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Posts tagged: Lewiston Tribune

Trib: Executions Too Sanitized

Paul Ezra Rhoades' execution - now set for Friday - will be edited for content. By the time your eyes and ears at the event - the four reporters among 14 witnesses - are ushered into the room, they will see a condemned man strapped down on a gurney with hypodermic needles already inserted into his veins. They'll listen to Rhoades' death warrant being read. If Rhoades - convicted nearly a quarter-century ago of murdering three people in eastern Idaho - has any last words, they'll hear those as well. Then, they'll view Rhoades coming under the spell of sodium pentothal, which is supposed to render him senseless. From there, they'll wait as a second agent, pancuronium bromide, paralyzes him and halts his breathing. Finally, potassium chloride will stop his heart/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Should the U.S. televise executions?

Trib: Thrifty Days & Spendthrift Nites

When you're paying attention, Idaho state Sens. John McGee, R-Caldwell, and Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, are the souls of thrift. If conservative government demands slashing the meager Medicaid benefits Idaho allocates to its most vulnerable citizens, McGee and McKenzie are there. f the state simply can't avoid another round of cuts at Idaho's institutions of higher learning, McGee and McKenzie are dependable votes for economizing. And if there is no other way to balance the budget than to chop away at public school budgets, you can count on McGee and McKenzie to go along. … When your backs are turned, it's a different story. Then, McGee and McKenzie have no such scruples about lavishing limited state resources - on themselves/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: What will it take for GOP legislative leaders to clean up their houses?

Trib: Idaho Civic Involvement Lacking

Call it the fabric of civic involvement. Volunteering. Cooperating with your neighbors. Joining with groups. Voting. If you see people who care enough about their communities to volunteer and join hands, chances are they'll vote as well. If not, something's wrong. So says the Corporation for National and Community Service, an umbrella group that is responsible for everything from AmeriCorps to taking the nation's temperature for community participation. Washington is ranked ninth in the nation in terms of neighbors working together, 11th for volunteering, fourth for banding together within organizations and sixth for voting, with 52.8 percent of those eligible casting a ballot last year. Then we have Idaho. It's ranked fifth for neighborliness, 10th for volunteering and 17th for group participation. Voting? The Gem State is no better than 25th/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Why is voter turnout so poor in a patriotic state like Idaho?

Trib: Hagedorn’s 15 Minutes Of Shame

In an editorial today, Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune lambastes state Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, (pictured) for his insensitive remark that a gun safety class might have prevented the murder-suicide at the University of Idaho that claimed the life of grad student Katy Benoit: “That transcends oafishness. It's beyond ugly. It exceeds insensitivity. Inhumane doesn't begin to describe it. Such talk from anyone is irresponsible. From an elected official charged with writing our laws and embracing our standards of decency, it is nothing short of depraved. Complete editorial here.

Question: Do you think Rep. Hagedorn has learned a lesson in using this tragic matter to push his political agenda?

Trib: Cheers To Crapo, Gang Of 6

CHEERS … to U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho. Along with “Gang of Six” Republicans Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, and Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois, Mark Warner of Virginia and Ken Conrad of North Dakota, Crapo struck a budget deal to shave nearly $4 trillion in deficits - $3 trillion in spending cuts and $1 trillion in repealed tax subsidies on such things as mortgage interest and tax credits for families with children. Shared sacrifice may secure enough Republicans and Democrats to pass something, but it buys the enmity of anti-tax extremists. Expect the rigid right to inflict some pain on Crapo before it's over/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: With the rejection of House Republicans' “cut, cap, & balance' legislation by the U.S. Senate this morning, is it time for warring parties to get behind the Gang of Six proposal?

Trib: Guv Sorta Opposes Obamacare

Otter is having it both ways. When the Tea Party is looking, he's anti-Obamacare. When the Tea Party's back is turned, the governor grants waivers from his own ban. Otter's waivers have enabled $18.9 million in health care reform grants to flow into state coffers. Among them are $12.5 million for a College of Southern Idaho initiative to train Idahoans who have lost jobs due to foreign competition and almost $2 million to Idaho State University to support physician residency and physicians' assistants programs. The governor permitted a series of Health and Welfare waivers, including one to help smokers quit the habit. And where did the governor hold the line? Allowing Idaho's insurance regulators to scrutinize how much your health insurance premium rises/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: So is Butch Otter for or against Obamacare?

Tribune: Otter, Luna Bow To Fanatics

If you still harbor doubts that fanaticism is close to gaining the upper hand in Idaho's government, look no further than the current dust-up on the Idaho Land Board. Made up of Idaho's top state officials - Gov. C. L. (Butch) Otter, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, schools Superintendent Tom Luna and Controller Donna Jones — the board manages the state endowment trust. Ever since that group purchased Affordable Self Storage of Boise as an endowment investment, it's been under fire. How dare the board put government in competition with private businesses, complained conservatives led by Boise activist David Frazier and the conservative Idaho Freedom Foundation. They got Otter and Luna to back down. Jones, Wasden and Ysursa are standing their ground/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Is the state in competition with private business by going ahead with purchase of Affordable Self Storage?

