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Christa: Kudos To New Chairman

On her Facebook wall, new Coeur d'Alene School Board Trustee Christa Hazel writes: "Kudos to Tom Hearn for setting a positive tone in yesterday's contract negotiations. It felt good to sit in on negotiations knowing that we WILL reach an agreement that will be positive for our community. Two more days scheduled later this month to hear counteroffers and hash out what I hope to be a final contract."

Question: Do you like the new tone of the Coeur d'Alene School Board? Or do you prefer the tough stance taken by the previous one in an attempt to change things?

New Trustees Shake Up Leadership

The conservative grip loosened Monday on the Coeur d’Alene School Board after a threesome of new board members were sworn in to their elected positions and quickly took control. Moments after the new trustees – Christa Hazel (pictured), Dave Eubanks and Tom Hearn – took their oaths, Eubanks nominated Hearn to serve as the board’s chairman and Hazel to serve as vice chair. Both were selected by the board’s new majority bloc, whose members also are Republican but describe themselves as moderates. The sudden change in leadership was nearly as abrupt as a year ago, when now-former board Chairman Tom Hamilton and now-former Vice Chair Terri Seymour took their positions. Hamilton and Seymour, halfway through their terms, were serving with three other conservatives appointed in the past 12 months to fill vacancies/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here.

DFO: I'm amused re: how hard the Hard Right tried to keep Christa Hazel off the School Board — and now she's the vice chairman. Hats off to Christa for hanging in there.

Question: Do you approve/disapprove of the new leadership on the Coeur d'Alene School Board?

Christa: Ready To Hit Ground Running

On her Facebook wall, Coeur d'Alene School Trustee-elect Christa Hazel posts: "July 1 is fast approaching. As an update, I wanted to let you know that I have been studying our district's business, budgets, funding mechanisms, contracts, issues, etc., in order to hit the ground running when I'm sworn into office this next Monday. The official oath of office will take place at noon at Midtown Center. The July regularly scheduled school board meeting will convene later that day at 5pm, also at Midtown Center. I am even more optimistic today than I was during the election that we CAN successfully tackle the tough challenges ahead while working for the best interest of our students in our classrooms."

Question: Do you think the hold-over trustees — Tom Hamilton and Terri Seymour — will work with or against the three new trustees who will form a board majority as of July 1?

Lake City Moderates Counter-Punch

After a string of victories for the far-right wing candidates they endorsed, it may have seemed like the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans were the only major force in North Idaho politics. But in last week’s election, the script changed. Neither Reagan Republican candidate won a Kootenai Hospital District board seat. And voters rejected the Reagan Republican-endorsed incumbents on the Coeur d’Alene school board in favor of a moderate Republican, an independent and even a Democrat. “On Tuesday night, it’s like we ripped back the curtain and found the Wizard of Oz was shorter and less powerful than we had feared,” Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Mike Kennedy says. The far-right had been bested by an alliance of moderates/Daniel Walters, Inlander. More here.

Question: Inquiring minds want to know: Will the Empire strike back in November?

Poll: Hazel For School Board Chair

  • Weekend Poll: Trustee-elect Christa Hazel received 113 of 204 legitimate votes 55.4%)  from Hucks Nation, which wants to see her become the next Coeur d'Alene School Board chairwoman. Current Chairman Tom Hamilton was second, 37 of 204 (18.1%); Tom Hearn third w/34 of 204 (16.7%), Dave Eubanks fourth w/19 of 204 (9.3%) and Terri Seymour last with 1 of 204 votes (0.5%). Hazel had more than 60% of the vote Friday evening when someone hacked in 160-170 votes in a short period of time. I removed 160 votes.
  • Today's Poll: What do you want Councilman Mike Kennedy to do re: re-election plans?

Hazel: Time To Get Over Negativity

On her Facebook page, Coeur d'Alene Trustee-elect Christa Hazel posts: "I received a gracious phone call last night from Trustee Regan congratulating us on our win. His call to me was classy and I appreciated it. Regardless of political views or personal opinions, Trustee Regan has served our community by giving his time and energy without pay or benefit. I recognize his efforts and I thank him for his service. I hope you will consider doing the same. Our district needs to come together and move past negative divisiveness. We begin to do that by thanking those that have served on our school board while we waited for the election."

Question: Will the Coeur d'Alene School Board now be able to get past the negativity and divisiveness of the past two years?

