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Idaho Voices

Elections and full moons

Sun., Nov. 8, 2009, midnight

I was visiting my mother-in-law for lunch in the Coeur d’Alene Place development last Sunday when the door bell rang. I heard a familiar voice when my mother-in-law answered the door, saying: “I’m Mike Kennedy, and I’m running for City Council.” Not only was Mike at the door, but Mike Kralicek and his daughter, Alexis, accompanied him. I’d never met Kralicek, the ex-Coeur d’Alene cop who was critically wounded in the line of duty a few years ago. So I introduced myself while Kennedy worked my mother-in-law for a vote. Kralicek, who was in a wheelchair, told me how his wife’s insurance company wouldn’t insure him for anything not directly related to his disabling injuries. As you recall, the Idaho Legislature passed a law that provides financial help for officers injured in the line of duty. But it’s not retroactive. Councilman Mike said he has arranged a meeting between Kralicek and Congressman Walt Minnick’s office Monday re: the situation. Meanwhile, I didn’t have the heart to tell Councilman Mike that he was wasting his breath on my mother-in-law who quit voting when she moved to Coeur d’Alene.

Full moon

You can always tell when there’s a full moon. People are crankier. And stranger. So it was no surprise to hear the police scanner traffic report during the full moon last week. Quartets of men, for example, were peeing freely and publicly. Four did so in the parking lot of the Women’s Center on Monday. Four others did so in Worley City Park on Tuesday … Meanwhile, the rabbit problem on Fruitdale Avenue in Coeur d’Alene reportedly has spread a block south to Davis Avenue … A jerk in a black shirt, accompanied by a jerk in a white-striped shirt, ripped off the tip jar at the Pretty & Pink coffee hut on Seltice Way … On Election Day, a man in a yellow vest was waving his arms at Government Way traffic in front of the Texaco minimart – and he wasn’t a politician … Near Hauser, a man punctuated his ongoing dispute with a neighbor by hitting him with his Dodge station wagon at Idaho Highway 53 and Chase Road. The injured man may have suffered a fractured leg. Be careful out there.


Poet’s Corner: “It filled his house, then/spread next door/it’s now the size of/Baltimore” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Attack of the Enlarged Prostate”) … Scanner Traffic (from Tuesday morning): A patrol officer told a 911 dispatcher that he was going to leave his car for a few minutes on Presley Road in Coeur d’Alene. The dispatcher responded: Can you confirm that address. Patrol Officer: “Presley, like The King” … Don’t look now, but Congressman Walt Minnick has made Roll Call’s “10 Most Vulnerable House Incumbents” watch list. Hey, Mike Kennedy can survive by five votes, surely conservative Demo Minnick can, too. Right? Further Right?! … Bumpersnicker (spotted by old Spokesman-Review colleague Kevin Taylor on a giant Yukon SUV parked outside the Catholic Diocese offices in Spokane Monday): “What Would Scooby Do?” … Sign of the Times (at Kickers coffee hut in Skate Plaza parking lot): “Don’t be a McJerk, buy your coffee from a local business” … Yes, being named Best Idaho Journalist by Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living magazine feels good. Thanks for asking. (Wink.)

Parting shot

Unsuccessful challenger Dan Gookin almost got my vote on Election Day, despite my announced intention to vote for Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander. Mebbe I was dog-tired from Election Day coverage. I didn’t realize I’d filled in the wrong oval in that race until I double-checked my ballot, as usual. Immediately, I looked for an eraser. Then, I realized that you can’t erase election ballots. Sheepishly, I took the original ballot to the head poll official at Assembly of God and asked for another. She folded the ballot in half, tucked it in an envelope for spoiled ballots, and handed me another, without smiling. I slunk back to the voting booth and cast my ballot as I intended. Meanwhile, my wife announced to the four poll workers and two other voters: “I can’t take him anywhere.”

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