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Huckleberries: International program debate takes ugly turn

Coeur d’Alene is still buzzing about that 5-0 vote by the new Coeur d’Alene School Board against the Primary Years Programme at Hayden Meadows School last Monday.

Of interest were comments by board Chairman Tom Hamilton’s wife, Kate, about transferring their fifth-grade daughter from Hayden Meadows. Kate Hamilton claimed that some adults who backed the internationally oriented program had slimed another daughter as a result of her husband’s role and stand on the school board.

On the HucksOnline blog Wednesday, Tom Hamilton concurred: “I stand by my wife’s description of a ‘poisonous element’ at that school. That element is small, but the impact that they have had on us as a family is significant.”

Hamilton said he wasn’t going to allow his daughters “to be pawns in an argument that wasn’t theirs.” Mrs. Hamilton called for removal of the “poisonous element” from Hayden Meadows.

The allegations are serious. But the Hamiltons have offered no proof for them publicly. In order to clear the air, the school district should order an independent investigation.


Huckleberries’d never heard the term “turtled” until it was used by skipper Lawrence Killingsworth of the sailboat Ta’ Ata Ori to describe a scene on Lake Pend Oreille on Sept. 29.

Killingsworth and his crew were returning to Bayview in a southerly wind of about 20 knots when they noticed a small sailboat in trouble a half mile off port beam (ah, left). It capsized as they watched and “turtled” (turned completely upside down with the mast pointing “toward China”).

The father and son who had been on their second outing on the sailboat were wearing life jackets. But they were still lucky that Killingsworth & Co. were nearby. Lake temperature was 60 degrees.

After the rescue, the Ta’ Ata Ori crew members contacted a diver, who tied a line to the submerged mast, enabling them to right the sailboat. In an email to friends, including Herb Huseland, of Bayview, Killingsworth signed off: “What a crew.” Bingo.


Poet’s Corner: “Our grass was green,/he turned it white,/when old Jack Frost/stopped by last night” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Who Invited Him?”) … Scanner Traffic (from Thursday): “Jayden wants to see an officer re: the bad meal he was served at a (local Mexican restaurant). The manager wouldn’t refund his money and Jayden believes he was stolen from.” … That horrible sound Cis Gors, of Kootenai, heard Thursday morning? A house heater going on by itself. Made her cat and her dog jump. I would, too … Parks Department director Doug Eastwood predicts the American Legion Field at its new Ramsey Park location will be ready by the first pitch next June.

Parting shot

On Aug. 8, only two days after voting with other trustees to eliminate the International Baccalaureate program, Coeur d’Alene School Board Trustees Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour signed an online petition against IB. The petition read in part: “We believe that IB programs are unduly expensive, foster anti-American sentiment and seek to indoctrinate American youth in order to devalue their American citizenship and undermine our sovereignty as a nation in favor of global citizenry. Public schools should be apolitical.” In case you were wondering about the reasoning of those who oppose the IB/Primary Years Programme.

Read Dave Oliveria’sblog, Huckleberries Online, at

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