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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Eastwood Leaves Impressive Legacy

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?

Parks Director Eastwood Retires

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?

McEuen Site Now Shows $14.2M Cost

Item: McEuen website disappears: Official: Site taken down because it contained outdated information/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Gone is the McEuen Field website that showed the original, high-end $39.2 million estimate for the downtown park conceptual plan. What's on the Coeur d'Alene Parks Department's web page now is an updated McEuen Field site that shows Phase 1 of the McEuen Field project, costing $14.2 million. The previous site was suddenly taken down Wednesday because some of the information it presented, Parks Director Doug Eastwood said, was “not current, not accurate” - namely, the high-end cost of the conceptual plan that was $39 million, he said, which has led to inaccurate information being circulated about McEuen Field.

Quoth: “Dirty politics. I would like to have an explanation. Outdated or not, the council approved it in its entirety” — Frank Orzell, recall organizer.

Question: Recall organizer called the move to show the real cost of the McEuen Field project “dirty politics.” Couldn't it be said that the Recallers are using “dirty politics” by inflating project cost 3X?

Parks Director Gets Top Honor

The Idaho Recreation and Parks Association (IRPA) awarded Parks Director Doug Eastwood the Dr. Leon Green Fellowship Award – the highest honor given by the association – at an awards ceremony held September 20th. The ceremony took place during their annual meeting, which was held in Boise earlier this week. The Dr. Leon Green Fellowship Award recognizes outstanding contributions made to the parks and recreation profession. It is based on longstanding and dedicated service to the IRPA as both as a member and in various leadership positions. In reference to Eastwood’s accomplishment, Mayor Sandi Bloem said, “What Doug has done to expand and enhance the city’s parklands for the enjoyment of the residents of the City of Coeur d’Alene is remarkable”/Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.

DFO: I consider Doug Eastwood to be the Johnny Appleseed of parks. I've seen his crew & him develop Coeur d'Alene's incredible parks system on a shoe string over the last quarter system.

Another Tubbs Hill?

The trail around Tubbs Hill and along Lake Coeur d’Alene is well-worn and suitable for running.

COEUR d'ALENE - The goal is to create another Tubbs Hill-type recreation area for the public.

Before that can happen, the city of Coeur d'Alene would have to purchase seven acres of platted land that's for sale to put in parking, trailheads, and benches for hikers and nature lovers. The parks department is proposing to do just that.

Tell me,” said Doug Eastwood, parks director, touring the views surrounding the seven acres for sale on the south side of Fernan Lake off Potlatch Hill Road, overlooking Lake Coeur d'Alene to the south, Fernan Lake to the east, and Canfield Mountain to the north. “What is the price on that?”

The asking price is $462,500. Tom Hasslinger/Cda Press Full story.

Thoughts?

Deanna: Parks Dept. Can Save Bear

Councilwoman Deanna Goodlander: It looks like the Parks Department has figured out a way to save the statue. It will take some rebar and a lot of work, but they are pretty sure it is repairable. There will always show some damage, but the Parks folks are darn good at repairs. They do a great job of keeping those wooden statues in good repair all over town. Hopefully the neighbors will keep an eye on what it going on around the Bryan Bear. Citizens are the best protection for our public art and keeping the vandals from winning.

Question: Am I the only one who thinks that the Coeur d’Alene Parks & Cemetery Department is one of the best if not the best in the Inland Northwest and probably beyond?