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Huckleberries: Hart’s patriot act doesn’t pass muster

Sun., July 8, 2012

State Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, who was KO’d in the GOP primary during his ongoing battle with the IRS and Idaho Tax Commission over $600,000 in unpaid income taxes, remains unbowed. On the morning of the Fourth of July, Hart joined in the reading of the Declaration of Independence at Independence Point in downtown Coeur d’Alene. The event was advertised by the Kootenai County Republicans, who are standing by their man, even as Hart files a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. Not quite as impressed were two Huckleberries Online blog wags, pseudonymed Ron Burgundy and Eddie Torreal. Ron: “The only document this sunshine patriot should be reading is the receipt indicating he has finally paid his taxes that all the other true patriots in his country have already paid.” Eddie: “I would rather hear him read the penalty section of the IRS code.” Tough crowd.

Treat no trick

First, you should know that treats will be offered at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday when the city of Coeur d’Alene dedicates its latest public art at the wastewater treatment plant, called “poop art” by detractors. Onward. The dedication will feature “The Cleaning Crew” by local artist Allen Dodge and “Harmony” by Dale Young. Dodge’s artwork captures the image of the micro-organisms that break down Coeur d’Alene’s sewage. All of which prompted the natural question at Huckleberries Online: “What would be an appropriate treat for such a dedication?” Tongue firmly cheeked, commenter Stebbijo suggested: “Baby Ruth candy bars.” And sewer plant chief Sid Frederickson responded: “We have a guarantee, ya know. Complete satisfaction or double your sewage back.” Who could resist an offer like that? 


The Bard of Sherman Avenue saw that story of a Coeur d’Alene worker stopping 11-year-old Sarah Hoatson from playing her violin to raise money for the Kootenai Humane Society in City Park on the Fourth of July. Seems she didn’t have a permit to do so. So the Bard penned a rhyme (“Fortunately, Authorities Acted Promptly”) in protest: “Brutal and vicious,/And prone to grave sin,/Those fierce little girls/Who play violin” … Sometimes, I don’t listen to the police scanner as closely as I should – for example, at about 5 p.m. Thursday, when the second half of a transmission caught my attention. And I paraphrase: “The females didn’t realize they shouldn’t take their tops off at the beach in this country. They’re from Germany where they are allowed to do so.” Wonder if the fraulein encountered Thong Man on Coeur d’Alene’s City Beach? … The guy dressed as Winnie the Pooh in the Perfection-Nots marching band in the Coeur d’Alene Fourth of July Parade? None other than (drum roll, please) – Coeur d’Alene Realtor Tom Torgerson.

Parting shot

We were swapping war stories involving illegal fireworks on my Huckleberries Online blog when former Coeur d’Alene Press reporter Keith Erickson offered this one: “Back in 1972 – (when) I was 9 – my dad lit off an M-80 on our front porch. It literally rattled the windows throughout the house. Never seen my Mom so spooked, and then mad when she realized what it was. If I remember correctly, Dad didn’t get far enough away from the explosive. His ears were ringing for days. But he got a huge kick out of his prank.” Surprisingly, more than one-fifth of my Huckleberries Online readers admit they buy illegal fireworks. My readers – and all their digits – were accounted for Thursday morning.

Read Dave Oliveria’s North Idaho blog, Huckleberries Online, at

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