Trustee Regan Gracious After Loss

On his campaign Facebook wall, Trustee Brent Regan (shown walking to a post @ 15th & Hazel Tuesday (in this Duane Rasmussen photo), posted the following, after his loss to Trustee-elect Christa Hazel last night:

First I would like to congratulate the victors in the School Board race, Tom Hearns, Dave Eubanks and Christa Hazel. You each ran a good campaign and won the day. Now, for you, the real work begins. Next I would wish to express my heart felt gratitude to the volunteers and donors who worked tirelessly on my behalf. … Finally I would like to thank the voters who endured the mailings, door knocks, and phone calls and, despite these annoyances, took time from their busy day to go to the polls and vote. The vitality of our Republic depends on active and engaged citizens and you have set a fine example for others to emulate.

DFO: A Coeur d'Alene School Board with Brent Regan and Christa Hazel serving on it would have been a strong one. Unfortunately, the two were matched against each other. For all his baggage, Regan was a decent man who offered outside-the-box ideas. I'm glad Christa won. But I'm sorry to lose Regan's input in school matters.


Trustee Winners Form New Majority

There will be three new faces on the Coeur d'Alene School District Board of Trustees come July 1. Christa Hazel won the Zone 1 seat with 1,414 votes, representing 63 percent of the 2,237 votes cast. Brent Regan received 823 votes. This is the first time voters have selected a Zone 1 school trustee since 2009, when Edie (Brooks) McLachlan defeated Jim Purtee by seven votes. Since then, there have been three appointments to the seat, and Hazel sought, and was denied, the appointment each time. "I think the Coeur d'Alene School District voters felt we needed more than a party label," Hazel said. "They took a stand to say we need qualifications and transparent motives"/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Who should be the new School Board chairman?

Trustee Races Highlight Con Roots

Brent Regan’s yard signs identify him as a Republican. His challenger, Christa Hazel, has “common sense conservative” on hers. Political persuasion is on full display in the race to sit on the Coeur d’Alene School Board, even though the ballots make no reference to party. It’s one in a series of election showdowns here forming a politically charged battleground for offices long seen as strictly nonpartisan. Ever a conservative stronghold, Kootenai County looks to be swinging even further to the right with a wave of party faithful targeting city councils, school boards, the Kootenai Hospital District board and even lowly highway districts. Firing the salvos is the Reagan Republicans, a group that formed in 2009 with a clear focus in mind: Make elected Democrats and moderates as rare as the giant Palouse earthworm/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR photo: Brent Regan’s election sign adorns the front yard of a home in Hayden)

Question: So which side did better in promoting its candidates during the School Board/hospital board campaigns — Reagan Republicans or Balance North Idaho?

Regan Questions Partisan Label

On his Brent Regan Trustee Facebook wall, Trustee Regan says the Coeur d'Alene School Board is diverse and doesn't display a partisan balance. In part, he says:

The ONLY way you can claim the current Board is not diverse is if you put on partisan goggles that filter out everything but political affiliations. You must have a partisan perspective in order to claim there is a POTENTIAL for partisan behavior. But where is the evidence? Where is the proof that this Board has made ANY decision that advances one political party over the other? Where is this imagined party bias? You can read the rest of the post here.

Question: Why would/wouldn't you describe the Coeur d'Alene School Board as diverse? Can you point to any party bias in the board's dealing over the last 12 months?

Regan & Hazel Face Off

Here's the one-liner from challenger Christa Hazel that received the biggest laugh/ovation of her debate with Zone 1 Trustee Brent Regan Tuesday evening — a reaction that drew a warning to the audience from Coeur Group moderator Peter Smith. (Video courtesy of Coeur d'Alene TV Channel 19)

Regan Disses ‘Freshly Minted’ Cons

Huckleberries is still amused by appointed Trustee Brent Regan's reference to some challengers for area School Board elections as "recently minted conservatives." On his Facebook page, he listed himself among the "solid conservatives" along with Ann Seddon, Glorie Ward, Carol Goodman, Bjorn Handeen. Possibly Regan wasn't living in the Coeur d'Alene area when his opponent, Christa Hazel, was working for the Queen Mother of All Conservatives, the late Helen Chenoweth-Hage. Or when Christa was working on the campaigns for Phil Batt and Butch Otter — or serving as constituent coordinator in the Coeur d'Alene office for then Gov. Dirk Kempthorne. Regan is using the routine trick of local Hard Right in denouncing reasonable Republicans as "libruls." Meanwhile, he, the Reagan Republicans and others even further to the right readily embrace trustee candidate Bjorn Handeen, who was a Minnesota Constitutionalist only a few years ago. Huckleberries doesn't mind Constitutionalists, Libertarians, Birchers or Ron Paulers running as Republicans. That's certainly their right in Kootenai County. But these candidates should at least have the integrity to tell voters what they really are.

