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Huckleberries: In storm’s aftermath, it’s the little things

Sun., Nov. 4, 2012, midnight

Thom George, a former Kootenai County Democratic Party chairman, moved from Seattle to New York in time for Hurricane Sandy.

Luckily, the New York native and social media addict knows a shopkeeper who provides electricity to recharge laptops and cellphones. Thom was in the middle of five days without electricity when he called Huckleberries to describe his situation in the Big Apple.

Also, he Facebooked: “I threw out everything that had been in the refrigerator and freezer today, so the search for food will intensify. It’s not like we’re in danger of starving, we just have to travel north of 30th Street and find a store that has supplies left, or eat at a street cart. Hot dogs have risen from $1.50 pre-Sandy to $3 as of today.”

Thom and wife Melinda are grateful for a gas stove and water to heat for washing. Thom said he has heard reports of burglary since Sandy hit. “I know New York has changed since I left in ’87,” Thom said. “Back then, they’d be on a three-day looting binge!” Progress?

Gifted Vandal

Idaho Vandals football is a far cry from what it used to be. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t good news involving the program.

Former Vandal Mike Iupati, a 2010 first-round draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers, has developed into one of the best offensive guards in the National Football League. Former NFL coach Jon Gruden told Eric Branch of Niner Inside Blog: “If I was coaching, I’d like to have two or three Iupatis on my team.”

On the NFL Network telecast, reports Branch, analyst Mike Mayock raved about Iupati, saying the 6-foot-5, 331-pounder was “a left guard that I think has a chance to become the best guard in football. He’s so big and strong. He’s gifted athletically.”


Poet’s Corner: “That winter’s near/you can’t deny/when studded snows/start clicking by” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Like the First Robin of Spring”) … Spokesman Marc Stewart of Lewis-Clark State College’s Coeur d’Alene branch faced a dilemma Halloween night: leftover candy. So he Facebooked: “I am not sure what to do with our big bag of Halloween candy. The wife suggested I take it to work, but that means I would eat it. Is it bad form to drop off our Halloween candy at a local food bank?” Anyone? … Bumpersnicker (on white van, spotted by Coeur d’Alene’s Sam Crawford, in the parking lot of Costco on Wednesday): “What this country needs is more unemployed politicians.” Bingo … In terms of Facebook politics, reporter Melissa Davlin of the Twin Falls Times-News tweets that the education reform ballot propositions are in trouble. Vote No on Propositions 1, 2 and 3 had 19,112 likes Friday. Vote Yes had only 974 … Among the hazards on Kootenai County roads last week: two bales of hay, several dead deer, a mattress, and seven or eight cans of paint and paint thinner, the latter of which spilled at Highway 41 and Prairie on the Rathdrum Prairie, causing a headache for responders called to clean it up.

Parting shot

Challenger Todd Banducci was the only North Idaho College trustee candidate to skip both debate forums this fall. He did so to troll for votes in Republican waters – first, at the annual Women in Red fundraiser for the Kootenai County Republican Women Federated and then at a Kootenai County GOP Central Committee meeting. You’d think he was running for precinct committeeman rather than nonpartisan college trustee.

Follow North Idaho news on Dave Oliveria’s blog, Huckleberries Online, at

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