Tribune Poll: Out W/Reforms, Luna

For those keeping score at home, 60 percent of the respondents to a current Lewiston Tribune poll support a referendum to overturn the public education “reforms” pushed through the Idaho Legislature by Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna and Gov. Butch Otter, as well as a recall of Luna. You can vote in the poll if you'd like by going to the Tribune Web site here.

Trib Jabs Labrador For Dodging Issue

JEERS … to Republican congressional candidate Raul Labrador. In his televised debate with Democratic incumbent Walt Minnick last week, Labrador had this to say about trucking hundreds of megaloads hauling oil company equipment up U.S. Highway 12: Don’t ask him about it. Transportation is a state issue. Gov. C. L. (Butch) Otter has done a “good job” of handling the issue. Come on, Raul. Sure, there are state issues that a congressman has no business messing with — such as budgets, taxes and initiative campaigns. But these “rolling roadblocks” — each as much as 24 feet wide, 210 feet long, 30 feet high and weighing 290 tons — will be traveling across a federally designated highway, built with federal highway tax dollars, across national forests and wilderness areas. It’s a matter of interstate commerce/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Is the mega-load controversy on Highway 12 involving various oil companies just a problem for the state of Idaho to deal with?

Trib: Hart Makes Denney Look Foolish

Is Denney intimidated by those far-right caucus members who see a patriot behind every tax cheat? Or does he not recognize his fundamental job is to protect the integrity of the House? A stronger speaker would first yank Hart from the Revenue and Taxation Committee. Then he’d ask: If Hart refuses to play by the rules, how is he any more qualified to serve on the committee that sets rules for public education? Do you really want him on another panel that writes the major laws in Idaho? Would you trust him on the budget-writing committee? Or any other position of trust? The good people of Kootenai County may elect Hart to a fourth term. He faces only token opposition from a write-in candidate. But the House is under no obligation to soil itself any further with him/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Is House Speaker Lawerence Denney intimidated by Rep. Phil Hart & his fans? Or is he sympathetic to Hart’s anti-tax ways?

Trillhaase: ConocoPhillips’ Bad Bet

Twice last week, 2nd District Judge John Bradbury asked what a lot of people would like to know: Why would ConocoPhillips spend $9 million barging massive oil processing equipment to the Port of Lewiston before getting the permits required to truck those mega loads up U.S. Highway 12? To make that kind of commitment without assurances would be, Bradbury said, “odd.” The judge didn’t get much of an answer. One lawyer said the oil company “had a sense” the permits would be issued. Idaho Transportation Department Director Brian Ness said the department hadn’t prejudged the matter.Since Bradbury ultimately halted the truck shipments and his ruling won’t get to an expedited Idaho Supreme Court hearing for another month, it would appear ConocoPhillips made a bad bet/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Why do you think ConocoPhillips went ahead with massive project at Port of Lewiston without getting necessary permits to transport massive oil processing equipment?

Hall: Don’t Be Put Off By Accents

We socially twitchy human beings tend to judge other people not only by the color of their skins but by the weird accents of their voices. For instance, I know a man who speaks upper crust English in the same accent as former English Prime Minister Tony Blair. But that’s misleading. My friend is a man of ordinary interests no smarter than most of us. But when you hear him speak, the accent tends to make a person think the speaker has some giant brain. We don’t often experience that accent around here. But when we hear it on television, it is often some brainy British politician, philosopher or scientist. So we tend to equate that accent with smart people, whether they are or not. On the other hand, President Lyndon Johnson and President George W. Bush - two men with down-home Texas accents - sound like uneducated hicks to my bigoted ear/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

DFO: My father-in-law was a sharp man who taught math and science in high school. However, he had an accent that made him sound as though he came from the streets of Brooklyn. Which he did — and an orphanage, to boot.

Question: Do you form opinions of others as a result of their accents?

Jeanne: Bigotry Mars Nice Lewiston Day

I was walking up and down Lewiston’s Main Street Saturday afternoon, having a great time looking at all of the (Hot August Nights) custom cars and wishing one or two of them were mine. Then a bigot opened his mouth, and a nice day was instantly downgraded. While I walking along looking at cars, a man seated along the curb pointed at the T-shirt worn by another man who was looking at cars. The seated man made a comment of approval about the Raiders. That was his team. Then he said, loud enough for everyone in the nearby crowd to hear, “Now that they got rid of that watermelon carrier, they’re going to the Super Bowl.” The guy was referring to former Raiders quarter JaMarcus Russell. Russell was, by all accounts, a total failure at the job. Indeed the Raiders dumped him. Russell is black, which is why the guy said what he said. But Russell isn’t bad because he’s black; he’s bad because he’s bad/Jeanne DePaul, Virtual Deadlines, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

DFO: I had a similar experience Sunday. My wife & I were walking along the north shore, west of City Park, when that guy a U.S. flag and a confederate flag flapping from his beater pickup bed drove past. A half hour later, we saw an African-American female running along Locust Avenue. I hoped that she would never see the jerk in the pickup.

Question: When did you last encounter racism on the street?

