles restricts the use of bicycles when their objective is to promote more use of bicycles in the city. Mr. Wargi commented that he has a bicycle that is equipped with turn signals and a brake light, but a lot of bicycles are running around going all directions into late in the evening and it is not right. Without a license, there is no way to identify who is riding the bicycles.” (SR file photo, of bicyclist in Midtown)
Question: I can't believe I'm saying this, but Councilman Adams is right. This time. Licensing would discourage bike use. However, I empathize with resident Wargi. I would guess that few bicyclists know the rules of the road, including which side to ride on. Thoughts?
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter serves as an auctioneer for an old gun that was auctioned at the North Idaho Political Action Committee luncheon in mid-April. The event raised about $32,000 for the NIPAC and was held in competition with the Lincoln Day Dinner that evening, sponsored by the county GOP Central Committee. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)
And now a word from the NRA: “On behalf of our five million members across the country, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to endorse Butch Otter for reelection as Governor of Idaho. Based on his support of and commitment to the Second Amendment, Otter has earned an “A” rating from the NRA-PVF in the 2014 general election. An “A” rating is reserved for a pro-gun elected official who has consistently supported the NRA’s position on votes of importance to gun owners and sportsmen. “In the past four years, Butch Otter has done more than almost any other governor in the country to expand Second Amendment freedoms,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the NRA-PVF. “He is a champion of our Second Amendment rights.”
How much do you know about Bing Crosby memorabilia, Spokane's biggest cycling event, gay-marriage issues in Idaho and other news of note? Find out in the weekly Spokesman Review News Quiz, where you could win two movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. You can take the News Quiz here.
Unease about repercussions for concealed weapons sightings was the main concern for attendees of a “guns on campus” forum Wednesday at the University of Idaho. The forum was part of UI's Campus Safety Week and was held to discuss the policy developed by the university in response to the so-called guns on campus law passed by the Idaho Legislature earlier this year. Kent Nelson, university general counsel, and Matt Dorschel, university executive director for public safety and security, led the discussion, which was lightly attended by only a few students and faculty members. “What's most important to realize is that our policy for how we react to weapons sightings has not changed,” Nelson said. “If it's a properly concealed weapon, you shouldn't see it at all”/Kaitlyn Krasselt, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Why do you think a forum to discuss the controversial new guns-on-campus policy at UIdaho attracted so few?
Sixty years ago Keith Gehr married the girl next door. It turned out marriage was just the first of their many adventures together. They met in Hopewell, Virginia, in 1952, when Keith moved into the apartment next to Betty and her family. “It was a hot Virginia summer and some of us young people would gather in the evening and cool our feet in a kiddie pool,” Betty recalled. “One day Keith’s buddy wanted to go to the beach for the day.” They asked Betty and another girl to join them and that one date quickly evolved into a relationship. “I knew I had a winner,” she said. “There was something so real about Keith. What I saw was who he really was – there was no façade.” They’d both served their country during World War II/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (SR photo by Jesse Tinsley: Keith and Betty Gehr, shown Sept. 10 at their Spokane home, are celebrating 60 years together)
Question: Did you marry a girl/boy from your neighborhood?
Sgt. Christie Wood (RE: Is the policeman our friend?): DFO it as if you sent out the bat signal:) How do I not respond? Of course you should teach children policeofficers are their friend. If a child is in crisis they need to feel comfortable seeking out an officer. It could mean the difference between life and death. We are public servants. Not all of the services we provide to the public such as traffic enforcement are popular when you are the one being pulled over. The flip side of that is we have numerous citizens asking us to provide enforcement action in order to keep the roadways safe for their loved ones. That is our role and we will continue to do it, but with it comes with an educational component whenever possible. Most drivers respond well to warnings and informational stops about equipment failure or expired license plates.
DFO: This post would be a good candidate for the “Comment of the Day” if I hadn't felt compelled to publish it now. I agree with Christie. The police(wo)man is our friend. I'd teach my kids that. I'd teach my grandkids that (if I ever had any). Yes, I know there are a few bad apples in law enforcement. But I consider them to be in the superminority. I'm glad the men & women in blue are out there. Thoughts?
A Coeur d'Alene restaurant released surveillance video Wednesday that filmed possible suspects in a string of bicycle thefts. KREM2 provides 5 photos of the two possible suspects here.
The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee will send out the mailer above (from the county GOP web site) that provides a list of the party's endorsements. The party is endorsing all the winners of the GOP primary, of course. You can see the complete list of those endorsements by clicking on this link here.
She’s interviewed hundreds of artists – shining a light on new talent and giving seasoned artists their due. She owned a gallery downtown for several years, and made it a haven of creativity for troubled kids. Now, longtime Voices correspondent and freelance writer Jennifer LaRue is having her own show – her first in 20 years. LaRue’s eight-piece series of poem paintings will be featured at Manic Moon & More Saturday through Oct. 12. “Painting is very emotional for me,” she said. “A lot of stuff comes out when I paint – more so than writing.” Yet words are very much a part of her art. She created her new series in acrylics, spray paint and Sharpies. Words spill like a river from a woman’s cupped hands in a work called “Flowing 1.” In “Cheers” poetry shares space with a martini glass/Cindy Hval, SR. More here. (SR photo)
Question: Do you have an artistic bent?
