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Huckleberries: Teacher calls it quits over reforms

The education “reform” package sprung unexpectedly on Idaho by schools super Tom Luna has claimed its first victim. Meghan Ridley, a special-ed teacher and teacher of the year recipient in the Lakeland School District, has had enough. She quit her job last week after being accepted into a Gonzaga University doctoral program. Meghan, whose battle with anonymous Coeur d’Alene Press online commenters has been chronicled here, said the teacher rallies, letters to the editor, speeches before uncaring legislators, and unwanted “troll” attention over the “hot photo” took a toll. She told Huckleberries she had an epiphany after she got more attention over a newspaper photo that showed a hint of cleavage than she had attracted during her years as a teacher. So she said she embraced her “sexy teacher” alter ego and launched a Facebook page under the pseudonym “Ima HotTeacher,” where she plans to continue fighting the Luna-tic legislation to overhaul Idaho education. “Rather than sit voiceless in my classroom while (House Bills 1108 and 1110) become law, I figured taking a bold stand based on principle was in order. I felt it was time for people to see what happens when you hurt good teachers. They leave.” Alas.

Do you feel lucky?

If the 2010 Idaho Legislature passes the goofy bill that would allow students to carry guns on campus, I have a suggestion for a T-shirt slogan. Or two. Or five. Actually, my Huckleberries Online T-shirt possibilities: “Mr. Glock says I deserve an ‘A.’ ” And: “You can unlock your mind, I am going to unload.” And: “Your college, your firing range.” And: “Move over NEA, here comes the NRA.” And: “Change the world one round at a time.” One commenter provided possible slogans for individual campuses, including: College of Southern Idaho (Twin Falls): “CSI Educated. CSI Investigated.” Imagine a visiting quarterback looking up from Boise State’s blinding Smurf-blue football field to see red dots aimed at his receivers and him from the stands. BSU will never lose another home football game, if this becomes law.

Oh, I see.


Although the total is still small, the number of African-Americans in Kootenai County, erstwhile home of the Aryan Nations, has jumped 127.3 percent in the past decade, from 183 to 416. That subterranean noise you hear from the graveyard is old racist Richard Butler spinning … Speaking of Butler, reporter Mike Perry of KHQ tweets: “N. ID white suprem. group tells me they bought 17 acres of land near Spirit Lake in Bonner Co. Unclear of plans to build a new compound.” Oh joy … In the “Now I’ve Heard It All” department, KXLY’s Derek Deis fielded a phone call Thursday in which a woman complained about the station’s MLK bomb arrest coverage, saying that it wasn’t news.

Parting shot

Parking is no longer free in Coeur d’Alene lots near City Park. My wife and I returned from our customary walk along the waterfront last weekend to discover that the North Idaho Museum lot is now charging $1 for the first hour of parking, like the Independence Point lot. And a buck every hour after, up to $8 for a full day. The Diamond Parking crew wasn’t around to ticket me. That woulda cost $20 for our stroll. Lake City officials must think we’re Spokane or something.

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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.