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Pischner Leads Cheer For UI Move To Kellogg

Bob Hoover may have thought he was joking, but Coeur d’Alene Rep. Don Pischner says he was serious when he told the University of Idaho president that he should move his campus to Kellogg.

“I think it’s an excellent idea,” Pischner said. “Look at it this way: Show me another place you have three interstate on-off ramps in two miles.”

The Silver Valley has major power and utility systems left over from the Bunker Hill mine, Pischner said. There’s an airport and water and recreational facilities.

Plus, he said, “We have a group of people with good work ethics, many of them unemployed.”

Best of all, Pischner said, “we have free land.”

He’s figuring much of the Bunker Hill Superfund site eventually will revert to the state, and be available for such a project.

Pischner said he realizes the University of Idaho isn’t likely to move. If it can’t move to the Silver Valley, he said, maybe it could set up a satellite campus there.

“They’re already situated in Moscow; they’ve got a land grant,” he said. “It wouldn’t be easy to move them. But if they should ever consider that, I think it could work.”

It gets in your eyes

Ever since a stray cigarette in a garbage can caused millions in damage to the state Capitol a few years back, smoking has been banned from the building. But here’s a riddle:

Which North Idaho representative continued to smoke in a back room of the House, but doesn’t any more? And which North Idaho senator was spotted last week puffing in his fourth-floor Senate office, leaning close to an open window?

Here are some hints: The second-term senator from Rathdrum has a sign on his office door that says “Please walk in,” but he was startled when a reporter did, just as he was finishing up a smoke.

The representative, who’s finishing his 13th term, gave up smoking after a stroke last year and hasn’t had a cigarette since. “It was pretty stupid of me. I should have given it up earlier,” he said.

Now his office has a fresh, clean smell far different from its traditional pall.

But he muttered, “I did love the smell of the sin in here.”

The freebies are flowing

While most legislators chowed down on a hearty prime rib roast lunch last week, courtesy of the cattlemen and the wool growers associations, the North Idaho delegation was secluded a few blocks away, amid the china and crystal at Boise’s gourmet eatery Peter Schott’s - courtesy of GTE.

The food, according to those attending both events, was divine.

Just try it

Talk all you want about whether our Statehouse folks should try to legislate morality. State Board of Education member Harold Davis sees an even tougher one:

“It sure is hard to legislate common sense.”

Naming names

Tony Paquin, the CdA Republican challenging U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth in the primary, has signed up Debra Compton, daughter of Kootenai County Commissioner Dick Compton, as his campaign manager. Her dad is the feisty Republican who has been making noises about running for statewide office this year - and toyed, at one point, with running as an independent for governor.

Paquin also named his brother Gary his campaign co-chairman, along with Hayden Lake term limits activist Donna Weaver, a Paquin convert who contributed $2,000 to Chenoweth in 1996.

Add two rings to the circus

With three major pieces of abortion legislation already poised to come before the Legislature, word on Friday was that two more may be in the works. They would include new twists on parental consent requirements, and a new bill from Planned Parenthood would seek to make Idaho’s current law constitutional.

That’s also the stated aim of a sweeping bill being proposed by the Idaho Family Forum, which is tentatively up for introduction Tuesday in the House State Affairs Committee.

, DataTimes MEMO: North-South Notes runs every other Saturday. To reach Betsy Z. Russell, call 336-2854, fax to 336-0021 or e-mail to

North-South Notes runs every other Saturday. To reach Betsy Z. Russell, call 336-2854, fax to 336-0021 or e-mail to