June 3, 2012 in City, Idaho

Huckleberries: Departing deity, other elephants in room

By The Spokesman-Review
 

‘Sheriff” Richard Mack, the darling of GOP Tea Party members in Kootenai and Spokane counties, is proof that fringe candidates are without honor in their own country – in his case, Texas.

Mack, as you may remember, was the Lincoln Day speaker this spring for the two Inland Northwest GOP parties.

Not without controversy, however.

Mack was invited, disinvited and then re-invited to speak in Kootenai County. Mack’s original invitation was rescinded on a 31-30 vote of the dysfunctional GOP Central Committee. That vote was overturned by the executive committee after a private investigation into an allegedly forged proxy ballot.

Ultimately, 400 Kootenai County Republicans heard Mack speak March 24. Seems Mack isn’t as popular among fellow Texas R’s. Last week, he finished 61 percentage points behind incumbent Lamar Smith in a three-way GOP congressional primary race.

Buh-bye, Ganesha

Ganesha, the controversial sculpture by Spokane artist Rick Davis of an Indian deity, has vacated its yearlong spot at Sixth and Sherman in Coeur d’Alene.

On Friday, the elephant-headed idol gave way to a futuristic sculpture by local artist Jason Sanchez, called “Art and Soul,” heralding a new rotation of downtown public art.

In June 2011, a few Kootenai County protesters greeted the dedication of Ganesha and 13 other pieces of public art but failed to coax churches to oppose the statue.

News of the protest reached as far as India. The furor died down quickly. At the time, Democrat David Larsen quipped to former state Sen. Mary Lou Reed that the demonstrators were really partisan Republicans who objected to Hindus stealing their mascot.

Huckleberries

Poet’s Corner: “Rough winds of May did/rip and pound;/now pink confetti/on the ground” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Plum Blossoms, CDA”) … Quotable Quote: “Idaho banned Five Wives vodka because it’s offensive to Mormons. Know what else is offensive to Mormons? Vodka” – S-R colleague Shawn Vestal via Twitter Thursday … Noting the titillation created online by the story of breast-feeding servicewomen at Fairchild AFB, S-R City Editor Addy Hatch tweeted, tongue firmly cheeked: “Clearly, if we want to boost Facebook engagement, we need to post (photos) of the breastfeeding battle moms.” (Hey, it beats news releases about hiking au naturel at the Kaniksu nudist camp at Loon Lake) … Also Addy re: Washington Post news that Snigdha Nandipati, of San Diego, wins Scripps National Spelling Bee with “guetapens.” Quoth: “These are made-up words. Right?” Hey, don’t look at me … For those keeping score at home, 90 percent of my Huckleberries Online blog readers disagree with the goofy Idaho Liquor Division decision to ban Five Wives vodka … HucksOnline Poll, Take 2: 72 percent of my blog readers don’t want Coeur d’Alene to follow Spokane’s lead in naming a street after Martin Luther King Jr. A street named after the late Bill Wassmuth of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations would be nice, though.

Parting shot

That new stretch of the North Idaho Centennial Trail running along the Spokane River, north of North Idaho College, offers a reminder of my former home in Lewiston, particularly as it passes Coeur d’Alene’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. Yeah, the smell. Which isn’t as strong as the odor from the Potlatch mill in Lewiston. The view, however, overrides the ee-yew.


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