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Huckleberries: Former CdA resident hardly shy about how Hawaii ranks for retirees

Major John Chamness of the Salvation Army emails a business story from Hawaii about that study claiming Idaho is a better place to retire than the islands.

John has a good idea of what both states are like year round. In June 2012, he transferred to his new post as a divisional commander of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands after guiding the construction and first years of the Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center. He appreciates both places, which rank high in the poll – Idaho at No. 1, Hawaii at No. 3. considered four factors: life expectancies at age 65; violent and property crime rates; economic factors such as cost of living, taxes and unemployment; and senior population. But John wasn’t swayed by the MoneyRates ranking. In his email, he said: “This came through my email today about Idaho and Iowa being better places to retire than Hawaii. I then looked out the window of my office to view the palm trees and the beautiful Hawaiian sun and 87 degrees! Lucky we live Hawaii!”

And that’s how the other half lives.


If a tree falls in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest, it may or may not make a noise. But it sure can leave a mark, especially if it lands on a shiny black pickup. Last Sunday, Linda Lantzy, the superb Idaho Scenic Images photographer, was snapping scenes on the forest when she spotted the pine tree on the pickup’s crushed cab. The dead tree had fallen from about 50 feet up the hill. She was relieved to discover that no one was in the cab. She figured the owner was a hunter. She’d heard a shot earlier and saw hunting gear in the rig. Linda called the Forest Service to report the incident and then whistled and yelled for the owner to no avail until almost dark. How would you like to explain this one to an insurance company?


Poet’s Corner: “Your eyes of flame blaze in the night,/your fiendish grin burns strange and bright,/and little children won’t walk near you/and hurry by because they fear you/But when a few short days elapse/we’ll see your power quite collapse,/and you’ll turn squishy, soft and shrunken …/for after all, you’re just a punkin” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Jack O’Lantern”) … At 11:42 a.m. Friday, two yellow labs ended a long chase along I-90 near the state line by jumping a fence and running off along the Centennial Trail. An officer who was concerned that motorists were stopping to try to help the dogs reported to dispatch that the “little puppies are 10-4” – copspeak for OK … Coeur d’Alene house-cleaner Kris Helstrom writes: “As much as we ladies complain about how dirty, nasty and messy guys are – every single house I’ve ever cleaned with his and her sinks, it’s always her side that is way worse than his! Sorry girls, but guys win for cleaner bathroom sink!” … That bogus report of a possible Secret Service officer shooting in an alley behind 18th and Sherman around 4 p.m. Friday was called in by a man who later said he received the info “telepathically.” Which was a relief for the officers who scrambled from all over town to the scene … The council and mayor winners in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls in Huckleberries Online polls? Amy Evans, Woody McEvers and Kiki Miller for Coeur d’Alene council, Ron Jacobson for Post Falls mayor. The poll for the Coeur d’Alene mayor’s race among Joe Kunka, Mary Souza and Steve Widmyer is running this weekend.

Parting shot

Employees of the Fort Ground Grill were surprised to find a round Mary Souza sticker on the eatery’s glass door when they arrived for work Friday morning. Souza is running for Coeur d’Alene mayor against their boss, Steve Widmyer. Deadpanned Widmyer later: “I wonder if Mary is coming for dinner tonight?”

Read Dave Oliveria’s North Idaho blog, Huckleberries Online, at

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