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Thursday will see 59 Priest Lake cabin sites on auction block at CdA Resort

With a complex auction coming up Thursday for 59 state-owned lakefront cabin sites on Priest Lake, the state Department of Lands has released a fact sheet about how the whole thing will work; you can see it here. Among the highlights: The 59 lots – down from the 62 announced in July, as several have dropped out – have been divided randomly into four groups, with a quarter assigned to each, and groups have been scheduled for auction at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Each group is expected to take less than an hour.

Anyone who’s not the existing lessee and wants to bid on one of the lots must submit a $50,000 cashiers check ahead of time; if that person is the successful bidder, that $50,000 will be credited against the cost of the improvements on the property, for which the winning bidder must pay the existing lessee at appraised value. Existing lessees don’t have to put up the $50,000 because they already own the improvements.  There also are various fees that the winning bidder will have to pay.

The auction, which follows two earlier ones of state-owned cabin sites at Payette Lake, comes as the state Land Board has decided to get the state out of the business of renting lake lots on which people build and own their cabins, leading to years of battles about the appropriate fair-market rent to charge for the ground under the cabins. It’s the first of what’s expected to be a series of auctions for Priest Lake lots. Proceeds from the auction will go to Idaho’s public school endowment fund. This initial group consists of lots whose lessees had attempted to join land exchanges that were cancelled; they voluntarily agreed to the auction instead.

The auction will be for the lots, not including the value of the buildings on them. Starting bids are set at the appraised value, which ranges from $200,000 to $665,000. Information on all the properties is online here; the terms and conditions of sale are online here. The auction starts Thursday at 1 p.m. Pacific time at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

State To Auction Cabin, Burial Site

The Starlin family stands to lose a lot more than the lake cabin their great-grandfather hand-built on leased state land back in 1933 when Idaho auctions off the parcel next month. They could be leaving behind generations of family members whose remains have been buried there, too. Marissa Olsson still remembers the moving ceremony in which 30 extended family members shared memories of her grandmother, then each placed a handful of her ashes in a spot that held special memories of her; she took hers to the beach where she made her grandma mud pies, and her grandma obligingly pretended to eat them, a spot the two had dubbed the “Priest Lake Cafe.” Now, the family’s modest cabin is one of four set for conflict auctions next month, and the family has filed a lawsuit against the state of Idaho challenging the process, joining another cabin owner also facing a conflict auction/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Is the state doing the right thing by going ahead with the auction of this property?

GOP to put AR-15 up for bid

State Republicans will have a chance to bid on a rifle at the center of the current gun-control vs. gun rights debate, an AR-15, at their spring fund-raiser this weekend.

But State GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur said auctioning off the semi-automatic rifle is not a pro-gun statement. Washington Republicans are pretty much all pro-gun already.

“It’s a pro-fund-raising statement,” party spokesman Keith Schipper quoted Wilbur as saying.

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Original Batmobile up for auction - Packed full of gadgets

Many a weirdo has built a replica of the Batmobile, some for personal use and others to be sold for a hefty sum to passionate Batman nerds.  George Barris is their king having served as the sole owner of the one and only original Batmobile ever produced.  More impressive yet, he built it himself in 1966.  This year he’s banking on the hope it will make him a small fortune when it’s sold at the Barrett Jackson car auction in January.

Unlike most other TV show cars that are built by the dozen to be abused and destroyed the Barris’ Batmobile was the only original ever made.  Barrett, who’s anonymously famous for creating the Munster Koach for The Munsters and the Beverly Hillbillies’ car, was tasked with creating the Batmobile in a matter of weeks.

