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Huckleberries: Wolfinger defends right to miss recent gun rally

An Athol gun lover gave new Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger a razzberry for not attending that Second Amendment rally in Coeur d’Alene on Jan. 19.

In a letter to the Coeur d’Alene Press, Michael Alexander said: “Where were you? Do you not support the Constitution which you were sworn to uphold?”

On Thursday, Wolfinger provided a measured response. Of the proposals laid out by President Barack Obama to rein in gun violence, Wolfinger said: “Personally, I oppose many of them and will watch and see if the courts rule on the constitutionality of them. However, some of the proposals I don’t disagree with.” Wolfinger supports expanding background checks for firearms sales and keeping firearms out of the hands of “the wrong people,” like the mentally ill and convicted felons.

Anything short of total agreement with the National Rifle Association, of course, will fail to appease gun activists. However, 68 percent of my Huckleberries blog ( readers agreed with Wolfinger’s decision to stay clear of the rally.

Hands off

The Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe is rightfully concerned that hobbyists with metal detectors may be finding Native American artifacts off the North Idaho College Beach in winter low water.

Last week, the tribe was alerted to the situation by a Coeur d’Alene Press story about a Hayden man who has found submerged treasures from 19th-century Coeur d’Alene. The old Fort Sherman and Indian powwows were once located nearby.

The tribe issued a statement to my Huckleberries blog saying it is illegal to loot Indian artifacts from public land. Which Lake Coeur d’Alene is. The newspaper article and press release didn’t scare the hobbyists off. They were still in the water with metal detectors at least three straight days last week.


Gordon Crow, a former Idaho state senator from Hayden, is on the move again – this time to Louisiana. Crow is leaving his chamber of commerce exec post in Laramie, Wyo., for similar work with the Houma-Terrebonne chamber (one hour from New Orleans). Crow served three terms in the Idaho Legislature (1995-2000) before leaving for a PR job with Schwan Food Co. in the Great Lakes region … Did the audience in your showing of the latest James Bond movie (“Skyfall”) cheer when the caretaker of the family manse told 007 that most of the old weapons had been sold “to some gun collector in Idaho”? My audience did … “I fell flat on my butt for the first time this winter. I’m quite proud of the fact that I made it all the way to January before this happened” – Kaitlyn Krasselt of the Idaho Argonaut student newspaper. Pride goeth before the fall?

Parting shot

Dan Gookin, the maverick Coeur d’Alene councilman, told Huckleberries blog readers why he continues to vote against all city committee appointments: “My thoughts are that a committee that approves its own members perpetuates a closed-box thinking. After all, knowing human nature, a group is unlikely to invite in new members who don’t already think like the group. I don’t believe that’s representative of the general public and certainly wouldn’t present itself as a valid cross-section of concerned citizens.”

Methinks Councilman Gookin just described the school board – two elected, three appointed – to a tee.