Latest from The Spokesman-Review
As the projected November opening of Coeur d'Alene's new WinCo quickly approaches, new details continue to surface about the shopping center the grocery store will anchor. The CrossRoads commercial development is bordered by Ramsey Road to the west, Appleway to the south and Marie Avenue to the north. The WinCo building itself is in the northeast corner of the property with five businesses attached to the west side. Two of those apparently are SuperCuts and Subway. Details on those later. A representative of CrossRoads developer Hughes Investments says they haven't been given a firm opening date for the WinCo store, but there's been some talk about doors opening at the shopping center as early as Nov. 7. Four future business building pads border Ramsey Road on the west and a fifth pad is in the southeast corner. Others can be added. About half of the 16-acre property is designated for parking, primarily in the center/Nils Rosdahl, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Which local retailer will be hurt most by presence of WinCo @ Ramsey/Appleway?
COEUR d'ALENE - Doug Miller, who spearheaded the Coeur d'Alene Diamond Cup Hydroplane races over Labor Day weekend, issued a press release Thursday saying the event lost money. But Miller would not answer repeated requests for details this week, leaving the public to try to fill in important blanks.
In the release, Miller stated that organizers were grateful for the support they received from the community, although it wasn't enough.
“We will need to rely heavily on the businesses that benefit from these races such as hotels, motels, restaurants and retail to do their part and giving back by becoming financial supporters,” he wrote.
Miller also had a message for those who attended the event.
“We also appreciate the attendees who supported the event by buying tickets, but there were many who found a way to attend the races without paying, either viewing from land or boat,” he wrote. “This will also need to come to a halt next year or the races cannot continue.” Read more. Jeff Selle, CdA Press
Do you want the hydro races to return next year?
State rights were a common theme among many of the break-out session at the Republican Liberty Caucus of Idaho's Liberty Expo on Saturday - specifically the need to exercise nullification. About 100 people turned out for the event that was held all day at the Best Western Plus Coeur d'Alene Inn. They listened to dozens of 10th amendment experts and legislators discuss issues ranging from the media's coverage of federal issues to gun rights. There were sessions on how to effectively lobby the legislature and motivate grassroots activism. But in nearly every discussion the issue of nullification of federal laws came to the forefront and many expressed how frustrated they are that Idaho won't even go there. Many lawmakers say that the word itself is a political lightning rod making it difficult for them to even bring up. “It really, in my mind, is a polarizing term, but as I look around here, we are preaching to the choir,” said Idaho State Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens. “We know here that it is not an offensive term”/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Gabe Green's Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Ben Swann, a two-time Emmy award winning broadcast journalist, speaks about mainstream and alternative media Saturday)
Question: What does it say to you that the Liberty Caucus of the Republican Party considers nullification of federal laws to be a real objective?
STCU and Hughes Investments are happy to announce that the region’s leading credit union plans a branch at The CrossRoads Coeur d’Alene, a retail center where WinCo Foods will be the base occupant. “We are very excited that STCU will be opening a new branch in The CrossRoads at Coeur d’Alene,” said Alan Johnson, Senior Vice President of Development for Hughes Investments, which is developing the center. “STCU will definitely add to the success of the project. We are anxious for their opening.” Hughes Investments plans to open CrossRoads Coeur d’Alene in March 2014 on 16.5 acres where sand and gravel were formerly mined. Construction of the credit union branch will begin within 18 months at the corner of Ramsey Road and West Appleway Avenue, said Scott Adkins, STCU Vice President of Lending. The branch is not yet named/Dan Hansen, Spokane Teachers Credit Union. More here.
