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More Trashing CdA By Reagan Repubs

In case you're wondering whether Reagan Republicans have gone off deep end in demonizing Mayor Sandi Bloem and three council members targetted for recall, Jeff Ward calls for their ouster in his newsletter, concluding with “Now it seems the citizens of Coeur d'Alene must determine whether they are “disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable” or will they “right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” Seems to me that the same language can be used for the dysfunctional Kootenai County Republicans who brought controversial Richard Mack to town to speak to the GOP Lincoln Day Dinner and seem to oppose every project that improves Coeur d'Alene. (Note: Reagan Republicans opposed Mack's speech, so they get things right occasionally. But not this time.)


20 Who Signed Recall Paperwork

Huckleberries has names of 20 individuals who signed paperwork to launch recall against Mayor Sandi Bloem and Councilmen Woody McEvers, Deanna Goodlander and Mike Kennedy. They are: Frank Orzell, Robert Hough, Kenneth Stuver (hard to read printed name) Craig Shaw, Phil Mott, Jacqueline Mayo, Kenneth Mayo, William E. “Dusty” Rhoads, Terri Seymour, Gary Ingram, Julie Clark, Jacqueline A. Wright, William Wright, Linda MacNeil, Bruce MacNeil, Keith J. Reila (hard to read printed name), J. Marvin Lekstrum, James E. Doty, Susan Snedaker and Kathleen Sims. You can read recall petition paperwork here.

Question: Any names on this list surprise you?

CdA Sex Crime Fugitive Caught In LA

A child molestation suspect who has been missing since escaping a manhunt in North Idaho in December was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles. Nathaniel Robert Howell, 32, was booked into jail in Los Angeles County about 3:52 p.m. Thursday, according to online records. Howell had been wanted on a felony warrant in Kootenai County charging him with four counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and five counts of sexual exploitation. Coeur d'Alene police notified the public about his fugitive status after he ran from police through the woods in the 1500 block of South Sagle Road last December/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Green Turns Out For St. Paddy’s

John Green, one of three Republican candidates for sheriff, used the St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Coeur d'Alene Saturday to advertise his campaign.

City Launches McEuen Park Web Site

The City of Coeur d'Alene announced a new web page called McEuen Park Currents has been created and can be found on the city's park's department's website, www.cdaidparks.org. The McEuen Park Currents page currently includes access to a presentation on the project given at the City Council's March 6 meeting. The council approved a contract with Miller/Stauffer Architects (AKA Team McEuen) on March 6. Architectural and engineering services for the project will proceed on March 22/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


NI Blogs: Mystery Rocks Along Shore

“Spring continues to tease us in between days of cold and rain. We took a long walk along the lake front, taking time to play in the very spot on the beach where we will be swimming come July,” writes Idaho Dad/A Family Runs Through It. “In fact, the rocks in the foreground will be completely submerged in a few months. One of our summer traditions is to swim out about 100 feet from shore and try to find the giant boulder under the water.” More here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday): 8864/5156, and (for Monday): 8790/5159

Wig, Stun Gun Found In Todd’s Care

Investigators in the officer-shooting death of Justin Todd, 33, of Coeur d'Alene this week have discovered a wig, clothing and false identifications in Todd's vehicle, according to a Kootenai County Sheriff's Department news release. They also found evidence that the vehicle was recently painted from blue to white and found six cans of black spray paint that may have been planned to use to paint the car again. Also found in the car were a brassknuckle/stun gun combination weapon, a knife, three cellular telephones, drug paraphernalia and a police scanner that was operating and tuned to local law enforcement frequencies. News release here.


Labrador Sets CdA Townhall March 24

Rep. Raul Labrador will be at The Coeur d'Alene Resort March 24 for an hour-long town hall style campaign event. From 2-3 p.m.in The Resort's Shore Room, the Republican congressman will discuss “issues that matter to Idahoans, and how Congressman Raul Labrador has kept his promises of 2010.” The event is hosted by The Raul Labrador for Idaho Committee/Coeur d'Alene Press.

