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Huckleberries: Councilman changes tone after sending testy email

Sun., June 24, 2012

Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Dan Gookin recovered well from a recent political faux pas.

Gookin, an outspoken critic of proposed changes to McEuen Field, offered verbal balm to the town a day after the recall petition drive against Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members failed.

At the Tuesday council meeting, Gookin said he told recall allies that “it’s over” and insisted that they file no lawsuits to extend the controversy. Gookin said he was ready to move forward with the McEuen Field work and promised to bird-dog spending on the $14.2 million project.

His conciliatory tone contrasted sharply to the angry email he fired off to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel (Huckleberries, June 17), belittling her for accidentally leaving him out of the loop in a media announcement about a proposed McEuen Field compromise (for which Gookin later apologized three times).

Gabriel wasn’t present Tuesday when Gookin remarked that the public accuses the council of not listening when it is.

“Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean we are not listening,” Gookin said, adding with tongue firmly cheeked that he learned how to listen “from paying a lot of money for marriage counseling.”

Never say die

Recall organizer Mary Souza isn’t giving up her quixotic quest to overthrow Mayor Sandi Bloem’s administration. After the recall petition drive failed Monday, Souza hinted she might try again this fall.

In her weekly newsletter, Souza said: “Let’s hope the four officials we tried to recall will get the message; let’s hope they change their ways.”

And if they don’t? Souza said the Recallers now have a database of more than 4,000 “valid, certified people.”

Again, Souza: “The law says there must be a 90-day waiting period before any further action can be started. That’s late September. Let’s keep watching them and stay tuned.”

Maybe Souza and her divisive minions should listen to all those registered voters who didn’t sign their petitions.


Poet’s Corner: “Our bank accounts are/down to zeros;/please send us money/to buy gyros” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“A Note from Greece”) … On Huckleberries Online Thursday, we were discussing that 14-karat, light-gold wedding ring returned to a California woman five to six years after her late husband lost it. Without missing a beat, a blog wag quipped: “I’ve lost a couple of wedding rings but that wasn’t as bad as the houses that went with them” … Decline to Sign anti-recall organizers were shadowing the signature verification process going on behind closed doors in the Kootenai County Election Department. Result? They missed the actual number of disqualifications against Mayor Bloem by only 15 signatures.

Parting shot

One of those idyllic moments of yore was witnessed by a nervous property owner along Fernan Lake Road, east of Coeur d’Alene, Wednesday. The man reported that four boys, about 9 to 11 years old, were wading in his creek trying to catch frogs after an old pickup dropped them off with their fishing poles.

A Deputy Dawg responded to the dispatcher that the boys appeared to be fine when he saw them five minutes earlier.

The property owner, however, was more concerned about his liability should one of them get hurt.

We wouldn’t have Huck Finn if insurance companies had been around in the 19th century.

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