Sandpoint clothier Ben Tate probably won’t attract much business from Post Falls. His disparaging comments about the Festival at Sandpoint’s possible move to Post Falls were brought up twice at a Post Falls candidates’ forum. Said Tate: “Post Falls doesn’t have any character. People are not going to go to Post Falls to shop. There’s not a downtown like there is here. It doesn’t have the appeal that Sandpoint does.” Apparently, Ben hasn’t heard of the Factory Outlet Mall. Or met the progressive elected officials and community leaders in Post Falls. Downtown Post Falls (wherever that is) certainly isn’t as picturesque as downtown Sandpoint. But its leadership - unlike Sandpoint’s - works together to promote the many assets it does have (read Templin’s resort, Highlands golf course, Spokane River, etc.). Post Falls never would have allowed factionalism and pettiness to chase away the festival as Sandpoint is in danger of doing now.
Maestro gives ‘em hell, too
And, if you don’t believe me, I’ll yell a little louder: Festival maestro Gunther Schuller is ready to pack his baton and go elsewhere unless Sandpoint gets its act together. Said he: “I’m now 70 and will not waste my time with what has become a seething cauldron of antagonisms, miscommunications, jealousies and shortsighted decisions.” Schuller blames Sandpoint’s business community, which belatedly has realized the golden-egg-laying goose is on life support, for not supporting the festival. In a four-page letter, he wrote, “You can’t have it both ways: crow about the festival as your own and at the same time not adequately support it.” You gotta love a Pulitzer Prize winner who fires from the heart and isn’t above using a term like “deep financial doodoo” to make a point.
Hammond’s not bad for tie guy
Oliveria’s cheat sheet on Post Falls City Council and mayor’s elections: Mayor Jim Hammond - A touch of childhood insecurity keeps this suitand-tie mayor from becoming too hoity-toity for the hoi polloi. He’s good for another four years. Don Kline - Sorry, a leader doesn’t poll the sheep every time a tough issue comes up. Councilman Scott Grant - No complaints. As a parole and probation chief, he knows the good guys from the bad guys. Clay Larkin - You can’t keep a good man down. Joe Bodman - Shows promise. But Hollywood looks, hockey experience and police dog-handling skills do not a councilman make. Better luck next time. Bob Hunt - Let’s hope this election is the stealth candidate’s last hurrah.
, DataTimes MEMO: D.F. Oliveria’s “Hot Potatoes” runs Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can comment on the items by calling (800) 344-6718 or (208) 765-7125.