Hydroplanes aren’t only wavemakers

Some people are touchy about the hydroplane races of yesteryear on Lake Coeur d’Alene – none more so than Dave Walker.

A recent mention I made online that downtown rioting helped bring an end to the races caused Walker’s head to spin and vomit pea soup. Then, he compared me unfavorably to the late Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler. Criticism of hydroplane races. North Idaho racism. See the connection?

Walker foamed on his Facebook page: “If a vote were held to determine the one person who has done the most negative damage to North Idaho, it would be a tossup between Richard Butler and Spokesman Review hack D.F. Oliveria. Why does he always work so hard to beat down (Coeur d’Alene) and North Idaho?”

Speaking of votes, Walker seems to forget that Coeur d’Alene voted, by a 3-to-1 margin in November 1985, against reviving the hydroplane races. Newspaper accounts at the time reported that old-timers were dead set against the proposal, supported by Duane Hagadone, because – drum roll, please – they remembered the riots.

Given Walker’s passionate reaction to my online post, I checked to see if another move was afoot to resurrect hydroplane races, as a clandestine part of a North Idaho Museum fundraiser that will feature vintage Miss Budweiser Aug. 20-22. I was assured by key people that they’d heard nothing about it. Walker simply melted down on his own. Per usual.

We ain’t that fat

In its seventh annual “F Is for Fat” report, Trust for America’s Health referred to Idaho as the 36th fattest state in the union, with an obesity rate of 25.1 percent for adults. It woulda sounded much nicer if the organization had approached this issue from the other side and described Idaho as the 15th skinniest state. Sorta along the lines: I’m not fat, I’m just short for my weight … Jeff Alltus, the religious conservative who served three terms in the Idaho Legislature before stepping aside a decade ago, has a fan out there. Why else would two of his old blue and white political yard signs be adorning each side of Hayden Lake Road en route to Tobler’s? Could the Rally Righter be considering a write-in candidacy? … At Priest Lake, blogger Pecky Cox of As The Lake Churns is investigating who or what has chopped down 10 large trees along Lakeshore Road, near Luby Bay campground. She suspects it could be the work of a world-class-sized beaver. But there is no water in the immediate vicinity to serve as a refuge.


For those keeping score at home, Coeur d’Alene police reunited eight children, all 2 to 3 years old, with their missing parents within 15 to 20 minutes during the Fourth of July celebration on the waterfront. This, according to CPD spokeswoman Christie Wood. Two years ago, the local gendarmes handled 21 missing children. Which remains a record high in this unusual category … Huckleberries Poll: 196 of 347 respondents (56 percent) to an online poll this week said they want Idaho to adopt an illegal immigration law as tough as Arizona’s … Hucks Poll II: 61.3 percent of my Merry Hucksters voted that Rep. Phil Hart should be expelled from the Idaho Legislature as a result of his ongoing tax problems … Women’s winner Linsey Corbin of Missoula was so overwhelmed by her Ironman Coeur d’Alene victory that she had to read the newspapers the next day to be sure she’d won. In her blog, she wrote: “I only slept a few hours after the race and when I woke up I had to make sure it was true – looking at the photos from the paper to believe it. I thought just finishing an Ironman was an adrenaline rush. Let me tell you – winning one takes it to another level.” Not only did she win, but she set a record in doing so.

Parting Shot

I’m a big fan of Litehouse dressings. Mebbe too big of a fan. In a recent rundown of the 50 fattiest foods in the nation, Health.com designated Litehouse dressings, of Sandpoint, as the pace-setter – or is that pacemaker? – from Idaho. Opinionator Kevin Richert of the Idaho Statesman noted on his blog that a two-tablespoon serving of Litehouse’s bacon blue cheese dressing weighs in at 16 grams of fat, or “about the same as an entire Burger King cheeseburger.” Do what you want with this information. I’ll just pretend I’m pouring the lite version on my Cobb salad.

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