Parting Shot — 8.18.10

On the Lewiston Tribune Facebook site, Publisher Nathan Alford is shown holding up a photo of his grandfather, Bud Alford, which bears the newspaper’s famous quote: “Our opinions are not for sale.” I worked for two years for Nathan’s father, Butch, as a news editor at the Trib. I can guarantee you that old Bud’s comment was accurate. Ladd Hamilton, Bill Hall, and later Jim Fisher wrote hard-hitting editorials and didn’t kowtow to anyone. Glad to see the new Alford at the helm of the Very Good Ship U.S.S. Tribune is following in the same footsteps.

Trib: GOP Platform Helps Allred

If the test of a political party’s convention is to propel a campaign forward, then the Idaho Republican Party Convention in Idaho Falls last month was a massive success. For Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Keith Allred (pictured), that is. Allred senses it, too. Campaigning through Lewiston last week, Allred argued the wacky Republican platform changed the paradigm of the race. Embracing silver and gold for currency? Repealing the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, thereby giving state legislators control over who represents Idaho in the U.S. Senate? That, says Allred, is offering 19th century solutions to 21st century frustrations/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune.

Question: Did the extreme platform adopted by the Idaho GOP this summer boost Demo Keith Allred’s campaign for governor?

Trib: Drop Spanish In Bonner County?

In a letter to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, Bonner County Republican Central Committee Chairman Cornel Rasor - who also is a county commissioner - wrote, “The Republicans at (Bonner County Republican Central Committee) want to make it very clear that English is our primary language, and call our booth ‘Celebrate!’ and display some Arizona license places if you have some to spare.”So the Sandpoint-area Republicans are assembling a circular firing squad. Bad enough they insult 10 percent of the state’s population.Even worse that their message of intolerance emerges from a corner of the state with an unfortunate history and precious little margin for error. But as a practical matter, will somebody please explain how you can strip Spanish from the American culture?/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Some have complained that the mainstream media has gone over the top in their battering of the Bonner County Republicans over the ‘fiesta’ issue. What do you think?

Ex-Trib Publisher Lands In Cold Water

Butch Alford, our esteemed former publisher, recently took an unexpected dip in Payette Lake at McCall. During the Payette Cup Regatta, Alford was aboard his sailboat, the Nancy Ann, when he was knocked into the 48-degree water by the boom. A nearby sailor threw him a lifeline and pulled Alford from the frigid lake. His left leg smacked a winch during the mishap, but he was able to race the next day. Unfortunately, this sailing-gone-awry story doesn’t end there. When it was time to get his San Juan 21 sailboat ready for the trip home, the mast fell 3 to 4 feet, striking the Lewiston semi-retiree. “A falling mast is a sailor’s nightmare,” he told the Tattler. “It missed my head, but it hit my left leg”/Tribune Tattler. More here. (SR file photo for illustration purposes: Kathy Plonka)

Question: What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you aboard a sailboat or motorboat on Idaho waters?

Trib Tabs Doug Bauer As New Editor

Doug Bauer, the managing editor at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, is being promoted to the same position at the Lewiston Tribune, as Paul Emerson retires. Bauer, 37, will begin supervising about 30 newsroom employees on May 26, just two days before Emerson completes 29 years in the job. Bauer was selected from a field of 44 candidates that was narrowed to three, including another in-house candidate. Bauer met the criteria for the position of being a person of character who will be a partner in charting the course of the region’s newspaper, said Nathan Alford, editor and publisher of the Tribune and the Daily News. “He starts with a passion and respect for the region’s people and communities. He loves where he lives. That’s one of the keys to success in newspapers. You’ve got a foundation for success”/Elaine Williams, Lewiston Tribune. More here

Question: How important is the Lewiston Tribune to Idaho’s newspaper industry?

Greatest UIdaho Football Player Ever?

The Lewiston Tribune Online is running a poll to pick the best all-timer Idaho Vandal football player ever. The list of 21 includes: John Friesz, Ken Hobart, Mike Iupati, Jerry Kramer, Mark Schlereth, David Vobora, Wayne Walker, and Mark Yarno. I won’t tell you which two players are dominating the vote after 244 ballots. You can see for yourself by making your pick in the poll here.

Question: Who do you think is the greatest University of Idaho Vandal football player of all time?

Bill Hall: A Tilted Fence Of Then & Now

Bill Hall/Lewiston Tribune columnizes: “My parents were farmers in their younger lives in an era before power equipment had arrived in that line of work. Their power equipment was horses, the strong back of my father and the pure unmitigated fortitude of that generation. And while I have had to sweat for a few hours over replacing three fence posts, my father probably averaged that many each month on the farm. He did hard farmer labor day after day, year after year. He dug rocks out of fields. He repaired steel wheels on farm implements. He spent hours tilling and planting and harvesting. And in summer, my father would get up in the middle of the night and go divert the irrigation water from one field to another. My mother worked as hard in her realm of the kitchen and garden, harvesting and canning and cooking on a wood stove in the oppressive summer heat. For good measure, she and my father hand-milked a dozen cows twice a day.” More here.

Question: Do you work as hard at manual labor as your parents did? 

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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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