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Huckleberries: Gookin’s stand on art funding ‘undedicated’ to facts

Coeur d’Alene has wonderful pieces of public art, from David Govedare’s “Guardians of the Lake” (aka “The Feathers”) on Northwest Boulevard to kid favorites Mudgy & Millie in five downtown locations. But you wouldn’t see new artwork until the Great Recession is over, if newbie Councilman Dan Gookin had his way. At the council meeting last week, Gookin opined that the city should quit spending money on public art until hard times pass. Instead, he said (according to draft council minutes), the city should use the dedicated arts money to purchase property. Which can’t be done. There’s a reason that the term “dedicated” is used to describe the art funding provided by urban renewal and construction of public buildings. Oddly, Gookin has a background in the performing arts – and should know how art lifts the soul. Even in hard times.


Most Coeur d’Alene residents know that a controversial tape recording that surfaced last week is legit – you know, the one that caught a man on Tubbs Hill last Sunday lying to get hikers to sign his recall petitions. RecallCDA leader Frank Orzell admitted as much to the Coeur d’Alene Press on Friday. Orzell & Co. seek to recall Lake City Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members Deanna Goodlander, Woody McEvers and Mike Kennedy purportedly for not allowing a public vote on the upgrade of McEuen Field. The Recaller was caught on a cellphone recording telling five whoppers, including a fib that McEuen work will cost $40 million and raise property taxes 18 percent. (Reality check: The overhaul will cost $14.2 million and won’t raise taxes.) Lying to gain John Hancocks for a petition is a felony in Idaho. So local cops are investigating. But I wouldn’t go hard on the petitioner. He might be one of those $9-per-hour hirelings RecallCDA is now relying on to boost its struggling campaign. You get what you pay for.


Those teams of about 17 African-American men and women selling cleaning products and magazines around Kootenai County, including on Hayden Lake Road near Chicken Point on Thursday, were the source of several 911 calls. Residents feared the salesmen might be casing their neighborhoods. File under: Paranoia strikes deep … Coeur d’Alene City Clerk Susan Weather tells Huckleberries that some individuals who signed those recall petitions are having second thoughts. About a dozen called her office Wednesday to see how they can remove their signatures … Wonder how horrified motorists on I-90 near Spokane Street/Post Falls were Friday morning when they realized they’d driven over a U.S. flag? … You won’t find a place for sewage disposal at the Huetter rest stop, other than the designated restrooms, but that didn’t stop a Montanan driving a 15-passenger van filled with 30 rabbit cages from dumping rabbit manure in the parking lot. Whatta pig. Er, rabbit turd.

Parting shot

Remaining true to his odd pledge not to vote for anything that includes federal dollars, last week new Coeur d’Alene Councilman Steve Adams was the lone vote against the purchase of all-in-one computer/video systems for police cars. The systems protect officers by filming traffic stops. Quoth Adams: “Taking federal funds is like accepting funds from a loan shark and using the money to pay your gambling debt.” Huckleberries is sure officers who face danger to protect Adams understand his principled stand.

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