Who Will Pick Up Torch For Larry Broadbent?

Eight years ago, ex-Kootenai County Undersheriff Larry Broadbent faced the world’s cameras and said: “We in Coeur d’Alene recognize that the forces of organized hatred, racism, bigotry and religious violence must be combatted.” Broadbent, along with then-Mayor Ray Stone and humanrights leader Bill Wassmuth, had traveled to New York City representing Coeur d’Alene, recipient of the Raoul Wallenberg Community Award for human rights. I reported on the event. Stone’s speech was spectacular, steeped in his World War II experience as a concentration camp liberator. Wassmuth’s was good, too. But just as moving was Broadbent, the big cop with a bigger heart, who self-consciously read a speech at New York City Hall within feet of where Abraham Lincoln’s body once rested in state. Human rights was Larry’s passion. Who will pick up his torch?

White supremacists litter doorsteps again

Another “literature” drop by faceless bigots recently in Coeur d’Alene proves we must remain vigilant. I accidentally ran over the racist material, laying in my driveway wrapped in an orange plastic bag. That was a fitting editorial commentary. The tripe inside included leaflets for an Aryan Nations assembly this spring. A neighborhood teenager couldn’t believe the hatred, filthy language and stupidity expressed in the literature. Richard Butler’s troops showed they’re shameless by timing the drop with the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

NICE fails to deliver on promises

My, my. North Idaho Community Express absorbed the ol’ Panhandle Area Transit system more than four years ago, flush with promises. NICE was going to expand this, and it was going to add that. It didn’t take long for the transit to become a bit of a pumpkin. Soon, NICE wanted and eventually got a $36,000 subsidy from Coeur d’Alene to maintain fixed routes for seniors and lower-income riders. But the subsidy wasn’t enough. NICE director Aaron Knight will suspend route service Wednesday. At best, NICE miscalculated when it said it could deliver better service than the old system. At worst? It made false promises in a successful effort to absorb a system that was far from perfect. But at least it ran.


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