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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


TGIF Wild Card -- 4.8.16 

My wife fielded one of those IRS scam calls this week, demanding that we call back immediately to handle a problem with our tax return. Only I haven't filed yet. Jerks. BTW, don't forget the twin events worth attending tonight in town. Poet laureate Tod Marshall will lead a Poet's Night at the library. And Zach Hval will perform at Calypso's.

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Avista Utilities linemen work on a power pole high above Division St. and Hawthorne Rd. Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. A wind storm torn down lines and threw thousands into darkness Saturday evening and crews are working to get power restored. (Jesse Tinsley/SR photo)

Final Call: Haikus, anyone? 

Alison Boggs, my downtown Spokane online bud, is collecting haikus for a planned page on April 17, National Haiku Day. I know that Wedeln6969 is pretty good with a haiku or 5. But anyone else with a haiku bent is free to run them here. Or send them to We have a haiku example below.

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Tubbs Hill road to help firemen

Taylor Viydo/KREM 2 reports: "The Coeur d’Alene Fire Department will have better access across Tubbs Hill this summer. Last summer alone, crews were called out to 15 fires at the popular park. That prompted city leaders to approve funding to connect a pair of existing fire access roads."

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County to start charging for Citylink 

Taylor Viydo/KREM 2 reports: "Kootenai County's free bus system will not be entirely free for much longer. The county plans to start collecting fares on some of the routes. It is looking to do that using a system which they say could be the first of its kind in the U.S."

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Blogos -- 4.8.16

The daily roundup of posts from the HucksOnline blogosphere includes: Trial by jury/Fort Boise, Robert Hopper, RIP/David Bond, Hardy proves twice hardy in 'Legend'/7 Blog, Fed lands takeover efforts continue/Outdoors, 7 sips with Ben Quck of Steam Plant/On Tap, Who else has never watched 'American Idol'?/Slice ...

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Michael Banks is rescued after being stranded on a ledge some 80 off the ground on Morro Rock, a landmark in Morro Bay, Calif., on Thursday. He had scaled the rock to make an Internet proposal to his girlfriend - who said yes - but then got stuck on a ledge and couldn't get down. A helicopter had to be called, and Morro Bay Fire Department Capt. Todd Gailey was lowered by cable to pluck Banks and take him to safety.(Bob Isenberg via AP)

Marriage proposal on the rocks 

A man who had to be rescued when he climbed a California cliff to propose to his girlfriend via cellphone video later was acting erratically and was found to be high on methamphetamine, authorities said Friday. (This incident should be of special interest to HBO readers because former commenter Sam Taylor now is deputy manager of Morro Bay.)

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Sandy Patano, of the North Idaho Political Action Committee, says it's time for Idaho Freedom Foundation to come clean about its activities.

Patano: It's time for IFF to come clean 20 

Sandy Patano of the North Idaho Political Action Committee has harsh words for Wayne Hoffman and his 501c3 Idaho Freedom Foundation. "It’s time the IFF or whatever little group they’ve recently created to try and comply with the law to come clean. They identify themselves as an “education foundation” to skirt the law." More below.

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Colbert mocks Risch non-endorsement 

Stephen Colbert made hay of Risch’s halfhearted endorsement (Ted Cruz), playing the clip in which Blitzer asked Risch, “So, you want Ted Cruz to get the Republican nomination?” and Risch responded, “At this point, there’s no choice.” “It’s that kind of passion that inspired the new campaign slogan,” Colbert declares, “Ted Cruz: Abandon all hope!"

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IFF wants legislative ethics reform 

In his latest column, executive director Wayne Hoffman of Idaho Freedom Foundation laments that the 2016 Legislature didn't adopt ethics reform. He wants the practice of lavishing gifts on legislators stopped and points to a job search by Rep. Kelley Packer, R-McCammon as a symptom of the problem.

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Gonzaga's Domantas Sabonis (11) and Syracuse's Tyler Roberson (21) battle for a loose ball during the second half of a college basketball game in the regional semifinals of the 2016 NCAA Tournament in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Sabonis declares for NBA draft 

Gonzaga sophomore Domantas Sabonis will skip the rest of his college career and has declared for the NBA draft. Sabonis, 19, said Thursday that he is exploring his future options without hiring an agent at this time. The son of former NBA star Arvydas Sabonis, Domantas is Gonzaga’s all-time leader in career field goal percentage at .632.

