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Huckleberries: Artful move may be needed to save ‘Tolerance’

Sun., Jan. 15, 2012

It ain’t easy jettisoning public art devoted to tolerance. But the Bonner County commissioners are trying. Artist David Kraisler’s “Tolerance” – a 10-foot steel-and-wood piece – has “graced” the courthouse lawn in Sandpoint for 11 years, since its creation in response to a planned 2001 Aryan Nations parade that didn’t happen. The city of Sandpoint got first shot at hosting “Tolerance,” but passed on it, claiming at the time that lack of a policy for public art was the problem. Trouble is, the sculpture resembles two giant stick figures coupling. “Tolerance” has many detractors. An arsonist once tried to burn it down. The Bonner County Daily Bee reports on the balancing act performed by commissioners. They support the idea behind “Tolerance,” but not necessarily the offbeat sculpture. Besides, the wood is rotting. And courthouse expansion plans could crowd “Tolerance” off the lawn. Maybe it’s time to check back with Sandpoint city leaders to see if they have finally adopted a public arts policy.

It ain’t me, babe

Anti-City Hall activist Dan Gookin, of Coeur d’Alene, Facebooks: “Contrary to what they’re saying in various parts of town, the decision to move the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight has nothing to do with my recent election to City Council” … En route to work Thursday, SReporter Nina Culver saw “a teenager walking to school wearing shorts.” It was 16 degrees outside. The key word, of course, is “teenager” … Gotcha: A dispatcher checking the license number on a Ford that ran a school-bus stop sign in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday reported the car belonged to (drum roll, puh-leez) – the Idaho Department of Corrections … Judging from the burnt ground wire, Avista workers say the thief who stole 25 feet of copper wire from Avista’s Huetter substation Monday was lucky not to get fried. Some 5,800 customers left without power likely wished the crook had gotten a few volts for his trouble.


On Tuesday, KXLY’s Melissa Luck tweeted: “Dear people of the world: Our fax machine was jammed for 6 days and no one noticed. Please stop using fax to communicate.” Have you hugged your fax machine today? … In a HucksOnline blog poll last week, 57 percent said the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance was being disrespectful to soldiers, police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty by describing the 337 wolves harvested by hunters as “fallen” … HucksOnline blog sub Cindy Hval Facebooks: “Gone less than 24 (hours) and return to find the seats on both toilets left up. Men left alone, quickly devolve” … And now a word from KXLY weathermeister Kris Crocker: “My job is going to get a lot more exciting next week. So is your commute, ‘Snowkane.’ Don’t turn your back on La Nina.” You’ve been warned.

Parting shot

The barn swallows hanging out in Bayview are the talk of the Captain’s Wheel bar regulars, according to town crier Herb Huseland. None could recall the swallows showing up in midwinter before. Each patron had a theory on the early arrival – from Japanese earthquakes, to disruptions in the Earth’s rotation, to warm air triggering unusual rainy weather. My theory? The swallows, like many North Idahoans, want to enjoy the waterfront before tourists move in.

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