What’s wrong with this picture? Coeur d’Alene Councilman Mike McDowell doesn’t mind “Thong Man” “hanging out” at City Beach. But he doesn’t want skateboarders to show their faces at nearby Independence Point. On Tuesday, McDowell and Councilman Ron Edinger tried to banish the youngsters to the new Coeur d’Alene Skate Park. But they lost on a 3-2 vote. The two pillars of the community don’t know how to leave well enough alone. The kids are migrating by themselves to the new park behind Memorial Field. In fact, as I write this Wednesday afternoon, a dozen or more skaters are practicing tricks there, across Northwest Boulevard. Still in its embryonic state, the park has been a hit. McDowell and Edinger (were they ever kids?) could keep skaters at the park by lobbying for funds to finish the project. For starters, they can get the business owners who are pushing their buttons to chip in a little green. Downtown businesses have griped about skaters ruining sidewalks and benches. But they’ve donated little to provide a place for them to play. Now, it’s time to put up or shut up.
School trustees bring out rubber stamp
Don’t look now, but the Coeur d’Alene School Board is dangerously close to becoming a rubber stamp for the administration. The new board showed how willing it is to “play ball” (read, roll over and play dead) with the administration by approving recommendations Monday for two principal openings - one over the strenuous objections of Chairman Ken Burchell and trustee Jane Curtis. The board OK’d both nominees without interviewing them. But that didn’t bother swing-vote trustee Tim Olson, who thinks school officials are just wonderful, wonderful. He also defended the principals selection process that gave school employees greater say than parents. That’s the kind of blind faith that got Olson and the 1989 school board into the Impressions series mess.
Alas, cops are needed on campus
In theory, I agree with Coeur d’Alene Councilwoman Dixie Reid. The world has gone nuts when police are needed at the Coeur d’Alene high schools to combat drugs and mayhem. But, as the father of a high school junior in these troubled times, I reluctantly support the idea. Juvenile crime is soaring, particularly the violent kind. We were reminded of that recently when two teenage girls were murdered while sitting on the porch of a Spokane home. A 15-year-old has been charged with the killings. Kids no longer are safe - not even at school. Bring on CPD Blue.
, DataTimes MEMO: “Hot Potatoes” is a feature of the Tuesday and Thursday Opinion pages.