A candidates forum for the 12 candidates for Coeur d'Alene mayor and three City Council positions is set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2. The forum will begin at 5:30 p.m. featuring the three candidates for mayor: Joe Kunka, Mary Souza and Steve Widmyer. The other debates will follow at half-hour intervals with the candidates for council Seat 2 — Amy Evans, Jared Festner and Chris Fillios — to debate after the mayor's candidates, at 6 p.m. At 6:30 p.m. the debate for council Seat 4 — Amber Copeland, Sharon Hebert and Woody McEvers — will be held. At 7 p.m. the debate for council Seat 6 — Noel Adam, Gary Herfurth and Kiki Miller — will be held. The Coeur Group will provide the emcee and two other panelist to ask candidates questons. You can read about the Coeur Group and the format and rules of the forum here.
Question: Do you think any candidate will skip the forum as some did during the Coeur d'Alene School Board races in the spring?
In recent months, I communicated that our community has been successfully recovering from the reputation of being discriminatory. This terrible attribute was the result of the Aryan Nation and its wickedness toward people of color – an evil that is condemned by all who have a good “moral compass”. I also told you that the request for the LGBT ordinance may have the potential to revive the national stigma associated with North Idaho. You are making my case. Your recent “My Turn” suggests that a “discussion” about the ordinance will revive our former reputation. I find it odd that in our past discussions we could not see eye to eye about this - and now we agree. Secondly, I also told you that the LGBT ordinance would impose upon the rights of one party or group in order to provide rights to another group or person and therefore does not protect the rights of all people-groups in Coeur d’Alene. In this, we now seem to agree as well/Pastor Paul Van Noy, Candlelight Church. More here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo, of Pastor Paul Van Noy)
Question: So is the 2013 Coeur d'Alene city elections going to be a rematch between the Christians and the lions?
WinCo Foods will hire about 180 people for the supermarket it plans to open in Coeur d'Alene in the first half of November, a company official said Wednesday. Management staff for the store will be made up of individuals who have been transferred from other stores, said Michael Read, vice president of public and legal affairs for WinCo. The Coeur d'Alene store is at 1485 W. Appleway Ave., just east of Ramsey Road and north of Interstate 90. Read said the company is already accepting applications online for the Coeur d'Alene store. The company website is www.wincofoods.com. He said the company is looking for new employees for every aspect of store operations. He said the company usually pays slightly above the prevailing wage for each position in the industry/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
DFO: The best job that I had as a teen/young adult was grocery store work, as a clerk, stocker & box boy. How about you?
Question: Have you ever worked in a grocery store?
Tony Stewart, long-time leader of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations wrote the following open letter to Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members Ron Edinger, Dan Gookin, Deanna Goodlander, Mike Kennedy and Woody McEvers:
I hope all is well with you. I want to share with you what I found deeply troubling regarding the positions of mayoral candidates Mary Souza and Joe Kunka in the “Coeur d’Alene Press” interview on September 12 when addressing the anti-discrimination ordinance passed by the City of Coeur d’Alene on June 4. As one who has spent a lifetime studying and teaching constitutional law and a human rights activist, I find these candidates’ position historically both foreign to and antagonistic toward the democratic principles of freedom and equality for all Americans including all the residents of Coeur d’Alene. We in the human rights community will once again be energized to take a firm stand against discrimination directed toward any of our citizens. I personally oppose the stands of Mr. Kunka and Ms. Souza based upon the following points. List of complaints here.
‘Coeur d’Alene” opened at Northland Pioneer College in Snowflake, Ariz., last week, with former Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Judy in the audience. Never heard of the play? Well, neither had Huckleberries until a blog reader sent a link. Dramatist Lisa Jayne’s play explores the conflicting issues faced by Judy and the community in 1998 when the Aryan Nations requested a parade permit to goose-step along Coeur d’Alene’s Sherman Avenue – free speech rights versus confronting religious and racial bigotry. That year human-rights activists turned “lemons into lemonade,” after the permit was granted, by raising money via pledges for every minute that the racists marched ($35,000 for 27 minutes). The play comes with a warning: “The play contains mature themes and language that may be unsuitable for children.” It’ll be interesting to see if “Coeur d’Alene” ever plays in Coeur d’Alene/DFO, Sunday SR Huckleberries. More here.
