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Thursday, June 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Wildlife Probably Is Still Dumbfounded

By D.F. Oliveria Opinion Writer

I can’t figure out which was goofier state Fish and Game Director Stephen Mealey “mooning” a sculpture on Lake Pend Oreille’s shoreline or his description of the incident afterward. Quoth Mealey: “Any gesture I made was playful and innocent and mostly an imitation of the real thing, leaving much to the imagination of the five or six men I was with, and a distant shoreline.” Huh? Fish and Game Commission Chairman John Burns didn’t shed any additional light on the matter when he said: “To me, it was more of a simulated type of thing as opposed to a genuine mooning.” Seems Mealey was riding on a charter boat Thursday evening when it passed a gaudy metal structure. The Fish and Game director bared skin when pressed to critique the presence of the structure in such a bucolic setting. This, according to Capt. Jim Meneely, who, unlike Mealey and Burns, didn’t have to protect his backside from Gov. Phil Batt’s wrath. The worst part of this adolescent stunt? Mealey and his friends were sober.

Someone should check Bonner County water

Then again, we must remember that Mealey’s moon rose over Bonner County waters. I’ve long suspected that something in the water up there makes people do crazy things. Take the Bonner County commissioners’ office and the school administration. (Ple-e-e-ase.) In the commissioners’ office, Chairman Bud Mueller suggested Sheriff Chip Roos cut costs by issuing hand-me-down bulletproof vests and wet suits to his deputies. I can’t imagine Mueller would want his son, a top-notch police officer in Alaska, to fight crime wearing a used vest. Or to search for a body 60 feet beneath the surface in a ratty wet suit. Detective John Valdez had the right response to Mueller’s idea: “I’ll agree to the old vests if one of the commissioners wants to be a test dummy to be sure they are going to work in the field.”

Festival provides ray of sunshine

The Festival at Sandpoint provides a silver lining to the dark clouds hanging over Bonner County. Considered dead just months ago, the festival has bounced back behind corporate sponsorships and the enthusiasm of new Executive Director Diane Ragsdale. Wednesday night, the Doobie Brothers played to a sold-out crowd. Ticket sales are up 45 percent over last year’s. And crowds have been limited to 2,500, which not only recaptures the intimacy of festivals gone by but also appeases neighbors. Sweet Potatoes to Ragsdale, festival President Dave Slaughter and all the volunteers who refused to give up. , DataTimes MEMO: D.F. Oliveria’s “Hot Potatoes” runs Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can comment on the items by calling (800) 344-6718 or (208) 765-7125 or by sending e-mail to

D.F. Oliveria’s “Hot Potatoes” runs Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can comment on the items by calling (800) 344-6718 or (208) 765-7125 or by sending e-mail to

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