Without adequate time to design the caped crusader’s ride from the ground up Barrett decided to build upon Ford’s 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, which was based on a Lincoln Mark II.  Looking at the two cars side by side shows Garrett really didn’t change the Futura all that much.  Nonetheless the Batmobile was a hit, in large part for packing an option list of gadgets that made James Bond’s 1964 Aston Martin DB5 appear tame by comparison:

The Bat Turn 

Batman didn’t believe in emergency brakes.  Instead he would pull a handle to release the parachutes and spin the car 180 degrees.  When the turn was completed the parachutes would detach and be left in the street.  In later episodes, after fans of the show questioned why Batman would litter in such a fashion, Alfred would show up in a maintenance van to retrieve the parachutes. 

The Bat Ray

When activated in a chase the Bat Ray will render a ne'er do well’s car stone dead.  If they tried to start up again the ignition wouldn’t work leaving them to flee on foot or face Batman to exchange ‘Blams’!  Most modern day monster trucks are now equipped with a Bat Ray that can be activated from the pits, although they’re now referred to as kill switches to avoid copyright infringement.

Automatic Fire Extinguisher

When the Batmobile caught fire as it frequently would, the car would set off an automatic fire extinguisher to keep Batman’s spandex suit from permanently fusing to his body.  This was a critical gadget as appearing in pedestrian attire for periods of time were a necessary part of Batman’s double life.

The Mobile Bat Computer

Batman invented the fax machine.  If he needed to retrieve official crime-fighting documents from the Bat Cave he could download them to the Batmobile with the Bat Computer. He may have also invented the computer.

The Bat Beam

Perhaps the most violent gadget, the Bat Beam was the thing looked like a fly swatter on the antenna.  When activated the Bat Beam could destroy anything in its path:  Buildings, roadblocks or whatever it happened to be pointing at when Batman would slap Robin’s hand away from changing the radio station.  

Emergency Tire Inflator

Batman doesn’t get flats.  He denies them with the flip of a switch.

Bat Smoke Screen

Although smoke screens are old hat by now in the world of crime fighting super cars this classic gadget was an effective evasive tool Batman had in his arsenal. It also blinded innocent motorists, but along with property damage and streets littered with errant parachutes the people of Gotham understood its necessity. 

The Battering Ram

A classic double entendre used to bash through doors to warehouses where hostages were being held.  It was a tactical alternative to the Bat Ray as well as the most dangerous gadget when Batman was drunk.

Police Band Cut-In Switch

Batman commandeered what he wanted when he wanted.  That included barging his way onto the police radio band and disrupting other emergency calls to speak directly with the force on the Bat Phone. 

Bat Phone

Talking on the phone while driving was legal in those days.

Voice Control Batmobile Relay Unit

Gotham weirdoes loved the Batmobile and would steal it more often than was normal in other shows.  Little did they know Batman usually had the Batmobile Relay Unit – (a next-level Bat Ray) tucked into his utili-belt fanny pack.  The gadget allowed him to give voice commands that operated the car remotely.  

When the original Batmobile goes up for auction in January bidders will have the chance to take advantage of all these gadgets and probably a few more we’ve never heard of – A masked man always has another trick up his sleeve.

Regardless of is rarity, Jonathan Klinger, of the collector car insurance firm Hagerty Insurance, thinks the Batmobile will probably only sell for a few hundred thousand dollars, which isn’t much considering a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 used in James Bond films sold for $4.6 million in 2010. (1)

The problem Klinger believes is that too many people have already built top-notch Batmobile replicas, the best of which sell for under $100,000.

“I could be wrong,” said Klinger. “I'll bet George Barris hopes I'm dead wrong.” (1)

If gadgets are taken into consideration he just might be.


(1)    CNN Money

Friday auction benefits Valleyfest

Hot air balloons lift off from CenterPlace Event Center at dawn as part of Balloons Over Valleyfest in 2011. A balloon named “Spuds,” operated by Stephanie Hughes, of Spokane, is being filled as another lifts off toward the east. SR file photo.

