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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Suppose nobody showed up to an election

Five of the 13 incorporated towns in Kootenai County fell below the electoral “Mendoza Line” on Election Day, Nov. 8 – with voter turnouts of less than 20 percent. The Mendoza Line, for those of you who don’t follow Major League Baseball, represents a dismal batting average of .200 – or about the career average of former Seattle Mariner Mario Mendoza. A .200 Mendoza Line average translates to 20 percent in terms of voter turnout. Tiny Huetter, squeezed between Garagetown and the upscale Mill River subdivision on the Spokane River, fell well below the Mendoza Line, with only four registered voters of 40 (10 percent) voting, including only two in the uncontested mayor’s race. Three towns fell below the “Huetter Line” – Spirit Lake, at 9.8 percent; Athol, at 9.4 percent; and Hauser at a woeful 6.9 percent. Voters in Athol and Hauser could argue that there were no contested races to drive them to the polls. Which makes Post Falls, with a 14.8 percent turnout for three contested council races, seem worst of all bottom feeders. If Post Falls had the same number of registered voters as Huetter, a 14.8 percent turnout would translate into six votes. That sound you hear is George Washington spinning in his grave.

Unlucky 11s

The date 11/11/2011 was unlucky for a Post Falls man hanging out at Big Al’s Country Club & Dance Hall at Stateline Village. This, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. Seems Bradley K. Oliver, 24, noticed what he thought to be an underage female at the counter trying to buy booze. So he called the sheriff’s office. Turns out, the “young” female was actually the manager. Unfortunately, for Oliver, he was on probation for DUI at the time.  He isn’t supposed to drink and/or patronize a bar. Read: Do not pass go, do not collect $200.


Quipster John Austin responded to a scanner report on my HucksOnline blog Tuesday that Coeur d’Alene street crews wanted to move the porta-potty located near Forest Cemetery. Said John: “As long as moving the john is not a major undertaking. That would be a grave mistake” … Can’t blame Post Falls Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson for tearing up when she saw those two riderless horses in the Hayden Veterans Day Parade – one for Nick Newby and the other for Nate Beyers (the two Coeur d’Alene Guardsmen assigned to the Post Falls unit who were killed in July by an IED in Iraq) … HucksOnline Poll: 74 percent of my blog readers say McEuen Field, the controversial green space east of the Coeur d’Alene Resort, is under-used … While the KXLY staff was buzzing about the stray cat that dropped by the morning news meeting Wednesday, executive producer Melissa Luck was unimpressed. Seems Sylvester barged into the meeting without bringing story ideas.

Parting shot

It never entered David Townsend’s mind when he brought a bouncing baby boy home years ago that Junior would throw him under the proverbial bus one day. Yet that’s what happened to the Coeur d’Alene Library communications director, who declared on his Facebook wall sadly Thursday: “The shame of it! My own son has unfriended me. Says he is tired of my snarky remarks to his status updates. It’s true a sage is never recognized by his own family.” Oh, the humanity.

You can follow D.F. Oliveria on his blog ( or on Twitter @Hucksonline.

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