Question: Are you as tired as I am of the Hard Right questioning the Republican and conservative credentials of anyone who isn't in his/her camp?

Christa’s Campaign is official

Christa Hazel For School Board - Coeur d'Alene, ID

It's official. This just in from Christa Hazel:

The petition for candidacy with 10 verified electors was submitted and approved today. I am appreciative for the early support I've received to get on the ballot for School Board Zone 1. The website, www.votechrista.com is up and running, as well as the FB page (www.facebook.com/votechrista) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/Vote_Christa).

I will provide a reasonable common sense conservative voice on our school board. I have a vested interest in public education — my children attend our public schools. I have deep roots in Idaho conservative politics with real world small business experience. I also have a track record of successful leadership as well as dedicated service to our local schools. 

How do you think Christa will do against Brent Regan, if the appointee decides to seek election in his own right?

3 Seek School Board Vacancy

Brent Regan (middle), one of three applicants for a Coeur d'Alene School Board vacancy, is interviewed by a Coeur d'Alene Press reporter during a demonstration by United Conservatives of North Idaho near the Kootenai County Courthouse earlier this fall.

The next trustee to round out the Coeur d'Alene School District's five-member school board will likely be one of three applicants who submitted their paperwork by Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline. Trustees will consider Christa Hazel, Casey Morrisroe and Brent Regan for appointment to the board's vacant Zone 1 seat. Jim Purtee held the position by appointment from April until Nov. 15, when he resigned, citing health reasons. The board will meet Monday at 5 p.m. at the Midtown Center to interview the applicants and potentially select one for appointment. Hazel and Morrisroe each previously sought appointment to the Zone 1 seat and were in a pool of six applicants from which Purtee was selected last spring. Hazel also applied for appointment in May 2011 following Edie Brooks McLachlan's resignation/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Will Coeur d'Alene school trustees base their next appointment on ideology or qualifications?

Christa: More CSB Notice Wanted

Christa Hazel: My issue with the Person Field topic Monday night has to do with public notice. The agenda stated that the presentation by Mr. Wardell would cover disposal of real property WITHOUT naming which properties. In the future, I would hope the board would have the foresight to detail this on the agenda. Kudos to Trustee Seddon for speaking to this lack of notice and kudos to Trustee Hamilton for allowing public comment based on the revelation regarding these two properties.

Question: I suspect the new School Board learned a lesson from the Person Field blowback re: notice on important issues. Tom?

Post Falls Woman Heads To Bike Leg

Post Falls resident (and Coeur d'Alene High School alum), Vicki Kimball, 36, finished with an official time of 13:58:56. (Christa Hazel photo special to Huckleberries Online)

Stockbroker Bullock Finishes Ironman

Coeur d'Alene resident amd stockbroker, Scott Bullock, 40, finished Ironman with an official time of 13:33:15. (Christa Hazel special photo for Huckleberries Online)

Koler, Quinn, Hazel Apply For Trustee

The Kootenai Board of County Commissioners has received six (6) applications for the vacant position in Trustee Zone 1, Coeur d’ Alene School District 271. The applicants are: Christa Hazel; Duncan Koler; J. Casey Morrisroe; James L. Purtee; Wanda Quinn; and Luke Sommer. The Board has also received approximately 65 questions from the public which will be reviewed by the Commissioners and the current sitting school board members for consideration as part of the interview process. Interviews will be conducted jointly by the Board of County Commissioners and the four trustees of District 271. The public is welcome to attend the interviews.
The interviews will take place at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 26 in the Kootenai County Administration Building, Meeting Rooms 1A/1B/Kootenai County Board of Commissioners news release.


Christa Applies For Trustee Vacancy

On her Facebook wall, Christa Hazel writes: "I submitted my name to the county commissioners to be considered for the Zone 1 school board trustee appointment process. If you have a moment, drop them an email on my behalf. Commissioners Nelson, Green and Tondee can be reached via kcbocc@kcgov.us . Message me if you have any questions. THANKS! Your support is appreciated."

