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Huckleberries: Former teacher schooled at border

When we last visited Meghan Ridley, she had moved to Seattle to write for Dope Magazine, a medical marijuana journal. Meghan? She’s the ex-Lakeland School District teacher of the year who quit in protest of Idaho education “reforms” that value online experimentation more than hands-on teaching. Her connection to Rathdrum schools is noteworthy because a ring given to her by a former student raised suspicions during an attempted Canadian border crossing. Some had joked that Meghan hid drugs in the ring. Canadian border guards weren’t laughing – about the ring or the Dope Magazines in her backpack – when they ordered a strip search. Meghan writes in graphic detail about the humiliating ordeal for the August issue of Dope mag in an article titled, “Crossing the border, crossing the line.” Meghan, who uses medical marijuana to treat migraines, describes the two-hour ordeal, including standing half-naked while two armed guards searched for drugs. She wrote: “Their bulletproof protection against all 110 pounds of my half-dressed self (was) surreal.” Meghan’s electronics equipment was probed, too. No drugs were found. But Meghan wasn’t allowed into Canada. A guard explained that Canada couldn’t risk her smoking dope during a visit. Again, Meghan: “To go through the material and digital rape of the previous hours, only to be denied access for a potentiality, carries a bitter sting.” And how did your last border crossing go?

Why so boring

No surprise that Idaho is described as “Republican” and “conservative” in an interesting online map provided by Renee DiResta of No Upside blog. But “boring”? P’haps the Google search that DiResta did to compile the map was thinking of – yawn – Southern Idaho. Seems DiResta compiled her map of state stereotypes by typing in “Why is (fill in the blank state) so …” and let Google’s autocomplete function finish the thought in three or four words. Washington checks in with “rainy,” “cloudy,” “important” and “liberal.” Idaho and Washington fare better than liberal/broke/anti-gun/expensive California. Now there’s something you’d never call Idaho: “anti-gun.”


Poll: While Spokane wrings its hands about panhandlers, Kootenai County gendarmes roust them regularly – and 76 percent of my Huckleberries Online readers appreciate that … Another triathlete has died during the swim portion of an Ironman competition this summer, this time at the U.S. nationals in the Hudson River on Aug. 11. Tragedy visited Coeur d’Alene for the first time when Seattle’s Sean Murphy died after being pulled unconscious from Lake Coeur d’Alene on June 24 … Scanner Traffic: Among the things you might see in downtown Coeur d’Alene after hours in July, according to the latest Bar Report: females skinny-dipping at Independence Point, males tossing beer cans from a Sherman Avenue rooftop, and a wailing woman who was distraught because a bachelorette party had gone badly. Not exactly the stuff of beer commercials.

Parting shot

Travel writer Amelia Arvesen of San Francisco’s East Bay area publication Diablo has revealed one of Coeur d’Alene’s best-kept secrets: its waterfront at the end of summer/Labor Day. She writes: “Unless you’re an Ironman triathlete or have golfed the world’s only floating green, you’ve probably never stopped in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. An outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, tourists are drawn to the cool waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene as temperatures rise, but a late summer visit means you escape warm weather crowds while days are still long enough to soak up the sun.” There goes the neighborhood again.

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