Other weekend SR columns:
- Parenting is unique, not cooperative/Jill Barville
- Ridpath Hotel on road to new beginning/Shawn Vestal
- Seahawk victory worth raising one eyebrow/John Blanchette
- Slice: Wise 5YO knows when to stick his neck out/Paul Turner
- Outdoors: Hunters hone skills at shooting ranges/Rich Landers
- Webster set to lead Civic Theatre's 'Les Miserables'/Jim Kershner
- Eye on Boise: Sens. Crapo, Risch to host online townhalls/Betsy Russell
Question: Do you remember the 1998 “Lemons to Lemonade” campaign of human rights activists?
S-R photojournalist Kathy Plonka covered the CDA game against Skyline. Check out this big picture gallery of her photos.
The Coeur d'Alene Press asked the three Coeur d'Alene mayoral candidates to provide their opinions on the city's nondiscrimination ordinance, which was passed earlier this summer (story here):
- Joe Kunka: “You're alienating everyone else. For the council to vote against the overwhelming majority of its people, that wasn't very smart. You can't protect everybody,” he said, adding: “I think the only people now who don't have some sort of protection are white guys between the ages of 18 and 90.”
- Mary Souza: “They went ahead and pushed it through and they left a lot of people in that room feeling left out - that their opinions or their views or their concerns were not worthy of consideration,” she said. Souza said as mayor, she would vote whichever way the public favored on highly charged topics when the opinion is stacked on one side, regardless of how she feels personally.
- Steve Widmyer: “I understand those people's emotions that were against it. I understand they feel passionately against that.” But “it's not just the people that come to the council meetings (who had an opinion on the ordinance) … You have to take a pulse of a whole community.”
Question: Which candidate best expresses your feelings on the city's new antidiscrimination ordinance?
Item: Coeur d'Alene prevails against lawsuit to block downtown high-rise/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: The City of Coeur d'Alene prevailed last week in a lawsuit that was initially filed to stop a high-rise condominium project on the corner of First Street and Lakeside Avenue. The suit, originally filed in February by the Coeur d'Alene North Homeowners View Preservation, LLC, was dismissed by Judge Lansing Haynes on Sept. 5. According to the City of Coeur d'Alene's outside attorney, Mike Haman, the suit was originally filed against the city and Colorado-based One Lakeside, LLC, which is planning to build a 14-story condominium at 201 N. First Ave.
Question: Ready for one more downtown high-rise?
Artist Harold Balazs talked about his upcoming show in his studio near his home in Mead, Wash.,on Tuesday. Balazs’ joint show with painter Mel McCuddin, opening Friday at The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene, will hint at this new direction. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)
It’s far too late for Harold Balazs to be an outsider. As an artist, he knows what he’s doing. Other people – lots of them – know what he’s done. “Outsider artist” is a term applied, loosely, to those who don’t know what they’re doing, technically – those working well outside the mainstream of the art world. Outsider artists haven’t been to art school. They don’t know any art dealers. Balazs – whose public art dots Spokane and Coeur d’Alene and whose exhibitions have drawn crowds to museums and galleries – knows he’s not fooling anyone. But he’s fascinated by the artwork of “outsiders,” who might be children and might be mentally ill people living in institutions, and how their minds seem to run, and how their work sometimes is “just so magical”/Adrian Rogers, SR. More here.
Question: Are you a follower of the arts in the Coeur d'Alene area?
During the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting Tuesday, City Hall critic Frank Orzell raised questions re: the McEuen Field project. You can read Orzell's concerns in the draft minutes of City Clerk Renata McLeod's report below:
Frank Orzell, Coeur d’Alene, stated that he wanted to know when the taxpayers would be told the total cost for McEuen, which he believes is $23 million. He believes that any costs of city employees related to the project should also be added in to the total. Mr. Tymesen stated that the document presented by Mr. Orzell at $23 million does not add up and that he will know the final costs after the completion of the project. Mr. Orzell stated that he believes the project was supposed to increase in green space and from the pictures presented tonight he believes there is a subtraction of green space and he would like a breakdown of the totals. More here.
