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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Cheering for education in the cold…

About 75 well-bundled teachers and their supporters gathered on the Statehouse steps this afternoon to rally for improving Idaho schools and press for state lawmakers to enact the 20 recommendations of the governor’s education stakeholders task force, which range from a new teacher career ladder system to restoring funds cut from schools since 2009. “During the recent recession, there were only a handful of states who suffered more severe cuts than Idaho did,” Idaho Education Association President Penni Cyr told the crowd. “This cannot continue. … Legislators need to step up and fund our public schools.” She was greeted with cheers from the surprisingly cheerful crowd, which stood amid small clumps of ice and snow, mostly huddled together on one side of the giant Statehouse Christmas tree.

Cyr called the task force plan “a solid step forward for improving education in Idaho.” Rep. Hy Kloc, D-Boise, also got cheers from the crowd when he said, “I’m one of those rare animals that you’ll see around the Statehouse – I’m a Democrat.” He said minority Democrats have “a small voice,” but said, “It’s like going to bed with a mosquito in your bed – you never know how irritating a small person can be.”

Aaron White, of White Electric and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said he wants his two young sons to get a good education and grow up to find good jobs, all without leaving the state.

Patriots To Gather At CdA Library

Organizers of the recent Northwest Patriot and Self Reliance Rally have scheduled a town-hall meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Coeur d'Alene Library to analyze the rally and criticize media coverage. Here's the announcement: 

Attention all Liberty Loving Americans! Tired of all the disinformation and lies? Tired of the media portraying you as a nut? Then join us August 15th at the Coeur d’Alene library for an after-action town hall meeting to discuss the recent Northwest Patriot and Self Reliance Rally and the media's questionable reporting of the event. Join Washington State Representative Matt Shea, Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers and Brandon Smith, founder of www.alt-market.com. Ask questions and listen to these men discuss the inaccurate reporting and the blatant media bias towards the liberty movement. Brandon Smith will also be discussing the economy and answering questions.

Question: Are we experiencing an uptick in Patriots activity in Kootenai County?

Cops Outnumber KKK In Spirit Lake

Knights of the Ku Klux Klan held a membership eat, greet, and meet in Spirit Lake, Idaho Saturday. They asked for their supporters to “come out and meet the Aryan Nations” and to “get involved.” 12 members of law enforcement from Spirit Lake Police, Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, Idaho State Police and U.S. Secret Service were all there to assist. There were no major disturbances except for a minor incident when a protestor unplugged the speaker's microphone. Eleven protestors and 6 KKK members were there and no new members came to take part/Shawn Chitniss, KREM2. More here.

Question: Why do Aryan Nations/KKK stage rallies in out-of-the-way places that attract few people? Media exposure? To let people know that they haven't totally gone away? What?

Patriots Set Summer Farragut Confab

It looks like Sheriff Richard Mack, the Northwest Patriots and others are planning for a major confab in Farragut State Park at the end of July. Dunno who's organizing this locally.

Question: Do you suppose the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee will welcome Sheriff Mack back with open arms?

Immigration rally, march in Boise draws more than 700 participants

Two themes — keeping families together and giving immigrants equal access to work, benefits and school — dominated a rally and march Wednesday in Boise, where more than 700 demonstrators urged lawmakers to overhaul the nation's immigration laws and system, the Associated Press reports. Demonstrators, waving American flags and placards and wearing red, white and blue T-shirts, chanted pro-immigration slogans and called out in unison during the march “Si se puede,” Spanish for “yes we can.” Some carried signs with messages such as “No human being is illegal” or signed petitions addressed to Idaho's congressional lawmakers, urging them to get behind changes to federal immigration laws; click below for a full report from AP reporter Hannah Furfaro.

WA Lege Day 89: Scenes from the rally (3)

OLYMPIA — Members of the Pierce County Fire Fighters Pipe and Drum Association prepare to lead protesters through the Capitol hallways.

WA Lege Day 89: Scenes from the rally (2)

OLYMPIA — Sean Dannon, a union organizer from Tacoma, dresses in a costume he thinks represents most legislators on the issue of eliminating tax breaks on businesses.

WA Lege Day 89: Scenes from the Rally (1)

OLYMPIA — Sen. Lisa Brown discusses the difficulty of passing any tax exemptions this year with protester Debbie Sills of Yakima.

“Sanity” rally coming to Spokane

Jon Stewart’s mock protest gathering, the Rally to Restore Sanity, will have a Spokane version on Oct. 30 in Riverfront Park.

As seen below, Stewart announced a send-up earlier this month of the Glenn Beck rally at the Lincoln Memorial. Whether intended or not, it struck a nerve and people started making plans to go to the National Mall and setting up satellite rallies around the country. Local organizers have set their gathering at Riverfront from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rally to Restore Sanity
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Possible discussion topic: Would it take more work to restore sanity to Spokane than elsewhere? Would we be a better location for a satellite version of Stephen Colbert’s March to Keep Fear Alive?

