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Huckleberries: Coffee, pastry and the discussion topic of your choice

Sun., Feb. 2, 2014, midnight

Norm Gissel, the Coeur d’Alene human-rights activist and bulldog attorney who helped take down the Aryan Nations, has an offer you can’t refuse: Join him for coffee at 8 Friday mornings at Java on Sherman in downtown Coeur d’Alene. He’s ready to discuss a variety of issues. Human rights, of course. Politics. History. Art. Current events. Great books. You name it.

You might ask him how he and I ended up in the Washington prison at Walla Walla one day listening to Coeur d’Alene Realtor Marshall Mend recite bad poetry: “Two prisoners looked through the bars. One saw bricks. The other saw stars.” Or something like that. We were lucky to get out of there alive.

Hold ’em close

My Huckleberries Online commenters gave new Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer props for appointing City Hall critic Mary Souza to a selection committee to find a new police chief. Randy Myers summed up the sentiment: “Classy move. It shows he is open to very diverse views as a great mayor should be.” Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? … I accidentally deleted my work email inbox while Gonzaga was scrambling to get the ball to Sam Dower for that winning 3-pointer in the final two seconds against Santa Clara. But I can walk and chew gum at the same time … “Apple Cider” caused all those crashes and slide-off accidents last week. Canfield Middle Schoolers have the honor of naming storms for the Coeur d’Alene Street Department this year. And they went with “Apple Cider” for the first one … Those 900-plus hours of Salvation Army red kettle bell-ringing in Kootenai County during the yuletide raised $186,735.66. A record for local red kettle ringing and for fundraising. The money goes to help needy families in Kootenai County … Separated at birth? Actor Nick Offerman – who plays libertarian “Parks and Recreation” Director Ron Swanson on the popular NBC sitcom – and Kootenai County GOP Chairman Neil Oliver?


Poet’s Corner, Take One: “Careful out there:/slick, you know./Had this last year:/it’s called snow.” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“For Drivers Who Forget”) …

Poet’s Corner, Take Two: “Within her deepest heart of hearts/the horrid truth she hid:/she cared not if the Seahawks won/or if the Broncos did” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Her Secret Shame”) …

Poll: 58 percent of Hucks Nation oppose Gov. Butch Otter’s proposal to spend $2 million to kill more than 500 wolves …

That guy in a Coeur d’Alene outdoors store last week won’t win Father of the Year honors – you know, the one who told his two young sons to “square up” after they’d wandered off. Why? So he could kick them in the groin. He faked doing so. But still …

So John Eynon, one of many Elephants running for superintendent of schools in the Idaho GOPrimary, used to be a Constitutionalist. Big deal. Many Kootenai County “Republicans” still are Constitutionalists, Libertarians and Birchers, down deep in their hearts …

Last week, Costco was selling stamps for 46 cents for as long as the supply held out. Seems the Coeur d’Alene store had purchased an abundance of the stamps before the recent 3-cent first-class stamp hike – and wanted to pass the savings along to customers at the old price …

This 49er fan wants the Seahawks to win today. Many of my blog readers are Seattle fans. I want them to be happy when the workweek begins Monday.

Parting shot

In the “Kids Say the Darndest Things” Dept.: Kindergarten teacher Jen Rude of Hayden was delighted when a student’s mother offered to bring cookies for the school’s lemonade sale. So was the student, who asked: “Mom, can I help you make the cookies?” Responded Mom: “Oh, sweetie, the grocery store already made them.”

Read Dave Oliveria’s North Idaho blog, Huckleberries Online, at

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