DFO: Kootenai County commissioners have set 5 p.m. today as deadline for applications for the Coeur d'Alene School Board vacancy caused by the court ouster of appointed Trustee Wanda Quinn. Huckleberries will have the names of those who apply shortly after 5 o'clock today.

Christa: Need Monster Jam Tips

On her Facebook wall, Christa writes: "Going to my first ever Monster Jam monster truck show this weekend. Courtney Beebe says that I should wear a tank top with a flannel shirt and jeans that sparkle but I'm not so sure. Any one out there have tips on appropriate monster truck attire and/or tips for the show itself? I am aware I need ear protection but should it coordinate with the sparkle jeans or the flannel?"

Question What is proper attire at a Monster Jam?

Christa: Extend Coeur d’Alene Levy

I wanted to let you know of a group of parents (including myself) that created an online petition in advance of tomorrow's school board special workshop meeting.  The workshop meeting is rumored to be the starting point of a long discussion regarding a possible spring or summer levy vote.  The idea behind the online petition is to let our elected trustees know that there are parents and community members who are requesting that our community be asked to support safety and security related improvements in our schools.  We want voters to be asked to extend the expiring levy so we can begin to tackle the long list of needs that have been previously identified in the school district's Ten Year Long Range Plan.  You can find the Plan thru this link here (And: you can find an online petition here) — Christa Hazel. More below.

Question: Do you support continuing the Coeur d'Alene School District levy?

Christa: Living In An F-Bomb World

Christa Hazel re: 'Modern Family' expletive causes stir: What I know is that in this day and age, no matter how hard I try, the f-word gets overheard. It could be as simple as walking down the street and my kids hear it from a bar patron with sidewalk seating. I also know that kids embarrass parents by repeating things they shouldn’t and it creates comedy gold as a story to re-live at a later date. I’m not surprised that a tv show would pick this up. It’s not the first time. This last Christmas, I just wanted to share a holiday movie about a Red Ryder BB Gun with my kids and instead had to answer questions regarding “electric sex” and what the “F-Word” was (which Ralphie, like Lily, says, “Fudge.”) I cant change the world. I can only deal with cards I’m dealt to play this game. Unfortunately, it includes the F word. As a parent, I don’t like it but I address it regardless.

Question: How old were you when you dropped your first F-bomb?

Big Zag Win Has Down Side

On her Facebook wall, Christa Hazel reports a down side to that ha-huge Gonzaga Bulldogs win over visiting Portland Wednesday night: "Zag Night Mystery: how did I end up with Bengay or IcyHot on my coat? It stunk up the car ride home and rubbed through to my clothing on my shoulder, arm and transferred to my eye. Kids behind me were little and appeared too young for pranks."

Question: When did you last use Ben Gay or IcyHot?

Christa: IB Audience Misbehaved

Christa Hazel followed a report re: the IB (International Baccalaureate) meeting last night: "I am disappointed that there are so many community members not ashamed to be openly rude and it seemed to fall on one side.  Some people barked at the speakers when they couldn't hear or the speakers were too loud.  One older man interrupted a lady who was speaking about IB teachers like Mr. Ruskovich  and asked why Mr. Ruskovich sends his kids to Charter Academy.  Mr. Ruskovich, from the audience, re-directed the attention by stating, "Why don't you ask me that question, Sir." As an audience member, it was difficult to hear all of the speakers because of the side conversations in the audience.  One man kept muttering "this is bull****" and kept raising his hand as though he wanted to question each speaker." Full meeting report here. (Christa Hazel photo: Debbie Morris addressing Wanda Quinn.  Matt Handelmann, assistant Superintendent is seated next to Wanda.)

Question: I noticed this same phenomenon during the final meeting on proposed McEuen Field changes — older adult people in the audience acting like 2-year-olds when they didn't agree with something being said. Why are people in this town so disrespectful in public settings when they disagree with something?

