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Posts tagged: Coeur d'Alene Press

Press: Here Comes The Crud

We've had so much sunshine, some people have actually started to complain about the monotony of blue skies and warm temperatures. Well, all that monotony is expected to be flushed out of North Idaho this weekend, with showers and cooler temperatures heralding the October weather most of us have come to expect. And not far behind are the bugs. Flu bugs. October marks the opening of flu season in these parts, a literally sickening seasonal disorder that inflicts its nastiness on vulnerable denizens. Our message today is simple but important: Please, get a flu vaccination. For adults, they generally run about $30 at most local pharmacies - a small price to pay for a Get Out of Sickbed Free ticket from now through May/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

DFO: I couldn't agree more. I plan to get my flu shot ASAP. I don't catch crud years I get shots. I catch crud once or twice in the years that I don't. It's that simple.

Question: Do you plan to get a flu shot this year?

Press: Why NIC Election Important

Coeur d'Alene Press editorial today: Most people have a good feeling about what North Idaho College means to the region. Even its staunchest critics had to raise an eyebrow, though, over the recent report on NIC's economic impact. According to a study that was released at last week's meeting of the NIC board of trustees:

  • NIC has a positive impact of $165 million on the region's economy — that's 2.7 percent of the total regional economy.
  • For students, the impact translates to an annual 16 percent return on their investment.
  • For taxpayers, the annual return on investment is 6 percent.

Whether or not you buy those numbers isn't critical to our discussion today. What does matter is that there is agreement over NIC's place not just on the local academic landscape, but on the economic one, as well. More here.

Question: The Press editorial writer goes on to credit the NIC board of trustees for its solid job in running the college in these trying times, name Trustees Mic Armon and Judy Meyer, two incumbents seeking re-election. But not naming any of the challengers. What do you make of that?

Press: Aim Low On City Hall Raises

As this newspaper has documented several times over recent years, Coeur d'Alene city employees are among the best paid workers around. Add to their ample average earnings a benefits package that exceeds anything the local private sector can offer, and city employees are the envy of many. We have no desire to unleash another personal attack on city personnel. We've seen and heard enough of that in the wake of the McEuen quake. While most of the thunder behind the recent recall movement rumbled because of the controversial park, a lightning bolt or two was generated by the disparity between what the typical private-sector worker receives and what her or his counterpart at the city receives. With that in mind, we respectfully ask city officials and their employees from three separate unions to consider how short-term gain is likely to increase long-term pain/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you support 3 percent raises for city of Coeur d'Alene workers?

Press: Free To Not Believe

In response to an advertising campaign by Inland Northwest atheists, the Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board opines: “Jefferson, Adams and the rest were students of history whose political perspectives were honed to a fine point by the pain of personal experience. They clearly understood that for freedom to flourish, faith must never be legislated. They knew that the ideal role of government is to protect citizens' rights to think independently and to believe whatever they want to believe; to actively exercise that belief system so long as it doesn't impinge upon the rights of others. If the Freedom From Religion Foundation's billboard campaign is helpful in reminding us that places of worship and of government must never occupy the same space, then we're grateful to our atheist neighbors for providing a valuable public service.” More here.

Question: How firmly do you believe in the separation of church and state in this country?

Press: Requiem For A Good Program

Fans of the Coeur d'Alene School District's International Baccalaureate program, that sure does sound like taps in the background. Since a group of citizens just this side of the John Birch Society took lethal aim at IB, worried that the globally acclaimed program for accelerated learners was actually scholastic subterfuge behind which commies and atheists and Cubs fans lurked, its life in North Idaho was limited. First IB was cut from two high schools to one. Now it is up before the district's Board of Trustees for execution. Our defense of the program is strong but not boundless. The curriculum itself is outstanding. Top educators across the nation agree that teaching our children to think critically is as vital a mission as any, and IB excels at that. Its Theory of Knowledge class is without peer in North Idaho. But the IB curriculum is challenging enough to scare away many students, and in the final analysis it is only going to be as valuable as its teachers and students make it/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here. (Coeur d'Alene School District photo: James Purtee, an appointed trustee who opposes IB)

Question: Are you going to miss International Baccalaureate?

