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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Input on arming teachers neither ‘needless’ nor ‘divisive’

First, you should know that Mindy Cameron is a Lake Pend Oreille School District (Bonner County) trustee – and former editorial page editor of the Seattle Times. When she speaks, people listen.

But School Board Chairman Steve Youngdahl wouldn’t let her read a statement into the record last week, against the loopy plan to arm some teachers in Sandpoint-area schools. Cameron considers the controversy to be a “needless and divisive distraction.” The Banned-in-Bonner comment surfaced on my Huckleberries blog.

If Cameron had been allowed to speak, this is part of what she would have said: “… qualified, experienced professionals matter, whether in finance, education, or school safety. Why then, if the worst thing any of us can imagine were to happen here, should we rely on amateurs to protect our children? That makes no sense.” Except in Idaho.

Up in years

Aging Flower Children recall the ’60s mantra: “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Jayson Cornwell, a 28-year-old Iraq War veteran, offered a slightly different version at the Post Falls City Council candidates’ forum Thursday. He said his candidacy provides generational diversity for a council with an average age on far side of 33. He was being nice. Mayoral candidate Kerri Thoreson calculates the average age of the current council at 62-plus. Youngster Joe Mallow comes closest to 33. The rest? Mayor Clay Larkin is 77; Betty Ann Henderson, 81; Skip Hissong, 66; Kerri, 61; Ron Jacobson, 58, and Linda Wilhelm 57. How about: Don’t trust anyone over 85? … Also, Kerri posted this comment on my Facebook wall: “The Rotary 4-Way Test: 1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Although I’m not a Rotarian, these words should be applied to elections.” An election without lying, conniving candidates? What is this world coming to?


At 4:43 p.m. Thursday, a Coeur d’Alene resident on 17th Street called police to say that a lone 9-year-old boy wasn’t really handing out phone books. He was casing her house. The police checked out the SOS and, behold, the boy was (drum roll, please) – handing out phone books … My 2 cents? Two years from now, it’ll be hard to find anyone in the City with a (Divided) Heart who’ll admit that they opposed the McEuen overhaul. It’s that nice. Huckleberries participated in a media tour Thursday. It’ll blow your socks off, if you’re not one of Coeur d’Alene’s infamous CAVErs (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) who suffer from a hardening of the arguments … On her Facebook wall, Cindy Hval of the Front Porch column posts: “True confession time. I long ago cast aside the notion that one’s shoes and purse must match, but I still cannot leave the house unless my bra and undies match. Is there a support group for this?” … Coeur d’Alene mayoral candidate Mary Souza must be proud of a political cartoon that shows her at a dais demanding a vote on McEuen Field reconstruction – you know, the one with the caption: “Mary stood strong & fought, but where were (opponents) Steve & Joe?” After all, Mary paid to put it on Page One of the Nickel’s Worth shopper. Do you suppose she noticed that the artist drew her right hand – the one she’s waving – on backward?

Parting shot

By the way, Souza agrees with her buddy Councilman Dan Gookin that Lake City is built on threats and intimidation. In her new “Truth Page” (designed to deal with her considerable pre-campaign baggage), Souza wrote: “I am ready with the facts … facts which will show you the cycle of intimidation and how this city works.” Someone(s) appears to be nipping too often at the Tea Pot.

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

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