DFO: The date for Congressman Labrador's town hall meeting coincides with the annual Kootenai County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner. Which seems to indicate that the congressman will attend the speech by controversial speaker Richard Mack.

Question: Does anyone know which other high-ranking elected officials in Idaho will attend the Lincoln Day Dinner?

Multiple Officers Shot CdA Fugitive

Investigators said today that more than one officer fired at a North Idaho fugitive early Monday, killing him. Police previously had not confirmed whether one or multiple officers fired at Justin Earl Nicholas Todd, 33,  (pictured) after a chase began when an electronic monitor alerted law enforcement to Todd’s vehicle because of his fugitive status. The Post Falls police officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave as the investigation continues. Investigators today continue to conduct interview and process evidence, which they said could take several days to complete, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. Lab results can take several more weeks. The Kootenia County Prosecutor’s Office will decide whether the shooting was justified/SR. More here.

700 CdA Homes Form Block Watch

A North Idaho neighborhood is coming together to stand up against crime. The Landings at Waterford in Coeur d'Alene is organizing a block watch to cover over seven hundred homes. John Rant is the man spearheading the effort. After his neighborhood fell victim to vandalism this summer, he realized something had to be done. “Enough is enough of these punks coming into a nice place like this and messing it up,” he said. It wasn't just the vandalism that triggered this community-wide effort.  Residents also fell victim to burglaries, including the break-in spree that plagued the county for months last year/Anusha Roy, KXLY. More here. (KXLY photo)

Question: Do you belong to a Neighborhood Block Watch group?

Midtown Construction Update Set

The transformation of midtown continues with the proposed 2012 construction of a mix-use retail and housing development along the Coeur d'Alene corridor. The Housing Company, developer of the proposed project, will provide an update to midtown stakeholders and the general public March 14 at 6 p.m. at the American Legion, 754 N. 4th Street, across from the site. In its continuing midtown revitalization efforts, the Lake City Development Corporation plans to partner with the Idaho Housing and Finance Association and The Housing Company for the mix-use development to promote the business environment in the sector and facilitate development of new workforce housing. The proposed project will include 9,000-square-feet of commercial space on the street level and 45 workforce residential rental units on three floors above/Keith Erickson for Lake City Development Corp.

Question: Do you support ongoing efforts to redevelopment Coeur d'Alene's Midtown area?

City Mulls $2M Team McEuen Contract

When the Coeur d'Alene City Council meets tonight, one of the items on the agenda is a $1.96 million contract with Miller/Stauffer Architects “AKA Team McEuen” for architectural and engineering services for the McEuen Field project. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Community Room at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Butch: Mitt Is Our Turnaround Expert

While Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in Ohio battling for a win there, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter visited Coeur d'Alene to stump for Romney ahead of today's Idaho caucus. Otter on Monday laid out the reasons for his endorsing Romney to a crowd of nearly 100 people at The Coeur d'Alene Resort. He said Romney is the best candidate because of his experience turning around the Salt Lake City Olympics, his performance as governor of Massachusetts and his business background. Otter said he's also most capable of beating President Barack Obama in the general election. He said Romney cut taxes in Massachusetts 19 times, and he vetoed more than 800 bills. Romney left the state with a surplus of $2 billion at the end of his governorship/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (AP file photo: Mitt Romney and Butch Otter take part in a campaign stop in Boise Feb. 17)

Question: Anyone attend the Romney rally? Impression?

Butch To Visit Lake City For Mitt Today

Gov. Butch Otter will be in Coeur d'Alene on Monday, the eve of Super Tuesday, for a meet and greet hosted by the Idaho campaign team for Mitt Romney.  The event takes place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. There is an online form to sign up to attend. It can be found on Romney's campaign website. Otter is co-chair of Romney's statewide steering committee/Coeur d'Alene Press.

CDAJim: I think there is some confusion regarding whether Mitt will or will not be in CdA today. KXLY TV just had a report that Mitt will be here along with Butch, but I think Mitt will be campaigning in Ohio today and in Mass. tomorrow.

Question: Would you rather see Mitt Romney in person in Coeur d'Alene today — or Gov. Butch Otter serving as a stand-in?

