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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: No gas, no problem on sunny Hayden Lake day

Another week, another lake rescue story from North Idaho, although not as dramatic as the one in which a father and a son capsized their sailboat in high winds on chilly Lake Pend Oreille. In fact, Shirley Thagard could think of no better place to be stranded on her pontoon boat on a sunny day than Hayden Lake.

At 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Shirley was on a final tour of the lake when she discovered the gas gauge wasn’t accurate – empty happens before the needle gets to “E.” So Shirley did a lemons-to-lemonade thing and “had a wonderful time sitting in the middle of the lake in the sun, perfectly still water, looking at the brilliant colors spotting the surrounding mountains, waiting for someone to tow me to the dock.” That someone was Hayden Lake Yacht Club member Steve Boots.

There’s probably a moral to this story. But let’s enjoy the afterglow of our wonderful fall.


Back in the day, Flower Children used the term “bitchin’ ” to describe anything good. A new pair of bell bottoms was “bitchin’.” The latest Stones album was “bitchin’.” Long, beautiful hair down to there was “bitchin’.”

If you thought “bitchin’ ” had gone the way of all slang, you weren’t tuned in to “Joe in the Morning” Paisley and Coeur d’Alene Councilman Woody McEvers on ESPN 1080 last week. Woody was discussing a variety of topics, including the Idaho Transportation Department’s proposed transfer of Lake Coeur d’Alene Drive (old Interstate 90) to the city.

On the other hand, maybe Woody was referring to the other kind of bitchin’ – the type that elected officials get. All. The. Time.


Great moment in Coeur d’Alene TV Channel 19 history occurred during the Idaho Senate District 3 debate Thursday when the station identified the archconservative as “Bob Nonini (D)” … Yeah, Huckleberries heard a resident who hadn’t paid his water bill described as a “turd” on the scanner by a city worker, for turning on his water again. But we ain’t saying which city … Despite anger at the Coeur d’Alene School Board’s decision to dump the internationally acclaimed Primary Years Programme at Hayden Meadows, 62 percent of my Huckleberries blog crowd ( oppose any recall attempt. Good call … Conspiracy theorists in Coeur d’Alene – there are many – need to listen up. Mayor Sandi Bloem told Huckleberries that she and the City Council absolutely/positively/cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die are done looking for an alternative launch to Third Street along old I-90, east of town. Boaters will continue to launch at the historical ramp and docks in downtown Coeur d’Alene … Dangling Conversation: Zach Hval: “Old people shouldn’t be allowed to drive.” Mother Cindy: “How old is old?” Zach: “60. Or when you have gray hair.” I resemble that.

Parting shot

Last week, I paid for $5.70 worth of first-class stamps at the Coeur d’Alene post office. Where the clerk handed back change the old-fashioned way. She counted it back starting with the coins. A quarter and a nickel made $6, then four ones made $10, and two fives made $20. I told her how much I appreciated the way she counted the money back. I did that as a teen decades ago while clerking at a supermarket. But too often – usually? – today, bored clerks simply hand you the money in a lump, expecting you to be comfortable with their count.

Follow Dave Oliveria on his Huckleberries Online blog,, or Twitter at @hucksonline.

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