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‘Landslide Marano’ lays claim to Fernan council seat

Judge Gene Marano emerged from retirement Tuesday to win a term as a councilman for the village of Fernan by a single vote, 25-24.

But 25 years ago today, Huckleberries told of Marano’s work as a magistrate of Idaho’s 1st District Court. He was presiding over a case involving a nervous North Idaho College music student accused of driving with a suspended license.

The defendant wanted another judge. And it had nothing to do with the time that Marano, as an attorney, had represented his father and seized the family car when Papa failed to pay for his legal services.

According to the Huckleberries column of Nov. 9, 1992, the defendant had once yelled a derogatory term at the then-defense attorney, who had been mowing the lawn. They’d been neighbors at the time.

As an overflow audience in Marano’s courtroom tried vainly to stifle laughter, the defense attorney pressed his client to repeat the remark. Marano had forgotten the incident. Over the prosecution’s objections, the defendant reluctantly said, “Big Head, Yard Ape.” The Huckleberries item concluded: “The Honorable BHYA said he was unbiased and elected to handle the case.”

Now, after his razor-thin win Tuesday, you can call the unflappable retired judge “Landslide Marano.”


That Huckleberry item about the late Louise Shadduck caught the eye of Life Flight Network pilot Mark Sales, of Coeur d’Alene. Last week, Huckleberries touted Mike Bullard’s 2013 book (“Lioness of Idaho”) about the Coeur d’Alene woman who helped shape Idaho politics. Comments Sales: “Louise used to baby-sit my brother and me. I caught a Rubber Boa snake in her yard once and named it after her.” Huckleberries suspects that kindhearted Louise got a kick out of that.

Feeding frenzy

Dave Bond, the cantankerous janitor-publisher of the Wallace Street Journal, doesn’t much mind the mattresses, refrigerators and “other crap” left beside the Placer Creek/Moon Pass Road. But he draws the line at the ha-huge “increase in gut piles.” Grouses Dave: “Clean ’em up or move them off the bloody road, would you? You’re just drawing the wolves and coyotes down.” And that’s the end of your public service announcement from Shoshone County, Idaho … How quiet were the mean streets of Kellogg and Wardner during a recent night shift patrolled by KPD’s Sgt. Paul Twidt? So quiet, says Twidt in his popular Roll Call report, that “I seriously felt like Rick Grimes on the first episode of ‘The Walking Dead.’ ”


Poet’s Corner: “Those clouds you see/ aren’t here to stay./ They’ll leave again/ sometime in May” – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Song for a November Morning”) … At 7:40 a.m. Nov. 2, Cis Gors of Kootenai, Bonner County, Facebooked that the first snowplows of winter 2017-18 had passed her house to deal with about an inch and a half of snow. She wondered: “Will they be so fast when we get 6 inches at a time this winter?” … In the Out of the Mouths of Babes Department, teacher Debra Cashman of Rathdrum reports that a kindergartner entered her classroom from the snow-covered playground recently and exclaimed: “Teacher, you need to fix the board. It still says ‘FALL.’ ” Well, technically, it still is fall. But Huckleberries sees the kid’s point … Pecky Cox, the town crier of Priest Lake, was on a quest to find socks that wouldn’t bunch up in her winter boots when husband Fred offered the go-to North Idaho solution: duct tape. However, several of her Facebook friends recommended a better alternative: Darn Tough Yeti Ski Socks.

Parting shot

Melissa Luck of KXLY would like to ban the word “butthurt” from the English language. Huckleberries had to look it up. It means (according to Urban Dictionary): “An inappropriately strong negative emotional response from a perceived personal insult.” In other words (sorry, Melissa), “butthurt” could describe the response of that Seahawks fan at Coeur d’Alene’s Lowe’s on Tuesday to the three missed field goals by kicker Blair Walsh against the Washington Redskins.

You can contact D.F. “Dave” Oliveria by emailing or calling (208) 889-0261.

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