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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Is Hagadone having his hydroplane dream again?

Huckleberries hears that the Hagadone Corp. and allies are working behind the scenes to bring a small hydroplane regatta to the north shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene late this summer. Sources say that Hagadone property along Silver Beach, including the Beachouse area east of Coeur d’Alene, would be used for viewing. Organizers have asked the city of Coeur d’Alene to help with the logistics of staging the event just outside city limits. Huckleberries also hears that future plans call for the event to transform into a full-blown, unlimited hydroplane race capable of attracting as many as 120,000 viewers on Labor Day weekend 2013. Coeur d’Alene multimillionaire Duane Hagadone has sought to bring hydroplane racing back to Lake Coeur d’Alene since 1985, when he was thwarted by a reluctant Coeur d’Alene City Council and a city advisory vote. Hagadone pulled the project before Coeur d’Alene residents voted 3-to-1 in a snowstorm against the idea, with visions of the town riots from the 1960s races still banging around in their heads. In recent summers, hydroplane fans have staged race demonstrations under the pretext of raising money for the North Idaho Museum. Stay tuned.

Some listeners at the recent Kootenai County prosecutor’s debate at Templin’s Red Lion in Post Falls were surprised when incumbent Barry McHugh choked up while discussing his feelings about the position. Maybe even McHugh himself. But former county clerk Dan English saw it as “a sincere display of his commitment and as a sign of a whole and mature person.” Quoth Dan: “For someone who has to make the kind of decisions that a prosecutor must make, including life and death sentencing options to the correct balance of charging discretion, I frankly think that is a good and healthy attribute to hang on to.” Bingo.


Poet’s Corner: “A spot of gold;/he stops to focus;/there in the snow –/the spring’s first crocus” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“A Stroll in March”) … The panhandlers are getting brazen at the Post Falls Wal-Mart on Mullan Avenue. So much so that a Post Falls officer asked a buddy Thursday whether any of the freeloaders had been rousted recently. Seems the panhandlers at the western entrance were holding the biggest sign the PFPD Blue had seen to date … Around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Coeur d’Alene cops were in hot pursuit of a thief who left Pizza Hut on Coeur d’Alene’s Appleway in a blue-and-white pickup with Washington plates – you know, the hothead who stole cooking oil and shelves when the shop refused to give him a free pizza … Bumpersnicker on a turquoise Isuzu (also with a “Friends of Tubbs Hill” sticker) sighted at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday on Coeur d’Alene’s Northwest Boulevard: “Destined to be an old woman who dies with no regrets” … New date for debut of Panhandle Sun weekly covering northern Kootenai County: April 4.

Parting shot

A woman who visited the Kootenai County sheriff’s work-release program Friday morning provided the best scanner traffic of the week. Seems she was told by an authority at the center on Coeur d’Alene’s Dalton Avenue that her driver’s license was invalid. Which meant that she couldn’t drive off in her vehicle. Not to worry. The woman pushed the vehicle from the parking lot. When she incorrectly thought she was out of sight of the prying eyes at work-release, she hopped in and drove off. Do not pass “Go.”

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