McCrory Unhappy With Press Editorial

I'm still trying to figure out the contempt that OpenCDA-dot-Com has for the Coeur d'Alene Press. I thought the Press played things as close to the middle as possible during the failed recall attempt. But Bill McCrory takes after the Press again this week for the Sunday editorial (“Clarify rules for recall”) advocating clarification of state recall laws (which you'd think OpenCDA-dot-Com would endorse). Instead, McCrory lambastes the Press (“the propaganda machine of Hagadone Corporation”) for being, ahem, MIA during the “the illegal conduct of the 2009 Coeur d’Alene City election.” Mr. Bill wonders where the Press was in the 2009 election (which survived legal review) and then answers his own question: “Hiding under the beds with some District Court judges, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Kootenai County Clerk Dan English and Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh who did not want anyone understanding  just how FUBAR Idaho’s election administration laws were.  Today, those same laws are SUSFU.  And that’s exactly the way the aforementioned Press and officials like them.” McCrory claims the Press editorial is particularly “insidious” because “it wants to amend Idaho’s Constitution and statutes to limit the people’s ability to recall elected officials.” You can read the whole rant here.

Question: Would you like to see Idaho recall laws loosened to make it easier to recall elected officials?

Press: Clarify Rules For Recall

Sorry, but the recall debate isn't over. In fact, prior to the next session, legislators should put their heads together and talk a great deal about it, then adopt stronger, clearer laws in 2013. Both sides of the recent attempt to recall four Coeur d'Alene City Council members are still sorting out the significance of lessons learned, but they can largely agree on the need for clarity in state recall election statutes. One concern is the nebulous nature of the 75-day window from the start of the petition drive to the last moment the petition signatures can be verified. Between the offices of the Secretary of State, the Kootenai County Clerk and the Coeur d'Alene City Clerk, nobody seemed to clearly understand how that 75 days should be divided between collecting signatures, turning them in to city officials and then having the county verify those signatures. The timeline seemed to twist and turn like an unruly river, leaving too much room for arbitrary interpretation/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Jerome A. Pollos Coeur d'Alene Press file photo: Press Jennifer Drake glances over at Michael Sheneman as they stand next to each other at the launch of the unsuccessful recall effort in April)

Question: What do you think needs to be fixed re: Idaho's recall law?

Letter: I Did Not Sign Recall Petition

After returning to Coeur d’Alene on June 28, I was informed that my name was included on the Recall Petition and was rejected because of incorrect information. I have been out of the country for two years and did not sign or authorize anyone to do so. Someone fraudulently signed my name to the Coeur d’Alene Recall Petition/Kristin Odenthal, Coeur d'Alene, letter to the editor/Coeur d'Alene Press.

Question: What do you think happened here?

Press Edit: From The Recall Ashes

The bid to recall four Coeur d’Alene city officials failed, a lack of petition signature oxygen leading to political asphyxiation. One side is celebrating. The other is commiserating. And in between is a big camp of constituents who simply want the appropriate electoral process to resume so citizens may choose their elected representatives. As tempting as it is for anyone to read volumes of irrefutable truths into the failure, now is the time for the community to take a deep breath, exhale slowly and think clearly. Knee-jerk reactions based on emotion, rather than reason, will only deepen the divide. A little time for healing and for real analysis to take place will pay huge dividends. React quickly with emotion, and we’ll just end up back in some similar mess a little further down the road/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Is it time to forgive & forget?

Edit: Weight Of Words Favor Recall

On the Coeur d'Alene Press editorial page today, Editor Mike Patrick tells of an electronic search from April 5 to June 11 of all letters and guest opinions about the Coeur d'Alene recall attempt: Here's the results:

  • NEUTRAL: Two letters to the editor (427 words) and three columns (1,781 words) from writers fell into this category. The writers did not take a firm for or against stance, but rather, presented other options or commented on the recall attempt's impact in some other way. TOTAL WORDS: 2,208
  • AGAINST THE RECALL: We published 28 letters to the editor (5,869 words) and four columns (3,625 words) from writers who clearly oppose the recall effort. TOTAL WORDS: 9,494
  • FOR THE RECALL: During the petition-gathering process, The Press printed 31 letters to the editor (7,899 words) and seven columns (6,279 words) supporting the recall effort. TOTAL WORDS: 14,178
  • Full opinion piece here.

Thoughts?

