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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Tips sought on CdA car prowlers

Thieves stole a a credit card from a car near Sanders Beach in Coeur d'Alene last week, then used it to rack up $185 in charges at Walgreens.

Surveillance photos from Walgreens released on Thursday show a man and two women, and police are looking for tips on their identities.

A photo of their vehicle also is included.  The victim told police he'd left his wallet in his unlocked car in the 900 block of East Young Avenue on July 26.

The vehicle was secure between midnight and 4 a.m. That's when the owner got a call from Citi Bank reporting fraudulent activity on his credit card and discovered his car had been prowled.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Coeur d'Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320.

Burglaries Prompt Sanders Watch

In one burglary, a Coeur d'Alene resident returned home to be greeted by a stranger coming out her back door. She turned and ran. In another, the victim was convinced a burglar was inside her home when she arrived with her grandchildren. She locked herself and the kids in a car until the home was searched. Burglaries are on the rise in the Lake City, and burglars are becoming as brazen as ever, even trying to break in when someone is home. Victims of one burglary in a Sanders Beach home are fighting back by forming a Block Watch program, and will hold a meeting this week. It will make a difference, said Coeur d'Alene Police Sgt. Christie Wood. "Neighborhood Watch is a proven deterrent to crime," she said. "When neighbors are organized and aware of who their neighbors are, and who belongs in the neighborhood, they are much more likely to call the police when they see suspicious activity"/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Are you part of a Neighborhood Block Watch?

Jerry Jaeger House Quite A Pistol

Izzit just me, or does this photo of Jerry Jaeger's house on Sanders Beach, near the Jewett House, published by Google Earth, look like a pistol? A Berry Picker emails the photo to Huckleberries Online with the question: "How is it that Jerry Jaegar flies so efectively under the radar while his partner doesn't?  I bet most people in the area couldn't even tell you who Jerry is.  I suppose the lack of an 180 foot long yacht might have something to do with it."

Question: I guess I've lived here so long that I never considered Duane Hagadone's partner in The Coeur d'Alene Resort/Hagadone Hospitality to be a silent one (although he's far lower profile than in the early days of the resort). Do you consider Jaeger to be out of sight, out of mind?

City, Sanders Beach Owners Settle

No docks will be built on Sanders Beach. That’s part of the resolution of six lawsuits dating back to 1998 between the city of Coeur d’Alene and the owners of eight homes on a Lake Coeur d’Alene beach that also offers public access. “For the first time, there’s some certainty among the homeowners and the public about public access on Sanders Beach,” said Mike Haman, an attorney for the city. “That’s important because summer is coming and the public will know what they can and can’t do.” Litigation regarding public access to Sanders Beach versus private property rights has dragged on for decades/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.  (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Question: Rather than litigate and settle, should the city have obtained Sanders Beach through eminent domain — and preserved it for future generations of Coeur d'Alene residents?

PM: No Docks On Sanders Beach

"They hire us to do odd jobs," said Sean Curran, caddy for The Coeur d'Alene Resort as he raked a private beach just East of the public access to Sanders Beach on Wednesday. No docks will be built on Sanders Beach. That's part of the resolution of six lawsuits dating back to 1998 between the city of Coeur d'Alene and the owners of eight homes on the beach. Alison Boggs' story here.  (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

City Settles w/Sanders Beach Owners

The City of Coeur d'Alene and the owners of eight homes along East Lakeshore have reached an amicable conclusion to six lawsuits arising from disputes regarding Sanders Beach. Orders dismissing the lawsuits, some of which date back to 1998, have been signed and entered. In addition to settling the six lawsuits, the city acquired the homeowners’ rights to build docks and also acquired over sixty feet of beach frontage. In exchange, the city paid a total of $278,500.00 to purchase the property and acquire the dock rights, and also amended the Shoreline Ordinance to allow fences between public and private property at 12th and 15th streets/Victoria Bruno, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here. (SR file photo)

Question: Are you happy with the way the long-running Sanders Beach dispute finally ended?

Woody: Sanders Deal Saves Swim Area

Woodman: One of the strongest points of Idaho, is Private Property Rights. We have been trying to get more lake access for our citizens since I have been elected. Many, Many battles and lots of money. The supreme court ruled on the high water mark, above it Private Property. I was working in Malibu in the 1970’s when the same thing happened on the ocean. Private property was above the high tide mark. Well, it has been 40 years of this battle in CD’A. I think we have done what we can preserving at least the Swimming Area and NO Docks. It sometimes does not feel like enough. I Know. We still believe and will always work for more Public Access to Lake CD’A.

Question: Did the city have any choice but to allow fences on Sanders Beach, given the Idaho Supreme Court decision that declared much of the property private?

City OKs Fences For Sanders Beach

Item: Fences OK on Sanders Beach: City Council unanimously approves measure/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: The two sides agreed to an amendment in the shoreline ordinance between 12th and 15th streets on East Lakeshore Drive that will allowhomeowners to build fences down to the summer lake line between public and private properties. … The agreement will put an end to half a dozen litigations between owners and the city, including disputes over whether homeowners could petition for dock permits next to public swimming areas, as well as installing temporary fences.

Question: Do you consider this to be a good agreement?

Taking the Plunge

MamaJD at the Polar Bear Plunge, 1/1/10

MamaJD reports: “Returned from the Plunge and just starting to thaw out.  I did catch a glimpse of Stickman on the beach —- he was watching, not plunging.  No ThomG.  No rainbow thongs.   Just a lot of crazy people out having a good time.

No word yet from K-mama. Hope she survived!

It’s an annual event for the brave, weak of mind or strong of drink. The Polar Bear Plunge can even combine all of those factors as hundreds gathered at Coeur d’Alene’s Sanders Beach for a frigid dunking to begin the new year.

Clad in everything from body paint to a mermaid’s outfit, about 200 or so revelers jumped into the water, reportedly at about 37 degrees which matched the 37 degree outside temperature.

“It’s a frosty clean, cleansing start to 2010,” said Shawn Clary, 29, of Spokane, who was about to take his first plunge.

Clary’s friend, 27-year-old Dan Kreft, wasn’t as enthused. “It’s definitely not the dumbest thing I’ve every done.”

About 500 family and friends gathered with fleece blankets and beach towels to await the dripping throng as it made its way out of the frigid lake. Some hearty souls actually turned the plunge into a contest by swimming the fastest to the closest no-wake buoy. More.