April 28, 2013 in City, Idaho

Huckleberries: Mayor Bloem’s departure a win for hard-liners

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Now, we all know what Mayor Sandi Bloem meant at the annual Human Rights Banquet on Monday when she said she’d return to the feast in 2014, but maybe not in the same capacity. She had already decided not to seek re-election to a fourth term, for personal and professional reasons – not because she feared possible stiff competition against rival Councilman Dan Gookin.

Bloem told Huckleberries on Wednesday that she wasn’t going to run, when your columnist followed up on her banquet remark. Despite her extraordinary accomplishments over the past 11-plus years (from construction of the Kroc Center and library to the Education Corridor), Bloem has attracted fanatical opponents. Who include masterminds of the failed 2012 recall effort against her and GOP hard-liners who want every nonpartisan elective office in Kootenai County filled with their kind of Republican.

The decision to move ahead with the $20 million McEuen Field upgrade probably sealed her fate. Two years ago, Bloem told Huckleberries that the upgrade of the underused field was a hill that she was willing to die on. A decade from now, the Bloem administration will be viewed as a golden era of Coeur d’Alene politics. Unfortunately, today, the boobirds have driven a top-notch mayor to the sidelines.

Out, out, damn ticket

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department shouldn’t expect that guy in the black two-door Ford, with Kootenai County plates, to pay that $15 parking ticket issued by K301 at 9:40 Tuesday morning – you know, the one who grabbed the ticket and envelope, wadded them up and tossed them on the ground. The North Idaho College student parked his Ford front end into a tiny space, leaving the trunk and bumper hanging out onto Rosenberry Drive (aka Dike Road). Ere he drove outta sight, your columnist picked up the ticket during a noontime walk and tucked it into my back pocket. Which saved the scofflaw a litter ticket, too.

After learning that Mayor Sandi Bloem had decided not to seek re-election to a fourth term, Councilman Mike Kennedy told Huckleberries that he’s “officially undecided.” Mike, who has earned the undying animosity of the dominant local GOP by having the audacity to be an elected Democrat, is finishing his second term … In the “Readers Say the Darndest Things” Department, City Editor Addy Hatch tells Huckleberries that a caller objected to a columnist (Doug Clark) calling Boston terror suspect a ‘punk.’ Quoth the reader: “It’s OK to call him a ‘terrorist,’ but not a ‘punk.’ ” Hunh? … Bumpersnicker on Navy blue Dodge Durango parked on Rosenberry Drive between North Idaho College and the Spokane River during the noon hour last week: “Keep your theocracy off my democracy” … Sightem on the Centennial Trail in the Coeur d’Alene Education Corridor Wednesday – a male in an orange shirt, riding a bicycle, with a green macaw perched on his right shoulder. Not too color-coordinated there … Poll: 73 percent of my Huckleberries blog crowd (spokesman.com/hbo) rate Coeur d’Alene Mayor Bloem as “best ever” (48.15 percent) or “above average” (24.87 percent). Only 16 percent rated her “failed” or “below average.”

Parting shot

Former Sheriff Rocky Watson has a buyer for the old Hagadone “cabin,” if Post Falls Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson wins Powerball. Kerri declared on her Facebook page last week that she’d buy the cabin with cash and live happily with hubby Bert ever after. The cabin has been a white elephant since Rocky bought it from Hagadone five years ago and then barged it from Casco Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene to five acres on nearby Cougar Bay. But that could change if Kerri’s Powerball luck does.


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