Paul Turner/The Slice blog is always coming up with interesting factoids, including the post today in which he mentions that “I Dream of Jeanie” first aired on this day in 1965. Were you a fan of the show?
HucksOnline numbers (for Wednesday, Sept. 17):
A SUV full of teenagers crashed in Idaho after one of the passengers lit the driver’s armpit hair on fire with a lighter, authorities said Wednesday. All five young people in the Ford Bronco were hurt in the crash Sunday and received medical treatment, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office said. Two of the passengers, ages 15 and 16, were thrown from the vehicle, but none of the five suffered life-threatening injuries. The sheriff’s department said the rollover occurred after a 16-year-old boy was goofing off in the front seat and lit 18-year-old Tristian Myers’ armpit hair on fire while Myers was driving. The crash happened at about 5:30 a.m. in southeast Boise/Associated Press. More here.
Question: Would you admit doing something as dumb or dumber than this, during your formative years?
Question: Would you teach your children or your grandchildren that “the policeman is your friend”?
Leaders with the Coeur d’Alene Police Department released video on Wednesday showing what happened hours after an officer shot and killed a dog in July. Officer David Kelley opened fire on the dog after it lunged out of a partially opened window near 8th Street and Sherman. (Authorities originally stated that the officer had killed a pit bull. However, the owner later corrected that statement by releasing a photo of the two-year-old black lab named Arfie.) Kelley along with another officer was investigating a possible child enticement call outside of a coffee at the time. The video released shows what happened when the officer returned to the scene hours after the deadly dog shooting. Kelley can be heard speaking with the owner of the coffee shop about the van the dog was in earlier in the day/KXLY. More here.
A religious billboard is seen Wednesday in downtown Spokane. The Upper Columbia Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is responsible for the billboards that target social media savvy young people. The billboards appear only in the Spokane area. SR story by Wilson Criscione here. (SR photo: Tyler Tjomsland)
JohnA (RE: Where Young People Go To Retire): Portland, like Seattle would be a great place if it didn't rain all the time. There's a reason the city has one of the highest rates of suicide in the nation and it is not its overabundance of sunshine. Yeah, an hour to the coast and an hour to year-round skiing is cool, but I couldn't take the constant cloudy skies. I'll live and someday die in north Idaho, thank you very much.
Question: Have you ever lived in a place that you thought had near perfect weather year round? And/or: Describe a perfect day, temperature wise, in North Idaho?
Espy: I was heading south on Ramsey on my way to the Kroc (Wednesday) morning. As I turned onto Golf Course Road, the cop car behind me flashed his lights and stopped me. I knew I hadn't been speeding as I'd followed a front loader down the road, doing no more than 30 mph. The cop told me I had been stopped as my plates had expired, although he acknowledged that the tags were up to date. It turned out that I was somehow in the system twice, once with my license plate showing expired, and once as up to date. I can't help but wonder though why I was being checked out at all. I had done nothing wrong, my tags were current, but he had still run a check on the vehicle. Is this normal, do they check everyone in front of them as they drive along just on the off-chance? Now if they had everyone in the system twice, they can pull anyone over for no real reason at all. Am I over-cynical?
Question: Have you ever been pulled over by a patrol officer for no reason?
A study conducted by a national law and policy group names Coeur d'Alene the most dangerous city in Idaho, but there are only 72 safer metropolitan areas in the nation. Law Street Media released a study last week based on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's most recent Uniform Crime Report: “Crime in the United States 2012.” In its study, Law Street details the violent crime statistics for every city in the United States with a population greater than 25,000 — 1,583 cities in all. … Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Lee White said statistical reports should be taken with a grain of salt because there are several contributing factors to the level of crime in the community. First of all, he said, the statistics are based on 2012 data and much has changed since then, including a major factor: the economy/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Jeff Selle's article breaks down the study released by Law Street Media, claiming Coeur d'Alene is the most dangerous town in Idaho. Some of you commented on an abbreviated story from KREM2 Wednesday. Any further comments?
State Rep. Kathy Sims has announced she is seeking a third term in the Idaho House, touting her record of fighting for less government and lower taxes. The Coeur d'Alene Republican, from District 4, currently serves as vice-chair of the Local Government Committee. She said it's important voters in North Idaho have someone in Boise representing them on a committee leadership level. Sims has promised to work for the elimination of sales tax on groceries. Taking millions of dollars out of the economy at the grocery store and returning it in April is dumb, she said. “Everybody seems to be looking for more money all the time, but taxpayers' pockets are pretty well cleaned out,” Sims said/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: I agree with Rep. Sims re: need to eliminate sales tax on groceries. But she was wrong in opposing a mental health center for Kootenai County. I don't think she pays much attention to those who disagree with her. Thoughts?
A dozen Kootenai County men were killed while serving in Vietnam. Their names, birth dates and the dates they became casualties of war are etched on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. A virtual memorial also bears those names and dates. The Wall of Faces - a digital gallery found at www.vvmf.org - also includes photos of the men whose names grace the physical, national memorial commonly known as The Wall. “Putting a face with a name changes the whole dynamic of The Wall,” said Janna Hoehn, a Maui, Hawaii, resident and volunteer for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and its Faces Never Forgotten program. “It keeps these soldiers alive and will honor them. Our heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten.” But images of many of the men are missing. Four of the Kootenai County residents who perished while fighting in Southeast Asia remain faceless on the virtual wall/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press courtesy photo)
Question: Do you know someone who died in Vietnam?