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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Councilman mighty testy over early news report

Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Dan Gookin was hot after news leaked last week that a compromise was in the works for McEuen Field plans for boat trailer parking. Why? He hadn’t been notified of the announcement before it appeared on the Coeur d’Alene Press website. Per protocol. So he fired off this blistering email to City Administrator Wendy Gabriel:

“I find it telling that I have to learn of this move through the Press website and not from City Hall. In fact, it pisses me off. Who is in charge? Are you in charge? Do you ever plan on telling ALL of the council these things are (sic) will there be a continuing pattern of my learning about changes at City Hall through the blogs and newspapers? Isn’t there a big sign right outside your office that says, ‘Have we informed the council?’ Can you read? This move doesn’t make me think too highly of your administrative and communications skills.”

If Gookin had talked to Gabriel before venting, he would have learned that she had asked the Coeur d’Alene Press reporter to hold the story until she notified Mayor Sandi Bloem and council members. The Press jumped the gun, for which Editor Mike Patrick commendably apologized Friday. An apology to Gabriel from Gookin is in order, too.

Not friend in need

Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Mike Kennedy drives Hard Right Republicans in Kootenai County cuh-razy.

Kennedy has committed the unpardonable sin of being a Democrat in a nonpartisan office in licorice-red North Idaho. In 2009, Kennedy squeaked past Republican-backed Jim Brannon by five votes – and then withstood a lengthy legal challenge to win by three votes.

Now, he’s one of the four city elected officials targeted for recall by organizers tied to the county Republican Party.

Kennedy has handled much of the partisan hatred with his humor intact.

On his Facebook wall last week he wondered about social media etiquette during a recall attempt. He knows, for example, he has befriended, hired or helped the children of some of the individuals who have signed petitions for his recall (which are public). Facebooked Mike, tongue firmly cheeked: “Should you unfriend them on Facebook? How else do you handle it?”

Maybe Facebook should install a dislike button?


Poet’s corner: “Ends in summer/and starts in fall –/nothing says, “June”/like basketball” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (NBA basketball) … Wanna know how low the fortunes of Idaho Democrats have fallen? I mentioned on my Huckleberries blog ( href=””> /blog/hbo) that the Democrats were holding their annual convention in Boise (this weekend), and a wag responded: “Democrats? Plural?” … After being told that a 10-year-old boy had gassed up and driven off from the Tesoro gas station near I-90 and Appleway in Coeur d’Alene on Wednesday, a patrol officer asked: “How does the R/P (reporting party) know that the driver was 10?” … Then, there was the cab driver who pulled over to nap on Highway 95, south of Coeur d’Alene, and couldn’t get going again Wednesday morning. Why? His taxi battery had died.

Parting shot

For those keeping score at home, according to my unofficial calculations, all three Coeur d’Alene City Council members targeted by recallers will survive the attempt if the disqualification rate for signatures finishes at or above 19.1 percent. Mayor Sandi Bloem will survive the overthrow attempt by four votes if the disqualification rate ends at 20 percent on the nose. Which it was for all four Friday.

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