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Stoplights A Good Indicator Of North Idaho’s Growth

I don’t like stoplights - particularly the unsynchronized ones lining U.S. Highway 95 north of Appleway in Coeur d’Alene. Yeah, yeah, I know. They’re a necessary evil. But I’ll go blocks out of my way to avoid some lights, such as the excruciatingly slow one at Highway 95 and Appleway that probably operates on a sundial.

As a decade-long resident of Coeur d’Alene, I’ve learned every shortcut to work, downtown and the Silver Lake Mall. The shortcuts allow me to pretend that we’re not growing as fast as we are. Alas, persistent traffic engineers recently have foiled two of these escape routes by putting stoplights at 15th and Best and at Government Way and Harrison.

Still, I wasn’t willing to concede that the world as we know it here in Kootenai County is coming to an end until I returned from vacation Saturday and read this headline in The Spokesman-Review: “Increased traffic forces Rathdrum(!) to install stoplights.”

Hold the mayo, onions but cook the burgers

Jack & Jill in the (Pine) Box has a lot of explaining to do if allegations made by plaintiffs in civil court documents are true. The filings claim that executives of the fast-food chain knew about but disregarded Washington state laws that would have prevented the deadly outbreak of E. coli food poisoning in 1993. Three children died and 600 others were sickened by undercooked Jack in the Box hamburgers. The company apparently explained its reason for not cooking its burgers longer to a concerned shift leader - four months before the epidemic. “If patties are cooked longer, … they tend to become tough.” Soft burgers. Now, there’s a cause worth dying for.

Sometimes, saying ‘sorry’ matters

An apology is a small thing when you’ve terrorized a man by damaging his house with a pipe bomb - particularly when ulterior motives may be involved. Robert Pires may be trying to cut his prison sentence for bank robbery and helping racists bomb several Coeur d’Alene locations. Still, the apology forwarded from Pires to his former target, human rights leader Bill Wassmuth, offers hope that people can change. Pires told a SpokesmanReview reporter that he’s haunted by seeing Wassmuth’s face on the TV news after the bombing. It’s easy to hate when the target is the government, a federal building or faceless opponents. Pires got a good look at the “enemy” and discovered that he - not Wassmuth - was the problem. Maybe Pires will be a better man for the revelation - after he serves his full sentence.

, DataTimes MEMO: “Hot Potatoes” is a feature of the Tuesday and Thursday Opinion pages.

“Hot Potatoes” is a feature of the Tuesday and Thursday Opinion pages.