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
March to Keep Fear Alive Announcement
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Shock plan rally; White joins UFL team

The Spokane Shock will hold a championship rally Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Spokane Arena to celebrate the team’s ArenaBowl title. The public is invited. Players, coaches and front office staff will be on hand, as well as the ArenaBowl trophy. 

More here.

On the player front, standout receiver Markee White has signed with UFL Hartford. He is apparently already in Hartford. The Colonials just opened training camp. More here.

Shock holding celebration Tuesday

The Spokane Shock announced they’ll hold a championship rally Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 at the Shock practice facility. The Shock defeated Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 74-27 on Saturday to capture their second Arena Cup championship in four years.

Details on the rally here.

Large anti-abortion rally at capitol…

Forgot to post this before going home last night:

More than 4,000 people crowded the Washington state Capitol steps Tuesday to decry abortion.

“Let’s make sure the Supreme Court can hear all of us today,” newly elected state Rep. Matt Shea, R-Mead, said. He dismissed the dozen counter-demonstrators on the state Supreme Court steps as “static” and led the crowd in a chant: “Life, life, life, life!”

Organizers have long held annual anti-abortion rallies at the Capitol, but Tuesday’s gathering was the largest in recent years. Buses crowded the Capitol lawn, and the crowd spilled over the Capitol steps. Many people came with church groups.

“If your neighbor is thinking about abortion, talk her out of it,” said state Rep. Al O’Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace. “… Because the economy’s in the tank, the abortion problem is going to get worse unless we work to prevent that.”

At Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest, public policy director Jet Tilley said she’s not anticipating any major efforts to restrict abortion in the statehouse this year.

“We have a pretty solidly pro-choice House and Senate,” she said. The main issue, she said, will be trying to protect funding for family planning. It’s particularly critical in rural parts of the state far from other health care, she said.

“We’re really looking to protect patients and protect the family planning safety net,” she said.

Also speaking at Tuesday’s rally was new state Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy. She recounted the story of a woman who kept a child even though the doctor said the baby probably wouldn’t live.

“That young mother is now my mother-in-law,” Short said, and the baby is her husband, Mitch.

Across a small lawn, the dozen abortion rights demonstrators shouted back at the crowd.

“I love my rights!” they chanted.

“If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one,” one woman said.

Anti-poverty groups rally at capitol…

About 300 people from anti-poverty groups and other organizations held a rally on the capitol steps Monday afternoon. They called for restrictions on payday lending, more health care, and preservation of the General Assistance to the Unemployable program, which provides health coverage and monthly stipends of $339 to people who cannot hold a job, often due to mental health problems.

Teachers greet governor with inauguration day call for better school funding…

Shortly before Gov. Chris Gregoire’s inauguration day speech today, hundreds of teachers, parents and school officials held a rally just across the street.

Their message: despite the state’s budget shortfall — which Sen. Joe Zarelli on Wednesday suggested could rise to $7.5 billion over the next two years — education is not the place to cut.

“We’re not here for us,” one organizer said. “We’re here for the kids.”

The president of the state teachers’ union, Mary Lindquist, reminded the crowd of a similar rally held on the same ground, same day, 6 years ago. Some things, like who’s governor, have changed since then, she noted.

“The one thing that hasn’t changed is that our classrooms are still underfunded and our students are still not getting the resources they need for their future,” Lindquist said.

She blasted those who suggest that, given the state’s economic crisis, schools should be happy with the money they’re getting.

“Those people are wrong,” she said. “We must say to them that this is the best time to invest in education.”

She urged teachers and school advocates to make sure Olympia hears that message.

“You have staked a righteous place to plant your feet and stand firm,” she told the crowd.

Look for lots more demonstrations — state workers, teachers, advocates for the poor — in the coming weeks.

Teachers greet governor with inauguration day call for better school funding…

Shortly before Gov. Chris Gregoire’s inauguration day speech today, hundreds of teachers, parents and school officials held a rally just across the street.

Their message: despite the state’s budget shortfall — which Sen. Joe Zarelli on Wednesday suggested could rise to $7.5 billion over the next two years — education is not the place to cut.

“We’re not here for us,” one organizer said. “We’re here for the kids.”

The president of the state teachers’ union, Mary Lindquist, reminded the crowd of a similar rally held on the same ground, same day, 6 years ago. Some things, like who’s governor, have changed since then, she noted.

“The one thing that hasn’t changed is that our classrooms are still underfunded and our students are still not getting the resources they need for their future,” Lindquist said.

She blasted those who suggest that, given the state’s economic crisis, schools should be happy with the money they’re getting.

“Those people are wrong,” she said. “We must say to them that this is the best time to invest in education.”

She urged teachers and school advocates to make sure Olympia hears that message.

“You have staked a righteous place to plant your feet and stand firm,” she told the crowd.

Look for lots more demonstrations — state workers, teachers, advocates for the poor — in the coming weeks.