Christa Busted For Speeding

A funny thing happened to Christa Hazel, new VP for the Bryan Elementary PTA, on the way to school Wednesday morning — she got popped by CPD Blue Pat Sullivan for speeding 11 mph over limit @ 11th & Harrison (not a school zone). At which point she had the choice of a $85 ticket that would go on her record and would be considered by her insurance company. Or a $75 ticket plus 3-hour traffic school with the ticket not reported to insurance.  She was forced to make the choice on the spot, with a bus load of children passing by with their little faces pressed against the windows, waving. She picked the traffic school, taught by Officer Nick Knoll. The traffic school, Christa told Huckleberries, provides plenty of insight about what our CDA PD encounters while on traffic patrol. Christa was "classmates" with her best friend, Angie Phillips, who was also popped for going 11 mph over the speed limit recently. Believe it or not, The two once attended a NASCAR-type racing school for a week. Adding insult to injury, Christa's children begged her not to tell hubby Joel about the ticket until they returned from school to witness the spectacle. (Photo: Christa Hazel, left, and Angie Phillips)

Question: When did you last get a speeding ticket?

Don’t forget to tune in

Hucks Online regular Christa Hazel will be Kerri Thoreson's special guest on Main Street Monday. You can hear Christa at 7 a.m. on http://www.kvni.com/

Who wants to call DFO to make sure he's awake?

Christa: I Was Wrong Re: Recycle Bins

Christa Hazel: I’m gonna do something rarely seen on HBO: I’m admitting I was wrong. Not mistaken. Not misunderstood. Just plain old WRONG. I called, I ranted and I refused the big blue bin. I did not want to make room for the added bin size. Waste Management stated that I would not receive my blue bin. And then they delivered it anyway. My husband urged me to reconsider running down the street after Waste Management like a crazy woman and then he offered to find room in our garage. Now we have a recycle bin that I have grown to love. To the City Councilman I ranted at — I am sorry. To DFO - Thanks for continuing to remind me of my narrow mindedness on this issue. To the liberals I irritated because I didn’t want to bother making room in my crowded garage — you were right — I get a smug sense of satisfaction every time I choose the big blue bin. I feel superior to my neighbor who has never recycled whether the bin was big or small. ;)

DFO: I also was wrong about roundabouts. I like them now, too.

Question: When did you last admit you were wrong about something?

Christa: Political Signage Issues Silly

Christa Hazel: I wish candidates and their support crew would spend more time on actual topics that real people are concerned about: Taxes, economy, jobs, law enforcement, etc. I wish they would spend less time crying foul over who faxed what from where OR silly signage issues like this picture. Perhaps if they put feet on pavement, talking the comon guy around town, then they might come up with some ideas to help our community. Instead, candidates get so wrapped up in their own campaign and things like faxes and signage become a lead story. Political nit picking doesn’t solve problems and it doesn’t inspire one to vote.

Question: What will you miss the least of all the political annoyances this campaign season?

Handle X: Christa Disses Attorney

You may know that Christa Hazel demanded a witness fee and mileage when she was subpoenaed by attorney Arthur B. Macomber to testify in the contempt-of-court case against Bill McCrory. But did you know that Christa refused to give the $21.27 back after charges against Macomber’s client were dismissed by Judge Charles Hosack? The contempt case was a sideshow during the long-running legal circus starring disgruntled City Council election loser Jim Brannon and his attorney, Starr Kelso. On Oct. 19, Macomber sent a letter to Christa asking that she return the fee because she didn’t have to testify or drive to the courthouse. And Christa, through attorney hubby Joel, told Macomber to pound sand/DFO, Huckleberries Online. More here.

McCrory Lawyer Wants Witness Fee

As you may recall, Christa Hazel demanded a witness fee and mileage when she was subpoenaed by attorney Arthur B. Macomber to testify in the contempt of court case filed against Macomber’s client, Bill McCrory (as a side show in the long-running Jim Brannon lawsuit against Mike Kennedy). Judge Charles Hosack dismissed those charges. Now, Macomber has sent a letter to Christa asking that she return the witness fee because she didn’t have to testify or drive to the courthouse. And Christa, through attorney husband, Joel Hazel, is telling Macomber to pound sand. Responds Joel Hazel to Macomber: “It is certainly not my wife’s fault that you mistook a 4 p.m. status conference for a trial (Never in my 16-year law practice has a court set a trial at 4 p.m.)” Joel goes on to say his wife endorsed the witness fee check and turned it over to Mike Kennedy’s defense fund. So she doesn’t have the $21.46 to turn over to Macomber. “As such,” writes Joel, “the $21.46 will not be returned.” I’ll have links to letters in a few moments.

Question: Should Christa return the witness fee?