Question: Has anyone been down to McEuen Field to view the progress of the makeover?
As mentioned on this blog last week, Noel Adam of 3939 N22nd St. has filed his candidacy papers to run for open City Council Seat No. 6. Kiki Miller is the only other candidate who has filed for the seat now occupied by long-time Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander. Adam, a Coeur d'Alene Realtor, submitted a petition with six signatures: Tricia Dean, P.J. Dean, Sandra Davis, Nancy A. Adam, James E. Pryor and his own. Huckleberries told you that he would be a candidate after seeing that he was listed as a Coeur d'Alene City Council candidate who would be a Reagan Republican guest speaker this month. Filing deadline for Coeur d'Alene city candidates is 5 p.m. Friday.
On her Facebook wall, City Council candidate Amber Copeland posts: “The website is finally up. It has taken a little longer than originally believed because my web design savvy leaves something to be desired. I will continue to add to the website as the election progresses. If there is an issue you would like to see discussed, please don't hesitate to post it. All questions and comments are welcomed. So check it out and share.” Click here for Amber's campaign page.
Question: Do you look at candidates' Facebook pages?
Jim Brannon sent this news release to Huckleberries Online moments ago: “Since I announced my candidacy for mayor of the great city of Coeur d’Alene, I have been humbled by the generous support and encouragement of my fellow citizens. While I believe my leadership would have been beneficial to our community, it is far more important to me that Coeur d’Alene’s voters focus on the issues. If I were to continue actively pursuing the office of mayor, there is little doubt that the winner of the election this fall would be determined by less than a majority of the votes. Such a result is unacceptable to me and I believe that it could lead to further discord.” More here.
Question: How does Jim Brannon's decision affect the race for mayor?
Some residents hate what's happened with McEuen Field. Others - actually, they're many of the same ones who hate what's happened with McEuen - oppose the urban renewal vehicle that's funding most of the McEuen makeover. Still others experience acid reflux every time they swallow the high salaries and outstanding benefits they're paying many Coeur d'Alene city employees, including just-retired Parks Director Doug Eastwood. But none of this should have any bearing on the legacy left by Eastwood. In his 35 years with the city, the last handful in the eye of the aforementioned storms, Eastwood never wavered from consummate professionalism. He took tremendous heat, and in the public eye, at least, he never broke down. If you didn't know better, you'd guess he never even broke a sweat/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
DFO: I couldn't agree more. Former Parks & Cemetery Director Doug Eastwood epitomized public service.
Question: Which Coeur d'Alene park is your favorite?
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo said Thursday that Officer Spencer Mortensen, a six-year veteran of the force, is the officer who shot and killed Eric B. Johnston on Sunday morning in an apartment near downtown. Johnston, 35, a Dalton Gardens resident, died from multiple gunshot wounds. A friend who had been in the apartment with him moments earlier said Johnston had been holding a kitchen knife to himself. Mortensen was in the news three years ago as one of four Coeur d’Alene police officers credited with rescuing a woman from a burning building. He received a department commendation for his response in that incident. Earlier this year he helped apprehend arson suspect Clark E. Richman of Denver, Colo., at a fire near Kootenai Health. Richman pulled a knife on Mortensen in the dark, and the officer drew his service revolver and ordered Richman to drop the knife. Mortensen held the suspect at bay until backup arrived/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
- HucksOnline Video: Officer Mortensen faced knife-wielding arson suspect in April
Item: Candidate addresses bankruptcy: Festner hopes to focus on issues facing the community/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press
More Info: Only one day into his Coeur d'Alene City Council campaign and Jared Festner is learning how hard politics can be in today's digital age - but he knew it was coming. “I am actually glad this came out on the first day of my campaign,” he said. “Hopefully I can explain it and kill it right now.” Festner filed his campaign paperwork on Tuesday for Councilman Mike Kennedy's open council seat. He is now running against Amy Evans for that seat. On Wednesday, the rumors started flying on the Internet about his failed business ventures in Las Vegas and Phoenix, and a $4.8 million bankruptcy he filed last year.