CdA Press: Free To Criticize

(Kootenai County GOP Central Committee Chairwoman Tina) Jacobson is demanding the identity of one or more people she believes have accused her of a crime. Of particular displeasure to the county's Republican Party leader was this question, posed on Dave Oliveria's “Huckleberries” blog after Oliveria posted a photo that included Jacobson on a stage with other Republicans: “Is that the missing $10,000 in Kootenai County Central Committee funds actually stuffed inside Tina's blouse??? Let's not try to find out.” The Spokesman-Review's attorneys argue that the comment doesn't constitute a factual assertion that Jacobson stole any money - or even that any money had gone missing. But even if it did, our question is this: How damaging is an anonymous opinion stated on a blog that makes no claim to the information being accurate or even substantially true? If someone had spray-painted the same thing on a downtown wall, would Jacobson sue the building's owner? Because what's happened here is very much like graffiti; the comment may be eye-catching but it lacks credibility because nobody is owning up to it/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Thoughts?

McCrory Questions Press Neutrality

First, I have to say that Editor Mike Patrick and the Coeur d'Alene Press have done a decent job staying neutral in the Coeur d'Alene recall attempt. Too decent. I wish Mike would take sides and slam the attempted overthrow of our properly elected mayor and three council members. But all the trying by Mike and his news staff to thread the needle on this tough issue has been for naught as far as cranky Bill McCrory and OpenCDA.com is concerned. McCrory grouses in his latest rant that the Recallers have been deceived by a Press editorial defending its neutral stand. The source of his whine? A letter by Ken Burchell in today's Coeur d'Alene Press. Grouses McCrory: “We at OpenCdA were wrong, and we sadly admit today that we, like others in the community,  bought into the deception game the Coeur d’Alene Press is playing with  its readers.” Full McCrory complaint here.

Thoughts?

Gookin’s Complaint Brings Response

City Administrator Wendy Gabriel provided this response to Councilman Gookin's complaint about a critical letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press editor from Arts Commission Chairwoman Eden Irgens:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  However, I think we should be careful about going there. Has Jeff Connaway, Chair of the City’s Sign Board, disgraced and disrespected the Mayor and three Council members by his signature on the petition in favor of a recall?  How is his signature on a public document in favor of a recall accusing the Mayor and three Council members of wrongdoing any different than a Letter to the Editor accusing you of wrong doing? Has Kathy Sims who represents the citizens of CdA disgraced and disrespected the citizens of Cd’A by her signature on the recall petition?  The citizens of CdA voted for the Mayor and the three Council members and Sims now wants them recalled.  She has expressed her views in several public venues. More below.

Thoughts?

Gookin Complains About Press Letter

Councilman Dan Gookin sent the following letter to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel complaining about a letter to the editor of the Coeur d'Alene Press from Eden Irgens, who chairs the city's Art Commission: “A citizen has pointed out a concern to me. I understand that there's a lot of political B.S. floating around out there, but Mr. Irgens has written a letter to the Editor, published in today's CDA Press, wherein she states, “I personally cannot trust [Councilman Gookin] now.” I've learned that Ms. Irgens is chair of the City's Arts Commission. I find it disturbing that the City would allow or tolerate a committee member, let alone a committee chair, to publicly criticize a councilman in that way. In know that Ms. Irgens has every right to criticize me as an elected official, and I would encourage anyone to express their rights to criticize the government. But this situation presents an incongruity I'd like to address. More below.

DFO: Eden Irgens is a woman, BTW.

Question: Should a member of a Coeur d'Alene city committee be prevented from writing letters to a newspaper or speaking openly re: opposition to a City Council member?

Press Poll: Plurality Oppose Recall

If Coeur d’Alene feels like a city divided, it is, according to CDAPress.com’s most recent poll. A majority (44 percent) of this paper’s online readers who voted said they will not sign the petitions that seek a recall election. However, a large minority (39 percent) said they will put their names on the documents seeking to put the referendum before voters in November. When asked whether they will sign the petitions calling for a recall election of Coeur d’Alene City Council members Mike Kennedy, Woody McEvers, Deanna Goodlander and Mayor Sandi Bloem, here’s how readers responded: 854 voters (38 percent) said “Yes” 981 voters (44 percent) said “No” 56 voters (3 percent) said “Undecided” More here.

