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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Something cold to write home about

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)
Dave Oliveria The Spokesman-Review

What do you do when they throw a Polar Bear Plunge, and you can’t make it? You stage one of your own, especially when you’re a foreign exchange student from a country that doesn’t jump into a frigid lake on New Year’s Day. German Claudia Schaaf, a senior at Coeur d’Alene High, was upset when she couldn’t plunge into Lake Coeur d’Alene with local cuh-razies – so much so that she was still talking about it over dinner that night with Coeur d’Alene sisters Bridgette Lowry and Kristin Morris. Then, their eyes met. They smiled knowingly at one another. And they scurried for their bikinis. At 8:30 p.m. our young fraulein found herself neck deep in Hayden Lake with her two friends. For a heartbeat. A blurry photo snapped by Kristin’s 12-year-old daughter, Errin, reveals the German was first out of the water, by several furlongs. Well, it sounded exciting when she read about it in the paper.

Home cooking – blech

On my Hot Potatoes blog ( Tuesday, an item about worst meals of aught-4 attracted considerable comment, including gripes about service at one burger joint and bugs in the salad at a CdA restaurant. But CdA’s Bill McCrory produced the best knee-slapper: “Have you ever eaten my cooking? Rats and roaches flee for their lives. Poison control centers get budget increases, no questions asked.” Meanwhile Doug Burr e-mailed: “I’m just trying to find a decent pizza in CdA where the order is taken and the food is served by someone who is older than 14 so my order is not screwed up.” In Idaho, you get what the $5.15 per hour minimum wage pays for.

Lazy or not

Ralph Hallock’s probably right that many shoppers who leave carts strewn around store parking lots are lazy. It’s one of the two pet peeves Ralph submitted to Hot Potatoes Online in response to my pre-Christmas “We Red Staters can get offended, too” rant. But a 25-year-old mother of two little kids sez there may be another reason for a few of those abandoned carts. Child welfare. Writes she: “I bet many of the stray carts are left by mothers like me. It makes me mad that even after you spend $200 on groceries, many stores won’t help you out with your groceries. And those darn cart corrals aren’t always conveniently located. I’m not going to leave my kids alone in the car while I trek halfway across the parking lot to put a cart away.” Hey, I’m not going to bad-mouth a young mother with two cubs.

Poet’s corner

“Some states protect/With brains and pluck;/In Idaho/We trust to luck” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Initial Tests Say Aquifer Is Safe”).


In case you didn’t notice during the NCAA Bowl Championship Series Jan. 1, Chris Legh, the triathlete featured in Gatorade’s ad, “Testimonial,” is related to this area by fitness. His. Yep, he’s the 2004 Ironman USA Coeur d’Alene champion. The 60-second spot takes viewers from Chris’s near-fatal 1997 collapse at the world championships in Hawaii to his Lake City win last summer … A tiny boy had barely set foot in Bath & Body Works at the Silver Lake Mall last Tuesday when he bawled to his mother: “Mom, let’s get the heck out of here.” Just shows most of us guys are wired that way … Among My 2 Cents blogger Henry Johnston’s resolutions: “Try to understand the West Wing’s plotline now that Aaron Sorkin has left” …You can view Duane Hagadone’s Lady Lola superyacht from every angle at this Web site: /Chapter1 … Huckleberries was brought to you today by No. 53.5 – or the percentage in a Coeur d’Alene Press poll of 441 respondents who checked this box re: the BNSF refueling depot spill: “I knew it all along – it’s a disaster waiting to happen.” And were right.

Parting shot

For those keeping score re: my Red State rant mentioned above, I quit counting after receiving 110 calls, letters and e-mails in response – about 80 to 30 in favor. Yeah, yeah, I know, the letters to the editor ran about 10 to five against. You know what they say about squeaky wheels.

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