Question: Does Jared Festner's failed business ventures in the past disqualify him from being a Coeur d'Alene councilman now?
Joe Kunka, as expected, filed his candidacy papers for the Coeur d'Alene mayor's race. Those signing his petition area: Kunka himself, Darron & Jill Cole and Harriet & Delmore Moug. Kunka, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor against incumbent Mayor Sandi Bloem four years ago, joins restaurant owner Steve Widmyer and activist Mary Souza as candidates to replace Bloem, who is stepping down after three terms. Kunka attracted 37.49% of the vote (2,388 votes) in his unsuccessful run against Bloem. Jim Brannon announced earlier that he will also seek the mayor's position but hasn't filed yet. You can see all the filings for mayor and council here.
Eric Byron Johnston died of multiple gunshot wounds in Sunday morning’s confrontation with a Coeur d’Alene police officer, the county coroner said, but investigators are not yet disclosing how many times the Dalton Gardens man was shot. Witnesses described hearing up to five shots. Johnston’s body has been released to his family, and they are making arrangements for a funeral this Saturday afternoon. The Idaho State Police also has not named the officer who shot Johnston inside the apartment of a friend near downtown Coeur d’Alene/Scott Maben, SR.
Kiki Miller, a longtime Coeur d’Alene resident and business owner, made it official today and filed her petition for candidacy for seat number 6 (now held by Deanna Goodlander) on the Coeur d’Alene City Council. Since announcing her intention to run for office last month, Miller has been seeking input from community members to guide her campaign. She encourages community members to actively get involved in the community driven 2030 Visioning Project so that all voices are heard and channeled into a plan that will help determine the future of Coeur d'Alene. Miller has lived in Coeur d’Alene since 1975 and has been involved in numerous civic and leadership projects over the past several decades. “I’m extremely excited and dedicated to serving on the council and truly value the opportunity to be part of shaping our city’s bright future,” Miller said/News Release. More here. (Kiki Miller Facebook photo of her candidacy filing papers)
A submitted photo (from Wendy Woods) of her friend Eric Byron Johnston, the man shot and killed Sunday morning by a Coeur d'Alene Police officer. (Courtesy of Wendy Woods)
Wendy Woods stood next to her blood-soaked carpet this morning and cried for the loss of her close friend, Eric Byron Johnston, who was shot and killed Sunday morning by a Coeur d’Alene police officer. “He was so funny, so sweet – the most reliable friend in my life,” Woods said. “And for them to just come here and shoot him dead like that? It’s sickening.” Other friends and family members reacted today with shock and anger over the shooting inside an apartment at 1422 E. Young Ave., north of Sanders Beach. “Eric was like the backbone in my company,” said Charles Ray Larsen III, who owns Ray’s Rooftop Moss Removal in Coeur d’Alene. “Eric was the kind of person that wouldn’t step on an ant – a quiet, gentle soul.” Johnston, 35, a Dalton Gardens resident, was shot multiple times from about 10 feet away as he clutched a serrated kitchen knife, according to accounts of the confrontation shortly before 8 a.m./Scott Maben, SR. More here.
OrangeTV: I don't believe I knew the deceased at all, but this situation makes me completely sick to my stomach. Why why why must an officer shoot and kill in a case like this? Can the CdA PD not put into use a taser gun or some such non-lethal type of deterrent to be used in a scenario like this? WHY must a life be lost, *poof*, just gone, when this guy sounds like many of us and our loved ones who had made some bad choices earlier in life but certainly did not deserve to die. Why do police departments seem to have such little regard to human life these days? Christie, I hope there is more than meets the eye to this story because I am pretty much mad as heck and utterly chilled to the bone about the implications of this situation if not. Sad sad sad.