Question: Do you expect percentage of opposition to recall to go up as Stop the Recall gets organized and is able to combat strong opening push by Souza-Sims-Orzell & Co?

Eyewitness Questions Police Shooting

Wrestling with the mere idea of a person being shot repeatedly by multiple individuals in close proximity of homes and families is not ordinarily a topic society discusses at the breakfast table, and for obvious reasons. It’s morbid, barbaric and discerningly incomprehensible taken in sane context. Yet, our movie cinemas, video games and televisions endlessly characterize this exact behavior and much worse, all for the sake of amusement. At 2:38 a.m. on Monday, March 12, our quiet cul de sac became a virtual movie set, complete with blaring sirens, flashing lights and a cacophony of gunfire. Having been awakened by approaching sirens, my wife was immediately out of bed and pulled our window blinds up as I scrambled from the other side of the bedroom to see what all the commotion was about. Suddenly the roar of gunfire sent us both to the floor below our window. After the shooting had stopped, we witnessed the aftermath of one of the most dramatic and intensely real death scenes we’ve ever seen. Needless to say, our lives have been forever affected by this unfortunate event/Troy Evans, Coeur d'Alene Press My Turn article. More here including home video of shootout.

Thoughts?

Mack Strikes Back At Press Editorial

Richard Mack, the controversial speaker for the Kootenai County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner March 24, sent this response to the Coeur d'Alene Press editorial (“What's behind Mack attack”) this week: “You entirely used things about me that have very little to do with my record and what I've done. You brought up “militias” and “legalized drugs.” Well, I have never been involved with any militia group in my life and you have seen nothing to support that I have. You attempt to make me the “black eye” when I have never committed a crime and have not forged anything relating to this entire situation. But someone appears to have done that there and you focused on me? Whether I am too far right for your tastes has nothing to do with the fact that the dishonesty displayed by some of the neocons in your backyard have nothing to do with my 'extremist' views.” More here.

Thoughts?

Press: Give Caucus Another Try

Take a deep breath, Republicans. Lasting seven excruciating hours, the caucus Tuesday night was far from perfect; on that point, everyone agrees. But it was the first of its kind, and like a kid learning to ride a bicycle - well, did you really expect there wouldn't be some bumps, bruises and bad words? Ron Lahr, president of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, nailed it when he told The Press that caucuses are naturally drawn-out processes. In fact, that's part of the fun; just ask any Iowan. … In our view, the biggest problem had less to do with time and more to do with timing. Even before some Kootenai County precincts really got under way with their caucusing, Ada County-dominated southern Idaho was already reporting that Mitt Romney had captured enough votes to ensure all 32 state delegates were his. When the outcome has already been determined, why bother to stick around?/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: What would local & state Republicans have to do to get you back to a caucus site in 2016?

Press: Follow The Dog-Gone Rules

Take a walk on Tubbs Hill or the North Idaho Centennial Trail. It's almost guaranteed you'll meet someone with a dog, and many times, the dog won't be on a leash. So, man's best friend will come running toward you, the intruder, sometimes barking, sometimes growling. Here, most often, is what the owner will say:  “Don't worry, he doesn't bite.” “He just wants to play.” “He's friendly.” Somehow, in the owner's mind, that makes it OK for the dog to roam free. That makes it fine for the dog to charge up, chase after you. That makes it no problem for Spot or Rover to romp and bounce in front of anyone who comes its direction. It's not/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Would you have the nerve to confront a owner who is disobeying dog leash or other laws — or allowing his dog to poop in a public area without picking it up?

Press: Judge Right On Trustee Ruling

A superb trustee has been booted from the Coeur d'Alene School Board because two new board members objected to the manner in which she was appointed. Removing Wanda Quinn hurts in the short run, but this is the right call and the district's patrons will benefit in the long run. This newspaper ardently supported Quinn, one of the state's most respected education officials, to replace Edie (Brooks) McLachlan. Last May, McLachlan announced she was resigning from the board, but she stayed on long enough to help ensure Quinn took her place. As superb as Quinn is, the process used in her appointment was legally and ethically flawed - and the board's newly elected members, Tom Hamilton, left, and Terri Seymour, right, filed a complaint in district court last June to have it nullified. A district court judge this week agreed/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: What kind of candidate would you like to see fill the board vacancy?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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