City Eyes Downtown CdA Behavior

The city of Coeur d'Alene wants to add some rules to its outdoor food and alcohol serving policy to help clean up behavior around bars and restaurants with seating on public sidewalks. The changes would clarify expectations for businesses that serve outdoors thanks to the city's food and alcohol outdoor service policy, which has been changed several times the last three years. “It's a balancing act,” said Mike Kennedy, councilman, on attempting to clean up late-night behavior outside establishments that serve alcohol, versus coming down too heavy handed on businesses. “And it's not an easy one.” The proposed additions would require businesses that have the outdoor permits to play a more active role in policing unacceptable behavior in their own designated areas/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo of a mother & her son dining outside the Beacon)

Question: Do you enjoy dining or drinking outside restaurants or bars in downtown Coeur d'Alene?

Newt’s Peeps Managed Event Well

A Berry Picker photographer writes of this photo: “The security at the Gingrich event was much more robust than that experienced at the Santorum event.  It was interesting how the whole event was managed.  While there was a lot of room available, the management pressed everyone into a relative small area.  This made it look like people were crowded in which they were.  There was a lot of room for the media.  A raised platform was provide at the back of the roped off area for video and just in front of that was a long table for reporters with laptops.  I cannot help but think that this was because of a grater attention to detail on the part of the Gingrich organization.  I saw one senior staff person carefully check the stage flags to make sure they hung just right.  The level of both security and stage management was impressive.”

Newt Promises $2.50/Gallon Gas

HucksOnline's embedded photographer snapped this shot of Callista Gingrich along the rope line at the Coeur d'Alene Inn last night. Her husband spoke to a packed room afterward.

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wants everybody to share one idea with their friends and family. That “I represent $2.50 a gallon gasoline,” the former U.S. Speaker of the House said at a rally Thursday night at the Coeur d'Alene Best Western Inn. The price of gas now is a major part of Gingrich's game plan as he seeks to become president. He said President Barack Obama was responsible for “the most expensive gas in history” in 2011. Gingrich made two appearances in Coeur d'Alene Thursday night. The other was at a fundraiser at a home on Neachen Bay, where tickets to the event were $1,000 each/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: If Newt Gingrich truly could bring the country $2.50 gas, would you support his presidential candidacy?

Parting Shot — 2.23.12

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich shakes hands, signs autographs and poses for photos with the large crowd assembled to hear him Thursday at the Bing Crosby Theater. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

The man who orchestrated the Republican wave that took out Spokane’s own Speaker of the U.S. House nearly two decades ago was back Thursday, this time with a bid for the White House. Newt Gingrich finds himself trailing in polls, well behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and the surging campaign of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. But he said Washington could help put his campaign back in the running. He said Washington, which holds its GOP caucuses on March 3, can make a “big difference” in the race as the final contest before Super Tuesday, when 10 states, including Idaho, hold primaries or causes/Spokesman-Review. More here.

Question: Will Super Tuesday be Newt Gingrich's last hurrah?

Newt Visits Lake City At 7 Tonight

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at a debate watching party Wednesday in Scottsdale, Ariz. Today, Gingrich is visiting Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. He'll be present at a townhall meeting at the Coeur d'Alene Inn tonight. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • Columnist Shawn Vestal covering Gingrich this PM in Spokane, via Twitter: “Newt filled the Bing like he was Matthew Modine or something.

Question: Do you plan to see Newt Gingrich in Coeur d'Alene tonight?

