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Redistricting Will Affect North Idaho

At the KEA Blog, Terry Harris writes: “New lines for Congressional districts are not likely to affect north Idaho, as the entire panhandle is expected to remain in the 1st Congressional district. However, new lines in legislative districts are likely to shift significantly. Census data shows a significant migration away from rural areas and into more urban and suburban areas.  Kootenai County and the Rathdrum Prairie cities kept pace with Idaho’s overall growth, but Shoshone and Clearwater Counties lost residents and Boundary, Bonner and Benewah counties grew at a somewhat slower rate than the rest of the state. The result is that the more rural panhandle — consisting of Districts 1 through 8 — has lost about half of a legislative district.”

  • The Commission will be holding hearings throughout the state, and hearings in North Idaho are scheduled for this Wednesday. (Sandpoint from 2-4 pm at the Sandpoint High School Auditorium, Coeur d’Alene’s from 7-9 pm at Meyers Health and Sciences Building at NIC.)

Question: Wouldn't it be a hoot if District 2 is realigned to force Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, or his other 2 District 3 playmates to run against the current District 2 legislators, including Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries?

Slice: North Idaho/Northern Idaho?

“Regarding the North Idaho/Northern Idaho debate,” wrote Shannon Bahr-Allert. “When I was visiting Pocatello last summer we were watching the local TV station and they refer to 'Eastern Idaho's biggest Ford dealership' or 'Eastern Idaho's best weather coverage' yada yada yada. I turned to my friend and said that up north we refer to Eastern Idaho as 'Montana' ”/Paul Turner, The Slice blog.

Question: Who should decide whether it's North Idaho or northern Idaho?

NI Grays Faster Than Rest Of Idaho

Item: Median age jumps in N. Idaho census data: Vacation homes also multiplied since 2000/Alison Boggs, SR

More Info: North Idaho is going gray faster than the rest of the state, numbers released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau show. The median age in each of Idaho’s five northern counties rose much more over the past 10 years than did the statewide average. In Kootenai County, the median age rose from 36 in 2000 to almost 39 in 2010. In Bonner County, the jump was from 40.8 to 45.8. In Shoshone County, it went from 41.8 to 46.2. In Boundary County, it rose from 38.3 to 42.8 and in Benewah County, from 39.2 to 44.8. Statewide, the median age in 2010 was 34.6, up from 33.2 in 2000.

Question: How has a higher percentage of older folks affected North Idaho?

OTV: Exepensive Eats in North Idaho

At Get Out North Idaho OTV says the Inlander's Cheap Eats issue was all well and good  “but what about those times when you've got hundred dollar bills burning in your pocket like a bad rash and you're trying to impress the date you hired from an escort service? Or even when you want to treat your old battle ax to something fancier than Zip's Drive in on Valentine's Day?”

So he's compiled a brief list of Expensive Eats in North Idaho.

On his list: Syringa, Wolf Lodge Steakhouse and Beverly's.

Where do you like to dine when you're in the mood to splurge? What do you order?

High Noon: JohnA (Hearts) North Idaho

John Austin: I love north Idaho. I sighted my first migratory eagle this morning at Wolf Lodge Bay. There’s something about seeing an eagle flying through the snow showers, against the backdrop of Beauty Bay, that is very special, even from the icy confines of I-90. Deena and I also saw a baby moose on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene’s recently as it emerged from Cave Lake near our home. Our Great Dane pup noticed it first, and alerted us to the possibility that its mother was nearby. Needless to say we hurried back the way we came, discretion by far the better part of valor. At times like these, when I am surrounded by things that most people will never see, and experience emotions most will never feel, I’m reminded why I love it here.

Question: Why do you love North Idaho?

North Idahoans Stand Against Hate

Large crowds of counter-demonstrators turned out in the early morning darkness in Coeur d’Alene today to answer the small group of protesters from Westboro Baptist Church that plans a second day of denouncing gays, soldiers, Jews, the United States, and private and public colleges and schools. The seven members of the extremist group from Topeka, Kan., were out holding signs at the corner of Fourth and Dalton streets, next to Coeur d’Alene High School, by 6 a.m., while at least 50 counter-demonstrators met them with messages of their own. “I don’t like the way they treat veterans at the funerals,” said Greg Prado of Hayden, a Marine who served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Prado attended with his son Cade, 6, and wife Amy/Alison Boggs, SR. More here. (SR Photo: Kathy Plonka: Scott and Michelle Hoagland, of Coeur d’Alene, give free hugs during the protest of the Westboro Baptist Church at North Idaho College on Friday.)

