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Idaho Voices

Inkstained fingers get snippy slap

Sun., Dec. 27, 2009

So there I was minding my own business when – shazam! – I found myself in the middle of Jim Brannon’s sour-grapes lawsuit to overthrow the 2009 Coeur d’Alene city elections. OK, OK, I wasn’t minding my business much. After all, I’d tapped some sources to get my hands on the latest public documents in Brannon’s lawsuit for my online crowd – sometimes, as Brannon’s lawyer Starr Kelso groused in a letter to City Attorney Mike Gridley, “almost before the ink was dry.” Grumbles Kelso: “Perhaps it was a novel, or naïve, thought that counsel might discuss a matter before running off to the media and formal court proceedings.” (Never mind that Gridley didn’t release Kelso’s letter to me, detailing his desire to reach a compromise behind closed doors re: Brannon’s various legal gripes about the election process in his five-vote loss to incumbent Mike Kennedy. Again, Kelso: “I really don’t wish to argue the merits of the complaint in the press, because such conduct generally only serves to polarize the parties.” Seems Kelso wants to keep a lid on things. Which is his job. But I don’t. Which is my job.

Tricky scammers

Nigerian scammers have gotten trickier. A week ago, I got this message purportedly from a well-known, local woman: “I’m sending you this e-mail in a hurry because I only have 30 minutes, I traveled to United Kingdom to see my ill cousin, I got a call to come over that her illness was getting worse, so I had no time to inform anyone of my trip. Unfortunately, I was mugged in a taxi and they made away with all my money and other valuable things. I’m facing a hard time here, I need to help her and also get back home.” The e-mail continues that the woman needed a loan of “2700 USD or whatever you can afford” and pledged to repay as soon as she returned home. I smelled a rat. Which was confirmed when the woman in question sent this note: “My email directory was hacked into and there is a SCAM using my email contacts. If you received a message from me asking you to send money to help me while I am stuck in England, please delete it. I am fine and living in Hauser.” Be careful out there.


Poet’s Corner: A frosted moon/on icy nights,/a dust of snow,/and Christmas lights – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“December”) … “When I went into Fred Meyer (last weekend) to do the last of my Christmas shopping, Mayor Bloem was in the entrance putting in some time as a bell ringer. I snuck by her to grab an electric skippy cart, and on the way out… she graciously offered to help me carry my stuff out to the parking lot. Very nice lady” – Ryan Brodwater, who’s still hobbled from a serious leg injury suffered while skateboarding … Scanner Traffic exchange: First Officer: “It’s nonreportable. The deer ran off.” Second Officer (tongue firmly cheeked): “So, it’s a hit-and-run on the deer?” First Officer, responding in kind: “Affirm. Do you want to put out an ATL (traffic alert)? … Former SReporter Erica Curless tells Huckleberries that she’s the only one in her birth class who doesn’t want to know the gender of her baby before show time, predicted for Feb. 16 … Dunno if my Huckleberries Online crowd is a bunch of old stoners or not, but 100 out of 163 (63 percent) said in an online poll that they had smoked pot at some point in their lives. Eight others said they had tried but didn’t inhale. Where have we heard that before?

Parting shot

Richard Benjamin, African-American author of “Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White,” is right when he says that North Idaho is basically an enclave of Caucasians. But he missed the mark when he told Rob Baedecker for a S.F. Chronicle article that Coeur d’Alene, at the request of the real estate industry, has legislated poor people and renters out of town by imposing lot limits of one acre on development. Quoth Benjamin: “The stated reason of one-acre lot rules is to control ‘congestion’ and to keep ‘low density.’ In reality, by requiring a one-acre lot, the locality ensures only wealthy people move in.” Sure, the city of Dalton Gardens and the Indian Meadows subdivision have large lots. But the rest of the town doesn’t. Oh well, it sells books and freelance stories.

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