CdA To Appeal $3.7M Firing Judgment

The city of Coeur d’Alene is expected to appeal a $3.7 million judgment against its police department in federal court this spring. Daniel C. Dixon, a 17-year veteran of the force before his 2009 departure, filed a wrongful termination suit against the department and was granted $2.7 million in compensation in October by a federal jury, and $500,000 for emotional pain and suffering. Dixon’s wife, Heidi Dixon, received $500,000 for pain and suffering on behalf of the family. City Attorney Mike Gridley said the appeal to U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit will be filed after post-trial motions, which are scheduled for March, have been ruled upon. City Finance Director Troy Tymesen told the City Council Tuesday that should the city lose the appeal and be required to pay the judgment, the city would likely issue a public bond to pay it/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


City Buys 5 More Acres Of Cherry Hill

The city of Coeur d'Alene agreed Tuesday to purchase roughly 5 acres of land north of Cherry Hill Park - a site that could play home to an American Legion baseball field by 2013. Mayor Sandi Bloem split a deadlocked City Council by voting to approve the property acquisition, which passed 4 votes to 3 votes. The outcome mirrors last month's council vote not to issue a public advisory vote on McEuen Field, and could repeat itself on future issues related directly or indirectly to the downtown park's redevelopment project as each council member has stood firm on his or her stance on the divisive topic/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo of BMX racers at Cherry Hill Park)

DFO: Whether a future diamond is built on the old Eagles property or not, I consider this a superb move because it allows the city to own almost the entire hillside of Cherry Hill Park. Score one for the majority.

Question: What do you think of this move to buy 5 more acres of park land for Coeur d'Alene?

CdA Mulls 5A Cherry Hill Land Buy

The city of Coeur d'Alene is considering purchasing nearly 5 acres of land east of Cherry Hill Park that could play home to a baseball complex to replace the possibly-displaced American Legion baseball diamond at McEuen Field. The city's General Services Committee this week forwarded a recommendation that the City Council pay for the $440,000, 4.8-acre parcel on 15th Street in one lump sum payment to the Coeur d'Alene Eagles, rather than in annual installments. But Councilman Steve Adams, a GSC member who made the recommendation to City Council, is unsure if he'll vote for the land purchase in the end. “If we can't pay for it all at once out of the (parks) capital improvement fund, in hindsight, I may have to vote no,” Adams said/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR file photo of 8YO on BMX track at Cherry Hill)

Question: Would Cherry Hill be a good place to move the American Legion Baseball diamond that is now at McEuen Field?

Santorum Attracts Overflow Crowd

Rick Santorum on Tuesday became the first presidential candidate to visit the Inland Northwest, just as national polls showed him at the top of the Republican field. In response to questions from reporters after a speech, Santorum downplayed the polls, noting that he had de-emphasized the same polls in recent weeks when they showed him behind. “We just have to earn it one state at a time,” he said. He added, however, that the boost “has helped us in fundraising.” Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, spoke for about 35 minutes and answered audience questions for an hour more at the Hagadone Events Center in Coeur d’Alene. About 600 packed the room, and police turned away dozens of cars/Jonathan Brunt, SR. More here. (Jesse Tinsley SR photo: Santorum, right, with Hagadone Hospitality partner Jerry Jaeger in Coeur d'Alene)

Question: Will Mitt Romney attract the enthusiastic Idaho crowds that Rick Santorum did, when Romney comes to Boise Friday?

Santorum brings the 2012 race to the Inland Northwest


Rick Santorum became the first presidential candidate to visit the Inland Northwest, just as national polls shows him emerging as the Republican favorite.


In response to questions from the press, Santorum downplayed the polls, noting that he had de-emphasized the same polls in recent weeks when they showed him behind.


“We just have to earn it one state at a time,” he said, adding, however, that the boost “has helped us in fundraising.”


Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, spoke for about 35 minutes and answered audience questions for an hour more at the Hagadone Events Center in Coeur d'Alene. About 600 packed the room, and police turned away dozens of cars at the gate.


Addressing the crowd in jeans and his signature campaign sweater vest, Santorum focused on what he described as attacks on freedoms by big government and President Barack Obama's “hostility” toward religion. He compared the American revolution to the French revolution and said that the American war for independence proved lasting because it was rooted in a higher power, while the French revolution was more focused on “fraternity.”


The Constitution exists to “protect one thing and that's to protect the rights given to you by God,” he said. 


Santorum didn't focus on the economy and jobs until nearly 20 minutes into his appearance.


This election is about the economy and jobs, “but, ultimately, it is about the role of government in your lives,” he said.


He said he is the best Republican to take on Obama in the November election because of his position on health care. 


