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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Slugger has heavy-hitting relative here

The Spokesman-Review

If you follow major league baseball, you know that Chicago Cubs all-star Derrek Lee is having a near-Triple Crown season. At the end of play Sunday, Derrek had hit 45 homers, driven in 105 runs and was batting .340. But did you know he has a strong connection to the Coeur d’Alene area? His mother-in-law and stepfather-in-law live in Hayden: Jim and Linda Deffenbaugh. Jim’s the executive director of the Panhandle Area Council, who, according to Huckleberries sources, has put up pretty good numbers this year, too. Jim is credited with 44 saves, although he’s not a typical baseball closer. That’s the number of Empire Airlines jobs that might have been lost locally if Jim hadn’t helped the airlines work out a snag involving a maintenance building. Another 18 jobs were added to the Coeur d’Alene Air Terminal as a result of that deal. Jim has a fun photo of his 90-year-old father wearing Derrek’s Cubs jersey and playing ball with 2-year-old Jada Lee in Derrek and Christina’s Chicago apartment. All’s well unless someone mentions fan interference in that 2004 playoff game.

Pat Boone Rocks?

A push to find 1950s crooner Pat Boone a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also has a Kootenai County connection. John Rook of Coeur d’Alene, a radio pioneer who rubbed shoulders with The Beatles, Rolling Stones and other rock legends, is leading the charge. John, former owner of K103, has e-petitions to sign to gain attention for his cause ( www.johnrook.com). Warning: Don’t try to tell John that his old friend Pat was too much of a goody two shoes and a ballad singer to be a rocker. A commenter on Huckleberries Online tried that approach last week. And got this blast from the past from John: “The rock beat doesn’t mean noise. Perry Como’s “Kewpie Doll” was called rock. Billy Vaughn’s “Raunchy” and “Sail Along Silvery Moon” were reviewed as “with a rock beat” by the trade journals and disc jockeys of that day. I know. I was one of them.” Boone ranked behind Elvis as the most popular singer of the late 1950s. Case closed?

Out, Out, Damn Brit

In the “Where Have I Heard This Before?” Dept., Billy Mackay was enjoying the pageantry and golf at Circling Raven as a guest of the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe when talk turned to his neck of the woods: Dornoch, Scotland. Billy, a convenience store owner, was one of the 12 Scots who participated in the first Royal Dornoch/Circling Raven Golf Challenge. Seems Dornoch, a remote village of about 1,000 on the North Sea in northern Scotland, has the same wee problem as Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint and Whitefish, Mont. Alas, it’s been “discovered,” too – about two years ago. Wealthy Brits from the southern end of the island are selling their digs at healthy profits and retiring to comfy homes in Dornoch, driving up property values and taxes. It’s all the locals can do to hang on. Won’t be long before Mackay, his golfing partners, and their clans put up signs: Don’t Californicate Dornoch.

Huckleberries

Upon hearing that ex-Spokane City Councilman Steve Eugster had filed suit to stop Mayor Jim West’s recall election, CdA council wannabe Mike Kennedy quipped: “This guy Eugster is like a vampire, but instead of blood he needs the printer’s ink of a newspaper to survive” … Huckleberries hears that congressional wannabe Sheila Sorensen will campaign so hard in North Idaho that she plans to rent a home in CdA’s Fort Grounds area. The Repub former state senator from Boise sez it’s cheaper than staying at a hotel and eating out … Poll: 81 percent of the 1,700 WSU students responding to Daily Evergreen online said they hadn’t donated anything for Katrina relief … Can’t figure out why those weight reduction pills were stocked in the Halloween candy section of Post Falls Wal-Mart Friday. Are they for the little gremlins to chew after they eat their teeth-rotting candy? Or for the plump ghouls to swallow instead of their sweets? … The worst thing about local radio talkmistress Laurie Roth’s incapacitating motorcycle wreck (besides Clear Channel’s cold-hearted decision to drop her show while she rehabs)? She doesn’t have health insurance. A fund has been set up for her at the Timberview Christian Fellowship in Mead, Wash. … Bumpersnicker: “I child-proof my home, but they still keep getting back in” … Did you hear the one about the millionaire who built a home on Whitefish Lake, Mont., only to discover he had no room for septic? Serves him right, hunh? Not exactly. He then bought the lot next door for $500,000 and leveled it for a drain field. True story. Must be nice to solve problems that easily … Bob Salsbury/Unbearable Bobness of Being has coined a new word: “ideohogue.”

Basically, an ideohogue is an ideological co-worker who steals your ideas to help move up the corporate ladder.

Parting Shot

A Survey USA state-by-state poll indicates Idahoans are from Mars and Washingtonians are from Venus when it comes to approving the job President Bush has done in office: Idaho, 57 percent approval; Washington, 36 percent. No wonder the two Northwest neighbors can’t understand each other.

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