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Huckleberries: Trio of authors share ink-stained newsroom past

What do Jess Walter, Richard Miller and Dan Kolbet have in common? Hint: They are ex-Spokesman-Review staffers. And? They’ve all written books. Walter, of course, parlayed his reporting of the August 1992 Ruby Ridge siege into a book (“Every Knee Shall Bow”) and a TV miniseries. He’s now penned seven books, with the last one, “The Financial Lives of the Poets,” receiving national acclaim. Kolbet, an Avista spokesman, worked in the sports department. Now, he’s written “Off the Grid,” a futuristic thriller about a man who fights a power monopoly that decides which cities are blacked out and which aren’t. Miller, a former editor now handling Washington State University public relations, has just published an anti-vampire-genre novel about a 150-year-old vampire living in downtown Spokane, “All You Can Eat.” No Team Edward versus Team Jacob going on here.

Coughing spell

Kindergarten teacher Jen Rude, of Hayden, offers this message in her Butterfly Moment blog for parents with small kids: “Please, for all that is holy, have your children immunized so that the sweet little darlings don’t give me whooping cough ever again in my entire life.”

Jen is immunized against whooping cough. But that didn’t prevent her from catching a, ahem, “milder” form. Again, Jen: “If the last week and a half of my life is any indication, you do not want your child, or anyone else, to get whooping cough. If you would spend just one day, or night, with me and hear the intense and body wracking coughing I go through, you would not wish it on your worst enemy, no less your precious children.” Conspiracy theorists in the Inland Northwest who eschew immunizations should take Jen up on her offer to listen to sick little ones hack away.


Poet’s Corner: Although it was introduced more than a week ago as “An Observation About Halloween,” this rhyme by The Bard of Sherman Avenue remains pertinent: “Some ghouls and zombies,/you will note,/ask not for candy,/but your vote” … Huckleberries hears that Duane Hagadone now owns the 205-foot mega-yacht Lady Lola again. Sources say that The Duane bought the yacht back for about half or less of the original price … Columnist Shawn Vestal tells of scam artist “Brandon” who begs Spokane householders for money to get to Coeur d’Alene. In Coeur d’Alene, meanwhile, “Brandon’s” country cousin(s) has been spotted begging for money to travel to Spokane. Mebbe we should work out a freeloader exchange at the border … KXLY weathercaster Kris Crocker isn’t immune from winter inconveniences. On her Facebook wall Friday, she writes: “Just in time for the cold weather, the seat heater in my car burned a hole all the way through the leather of my seat. I wasn’t expecting that. I’m all for warm buns, but GEEZ.”

Parting shot

Huckleberries’ favorite Downtown Coeur d’Alene Bar Report of late tells of a drunken woman at San Francisco Sourdough who: 1. Opened and dumped bags of potato chips, 2. Hit a manager, 3. Licked an employee’s hand, and 4. Entered a storage closet thinking it was a bathroom. She would have made a clean getaway, too – if she hadn’t used a credit card with her name on it. D’oh!

You can follow D.F. Oliveria on his blog at blogs/hbo or on Twitter @Hucksonline.