My wife and I were biking leisurely along the CdA waterfront recently when she said: “It’s amazing on a day like this that there’s so much ugliness in the world around us.” Her words became prophetic way too soon for us. We checked out the new section of Centennial Trail between North Idaho College and Riverstone – and then headed home. As usual, we rode side by side until we heard cars coming up behind us. Then, I pedaled in front to get us both out of the way of traffic. That practice saved me from serious injury or worse. At Harrison Avenue, we opted to bike north toward home on Seventh Street rather than Ninth Street. As we approached the 1400 block, we heard an engine roaring and a vehicle speeding behind us. I pulled in front of my wife, moments before a gray van zoomed by, swerving toward me as if intentionally, missing me by a foot or so. The driver had to pull back to miss the parked car ahead. Mebbe that saved my life. Moments later, a little brown car chased the offending motorist into an apartment complex. As we passed, two women were screaming at each other. One was dropping the B-word and many other expletives on the other. Utter nastiness. Sorta takes the thrill from a beautiful day.
Imagine my surprise when I saw the full-page ad in Tuesday’s Coeur d’Alene Press – you know, the one for the Coeur d’Alene Golf Course Restaurant. On Page A9. Below the instructions, “Lunch like a golf pro,” is a centerpiece shot of a handsome couple dining outside, overlooking the floating green. They’re holding hands. And smiling. She’s looking at him through rose-colored glasses, over French toast and orange juice. (OK, OK, they’re sunglasses, but rose-colored sounds better.) He’s staring off into space, as if he has no care in the world, a little gray at the temples and in the mustache. You know the kind of ad that HagaCorp runs to show how the other half lives. And the male part of this “other half”? None other than City Attorney Mike Gridley. Who once earned the ire of Brand X by claiming it gave free ads to Repub foe Marge Chadderdon in their legislative race. Who was targeted in a recent Brand X editorial for pursuing civil action in the campaign finance flap against Honda car dealer Kathy Sims and her sidekick, Tom Macy. Have Mike & HagaCorp kissed and made up? Inquiring minds want to know.
I am so sick of hearing change … maverick … Muslim … -gate of any sort … main street … earmarks … the list is never-ending. Whether I hear it in McCain’s stentorian timbres, Obama’s thoughtfully rich alto, Palin’s abrasive Fargo-esque whine, or Biden’s I’m-about-to-lose-my-temper- but-am-modulating-my-tones-through- sheer-willpower rumble, I am so sick of all the pre-scripted, newspeak drivel (no, it’s not Orwell’s 1984, but I do sense similarities to Animal Farm). Scary? You betcha – Kendra Goodrick-Martinez, from her Soul Doubt blog post, “My first ever – and likely last – political commentary ever.”
Indeed, local cops appreciate citizens who report crimes via cell phone. But there is a limit. Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger: “It commonly helps us to find criminals, drunk drivers, reckless drivers and the like. However, there is a downside. When the caller becomes a pursuer or the confronter, then they have crossed the line. Leave the chase and the confrontation to law enforcement” … Scanner Traffic (9:06 a.m. Tuesday): In response to a fellow officer’s question whether he needed help, a cop responded: “If you hear me start screaming like a little girl, come on by” … At 8:23 a.m. Monday, I pointed out on the blog that most attention is focused on the prez race and little on local ones. And asked: “Which local race are you most interested in?” At 8:35 a.m. Tuesday, I got my first response, from Berry Picker LOL!, who commented: “I would say that since 24 hours passed with nary a comment, there’s your answer. Local races? What local races?” So goes democracy in Kootenai County in our year of the Lord 2008.
Finally, SR Voices columnist Cindy Hval gets her firstborn out of the house and into an apartment – only to get this call from him: “Hey, Mom, I gotta story for you. Me and my friend Brandon heard a bunch of running and yelling late last night. And it turns out some chick was killed in the apartment two floors beneath us. Oops! I’m at work. Gotta go!” That’s the way Junior described one of the three recent murders in the Spokane area. Cindy’s response at Huckleberries Online? “Wahhhhhhhh!!!!”