According to an email I received from Valleyfest yesterday, time is running out to buy tickets for the dinner and auction Friday that benefits Valleyfest. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, and will be catered by Red Rock Catering. The items up for bid include a cruise, a Cessna 182 flight, a vation house, Mariners tickets, wine baskets, an international time share and gift certificates to local restaurants. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by calling (509) 922-3299 or visiting www.valleyfest.org.

No One Buys Hagadone’s House

Auction company J.P. King opened the auction of Duane Hagadone's old residence on Thursday afternoon, and 20 minutes after 2 p.m., the auction ended. Two registered bidders were interested in the property, at 3155 E. Harrison, on 15 acres of Stanley Hill. Neither bidder came up to the reserve price of $7.5 million. Look for a story later this evening on Spokesman.com that fills in some of the blanks. Perhaps the bidders were turned off by some of the glaring inadequacies of Mr. Hagadone's home on the hill. Such as: No built-in vacuum system; no trash compactor (the shame); no air purifier (admittedly not needed in these parts); and no sauna/SR Office Hours. More here.

Question: Why didn't anyone make an acceptable offer for Duane Hagadone's discounted Cherry Hill property?

Hagadone Home Auction Sept. 8

Duane Hagadone’s former Coeur d’Alene home on the hill will be sold at auction next month, if someone is ready to pay $7.5 million or more. That’s the starting price listed by J.P. King, a high-end auction house that calls the Sept. 8 auction “an opportunity of a lifetime.” Built more than a dozen years ago, the 15,000-square-foot home seems almost modest compared to some other mega-million-dollar estates that have popped up in North Idaho. This house, perched on 15 gated acres on Stanley Hill, features three bedrooms, 10 fireplaces and nine baths (plus a nine-car garage to match)/Tom Sowa, SR. More here.

Question: How much has the valuation of your home gone down since the Not-So-Great Recession began?

Cool auction coming on Thursday

Marianne Guenther Bornhoft is helping organize an auction of items from Applebee’s in Spokane Valley. SR photo/Dan Pelle

I'm sure many people in the Spokane Valley area have eaten at the Applebee's Restaurant at Mission and Pines at least once or twice. Part of the dining experience is gazing up at the walls at all the cool stuff hanging there - vintage signs, sports memorabilia, uniforms and more. And probably you've seen something you really liked and muttered about how you would like that hanging on your own wall. Well, now's your chance.

Columnist Doug Clark has a great story today about an auction coming up at Applebee's Thursday night that will see all that good stuff sold to raise money for a local charity that helps families in crisis. The bidding starts at 7 p.m. Thursday and is expected to go on for hours. There's no word on whether the bar will be open or not, but maybe if you've got the family checkbook it would be a good idea if it's not. Check out Doug's full story here.

Valley Applebee’s Auctioning Stuff

A sinister part of me would rather not be spreading the word about the hundreds upon hundreds of collectibles that will be auctioned Thursday night inside the Spokane Valley Applebee’s restaurant at Mission and Pines. Applebee’s, you see, will soon be updating its décor. So the management decided to let the public bid on the eye-catching items that have been displayed on the restaurant’s walls for years. Most of the items were donated back when the restaurant opened its doors. The idea was to infuse the business with local flavor. Items like vintage advertising signs, say. And celebrity photographs. And movie posters. And Valley high school band uniforms. And musical instruments. And old fishing gear/Doug Clark, SR. More here. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Question: What type(s) of memorabilia do you collect?

John Steinbeck Items To Be Auctioned

Auction items from the John Steinbeck archive, including a 1939 galley proof of his famous novel with a misspelling of the title as “The Gropes of Wrath,” is displayed at Bloomsbury Auctions in New York where it, among other items, will be auctioned next Wednesday, June 23. Expected to bring a total of $200,000 to $250,000, highlights include Steinbeck’s acceptance speech for his 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature and numerous manuscripts written in his neat script on lined yellow paper, on topics as diverse as his Irish roots and observations on camping. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Question: Which Steinbeck book did you read last?