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Huckleberries: Playwright looks at battle in racism fight

‘Coeur d’Alene” opened at Northland Pioneer College in Snowflake, Ariz., last week, with former Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Judy in the audience.

Never heard of the play? Well, neither had Huckleberries until a blog reader sent a link. Dramatist Lisa Jayne’s play explores the conflicting issues faced by Judy and the community in 1998 when the Aryan Nations requested a parade permit to goose-step along Coeur d’Alene’s Sherman Avenue – free speech rights versus confronting religious and racial bigotry.

That year human-rights activists turned “lemons into lemonade,” after the permit was granted, by raising money via pledges for every minute that the racists marched ($35,000 for 27 minutes). The play comes with a warning: “The play contains mature themes and language that may be unsuitable for children.” It’ll be interesting to see if “Coeur d’Alene” ever plays in Coeur d’Alene.

Unfinished biz

Organizers left unfinished business on Lake Coeur d’Alene in the wake of the Diamond Cup hydroplane races over Labor Day weekend – and Sheriff Ben Wolfinger isn’t happyhappy.

The hydromaniacs were supposed to remove those orange-and-white, no-wake buoys from the race course within five days of the event. But they were still on the water last week. Which prompted one of my Huckleberries blog commenters to note Wednesday that 40 to 50 buoys left from the Great Race posed “a major water hazard.” Several had been run over by boaters.

On Thursday, sheriff’s Lt. Stu Miller told Huckleberries that the Marine Division would remove the buoys this weekend if organizers hadn’t already done so. And may bill the Diamond Cup for the work.

Added Stu: Failure to tie up this loose end could lead to “monetary sanctions by the (Department of Lands) as well as future permit considerations/ conditions by permitting agencies.”


Poet’s Corner: “God bless those firemen and those cops/who headed for the building tops/up coal black stairs to Hell above–/“No man hath any greater love” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“9/11”) … Count me among those who fielded that robocall Wednesday night that asked my choice for Coeur d’Alene mayor (Steve Widmyer) and how I felt about the controversial McEuen Field makeover (positive). The metallic male voice didn’t say who was sponsoring the robocalls, though … I’d love to know the back story of the 911 call Wednesday featuring a disorderly male arguing about an “Impeach Obama” sign at Seventh and Lakeside in Coeur d’Alene … Bumpersnicker (on the back of a white van at Ironwood/Northwest Boulevard last week): “U.S. Military: Protecting your butt 24/7 whether you like it or not” … Mark Antony might have asked for Roman ears in his soliloquy. But Post Falls Councilwoman Linda Wilhelm wants your favorite perfume – for an annual Post Falls Chamber Tapas and Tailgating fundraiser raffle.

Parting shot

Spokane Valley reader Lolita Sutton gives Huckleberries credit for a good worship experience at church last Sunday. Seems she was about to eat Chobani yogurt from a “swollen” package when she noticed my column. It told of Coeur d’Alene Councilman Mike Kennedy’s close encounter with despoiled Chobani yogurt and ensuing stomach problems. She hesitantly tested her yogurt, noticing a “pretty funky” taste. Then she discovered online that three of the yogurts in the fridge were from the Chobani recall group. Emails Lisa: “If you had not described Mike’s Chobani adventure, I would not have been so alert, and might have eaten more of the yogurt before giving up.” She thanked Huckleberries for saving her from the same fate as Mike’s – “explosive diarrhea.” All in a day’s work.