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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Stranded motorist gives shout-out to helpful chief

A funny thing happened to Coeur d’Alene physical therapist Gary Bartoo and son, Trey, on the way home from the new Frontier Ice Arena on Thursday night.

The fuel pump in the truck quit, stranding them in a turn lane at the busy intersection of Seltice Way and Northwest Boulevard. So Gary called for a tow. Then, he and Trey settled in for a wait of up to an hour.

That’s when Coeur d’Alene police Chief Wayne Longo appeared. In uniform. Wayne and Coeur d’Alene’s finest had just chased – and caught – a suspect in an armed robbery at the Boulevard Food Mart, a short distance away.

Spotting the disabled vehicle, Wayne stopped his patrol car and offered to help. Gary was amazed that the chief was doing grunt work. And that Wayne was able to speed the tow truck along. So was wife, Amy, who later Facebooked: “Not only is Wayne Longo a phenomenal gentleman but our esteemed CDA Citizen of The Year!!! We are lucky people tonight!”

There was a downside to all this. All that extra time Trey spent in Gary’s rig after hockey practice, notes Amy, left a distinct boy-sweat smell.

I dream of Raul?

The Twitterverse and the liberal Daily Kos blog had fun with a retweet by congressman Raul Labrador’s social media crew – of an endorsement by Dr. Alfred Bellows. “I’m supporting @Labrador4Idaho,” tweeted Dr. Bellows, “and you should too. The man has delivered on his campaign promise of fiscal responsibility.”

If “Dr. Bellows” sounds familiar, you’re probably a fan of the old TV show “I Dream of Jeannie.” Dr. Alfred Bellows was the psychiatrist in the 1960s comedy who was always trying to prove that Tony was up to something. Sounds as though the faux “Dr. Bellows” was up to something this time.


Poet’s Corner: “It won’t burn your skin and/it won’t leave a stain  – /this stuff that’s been falling/is what we call rain” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“In Case You’ve Forgotten”) … Washington state, at No. 28, ranks three spots better than Idaho, at No. 25, on the Tax Foundation’s Tax Burden Chart, which combines state and local taxes … Poll: A plurality of 48 percent of my Huckleberries blog agreed with the decision by the Idaho Vandals to fire football coach Robb Akey … Former S-R buddy Kevin Taylor spotted this sign on Stateline Showgirls while detouring through the border town Tuesday: “It’s back! Bikini Thursdays!” Facebooks Kevin: “And I’m thinking, who would go to a nude dance club for bikini Thursday? And what’s next? Parka Friday!! Bathrobe ‘n Curlers Monday!! Put it ON, baby! Woo!”

Parting shot

Jim Hightower has joined fellow partisan trustees on the nonpartisan Coeur d’Alene School Board in trying to export hardline conservatism to other nonpartisan local elected boards. Last spring, trustees Terri Seymour and Jim Purtee actively supported the failed recall attempt against Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and three City Council members.

Recently, Hightower, appointed in August, urged fellow Reagan Republicans at a luncheon to join him in trying to unseat incumbents Mic Armon and Judy Meyer on the nonpartisan North Idaho College board of trustees in favor of a three-man Reagan Republican ticket.

Also, he asked the Reagan Republicans to contribute to the campaign of Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin, who is gaining ground again in his tight race after those regrettable comments about “legitimate rape.” And Hightower & Co. wonder why the school board can’t escape controversy?

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