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Huckleberries: Hagadone’s vision almost 20-20

A Berry Picker provided my online readers with a rare chance to see how well Duane Hagadone follows his dream. Recently, the public servant found a Seattle Post-Intelligencer article about Hagadone from May 15, 1989. At that time, the Coeur d’Alene Resort was 3 years old. And Coeur d’Alene’s Native Son was dreaming about a golf course with a floating green. Hagadone told Bruce Ramsey/PI that golf was essential for any successful resort. Along with his plans to build a golf course on the old Rutledge mill, Hagadone planned to ferry resort customers to the site via “water taxi.” Also, Ramsey reported, Hagadone planned to build at the golf course: a 200-room addition to the resort, a 400-slip marina, and 150 condos in two units. Also, he planned to convert the old J.C. Penney block on Sherman Avenue into a 70,000-square-foot mall and connect it with a skybridge to the resort. He figured that the total investment of all the projects would be $125 million. “These are the largest investments made in the state of Idaho by a privately held company,” he was quoted as saying. “I’m very proud of it. I’m damn proud of what we’ve done for the little village of Coeur d’Alene.” Not everything played out as envisioned. The 200-room addition to the resort is still waiting in the wings. But The Terraces, a luxury condo complex on Silver Beach, was a significant addition to Hagadone’s investment. Later, of course, Hagadone misfired on an attempt to build a downtown memorial garden in his parents’ memory. And he’s involved in a stalemate with the City Council re: plans to upgrade Blackwell Island. Overall, no one’s going to dock him a grade for not having perfect 20-20 vision in 1989.

Sweet tooth

First, you need to know that the state of Washington took a time out from trying to fix a $6 billion shortfall to consider a bill (HB 1024) that would name Aplets & Cotlets (manufactured in Cashmere) as the official state candy. Which, of course, prompted me to question my online crew re: the appropriate state candy for Idaho. My Merry Hucksters decided the state candy of Idaho should be – (drum roll, puh-lease) Idaho Spuds. Howard Martinson added: “I’m surprised you asked the question, but we’re all entitled to a brain cramp once in a while.” However, Patrick Jacobs offered this local dissenting opinion: “My vote goes to the marzipan miniature Idaho Potatoes made with love by Hermina Sittel in her little shop on Gov’t way in the strip mall next to Browsers Books. It’s authentic German marzipan by an authentic German lady and it’s so melt-in-your mouth incredible. She shapes them like little spuds and dusts them with cocoa power to make them all potatoey looking; then, she puts in the eyes. You get six in a miniature potato crate.” I’d feel a whole lot easier if Idaho legislators spent more time considering the state candy and less time tinkering with ways to slash education funding or teacher security.


Quotable Quote: “Thursday (Feb. 12) was Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday, and even now, only 39 percent of Americans believe in evolution. But isn’t human evolution obvious? I mean, look at baseball – Babe Ruth set the home run record in the ’20s waddling around the bases with a spare tire gut, and now we’ve got big guys like Barry Bonds and A-Rod stepping up to the plate … oh, wait. That’s right/Front Row editor /Kevin Otzenberger, UI Argonaut … Coeur d’Alene Councilman Mike Kennedy, whom I like to refer to as “the Fifth hobbit” in deference to the role his cousin Sean Astin (Sam Gamgee) played in “The Lord of the Rings,” turned the Big 4-0 Tuesday … Izzit Just Me – or does a deer seem to get hit and crippled or killed every other evening around 5 o’clock in Kootenai County? Be careful out there.

Parting shot

Among the 10 reasons given at the Gathering Around the Table blog for “Why I want spring to arrive” are: “I want to find out if the stuff buried under the ice can be salvaged.” And: “I want to see a crocus break through the soil.” And: “I want to see a campground open!” And: “I want to taste a fresh rhubarb crisp warm out of the over with ice cream.” What’s on your list?

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