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Huckleberries: School tragedy leaves heartbreaking questions

Coeur d’Alene kindergarten teacher Jen Rude wrote this in her blog, A Butterfly Moment, on Friday, after learning of the senseless Newtown, Conn., massacre:

“Here I sit, in a room full of kindergartners, reading about a tragedy that happened in a kindergarten class thousands of miles away. My heart is breaking. My soul is crying out. My arms are aching to hold my own children.

“All I can think about is those poor mamas and dads whose children won’t be coming home from school today. How will they survive? How will they make it through this terrible, horrible, life changing tragedy? How will they tell their other children that they have lost one of their own? What will they do with the packages already under the tree for their babies?

“And the teachers. How will they be able to walk into their classrooms on Monday or the next week or the next month and teach reading and writing and addition to the survivors? How will they be able to walk into a classroom ever again?”

You can read the rest of Jen’s poignant blog comment at abutterflymoment.blogspot. com.

Really old

John Austin, former finance director for the city of Coeur d’Alene, is another one of those people who celebrated their birthday Wednesday (aka 12/12/12). But that isn’t the only special birthday in John’s life: “I remember when I was 7 I had an interest in numbers, partly because my dad’s birthday was 6/6, my aunt’s was 9/9 and mine was 12/12/55.” So, young John calculated how old he would be on 12/12/12 and then told his first-grade teacher, Mrs. Vaden, that he would be “really” old on Dec. 12, 2012. Alas, he told Huckleberries, “There are days when I feel like that prediction.” Do you resemble John’s statement?


A splash of color on the Coeur d’Alene waterfront caught my eye during the lunch hour Thursday – a blue-and-yellow Notre Dame flag flapping from the top of a flagpole in a yard at West Lakeshore Drive and Military Drive. Huckleberries bets that the flag will fly until the end of the BCS championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama on Jan. 7. Mebbe longer, if the Fighting Irish roll the Tide … Poll: 79 percent of my Huckleberries blog readers used the word “foolish” to describe parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. Bingo … You may miss John Chamness, the founding director of the Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center, but he may not miss you. While we Inland Northwesterners await heavy snow, John, his wife and friends are holding their surfboards on a sandy beach of Honolulu. This, according to a Facebook photo. John is now the divisional commander for the Salvation Army in Hawaii. Suffering for Jesus? Hmm … Idaho did well in rankings last week – No. 2 in volunteerism (behind only Utah) and No. 17 in terms of healthiest states (Washington is No. 13).

Parting shot

Scott Peterson realized how outdated some textbooks in the Post Falls School District are when he saw the list of names of previous owners in his niece Zoe’s English Grammar and Composition book. Zoe texted her uncle a picture showing her book had been previously “issued to” Scott in 1978-’79.

Scott says, “I guess if Post Falls School District ever needed to pass a levy it would be now. Sad part is my name is not the oldest of the bunch.” The book was first issued to Jane Zabinski in 1976-’77. Good thing good grammar doesn’t change much.