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Price of stamps going ... down! 

Mailing a letter will cost you just a little bit less starting this weekend. The U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday that a first-class stamp for a 1-ounce letter will cost two cents less, down to 47 cents, beginning Sunday. Postcard stamps will also be 1 cent cheaper, at 34 cents, while international stamps will drop 5 cents to $1.15.

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Amanda Lott, president of the American Indian Student Alliance at North Idaho College greets visitors during the silent auction at the college in Coeur d'Alene on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. This week is American Indian Heritage Week at NIC. Events include lectures and craft workshops through Saturday. View NIC's events calendar for a full schedule. (Kathy Plonka/SR photo)

AM Headlines -- 4.8.16 

The daily roundup of AM Headlines includes: Man killed in collision on H58/SR, Today's temps may approach record/Press, Hayden bank robbery suspect arrested/SR, Avista convenience fee going away/CdA Press, Manhunt resumes for escaped psych patient/SR, Boise County prosecutor faces felony DUI count/AP ...

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Poll: Pick for 1 commish spot? Bingham

Thursday Poll: Of those who aren't undecided, Bob Bingham is favored by Hucks Nation in the four-way race for the county commissioner seat now held by Dan Green. Today's Poll: If you had to decide today, which one of these candidates would be your choice for Kootenai County commissioner -- Chris Fillios or incumbent David Stewart.

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Endorsement flier sent out by NOT-Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC) group recently.

Brent Regan: 'I just gave them money' 18 

It appears that political operative Brent Regan is making news again re: contributions to controversial PACs. In 2015, he helped fund attack ads for Responsible CDA. Now, he admits he's given money to the NOT-Kootenai County Republican Central Committee PAC that's endorsing a list of Tea Party candidates. He gave $6,100 to the group in 2014.

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Cindy: A baby at 49? Whew! 34 

"Okay. I'm trying REALLY hard not to be judgemental, but as someone who recently turned 51, I am flummoxed by 49 year-old Janet Jackson's announcement that she's postponing her tour to 'plan her family'" -- Cindy Hval, via Facebook. (Question: How old is too old for a woman to plan a baby?)

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Click on scorecard to enlarge.

How They Voted: Child support payments 

Do you recall the clueless 2015 votes of some of the usual local suspects that prompted a special session of the Legislature? Scott, Sims, Cheatham, Barbieri, Brent Regan (subbing for Steve Vick) led the opposition to legislation to collect child support for Idaho kids. NIPAC provides another Scorecard to show how our reps voted on this key bill?

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Hearn: Glad IFF/IFA didn't endorse me 

Tom Hearn, a Democratic candidate for the House seat of state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, said he's "very thankful that IFA and/or IFF is not endorsing me." As you know, the Idaho Freedom Foundation can't legally endorse political candidates under the 501c3 law. But it's sister organization, Idaho Freedom Action can. Dizzying isn't it?

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Automobiles drive through the four-way stop intersection of Dalton Avenue and Fourth Street on Wednesday. The City of Dalton Gardens has proposed to install a roundabout at the intersection, as part of the city's Fourth Street reconstruction project. (Jake Parrish/Coeur d'Alene Press)

More roundabouts coming to 4th Street 

A big multi-city project is likely coming down the road, and that road is Fourth Street. Coeur d'Alene, Dalton Gardens and Hayden have plans to engage in a multi-million-dollar project that will improve Fourth Street from Dalton to Prairie avenues and install roundabouts in those intersections.

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Press digs into shadowy KCRCC PAC 

Some of the tactics used by political action committees are coming under question. The Kootenai County Republican Concerned Citizens PAC, which has an acronym identical to the party’s Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, issued its endorsements earlier this week but nobody from the PAC is willing to discuss how they were selected.

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Trib: Cheers to Otter for Veto 

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase of the Lewiston Tribune offers CHEERS to ... Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. Otter, says the Tribune, vetoed the Bible-in-schools bill that likely would have been found unconstitutional under state law and cost the state beaucoup bucks to defend.

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.

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