“If we don't win this election, Obamacare will be implemented,” he said. “If Obamacare is implemented, the America as I describe it to you will be no more.”

Santorum Speaks To 500 In CdA

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at a rally this afternoon in Coeur d'Alene. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Question: Why has Santorum surged? And will it last?

Santorum Visits Coeur d’Alene

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is speaking to a packed house at the Coeur d'Alene Resort Events Center (at the golf course) as I type this. I don't know the two people to the far left seated behind him. But Hagadone Hospitality partner Jerry Jaeger, then Tina Jacobson, Katie Brodie, and Ruthie Johnson. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

SReporter Jonathan Brunt (@bruntjon) & Chris Stein of the Inlander (@InlanderChris) are live-tweeting Santorum visit:

  • 1:27 p.m. Finishes after nearly an hour and a half — Brunt.
  • 1:27 p.m.  “I hope the conservative bastion of Idaho speaks loudly” on Super Tuesday — Brunt.
  • 1:26 p.m. As he wraps up urged people to become delegates. Calls Idaho Iowa — Stein.
  • 1:25 p.m. “Why do we let people at age 62 to collect” Social Security benefits? — Brunt.
  • 1:21 p.m. “[Obama] thinks that you are incapable of freedom” — Stein.
  • 1:19 p.m. Santorum talks about welfare reform, audience claps for requirement to look for work. Says would be model for other programs — Stein.
  • 1:17 p.m. Corrects himself before almost making an “Iowa” reference instead of Idaho — Brunt.
  • 1:15 p.m. backs foreign aid, says money spent in country. “Not the panacea some people think… Entitlements are the problem” — Stein.
  • 1:13 p.m. Would reduce federal pay 10 percent “across the board” — Brunt.
  • Much more below

CdA To Ask LCDC For McEuen $$$

The city of Coeur d'Alene's Parks Department is expected to request financial support Wednesday from Lake City Development Corp. for the McEuen Park redevelopment project. Parks Director Doug Eastwood and Team McEuen are scheduled to make a presentation on the downtown park project and request financial support before the urban renewal agency at 4 p.m. in the Community Room of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library, LCDC director Tony Berns said. The urban renewal agency has long been identified as a likely financial supporter for the project, though a formal request has yet to come. In June, the agency borrowed $16.75 million, $11.7 million of which it could use to fund projects inside the Lake District, the boundary in which McEuen Field sits/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (SR file photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Do you see anything wrong with LCDC pumping up to $11.7 million into McEuen Field upgrades?

Santorum Visits Lake City Today

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is spending Valentine's Day in the Gem State. Riding on fresh steam gathered from his recent primary and caucus wins, Santorum will bring his campaign to Coeur d'Alene today. Santorum, in pursuit of Idaho's 32 delegates to the Republican National Convention, is scheduled to land at Coeur d'Alene Airport at 9:54 a.m. before heading to a private gathering. Then from noon to 2 p.m. he'll host a public rally at the Hagadone Event Center, 900 Floating Green Drive. The event is free and open to the public; with room for about 500 people, HEC officials have said first come, first served/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you plan to attend the political rally for Rick Santorum?

There will be profanity

Here’s a chance for a taste of dining purgatory.

Gordon Ramsay and crew will be shooting an episode his new Fox television show, “Hotel Hell,” at the Roosevelt Inn in Coeur d’Alene Feb. 20-24.

For those familiar with Gordon’s “Kitchen Nightmares” show, “Hotel Hell” has similar format with the celebrity chef offering ideas to help turn struggling business around.

While filming is happening, the restaurant and inn will be open to the public by reservation only. Producers are looking for people who want to dine or stay there during the filming and be a part of the show. It is not a free ride. Those who dine will have to pay for their meals and drinks. Rooms will only be available on a select night and rates have not yet been determined, but guests will pay for their room. Those who stay will be asked for feedback by Ramsay.

For a chance to dine or stay, email reservation requests to hotelshowrooseveltinn@gmail.com. Be sure to include first and last name, phone number and the size of your party in the request.

- Lorie Hutson