Question: What is the best way to demonstrate against hate?

HBO Blogos: NIdaho: Tahoe w/o Buildup

At It’s Just Me, ME posts: “Is there really anyplace better to live than North Idaho? I mean really? I am now hiking Tubbs about 3 or 4 times a week and LOVE it. When my husband is with me we make a little loop through Sanders, and then back up Sherman and soak it all in. We visited Lake Tahoe last October and loved it, but noticed how built up it was. It kind of hit us on Sunday as we did our loop that WE live in a resort area like Lake Tahoe. WE live where others dream of living!” More story, photos here.

Question: How often do you realize how lucky you are to live in viewtiful North Idaho?

Betsy: How NIdaho Differs From SIdaho

What’s the difference between North Idaho and southern Idaho? Well, there’s that whole water thing. This is Lake Coeur d’Alene this morning, amid country that’s so different from the arid south. And then there’s the wild GOP politics in Kootenai County, where the once heavily Democratic region is now heavily Republican, particularly in fast-growing areas like Hayden that are filling up with newcomers who never saw the old North Idaho Democratic politics. In these parts, there are the Republicans, the Reagan Republicans, the Pachyderm Clubs, the social conservatives, the constitutionalists and a whole lot more/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Besides beauty and mebbe politics, how do you think North Idaho differs from southern Idaho?

Arpie: Recession Stopped Fancy Dancers

Arpie: Stickman’s comments make me realize how the recession has (at least temporarily saved Sandpoint. The “Fancy Dancers” were just starting to take over town when the recession hit. Now one can drive by mothballed developments, half built marinas and a 15 hole golf course knowing those people won’t be here for a few more years. It’s been refreshing to go out on the town these days- say to a movie or a concert at the Panida and see people you know and people dressed north Idaho style instead of the fancy dancers.

Question: Does it bother you that developments such as John Stone’s Riverstone expansion are on hold as a result of the recession? Or are you relieved that the recession has slowed down the onslaught of the fancy dancers?

Rammell OK w/Militias Showing Force

You know that ABC’s “Nightline” featured that Boundary County militia in a recent segment. But did you know that Idaho gubernatorial wannabe Rex Rammell was present at the North Idaho Lightfoot Militia training session and was quoted as saying the following in view of health care reform: “It’s because of the current administration’s politics — the more they force upon the states, the more noise there is,” (Rammell) says. “The more concern people have, the less freedom there is. Lots of Idahoans believe the health care bill is very intrusive on our individual rights. … We are not going to allow them to come into the state and make what we believe are unconstitutional mandates. Even if they can get them passed in D.C., we are not going to all that to happen. These guys want to show a little force behind the scene… I don’t have a problem with that“/TPMMuckraker. More here H/T: Bubblehead, The Stupid Shall Be Punished

Question: Rammell won 5% of the vote during his 2008 run for the U.S. Senate. Will he win a higher percentage of the vote this year for governor by running on a platform that supports a statewide militia?

Don’t be burning your Christmas Tree

Because outdoor burning has been banned in North Idaho until Wednesday.

Of course, I guess you could burn them inside, but It’s probably not a good idea.

2 More Cases Of NIdaho Swine Flu

The Idaho State Laboratory confirmed the fourth and fifth cases of Novel H1N1 (swine) influenza in the five northern counties this week, reinforcing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s message that the virus continues to spread. The latest cases are in women in their 20s. Both are recovering without hospitalization. One of the women lives in Kootenai County and recently traveled to Seattle. The other is a visitor to Bonners Ferry. She is isolating herself until she’s no longer contagious. Panhandle Health District (PHD) is monitoring both patients’ contacts for signs of flu symptoms and is working with the medical community and local governments to control spread as much as possible/Cynthia Taggart, Panhandle Health District. More here.

OnLocationNI: Home Sweet Home

“This 1905 home once stood on the corner of 9th and Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene and our family lived there for almost a decade,” writes Kerri Thoreson/OnLocation North Idaho. “Owned by former US Congressman John T. Wood (served 1951-53), it was a grand house filled with beautiful and ornate furnishings and finishings. To see how my sister Janna and I came to be reunited with this nostalgia from our childhood, click here.”

Question: Among the many houses in which you’ve lived over the years, do you have a favorite one? Describe it.

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About this blog

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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