Question: What are your concerns re: the police-involved shooting Sunday morning in Coeur d'Alene?
In 1978, when Doug Eastwood hired on with the city of Coeur d'Alene, there were only eight developed parks. Eastwood was a landscape gardener back then. Thirty-five years later, the now Ex-Parks Director can take pride in the city's 30 parks, totaling 587 acres, 250 acres of natural open space, more than 30 miles of trails and two cemeteries. “Over your long tenure, you have superbly led the Parks Department through an era of unprecedented growth and remarkable accomplishment,” Mayor Sandi Bloem wrote in a letter congratulating Eastwood on his retirement. “Commendably, you leave behind monumental and enduring quality of life enhancements to be enjoyed for generations.” About 60 of Eastwood's close family and friends turned out to his retirement roast on Friday afternoon at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Gabe Green Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Duog Eastwood holds his granddaughter during his retirement party at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library Friday)
Question: How would you grade the Coeur d'Alene parks system?
Sources tell The Spokesman-Review that the man shot and killed Sunday by a Coeur d’Alene police officer was Eric Byron Johnston, 35, of Dalton Gardens. Johnston worked at a mechanic at Complete AutoCare in Dalton Gardens and also worked for his brother-in-law at Ray’s Rooftop Moss Removal in Coeur d’Alene. David Larsen, a close friend and coworker at Complete AutoCare, said Johnston was soft-spoken and a hard worker. “Just a good guy all around, you know, give the shirt off his back to help you out,” he said. Johnston was shot shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday at the apartment of a friend at 1422 E. Young Ave., north of Sanders Beach and west of the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course. Police said he had smashed his pickup truck into an Avista Utilities pole, severing it at the base, a block and a half away from there about a half hour earlier/Scott Maben, SR. More here.
PUBLIC LANDS — Forest Service firefighters are continue to attack a four-acre wildfire today just east of Coeur d’Alene near Wolf Lodge, says Jason Kirchner, Idaho Panhandle National Forests spokesman.
The fire is along Marie Creek, which includes a popular hiking trail two and a half miles north of I-90 and five miles east of the Wolf Lodge exit.
Smoke and firefighting aircraft may be visible from the interstate.
The Marie Creek Fire is lightning caused and was first noted as a one-acre fire late Sunday night, Kirchner said.
Firefighters, including helicopters, Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) and ground crews, spent Monday constructing fire line and dropping retardant to slow and contain the blaze. Firefighting actions today will include additional fire line construction, and water and retardant drops.
Firefighting efforts are complicated by the difficult terrain, he said.
“The closest private property is located more than a mile to the west, but at this time there are no threats to structures.”
Further updates for this wildfire will be posted at www.inciweb.org
Steve Widmyer emails: “Just a clarification on the walk. I am walking all the streets of Coeur d Alene but at this point I am not making door to door stops. If I see people on the road or in their lawns I wave and if it looks like they would like to talk I will stop. Everyone is very busy in their lives and I respect their privacy. I, for one, have never really liked someone coming up unannounced to my door. This walk puts me out there and lets people know I am available to talk if they wish..It also gives me a chance to see all of the areas of Coeur d Alene up close. Someone asked me why I just didn't drive all the streets because it would be much faster. My answer is that I want to see as much as I can and give those people that wish to talk an opportunity. I want to be the most available and approachable Mayor that Coeur d Alene has had. I think the walk is just part of it. I worked the street fair for 3 days and I will be at the North Idaho Fair for 5 days. My email address is Steve@widmyerformayor.com for anyone that has a question for me.
Question: Do you mind having candidates knock on your door?
On his Facebook page, Coeur d'Alene mayoral candidate Steve Widmyer writes: “