August 21, 2008 in Voices

Common ground found in water

D.F. Oliveria Staff writer
 

So there I was belly deep in the Spokane River when Paula Marano floated up to me. She and her hubby, Judge Gene Marano, were sunbathing nearby on North Idaho College beach and had noticed the annual baptism conducted by my little church, Hayden Bible. So she introduced herself. And we made small talk about the baptism. And then her daughter, Mary, waded over to us. Mary’s husband, sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger, was sunbathing somewhere on the shore. Next thing you know, Paula, Mary and I were talking about William P. Young’s wildly popular fiction, “The Shack.” We Northwesterners connect in at least two ways to the book. It is set in the Northwest. So places in the book, like Multnomah Falls, Columbia Gorge and Hells Canyon, are familiar. Mack, the main character, has to work his way through his “Great Sadness” at the loss of his daughter Missy at the hands of a serial child killer. Joseph Duncan, the child molester and murderer now facing sentencing for slaughter of the Groene family and Mark McKenzie, comes to mind as you read along. However, Mack’s encounter with God in an unusual trinity at the murder site is the draw for readers, both religious and otherwise. Why am I telling you this? We’re discussing “The Shack” at Huckleberries Online, if you want to join the conversation without getting wet.

Twitter fritter

Speaking of cold-blooded killer/molester Duncan, The Spokesman-Review’s “Twitter” experiment lasted less than a week. S-R reporter Meghann Cuniff provided regular updates – or “tweets” (think: short text messages for computers, cell phones, Huckleberries Online, etc.) from her ringside seat in the courtroom for the 100 or so twits who signed up for the service. Which wasn’t enough to continue the experiment. Editor Steve Smith put Twitter on his phone but had to disable the alerts function because his phone seemed to vibrate or beep constantly with every tweet. One tweet was so graphic that it was deleted a short time later. I happened to see the tweet before it was deep-sixed by our editors. I couldn’t help but think that jurors shoulda been polled at that minute whether they were ready to vote for capital punishment. I woulda been. Then, I was ready to see the guy injected shortly after he was arrested and Shasta rescued at Denny’s. According to Smith, Meghann may be sent back to Boise to provide blow-by-blow Twitter again when developments warrant and/or for closing arguments and the verdict.

Huckleberries

In the blogosphere, there are no boundaries. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when an Australian blogger spotted a blog post re: David Govedare’s “Feathers,” which stand/rest at the beginning of Northwest Boulevard, and penned a poem that begins: “In a million million years (or more)/When ‘creatures’ view our planet,/They’ll scratch their metal heads and say/’That can’t be a feather! Can it?”/Brenda Bryant, Rinkly Rimes (“A Feather”) … Scanner Traffic: My Huckleberries Online wags wondered if Kootenai County vehicles could be possessed, a la Stephen King’s “Christine,” after reading two blog entries Monday: “11:42 a.m. officer requests dispatch to call ‘sanitation’ and advise that one of its trucks is dumping soda cans all over Seltice and 41,” and: “10:36 a.m. gravel truck has dumped its load on a trailing car in Spirit Lake” … Sign of the Times: At Priest Lake, blogger Pecky Cox/As The Lake Churns e-mailed a photo of that clever sign: “Slow down please – Young kids, old dogs, edgy adults.”

Parting shot

Wayne Hoffman, the uberconservative PRmeister for uberconservative Congressman Bill Sali, is angry at one of the most conservative papers in the state. Why this parting that brings sweet sorrow? The Idaho Press Tribune of Nampa had the audacity to suggest that Sali straighten up his office after a series of missteps that included questionable handling of campaign finance reports. Hoffman reacted with a quote heard around the Idaho blogosphere: “… the Press-Tribune has, regrettably, joined the chorus of shrill news lemmings all marching willingly to a sea of liberalism, filth and innuendo.” What’s left to say? Onward newsroom lemmings.


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